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How to make ice cream at home


Ice cream is one of the few sweets that nearly everybody enjoys. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, a scoop of ice cream or an ice cream cone is a comforting treat. Although there are numerous places to buy a quality ice cream cone, nothing beats making it yourself. Still, many people don’t know how to make ice cream at home and may underestimate how easy it can be.

The Ninja Creami is one of the most popular ice cream machines on the market. In this video, we put it to the test to see if it can really make anything into ice cream.

Why make ice cream at home?

  • Flavor: Most people agree homemade ice cream is delicious. Homemade ice cream tastes fresh and creamy, and you can adjust the flavor as needed to suit you. Store-bought ice cream often sits on the freezer shelf for extended periods, affecting the taste and consistency.
  • You don’t have to leave the house: You usually have to go to the store if you want ice cream but don’t have it on hand. Making ice cream yourself eliminates the need to leave your home, and many homemade ice cream methods take less than 10 minutes.
  • It’s a fun way to spend time with your kids: If you think you’ll love making ice cream at home, imagine how much fun your child will have. Making ice cream with your kids is an excellent way to spend quality time and teaches them what goes into making their favorite treat.
  • It can be safer and healthier: If you have allergies or dairy intolerance, making your own ice cream can be safer than buying it from a store. When making your own ice cream, you can exclude any ingredients that make you feel sick. Additionally, homemade ice cream doesn’t contain the preservatives found in store-bought ice cream and can be made with less sugar.
  • Cost: Store-bought ice cream can be pricey if you buy healthier varieties. If you eat ice cream often, you’ll likely save money over time by making it at home. 

Hamilton Beach ice cream maker

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Ways to make ice cream at home

  • The bag method: Making ice cream in a resealable plastic bag is one of the quickest and easiest methods for making ice cream at home. You can have your ice cream ready in less than 10 minutes.
  • Using an ice cream maker: Ice cream makers are explicitly designed to make delicious ice cream at home. They can be relatively pricey and using them isn’t as easy as making ice cream in a bag. You can still find affordable options, though, like this Hamilton Beach ice cream maker. 
  • No-churn ice cream: No-churn ice cream is an easy way to make excellent ice cream. Simply mix a few cups of cream, add condensed milk and flavor, put your mixture in an airtight container and freeze it.
  • Freeze-and-stir ice cream: Freeze-and-stir ice cream is one of the more laborious methods for making ice cream at home, but it’s hard to argue with the delicious results.
  • Use a blender: Using a blender is one of the easiest ways to make creamy ice cream at home without using an ice cream maker.


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How to make ice cream in a bag

  • Add 1 cup of half-and-half, 2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract to a small resealable bag.
  • In a larger resealable bag, add 3 cups of ice and ⅓ cup of kosher salt.
  • Seal the bags and place the small bag in the large bag. Shake the bags for 7-10 minutes.

How to use an ice cream maker

  • Stir ¾ cup of sugar, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 2 ¼ cups of milk into a sauce pan. Heat the mixture over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Once a small ring of foam appears around the edge of the sauce pan, transfer the mixture to a large measuring cup and stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours. Chilling the mixture overnight will produce better results.
  • Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and churn it for around 25 minutes. Some ice cream makers may require more or less time, so read your device’s instructions.

How to make no-churn ice cream

  • Whip 2 cups of cream with an electric mixer until peaks begin to form.
  • Slowly add 1 can of chilled condensed milk and any flavors you wish to add.
  • Move the mixture to an airtight container and freeze it.

Electric mixer

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How to make freeze-and-stir ice cream

  • Make a no-churn ice cream mixture.
  • Move the mixture to a deep stainless-steel baking dish.
  • Place the baking dish in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  • Remove the baking dish from the freezer and stir it until creamy.
  • Continue to freeze the mixture for 2-3 hours, removing and stirring it every 30-45 minutes.

How to make ice cream with a blender

  • Make a no-churn ice cream mixture.
  • Move the mixture to a freezer-safe resealable bag and place it in the freezer.
  • Once the mixture is frozen, break small chunks into a blender.
  • Blend the mixture until it’s creamy, adding any flavorings or toppings as you go.

Best ice cream makers

Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker

In testing this Cuisinart ice cream maker, we found that it is durable and easy to use. It doesn’t require ice and the compact design makes it easy to store. This comes in three color combinations; silver, white and red.

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Cuisinart ICE21 Ice Cream Maker

This can make 1 ½ quarts of ice cream in around 20 minutes. The insulated bowl eliminates the need for ice and the transparent lid makes it easy to keep up with your process. This comes in six color combinations.

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Whynter Incubator 2-quart Ice Cream and Yogurt Maker

This advanced model has an LCD screen that is easy to use. It’s ideal for hosting parties as it’s easy to use and can make 2 quarts of ice cream and even yogurt.

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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