Homemade ice cream can actually be made at home without a machine, so you won’t have shell out more than what your ingredients cost. In fact, you might not even need a freezer either.
Here are some cheap, maybe even free contraptions you can put together with common household items instead of spending $50 to $300 or more on an ice cream maker.
Ice Cream in Baggies
If you have Ziploc bags in two different sizes, a bit of ice, salt and the ice cream ingredients, you should be able to make ice cream without a machine, and Instructables.com offers a kid-friendly diagram laying it out.
First, your ingredients are sealed into a smaller, say a quart-sized, Ziploc bag. Next, you put ice in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and put the smaller bag of ingredients into the larger bag of ice. Once the bags are sealed, just carefully toss them around to mix and chill the ingredients and you’ll have ice cream in 15 minutes, according to the recipe.
Ice Cream in Cans
If you’ve got a few coffee cans lying around, with one that fits inside the other, you can do something fairly similar, except instead of tossing around fragile plastic bags, you can roll the big coffee can with the ice, salt and small coffee can of ice cream ingredients on the floor. That’ll keep ice-cream-making kids busy for about 20 minutes, according to the recipe.
Straight to the Freezer
There are a few recipes out there that will supposedly work when stuck in the freezer in any old vessel (except glass, which could virtually explode in your freezer). But, according to cooking blog Stone Soup, they’re not likely to give you the same texture.
To go back to our breakdown of how do-it-yourself ice cream costs compare with the store-bought stuff, read Cooling Off with DIY Ice Cream.