Nostalgia ICMP200WD ice cream maker

Making your ice cream has a lot of its own benefits. You can control the ingredients that go into making an ice cream, or invent interesting ice cream flavours as and when the fancy hits you.

You may find it really helpful to control the ingredients, if for instance, you or a friend are lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts, or for instance, you want to make a healthier, sugarless option.

Healthier ice cream can sometimes be more expensive to purchase than other ice creams – so in that regard, you might be saving some money by making your own. However, that also depends on the ice cream recipe that you’re making, as plenty of ingredients is needed in making ice cream.

Besides the ingredients and recipe for making ice cream, another big factor for making good ice cream is the ice cream maker. Before you can choose an ice cream maker though, first you have to know what aspects of an ice cream maker affects good ice cream making.

Here are the 2 main factors that impact making a good ice cream:

1.  The formation of ice crystals

2. Overrun

 

1. The formation of ice crystals

Grainy ice cream

 

 

Photo credit: thepinkrosebakery.com

The most delicious ice creams are generally agreed as being those with smooth and creamy textures. A smooth and creamy texture is largely determined by their “icy-ness”, or the size of the ice crystals that form during the freezing stage. Small ice crystals create a smooth and creamy texture, while large ice crystals create an ice cream that is coarse.

In general, the faster your ice cream freezes during the freezing process i.e. the temperature is low enough during the freezing process, the smaller your ice crystals will be – making for a smoother, creamier and more “luxurious” ice cream.

In the photo above, the ice cream was made without an ice cream machine, and just packed into the freezer. As you can see, the texture is more grainy or the ice crystals are coarser than if you were to use a proper ice cream maker.

 

2. Overrun

Overrun ice cream

 

Photo credit: sweets.seriouseats.com 

Overrun is the amount of air that is whipped into the ice cream mixture by the paddle/dasher during the freezing stage. Overrun ranges from 20 – 100% in ice cream, with low overrun being generally associated with more premium ice creams. However, for this component, it could be up to your preference – as some people prefer a lighter, “fluffier” ice cream such as Dreyers, while others prefer a creamier, denser ice cream such as Haegan Daez and Ben & Jerry’s.

For professional ice cream makers, they generally opt for ice cream makers that have an in-built compressor. This would bring the temperature down quickly enough during the freezing process, making for a smoother ice cream.

These ice cream makers with the in-built compressors would generally be above SGD 120.

 

ICE CREAM MAKERS BELOW SGD 120

 

For ice cream makers costing below SGD 120, this would usually mean that they do not come an the in-built compressor. Instead, they utilize one of two modes to make ice cream:

A. ROCK SALT & ICE

Rock Salt & Ice

Photo credit: tastykitchen.com 

This is the traditional way of making ice cream. A bucket of ice cream mixture is put in a bucket of ice, which has rock salt added to it to bring the temperature down quicker. The mixture is then scraped and mixed, be it by hand, manual crank, or motorized paddle, until it achieves a “soft-serve” consistency. You would then need to scoop it out of the freezer bowl (it won’t be able to freeze if it’s still in the freezer bowl when you put it into the freezer) and put it into the freezer to harden up some more.

 

 

B. FREEZER BOWL

Cuisinart freezer bowl

Photo credit: amazon.com 

 

Some people find using rock salt and ice a hassle. So, they opt for the freezer bowl, which essentially takes the place of the ice bucket and rock salt. For this option, you would need to pre-freeze the special freezer bowl for 24-36 hours in your freezer (depending on your freezer temperature) before pouring the ice cream mixture in.

The mixture would then as usual, need to be scraped and stirred, either by hand, manual crank or motorized paddle, whilst in the freezer bowl until it becomes a “soft-serve” texture. Chuck it into the freezer to harden up some more if you like.

 

Ice Bucket versus Freezer bowl

If you’re looking for an ice cream maker priced below S$120, how would you know whether you should opt for an ice bucket or a freezer bowl?

Here is a quick summary of pros and cons of each model type.

 

A. ROCK SALT & ICE

Putting rock salt into ice

 

 

Photo credit: deliciousreads.com

 

Hamilton Beach 68330N ice cream maker

Photo credit: amazon.com 

 

PROS:

1. You can make ice cream instantly.

Just pick up some ice and rock salt from the supermarket or convenience store and you can start using your ice cream maker instantly. There is no need to pre-freeze your freezer bowl in the fridge before you can start making ice cream.

2. It generally makes a larger volume of ice cream.

Generally, the models for the Ice Bucket / Rock salt ice cream makers are able to churn out more ice cream in one sitting. They usually can do around 4 quarts of ice cream, while the freezer bowl models can only do up to 2 quarts.

And if that’s not enough ice cream, you can just make more ice cream on the spot. Just make sure you have enough ice and rock salt. This is unlike the freezer bowl model – where you’d have to wait to prefreeze the bowl first before you can make ice cream again.

CONS:

1. You’d have to first buy ice and rock salt.

This point above is the main reason why some people may prefer the freezer bowl type of ice cream maker.  To make ice cream for this model, you first need to go buy rock salt and ice before you can start using the machine. Alternatively, you have to keep ice stocked up always in the fridge.

This slight bit of extra cost or effort each time you make ice cream, is what makes some people opt for the freezer bowl option ice cream maker. For the freezer bowl, you can just keep your bowl in the fridge, and whenever the impulse hits you,  you can make ice cream, without having to either make or buy ice.

So this last point may be a deterrant depending on what type of ice cream making requirements you have !

 

B. FREEZER BOWL OPTION

Cuisinart freezer bowl

Photo credit: amazon.com 

Cuisinart Ice-30 ice cream maker

 

Photo credit: amazon.com 

PROS:

1. You do not need to buy rock salt and ice.

You can always make ice cream whenever the impulse hits you. Just keep your freezer bowl in the freezer always, so you can make ice cream anytime. You also save on the effort of freezing ice, or cost of buying ice each time you want to make ice cream as the freezer bowl can be used over and over again.

CONS:

1. Takes up space in freezer

This may be a drawback if you have a small freezer or not enough space in your freezer. With the Rock salt & ice option, you can buy ice each time you want to make ice cream and not need to take up any space in the freezer. However, for the freezer bowl option, the bowl takes up a fair bit of space in your freezer if you want to keep your bowl pre-frozen for impulse ice cream-making.

2. Makes less ice cream

With the rock salt & ice model, the amount of ice cream produced each time could be around 4 quarts depending on the model you buy. However, for the freezer bowl option, it generally produces up to 2 quarts (around 4 pints) only depending on the model you buy. If you’re looking to make enough ice cream for 4-5 people, this is perfect. However, this may not produce enough for a party of friends/kids – unless you buy and keep a second freezer bowl frozen always.

 

Now that you’ve read the above Pros and Cons of choosing a Freezer bowl versus a Rock salt & ice ice cream maker, read our picks of Top 10 Ice cream Maker under S$120 >>

pingNshop.com is a price comparison website that helps you search prices, so that you save more. We help too by providing useful shopping tips and brand/product info so that you can make the most informed decision. Use our Search tool here >>

 

References:

http://icecreamscience.com/cuisinart-ice-30-ice-cream-maker-review/

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