Best Ice Cream Scoops

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best ice cream scoops

Ice cream scoops are an absolute necessity if you want to create perfectly rounded mounds from your favorite ice cream.

Not all ice cream scoops are created equal. Quality materials and user-friendly structures make the difference between scoops that last and are easy to use versus those with longevity and functionality concerns.

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Summertime is the unofficial season for indulging in ice cream, but an ice cream scoop makes it easy to indulge all year round.

Questions to answer before choosing an ice cream scoop

Before you pick out an ice cream scoop, here are a few considerations to think about so you are sure to find one that best fits your needs.

Will you use it frequently?

Some people only indulge in ice cream as an occasional treat, while others enjoy it on a regular basis as a snack or dessert. Additionally, an ice cream scoop will be put to use more in households with large families to serve. If your new ice cream scoop will spend a lot of time dipping into your favorite frozen treat, opt for one that is recognized for its quality and durability.

Do you have any issues that affect your grip?

Individuals with health concerns such as arthritis or tendonitis often have problems gripping objects and exerting leverage to accomplish various tasks. An ice cream scoop with a simple yet strong design with a contoured handle is the best option for ice cream lovers with problems that limit hand strength. Handles coated in soft silicone or rubber also help reduce hand strain.

How do you plan to wash your ice cream scoop?

This is a concern only if you plan to place your scoop in an automatic dishwasher. If you don’t like to wash dishes by hand, choose an ice cream scoop that is dishwasher-safe.

Do you like large or small scoops of ice cream?

If small portions aren’t enough for you, or you like to top cones or bowls off with large, round mounds, consider purchasing a larger scoop. These models are typically perfectly round in shape, and often have a mechanical mechanism that helps the larger portions of ice cream slide out of the scoop.

How much do you want to spend?

Ice cream scoops aren’t extremely costly, but you can certainly save a few dollars by choosing a basic model with a low price. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you may sacrifice longevity for the savings, and if you plan to scoop very firm frozen treats, a scoop with solid construction is a must.

Other uses for an ice cream scoop

While it’s a fact that no other kitchen utensil can scoop ice cream quite like an ice cream scoop, this handy tool is practical for many other uses in the kitchen. Check out this list of a few of some ideas to put your new scoop to work.

  • Shape perfect-sized portions of melons.

  • Serve mashed potatoes.

  • Divide batter for making food such as pancakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

  • Remove pumpkin seeds to prepare to make a jack-o-lantern.

  • Create a serving-size scoop of cottage cheese or tuna to accompany a salad.

  • Scoop just the right amount of ground meat, salmon, mashed beans, or other foods for making burgers.

  • Form fillings for numerous types of stuffed foods, including pasta shells, vegetables, and eggs.

  • Scoop firm oils like lard, vegetable oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee.

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Did you know?
Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used to make ice cream scoops for good reason — it’s durable and not likely to rust or corrode with frequent exposure to moisture.

Ice cream scoop features

The design of the ice cream scoop is very straightforward — a scoop top and handle. However, there are a few variations that make some scoops better and easier to use than others.


As you shop for an ice cream scoop, you will find that many are made entirely of stainless steel. This durable material lasts and resists damage like corrosion, rust, staining, and breaking. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that high-quality scoops are typically made of stainless steel.

Other metals, such as aluminum or cast aluminum, are also used to make ice cream scoops and are also fairly durable and long-lasting.

Some scoops feature a combination of metal tops and plastic or silicone-coated handles.

All-plastic and wooden scoops are available but less popular, as they tend to have longevity issues when used frequently, or when used to scoop very firm ice cream.

Scoop tops

It’s the “scoop” part of an ice cream scoop that turns ice cream into perfect portions. Although simple, the design varies a bit from scoop to scoop.

  • Slightly pointed: These scoops are suitable for breaking through firm ice cream.

  • Rounded: Ideal for uniform, perfectly-round mounds. These scoops are best for soft ice cream and for making nice ice cream cones.

  • Wide: Great for scooping out large portions.

  • Tapered: This type of scoop does a good job tackling firm ice cream and making round servings.


Scoops couldn’t do their jobs without durable handles that provide leverage. Like the scoop tops, they also differ a bit.

  • All-metal: Ice cream scoops that are made of metal from top to bottom either offer straight or contoured handles. They top the list for durability.

  • Coated: Some metal scoops have handles that are coated in hard plastic, rubber, or silicone. While this feature can make the handles easier to grip, the coating can also trap water and break or peel off over time.

  • Heat conductive: This unique feature offers a handle that is usually double-walled with heat-conductive liquid inside. As your hand heats the handle, the liquid warms up and makes scooping hard ice cream easier. Special care, such as hand washing and avoiding harsh bumps or drops, will keep these special handles intact.

Release triggers

This convenient feature includes a trigger on the handle that operates a small piece of metal that pushes or whisks ice cream off the scoop.

Dishwasher safe

Generally, it’s best to wash an ice cream scoop by hand with warm water and mild soap. That’s because dishwashers use high temperatures and detergents that can be harsh. Therefore, it’s best not to put aluminum scoops or those with coated or heat-conductive handles in a dishwasher. Look for a model that indicates it is dishwasher safe if this feature is important to you.

Ice cream scoop prices

An ice cream scoop isn’t an extremely expensive investment. You’ll be able to find the best scoop for you, based on your budget and needs. While durability and longevity are likely concerns of cheap scoops, there are options available for less than $6.

However, you can spend a bit more — in the $7 to $12 range — and still find a basic, affordable scoop that’s likely to give you years of use.

For scoops that offer more features, including specialized handles or trigger releases, expect to spend around $13 to $25.

On the other hand, if you want a scoop that’s built to last with top-notch construction made by a recognizable brand, you may have to pay $30 and up.

Keep in mind that it’s the design and craftsmanship that add to the cost of an ice cream scoop. With the exception of very cheap scoops, you are likely to find one with the features and material you prefer at a fairly low price.


  • If you plan to store your ice cream scoop in a hanging position, chose one that has a loop on the end of the handle that will easily fit over a nail or hook.

  • Ice cream scoops with slightly pointed designs do a good job pushing through solid ice cream, and are worth considering if you don’t have a lot of hand strength.

  • To make scooping ice cream a bit easier, warm your scoop up a bit by dipping or rinsing it in hot water before you tackle the ice cream.

  • Always wash your ice cream scoop after using it, and dry it completely before storing it. This will protect the finish and components from moisture exposure that could cause damage over time, especially if it has a trigger release.

  • A quality ice cream scoop makes a nice gift for ice cream lovers. It’s also practical to give for occasions such as wedding showers and house-warming celebrations.

  • If you will be using an ice cream scoop frequently or for multiple uses, it’s a good idea to invest in several.

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An ice cream scoop is a must-have tool for serving ice cream, but also comes in handy for numerous other uses in the kitchen.


Q. Is the heat conductive fluid in an ice cream scoop handle dangerous if it leaks out?

A: The liquid that conducts heat for more efficient ice cream scooping is typically a food-safe oil. Although it’s not dangerous and leakage isn’t a common occurrence, it’s still a good idea to discard any scoop containing the fluid that develops a leak.

Q. Are there any preventative steps I can take to keep the trigger release function on an ice cream scoop working properly?

A. Like any other hand-operated mechanism, triggers on ice cream scoops may wear out with repeated use. However, if you use the trigger as gently as possible, keep it clean and dry, and check the mechanism from time to time to make sure it’s in good working order, it is likely to last a long time.

Q. What type of ice cream scoop should I look for if I want to be able to wash it in the dishwasher?

A. If all of your dirty dishes end up in the dishwasher, durability is a must when it comes to purchasing a new ice cream scoop. One that is likely to last you for repeated wash cycles will be constructed of all stainless steel, which does a great job withstanding heat, water exposure, and detergents.

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