Organization and Cleaning

Family Table Testing 123: Ice Cream Scooper

Esther Kurtz July 3, 2024

add or remove this to/from your favorites

Ice Cream, You Scream

“Scooping ice cream shouldn’t be a full-body workout” —Moish Kurtz

My husband declared this one Shalosh Seudos while he was digging into the ice cream container, chiseling out small pieces of caramel swirl.

Granted, our ice cream scooper is as old as our marriage (hint, we’re making a bar mitzvah soon), and it wasn’t a top-of-the-line purchase in the first place, but let’s be honest, most of us like to pawn off the ice cream scooping to the men. It’s during that particular dessert that we’re more than happy to be clearing off and cleaning up in the kitchen.

Is the workout inevitable? Is there a better way? I set out to find out by trying different brands, types, and price points for ice cream scoopers. Besides just scooping ice cream, we often like to scoop other food, like tuna, eggs, liver… So, do these scoopers work well on softer and looser foods? Is there one scoop that rules them all, or are ice cream scoopers uni-taskers? (And for those of you who don’t own a scooper, rely on spoons, and scoff at those who do, be honest, how many spoons have you bent beyond repair?)

Testing, Testing

1. I held the scooper in my hand, feeling for weight, comfort, and fluidity of motion when in use.

2. I scooped a blob of tuna, checking how easily it came together, how it released, and how neat and pretty the blob was (spoiler, none of them scored a 5 on that).

3. I scooped ice cream from a tub that was in the back of my freezer, assessing for ease of scoop, energy exerted, and the prettiness of the scoop.

4. I washed the scoopers, assessing how easy they were to clean and whether nooks and crannies and levers got in the way.


Price: $8.96

Stars: 3.5
Notes: It’s middle of the road. Not bad at all. But not particularly good either. Just meh. I thought the unique lever placement would make a difference. But no, it’s just different with no utility.


Price: $24.95

Stars: 4
Notes: Top of the line, used by ice cream shops. It’s liquid-filled to take the heat from your hand and transfer it to the spoon for ease. It also doesn’t compress the ice cream as much so you can serve more ice cream per tub.

I didn’t notice any heat-conducting effect, but I did observe how it didn’t compress as much.

Cool concept, works well. For that price — eh.

Spring Chef

Price: $11.97

Stars: 4.2
Notes: Large scoop, ergonomic, has a notch on the handle to open the ice cream tub. Comes in many colors. It’s heavy on first contact, but you don’t feel it when you use it. Technically it’s a hybrid scoop/scraper.


Price: $14.95

Stars: 4.0
Notes: Made a very pretty ice cream ball, but it took too much effort and a little finessing. I expected more out of OXO. Scored the highest on pretty tuna balls. So if you want to multitask, this might be the one.


Price: $8.55

Stars: 3
Notes: Like OXO, this needed too much effort, but the result was a pretty ice cream ball. Felt very wide and uncomfortable in my hand. They should stick to glue.


Price: $5.59

Stars: 4.7
Notes: The little engine that could. It did everything I asked of it. And is the cheapest one to boot.

Overall Winner: LifHap

Which was a shocker, honestly. It’s like a (way) cheaper version of the Zeroll. It’s a generic brand, basic design, but does exactly what it needs to do.

Note: In my opinion, ice cream scoopers are really uni-taskers. They’re designed to cut into dense frozen ice cream. Packing tuna balls didn’t go nearly as well as ice cream balls did.

Fun Fact: Alfred L. Cralle invented and patented the ice scream scooper in 1896 after seeing porters and servers struggle with getting ice cream off spoons.

Ice Cream Hack: Dip your scoop in hot water before rolling the perfect one. The metal conducts heat and melts the ice cream just enough to make it easier for you to scoop.