Hand Crank Ice Cream Makers

Hand crank ice cream makers are a great option for homesteaders wanting to go off the grid, or if you want to continue having ice cream should the power go out. Better still, just because it's a hand cranked ice cream maker, it doesn't necessarily mean wearing your arm off cranking the thing. Thanks to a little ingenuity, there are some really nice options out there.

But with any appliance you decide to make an investment in, there are pros and cons to the different choices available. Here are some things to consider when looking for an off-the-grid ice cream maker.

Ball Ice Cream Maker Funnest of the
Hand Crank Ice Cream Makers

Pros: Fun and easy to use; great for kids
Cons: Without kids, risk of appearing silly kicking ball around.

The ball ice cream maker is one of my favorite ice cream makers. My daughter loves making ice cream this way and is always disappointed when ice cream making time is over.

Plus, it's simple to use. You fill one end with ice and rock salt and then fill the other end with your prepared cream.

This ball ice cream maker is great for kids.  You can find one here.

Put the lids back on, and then roll the ball, kick it, toss it to each other, you name it.

This ice cream maker is really sturdy, and better still, it makes a really nice, but soft ice cream. My sister-in-law gave this to me for Christmas one year, and I was amazed at how easy it is to use.

My only warning about using this ice cream maker is to not screw the lids on too tight; we were so worried about the cream or ice spilling out, we tightened both lids way too tight and had a dickens of a time unscrewing them.

The ice cream is generally soft when it comes out using this ice cream maker, but kept in the freezer overnight, it sets up really well, especially when using this recipe.

But what if you don't have any kids handy who want to spend half an hour rolling, tossing or kicking a ball, and you don't want to look silly in front of the neighbors? Fortunately there are some other good options for hand crank ice cream makers out there.

Electric Manual Ice Cream Maker

An electric/manual ice cream maker has the convenience of an electric ice cream maker with an off the grid option as well. You can buy one here.

Pros: Easy to Use; nice electric option
Cons: More Costly


This is a great option if you really don't want to hand-crank your ice cream maker at all, but want the security of having the option of making ice cream manually even if the power goes out. You will, of course, still need ice and rock salt, but you can stock up on rock salt, and if your freezer runs on solar energy, you can have sufficient ice to make your ice cream.

A combination electric/manual ice cream maker will be more costly than other hand crank ice cream makers, but some good, reasonably priced electric/manual ice cream makers are available. And the neighbors won't even know you are making ice cream.

Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker

Pros: No need for rock salt or ice
Cons: Freezer Needed for This to Work


Ever wanted to make ice cream and didn't have any rock salt lying around? Or you were out of ice? The upside of hand crank ice cream makers like this one is it doesn't require either of those two ingredients. The downside is it does require a freezer. You could have your freezer running off of a solar panel.

In that case, this type of ice cream maker would make perfect sense. With a goat or cow on your homestead, you wouldn't be dependent on any outside sources whenever you got a craving for fresh peach ice cream.

Hand cranked ice cream makers like this one doesn't require ice or rock salt, and will work for off the grid ice cream as long as you have a freezer running off of a solar panel. You can buy one here.

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