The variety of sorts of ice cream that are now on the shelves can not satisfy the demanding taste of demanding American consumers. After all, kids love ice cream so much, and we want to give them the best. And the different “E’s” that are included in the desserts sold are not trustworthy. That’s why many people start to make ice cream at home by themselves.
Stir and freeze
What is the trick of making good ice cream?
If you just mix the ingredients and let the mixture harden in the freezer, you will get ice cream with ice cubes. To avoid this, the ice cream needs to be stirred frequently while cooling. In this case you should take the mix out of the freezer every 15-20 minutes, mix it well, and put it back. And so for several hours. Of course, this is good fitness. But not everybody has an opportunity to spend half a day “dancing” in front of the freezer, and the fact that the ice cream will turn out the way you wanted.
Another option is to use electric ice cream makers. In this case, you only need to prepare the mix, while the problem of cooling and mixing is taken care of by the electric appliance.
It’s exactly the kind of electric machines we decided to test this summer: June heat is the best time to taste different kinds of ice cream.
Semi-automatic and automatic
Commercial ice cream machines can be divided into two groups: semi-automatic and automatic compressor .
Moreover, these devices are in absolutely different price groups and belong to different types of equipment.
Stand back, professional
Compressor freezers are completely self-contained devices that combine the functions of a freezer and a mixer. Thanks to the compressor, they produce cold enough for ice cream preparation and further storage. Autonomy allows you to use these machines in any room where there is an electrical outlet, and no additional appliances, except, perhaps, a mixer for the preparation of the mixture, they do not need. You start the cooling mode, the bowl cools down, you pour the mixture into it and in 30 minutes you will enjoy a delicious, soft ice cream. If you want to make it firmer, you turn on the STORAGE mode, and in half an hour or an hour the ice cream becomes hard.
Such devices are able to make ice cream practically non-stop – the interval between the preparation of portions is only 10 minutes.
The volume of a single batch is not very large – approximately 500-800 ml.
Often ice cream makers come with two bowls, for added convenience when making several portions in one day.
Thanks to the presence of its compressor, in such ice cream maker it is possible to prepare a chilled dessert from alcoholic products, which can become a real highlight of the evening party.
But the price of such a machine is comparable to the cost of a large two-chamber refrigerator, so such ice cream machines belong to the luxury goods. In addition to the high cost, automatic ice cream machines are quite bulky and require additional storage space.
There is a great demand for semi-automatic ice cream machines which work closely with the freezer compartment of refrigerators.
The main working part of these devices is a bowl with thick walls. If you shake this bowl, you can hear the liquid splashing in the walls. It is a special cooling solution. The bowl is stored in the freezer at -18 ⁰C before making ice cream and in between cooking the bowl at -18 ⁰C.
The liquid freezes and the bowl is ready to use. The bowl is closed with a lid, on the inner side of which are the stirrer blades, and on the lid is the power button. Here’s how it works: you turn on an empty ice cream maker, the agitator starts spinning, and you pour the chilled, prepared mixture into the bowl through the hole in the lid. Some ice cream makers have no hole in the lid, you pour the mixture into the bowl, then close the lid and turn the motor on. Thus, the ice cream in the bowl is immediately mixed and chilled. In about 15-40 minutes, depending on the model and recipe, the soft-serve ice cream is ready.
You can only make one batch per day. The bowl must be chilled again in the freezer for at least 8 hours to make the next one, or better yet, more.
An electric ice cream maker makes soft-serve ice cream. The consistency will be, at best, the same as the desserts sold in some chain restaurants. Can make ice cream that looks like thick porridge. In this case it can be placed in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator until the final hardening.
Another specialty of this home-made dessert is that it melts quickly. Almost right in front of your eyes.
But most importantly – you can make the perfect dessert for you: either delicately creamy, or dairy, or fruit – in general, to your taste. And you know what ingredients are used to make your ice cream.
Let’s start checking
In our test, we tested 4 semi-automatic ice cream machines from renowned manufacturers, and one compressor model. Of course, we did not compare the compressor device with the others. But we gave him the same marks to understand the features of work.
45 900 Dollars.
ICE CREAM ON A PLATTER
In each pastry appliance, we made vanilla ice cream according to the recipe given by the manufacturers. I would like to say right away that there are inaccuracies in a number of recipes: it is obvious that the translators did not make the dessert themselves. But not all models do, there are some which have all right with the recipes. editor .
We cannot say that we have always been pleased with the result. Sometimes the ice cream was not even soft, we reversed it and the result was better. So, if you bought an ice cream maker, don’t expect your first batch to be perfect. The consistency of ice cream may surprise you: it is soft or very soft. The ideal result is when the ice cream holds the shape of the spoon, but it did not always. Sometimes the ice cream was like a thick porridge.
This is the parameter which we evaluated in the FUNCTIONALITY section of the test: the harder the ice cream turned out, the higher we gave it a score.
Besides, note that it is better, of course, to pour the mixture into the running ice cream maker: this is when the minimum amount of ice cream will stick to the bottom and walls of the bowl. “Rip” it off with a wooden or silicone spatula: a metal spoon can scratch the coating.
Empirically we came to the conclusion that if you decrease the quantity of milk in recipe and increase the quantity of heavy cream, the ice cream will become thicker and tastier. Unfortunately, this version of the dessert is also the most caloric.
For the soul and to test all the possibilities of the devices we made a fruit ice cream. You don’t have to use fresh berries for this, frozen berries will do just as well. Fruit ice cream is delicious, especially when you know what it’s made of.
A bowl that makes us happy
The main tool in all ice cream machines is the bowl. Since it always has to be in the freezer, it is important that you are satisfied with its dimensions. Before buying a machine check how much space you can allocate to it. Manufacturers recommend to store the bowl wrapped in a bag to protect it from accidental scratches.
Since you can prepare only one portion per day, it is important to choose the right size so that everyone has enough ice cream. But keep in mind that the larger the portion, the “softer” the result. And when the bowl is full, the consistency of the ice cream may not satisfy you. By the way, the ice cream increases in volume during cooking, so pouring a full bowl of mixture is not recommended.
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An automatic deep freezer has a thin bowl of steel. Know the height of the bowl if you decide to put ice cream in it for storage in the freezer. By the way, the device NEMOX Gelatopro 1700 Rosso included 2 bowls, and you can cook ice cream in them both in turn: the first portion in a removable, the second – in the fixed.
The bowls of semi-automatic ice cream machines are thick-walled and heavy. The CLATRONIC ICM 3225 has handles for carrying. This is the tallest bowl of all the freezers in the dough, and it makes the most ice cream. But there is another side to the coin: this bowl will require the most space in the freezer.
The most compact bowl of VITEK WX-1351 FL, but it gets the smallest portion of ice cream.
We liked the bowl of LANDLIFE BL-1450B very much: it is big enough, but thanks to the small diameter it fits on the shelf of the freezer easily. The only “but” is that it is difficult to get it out of the external bowl, since there are no special handles.
Only one button
Semi-automatic ice cream machines are easy to operate. Everything is elementary: press the button – the device works, press again – it turns off. Only one CLATRONIC ICM 3225 ice cream maker is equipped with a timer that allows you to set the operating time. The others do not have such an option, you will have to time it by the clock. Many models are equipped with an automatic shutdown in case of overheated motor.
The ice cream maker is quite easy to care for: the bowl only needs to be rinsed with water, the mixer blades can be removed and cleaned without any problems. Convenient to wash when the lid is detached from the control unit as well. If this is not possible, the bottom of the lid should be cleaned carefully so that water does not get on the power cord.
How we counted the points
The most important thing in any appliance is to do a good job, in this case making ice cream. Maximum score – 10 points. We evaluated the consistency of Vanilla ice cream, made according to the recipe of the producers of this particular ice cream maker. It is clear that this assessment is also given to the recipe. Maybe if we made all of our ice cream from the same recipe, the results would be a little different. We believe, however, that manufacturers should look for the best recipes before releasing a product, using the services of an expert technologist. If the recipe book contains recipes that have not yet been tested, it is not our fault. Besides, we took into account the portion size: after all, the freezer can work only one cycle per day.
To the score for functionality, we added the arithmetic mean of the scores for operation, care/storage, and value for money.
The score difference is not very big and it is explained by the fact that all the machines can cope with their main task, making ice cream to the best of their abilities. Whether or not you make homemade ice cream a regular fixture on your table is up to you, not the appliance. On your willingness to create, surprise and delight!
Care and storage