Some ice cream makers have an inner freezer bowl that has to be frozen before you put it into the machine. The lining of the bowl is a gel which freezes over a period of 12-24 hours before you can start to make the ice cream – and needs quite a space in your freezer. More expensive machines have better electronic components and a built in freezer and freeze the bowl and ice cream mixture. The ice cream maker also has a paddle which churns the ice cream mixture and breaks down the ice crystals. Ice cream making machines do vary in size – from small ones of around 1litre capacity to those double that. Bigger ones will take longer to make the ice cream.
Kenwood make a 1.1litre Ice Cream Maker and advertise that it can make ice cream “in less than an hour” and some sorbets and frozen yoghurts may be ready in as little as 25 minutes. Prices vary but may be as little as £25. Magimix and Cuisenart make ice cream makers from £40-£245 with, of course, varying functions, and there are a number of ice cream makers at the cheaper end of the market as well as mid-range. It all depends on how often you want to make ice cream, what quantities are needed and the level of smoothness of the finished product that you require.