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Kitchen Scoop and Disher Guide

Whether it's used to serve a big or small scoop of ice cream, cookie dough, or mashed potatoes, every foodservice establishment needs a scoop, disher, or even both. These essential kitchen tools help with portion control to reduce food waste, while also providing an easy way to serve food without sacrificing presentation.

Choosing the Right Utensil

In the same way a fork isn't an appropriate utensil for eating soup, a disher isn't the right tool for serving ice cream. So then why are scoops, dishers, and spades always grouped together? They generally perform the same role, but in different capacities. For the longevity of your product, it is important to understand these differences.
Utensil
Uses
  • Extremely versatile tool; works well as a measuring scoop for softer foods such as vegetables, rice, or meat
  • Common uses include: cookie dough scoop, cupcake batter scoop, or mash potato scoop
  • Great for high volume environments
  • Ideal for portion control thanks to the large variety of sizes offered, ranging from 2 teaspoons - 1 cup
  • Stainless steel bowl and shaft allow the disher to better maintain functionality, even with frequent use
  • Comes in two types:
    • Thumb Press: A practical design that allows the user to dispense product quickly and easily by simply pushing down on the side press with their thumb.
    • Squeeze Handle: This design allows the user to use their whole hand to activate the blade which minimizes hand fatigue. Comfortable for both left and right-handed users.
  • Generally used for hard ice cream
  • Creates the classic ice cream scoop shape
  • Easy-to-clean one-piece construction eliminates moving parts and minimizes the chance of malfunctioning
  • Many scoop / dipper handles include a non-toxic defrosting fluid that's good for two things:
    • Enabling easier and faster dipping
    • Helping to prevent ice crystals from forming and mixing with the ice cream, otherwise known as tub leveling
  • Generally used for gelato and creamier ice creams
  • Great for heavy-duty or commercial use
  • Designed with better leverage than scoops and dishers, making it an ideal tool for scraping down ice cream bins filled with hard ice cream
  • Helps minimize wasted product and maintain your establishment's bottom line

Disher Sizes and Colors

Dishers are commonly categorized by their size, which is based off of the approximate amount of servings it takes per quart or the number of ounces it holds. To make these sizes both easier to identify in a busy kitchen setting and to prevent cross-contamination between foods, specific handle colors are assigned to each size. Check out our disher size chart to better understand the variety of sizes on the market!

Kitchen Disher Sizes Kitchen Disher Sizes
Disher Size (Approx. servings per QT.)
Color
mL (Approx.)
Fluid Oz. (Approx.)
Cup/Tablespoon/Teaspoon (Approx.)
#4
Orange 236.6 8 1 Cup
#5
Teal 177.4 6 3/4 Cup
#6
White 140.5 4.75 5/8 Cup
#8
Gray 110.9 3.75 1/2 Cup
#10
Ivory 96.1 3.25 3/8 Cup
#12
Green 85 2.875 1/3 Cup
#14
Sky Blue 70.2 2.375 1/3 Cup
#16
Royal Blue 59 2 1/4 Cup
#20
Yellow 55.5 1.875 3 1/2 Tablespoons
#24
Red 44.4 1.5 3 Tablespoons
#30
Black 33.3 1.125 2 1/4 Tablespoons
#36
Mushroom 25.9 0.875 1 3/4 Tablespoons
#40
Orchid 22.2 0.75 1 1/2 Tablespoons
#50
Terracotta 18.5 0.625 4 Tablespoons
#60
Pink 14.8 0.5 1 Tablespoon
#70
Plum 11.1 0.375 2 3/4 teaspoons
#100
Orange 7.4 0.25 2 teaspoons

Featured Disher Styles

Vollrath 47248 1.25 oz. Half Moon Shaped Disher
Certain dishers come in unique styles to better suit the creative needs or desires of the user. Commonly used for foods like hummus, butter, or soft cheeses, these specialty food dishers boast an ambidextrous handle for ease of use, along with a stainless steel construction for durability.

These featured dishers are ideal for fine dining restaurants, bakeries, candy shops, and other places where presentation is of high importance. Popular shapes include: half moon, triangle, and rectangle.

Scoop and Spade Materials

While dishers are primarily made of stainless steel, scoops and spades can be constructed from one of a few different materials. However, you may notice not many seem to be made of plastic. That's because plastic tends to be less durable for the types of jobs these products are used for and may even chip off into your food if overextended.
Material
Benefits
Utensil
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Light weight
  • Can be both chilled or heated
  • Attractive for front of the house use
  • Low maintenance
  • Scoops
  • Spades
  • Easy to clean
  • Consistent size with each scoop
  • Allows for faster service
  • Limits the need for gloves or other utensils to help with release
  • Scoops
  • Extremely durable
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Can be chilled to help keep colder products from melting or heated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit to help dish out hard or even frozen foods
  • Easy to clean
  • Attractive for front of the house use
  • Low maintenance
  • Spades
  • Trademarked material by Zeroll, made of one-piece aluminum alloy with an anodized Teflon® finish
  • Eliminates compression to create the appearance of a bigger scoop
  • Saves on product by allowing for 20 percent more scoops per gallon
  • Protected from hard or highly chlorinated water
  • Scoops
  • Spades

Cleaning Guidelines

Some food dishers and scoops are dishwasher safe, but many need to be hand washed to maintain their appearance and functionality. For example, any antifreeze ice cream scoop cannot be used in the dishwasher because the conductive fluid within the handle will solidify and lose its ability to warm to the user's touch.

Look for the following certifications on product pages to identify the appropriate way of cleaning each item:

Hand Wash Only


Dishwasher Safe

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