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Screaming for ice cream? Making it at home is far easier than you think. It’s cheaper on the long run, too. A great activity to do with the kids. And a fun alternative when you have a lot of fruit you don’t know what to do with! Are you ready to transform your summer?
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Why Buy a Home Ice Cream Maker?
It’s easy, and that should be reason enough. Here are a few more arguments in favor:
1. It’s much tastier
Commercial ice cream is loaded with thickeners, stabilizers, and other artificial stuff meant to keep it fresh for months on the shelf. This load of additives impacts the flavor. Homemade, freshly-made ice cream, on the other hand, is a delight to taste. Have yourself a spoonful, and you’ll immediately notice the difference!
2. Use your own fruit
Have a big stash of seasonal fruit (strawberries, plums, mangoes and more) on the verge of going bad? Turn it into a frozen treat everyone will love. Problem solved!
3. And last, but by no means least: buttermilk ice cream
As popular as it is (and for good reason!), this is a treat you won’t find at the store. Take your pick from the many great recipes available online, make a batch at home, and you and your guests will be left wondering how you made it through past summers without it!
Why Do I Need A Machine?
While there are methods to make ice cream by hand, they are constraining both in terms of results and of the type of recipes you can make: you are limited to no-churn recipes, and low fat ice creams are off-limits since they can end up being too icy. An ice cream maker does the churning for you, which means you can work with any flavor you want; and, as the mixture is frozen faster, the end result has a smoother consistency. It’s simply not the same without a good machine.
Ice Cream & Gelato: Same Difference?
Have you tried it yet? The Italian-born dessert called gelato has been rapidly gaining in popularity, its sales climbing and climbing every year. If you’ve ever seen it on the menu, you must have noticed it is more expensive, which may have left you wondering if there’s actually any difference. The answer: there are several!
- Ingredients. They are almost exactly the same, but in different proportions: gelato involves more milk, less cream and also no egg yolks.
- Butterfat. Gelato comes with 4 to 9% fat, versus the 14 to 25% common in ice cream. The Italian dessert contains less air too, which gives it a denser and smoother consistency, with a more silky feel.
- Temperature. Gelato is served at a temperature of 7 to 12°F, 10-15 degrees warmer than ice cream.
- Flavor. There’s less fat to coat your tongue, and the slightly higher temperature won’t make you so numb; all of this greatly enhances the tasting experience.
Interested in getting it a home, instead of spending so much out there? Get a gelato machine! We will be providing an option you might quite like, further down.
How To Find What’s Best For Your Home
Big family? Time of the essence when it comes to getting dessert? Here’s what to look for in order to spot the most fitting option for you and yours.
Two are the most popular sizes for this appliance: 1.5 quarts and 2 quarts. For reference, a typical container at the store is 1.5 quarts. If this is usually not enough for your house, then you might want to get the bigger one.
What It Can Make
Aside from the aforementioned gelato, there are units capable of making sorbet and even frozen yoghurt. Of course, such versatility is bound to drive the price up; but if you’re a fan of frozen treats and your budget can take it, why not go for it?
Looking to save time? Then you might want to get a unit with a built-in freezer, which cools your bowl down to the right temperature as you work. This allows you to get your ice cream whenever you want it. Other options will require you to freeze your bowl beforehand, which can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire night. This will entail some planning on your part.
Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker: Immergood PREMIUM Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 6-quart
It’s highly priced for something without a motor, but it justifies it in several ways: this unit will take roughly 30 minutes to yield up to 6 quarts of your favorite ice cream, which you can bring down to about 20 if your mix is pre-chilled in the fridge. Hand crank, bucket, gears and dasher are made in stainless steel, which is intended to make it last for more than a generation. Designed to be leak-free, the tub’s double insulation will keep your dessert at proper temperature for hours.
- Lots of capacity.
- Quite sturdy and durable.
- Expensive for its category.
- Requires physical strain for several minutes.
Best Cheap Ice Cream Maker: Cuisinart ICE-30BC
The low price means you miss out on some features: as there is no built-in freezer, you have to freeze your bowl beforehand; it is also unable to make gelato. Beyond that, however, it is quite a reliable unit. Aside from ice cream, you can use it for frozen yoghurt, sherbert and frozen drinks; whatever you pick, it gets it done in 25 minutes.
Mixing paddle and freezer bowl are removable for cleaning. Body is brushed stainless steel, and the cord can be pushed into the base when not in use.
- Fairly functional for its price.
- Well built.
- Easy to clean.
- Quite loud when working.
Best Electric Home Ice Cream Maker: Whynter ICM-15LS
This unit is generally hailed as one of the best out there: it can handle almost any frozen treat under the sun, such as sherbet, frozen yoghurt, even gelato; whatever your craving, the result will be some of the smoothest you might ever encounter. You can forget about pre-freezing, for this one comes with a CFC-free compressor. It’s highly regarded for how easy it is to scoop your dessert out, as well as to clean it, although it is not dishwasher safe. It is also remarkably quiet, something rare in its category.
Capacity is 1.6 quart, which might feel somewhat insufficient, especially for its asking price.
- Top performer.
- Runs quietly.
- Low yield for the investment it requires.
Best Home Ice Cream Maker For Gelato: Breville BCI600XL
When it comes to frozen treats, the key feature is the ‘Hardness’ setting, which this one has in spades with a total of 12 levels. This enables the unit to work with not only gelato and regular ice cream, but also yoghurt, sorbet and more; your chosen treat will take 45 minutes to be ready.
This one’s quite hefty as far as investments go, but you do get your money’s worth: aside from digital panel and stainless steel body, it features child lock, musical alarm and sensor texture. A commonly mentioned drawback, however, is the included scooper: handle is so small, hands might get covered in ice cream when using it.
- Loaded with features not often seen in similar appliances.
- Modern look.
- Might be out of reach for most budgets.
- Included scooper is not properly designed.
- Takes somewhat longer than many other units out there.
Best Home Ice Cream Maker For Keto: Cuisinart ICE-100
This one has made the rounds as a top recommendation for making keto-friendly ice cream, and you may find that the praise is well deserved: its performance is widely considered more than satisfactory, it is well built and it includes a decent amount of features.
Body is stainless steel, and the built-in compressor removes the need for pre-freezing your bowl. Control is through the digital panel at the top, with blue LCD readout. The timer boasts a range of 10 to 60 minutes, which should cover just about any recipe you decide to make. The transparent lid allows the preparation of gelato, and it also enables you to check the status of your dessert-in-progress. 2 paddles are included: one for gelato and one for regular ice cream.
By price it is on the higher end, although you might just determine that the unit does justify it.
- Sturdy and well-rounded.
- Capacity is among the lowest for its type.
- Lid is known to be finicky.
You’re ready: fire up your maker of choice, and let’s make some great summer memories!
See also: Here’s some fantastic tips to extend the life of your cookware!
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