The Most Important Equipment You Need For Homemade Ice Cream

It's never been easier to make delicious, creamy ice cream that rivals what you'd get at the scoop shop right at home. For ice cream lovers who don't want to run to the store every time a craving hits, this is excellent news. You can try out indulgent no-churn recipes that don't require any special equipment. Or you can pick up at-home machines that do all the work for you, at an increasingly affordable price point. You don't have to be a chef or ice cream pro to whip up truly ice-cream-shop-worthy dessert in your own kitchen, however you go about it.

But to really elevate your homemade ice cream game and consistently create treats on par with any store-bought pint, it's not so much about the process, the machinery, or even the ingredients — though, of course, they all play a role. Turn your attention to the ice component of ice cream — in other words, the freezer you're using to keep your treats cold. It's the often overlooked step in the homemade ice cream-making process that makes all the difference. Upgrading to a chest freezer can separate the just-okay treats from the exceptional, and often for less than you'd spend on a fancy ice cream machine.

A chest freezer keeps ice cream creamy

Any ice cream lover already knows how melting and re-freezing change up your favorite treat. Just think about the last time you stuck a half-eaten pint back in the freezer and picked it back up days later, only to find it icier and less smooth than you left it. To avoid the temperature fluctuation that adds ice crystals to ice cream (which no one wants), upgrading to a chest freezer can create a night and day difference — here's how.

Your typical kitchen freezer works beautifully for the job it's meant to do — keeping those pizzas and bags of veggies frozen and preserved, at around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. But not all methods of freezing are created equal. And for an icy treat as susceptible to changes in texture as ice cream, sub-zero temperatures are actually ideal. Enter, the chest freezer, which stays at super-low, sub-zero temps, making the average freezer look practically balmy. Another perk of stashing ice cream in a chest freezer is it's less likely to be exposed to temperature changes as often since you're probably opening it less frequently.

So take a page out of the pro ice cream-maker's playbook, who will tell you, truly creamy, dreamy ice cream is all about how you freeze it. After all, we all scream for ice cream — it's worth taking the extra step to make it truly worth the fuss.