Ice Cream Maker Buying Guide
Ice cream is the most beloved dessert among kids and adults alike, which is one of the reasons why many restaurant owners decide to add it to their menu. Ice cream is one of those things that make you hungry just by seeing them, and with a good professional ice cream machine and a nice alluring display, you stand to make some money while also making a lot of people happy.
Regardless of whether you are opening an ice cream parlour, or you own a venue where you want to start selling it, if you want to succeed, you’ll have to buy a quality commercial ice cream maker and as well as a freezer and/or display. For an ice cream machine to be ideal for your venue, you need to take into consideration several different factors, including the ice cream style, the type of machine, the ease of handling, the ease of maintenance, the speed and the cost, etc. To determine what you need, you’ll have to think about your venue, the space you have, the quantity of ice cream you think you’ll be selling, as well as your future plans for your business.
Consider Your Needs
There are several types of ice cream maker machines you can choose from for your venue. Most makers work similarly, by essentially slowly and constantly mixing and freezing the ingredients, providing you with the final product. This process of simultaneous mixing and freezing is what makes the ice cream creamy.
The best ice cream makers for commercial use feature a built-in freezer. You simply add the mixture to the machine and it makes the ice cream for you – by mixing it and freezing it. This type of machines can produce large quantities in a short time, which is why they are perfect for ice cream shops or other venues. Furthermore, there are also soft serve ice cream machines as well as gelato machines, which work a little bit differently.
Determine Your Available Space
Before deciding on one type or the other, you need to think about your venue and the space you have for the machine. Ice cream machines can either stand on the floor or they can be placed on the countertop. If you think you’ll produce and sell a high volume of the product or if you predict it will happen in the future, then you may opt for the floor-standing options. Nevertheless, if you have a smaller kitchen, or you don’t think you’ll have such a demand, counter-top units are also a great option.
One of the most important choices you’ll have to make before buying a commercial ice cream maker is the way the machine is cooled. The type of cooling system will not only affect the performance but will also play a role in the placement of the machine.
Commercial ice cream machines can be cooled either by air or by water. Air-cooled machines feature a vent system, which brings cool air into the machine while passing the hot air out. They should be placed in cold spaces or in air-conditioned rooms. Furthermore, there should always be free space around it, since you have to make sure that you don’t cover the vents on the front, top and side of the ice cream machine.
As the name suggests, water-cooled machines use cold water to cool the machine and they are perfect for venues that will produce big quantities of ice cream. These machines are ideal for industrial and commercial use. However, they require a constant source of water as well as drainage, which means that they’ll need to be plumbed.
Keep in Mind Your Budget
Obviously, quality commercial ice cream makers aren’t a cheap investment. The better the performance of the machine is, the more expensive it will be. The bigger the machine and the higher the production capacity – the more costly it will be. Nevertheless, while high-end machines may be more expensive, they are cost-effective, because they won’t require as much maintenance, they will be more energy-efficient, durable, longer-lasting, etc.
One of the most important things when it comes to buying any type of commercial equipment is the ease and cost of maintenance. The cheaper units require expensive maintenance and servicing, while higher-quality ones typically reduce the ongoing costs significantly.
Some machines may require daily cleaning, and others may feature an auto-washing cycle. While both options can be good, the latter can save you a lot of time and money. Nevertheless, the most important part is properly cleaning your machine and using the right cleaning products.