How Do Ice Cream Makers Work?

December 23, 2015

ice cream maker

If you’re fond of frozen treats and drinks, it is certainly recommended to invest in an ice cream maker. Extremely affordable and versatile, these machines have recently soared in popularity which means that they’re available in virtually every offline and online store. With an ice cream maker, you can make over a hundred of different flavors and combinations without even stepping out of your front door. Best of all, you will also be able to benefit from the creamy indulgence of homemade ice cream. Having your own ice cream maker is also a good idea in the sense that it allows you to make as many substitutions as you want to your mixture. If you’re diabetic, for example, you can omit the sugar or replace it with any sugar substitute that you want.

Beginners are often confused by the functionality and operating system of an ice cream maker. The good news is that the majority of apparatuses do come with an instruction manual to help you find your way around the machine. The greater majority of machines also come with recipe booklets. To understand how your machine works, it is important to grasp the basic concept of ice cream making. The mixture, for example, needs to be continuously stirred and churned to prevent ice crystals from forming. While this is achievable by hand, it is quite a tedious and time-consuming task, hence the importance of an ice cream maker. Indeed, the majority of machines can make your ice cream in twenty to thirty minutes, if not less.

Ice cream makers are also built to provide constant aeration to your mixture. This does not only prevent ice crystals from forming but also enables you to benefit from a super-smooth and creamy mixture, not unlike gelato. The canisters are designed to keep your ice cream cool while providing a thicker texture. The market presents three main types of ice cream makers: Built-in Freezers, Countertops and Freezer units. Each model has its own sets of advantages and cons. Countertop machines, for example, tend to be on the more compact size while machine with built-in freezers are larger and single-walled, with wider dashers.

More expensive ice cream makers are also designed to make additional desserts such as frozen yogurt, gelato, sherbet and frozen custard. Basic machines can also be used to make slushies or even frozen alcoholic drinks like margaritas. Some apparatuses- especially hand-cranked ones- come with a small inner bowl and a larger outer canister. The larger bowl is designed to be treated with a freezing mixture of ice and salt. This activates a mechanism that freezers the ice cream mixture in the smaller canister. More advanced models don’t require to be treated with ice and salt but come with aluminum canisters that can be frozen during 12 to 24 hours prior to the churning process. If you’re willing to pay a little extra, you can also invest in an ice cream maker that can be placed directly into the freezer during the churning process.

A Buying Guide To Ice Cream Makers

December 14, 2015

Lello 4080 ice cream makerIf you’re planning on buying an ice cream maker, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different aspects of these apparatuses available on the market. With a proper ice cream maker, it is possible to whip up delectable batches of ice cream in half an hour or less. The major advantage with homemade ice cream makers is that they help you benefit from the super-fresh taste that you will never be faced with when indulging in commercial-based ice cream. You can also avoid the numerous chemicals and additives present in store-bought ice cream.

A regular ice cream maker can cost anywhere between $20 to several hundreds of dollars. Consequently, you do have an extended choice of apparatuses to choose from, according to your personal needs, budget and the likes. It is also important to choose best ice cream maker that will meet your requirements in terms of taste and consistency: for example, if you’re the type of person who prefers a lot of addition to their mixture, it is better to go for a machine with a larger sprout since these will help you add virtually just about any extra ingredient you want to the mixture.

Here are a few key points to consider when shopping for your ice cream maker.

Type of ice cream maker

The main types of ice cream makers on the market are:

  • Portable ice cream maker: Often shaped like balls, portable ice cream makers can be tossed, throw or passed around to churn the mixture. They are ideal for picnics, barbeques and the likes. The major advantage with portage ice cream makers is that they’re inexpensive and very compact.
  • Gel canister ice cream makers: These ice cream makers come with canisters that need to be frozen for twelve to twenty-four hours before you can use them. Some ice cream makers even come with two separate canisters that can be used to make different flavors of ice cream.
  • Compressor ice cream makers: These apparatuses come with built-in freezers that completely eliminate the need for any pre-freezing. Consequently, they are far less time consuming to use. These machines allow you to easily make batch after batch of ice cram with no waiting time in between. They also normally come with a fast cooling feature.
  • Hand crank: Hand cranked ice cream makers are ideal for anyone seeking a more vintage feel. These machines normally require a treatment of rock salt and ice. They are equipped with a hand crank to help you manually churn the mixture. They are quite inexpensive compared to the other model.

Other factors to consider

Here are some additional points to consider when buying your ice cream maker:

Price: Your budget is directly related to the type of ice cream machine and features that you will require. If you plan on sporadically using your apparatus, it’s not a bad idea to go for an inexpensive model. On the other hand, users who plan on using the machine on a regular basis should preferably go for a commercially-built machine.

Control buttons and timer: Some higher end ice cream makers even come with a plethora of control buttons that can help you choose anything from the churning time to the type of dessert that you want. You can even go for a machine with a timer designed to automatically stop the churning process once the mixture is ready.

Type of dessert: Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to use an ice cream maker to make other types of desserts. Be sure to evaluate your needs beforehand since some apparatuses can even be used to make gelato. The majority of machines can even be used to make frozen custard, frozen yogurt and even frozen drinks like slushies.

Ice Cream Makers: Special Features To Look Out For

December 12, 2015

ice cream makerWith a proper ice cream maker, it is possible to indulge in a variety of sweet treats such as slushies, frozen yogurt, frozen custard and even alcoholic drinks like margaritas. If you’re planning on buying an ice cream maker, you will be glad to learn that these machines are readily available on the market. They also come in various price ranges with the price tag depending on the set of features that come with the machine. You can choose between several types of ice cream makers on the market. The most popular types of machines are compressor, countertop and hand-crank.

Of course, because of the extensive range of features, making the right choice isn’t always easy. Quite on the contrary, it is advisable to carefully examine the different aspects of your ice cream maker to make a far more educated choice. Users should take into consideration the price, motor, range of features, size and other similar factors in order to make the best possible choice. If you’re ready to splurge a little more, there are some features that you can go for in order to benefit from a hassle-free experience.

LED screen with control buttons

Often present in more advanced ice cream makers, LED screens can help you shuffle through different options. These can be quite handy for users who want to make additional desserts other than plain ice cream: indeed, not all desserts require the same type of churning. Gelato, for instance, needs to be stirred in a different manner than regular ice cream to achieve that distinctively creamy consistency. By this token, selecting the proper option on your machine will ensure that you get the very best results. Some apparatuses also come with touch screens for added comfort an effectiveness.

Oversized sprouts

The overwhelming majority of ice cream machines come with sprouts that you can use to add extra ingredients to your mixture. In fact, most machines can accommodate coconut flakes, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped nuts and the likes. However, there are quite a few ice cream makers that are designed to accommodate far larger ingredients. This is ideal for users who want to want to bring a healthier twist to their ice cream by adding chunks of fruits and other such ingredients.
Built-in freezers

Cheaper ice cream makers often require to be treated with rock salt and ice to keep the mixture to adequate temperature. This, however, can make cleaning up quite complicated and time consuming. If you want to avoid the hassle of cleaning up any leaks afterwards, it is highly recommended to go for machines with built-in freezers. These are especially designed to keep your mixture at freezing point or less. This is also quite a refreshing change from canisters that need to be frozen for twelve to twenty-four hours before use since you will be able to make your ice cream in just twenty to thirty minutes. Ice cream makers with built-in canisters also tend to be far less problematic to clean. On the other hand, they are admittedly more expensive than traditional or hand-cranked ones.

Soft serve & dispensers

While homemade ice creams are undoubtedly delectable, they can have quite a dense albeit creamy texture. However, you can also find commercial-grade apparatuses designed for softer-serve ice cream. These are more expensive but often sport multiple dashers for a more thorough churning process. The majority of machines designed for soft-serve ice cream often come with dispensers as well as cone holders. While these are undoubtedly more expensive, they are also far more versatile and suited to larger groups of people.

Using An Ice Cream Machine

December 10, 2015

ice cream machineIf you don’t feel like going out for an ice cream, you can easily invest in your own ice cream maker and make larger batches of your favorite frozen treat in no time at all. With an ice cream maker, you also have the possibility of personalizing your ice cream by adding your favorite ingredient or substituting anything that you don’t want to have in your mixture. Diabetics or dieters, for example, can easily go for sugar substitute or completely eliminate sugar from their ice cream, which consequently allows you to indulge in as many frozen treats as you want.

More importantly, an ice cream maker will also help you whip up a variety of additional desserts in the likes of frozen yogurt, frozen custard or even sherbet and gelato. Best of all, these handy apparatuses can also be used to whip up a selection of frozen alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as margaritas, slushies and the likes. The most common misconception that beginners have about these apparatuses is that they’re difficult to operate. Quite on the contrary though, ice cream makers can be quite easy to use. In fact, the majority of apparatuses do come with an instruction book that will enable budding users to find their way around.

The ease of use of your machine also depends on the type of apparatus that you decide to go for. While shopping for your apparatus, you might find two main types of machines on the market: electric and hand crank machines. Hand crank ice cream machines demand manual power since you need to constantly turn the handle to activate the dasher and churn your mixture. The majority of manual canister also need to be treated with ice and salt beforehand to ensure that your mixture remains smooth and cold. When shopping for a manual ice cream maker, it is important to look for a padded or textured handle to prevent your fingers from slipping. While these apparatuses can be time consuming, they are mainly suited for smaller batches and will provide you with an old-fashioned feel.

Using an ice cream maker with an electric motor can be far easier to use. With some models, you do need to prepare your mixture and freeze the canister for at least 12 to 24 hours before use. However, you can also find some ice cream makers that can be placed directly into the freezer to keep your mixture at the adequate temperature while it churns. Using these machines are quite easy and straightforward because they do come with a plethora of control buttons to help you find the best functionality for your mixture.

As far as cleaning up is concerned, you will be glad to learn that the washing up is quite straightforward. Some models even come with a dishwasher-safe paddle which once again facilitates the cleaning up process. It is recommended to avoid overfilling the canister during use because your ice cream mixture naturally expands during the churning process.

Alternative Uses For Ice Cream Makers

November 30, 2015

ice creamIce cream makers are designed to help you make a plethora of frozen treats in a mere few hours or even minutes. Ideal for domestic and commercial use, these machines are extremely useful for both beginners and more experienced users alike. Some models need to be treated with rock salt and ice during the churning process to help you achieve a perfectly creamy consistency with absolutely no ice crystals. Other machines come with canisters that can be frozen before use. Some models don’t require any salt treatment and can be placed in the freezer during the churning process.

Contrary to what beginners seem to believe, ice cream makers can be used for a wide variety of other desserts other than just plain ice cream. Indeed, some apparatuses can even be used to make frozen yogurt. The Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, for example, only costs between $40 and $50 but can be used to make delectable batches of frozen yogurt in a mere matter of minutes. It has a striking 5-star rating on most websites and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Indeed, this apparatus can make up to 1-1/2 quarts of frozen yogurt or ice cream in just thirty minutes. The freezer bowl is double insulated which means that you won’t need to treat it with rock salt and ice before you use it. Other such models designed for frozen yogurt are the VonShef Frozen Yogurt Fruit Ice Cream Smoothie Dessert Maker Blender Machine, Cuisinart ICE-21R Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, Yonanas Elite Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker as well as the Oster Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, & Sorbet Maker.

Similarly, ice cream makers can also be used to make gelato. Most people are wary about making gelato by hand at home because it is admittedly difficult to achieve the same creaminess and texture by using a whisk only. However, gelato makers can help you make professional-grade gelato without even stepping out of your front door. Machines like the Cuisinart Gelateria Ice Cream Maker, for example, can be used to make gelato in 20 minutes or less. This apparatus comes with a one-button operation as well as a handy control panel to help you choose between no less than three speeds and textures. It also has an auto-shutoff function to prevent your mixture from over-churning. Similar ice cream and gelato makers include, but are not limited to, Lello 4090 Gelato Pro Quart Ice Cream Maker, Hamilton Beach 68880 Ice Cream Maker, VillaWare V5100 Classic Ice Cream & Gelato Maker and the Conair Ice-100/Ice Cream Gelato maker.

An even lesser-known fact is that ice cream makers can even be used for slushies or frozen drinks. If you want to make margaritas or slushies, you can check out the Nostalgia Electrics HSB590 Stainless Steel Margarita & Slush Machine. With a four star rating, this particular appliance comes with a see-through lid and canister designed to help you keep a close watch on your mixture. Best of all, it can easily hold up to 128 ounces of frozen drinks. Thanks to the patented dual swivel system, your slushies will be shaved and pulverized to deliver super-smooth drinks. Consequently, this appliance can also be used to make fruit-based sherbets.

If you want to add a far healthier twist to your ice cream, you can also go for the Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker – 100% Fruit Soft-Serve Maker. These machines only require chunks of frozen fruits to produce all-natural ice cream at the mere touch of a button. It doesn’t require any additional ingredients such as a milk or sugar.

In meanwhile, why don’t you go and check out 27 ice cream maker shops you need to visit before you die.