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Ice Cream Maker Tips

Using your ice cream maker properly will help you make delicious homemade ice cream that rivals and surpasses store-bought ice cream!

ice cream maker

Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

First, let me state the most important rule...
Always, always, always follow the manufacturer's instructions!

Obvious, I know, but I had to mention it! This will lengthen the life of your machine, ensure that you clean it properly, and ultimately help you produce better ice cream.

Now that we've got that covered - let's move on to some more ice cream maker tips - hopefully ones that are a little less basic!

Prep Tips

  • Make sure that the ice cream base is already cold before putting it into the ice cream machine.
  • Why? Ice cream is smoother and tastes better when it freezes faster.

  • Consider mixing your ice cream base the night before and let the base sit in the fridge overnight.
  • Why? Letting the flavors blend together can enhance the flavor of the ice cream.

Making Tips

  • If you'd like, you can use pre-made ice cream mixes.
  • Why? Ice cream mixes speed up the ice cream making process. These do make good ice cream - yet it's hard for mixes to beat the taste of ice cream made with fresh ingredients!

  • When adding ice cream to your maker, only fill the ice cream maker bowl about 2/3 full.
  • Why? Air is added to the ice cream as it churns, so there needs to be room for the ice cream to expand!

    ice cream making

  • Consider pre-freezing mix-ins before adding them to your ice cream.
  • Why? This will prevent them from warming up the ice cream - remember a faster, more consistent freeze produces better ice cream!

  • Generally, add mix-ins during the last 5 minutes of churning.
  • Why? If you add them too soon they will tend to sink to the bottom.

  • Make sure that mix-ins are chopped well and chunks are not to big.
  • Why? Large chunks can damage your machine. A good rule of thumb is that mix-ins should not be bigger in size than a chocolate chip. Soft mix-ins, like thinly sliced fruit can be larger.

  • If your ice cream machine's bowl is made out of metal, do not scoop out the ice cream with a metal utensil.
  • Why? This will scratch the container. I like to use a plastic spoon, but a plastic or wood utensil will work fine.

Storing Tips

  • Transfer completed ice cream from your ice cream machine to a pre-chilled container.
  • Why? This prevents the ice cream from melting during the transfer.

    make ice cream

  • Place ice cream in a metal bowl or a bowl covered with foil.
  • Why? This freezes ice cream faster and keeps ice cream frozen better. Don't forget a fast, consistent freeze produces the best ice cream.

  • Don't let your ice cream melt and then refreeze it.
  • Why? Not only is this a potential health hazard, it also makes the ice cream hard and full of ice crystals!

  • Always store ice cream covered and never store ice cream next to uncovered food.
  • Why? It can absorb the flavor of other foods!

  • Store ice cream between -5 to 0 degrees F.
  • Why? This is a happy balance between proper storage and easy scooping.

I hope these tips help you make the best homemade ice cream your ice cream maker can possibly churn out!

By Jenn Fraiser

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