How to Buy an Ice Cream Machine

Summer time equals cold treats like ice cream and popsicles, but if your trying to save money because of the depression, the home ice cream machine might just be the ticket. And not only is it delicious but because you made it at home, you control what goes into it. But how do ice cream machines work?

Ice cream makers go by several different names such as ice cream machine and ice cream freezer and they all do one thing, and that’s whipping air into an ice cream mix that is at the freezing point. The whole point is to freeze the mix without letting ice crystals form.

Because of the many different types, choosing the home ice cream freezer can be difficult so here’s some help with the various kinds.

The first and oldest type of the best ice cream maker are also the most simple. By that, I’m talking about the hand-powered ice cream maker. With a hand-cranked ice cream makers, there is an outer “bucket” and an inner chamber. Rock salt and ice go into the outer bucket, and your ice cream mix goes into the inner chamber. All the mixing is done by you, via a hand crank which operates the stirrers in the chamber.

Taking usually between 20 and 30 minutes of hand cranking, a hand crank unit can seem like a lot of work, but ice cream fanatics swear that the ice cream is superior. Of course, there are electric attachments that can take the strain out of the task. The White Mountain Freezer Company is probably the most famous for this types of machines.

The next style is commonly referred to as the canister-style ice cream maker. Basically, a freezable bowl is used instead of ice and rock salt. The canister needs to be frozen for about 24 hours before it can be utilized. I just leave mine in the freezer all the time.

So while the mess of ice and rock salt is gone, you’ll also want to make sure your ingredients are also equally chilled otherwise you might end up with something more akin to soup than ice cream which is probably the most common quip about these machines. Favorite brands include Cuisinart, Rival and Krups

The last type called an ice cream freezer, is bigger and more expensive than the two other types of ice cream machines, but if you make lots of homemade ice cream, it may be worth the expense. Again these work using the same idea as the hand-powered models but again these differ in how the ice cream mix is chilled. It’s an ice cream freezer that has a built-in fridge that does take care of chilling your ice cream mixture.

If you’re ready to plop down the dough for a compressor style machine, look for a removable mixing bowl which will help when it’s time to clean up. Sadly, not all units come with one.

Ice cream makers are not only fun and affordable but because you control the what goes into your ice cream, you won’t need a degree in chemistry to tell people what’s in it. Not only that but making ice cream at home can be a family event especially if your home ice cream machine has a see-through lid. Even now, I have fond memories of making snickers ice cream with my grandmother.