Now that you know which model to buy, get to know every part of your new ice cream maker.
① Base: The motor is housed in the base of the unit. With compression models, this base can be pretty large, since the motor is bigger. With models that use ice and rock salt, the motor is in a case that fits on top of the bucket and canister.
② Controls: Some ice cream makers have a simple on-off function (in fact, the most basic models power on the moment they're plugged in), while others have options like timers and the ability to change the motor speed.
③ Bowl: Most mid-priced ice cream makers come with a removable insulated bowl filled with fluid. The bowl needs to be frozen ahead of time, some for as long as 15 hours. Tip: Keep the bowl in the freezer when not in use, so you're always ready to make a batch of ice cream.
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④ Dasher (also known as a mixing arm or paddle): A plastic blade fits inside the bowl and rotates, stirring the ice cream custard and continually scraping it against the cold sides of the bowl.
⑤ Lid: Covering the ice cream maker while it's in session to avoid splashes and to help contain the cold, the lid of an ice cream maker can be either clear or opaque. A transparent lid is preferable, so you can monitor the progress of the ice cream. Another plus is an opening to easily add nuts, candies and other mix-ins.
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