Ice cream is one of the most popular desserts in the world. People are willing to spend the big bucks on this delicious treat, which is good news for your business!  But before you can start making money with ice cream sales, you need to find the right ice cream maker for your needs. Taking time away from your business to research ice cream makers can be frustrating, though.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, we’ve put together this ice cream machine buying guide to help you narrow down the choices and make sure you end up with the right pick.

Keep reading to get started!

How Do You Want to Make Your Ice Cream?

The first thing you need to think about when buying ice cream makers for your business is how you currently (or plan to in the future) make your ice cream.

For example, if you want to sell old-fashioned ice cream, you’ll need to use rock salt and a hand churner. You can get an electric version of this ice cream maker if you want to make a lot of batches, but you would still need to use this type of model.

A freezer bowl is an easy way to make small amounts of ice cream every once in a while. Maybe you run a small business that usually only sells a few servings of ice cream a day. In this case, a freezer bowl may be all you need to meet your demand, and it doesn’t take a lot of space, time, or effort.

However, most businesses that sell ice cream require a compressor. This type of machine will allow you to make as many batches of ice cream as you need without any wait time between servings. You can also make several different flavors at once, which will give your customers more variety.

Once you pick the right ice cream machine for your business, you also need to consider the following.

Air-Cooled vs Water-Cooled

If you can, you should get a water-cooled ice cream maker. These types of machines are able to freeze the ice cream quicker, and they usually just run smoother than air-cooled machines. However, you might not be able to get a water-cooled machine if:

  • You don’t have the necessary water hookups/drains
  • The area you live is in drought
  • You’re worried about an expensive water bill
  • You live in a place that gets very cold winters

Cold winters don’t necessarily mean you can’t use a water-cooled unit. You will have to winterize them before the cold weather starts to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting later.

Air-cooled machines don’t work as efficiently as water-cooled ones, but they can do the job while keeping your water usage low. You’ll just have to remember to clean the coils at least once a month to ensure it doesn’t overheat or sustain any damage.

Gravity vs Pressurized

Pressurized ice cream makers are more expensive than gravity ice cream makers, but depending on what type of ice cream taste and texture you’re looking for, spending that extra money might be worth it.

A pressurized machine will give your ice cream a smoother, creamier texture. It will also increase overrun, which will give you fluffier ice cream. That, in turn, means you’ll get more finished product for every gallon of ice cream mix you use.

Gravity machines can’t produce the same quantity of ice cream, and the texture won’t be as appealing. However, a gravity machine will give the ice cream a more intense flavor.

How Much Ice Cream Do You Sell?

After you choose the type of ice cream maker you want, you need to think about the size. If you sell a lot of ice cream every single day, you’ll need a large machine that can hold a lot of ice cream mix. You’ll also want it to have little to no cooldown time between batches; otherwise, your customers will have to wait a long time before they can get their orders.

If you run a diner, though, and only need to sell ice cream for desserts, you might be able to get away with a smaller unit that doesn’t produce as much ice cream. Getting a machine that’s too large will just be a waste of money.

How Many Flavors Do You Offer?

Many ice cream makers allow you to make two flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate. For small businesses, those might be the only two flavors you’ll need.

If ice cream sales make up a large portion of your business, though, you may want to offer more flavors than just vanilla and chocolate. In this case, you should look for a machine that allows several flavor options. Depending on the type of machine you buy, you may have to get several to keep up with the demand of your customers.

How to Choose the Right Ice Cream Maker for Your Business

This guide should help you narrow down the ice cream maker choices on the market and help you choose the best one for your business. But if you still have some questions, that’s okay!

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Lancaster Manufacturing Frozen Custard Machines today! We’ll walk you through the options and help you pick the right one for your needs.

If you’re ready to start shopping, make sure you take a look at some of our ice cream makers now!