How Does an Ice Cream Maker Work?

How Does a Ice Cream Maker Work

Have you ever wondered how an ice cream turns from basic ingredients to the frozen, creamy cone or tub of deliciousness?

The secret is in the ice cream maker.


An ice cream maker churns and freezes a mixture of ingredients, to create delicious, homemade ice cream. The base mixture made by combining all ingredients is poured into the freezing chamber where the liquid is stirred to create an aerated, smooth and creamy texture at low temperatures. The refrigeration unit of the ice cream maker then lowers the temperature further causing the liquid to freeze. These processes continue until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency and is all ready for you to relish.

In this blog, let us explore the world of ice cream makers.

What is an Ice Cream Maker?

An ice cream maker is a kitchen appliance that helps you create your very own homemade ice cream. It churns, freezes, and mixes your ice cream mixture to the perfect consistency.

An ice cream maker lets you enjoy the flavours of your choice. The best part is you can decide on the ingredients, which helps especially if you are a health freak or someone who relishes flavours that are not readily available in stores.

Different Types of Ice Cream Makers

There are different types of ice cream makers to suit different needs and preferences:

  • Manual Ice Cream Makers

A manual ice cream maker is the most basic type of ice cream maker and requires you to churn the ice cream mixture by hand, often with a crank or handle. They are the least expensive but require some effort.

These ice cream makers help you make ice cream at home without electricity. They come in three parts: a canister to hold the ice cream mix, a part that churns or mixes the mix, and an outer container. You put the canister in the outer container, add ice and sometimes, salt to the outside and pour your ice cream mixture inside. Then you turn a handle or use a paddle to mix it. As you turn, the mixture gets cold, and in about 20-30 minutes, it turns into ice cream. Manual ice cream makers take some work compared to their electric counterparts.

  • Electric Ice Cream Makers

Electric ice cream makers are more convenient and automatic. They come with a built-in motor that helps churn the ice cream mixture. They are expensive but are easier to use.

Electric ice cream makers use electricity to make ice cream quickly and easily. They consist of a main unit with a motor, a canister to hold the ice cream mix, and a paddle that stirs the mix automatically. All you have to do is plug it in, pour your ice cream mixture inside and switch it on. The machine does the work for you, churning and freezing the mix to create delicious ice cream in about 20-30 minutes. You can have your favourite flavours of ice cream with ease.

  • Freezer Bowl Ice Cream Makers

These ice cream makers are compact and affordable and use a freezer bowl to chill and churn the ice cream mixture. But, before you start, you will have to pre-freeze the bowl.

They are easy to use and great for making ice cream at home. You can pour your ice cream mixture into the pre-frozen bowl and start the machine. It stirs the mixture while it freezes, and in about 20-30 minutes, you’ll have your favourite ice cream at the right consistency. Freeze bowl ice cream makers are a simple and affordable way to enjoy homemade ice cream.

  • Compressor Ice Cream Makers

These ice cream makers are fully automatic and come with an in-built compressor. They allow you to make multiple batches of ice cream in a row. The best part is you do not have to pre-freeze the bowl.

The built-in freezing system of the ice cream maker makes the job easier.  You just have to add your ice cream mix, turn on the machine and it does the freezing and stirring for you. Compressor ice cream makers are more expensive. But they are a great investment if you want to make lots of ice cream or experiment with different flavours.

  • Soft-Serve Ice Cream Makers

This ice cream maker is for soft-serve fans. It helps make smooth and creamy ice cream like the one you get at ice cream shops.

When you pour your ice cream mix into the machine, it chills and churns it to a special soft, smooth texture. Soft-serve ice cream makers let you have a taste of the classic ice cream shop experience within the comfort of your home.

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Benefits of Ice Cream Makers

Ice cream makers offer a variety of benefits.

  • Healthy

There is no guarantee that the ingredients of ice creams that you buy from shops are made of healthy ingredients. Meanwhile, you will be aware of the ingredients that go into the ice cream you make using ice cream makers. You can even try healthier twists, like dairy-free ice creams and more.

  • Endless variety

You get to experiment with different flavours, textures and combinations of frozen desserts and ice creams using ice cream makers. This helps you find your favourite flavour – maybe, something that is not readily available in ice cream shops.

  • Freshness

You can relish fresh homemade ice cream using ice cream makers.  You will have control over the kind and quality of ingredients and can skip any preservatives or artificial additives.

  • Saves money

Ice cream makers allow you to enjoy your favourite ice cream whenever you want.  You can save the money you usually spend on buying premium ice cream brands frequently.

How Does an Ice Cream Maker Work?

Before you delve into the working of an ice cream maker, let us have a glimpse of its different components.

Generally, ice cream makers have three parts – an outer drum, a canister or freezer bowl inside it and churn paddles. Electric ice cream makers usually come with extra functionalities like a motor and a control panel.

The freezer bowl is a double-walled container filled with a special cooling gel. It needs to be pre-frozen before use to provide the necessary cold environment.

The churning paddles continuously stir the ice cream mixture as it freezes, preventing ice crystals from forming.


Electric ice cream makers have a motor that powers the churning mechanism, thus reducing manual effort. They also come with a control panel to set the desired churning time and monitor the process.

Working of an ice cream maker is basically the same for all models. The only difference is that some models require manual effort while others run on electricity.

Manual ice cream makers follow the old-school method of using big ice chunks of ice crystals packed with rock salt to make the machine super cold. This allows the ice cream to freeze better. You put the ice and salt between the inner container and the outer drum, and when the ice melts, you add more to keep it chilly.

In the case of electric ice cream makers, pour the ice cream mixture into the canister, close the lid and plug it in.  It comes with a motor to run the churn paddles, which stirs the mixture – churning and freezing the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency that usually happens in 20-30 minutes.

In the case of freezer bowl models, you will have to pre-freeze the freezing bowl before you add in the ingredients.

Where to Buy an Ice Cream Maker?

You can buy an ice cream maker from a physical store or online. But before you do that, you must decide on the budget, do your research and go through reviews to understand the kind of ice cream maker that will suit your needs.

In the case of physical stores, check out appliance stores or brand showrooms that sell ice cream makers. You can also check online platforms like Amazon and Flipkart or brand websites for purchase.

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How Much Does an Ice Cream Maker Cost?

The cost of an ice cream maker can vary depending on the capacity, type and brand.

In India, the costs can vary from ₹2000 to lakhs.

Popular Brands of Ice Cream Makers

Here is a list of popular ice cream maker brands:

  • Ninja CREAMi
  • Cuisinart
  • Breville
  • Nostalgia
  • Chef’n
  • Yonanas
  • KitchenAid

An ice cream maker allows you to create delicious, customized ice cream and other frozen desserts at home. With various types and models to choose from, there is an ice cream maker for every budget and preference. It allows you to make your own ice cream, explore different flavours, and treat your taste buds to a world of delicious frozen treats.

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