Last summer I found a White Mountain hand crank ice cream maker at a yard sale for $30. I was super excited at the deal I’d gotten, but I really wasn’t sure if the unit even worked. It looked pretty old, but all of the parts appeared to be there and the handle turned smoothly. We do have an electric ice cream maker, though I wanted to have a non-electric backup for off-grid situations. So, I sprung for it!
When it came time to test the new machine the kids were eager to help! Making homemade ice cream is a great summertime activity to enjoy with family and friends.
Here’s how to use an old fashioned hand crank ice cream maker…
I’m assuming you’ve already found an ice cream recipe that you want to use, and have pre-cooked and cooled it before preparing to put it into the ice cream maker.
Step One. Fill the bucket with ice and sprinkle with rock salt.
With the old hand crank ice cream makers you have to fill the wooden bucket with ice and salt to keep the canister in the center cold. To do so, layer the ice and salt, going heavy on the salt between layers. Fill the bucket all the way to the rim and top it off with salt to slow the melting process.
Step Two: Pour your homemade ice cream mixture into the cold canister.
After preparing your favorite homemade ice cream recipe, pour the cooled mixture into the metal ice cream canister. Be careful not to let ice and salt fall into the canister when you open the lid. (It might be better for you to pre-fill the canister with the ice cream mixture BEFORE adding the ice and salt to the bucket. See what works best for you. Just be sure the canister is already in place before adding the ice.)
Step Three: Crank that baby!
Turn, turn, turn! With my kids taking turns helping to crank the handle around and around it took about 25 minutes until the ice cream was frozen enough to eat. You may have to add more ice and salt if it melts down while you’re cranking.
Ice cream made the old fashioned way is almost always soft serve. You’ve gotta eat it fast ’cause it’ll turn into a puddle before your eyes, especially on a hot summer day! If you can’t eat it all at once, transfer the ice cream to a container to put in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy it.
As a side note, you might want to do this outdoors. We had water leaking out from the ice cream maker as the ice melted. This may be because our unit was older and the wooden slats had come a little loose. Just something for you to keep in mind.
It’s good to know our off grid ice cream maker works like a charm! Nothing beats a good homemade soft serve ice cream.
Surprisingly, you can still find these hand crank ice cream makers on Amazon! Anyone else out there have one that they love??
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