You can make delicious ice cream at home, as good as any premium store brand, if you choose a good ice cream maker and follow a few tips. Ice cream makers can range in price from under $100 to over $500. The more expensive models contain built in freezing compressors. The less expensive models are perfectly suited for use in the home and come in two basic types. There is the type that uses rock salt and ice to cool the ice cream mixture and the type that has a canister that is placed in the freezer. Each of these is equipped with an electric crank or a manual crank. Your particular needs will determine which is right for you.
If you want to make a large quantity of ice cream, you will need to purchase a model that uses rock salt and ice. The canister models will only make up to 1.5 quarts at a time. If you would like to turn ice cream making into a family activity, you can choose the hand-crank model, which will also use rock salt and ice. The crank must be turned manually for a fairly long period of time, thus allowing each family member a turn. An electric crank is quite a bit easier than the manual crank models. You will also get more consistent results due to the bowl turning at a constant speed. Most electric crank ice cream makers will have an automatic cut off feature that will stop the motor when the ice cream reaches the desired consistency. The consistency is judged by the amount of resistance while the bowl is turning.
After you choose which type of ice cream maker is right for you, you will need to find the perfect ice cream recipe. Remember that the faster the ice cream freezes, the better it will taste and the smoother the texture will be. It will be best to pre-mix all your ingredients and let them chill for several hours before placing them in the ice cream maker. When your ice cream is done, it will resemble soft-serve ice cream. You can place the canister in the freezer for a few hours and you will be much happier with the results. If your canister is plastic, consider removing the ice cream as soon as it is done, and placing it in a metal bowl covered with foil. The metal will allow the ice cream to freeze faster and become firmer more quickly than in a plastic container.
You can purchase a mix that is quite easy to make into ice cream very quickly. While the mixes are convenient, the best homemade ice cream is made from fresh ingredients. Milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cocoa if you desire will give you the best results. You can find numerous ice cream recipes, some which require cooking some which require no cooking. The ice cream recipes that do not require cooking are generally just as good as the cooked type, and require a lot less time. The best ice cream recipes usually contain eggs, however there are many recipes that do not use eggs if you or someone in your family is allergic to eggs.