Portion scoops, or cookie scoops, are the best tool you can use to bake cookies with a uniform size and shape. The scoops come in a variety of sizes and allow you to easily produce ball after ball of dough with ease. In a recent issue (Jan/Feb 2017), Cook’s Illustrated set out to test some scoops and see which ones outperformed the rest. The test kitchen looked for comfort and control. They preferred rubber handles that wouldn’t get slippery even when grasped by buttery hands and a lever that was easy to squeeze to release the dough. They used testers with different sized hands, with different dominant hands and washed each scoop many times.
The only real problem that the test kitchen encountered was that there was no standardization in size between the scoops. While similar, some were measured by volume, by diameter or, vaguely, labeled with only numbers indicating their size relative to other scoops from the same manufacturer. The differences in scoop size sometimes resulted in a few extra cookies from one batch of dough, but they weren’t significant enough to have a big impact on the baking time.
The winning scoop, with a Highly Recommended rating, was OXO Good Grips Large Cookie Scoop, which had a grippy handle and an easy-to-squeeze handle. Testers like the neat, controlled motion that didn’t tire their hands out. The Norpro Grip-EZ Scoop had a grippy handle that helped it score a “Recommended with Rerservations” rating, but a stiff mechanism that gave testers’ hands a workout, Not recommended were the plastic-handled Vollrath Scoop and Zeroll Universal Scoop.