What beats a frozen ice cream treat on a summer? This sure is the ultimate thrill that will calm all nerves. Lucky enough you will never fall short of amazing flavors especially with homemade ice cream. Homemade ice cream is not only tasty but also comes packed with all the ingredients you would be missing in commercial brands.
Homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt treats are custom made to fit individual tastes and preferences. If you have been shying from ice cream due to allergic reactions, homemade options got you covered. These are healthy dessert options that will brighten your day and rekindle the love for frozen summer treats.
There are many reasons why you may be going for readymade ice cream. Most people will tell you that making ice cream takes so much of their time. Well, this was true some years ago but not anymore. Ice cream making at home is now easy, convenient and takes a few minutes of your time.
With a sophisticated ice cream machine, your ice cream making process will actually be enjoyable. But how do you settle on the best ice cream machine? Let’s break that down for you.
What Are The Different Types Ice Cream Makers?
Ice cream machines vary in size, shape, features, color, and functionality. When searching for the best ice cream unit, you will notice that there are different brands that produce all sorts of makers. You can have a look at the most popular ice cream maker brands on our ice cream maker reviews.
Ice and Salt Ice cream machines
The old fashioned ice cream makers were characterized by the use of ice and salt. This gave them the name that has stuck to date. Apparently, there are some nostalgia ice cream makers that still use this technology to date. These give the nostalgic feeling and fit perfectly in vintage interior décor.
The salt and ice makers are designed to resemble a bucket fitted with a crank on top. This is the traditional designs that many take pride in. Today, more designs have been introduced and you may hardly tell the difference compared to modern technology makers.
Ice and salt ice cream machines may not be the best ice cream makers in the 21st century but will surely make the cut. These makers are affordable, easy to use and require little care and maintenance. To use them, ensure that you have plenty of salt and ice. This guarantees a successful and smooth ice cream making process.
Most ice and salt makers are manual. This means that you will have to turn the crank by hand. Many people find to be fun especially when the kids are involved. There’s no better way of engaging the kids in ice cream making than having them turn the crank. After all, who takes most of the ice?
There’s quite a number of ice and salt ice cream makers fitted with motors. These make the work easy by turning the crank. These too will be quite involving only that you won’t be doing the manual whipping.
The major benefit of using salt and ice makers is the control. You can easily adjust the temperatures and speed to deliver the desired quality.
Electric Frozen Bowl Ice Cream Machines
Electric frozen bowl ice cream machines are an upgrade to the ice and salt machines. These machines bring in convenience by eliminating the need to control temperatures with salt and ice. You just need to freeze the bowl a day or two prior the ice cream making day and your work will be quite easy.
Once the bowl is frozen, ice cream making will be quite easy. It will also take a few minutes. All you need to do is add the ingredients, start the maker and wait for the ice cream to be ready.
Just like the ice and salt ice cream unit, the electric frozen bowl maker requires you to plan in advance. This will serve as the best ice cream machine but only if the bowl is fully frozen. Otherwise, you may not achieve the desired quality.
Electric ice cream makers are more costly compared to ice and salt makers. These machines retail for less than $60 with a few high-end models going for $100 or more. They are affordable and will be affordable to many.
Compressor Ice Cream Machine
The compressor ice cream machine is the sophisticated type of ice cream makers. These machines boast of the latest technology. They have gained popularity over the past few years and the market share keeps growing every other day.
The compressor ice cream makers will retail for $200-$700. They require huge cash outlay especially if you intend to use them for commercial purposes. It thus calls for one to have a good budget. A business plan will also come in handy in commercial engagements.
The biggest selling point of the compressor ice cream makers is the high quality ice cream and short turnaround. With these makers, you do not need to bother yourself freezing the bowl or getting salt and ice. You can make your ice cream anytime and every time without the need of preparing the machine beforehand.
Most compressor ice cream machines are characterized with digital displays, automatic temperature control and an inbuilt ice cream freezing system. This means that you do not need to invest in a freezing system.
The compressor ice cream maker allows you to include some creativity in the ice cream making. With the automated processes, you are left with enough time to try out different recipes and tweak your ingredients. You can add some chocolate chips or the rainbow sprinkle or try out some of the ice cream recipes outline here for more appealing flavors.
What To Consider When Buying An Ice Cream Making Machine
Different ice cream machines are designed to suit different purposes. You thus need to know what to look out for before making a purchase. Some of the most important factors to consider include;
As a rule of the thumb, makers’ capacity is assessed in volume. Ice cream makers volume is measured in quarts. This is a factor that every ice cream maker owner needs to consider. Whether you are buying a commercial or domestic ice cream maker, you need to have a keen eye on the capacity.
Small ice cream makers have a capacity of one or two quarts. This is enough capacity for a small family. It may however fail to meet the demand for a huge family or party. You see, the bowl needs freezing. This means that you may only have the opportunity to make one batch before the temperatures rise.
One the other hand, huge ice cream makers have higher capacity. These makers offer convenience as they will serve a huge number of people. These are the best ice cream makers for anyone thinking of making commercial ice cream.
Always have an idea of the amount of ice cream you need to make before selecting the machine. This will guarantee you enough ice cream in a single batch.
Ice cream machine prices vary and will be influenced by numerous factors. Right from simple to high-end commercial makers, you can expect the range to be hundreds of dollars. A vintage ice cream maker can retail for as little as $30 while a modern commercial ice cream machine such as the Lello Musso Lussino can cost up to $700.
As a homemade ice cream enthusiast, you may not need to invest in the high end machines. A machine that won’t stretch your budget while delivering high quality finishes will be the perfect choice. Such a machine may cost you $100-$200.
The $100-$200 range will give you anything between a salt and ice, frozen bowl and a modern machine. Just ensure that you are within your budget as you do not want to spend too much on one appliance.
Ease Of Use
The process of making homemade ice cream will be very different depending on the type of machine in use. Some ice cream machines are easy to use while others will give you a hard time. This is because some are electric and others manual.
On a close examination, you will realize that the ease of use is directly proportional to the price. This means that the biggest tradeoff you will be making when buying a cheap machine is the ease of use. High-end ice cream makers are fully automatic and will be very easy to use. They do not require manual churning, freezing or cleaning.
One of the factors that make all the difference when it comes to the ease of use is the compressor. Machines with a compressor can make ice cream instantly without the need to freeze the bowl. Bowl freezing can take up to 24 hours. Some makers have extra bowls while others have invented fast freezing bowls.
Other factors that influence the ease of use include a digital display, removable bowl and a freezing compartment. A machine that has all these features will seemingly make the ice cream from the beginning to the end without close supervision.
How long are you willing to wait for your homemade ice cream treat? The duration taken to make one ice cream serving will be determined by the ice cream unit speed. The ice cream making process can take up to two days. However, with some machines, this should only take some hours.
Speed is a factor that many people will use to determine the best ice cream machine. Given that time is not always predictable, and so are guests, one needs to have an ice cream maker that can make ice cream instantly. Soft serve ice cream machines tend to be winning here as the ice cream doesn’t need to be frozen.
Quality, Texture And Consistency
This is a factor that will be hard to test before purchase but will make a huge difference. Just as the machines are different in features and characteristics the finish is also different. Unlike the flavor, the texture and consistency will be determined by the specific ice cream maker in use.
Some of the high-end ice cream makers retail at high prices simply because they have mastered consistency. The ice cream tends to be smooth and creamy throughout regardless of the running time.
The manual ice and salt and frozen bowl ice cream maker allow you to control the quality, texture and consistency of the ice cream delivered. This may not be possible with automatic electric compressor ice cream makers. What these advanced makers will give you are some adjustable settings.
The settings allow you to control the speed. Low speeds tend to produce thicker ice cream while high speeds produce thin and lighter ice cream. High speeds will also prevent ice crystals from building up. This delivers improved texture compared to low speeds.
Appliances fitted with electric motors have a tendency of making noise. This is no different with ice cream makers. While some will be moderate, others will be very noisy. Preferences and sensitivity will have to come to play when selecting your homemade ice cream maker.
Yet again, this is a factor that you may not tell before you make the purchase. To make the right decision, consult previous buyers’ reviews. Going through the ice cream maker reviews will help you determine which maker will give you an easy time and one that won’t let your kids sleep peacefully.
A good number of customers are quick to lament if the ice cream machine is noisy. It thus should be easy for you to make the right decision.
Are you thrilled by the looks more than the final product? Well, the manufacturers have your tastes in mind. The market is awash with beautiful ice cream makers that will accessorize your kitchen and give it a taste of class and style. You may need to consider the kitchen shades and finishes before making the final decision.
What Are The Extras An Ice Cream Maker Should Offer?
- A Cool-Down Function-This is the function that allows you to start making ice cream immediately. Ice cream makers with compressors have this function.
- Stay Cool Function-This comes in handy in keeping the ice cream cold while still in the maker. With the functionality, you do not need to transfer the ice cream immediately. You can serve it all from the maker without altering its quality.
- Ready Bell-An alert system allows you keep your eyes off the machine as it makes the ice cream. You can do other jobs as the bell will notify you when the ice cream is ready.
- Extra Frozen Bowl– Making two servings might not be practical with one bowl. Some makers come with extra bowls while some manufacturers will sell extra bowls separately. Having extra bowls will save you time and expand your maker’s capacity.
- Digital Display-Digital displays make it easy to choose desired settings, make adjustments and record ice cream sold.
- Hardness Options-This function allows you to vary ice cream thickness.
Summer heat can be punishing but gives you another excuse to snack on ice cream. Summers serve as the best time to have outings and outdoor activities and a homemade ice cream maker will definitely crown the moment.
Choose the best ice cream machine that will deliver tasty treats that will keep guests longing for the next summer party.
With the tips listed in this ice cream machine buying guide, you shouldn’t have a hard time selecting the best ice cream unit. Grab one and enjoy your summer dessert!