Are you thinking of buying a new ice cream maker? For ice cream lovers, buying a machine can help you save a significant amount of money in the long run. For those who are health conscious, you can finally control the ingredients that go into your dessert, and enjoy it with less guilt. There are countless reasons why one should buy an ice cream maker. However, before you jump in to get one, you want to ensure you’ve chosen the most suitable one. So, what are some factors to consider when getting one?
Machines vary greatly in price. Some cost as little as $10, while others can cost up to $100000. You have to first consider your objective for getting one. Are you buying one for the occasional family gatherings when your nieces and nephews come over? If you are only going to be using your machine occasionally, you should consider getting a cheaper one. On the other hand, if you have a sweet tooth intend to use your machine every other day, forking out a bit more money to get a fully-automated one will be well worth it.
Manual vs Electric
There are two main types of ice cream makers, manual vs electric. Manual machines require you to stir the base yourself during the freezing process. Electric machines come with a motor that does the stirring for you.
Electric machines are certainly more hassle-free and time-saving. However, they are less fun to use (kids prefer manual machines) and because they require electrical power, they are more dangerous for children to use by themselves.
Some electric machines can be very loud. They are not loud enough to wake your next door neighbors up, but quite possibly loud enough to frustrate you. For those who have a low tolerance for noise, a manual machine or perhaps a high-end electric machine is a better option for you.
Method of Freezing
Most machines use either salt and ice, or a freezer bowl to freeze the base.
Machines that use salt and ice require a ready supply of crushed ice and salt. They are often very messy to use as a large amount of saline is produced in the process.
On the other hand, machines that use a freezer bowl require the bowl to be frozen 8 to 24 hours prior to using. This method is a lot more hassle-free than the salt/ice method. However, it can be a problem if your fridge freezer is often filled with food, or is too small to accommodate a freezer bowl.
There are other higher-end machines that come with an in built freezer. These machines are definitely the most convenient but also the priciest.
Quality of Ice Cream Produced
Conditions such as the rate of churning as well as the method of freezing the base can all have an impact on the quality of the dessert produced. Always make sure the machine you are considering is able to produce quality ice cream. The best way is to check with friends who have used the machine before. Alternatively, you can Google for reviews on the Internet.
Other Frozen Desserts?
Some machines can only produce ice cream. Others are capable of producing gelato, sorbet and other frozen desserts too. If you are an enthusiast of other sorts of icy desserts, consider paying a little more to have an all in one machine.
Amount of Ice Cream Produced
Are you making dessert for your family on the weekends? Or are you preparing ice cream for a carnival? Machines differ in capacities, from 1 quart to as big as 6 quarts. Choose the capacity that is most suitable for your needs.