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Choosing An Ice Cream Maker

Choosing An Ice Cream Maker

Fed up of frantically running outside when you hear Mr Whippy’s latest incessant tune?  Always wanted to try something new with the kids, that’s quick, easy and cheap?  Longing for your own, ready-made, cold desserts?  If you’ve answered yes to some or all of these questions and are looking for an ice cream maker, then look no further, this handy guide is here to help.

With a range of different types of ice cream makers for different purposes and different budgets, we understand that it can be a confusing world out there.  This article aims to resolve this problem, by discussing the various options available to the ice cream enthusiast, and helping you to make a clear and informed choice on your next ice cream maker.

What to consider before buying

If you’re really considering investing in an ice cream maker then good for you!  Making your own ice cream has many advantages, which are better than purchasing ice cream by the tub or from a man in a van.  Firstly the best thing about making your own ice cream is the countless combinations that you can come up with.  Just like toasties, you can throw anything in the mix and it’s bound to taste great! Why not try marmite and peanut butter on for size?!  Another thing is that, apart from all the delicious flavours that you could create, your ice cream will also be 100% organic – free from those nasty preservatives and additives.

So, now that you’re keen on buying one, what should you be looking out for?

First and foremost how much ice cream are you going to be making? Are you simply looking for a scintillating home-made dessert for romantic nights in, are you keeping all the kids entertained, or will you find yourself looking at vans and thinking of a playlist of repetitive arcade tunes that you’ll be hearing in your sleep for weeks?!

Secondly, the storage space in your cupboard and freezer is important.  It’s likely that you won’t be using the ice cream maker every day, so to avoid reorganizing your cupboards, check if you have enough space.  Similarly, there’s no point in making ice cream if you’ve got nowhere to keep it cold.

Thirdly, what’s the design of your ice cream maker?  Does it feature a large spout for adding ingredients, or an LCD panel that’ll display the temperature and time remaining?

Fourthly, how long will it take to make your ice cream?  Do you want make ice cream in under an hour? Do you want to make more than one batch at a time?

Finally, is your maker multi-purpose?  Assess what you want to do with your maker, as some models will allow you to make soft serve as well as regular ice cream, and some even frozen slushies and cocktails.

Manual, pre-frozen or fully automatic?

Manual ice cream makers will involve stirring the mixture yourself with a crank handle.  Although this is laborious, some do argue that the ice cream tastes better and creamier than that made in an electric machine.  Plus, after a day slaving over it, there’ll be nothing better than to taste your own hand-made ice cream.

Pre-frozen models are the cheapest, most popular and most economical makers around.  These types incorporate a removable bowl that has to be placed in the freezer overnight, ready to be used the next day.  Here, we are presented with two inconveniences.  First, the bowl has to frozen for a minimum of 8 hours for the ice cream to be of the right consistency.  Second, you’ll also need enough space in your freezer to fit the bowl in.  A solution to this is to constantly keep a bowl in the freezer.  However, if you want to make more than one batch of ice cream you may have to consider buying more bowls.  This item is therefore a good choice for the occasional ice cream maker as it provides an attractive low-cost option.

If you are planning on making a lot of ice cream then a fully automatic model is probably your best option.  These makers are a little pricier, but include a built-in cooling system, which can produce your ice cream in less than 30 minutes.  Thus, pre-freezing is not necessary and this method requires the least amount of work.  The best thing is that you don’t have to wait for one batch to finish, before starting on the next one. You can churn out as many of those crazy combinations as you want!

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