Ice Cream Makers
Ice Cream Machines, Freezers, and Makers
Basically these terms all refer to the same piece of equipment. They are actually all machines though the term “machine” may be used more often for commercial ice cream makers. When I use any of these terms, I’m referring to those you can use at home.
Equipment used to actually make ice cream varies from the old hand-crank style freezer to the more modern makers that don’t need ice and salt. Some don’t bother with makers and freeze the liquid in a container part way, then take it out, stir it, and freeze it until solid. Some have even found ways to make it in a bag while others use a blender.
Ice & Salt Makers
The term, freezer, has been around for decades and used to refer either to an electric or hand-crank maker in which you place measured amounts of ice and salt inside a bucket that holds the container of ice cream ingredients. The ice and salt go between the inside wall of the bucket and the outside wall of the container. It was then ‘frozen’ or ripened while still in the container and bucket. This type of maker is still bought and sold today although people seldom ‘ripen’ ice cream by burying the ice cream freezer in ice and wrapping it in towels and blankets as they once did until it was frozen.
Nostalgia Electrics makes a wonderful ice and salt 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker complete with a wooden bucket. You can read and see how to make terrific ice cream with this Nostalgia Electrics model here as I make my Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe using this model. It’s quick and easy, with an acceptable amount of noise compared to old, deafening electric models, and it makes superb ice cream! I’ve added much easier instructions than you will find in their booklet.
White Mountain is another company that makes highly regarded ice and salt Ice Cream makers. They offer a 4-quart Appalachian Hand Crank Pine Barrel model with a double bladed dasher. If hand-cranking isn’t your style, White Mountain also offers the Appalachian as an electric model for either 6-quart or 4 quart. All are made with real wooden barrels.
I’d been using a Waring Ice Cream Parlor that I purchased on eBay. They use ice and salt and this one makes 1-1/2 quarts. They are wonderful little makers and I love the fact that you can see what’s going on in the container through the clear plastic lid. They work great, make little noise and the ice cream comes out great. But they’re discontinued.
So I emailed Waring and asked why they discontinued such a terrific and popular machine. I received a prompt and friendly reply from Karen at Warring Pro who said it was discontinued several years ago due to the change they experienced in company ownership. She went on to add that their sister company, Cuisinart, had a great maker…the Ice-20. I looked into it and found it is the freezer bowl style that requires no ice or salt.
Freezer Bowl Makers (Requires No Ice Or Salt)
Recently, I went back to look into it again and I’ve found Cuisinart no long offers the Ice-20 but now there’s the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Ice-21. It’s actually a great machine with few parts, compact footprint, acceptable noise level, and it’s very quick and easy to use. I’ve used the Cuisinart Ice-21 one and a half quart model with my Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe and you can see how to make great ice cream with the Ice-21 here.
By the way…you don’t need separate makers for ice cream, sherbet, sorbet or frozen yogurt. Anything designated as an “ice cream maker” should work perfectly for all of these. (There is one exception…true italian gelato. The process used is slower than ice cream makers and the result is a denser product that is served a bit warmer than ice cream.)