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The Scoop on Serving Ice Cream by Master-Bilt

By Carla Landi


Whether you have an ice cream shop, are planning on opening one, or just want to add ice cream to your existing operation, Master-Bilt has the scoop on what you will need.


Master-Bilt has made the process easier by putting together a very valuable list of things to look for when choosing the right equipment for your ice cream serving operation.  They did a great job illustrating what you will need and why. Stainless steel tops to resist corrosion and storage space beneath the display area for holding extra containers are just two examples. Along with the features and benefits that will help run a smooth operation, there are a number of options available for each piece of equipment. For instance, a dipper well option is important for rinsing scoops or other utensils and should be available with most dipping cabinets and topping centers. Dipper well options usually come in a kit which allows you to hook up to a water source for fresh running water.


Check out the list below of equipment Master-Bilt recommends for successful ice cream serving applications. They also included information on what to consider with each piece of equipment.


Dipping Cabinets

Dipping cabinets typically accommodate 3-gallon containers and are available in a variety of sizes to suit your volume.

Things to look for when considering Dipping Cabinets:

  • A floor drain with a garden hose fitting so when you wash it out, you can channel the water through a hose to your drain.
  • Anti-condensate heaters under the top cap to reduce condensation in high temp areas
  • A cold wall evaporator with foamed-in-place refrigerant lines wrapped around the outside of the inner tub. Cold wall evaporators provide even temperature throughout with no air blowing across the ice cream which can lower product quality.
  • A stainless steel exterior option for the most durable finish


Dipping/Display Cabinets

These cabinets are used to display and serve. The rear lid raises to allow for easy dipping and serving. There are several sizes of dipping/display cabinets available to accommodate the number of flavors you would like to offer. They come with different types of glass tops so you can choose the view you would like to provide. For example, models with lowered front glass allow customers to get a better view of all the flavors available.

Things to look for when considering Dipping/Display Cabinets:

  • A model with rear air intake and discharge is important if you have special graphics you want to place on the front of the cabinet. Rear intake and discharge eliminates the need for a front grille and allows the maximum area for graphics.
  • Standard wiper gaskets on the top and side of the lid to help keep out warm outside air as well as contaminants.
  • Frost shields option. Frost shields are flat pieces of metal that attach along the top of the inner sides of the cabinet. Frost collects on the shields which are easily removed, wiped off and put back in place. Frost shields save a lot of time (and potential cabinet damage) by eliminating the need to scrape frost off the cabinet interior.
  • Can holder options. As the name implies, can holders hold ice cream containers in place while employees scoop. The holders also come with lids to cover the ice cream and keep out contaminants.
  • With frost shield options, frost collects on the shields which are easily removed, wiped off and put back in place.
  • Can holders hold ice cream containers in place during scooping. The holders also come with lids to cover the ice cream and keep out contaminants.


Topping Centers

Take your frozen treats to the next level. Topping Centers are what you see in traditional soda fountains with pumps and jars mounted above the dipping cabinet. Topping centers are ideal for prep areas or sundae stations in ice cream shops. The construction is the same as a standard dipping cabinet but with the raised rail that houses the jars and pumps. The type and number of pumps and jars can be customized, so they are not always included with the base cabinet. Just like on the dipping cabinets, stainless steel exterior and dipper well options should also be available for these models.


Hardening/Holding Cabinets

Making ice cream on-site? These cabinets are frequently used when making the ice cream in-house.  Containers of freshly-made ice cream are placed inside the hardening cabinet for rapid freezing. The product is then held until needed.

Things to look for when considering Hardening/Holding Cabinets:

  • Insulated inner half doors in addition to the outer ones. These half doors allow entry into the case without exposing all the product to warmer outside air.
  • Heavy-duty cantilever shelves that will support the weight of ice cream containers
  • ¾ to 1 HP refrigeration system capable of faster temperature pull down, higher product loads and lower temperatures.



In addition to hand-scooped ice cream, a display freezer opens the door to additional sales opportunities.  They are great for the promotion of packaged ice cream, ice cream cakes, and novelty frozen treats.  When it comes to merchandisers, several choices are available including horizontal freezers, countertop models and upright reach-ins. Horizontal models typically have casters that allow you to reposition them throughout your store to capitalize on high traffic areas. Countertops can be placed next to cash registers to encourage impulse purchases. Upright glass door reach-in freezers can be placed against walls or on endcaps to display ice cream and frozen novelties of all kinds. Reach-ins come in one, two or three door models.

Things to look for when considering Merchandisers:

  • Look for horizontal freezers with standard baskets, floor drains and locks.
  • LED lighting is more efficient and highlights products better. Most merchandisers will be equipped with LEDs.
  • Reach-in glass door freezers are available with full height doors or with lighted graphic panels on top. Full doors provide more product display while the lighted sign provides customer attraction. The choice between the two types depends on your preference.


When it comes to serving up some ice cream, Master-Bilt has you covered.


Hopefully, this information helps you make informed decisions and think out of the box when it comes to what your operation is capable of achieving. Keep in mind, it’s always a good idea to consult with your foodservice equipment consultant for assistance.   They make it their business to be knowledgeable about recommending equipment that fits and grows with your operation while presenting additional revenue opportunities for you along the way.  For instance, if your sales volume presents a need for an increase in frozen storage capacity, you may want to consider adding a walk-in freezer to your line-up. The options are endless.