I bought an ice cream maker this summer and it is awesome!
I honestly didn’t know much about ice cream makers, but everyone in my family loves ice cream. I have heard good things about making your own ice cream, so I figured I would try it out, and I’m glad I did! Here are some things to know before buying an ice cream maker.
There are three main kinds of ice cream makers.
The first kind is the classic, old-fashioned churn kind. They use ice and rock salt to freeze the ice cream mixture. These tend to be the cheapest options and offer up some nostalgia. If you get a hand-crank model, you can use it while camping or in other places without electricity. They are also good for making large batches of ice cream. On the other hand, they are usually loud, require a bit of muscle and dedication, and you need to be careful not to get salt into the ice cream mixture.
I bought an ice cream maker that has a detachable bowl that you put in your freezer. In general, you need to freeze the bowl for at least 24 hours, so I just store mine in the freezer. To make ice cream, you pour the ingredients into the frozen bowl and let it spin for about 25 minutes. You will need to refreeze the bowl before you can make another batch of ice cream. This type is in the middle of the price range for ice cream makers.
The final type of ice cream maker uses a compressor to freeze the ice cream mixture. This means that you don’t need to freeze a bowl or use ice, like in the other two models. This is the most convenient type of ice cream maker, but it is also the most expensive. If you plan on making ice cream often, it may be worth the investment.
Making ice cream takes work.
Honestly, I had just assumed I could dump the ingredients into the machine, turn it on, and leave it. I thought it would be like my bread machine. I quickly discovered that ice cream takes a little more prep work. For example, the first recipe I tried was for strawberry ice cream. I had to macerate the strawberries and use my blender before pouring anything into my ice cream maker. I have also made recipes that call for heating ingredients or putting them through a strainer. Just be prepared and leave some extra time for prep work!
The ice cream comes out of my machine with a very soft texture, like a creemee. My kids and I enjoy eating a bit straight out of the machine, but it does tend to melt very quickly. To get a harder consistency, like typical ice cream, you will need to freeze it for a couple of hours.
Check out some creative recipes!
I would recommend starting your ice cream making by using the booklet that comes with your machine. That way, you know that you will make the correct amount and the recipe should work well with your machine. After that, you can buy books with all kinds of creative ice cream recipes. I have been happily working through The Perfect Scoop. My favorite recipe so far was for white chocolate ice cream!
Also, you can make more than just ice cream! You can make things like gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. I made a delicious raspberry sorbet after I picked more berries than my family could eat. My kids also enjoy making slushes in the summer.