What kind of scoopers do ice cream shops use? Let’s face it – what is the most important piece of equipment in your ice cream shop? Is it the batch freezer that makes the ice cream? Or maybe it is the freezers that keep the ice cream nice and frozen? Well, what if I told you, it was none of these. That is because the most important piece of equipment in your ice cream shop is your ice cream scoopers. Without them, you are not able to serve perfect spheres of sweet, delicious ice cream. That is why in this post I want to talk about everything you need to know about ice cream scoopers and what I think are the best scoopers.
What Ice Cream Scoopers Do Ice Cream Shops Use?
Although there are many kinds of fancy ice cream scoopers out there, most ice cream shops use the levered ice cream scoopers that come in standard sizes and colors. For example, a scooper that most ice cream shops use is the green size 12, 2 2/3 scooper with a lever.
Why are these Standardized Ice Cream Scoopers Used?
Why Do a lot of ice cream shops use these standardized size ice cream scoopers? This is down to several reasons:
1. Easy to find
The first reason is that they are easy to find and buy. Most restaurant supply stores will sell all the different sizes of scoopers. This includes places like Restaurant Depot where most ice cream shops will buy most of their ingredients.
They are also easy to buy in restaurant supply shops such as Chef’s Toys as well as online on Amazon (you can buy a pack of all 9 sizes on Amazon here). If you own an ice cream shop, you will get through a lot of scoopers – therefore you need scoopers that are easy to get hold of when you need to replace some.
They are at a great price point. You can find a scooper for usually around $10-$15 (sometimes less). This is especially important because in my experience scoopers need replacing regularly. We also use a separate scooper for each ice cream flavor in our ice cream shop (I am not keen on the whole scooper being washed with water in-between scooping flavors concept – due to cross-contamination). We also always have a complete spare set of scoopers in the store for when any need replacing.
3. Ease of Use
These scoopers are easy to use. You just scoop and just press a lever to get the scoop out.
4. Different Scoop Sizes
The different sizes are great if you want to have different size scoops at different price points. The standardized sizing and color system also makes it easy to recognize and replace the scoopers you want.
What are the Different Size Scoops?
WinCo and similarly branded scoopers come in 9 colors and sizes. Each ounce size has a standardized number and color. I have summarized the 9 scoopers as well as included links to the WinCo version on Amazon below.
|Scooper Color||Scooper Size||Scooper Ounces||Amazon link|
|Purple||Size 40||¾ ounce||Find it on Amazon here|
|Black||Size 30||1 ounce||Find it on Amazon here|
|Red||Size 24||1 1/3 ounce||Find it on Amazon here|
|Yellow||Size 20||1 5/8 ounce||Find it on Amazon here|
|Blue||Size 16||2 ounces||Find it on Amazon here|
|Green||Size 12||2 2/3 ounces||Find it on Amazon here|
|Ivory||Size 10||3 ¼ ounce||Find it on Amazon here|
|Grey||Size 8||4 ounces||Find it on Amazon here|
|White||Size 6||5 ½ ounces||Find it on Amazon here|
What Does the Number on a Scoop Mean?
The number on an ice cream scoop refers to the number of scoops of ice cream that the scooper will provide from a quart.
For example, a size 6 scooper (the biggest) only provides 6 scoops from a quart of ice cream in comparison to a size 40 scooper which will provide 40 scoops.
The smaller the number, the bigger the scoop. The bigger the number the smaller the scoop.
Just bear in mind though that the above logic applies to a level scoop. The reality is that if you are scooping a ball-like scoop using the scooper, you can end up scooping double the scooper’s capacity. For example, you can easily scoop a 4 ounces scoop of ice cream using a 2-ounce scooper.
What Size Scoopers do I Use?
For example, when I first bought all my scoopers for my ice cream shop, I knew I wanted to offer 4- ounce scoops. So, to start I bought grey 4-ounce scoopers.
This was a big mistake. This scooper was far too big. The result was scoopers that were closer to 8 ounces rather than the 4 ounces I wanted. Double the size.
I quickly replaced them with a smaller size and have tried out several of the colors and sizes over the years. The color and size we are currently using are the green, size 12, 2 & 2/3 scoopers. They give us a 4 to 5-ounce scoop depending on our staff member scooping.
What Size Is a Standard Ice Cream Size?
As a general rule, a standard ice cream scoop size is 4 ounces. A 4-ounces ice cream scoop is the equivalent of half a cup.
What Is the Perfect Temperature to Scoop Ice Cream?
As a general rule, the perfect temperature to scoop ice cream is between 6-10 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember standard freezers freeze ice cream at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, which is far too hard to scoop. The only freezers I will use in my ice cream business for scooping ice cream are these Excellence dual temperature coolers and freezers where you can set the temperature to 6-10 degrees Fahrenheit for perfect scooping.
Note that in the winter months you may need your scooping freezer at a slightly higher temperature than in the summer months. You can read more about Excellence freezers as well as all the other equipment you need for an ice cream shop here: What Equipment Do You Need for An Ice Cream Shop.
What To Look for in an Ice Cream Scooper?
In my experience running and owning an ice cream shop for over 6 years – I have noticed several specific features you want from your ice cream scoopers.
Feature 1 – Closed Handles
Some scoopers have molded in such a way that the end of the scooper can come off. This will be the case for most scoopers. When you pick a scooper, you want to make sure the end “plug” is as tight as possible on the scooper. If it isn’t water gets trapped into the scooper handle and then can leak out into the ice cream mixture.
Feature 2 – Strong Scooper Blade
You want the scooper blade to be as strong as possible. There have been some ice cream scoopers I have used where the scooper blade (the part that moves to separate the ice cream scoop from the scooper) gets bent leaving it to stick out of the scooper. The result is the scooper can no longer scoop properly.
Feature 3 – Fixed Scooper Blade
Another point on scooper blades. There tend to be two different ways that the end of the scooper blades can be attached to the metal scooper at the point. Option one is a little hole in the scooper and the scooper blade using a slight curve to secure itself to the blade. With this type of scooper, the blade can be removed and taken out for cleaning.
The alternative is that the scooper blade is fixed in place. It cannot be moved out. These types of blades are much better in my opinion. They are strong and less likely to break.
Feature 4 – Strong Scooper Mechanism
Nothing is more frustrating than when you serve ice cream, and the scooper mechanism suddenly decides to spring apart. Make sure the super mechanism is strong and sturdy.
Feature 5 – Easy to Clean
You want scoopers that are easy to clean. Particularly you want to be able to clean under the scooper blade and scooper mechanism as easily as possible.
What Scoopers Do I Recommend?
My favorite brand of scooper is from Update International. They are strong, dependable, and meet all of my criteria above. I am yet to have one that needs replacing.
Ice Cream Dippers and Spade
There are some alternatives to ice cream scoopers. You can use ice cream “dippers” which can sometimes also come with a defrosting element in the handle. This is essentially a liquid in the handle which heats up with the body temperature of your hand to make scooper ice cream easier. I personally find these types of scoopers harder to use.
There are also ice cream spades with are traditionally used with gelato. However, with these, you are not able to create scoops of ice cream. They also make portion control much harder.
How Many Scoopers Do I Need?
I like to have a scooper for each flavor of ice cream on offer. I then carry double the number of scoopers. This means I can never be caught out if some break. For example, if you carry 7 flavors you will want to have 14 different scoopers. It may seem overkill, but I have had weekends where 6 out of 7 scoopers suddenly decide to break.
Frequently Asked Questions on Ice Cream Scoopers
Now to deal with some of the main questions I know people have been asking online about ice cream scoopers.
What Size Scoop is 2 Ounces?
The blue size 16 scoop is 2 ounces. You can buy one on Amazon here.
What Number Scoop is a 3 Ounce?
The closest to a 3 ounces scoop is the ivory scooper – size 10 – 3 1/4 ounces. You can buy one on Amazon here.
How Many Ounces is in a No 16 Ice Cream Scoop?
There are 2 Ounces in a no 16 ice cream scoop. This scooper is blue and can be bought on Amazon here.
What Number Scoop Is 4 Ounce?
Number 8 scooper is four ounces. One can be bought on Amazon here.
What Color is a 4 Ounce Scoop?
A 4 ounces scoop is grey. You can buy one on Amazon here.
How Many Ounces Is a No 8 Scoop?
A number 8 scoop is 4 ounces.
What Kind of Scoopers Do Ice Cream Shops Use – The Final Lick
What kind of scoopers do ice cream shops use? When it comes to picking an ice cream scooper the reality is not all scoopers are made equal. There are only two rules when it comes to picking scoopers: (1) pick the right size: and (2) pick a dependable scooper. If you pick the wrong size of scooper you are going to make a lot less money. Why? Because your portion sizes will just be too big. Pick one that is too small, and people may complain about scooping size. Likewise, you want a scooper that is easy to use, find, and dependable. Nothing is more annoying than why a scooper breaks, and they will break. Make sure you have spare scoopers and pick a brand that can last.
Time To Learn Some More
Want to learn more on your path to ice cream entrepreneur success. Then check out some of my other articles.
- What Are the Challenges In An Ice Cream Business
- How Do I Start My Own Ice Cream Business
- Ice Cream Shop Profits – How To Run A Profitable Ice Cream Shop
- How Much Does It Cost To Start An Ice Cream Truck
- How Much Does It Cost To Start An Ice Cream Shop
- Ice Cream Shop Accounting – Everything You Need To Know
- Can I Make Ice Cream At Home And Sell It
- What Are the Different Types of Frozen Desserts?
- Is Vegan Ice Cream Profitable
- What Equipment Do I Need For My Ice Cream Truck
- How To Pick A Generator For Your Ice Cream Truck
- How Profitable Is An Ice Cream Truck?
- Everything You Need To Know About Working In An Ice Cream Shop
- Everything You Need to Know About Writing an Ice Cream Business Plan
- Everything You Need To Know About Rolled Ice Cream
- Everything You Need To Know About Soft Serve Ice Cream
- Vegan “Ice Cream”
- Everything You Need To Know About Batch Freezers
- What Equipment Do You Need For An Ice Cream Shop
- What Supplies Do You Need For An Ice Cream Shop
- What Is The Best Location For An Ice Cream Shop
- How To Open An Ice Cream Shop
- How To Start An Ice Cream Truck
- Do Ice Cream Shops Make Money in the Winter
- How To Make An Ice Cream Shop Stand Out
- How Do You Become An Ice Cream Distributor
- Everything You Need To Know About Ice Cream Delivery Apps
- Everything You Need To Know About Gluten-Free Ice Cream and Toppings
- What is the Mark-Up on Ice Cream?