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Ice cream is probably the best way to fight the summer heat. There is nothing better than having a cold treat, especially when the mercury hits the highest level. However, it is often difficult to find an ice cream when at home, especially when storing it in the refrigerator becomes a nuisance. Thus, having your own machine at home is the best solution to produce small quantities of ice creams whenever the craving arises. Wait! Before beginning, let’s take a look as to how this little miracle device works.
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Working Principle of Electric Ice Cream Maker
An ice cream maker is a device that both makes and chills small quantities of ice cream. Generally, used at homes, electric ice cream maker works on the simple principle of churning the ice cream ingredients until they thicken and turn into creamy ice cream. If the ice cream is not churned continuously while freezing, the ingredients get converted into large ice crystals, resulting in low quality ice cream. Thus, the ice cream mixture has to continuously stirred and aerated to produce a smooth and soft ice cream.
Any type of electric ice cream maker has three main parts – An external drum, a canister, and a churn. A canister is where the ice-cream ingredients are put. The canister is then kept inside the drum. A churn is fixed at the center of the canister. The churn is driven by a small electric motor which is provided external power or is battery operated. Electric ice cream makers are generally of three main types. Let’s take a look at the construction and working of each of these types.
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Ice or Refrigerated Freezing
Ice or refrigerated freezing machine doesn’t have its own refrigerating system. Instead the bowl is double layered and has a space between the two walls. One type of ice cream maker have the space filled with ice along with rock salt, which would lower the freezing point and temperature of the ice. However, in some of the machines the space between the walls is filled with a solution, which when cooled freezes below the freezing point of water. This kind of ice-cream maker needs to be refrigerated for 24 hours prior to their use. Once the solution is frozen, a canister filled with ice cream ingredients is put into the bowl. A paddle or churn would fit in the center and rotate continuously to stir the mixture. The frozen solution takes away the heat and freezes the ice cream ingredients. The main disadvantage of these types of ice cream makers is that only one batch of ice cream can be formed at a time. For the next batch, the bowl needs to be kept for more 24 hours to be re-used.
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The freezer ice cream maker units are small units that can be kept directly inside the refrigerator. The construction of this type of units is similar to other ice cream makers but has special provisions to be kept inside the refrigerator. This unit generally has an automatic system which would stop the paddle when the ice-cream is formed. However, these units provide more disadvantages than advantages. The main disadvantage is that the unit follows a very slow process, which results in the formation of small ice crystals in the ice cream. The container is made of anti-freeze material. Moreover, the unit’s electrical cord which is to be connected to an external power supply, causes a hindrance for closing the refrigerator’s door. If in case the unit is battery operated, only expensive rechargeable batteries can be used as normal alkaline batteries perform very badly at low temperatures.
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Self-Refrigerated units has a self refrigeration system with compressors, refrigerants etc. The self refrigerated units don’t require the ice cream container to be cooled using another freezer. The unit’s own refrigerator system provides the cooling for the ice-cream ingredients. This type of ice-cream maker is the fastest and can make ice cream in 20 to 30 minutes. However, they are more expensive and are also larger in size than the normal ones. Several batches of ice cream can also be made one after the other. This type of ice cream maker is supposed to be the best for home use.