Just about everybody loves ice cream and making it at home can be a lot of fun. Discover which ice cream maker to buy depending on your budget and requirements Learning how to use an ice cream maker means you will be able to create this icy cold confection yourself.
Not only are you guaranteed to get delicious, fresh ice cream but you also have complete control over what ingredients you use. If you are allergic to nuts, for example, you can substitute something else. If you love fresh fruit, you can put as much in as you want. You can experiment until you find the perfect ice cream recipe.
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Types of Ice Cream Makers
There are several different types of ice cream makers on the market, so you should think about which type is best for you before just buying the first one you see. Knowing which ice cream maker to buy depends on various criteria.
You can get machines which have a gel canister that needs to be frozen. When it is frozen, a paddle fits into the canister, which spins slowly around on a motorized base. The ice cream mixture sticks to the frozen gel sides and the paddle scrapes it off, mixing and aerating it.
The gel does tend to thaw out depending on the temperature of the air, and is not regulated, which might result in a slightly runny ice cream.
This type of machine can make quite good ice cream though and does not cost much. Your homemade ice cream will be so delicious with this chocolate walnut cake recipe.
What Else Is There?
If you are happy to spend a bit more, you can get ice cream makers which have built-in freezers and a compressor to slow the thawing process. The method of making ice cream is very similar to the motorized canister type method but if you decide to make a second batch with the canister type maker, you will have to wait a day for the canister to refreeze.
Alternatively, you could buy a model with a freezable gel disk and try to find a permanent home in the freezer for the disk. If you use a machine with a built in freezer and compressor, your ice cream will be ready in as little as twenty minutes. This is important to know when deciding which ice cream maker to buy.
Old-Fashioned Way to Make Ice Cream
If you want to use the old-fashioned ice cream making method, you can place the ice cream batter-filled canister in a mixture of rock salt and ice and hand crank it. The rock salt helps to keep the temperature low. This method tends to result in a creamy ice cream but can be hard work for you (although fun for the kids!)
You can get machines designed for making soft ice cream only, where you pull the handle to dispense it into cones or cups. You can put sprinkles in another compartment. These machines cost about $100 and the freezer part is double insulated to keep the ice cream cold. This one might be good for kids but not versatile – you can’t use it to make sorbet or heavier types of ice cream.
Which Ice Cream Maker to Buy
It is vital to research various ice cream makers because there is such an extensive range on the market. You can spend anywhere between $30 and $600 depending on what type of ice cream maker you choose. If you want something basic which the kids will enjoy using, a traditional hand-cranked maker should be fine.
If you intend to use the ice cream maker a lot, you might prefer one with a built in freezer. Remember, also, that if you have a large family to feed or are planning a party, a maker with a four quart capacity will be better than one with a quart and a half capacity.