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How Long Does It Take Ice Cream to Freeze?

Making ice cream at home can be a great way to enjoy a delicious dessert while saving some money. The process is not that difficult – for example, you can buy an ice cream maker and set it up to prepare this sweet dessert. Or you can even make it without a machine. One thing is sure in both cases: the ice cream has to be left to freeze before you can eat it.

But how long does it take ice cream to freeze? Well, keep on reading, because this article will dive deep into this matter.

Ingredients Needed to Make Ice Cream

Ingredients Needed to Make Ice CreamFirst things first, you will have to gather all the ingredients that will allow you to make the ice cream. But this depends on the method you use to make the ice cream.

That being said, if you are using an ice cream machine, you will have to get a storage container, ice cream mixture, rock or table salt, and some ice.

On the other hand, if you’re making your ice cream without a special unit, you will need your ice cream mixture, a hand mixer and a bowl that is freezer and mixer-safe.

As for the ice cream mixture, you need some pretty basic ingredients to make it. You will have to mix 2 cups of milk with the ice cream powder, or with 4 cups of chilled whipping cream. Other things needed are 6 beaten egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and ¼ teaspoons of salt.

Preparing the Mixture

Here are the steps you will have to go through to make the ice cream mixture.

1. Warm Up the Milk

It’s important for the milk to be warm before you use it for your mixture. So, pour the amount of milk into the double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a heavy saucepan. Using a medium amount of heat, warm up the milk.

The milk shouldn’t overheat, so monitor it. It would be a good idea to add a candy thermometer to make sure the milk reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mix Some of the Ingredients

Preparing the MixtureRemove the pan from the heat source and in a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, salt and sugar. You can do it with a whisk or a hand mixer. The mixture should be thick enough for trailed patterns to be visible.

3. Add the Milk In

Now that you are done with that mixture, take the heated milk, and add it gradually. Keep in mind that you will have to beat it while pouring. Do that at a low speed. After all, the milk shouldn’t cook the eggs. Don’t go overboard with beating either – just blend it till the milk is properly mixed with the rest.

4. Cook the Mixture

Once you’re done, you should put the mixture in a double boiler or saucepan and warm it until it’s almost boiling. Make sure it gets thick.

Also, don’t forget to constantly stir while it’s cooking. Use a candy thermometer again if you have one, and make sure the mixture gets to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Just don’t allow the mixture to boil.

5. Let It Cool

Once you’re done with this step, allow the mixture to sit and cool. You can pour it into a glass bowl and cover it properly with a plastic wrap.

6. Put It In the Refrigerator

Now you can add your mixture in the refrigerator and let it chill. In general, it’s recommended to leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, but you can also take it out after around four hours.

7. Add the Last Ingredients

After the mixture has a hard consistency, you can add the cream and vanilla and stir. Everything should be properly combined. Lastly, put the mixture in the freezer and allow it some hours to freeze.

How Long Does It Take Ice Cream to Freeze?

How Long Does It Take Ice Cream to FreezeThe amount of time it will take for your ice cream to freeze depends on whether you are using a machine or not. If you’re making the ice cream without a machine, it will take a few hours to finish the entire process because you will have to mix everything and prepare the mixture. Then, you need to let it freeze for hours in the freezer to get the right consistency.

If you’re using the ice cream maker, it will take between 20 and 45 minutes to soft freeze the mixture. When it reaches the consistency you’re looking for, you have to take it out and put it into a freezer-safe container. You will have to cover the container and then place it in the freezer. It should take up to four hours until the ice cream is properly hardened, although you can wait for longer if needed.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t leave the ice cream in the freezer for too long either. This may cause it to become too hard, even rock-solid, which will make it impossible for you to eat until it starts melting.

Final Thoughts

The amount of time it takes for ice cream to freeze depends on several factors, such as whether you’re using a special machine for this process or not. It also depends on the type of ice cream maker you’re using. So, a compressor ice cream machine may take a different amount of time compared to a machine that uses ice and salt. So, keep this in mind when you’re making your next batch of delicious ice cream.

About Aaron Walters

Aaron Walters is a code writer by day, and a cocktail enthusiast by night. Once he realized that high-quality ice is equally important as other ingredients, he started researching ice machines of all types and sizes. is a library of researched topics regarding all things ice he made along the way.

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