Factors to Consider When Buying an Ice Cream Machine


Even though it’s the most popular summer-time dessert, ice cream is a treat people like to enjoy any time of the year, especially children. Hence, ice cream is a must-have addition to the menu of any restaurant or coffee bar. And what’s better than freshly made ice cream?

In order to always have fresh batches of this dessert to offer to your guests, you need to invest in a quality commercial ice cream machine. Following this, you as an owner may have a problem choosing the right unit for you. When browsing a store specialising in commercial food equipment for sale ice cream machine units can be found in a variety of sizes and features. In order to choose the right professional ice cream machine for your business, there are a few factors that should be taken into account.

Types of Ice Cream Machines

ice-cream machine type

There are various types of frozen treats that you can put on your menu. It’s important that you buy a machine that would be designed specifically for the products that you want to sell, whether that is gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or ice cream. Considering this, the for sale ice cream machine range is usually divided into:

  • Standard Ice Cream Machines. These commercial machines use electromechanical freezing methods to cool the mixture for ice cream. Also, these professional ice cream machines contain an independent heavy-duty refrigeration compressor and can produce ice cream in large amounts continuously. Plus, they are safe, easy to clean and use, and make superb ice cream within 20-25 minutes.
  • Gelato Machines. This is a type of ice cream with Italian origins made from milk, sugar and flavours. This machine mixes and freezes the gelato elements and usually, the whole procedure takes 30 minutes from start to end product.
  • Frozen Yogurt Machine. The frozen yogurt is popular due to being a lower calorie option for weight watchers. Typically, the frozen yogurt is solid like ice cream and easy to scoop out. The machines that make it basically work the same as ice cream machines with a slight difference in some mechanics.
  • Frozen Custard Machine. A machine designed to freeze and dispense the product when it reaches its appropriate reliability to ensure better quality. It is loved by customers who like soft creamy flavours.
  • Soft Serve Machines. This is a type of ice cream machine that makes soft ice cream as compared to normal ice cream machines. These machines should be cleaned on a daily basis with hot water.

Size of the Machine

ice-machine size
The right commercial ice cream machine should be the right size for the footprint of your kitchen or floor as well as offer the right production capacity. Also, every machine works in a different way and may include additional elements that also take up space. For instance, frozen custard is produced in a machine with a continuous flow chute and the products flows directly into a dipping cabinet. Later, the staff scoops the custard out of the dipping cabinet, and for this reason, these machines take up more space than other ice cream machines.

The location of the machine is another thing to bear in mind, as commercial ice cream machines are available as air- and water-cooled units. The water-cooled machines require water to run, and the air-cooled ones release heat into the room and can raise the air temperature. That being said, water-cooled machines need to be installed near the water supply, whereas air-cooled ones near a ventilation outlet.


Ice cream machines come with single or multiple hoppers and cylinders, and they have different capacities and output. The right machine for ice cream should have the capacity to recover quickly during high volume periods with minimal turnaround time. During slow periods, the machine should be able to maintain safe product temperature and product quality. Consider the demand for ice cream your business faces and choose the capacity accordingly.

Ease of Use

easy to use ice-cream machine
Since restaurants and other foodservice facilities have many employees, the best commercial ice cream machine has to have easy-to-use controls in order to ensure smooth operation by different staff members during busy times. Additionally, the best commercial machines should have indicator lights that alert operators when the mix is low or out. Owners should also ensure that regular maintenance is simple and easy for long-term and optimal operation.

Flavour Variety

different ice-cream flavours
Another important consideration when choosing commercial ice cream makers is the number of flavours the business would want to sell. Since variety is always welcomed on the menu, you would probably want to sell different flavours of ice cream. Make sure to pick a machine that can offer a great number of flavours at the same time and pick the most popular flavours to produce. After all, you don’t want to waste time and cooling space on a flavour that nobody orders.

Also, consider how you want to serve the ice cream, whether in a cone or dish, with candy and cookie toppings, with fruit or syrup, or a combination of all these ideas.