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End Kitchen Feuds With This Ice Cream Scoop

The products we used:

What's your favorite flavor and why is it rum raisin?

Two ice cream scoops and one ice cream spade

Holy schnikes, it's getting hot here in Japan. The good news is we have lots of ice cream in the freezer, a must for helping little kids cool off after a rowdy time playing outdoors in the Sun (unless you happen to own a retro ice shaving machine with the logo of a large aquatic bird on it). Honestly, kids love ice and ice cream.

But what children don't like is waiting. If you're like me, you typically leave your ice cream out to soften up a little before you get scooping. Trying to carve a chunk out here or there with a spoon is a lost cause. However, the little ice cream fiends wrapped around our legs don't quite understand, and honestly think we're trying to pull a fast one on them.

"He's gonna switch out the ice cream with frozen natto I just know it."

Our friends at Kai think they have a solution: a special ice cream spade made with an aluminum alloy that is designed to conduct the heat of your hand into the scooping end quickly, thus making it easier to scoop the ice cream out fast.

The question is, does it work?


Holding the ice cream spade

First, let's take a look at the design. The handle is flat and somewhat wide. The spade is light, as you might expect from aluminum. The wide, flat shape coupled with the aluminum alloy facilitates the transfer of heat from your hand into the scooping end.


Attempting to scoop with the spade

In our testing, we found that scooping with the Kai Aluminum Alloy ice cream spade is a bit of a mixed bag. The corners of the handle are fairly square and sharp, making it somewhat uncomfortable to push into the ice cream. It does indeed warm up quickly, and it does seem to cut through the ice cream better than, say, a typical spoon, but it also cools down quickly. The metal conducts the heat from your hands fast, but the cold ice cream cools down the scooping end faster. And it still doesn't get warm enough to cut through especially hard, cold ice cream like a well-heated scoop made with stainless steel.

Scoop? Neigh, Scrape!

scraping ice cream

The one scenario where it excels is scraping, rather than scooping. We used it several times, and each time we found that stabbing into the ice cream was less effective and less comfortable than just scraping. Again, the sharp corners all around the handle make it uncomfortable for trying to stab through hard ice cream, but cutting through a thin layer off the top (with most of the underside of the scooping end hovering above the ice cream) was much more comfortable and effective.

Honestly, the material and design is more well suited to small ice cream spoons (like the ones our friends at Todai make). Not only will the heat from your hands warm up the spoon, but your mouth will help speed up the reheating process. Compared to a typical ice cream scoop with a large handle and rounded tip, the Kai doesn't do so well. However, it compares much more favorably to a normal spoon, which has all of the downsides the Kai has, but without the benefit of heating up quickly.

Parallel Scooping Possibilities

three cups of ice cream

Now, in a one-on-one match against a typical ice cream scoop, the Kai may come up short. But what if you play dirty and give a spade to every member of the family? You typically wouldn't imagine buying and storing 4, 5, or more ice cream scoops. They are large and specialized utensils. I've only ever owned two at a time.

But, the flat design and light weight of the Kai make it much more practical to have one for each member of the family. While with a typical scoop your family needs to wait for you to scoop their ice cream for them, the Kai lets the whole family scrape and scoop in parallel, at their own pace. You can probably store 4 Kai scoops in the space that one typical scoop occupies.

When you consider that scenario, the Kai starts to shine. If you have older children who can be trusted with the great ice cream scooping responsibility, letting them all scoop and scrape together with their own Kai spades seems not only possible, but can possibly solve ice cream-related kitchen conflicts.

Final Thoughts

Kai Ice Cream Spade close-up

While the Kai probably doesn't fit so well in a young family's kitchen, in a kitchen with multiple rambunctious frozen dairy psychotics, I can see them filling the space formally occupied by spontaneous boxing matches (especially paired with ice cream spoons for shoveling summer-time delectables into those drooling, bulldog-like jaws your lovely children have). If your family consumes a lot of ice cream, then it may be wise to pick up a half-dozen spades and spend the summer peacefully enjoying life's little pleasures.

The products we used: