When the days become really hot and a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or more becomes a norm, it’s our fair guess that there must be two things that you just can’t get out of your head. There are probably two things that you desperately want to do as soon as possible because relief from the scorching heat seems unattainable unless you can satisfy at least one of these two cravings – i) head in for a shower (or better yet, dive deep into the nearest swimming pool) and ii) get a scoop of cold and delicious ice cream.
While the first one is somewhat impractical and not always possible (you can’t really take a shower while at the office or head to the pool every time that you go out for grocery shopping), satisfying the second desire is not just easy, but it is also a quick and effective way to refresh yourself and soar above the sweltering heat. After all, who doesn’t love to grab an ice cream cone every now and then?
The fact that California alone produces up to 120 million gallons of this cold dessert every year shows what a popular summer treat it is. Are you aware that the sale of ice creams in the U.S. generates over $20 billion in revenue each year? [Source: icecreamhistory.net]
Although the industrial production of ice cream began as early as 1851, it wasn’t until the Second World War in 1940 that this creamy delight became famous all over America. Over 90% of all American households love eating ice cream, whereas an average person is estimated to consume about 48 pints of ice cream every year.
Typically made from milk, cream, and sugar combined with different fruits, artificial flavors, or even veggies for varied tastes, there are numerous options when it comes to the types of ice cream. But besides the variety of flavors, what makes ice cream such an all-time popular dessert is the fact that it can be easily made at home as well. All you need is an ice cream maker and you can roll out your favorite cold and sugary delights in no time.
Here, we have compiled a list of the different types of ice cream makers available in the market. Each has different functions and is best suited for making different types of ice cream. We discuss every aspect in detail so that you can make an informed decision and specifically choose the one that would best help you actualize your ice cream fantasies.
Table of Contents
Related: All types of appliances for the home
Classic Ice Cream Makers
Before technology took over literally everything, homemade ice cream – or even commercial ones, for that matter – were prepared using chunks of ice and rock salt to turn the ‘batter’ into ice cream. Although they are rarely used today, these classic ice cream makers are still found in some small ice cream parlors as well as some houses where making large quantities of ice cream is a norm.
Here are the best ice cream makers for anyone who prefers this old-school technique of freezing the mixture.
Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker
Buying an ice cream cone or two might not cost a fortune, but if you are inviting a lot of guests for your toddler’s birthday party or want to add just a touch of extravagance to your next summer party by offering ice cream to all the friends in attendance, then the cost can be quite high. But there is no need to worry. This is where a giant ice cream maker with a huge capacity comes in really handy.
This ice cream machine is surprisingly affordable despite boasting a 4-quart capacity that is larger than most of the other homemade ice cream machines. The only drawback is that it requires rock salt and ice for freezing the ice cream mixture but if you can manage that easily, then you can enjoy a buck load of your favorite homemade frozen delights in less than an hour.
Wooden Bucket Ice Cream Maker
Imagine heading to the kitchen to grab a scoop of your favorite ice cream. You open the refrigerator door, pull out the tub and are ready to divulge into this creamy goodness when you suddenly realize that the tub is empty. You just finished it last night, after all. Heartbreakingly annoying, isn’t it? What can be more frustrating is driving to your nearest grocery store or ice cream parlor only to find out that owing to the huge demand, they too are out of stock.
Instead of letting such disappointments ruin your summer, it’s best to make large quantities of your favorite ice cream and stock it in your freezer. If a 4-quart capacity doesn’t seem enough, then consider buying this electric powered ice cream maker that has a capacity of 6 quarts.
Thai Rolled Ice Cream Maker
Thai rolled ice cream also known as the stir-fried ice cream is one of the most widely consumed delicacies in Southeast Asia that rose to fame only recently. If you are wondering what the hype is all about then bring this Thai-styled ice cream maker at home.
Although commercial stir-fried ice cream makers employ quite complex techniques, this portable appliance is easy to use. It consists of a special gel-filled plate-like container that has an iron top. It does not require electricity to operate, and is safe enough to be used by kids even if left unsupervised.
All you need to do is put the pan in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before using. Once the gel in the pan has frozen, pour a thin layer of the ice cream mixture over the top, spread it evenly and then gently scrape it off to form thin rolls of ice cream using the spade and spoons provided. Geometric and animal-shaped ice creams cutters are also included to make the whole process even more entertaining for your little ones.
3-in-1 Ice Cream Maker
Are you one of those customers at an ice cream parlor who take forever to decide whether they should order ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt? If you are looking for ways to avoid those embarrassing moments of awkward silence or are a real ice cream fan who wants to try out all the different types, then this jewel appliance is just for you.
Cuisinart’s Pure Indulgence 3-in-1 ice cream maker allows you to create the best frozen yogurts as well as zesty sorbets in addition to the regular ice creams. The appliance consists of a heavy-duty motor and a detachable freezer bowl housed inside a sleek and silvery, metallic body. It has a capacity of 2 quarts which means you can make sufficient ice cream for your friends or family in one go. The freezer bowl contains a special gel instead of the usual rock salt and ice. Place it in the freezer overnight before attaching in the machine and adding the required ingredients. Switch on the appliance and then sit back and relax as the motor-driven mixing paddle does all the remaining work. Your treat will be ready in less than 30 minutes.
Electronic Ice Cream Maker
Although the freezer bowl for electronic ice cream makers still needs to be chilled manually prior to use, the reason why these appliances are called ‘electronic’ is because of their speed-control feature. Many ice cream makers have mixing paddles that are powered by electricity, but unless they offer the user a speed-controlled mixing option, they are not generally classified as electronic ice cream makers.
In other words, electronic ice cream machines are those that machines that can create ice cream, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, or other frozen delights based on the mixer settings that you choose.
If you are looking for a more sophisticated and user-friendly ice cream maker compared to the ones discussed above, then look no further than an electronic ice cream maker. They might cost a little extra but that’s only because they offer greater ease of operation as well as advanced controls that enable you to create soothing delights of varied consistency. These types of ice cream makers are a preferred choice amongst more skilled users or buyers who take their ice creams quite seriously.
Gelato/ Compressed Ice Cream Maker
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream and even though it is often used interchangeably for regular ice cream, culinary experts use it for a certain type of ice cream.
If you adore gelato or prefer creamier and richer ice creams, then a gelato or a compressed ice cream maker is a must-have. Like most of the modern ice cream makers, a gelato maker is also fully automatic. It features motor-driven mixing paddles but what makes it more convenient is the fact that you can use it any time you want. This is because the ice cream bowl doesn’t need to be frozen or cooled before use. Just add the ingredients in the machine and let it handle all the rest.
This type of ice cream maker usually features two mixing paddles – one for making regular ice cream and another for making gelato. Moreover, because making the authentic gelato requires careful measurements, precise timings, and careful mixing, these electrical appliances have a touchpad control panel with an LCD screen attached to it. A timer alerts you when the set duration has elapsed, whereas its in-built cooling feature keeps the prepared gelato from melting too quickly. For a sensational melt-in-the-mouth ice cream experience, it is best to transfer the homemade gelato to an airtight container and chill it for about 2 hours before serving.
Commercial-Style Ice Cream Maker
Most domestic ice cream makers consist of the traditional freezer bowl that needs to be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before you can start making your own frozen delights. Moreover, if you need to make a larger quantity or multiple batches of ice cream, you need to refreeze the bowl and this can prove to be a huge limitation for many users.
If you have got a large crowd to please or just don’t have enough space in your freezer to house the big freezer bowl, then consider buying a commercial-style ice cream maker. Using these appliances is as easy as it gets. Simply plug it in, toss the ingredients into the bowl, set the timer and wait until the machine stops churning the ice cream. And when the treat is ready, you can move on to the next batch without the machine or other preparations incurring any dead time. These ice cream makers not just work professionally but also look really luxe in your kitchen given their sleek and sophisticated stainless-steel assembly. Also, they have a very swift freezing feature which means that your ice cream will be ready in as little as 10 to 15 minutes!
Latest models have a very quiet operation, are easy to clean and extremely durable. Get a high-class ice cream maker like this one and you will never ask for store-bought ice cream again.
Why Buy an Ice Cream Maker?
Sure, buying ice cream off the shelf is highly convenient while making one at home requires additional effort, but having your own ice cream maker offers several benefits that make it well worth the extra work.
- Homemade ice cream has no food preservatives or stabilizers that are always found in commercially produced ice creams. Thus, they are safer and healthier.
- Homemade ice creams use a hundred percent real fruits and fresh dairy products. This makes them more tasteful and you get a burst of hearty flavor with each spoonful.
- Ice cream makers are useful for people with particular dietary needs. For instance, lactose intolerant or vegan people who cannot enjoy regular ice cream.
- You can create unique flavors that can be hard to find in stores.
- Getting an ice cream maker (the simplest ones are available for a couple of dollars) can save you save a lot of money spent on buying these cold treats all around the year. Plus, they are easy to use and clean and provide a fun activity for your kids as well.
With an ice cream maker available at home, not only can you treat yourself to the hearty, creamy delights whenever you like, but also become the coolest person in the neighborhood (pun intended). Get one of these smart appliances today to make your summer more fun.