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How to Soften Ice Cream in Microwave

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Are you having hard time to scoop ice cream right out of freezer? If you are looking for a quick fix to be able to scoop the ice cream immediately without waiting, a microwave is the best solution to get the job done. 

Without completely melting the ice cream, microwaving actually helps to soften instantly and allow you to scoop a perfect shape. The refrigerated method will take 30 minutes to soften, where as microwaving is the fasted option. 

How do you soften ice cream in microwave? Remove the container lid and transfer the ice cream tub from the freezer to the microwave. Adjust the microwave to 50% or medium power, and nuke for about 10 seconds to soften and scoop freely.

By lowering the power, the energy only softens a ¼” to 1” on the outer surface of the ice cream without melting completely.

Once the ice cream has reached the desired soften texture, remove the tub immediately and scoop into bowls. Quickly close the lid and return the leftovers back to the freezer. 

Microwaving ice cream to soften is the best way to scoop the perfect portions out much easier. Compared to putting in the fridge and waiting, the microwave appliance is fast, easy and without frustration.

In this article, we are going to review the truth about softening ice cream in the microwave. Answered below are frequently asked questions including expert microwave tips and timing to thaw ice cream for easy serving. 

What happens if you microwave ice cream?

When soften ice cream in the microwave, the friction of water molecules gently warms the frozen dessert causing it to slightly melt or soften. As a result, this quick trick can permanently ruin the texture of the ice cream when done for too long. 

The chemistry behind softening ice cream in the microwave is that it melts out the air pockets making the ice cream so fluffy and soft. 

Nonetheless, lower the power to medium and stick with 10 second intervals to slightly soften the edges around the tub. 

Is it ok to soften ice cream in the microwave?

Yes, it is ok to soften ice cream in the microwave. In fact, it is a safe and quick way to make ice cream scoop-able.

Stick with limited microwave time and use short bursts of 10 seconds at a time because overheating will permanently damage the texture of the ice cream. Once the ice cream is soften, serve immediately and return the leftovers back to the freezer. 

How long should you microwave ice cream

To soften ice cream in the microwave takes 10 seconds burst on medium power. The total microwave time will vary depend on the microwave wattage and the amount of ice cream. 

Generally speaking, a 1 pint tub of ice cream will take 20 seconds to soften in an 800 wattage of microwave. 

Based on an 800 watt microwave, here is how long it takes to soften ice cream:

  • 1 scoop: 10 seconds
  • 1 pint or 473ml: 20 seconds
  • 1 quart or 946ml: 30 seconds
  • 1 gallon or 3785ml: 1 minute

Check the amount of ice cream you need to thaw, adjust the power setting and evaluate thawing time for best results. 

Tips to soften ice cream in microwave

Refrigerating method takes forever, and a microwave speeds up the process to less than a minute to make beautiful round scoops for serving.

A microwave has the tendency of sudden high heat generated quickly in the appliance. Without caution, ice cream can enter into a melting stage that will destroy the texture and make it difficult to retrieve. 

To avoid this situation, try these tips to soften ice cream in the microwave: 

  • Only heat in the microwave until the edges are soft so it is easily scooped around the outside edges.
  • Avoid heating a whole tub for extended time, which leads to melting patches of ice cream that creates ice crystals when refrozen.
  • Use smaller pint containers to microwave instead of larger size tubs.
  • Once the ice cream is soften, store the leftovers by covering the surface with wax paper or parchment to prevent ice crystals forming and to keep it soft.
  • Do not microwave ice cream on high power. Instead change the setting to 30% or 50% power level to soften and not melt the frozen food. 

Best way to soften ice cream in microwave

The best way to soften ice cream in microwave is to thaw small size container for short bursts of time. This will prevent excessive melting and still be able to enjoy cold sweet ice cream.

Uncover the lid and place the ice cream on top of microwave-safe plate incase to prevent it from running over the side of the container and making a mess in the microwave.

Change the setting on the appliance from 100% power to 30% or 50%, low to medium power, and microwave for 10 seconds at a time. 

The lower heat and short interments of time will help to soften the edges around the tub so it is easy to scoop. Serve the ice cream quickly, close the lid on any leftovers, and place back in the freezer to prevent from continuous melting. 

Furthermore, it will prevent you exposing harmful bacteria from dairy or even raw eggs in the frozen dessert. 

Soften ice cream in microwave

Microwaving Ice Cream: Conclusion

Microwave is an amazing tool to soften or thaw ice cream in less than a minute. It is a safe way to get the job done to scoop easily and be able to eat without facing a hard, impenetrable dessert.

Depend on the size of ice cream container justifies the thawing time in the microwave. A smaller pint size tub is recommended to place in the microwave for a maximum of 20 seconds to soften.

When ice cream is microwaved, the water molecules are excited and starts to move the air pockets, ultimately changing the stages of ice cream into fluffy and soft.

It is important not to go over the recommended microwave time as this can forever alter the texture of ice cream

Place the tub of ice cream in a microwave and nuke for 10 seconds at a time on low to medium power. If needed, add 10 more seconds until desired soften stage is reached. 

Understand that the ice cream will continue to melt and soften, so make a judgement call for when to stop nuking based on personal preference. 

Serve the microwave softened ice cream immediately with your favorite dessert or toppings like caramel sauce, chopped peanuts and whipped cream. Afterwards, the remaining ice cream should be placed back in the freezer to avoid continuation of melting.