ice cream scoopRemember when an ice cream scoop was—well, an ice cream scoop. An old-fashioned ice cream scoop still gets the job done, especially if it has a nice heft and balance and is long enough to get some leverage. And the traditional spring action, quick-release ice cream scoops are hard to beat if they are sturdy and well-made. (Stay away from the cheap ones and don’t buy plastic mechanical scoops.) They are not the best for leveraging through rock hard ice cream but they form attractive scoops that pop out with a squeeze of the hand.

But today there are alternatives that will let that rock-hard ice cream slip easily from your scoop into the bowl: anti-freeze scoops, microwaveable scoops, and aqua scoops that you fill with warm water. With so many good scoops, choosing a scoop is largely a matter of preference.

But when do you want an ice cream spade instead of a round scoop? An ice cream spade works best in hard ice cream cutting through easily and scooping plenty. It’s easier to press the spade through the hard ice cream with force and leverage though anti-freeze, microwave, and warm water scoops help. Round scoops are perfect for softer ice creams and make nice round balls for ice cream cones.

What are your choices at The Prepared Pantry?

1. Creamery Anti-Freeze Ice Cream Spade. This is the kind of spade that you see at the creamery ice cream stores. It is filled with an anti-freeze agent so that the ice cream will not stick to the spade. It’s big and tough for digging through hard blocks of ice cream. Our Smooshed Ice Cream Set includes two of these spades.

2. Deluxe Quick Release Ice Cream Scoop (Large). This is a very good quality, spring action type ice cream scoop. It is made of heavy duty 18/10 stainless steel and is equipped with a heavy duty spring. Makes 16 scoops per quart. Can be used for meatballs and mashed potatoes.

3. Deluxe Quick Release Ice Cream Scoop (Medium). This is of the same construction as the large is a quality, heavy duty ice cream scoop. Makes 50 scoops per quart. This is ideal for making drop cookies.

4. Aqua Ice Cream Scoop. This scoop relies on warm water for easy scooping. Remove the plug, fill with warm water, and scoop. The design creates heat in the head where it is needed the most. This is a top-of-the-line product.

5. Easy Grip Jumbo Ice Cream Scoop. This is a nine-inch long scoop with a deep curve and tip designed for easier scooping. Unlike many scoops, this one has the leverage and tip to cut through hard ice cream. It makes extra large scoops. This quality scoop has a nice heft and balance.

6. Microwave Ice Cream Scoop. Heat the scoop in your microwave for 30 to 40 seconds. The scoop will then cut easily through hard ice cream.

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