Commercial Ice Cream Makers

Amongst most kitchen appliances, commercial ice cream machines return their initial capital the quickest. Investing in the right style and size for your business will maximize your profit, and adding cold treats to your menu is always a winner.

Besides ice cream, most commercial ice cream makers can also make other popular cold desserts like gelato and sorbets. In our guide below, we cover informational questions about this machinery to help you make the right decisions for your business.

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Frequently Asked Commerical Ice Cream Machine Questions

How do commercial ice cream machines work?

In the simplest terms, ice cream makers work by cooling and mixing the required ingredients simultaneously.

When ingredients are mixed without simultaneous cooling, air enters the mixture. When a mixture is cooled without simultaneous mixing, ice crystals form, resulting in a solid block or crunchy texture.

The simultaneous process of an ice cream machine is critical to reaching the perfect, smooth and velvety consistency that we all crave!

What ingredients are used to make ice cream?

The basic ingredients used to make ice cream include milk and milk solids, cream, sugars, modifying agents, and flavorings.

Many commercial ice cream makers allow you to add more ingredients to customize your flavors, like chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, or even frozen fruit pieces.

What is the difference between a soft-serve machine and an ice cream machine?

Unlike an ice cream machine, soft serve machines incorporate air into the mixture as it churns to keep the consistency softer and smoother. It keeps the mixture cool without allowing it to harden too much.

What is the difference between a commercial and an industrial ice cream machine?

Commercial machines are used in smaller-type businesses with the sole purpose of gaining a profit. These machines are suitable for use in a commercial setting, while an industrial ice cream machine refers to the one used to manufacture big batches.

commercial ice cream maker

How long does it take to make ice cream?

In general, an ice cream machines’ output capacity is measured in gallons per hour, servings per hour, or servings per minute. While some commercial machines can take up to half an hour to produce ice cream, others take as little as 12 minutes to make a decent batch. Typically, the more an ice cream machine costs, the higher its production capacity will be.  

What are the different installation methods of commercial ice cream machines?

Generally, ice cream machines are categorized by two installation methods: floor units and countertops. While floor models are designed to stand, countertop machines neatly fit on a countertop.

Should I choose an independent standing machine or a countertop one?

Floor units are great for bigger businesses who need a machine with medium- to high-capacity outputs. These machines only require open floor space and often have more ice cream-making features and options.

On the other hand, countertop units require a countertop for installation, and they’re a better fit for smaller businesses. These machines are compact, simpler to operate and maintain and deliver low- to medium-capacity outputs.

What are the different production styles of ice cream machines?

commercial ice cream maker can have a low-, high-, or continuous-capacity output.

Low volume machines generally need a refill between each batch produced, require between 45-60 minutes for freezing, and thus have a limited production capacity. Small businesses on a tight budget might prefer these machines.

High-volume machines are capable of producing various batches of ice cream. They can meet the needs of larger businesses and provide batch flexibility. 

Continuous volume machines are the preferred option for most businesses. These machines can produce ice cream continuously without the need for wait times. Because of this function, they’re considered top performers.

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Are air- or water-cooled ice cream machines better?

Since ice cream machines tend to be under heavy operation, it’s no surprise that they produce plenty of heat. Luckily, they cool themselves with either air or water. 

An air-cooled commercial ice cream maker is usually more affordable than water-cooled models. They require nothing else but ample wall clearance and a power connection, whereas water-cooled machines require a water line connection. 

However, water-cooled machines are quieter, more effective, and can operate in warm and cool environments. Air-cooled machines perform best when in an air-conditioned area. 

While water-cooled ice cream makers will be pricier upon installation, they save you money if your water utility cost is less than electricity.  

Which factors should I consider when buying a commercial or industrial ice cream machine?

When buying an ice cream machine, the most important factor to consider is whether it meets your businesses’ needs. However, you should also keep the below in mind:

  • Ease of Use
  • Budget vs. Price vs. Value
  • Output Capacity
  • Ice Cream Texture and Consistency
  • Noise
  • Appearance
  • Ease of Clean
  • Maintenance

Are there any additional features that make some machine models better than others?

While different features will appeal to different users, our top three stand-out features are:

  • A consistency option that allows you to set the hardness and thickness of the ice cream batch.
  • A ready bell for that rush hour batch making.
  • A digital display for easy use.

Choosing the perfect ice cream machine for your business doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Once you identify your business needs, you can easily filter out a suitable machine for you as you shop around. The key to purchasing an ice cream machine is ensuring that your investment will pay off. If you tick this box, you’ll master choosing the best between the wide range of commercial ice cream machines available.