Making ice cream at home is a fun tradition, and it’s so much easier and tastier when you use the essential tools to make ice cream. I’ve been making ice cream for my family for decades, and these are my tried and true gadgets and gear that really work.
From the efficiency of an electric ice cream maker and the convenience of an extra freezer bowl to the practicality of ice cream storage containers and the precision of an ice cream scoop, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’ll delve into the delightful world of waffle cone makers and introduce you to fun ice cream bowls and spoons that add a touch of whimsy to your frozen creations.
You CAN do this.
Why Make Homemade Ice Cream?
Homemade ice cream takes time, but it is absolutely worth your effort. While you can make delicious no churn ice cream like my cherry chocolate chip ice cream, the traditional ice cream or homemade frozen custard made with an ice cream maker will always be my favorite.
Homemade ice cream is often far cheaper than the ice cream you can buy in stores, so it becomes a more affordable treat this way. Even better, you know exactly what ingredients you use to make the ice cream, which always makes me happier.
Plus, there’s just that satifaction of digging into a bowl of ice cream you made yourself that you just can’t replicate with store bought ice cream.
If you’re looking for options, check out my article sharing over 30 of my favorite ice cream recipes so you can truly get creative with what you make.
And don’t forget that you can make snow cream in the middle of winter with fresh snow and generally no special ingredients or equipment. It’s always a special snow day treat in my house.
What Do You Need to Make Homemade Ice Cream?
Depending on what kind of recipe you’re using, you may need a variety of products. This list of the essential ice cream tools includes some of my favorites, and don’t forget to use a good quality ice cream scoop to serve up your yummy treat!
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Electric Ice Cream Maker
An electric ice cream maker takes the hard work out of churning ice cream by automating the process. It ensures a consistent texture and freezes the mixture evenly, resulting in creamy, smooth ice cream.
The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is the standard, and I’ve used mine for many years with zero issues. It’s easy to use and consistently makes great homemade ice cream.
Extra Freezer Bowl
Having at least one extra freezer bowl is essential for making multiple batches of ice cream without interruption. While the ice cream maker’s freezer bowl freezes the mixture, the extra bowl allows you to prepare a new batch immediately after one is done.
Especially since you have to freeze it for at least 24 and sometimes 48 hours before you can make ice cream, this is a huge help. I always keep one in my freezer at all times.
Ice Cream Storage Containers
Proper storage containers are crucial to preserve the quality and prevent freezer burn. Opt for airtight containers that can hold your ice cream’s volume and minimize air exposure.
I have two of these SUMO ice cream containers that I absolutely love. These containers perfectly fit a single 1.5 quart batch of ice cream.
Their shape makes it super easy to use and scoop ice cream from, and better yet, they’re insulated so the ice cream in them melts more slowly when you have it sitting out for more than a few minutes.
I pop them in the freezer while I’m prepping my ice cream base so that ice as cold as possible when I put the ice cream from the freezer bowl into this container.
Good Ice Cream Scoop
A sturdy, high-quality ice cream scoop will make serving your frozen treat effortless and ensure beautifully round scoops every time. We might own four different scoops with varying styles, and I definitely have a favorite.
Like the ice cream containers, these SUMO ice cream scoops come in a variety of colors, which is just an added bonus. What I really like about them, however, is that it really makes it easy to scoop the ice cream and to have each scoop form that perfect ball.
The pointed tip makes it easy to power through even hard-packed ice cream like a dream. And yes, I do always run my ice cream scoop under hot water before I start, no matter what scoop I use.
This scoop is heavy, which also helps it power through ice cream easily. It isn’t uncomfortably heavy, however.
The handle has a silicone grip, which means that it doesn’t hurt my hand when I’m pushing hard to scoop. It also doesn’t slide thanks to that silicone.
The scoop itself is solid stainless steel, so it doesn’t peel away like some. It also doesn’t get the nasty crystals that form on one of my ice cream scoops from the dishwasher that I have to wash by hand every time.
The lifetime, no-questions-asked guarantee doesn’t hurt either.
Waffle Cone Maker
You can tell me I’m wrong, but I will always believe that ice cream tastes better in a cone than a bowl. It’s actually pretty easy to make them at home, and my homemade waffle cone recipe works like a charm.
For a fun twist on presentation, a waffle cone maker lets you create freshly baked waffle cones at home. I bought this one for my husband’s birthday years ago, and it’s still going strong.
It does take a little practice to use to ensure the bottom of your cone seals, but they turn out great. And if you have cones that don’t turn out perfectly? I let them harden then break them into pieces and add them to my ice cream sundaes along with homemade hot fudge sauce for a decadent treat.
Fun ice cream bowls and spoons
When I serve up ice cream for a crowd – and any party I host is likely to have an ice cream sundae bar – appropriate ice cream bowls are a must. I adore the bowls and spoons that look like ice cream cones because they’re just so fun.
These are reusable, so I can enjoy them for years to come, and they are BPA free (as are the ice cream storage containers and ice cream scoop mentioned above). They’re also dishwasher safe because I do not have the energy to hand wash anything extra after a party.
Best of all, the bowls and spoons have six different interior colors which helps differentiate each person’s bowl and spoon. Just like wine charms, these help keep anyone from accidentally eating someone else’s ice cream.
So now you know what you’re eating and the essential tools to make the best ice cream, let’s help you make some. Check out the best ice cream recipes (ok and frozen yogurt and more) I could find!
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