Whip up a delicious treat that’s sure to please any crowd with an ice cream maker. Consider these features when shopping for a homemade ice cream maker.
Hand-cranked vs. Electric
The two styles of ice cream makers work in very different ways. Hand-crank ice cream makers require a good amount of effort. Not only must you use ice and rock salt to freeze the mixture, but you also must manually turn a crank to operate the machine. Vintage ice cream makers may be worth the extra effort if you want to create a fun family project for a hot, summer day.
Electric ice cream makers require a simple touch of a button to begin the process. They typically produce less ice cream than a standard hand-cranked machine but they’re much easier to use.
Pre-freezing vs. Self-refrigerated
The more basic electric ice cream makers come with a freezer canister that needs to be chilled before you use the machine. They need to be packed with ice and salt to aid in the freezing process.
For a faster process, choose one with a built-in freezer compressor. Just add the ingredients and press a button, and you’ll have fresh ice cream in less than an hour. These sleek, powerful machines have different settings to make frozen yogurt, sorbet and gelato. You can specify churning time and temperature settings.
Choosing the Right Size
For a quiet date night at home, a small ice cream maker will meet your needs and take up less storage space. If you’re serving a crowd, you’ll want to choose a larger version. A six-quart ice cream maker is big enough to feed a houseful of guests.
The fully automated machines make smaller batches at a time, usually up to about two quarts. Because they don’t need chilling time, it’s easy to serve up one batch then start on the next. Find your favorite ice cream maker recipes and wow your guests.