One of the most important pieces of kitchen equipment to have on hand during the summer – excluding a working refrigerator/freezer – is probablyt an ice cream scoop. That may be a big of an exaggeration, but when the weather is really hot, ice cream is a fantastic way to cool down quickly. A few months ago, Cook’s Illustrated ran a review of ice cream scoops to see which did the best job of delivering nice-looking scoops with the minimum of fuss.
They tested seven different brands for ease of use, comfort and appearance of the resulting ice cream scoop. They actually had to eliminate a lot of models based on the last category, either because the shape of the scoop was off or because the ice cream stuck so badly that there was little chance of getting a round scoop. Three brands emerged with high marks: the Rösle Ice Cream Scoop was the top finisher, easy to use and with camera-ready scoops, followed by the Zeroll Original Ice Cream Scoop (which I have and have always had great results with) and the Fantes Stainless Portion Scoop #16 (also known as a 1/4 cup scoop). The OXO i-Series Ice Cream Scoop and the KitchenAid Ice Cream Scoop were recommended with reservations, as the OXO made oblong scoops instead of round and the KitchenAid was very bulky. Not recommended were the Van Vacter Ice Cream Knife and the Tovolo Standz Ice Cream Scoop.
Although not inluded in the CI review, I still really like the ice cream scoop & stack from Cuisipro, which creates cylindrical “scoops” that are easy to pile into a cone. The shape of the ice cream has a little bit of a nostalgic feel for me, and it works qell after being dipped in hot water to ensure that the plunger will easily be able to push out the ice cream from the scoop.