How To: Scoop Frozen Ice Cream Without Breaking Your Wrist

Scoop Frozen Ice Cream Without Breaking Your Wrist

Just when you begin to doubt the future of humanity, advances in ice cream scooping science continue to develop. Yumi showed you some super-cool ice cream hacks just in time for summer, and we've already discussed how to use a knife to slice ice cream when it's too hard to scoop.

Turns out that there's yet another way to resolve the frustrating issue of scooping rock-hard, straight-from-the-freezer ice cream, and we have America's Test Kitchen and one of its readers to thank. Once you learn this technique, you can create Pinterest-worthy scoops for you and your guests.

All you need is a good, sharp knife, hot water, and an ice cream scooper.

Why does the knife have to be so sharp? Because when a knife is dull, you need to expend more energy and make more motions to get the same amount of cut a sharp knife will give you. When you're dragging it through something with very little give, like frozen cream, you don't want to have to keep sawing away. That's how people get nicks and cuts and even gashes.

Next, run the knife under some really hot tap water before you start cutting. Conversely, you could conserve H20 and boil some water in the microwave just in case you need to dip your knife multiple times.

After your knife is heated up, cut lines straight across the surface of the ice cream so they're about one-inch deep. Then rotate the ice cream container a quarter turn and cut more lines, also one-inch deep, so you have a checkerboard pattern.

Next, heat the scooper in some hot water and scoop away. You only want to dig about an inch deep—cutting that checkerboard pattern loosened up the surface of the ice cream so you don't have to break your wrist while you're scooping.

Once the first layer is out of the way, repeat the process until you have enough ice cream for everyone. Check out the full demo in the ATK's video.

And don't forget that you can actually buy a heated butter knife that would probably work very well with this hack, too.

1 Comment

Good tip. Really, almost any way you use it, a knife is a better tool for ice cream scooping than an ice cream scooper...

  • Slice horizontally from the center down and towards an edge and lift.
  • Cut through the whole thing (including the carton).
  • Pre-cut then scoop (shown above).
  • Stab then press down to the side.

...All give you more leverage than the damn scooper.

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