How To Scoop Ice Cream Like The Pros At Ben & Jerry's

Take a moment to imagine the perfect scoop of ice cream. You're likely envisioning a nicely rounded ball atop a cone or in a bowl, complete with toppings, and accompanied by a hot summer day. This picture of scooped magnificence is deceptively simple to achieve, and there are some tips that'll get you scooping ice cream like the pros at Ben & Jerry's in no time. 

According to the experts (Ben and Jerry, of course), to make the scooping process easier, you can start by scraping around the edges of the tub. The center is likely colder and therefore more solid, making getting that effortless sphere much more difficult. To make the edges even easier to remove, allow the ice cream to soften a bit by letting your pint sit on the counter for a few minutes before diving in. Additionally, you can briefly run your scooping device under hot water and then hit the pint. The extra heat will make the ice cream slightly easier to form into a ball.

In terms of technique, the perfect scooping motion is almost like an 'S' shape, and you should try to swivel your wrist as you go. Ultimately, it will take practice to get the process down — that's why the workers at your local Ben and Jerry's are likely so good at it.

Some scooping tools are better than others

When it comes to refining your technique, the key to the perfect dollop comes down to the device itself. Although the old-school aesthetics of the rounded scoops with moving levers are fun, according to the experts, those aren't the best for hard ice creams.

The preferred tool of Jeni's Ice Creams founder Jeni Britton Bauer (who pairs beer with her splendid ice creams) is the Zeroll Original Scooper. It's made of an aluminum body that is filled with a liquid that conducts heat. The liquid allows the heat to transfer from your palm to the scoop, making it glide seamlessly through your ice cream — but keep in mind this also makes it not dishwasher safe.  

Generally, most prefer one-piece tools because of their effectiveness and simplicity. The Sumo and OXO have grippy handles, so you can get leverage when digging into that pint, and these can go in the dishwasher. 

Although you'll more commonly see the flat-headed spade used in a gelateria, it can also be used for traditional ice creams. The benefit of a spade in comparison to a scoop is that the paddle allows for larger portions and can more easily cut through lots of mix-ins. Spades are also useful when packing or leveling tubs of ice cream by hand. These practices are more commonplace in commercial settings, but leveling ice cream out consistently can help prevent the formation of pesky ice crystals at home.

Cut the pint if you can't get the scoop down

Still having trouble perfecting the scooping technique? Don't worry; there are plenty of creative ways for you to enjoy your ice cream that don't involve a scooper. Another recommendation by Ben and Jerry's is to turn your pint into an ice cream sandwich. Grab (or bake) a batch of cookies, then take your pint and cut it on its side into individual slices — you may have also seen this hack on social media. The slices you now have are perfectly shaped and sized to go in between two cookies. If you're not an ice cream sandwich person, you can also plop a portion into a bowl and eat it — no scooping required. 

Additionally, simple wooden sticks can turn a pint into individual bars. To execute this technique, insert four popsicle sticks into a frozen pint. Then, cut the pint into quarters, each containing its own stick. In the end, you'll get four personal ice cream bars to share (or not). 

Ben & Jerry's also has a hack to save your ice cream from freezer burn. Exposure to air increases the likelihood of ice forming, so the duo recommends covering any open ice cream with wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap. If you have leftover slices, wrapping each tightly should help. Storing these in an airtight freezer bag will provide yet another layer of protection.