Can You Microwave Ice Cream?

Can You Microwave Ice Cream? A Quick Guide

If you ended up here, you probably want to know if you can microwave ice cream?

We not only answer that question, but we will also take a look at other options to soften ice cream quickly.

Can You Microwave Ice Cream?

Bowl of Soft Ice Cream with Strawberries on Top

The answer is yes; you absolutely can microwave ice cream! This is a little kitchen hack that I’ve used for years to soften rock hard ice cream and make it tad bit melted, which makes this dessert epic, IMO.

The key to using the microwave to melt ice cream is to really soften it. This is why you zap it in the microwave for around 5-15 seconds, depending on the amount that you plan on softening.

The end result is either a nice slightly melted bowl/tub of ice cream, which means you can truly enjoy the flavors of it or it will be easier to scoop out.

Please Note: Even though the vast majority you will greedily enjoy that bowl or two of just microwaved/softened ice cream, you need to be aware of a hidden danger if it is left out for too long and placed back in the freezer.

According to Amreen Bashir’s article on The Conversation, she explains that  “ice cream can also pose a danger after purchase if it has melted and then been refrozen. 

 Ice cream melts fairly rapidly at room temperature and the milky, sugary, liquid concoction is a perfect petri dish for bacteria like Listeria,”

So for the rare instance you have melted the tub/bowl, you should avoid leaving it out and place it back in the freezer, once you have taken what you need.

Are People Really Heating Their Ice Cream in the Microwave?

While it may seem weird for some, you can rest easy knowing that there are tons of people who know this little trick and use it to their advantage.

There is a popular thread on Reddit, highlighting how and why they put ice cream in the microwave.

A quick look at Twitter and you can see countless users tweeting nothing but praise in using the microwave to melt/soften ice cream.

Twitter Users React to Using the Microwave to Melt/Soften Ice Cream

How to Soften Ice Cream Other Than Using The Microwave?

While the microwave is one of the best ways to soften ice cream, there are other options that can be used to make scooping or eating it out much easier.

Place in the Refrigerator

When it comes to thawing food, the refrigerator is the recommended method and this holds true if you want to thaw ice cream.

Depending on the hardness or size of the container of ice cream, you can leave it in the refrigerator for 10-30 minutes to let it defrost. Once you are ready to serve, it will still be cold and firm, but much easier to scoop out.

Warm Water Method

Depending on the ice cream container, you could try to soften it using the warm water method. To do this, fill a bowl with warm water, place the container in the bowl and let it sit in there for 1 to 2 minutes.

You will find that the outer parts of the ice cream will slightly melt, making it soft enough for you to scoop it out.

Heat a Scoop or Spoon

Heating a scoop or spoon is another way to easily scoop out ice cream, however, this is a bit more complex and in my opinion, a waste of time of resources.

Take an all metal scoop (not the ones with plastic on it) or a spoon and heat it in your oven/toaster oven. Once heated up, you can hold it with a towel and it should be able to cut through the frozen ice cream like a hot knife through butter.

I don’t think it is a good use of time, as you could use the other options highlighted above.

So What’s the Verdict?

It is possible to put ice cream in the microwave. Many people use this method to soften it bit, so it is easier to scoop and better to enjoy.

It is a cool kitchen hack to know, just don’t let it heat up too long or else you will end up with a watery mess.

There are also other ways to soften ice cream, as you can let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple minutes, run it under warm water or heat up a scoop/spoon.

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