Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

Tips for Using an Ice Cream Maker

Tips for Using an Ice Cream Maker
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If you want to make homemade ice cream, sorbet, or sherbet, you will probably want to use an ice cream maker to churn and freeze your dessert. Use these six simple tips to give you a smoother finished texture and avoid soupy ice cream.

Top Ice Cream Maker Tips

Read the Directions

It should go without saying, but many people use their ice cream makers without reading the directions. Each model is slightly different, so take the time to check your manual. If you have had your machine for a long time, refresh your memory and reread what the manufacturer suggests. They may have tips for using their model that will help you make the perfect dessert.

Make Sure the Canister is Frozen

If you are using an ice cream maker where you have to freeze the bowl or canister ahead of time, make sure to give it at least 24 hours in the freezer.

I have an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer that I regularly leave in the freezer at all times, so that it is ready to use whenever I decide to make a batch of ice cream.

Chill Your Ingredients before Churning

If you pour warm ice cream base into your machine, it will take longer for it to cool and churn. Depending on the type of ice cream maker you have, it could affect the finished product. For the smoothest texture and the least wear on your equipment, refrigerate your liquid before you freeze it.

Don’t Overfill the Machine

When an ice cream maker churns ice cream, part of what it is doing is incorporating air. This helps to give your ice cream that light texture instead of having it freeze into a solid block. A full machine could also be too much to handle, so only fill the canister half full for the best results.

Wait to Add Mix-Ins

If you want to add chocolate chips, nuts, or other mix-ins to your ice cream, wait until it is just about done. Add them for thirty seconds to combine the ingredients before stopping your ice cream maker.

Many ice cream makers aren’t designed to handle lots of hard ingredients, especially if you have an inexpensive machine.

Finish in Your Freezer

When an ice cream maker finishes churning, the ice cream will have the consistency of soft-serve. It’s great to eat right away, but if you want a firmer texture, store the ice cream in your freezer for a few hours. Use an air-tight plastic container for storing homemade desserts and keep them in the back of the freezer. This will help keep the quality at its peak for longer.

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