Making homemade ice cream is a fun family activity that kids love. It is easy to do with some simple ingredients and an ice cream maker. If you are thinking about buying an ice cream maker, you should familiarize yourself with some key features so you can choose the best one for your needs.
One of the first things to think about is how much ice cream you want to make at a time. Ice cream makers work best when they are filled, so choose one that is the right size for your family.
The next factor to consider is the size of the ice cream maker, which is different from its capacity. Space is a factor in most people’s kitchens, so think about where you will store your ice cream maker when you are not using it. You don’t want to choose a large machine that will take up a lot of precious counter space, especially if you won’t be using it often.
Ice cream makers use different methods to produce ice cream:
• Manual: A steel container holds ice cream and is surrounded by a large wooden bucket. You can add ice and rock salt between the two containers and turn the hand-crank to churn the ingredients. This is fun for children but may be less practical than other types of machines.
• Pre-freeze Bowl: This is the most common type of home ice cream maker. The bowl that holds the ice cream has to be frozen in advance for 12 to 24 hours.
• Electric Freezer: This type has a built-in freezing mechanism, so there is no bowl to freeze. It is possible to use this type of ice cream maker to produce several batches of ice cream in a row. This type of ice cream maker is larger and more expensive and is usually made for a commercial kitchen.
• Gelato Maker: This type of machine freezes at a slightly higher temperature and does not use as much air as a soft ice cream maker.
Most ice cream makers have an ingredient spout. This is a slot at the top of the machine that allows you to add extra ingredients as your ice cream is blended.
Compressor models bring ingredients below the freezing point immediately because they have built-in chilling compressors. They do not require any pre-freezing, but you can pre-chill the components.
Ice cream makers vary widely in terms of price. You can find one to suit your budget. Ice cream makers that cost more usually have a built-in freezer but are not necessarily better.