Ice cream might very well be your favorite dessert. It’s easy to go to the store and buy ice cream when you have a craving, but making your own ice cream can be even more satisfying in certain ways.
Making homemade ice cream isn’t as tough as many people think. Even so, it is going to take some effort to get things to turn out perfectly.
If you recently tried to make homemade ice cream, then you might be a bit let down if it turned out gritty. Why would your ice cream have a gritty consistency?
Read on to learn about what might cause the ice cream to become gritty. Once you know what went wrong, it’ll be easier to get better results next time.
1 – You Didn’t Follow the Recipe Properly
The most likely reason why your ice cream turned out gritty is that you made a mistake. It’s likely that you didn’t follow the recipe to a tee.
Adding too many or too few ingredients will cause things to turn out wrong. The ice cream might be grainy because the sugar wasn’t able to dissolve completely before you froze it.
Be careful to follow the recipe exactly the next time that you attempt to make homemade ice cream. The recipe is designed in such a way to produce consistent results.
Straying from the recipe will cause things to turn out different than expected. This could very well be the cause of the grittiness.
Often, people use too much sugar or they forget to follow a step when making the ice cream. You must use the right ingredients and you must do things in the order that the recipe describes.
Read through the recipe again and try to see where you went wrong. This should allow you to figure things out and do better the next time.
2 – Churning Too Much
Did you know that churning the ice cream too much can negatively impact the final product? Churning more than you’re supposed to can alter the texture of the ice cream.
While the ice cream is in the machine, you’ll want to examine it to see what the texture looks like. If the texture appears to have curds that are small and somewhat hard, it’s a sign that you’ve been churning too much.
Churning more than you’re supposed to pumps too much air into the mix. It’s easy to do this when you’re using a low-quality ice cream maker.
This can also occur when you’re making ice cream with a machine that doesn’t utilize a freezer mechanism of some kind. Be careful not to churn the ice cream too much even if you’re using a good, modern ice cream maker.
One thing to keep in mind while churning is how fast things are melting once taken out of the freezer. Ice cream that is made properly should take between 15 and 20 minutes to melt completely.
Ice cream that melts faster than this has been churned too much. You can’t really fix this if you already made the mistake, but you can endeavor to do a better job with your next batch.
3 – Refreezing After Melting
You don’t want to freeze ice cream again after it has already melted. Your homemade ice cream will become grittier if you try to refreeze it.
This happens because the liquid has the potential to get caught in pockets. It might wind up turning into hard chunks that will make the ice cream less pleasant to eat overall.
You can try to fix this if you have a good immersion blender. Simply use the blender to smooth things out so that you can enjoy the ice cream without having to worry about it being so gritty.
Of course, it’d be best not to refreeze ice cream after it melted. Keep the ice cream in the freezer if you’re not going to eat it.
When portioning out the ice cream, try to only use the amount that you’ll reliably be able to finish. This should help you to avoid issues with grittiness due to refreezing.
4 – Issues with Your Freezer
Have you considered whether your freezer could be making the ice cream gritty? It’s possible that the freezer could be causing ice crystals to form in the ice cream.
Check to ensure that your freezer is set to the right temperature. You might need to make some adjustments to get things just right.
Even if the temperature is fine, there could be other things that you’ll need to fix. For instance, the freezer could be overcrowded.
If you’re keeping a lot of food in your freezer, then you might need to clear some room. Overcrowding the freezer can cause issues to occur that you might not expect.
This is a much more common issue than many people realize. If you avoid overcrowding the freezer and keep the temperature set properly, it’ll likely be just fine.
5 – Using Poor Ingredients
Using poor ingredients might cause your ice cream to turn out grittier than usual. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons why this happens.
When you use low-quality ingredients such as low-fat milk, it’s more likely that the ice cream will turn out grainy. It’s also possible that poor-quality vegetable oils could cause such issues.
Bad vegetable oil has been known to cause grittiness. Thus, you’ll want to make sure that you’re buying the best ingredients that you can.
If you can’t change ingredients, then you could try adding flour or cornstarch to the mixture. This can thicken things up to reduce the grittiness.
It’s also wise to chill the ice cream properly before putting it into the freezer. This can reduce issues with too much grittiness.
6 – Using a Bad Ice Cream Maker
Is the ice cream maker that you’re using not the best? Using an old ice cream maker is going to make it so much harder to get the ice cream to turn out well.
Perhaps your ice cream maker is decades old and it isn’t producing the best ice cream. In this instance, you should go out and buy something new that will taste better.
When purchasing an ice cream maker, it’ll be wise to choose one that has a good reputation. Buying a better machine will surely be worth spending a few extra bucks.
When you want to make high-quality ice cream at home, it’ll be best to buy a good machine. You’ll have an easier time making smooth ice cream that tastes delicious.
Budget ice cream machines might not be able to produce the best results. You might even be left feeling as though you wasted your money.
It won’t take much time to look into customer reviews and get an idea of how good the ice cream maker that you want to purchase is. Hopefully, getting a good ice cream machine will help you to have a better experience.
What Should You Do with Grainy Ice Cream?
You don’t necessarily have to throw grainy homemade ice cream out. It’s possible to eat it and enjoy it.
Using a blender to smooth things out will make the ice cream much more enjoyable. As mentioned earlier, using an immersion blender can help out a lot.
Some even go so far as to turn the ice cream into shakes. You can simply make shakes by blending the ice cream with other ingredients.
This will allow you to use up the ice cream even if it turns out a bit gritty. You should still enjoy it to the fullest so long as you have access to a blender.
If you think that the ice cream is very bad, just throw it out. You can always try to make a better batch next time.
Yes, it’s frustrating to make mistakes and waste ingredients. Even so, it’s not worth it to try to force yourself to eat something if you don’t think it’s tasty.
Just don’t throw the ice cream out right away. Try blending it to see if that improves things.
If it doesn’t help enough for you to want to finish the ice cream, then throwing it out is sensible. You’ll be able to do a better job next time as long as you take the advice above to heart.
You’ve learned that there are many things that can cause the ice cream to turn out gritty. It’s common for this to happen when you use poor-quality ingredients.
Always choose to use the best ingredients that you can since that’ll make the ice cream turn out much better. It’s also imperative to use a high-quality ice cream maker.
If your ice cream maker is old, it might make it harder to get good results. Buying a better ice cream machine is better than purchasing a low-quality one that costs very little cash.
It’s important to avoid churning the ice cream too much. This can make the ice cream grittier than it should be by putting too much air into the mix.
Not following the recipe properly could be to blame as well. Perhaps you used too much sugar or you forgot to measure out an ingredient properly.
Use the advice above to troubleshoot and figure out where you went wrong. This will allow you to turn things around and make better ice cream the next time you decide to give it a whirl.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.