The Simple Hack To Soften Even The Hardest Of Ice Creams

When you're in the mood to have a serving or two of one of the most popular ice cream flavors in America, you don't want to spend minute after minute straining your muscles to get enough ice cream into your bowl. Of course, you could just wait and reserve these luscious bowls of ice cream for hot weather days only, but where is the fun in that? In fact, based on one 2015 survey conducted by Yahoo! 86% of surveyed Americans consume ice cream at least once per week, regardless of the temperature outside. Sure enough, that same survey also divulged that sturdy ice cream scoops are vastly preferred over soft serve. With that being said, finding the best way to slightly soften your next pint right out of the freezer means less time waiting for that first creamy, frozen bite.

Obviously, you could place your carton of ice cream on the counter five to ten minutes before you plan to indulge. While doing so ultimately makes the scooping process much easier, you can't always think ahead when an ice cream craving hits. You may be surprised to discover that all you need to soften your ice cream right from the freezer is a hot knife. Making cuts directly into your ice cream container ensures easy scooping. Before revealing other softening alternatives, let's unveil the step-by-step process behind the hot knife method and why it works best.

Soften ice cream easily with hot water and a sharp knife

The tricky part of softening a pint or carton of ice cream lies in potentially overdoing it and winding up with a runny, soupy bowl of cream and sugar. Using a hot knife softens your ice cream pie or ice cream just right without leaving you with a much softer texture than desired. To use this simple hack, take a sharp knife and run the blade under hot water for roughly 30 seconds. Then remove your frozen container of ice cream from the freezer and make one-inch deep cuts vertically and horizontally along the surface of the creamy treat: You want to have enough cuts to soften the ice cream evenly, so make sure all indents are roughly one inch apart as well. In the end, when you look at your container, the surface layer of your ice cream should resemble a neat square pattern.

Next, simply run your metal ice cream scoop under hot water and use it accordingly. If you don't happen to own an ice cream scoop, given the fact that you already made divots in your ice cream, a warmed metal spoon should also do the trick. Using this method specifically, ice cream is removed easily and still enjoyed in its frozen state. However, using a hot knife isn't the only way to soften ice cream. You may want to consider two other methods depending on how much extra time you do or don't have.

Other convenient ways to soften rock-hard ice cream

While using a hot knife and ice cream scoop is incredibly convenient, you don't need many extra materials when you give yourself enough time before enjoying your next bowl of coconut mango ice cream. If you're about to sit down to your evening meal knowing ice cream will be the after-dinner treat of choice, place your container of ice cream in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. By the time those dinner dishes are washed and put away, you'll have an easily scoopable container of ice cream at your fingertips.

Conversely, if you never think that far ahead and going through the effort of cutting into your ice cream with a hot knife sounds like too much effort, there is one lightning-fast alternative to consider. If you've ever softened ice cream in a microwave, you may have been disappointed with the results, which usually entail a runny top and hard inner texture. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is to decrease the power of your microwave to 50% and only microwave your ice cream in 10-second intervals, checking intermittently to see if the insides have softened. Doing so secures a slightly softer texture throughout the entire container of ice cream as opposed to just the topmost layer. Even though these additional softening methods work, the ice cream texture right from the freezer softened with a hot knife and scoop is easily comparable to your favorite hand-dipped scoops from any corner ice cream shop.