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How Long Does It Take to Make Homemade Ice Cream?

Let’s be honest – (almost) everyone loves ice cream. We adore the different flavors combined that cool us down during hot summer days. Sometimes, though, you might consider making your own ice cream at home, rather than spending money on one in a cake shop, for example.

The good news is that ice cream can be easily made if you have an ice cream maker. It can even be prepared without such a machine. How long does it take to make it, though? This article has all the information you need.

Making Ice Cream with an Ice Cream Maker

How Long Does It Take to Make Homemade Ice CreamWith an ice cream maker, preparing your favorite dessert is easier than ever. These machines come in different types, so whether you have a hand crank ice cream maker or another kind, it should still be easy enough to prepare the delicious ice cream.

That being said, here’s how to make the tasty dessert with an ice cream maker:

1. Get the Can Ready

First things first, you need to make sure the ice cream mixture is ready before you start dealing with the machine. Before that, though, you should take the ice cream and place it in the freezer. Let it sit there for about 2-3 hours.

Afterward, take it out of the freezer and pour some of the mixture into the can. Make sure you only fill it about ¾. The mixture will grow while it freezes, so it needs some room, so to speak. Then, fit the can into the bottom slot and put the dasher inside. The metal stem should be above as well. Now, put the lid on the can, which will allow the metal stem to come out through the hole in the cover.

2. Assemble Your Machine

Now it’s time to assemble your ice cream maker. Take the ice cream can without removing the cover and place it inside the bucket’s center. The motor drive should be put on top of your bucket so that it can sit between the tab openings.

Moreover, you should make sure you install the ice cream can dasher into the drive unit’s bottom hole. Then, rotate the can inside your bucket so that everything settles into place properly. You should also allow the tab to drop into the latch plate slot, and then rotate the latter over the tab in order to lock everything into place.

3. Add the Ice and Churn

The next step is to plug in the ice cream maker and allow it to churn, after which you should take the ice and add it to the bucket. There should be around one inch of ice thickness on the bottom of the bucket.

Make sure to sprinkle a little bit of salt over the ice, about ½ cup. After that, keep adding more ice and salt until you see that the top of the can is fully covered. Let it work like that for 20-40 minutes, after which the unit should shut off by itself. This may vary depending on the model, though.

4. Take Out the Ice Cream

When the process is over, unplug your unit and take out the motor drive, and get rid of any ice and salt that may be on top of the can. Take off the cover and then take out the dasher while still in the bucket, and check if the ice cream has the consistency you want.

Take a spatula and clean off the ice cream and add any preferred flavors. You can either set up the ice cream maker again or stir it all yourself.

5. Harden Your Dessert

Now it’s time to firmly pack the can and plug the center hole of its cover with a cork. Add the lid, wipe everything down, and then put it back in the freezer. Leave it in the freezer for 3-4 hours.

Making Homemade Ice Cream Without a Machine

Making Homemade Ice Cream Without a MachineYou can make ice cream at home even if you don’t have a machine.

To do this, you will have to prepare the mixture normally. You can choose to chill it in your refrigerator and after it gets cold, you can stir it. Add the mixture into a container that will be safe to place in the freezer, put some type of cover on top of the container (plastic wrap, foil or a lid) and put it into the freezer. Allow it to sit for around 2 hours.

Then, take it out and use a hand mixer to beat it, so that you get rid of potential ice crystals. Put the cover back and put it in the freezer for 2 more hours. Beat it again with the mixer to obtain the proper consistency.

Once you achieve the perfect consistency, you can add things like chocolate chips, cookies, or anything you want, and stir them in. Make sure to hand stir for this part. Put the new mixture into the freezer again in a safe container and allow it to sit until it gets firm.

Remove it from the freezer when it’s hard and enjoy your dessert.

How Long Does It Take to Make Homemade Ice Cream?

As you can see now, it takes quite a long time to make your own ice cream. Whether you are using an ice cream maker or not, you need a good number of hours until the ice cream is ready to be devoured.

The preparation time combined with the freezing process can take between 8 and 10 hours to be complete.

When you use the ice cream maker, you have to prepare the can and mixture beforehand, which is also quite time-consuming. Let’s not even mention the time it takes to freeze the ice cream for it to become firm enough to eat.

So, if you want to make homemade ice cream from now on, you have to be ready to spend hours preparing it.

Final Thoughts

Homemade ice cream may be a good way to enjoy this dessert and save some money. Not to mention that it’s healthier. You only need to accept the fact that it takes a long time to make it. So, if you think you can commit to spending between 8 and 10 hours for some delicious ice cream, check the tips above and then you can enjoy your dessert to the fullest!

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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