How to Use An Ice Cream Maker: Your Step by Step Guide

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We all love ice cream on those hot summer days. It’s perfect for cooling off in the summertime and smothering a warm piece of apple pie. Ice cream is a great comfort food and it tastes incredible!

The picture below is actually homemade ice cream that I made with my Cuisinart ICE-70. Click on the link here and head over to Amazon to grab one today for an incredible price.

I absolutely love mine, and use it quite regularly.

Homemade Ice Cream with Cherry Pie

There are several great ice cream machines available on Amazon that make fantastic ice cream.

Home ice cream machines are now compact, small and best of all they can fit anywhere in your kitchen. If you are looking to purchase an ice cream maker, please take some time and read our comprehensive ice cream guide.

Steps to Using Your Electric Ice Cream Maker

Let’s break down the steps to using an electric ice cream maker.

1. Make Sure You Freeze the Bowl

There are two types of home ice cream makers available to you.

  • An ice cream maker with a built-in compressor
  • An ice cream maker that requires a frozen bowl

The first type of ice cream makers have a built-in compressor and freeze the ice cream as it mixes. These are so awesome!

The Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker (I added links to Amazon with the best price available to you) is a great example of an ice cream maker that has a built-in compressor.

More examples of ice cream makers that has a built-in compressor are the Cuisinart ICE-100 & Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop. The ice cream makers that I listed for you are the top ice cream makers with built-in compressors available (I added Amazon links above with great prices if you are interested in purchasing an ice cream maker).

These ice cream makers are like the commercial ice cream makers, but they can fit in on your countertop (and they don’t make as much ice cream). These ice cream makers are easy to set-up because all you have to do is add the mixture, set the consistency, and push start.

The other kind of ice cream makers has a frozen bowl that must be placed into the freezer overnight. These ice cream makers would include most of the Cuisinart ice cream makers available. Using a Cuisinart ice cream maker with the frozen bowl requires this essential step. Make sure that you place the bowl in the freezer overnight. Failure to do this will result in no ice cream for you!

2. Prepare Your Mixture

Before you can start making creamy ice cream, you’re going to need to start making the mixture. A while ago, I wrote a great post on the Cuisinart Ice-70 for making ice cream. In this post, I gave my two favorite recipes for making ice cream at home. The recipes are easy to follow and don’t require a lot of steps.

Once the mixture is made, cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge.

After the mixture has chilled in the fridge for a while, you can begin the process of making ice cream. Yay!

3. Pour the Mixture Into the Frozen Bowl

Take the mixture from the fridge, and pour it into either the frozen bowl or (if your ice cream maker has a compressor) the bowl in the ice maker. You don’t want to fill the container to the very top because the mixture will expand during the churning process. I recommend that you fill it about 3/4 full.

4. Put the Mixer Paddle in Place and Put the Container in the Ice Cream Maker

Now add the dasher or mixing paddle into the proper place. It should fit nicely and snug into the intended location. The mixing paddle is different for every model, but they all fit in the same way. It should be placed in the center of the bowl.

Now take the bowl and place it into the unit. The ice cream maker bowl should drop into place, and you will know it’s correct because it will be secure.

5. Place the Cover on the Ice Cream Maker

Now secure the cover on the ice cream maker. Every ice cream maker is different, and has a unique lid. Some lids are on hinges and can just be closed where other ice cream makers have a lid that just snaps on the top.

6. Plug in the Ice Cream Maker and Turn it On

Next, plug the ice cream maker into the power outlet and turn on the unit. Select what you are going to make: ice cream, frozen slush, sherbet, or gelato. The selection process may be down using buttons or some models may have a digital screen.

Once you’ve selected which type of frozen treat you’re soon going to enjoy, you’re all set to start the process. Hit the start button, and your ice cream maker will start the churning process.

7. Now, We Wait!

How Long Does An Electric Ice Makers Take to Make Ice Cream?

This is determined by the brand of your ice cream maker. Usually, it takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes to make ice cream.

8. Transfer to the Freezer

When the churning process is all complete, you should transfer it to your freezer to make sure that it stays frozen. After a few hours in the freezer, the ice cream is ready to enjoy.

Important Things To Remember About Using A Ice Cream Maker

Ice cream makers are great, and they sure do make the process of making ice cream simple at home. Though using an ice cream maker is pretty straightforward, there are some critical things to remember before using.

First, never use the ice cream maker outside. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t use the ice cream maker outside, but the most important is it’s counterintuitive. The humidity outside won’t allow the cream to freeze, and at the end of the process, you’ll just have soup.

Second, stay clear of any moving parts. The ice cream maker is built to be safe if you follow the directions. Before you begin the churning process, make sure that the cover is secure. Most ice cream makers do have a small hole at the top of the cover for adding ingredients. Never put your hand inside to grab anything, or you could get hurt.

Third, always unplug your ice cream maker if you are not using it or if you are cleaning it. This is a good habit to get into for any appliance that you own.

Lastly, Always make sure that you use the right attachments for the ice cream maker brand. This will protect your unit from being damaged and protect you from getting hurt.


Ice Cream makers are fantastic and easy to operate. It’s crucial to read the instruction manual before you start using the product and familiarize yourself with the ice cream machine.

If you are looking for the product manual of popular ice maker brands than check out our forum post here.

Jerry Wilson

Jerry Wilson

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