How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

A simple, practical way to make homemade ice cream without a machine!

How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker //

There are about 1,001 reasons to purchase an ice cream maker. They. Are. Awesome. But maybe you still want to enjoy the creamy perfection of homemade ice cream before taking the plunge and finding room in your pantry.

There are a lot of ways to make ice cream without a maker. One of the most fun ways is tossing the mixture around inside a bag filled with ice and rock salt. It’s perfect for a really hot summer day. But that method only works with very small batches and doesn’t produce the same consistency and texture you really want in your ice cream. The method I use here, in my opinion, is the easiest and most practical way to make ice cream without a machine.

After making your ice cream custard, just pour it into a freezer-safe container like a metal loaf pan. You will freeze it, stir it, repeat! After a few repetitions, you’ll have a thick, churned ice cream (see picture below for what it should look like at that stage). Then freeze it for a few more hours until it’s completely frozen. It takes a few hours in total, but active time is only a few minutes!

How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker //

Make sure to use an ice cream recipe that has egg yolks in it. Yolk-based recipes are the richest recipes. For this method to work best, you need a rich custard. I used a simple vanilla ice cream recipe with five yolks in it and worked perfectly! My Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe would be excellent for this method too! The end result is a creamy, rich, churned ice cream very similar to what you could make with a machine!

How to Make Ice Cream Without A Ice Cream Maker

  1. Make the ice cream custard (pick a rich recipe with eggs) and pour into a freezer-safe container large enough to fit one quart of ice cream. Place in the freezer for 60 minutes and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  2. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes, then stir. Repeat the 30 minutes of freezing, followed by stirring, for 4-5 times or until the cream has significantly thickened. Then allow to freeze an additional 4-5 hours before enjoying to allow it to completely solidify. Pour some Magic Shell Chocolate Topping on that ice cream and enjoy!


If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work.

How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker //

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