Ice Cream Makers
Ice cream makers are appliances that enable people to make ice cream at home. Some models have a hand crank that you use to stir the mixture and others have electric motors that do the mixing for you. The way such a device works is by chilling the mixture as it churns it so that it doesn’t get too much air and to prevent ice crystals from forming. These appliances will only make a small amount of ice cream, but it is smooth and creamy.
For the most part, the ice cream is ready to eat when it comes out of the maker. However, some ice creams containing alcohol need a longer freezing time so that it has a firm consistency. Lower-priced models require at least four hours of freezing time in order for the ice cream to reach the desired level of hardness.
Manual ice cream makers consist of two bowls. The outer bowl is larger and holds a smaller inner bowl. There is a hand-crank mechanism on the smaller bowl that you have to turn so that the paddle attached to it will churn the mixture and turn it into ice cream. The outer bowl is filled with ice and salt, which chills the mixture while you are churning. Salt is essential in this process because it absorbs the heat from the melting ice and ice cream mixture and helps the ice cream to freeze. Although this type of ice cream maker is not very expensive, the process is messy and time consuming. When you do have the ice cream at the desired consistency, you then pour it into another bowl and place it in the freezer, preferable overnight, but for at least four hours.
Electric ice cream makers come in three different models. The countertop design has double bowls similar to the manual model. There is a solution between the two bowls that must be frozen for at least 24 hours before you plan to make ice cream. Then you place the bowl into the machine, add the mixture and turn on the maker. As the paddle rotates the mixture, the machine also freezes it so that about 30 minutes later, you can eat the ice cream.
Another type of electric ice cream maker is the small freezer unit that sits inside your freezer. It operates very much like a food processor with the paddles rotating the mixture slowly. When the ice cream freezes, the paddles automatically stop and lift up. This process does take a lot longer than even the manual method, plus the fact that there is a cord hanging through the freezer door.
Much larger ice cream makers can make large amounts of ice cream at one time, but these are usually used in commercial settings. You don’t need to prepare the bowls in any way and the ice cream can be ready in less than a half hour.