Read This Before Softening Ice Cream In The Microwave

Okay, YOLO. Life's too short to wait for your ice cream to thaw. You know exactly what we mean. Maybe you're having a dinner party and are super pumped to serve the final course, your grandmother's warm plum tart with a quenelle of fresh vanilla bean ice cream perfectly poised on top. As you pull the ice cream out of the freezer and go in for the scoop, you hit something that feels like the iceberg that hit the Titanic. Rock. Hard. Ain't nobody got time for that! 

Even if you're not having a dinner party and just have a date with some Cherry Garcia and Netflix, we've all stared down a pint of rock-hard ice cream with annoyance verging on pure disdain. Of course, we don't expect you to sit around for 20 minutes fiddling your thumbs waiting for it to thaw out in the refrigerator (the best thawing method, apparently, per Cook's Illustrated). We're here to tell you that the microwave is the fastest way to thaw and soften your pint of pistachio, so you can get back to spooning that luscious concoction straight into your mouth. But, according to Food & Wine, there's an important tip you need to know first about using your microwave to optimally thaw ice cream.

Use your microwave's power settings for perfectly thawed ice cream

Let's get this out of the way first. If you're one of the folks afraid of using the microwave, don't be. Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic radiation, yes, but they're the "non-ionizing" type, according to Live Science. This means they don't have enough oomph to knock electrons out of atoms, and therefore can't damage your DNA.

Maybe you've tried using your microwave to defrost ice cream in the past by just throwing in the pint, picking a random number of seconds, and hitting start. The result? A soupy, inedible mess. But, that's only because you're missing an important step: Setting your microwave's power level. Setting the power level simply means setting how often the magnetron (the device that causes the water molecules in your food to move really fast and heat up) goes on and off. The lower the power level, the more often the magnetron turns off.

Food & Wine says set the power level of your microwave to 30% power for about 30 seconds for just the right softness. Cook's Illustrated gets a little more detailed about it, advises heating the ice cream at "50% power for 10 to 60 seconds," but check every 10 seconds to see how your ice cream is doing. Your goal is to leave "only a narrow ring of ice cream around the edges" for creamy, dreamy goodness. We know. You're heading to the freezer now.