Ice cream is a favorite treat that comes in many flavors. You can buy your favorite treat at your local supermarket or make some at home. The question is, is it worth buying an ice cream maker?
An ice cream maker is worth buying because it gives you the convenience to have your ice cream any time you want and in all flavors at an affordable cost. You get to choose your ingredients, and you can use your appliance for other purposes. You can use it to make frozen yogurt, custard, and sorbet.
An ice cream maker is a convenient machine to have at home. Let’s show you why this machine is a must-have. We will take you through the benefits, guide you on how to choose an appliance, and the best makers we have out.
Five Reasons To Buy An Ice Cream Maker
1. Experiment with flavor
An ice cream maker gives you the flexibility to make any flavor you want and when you want it. You can also experiment with new and mixed flavors, a privilege you do not have when you buy ice cream.
2. Healthy ice cream
Having the freedom to choose the ingredient to make ice cream is fun. Furthermore, you have control over the nutrition value in your desert. It is also safe for your family and your visitors. You can check how safe and healthy your ice cream is.
3. Entertain family and friends
If you are the kind of person who likes entertaining family and friends at your house, ice cream comes in handy. Your visitors will love the fresh-made ice cream. You will also have a variety of flavors to serve at an affordable cost.
4. Saves You Money
It is cheaper to make your ice cream at home. Once in a while, you can buy ice cream. When you are entertaining families and friends or hosting a party, make ice cream at home to save money.
It is convenient to make your desserts at home any time you want. It saves you time and money running to the stores.
How Much Ice Cream Can You Make?
Ice cream makers come in many sizes, the size determines how much ice cream the machine can produce in one batch.
- The most common sizes are 1.5 quart, 2 quart and 4 quart.
- 4 quarts equals one gallon and half a quart equals one pint.
So for example a 2 quart ice cream maker can make up to half a gallon of ice cream per batch.
Types of Ice Cream Makers
You should know about the three types of ice cream makers.
- Nostalgia ice cream makers require you to layer ice and salt (rock salt) on the outside of the inner mixing bowl.
- Instead of freezing a bowl the ice you add provides the cooling.
- These have a electric motor so you don’t have to manually churn the ice cream.
- Nostalgia is a brand and their ice cream makers allow you to make ice cream the old fashioned way.
- Fun and decorative designs.
Nostalgia 4-quarts Electric Ice Cream Maker Bucket is a great choice, this old fashioned style ice cream maker made with real wood really stands out. Check it out on Amazon here.
- The canister is where the ice cream is churned and it needs to stored in a freezer for at least 24 hours before using. Also called a mixing bowl or freezer bowl.
- Typically the canister contains a special liquid within that retains the cold temperature.
- You don’t need to add any ice.
- Canister ice cream makers are a step up from the Nostalgia. As far as technology goes.
- They usually have built in program options for making ice cream, sorbet, yogurt and Gelato. What sets them apart is the speed at which the machine churns the ingredients.
- You can add in extra ingredients during the churning process.
- Sleek stainless steel appliance design.
I would recommend the most popular canister ice cream maker. The Cuisinart 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, find it on Amazon here.
- The most advanced of the ice cream makers.
- Machine cools on its own, you don’t need to freeze a canister or add ice. So you can make ice cream at any time.
- You can still add in extra ingredients during the churning process.
- Typically features a control panel with timer and setting buttons for different frozen desserts.
- Larger than the other types of ice cream makers
- These machines cost a lot more.
- Stainless steel appearance.
Again Cuisinart is one the best brands for ice cream makers. Their 1.5-quart compressor ice cream and Gelato maker is very easy to use. See this impressive machine for yourself on Amazon here.
What Should I Look For When Buying An Ice Cream Maker?
In order to help to you pick out a ice cream maker, here is what you should look for starting with capacity.
For entertaining friends and family or hosting a party, consider capacity. It will ease your work, and you will have enough serving for many. The higher the capacity, the slower the maker is. You will have to find a balance between the two.
How Easy It Is To Use
There is a wide range of ice cream makers to choose from the market. The ease of use is a major differentiating factor you will have to consider. The size of the motor in the old school ice cream maker will determine how much effort you use in the process.
An extra bowl or the speed at which your ice freezes tips the scale in choosing an ice cream maker. Be ready to spend more on an appliance if your goal is to make your work easier.
Functions that can make an ice cream maker easy to use.
- The hardness option gives you the flexibility to choose how hard or soft you want your ice cream.
- Digital display enables you to automate your setting and check the temperature.
- An extra bowl
- A built-in alarm in some appliance lets you know when your ice is ready.
- Some machines have a stay-cool function that keeps the ice cool for longer. You won’t have to worry about how soon you serve your dessert.
An ice cream maker cost may range from 30 USD to a whooping 700 USD in the market. The price tag is determined by:
Be ready to spend more if an appliance is more automated. Motor operated appliances will cost less but have more work.
The more durable the machine, the more the cost. You will have to find a balance between getting a long lasting appliance worthy of the cost.
Text and consistency
If you like your Ice cream thin and smother, go for the compressor ice cream makers. The faster the device, the more refined your dessert will be. Slower makers produce a thick texture.
Consider going for appliances that enable you to set or control the speed.
How quick you want to have your ice cream is a factor to consider when making a buy. While some machines will allow you to auto control the speed, there is a limit to how far you can have that control.
Go through reviews online and product description before you make up your mind to place an order. Many stores have their product description online.
Consumers will always give a review of the products they use. While some customers do not mind the noise an appliance makes, you will have to decide if it is a deal-breaker for you.
Manual appliances make more sound during operation compared to the electric compressors.
How long an ice cream maker is going to last you is a factor you should consider before spending your money. A cheaper appliance may be costly in the long run if it breaks down more often.
Find a balance between your money and the longevity of the product. It is advisable to have a second opinion from someone who has first-hand experience. Online reviews will be of help.
Be keen when choosing an ice cream maker. Some are difficult to clean and may turn the experience of ice cream making into a burden. Appliances that have removable parts are easier to clean.
There are various shapes and colors to choose from if you are keen to match appliances in your kitchen. You may want to consider the material of the appliance before you make a buy. It gives the machine its overall appearance.
Brands either have a name or a reputation. When making a buy, choose a brand that gives you the best product and an after-purchase service. The ease at which you get an after service will come in handy in case the manual makes no sense to you. How fast the brand reacts when you need a refund for one reason or another. It also helps if your appliance needs a fix.
Some brands are more expensive irrespective of the type and quality of the appliance. You will have to look around and check some reviews to make a decision.
How Long Should An Ice Cream Maker Take?
Homemade Ice Cream takes between 20 to 40 minutes to make if you have the ingredients ready. The speed is dependent on the type of device you use. The old school motor versions take longer as compared to the electric compressors.
Other factors that affect the speed of ice cream making are;
- The brand of the machine
Each machine comes with a manual with clear instructions. Take time to go through the manual and check how long it takes to make ice cream.
- The temperature of the ingredients at the time of use
If you want to shorten the time to make ice, consider freezing your ingredients before use.
- The number of ingredients in use
The more ingredients you have, the longer it takes to prepare your dessert.
- The temperature and humidity in the air
High temperatures prolong the process.
- Type of ingredients
Some ingredients like honey speed up the freezing and shorten the time
Canister ice cream makers require you to freeze the canister for at least 16 hours before using.
What Is The Best Ice Cream Maker For Home Use?
The ice cream makers I have listed are some of the best ones on the market. But in case you want to take a look for yourself. See the best ice cream makers for sale on Amazon right now here.