We put an Internet kitchen hack to the test to see if it’s really worth it.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
Updated May 24, 2017

Does It Hack? is a new series where we take common time and energy saving cooking techniques from the internet and challenge whether or not they actually make your life any easier.

The Problem

Scooping ice cream. When you pull ice cream out of the freezer and attempt to scoop it, it’s usually rock hard (unless your freezer settings are off) and can’t be dished out without waiting a couple of minutes to soften up.

The Usual Solution

Wait, then scoop.

The Internet’s Solution

Store ice cream inside a sealable plastic bag while in the freezer.

The Test

Put one pint of ice cream in the freezer as is, and put another into a sealable plastic bag before putting it into the freezer. Wait 24 hours and and try a-scoopin’. This test seems super simple, but I made sure to complicate it for scientific reasons. I didn’t want to just buy two fresh pints of ice cream and put them into the freezer right away. Unless you’re an eats-a-whole-carton-in-one-sitting type, the majority of your ice cream scooping sessions will come after the carton has been previously opened, and therefore slightly thawed, at least once before. To mimic this, I opened both pints of ice cream and set them on my desk for ten minutes to soften. Then I put the lids back on and sealed one pint inside a one gallon zip-top bag before putting both pints into the freezer for a full 24 hours. (For your reference, the pints on camera came out of the freezer about two minutes before I started scooping them.) I used the same scoop—which, full disclosure, is a very nice model that contains a liquid that transfers the heat of your hand from the handle to the spoon end—to subjectively answer whether one pint was more easily doled out than the other.

Does it Hack?

No. Not for me, anyway. While I do think the quality scoop had a lot to do with the ice cream being scoop-able at all so fresh from the freezer, the bagged pint was in no way softer or more pliable than the other pint. I did use a relatively high quality ice cream so that may have had some effect on the consistency, which is to say that I’ve found the cheap stuff tends to freeze stiffer than the real deal. Perhaps over time the ice crystals that form on old ice cream would be lessened by a plastic bag, but frankly if you’re leaving ice cream in the freezer long enough to develop frostbite, you’re not eating ice cream nearly enough.