How Long Does It Take for Ice Cream to Freeze?

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on January 31st, 2023

Do you want to make homemade ice cream but don’t know how long it takes to freeze? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

This blog post will give you all the details on how long it takes for your favorite flavors to turn into creamy, frozen deliciousness. So grab your ice cream maker, and let’s get started!

variety of ice creams

Soft Freeze Process from the Machine

The machine’s soft freeze process can take between 20-45 minutes to produce the right consistency. It’s best to leave it in the freezer for three to four hours and then eat it all in one sitting, as refreezing it beyond that will result in a grainy texture due to ice crystals.

Depending on the machine and type of mix, the time it takes to finish converting a liquid mix to soft-serve ice cream ranges from 6-22 hours. Ensure you’ve frozen the machine mixing bowl beforehand, which can take 4-12 hours.

Once it reaches that stage, you can freeze it further for a hard-serve consistency which usually takes around three hours. Additionally, alcohol can decrease the freezing time dramatically, so if you’re adding spirits to your mix, keep an eye on them as they may freeze faster than usual.

Store-bought ice cream usually takes 4-6 hours to freeze completely. With all of these factors in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious homemade ice cream or store-bought it within no time!

Homemade Ice Cream Freeze Time

For homemade ice cream, expect a freeze time of three to four hours to reach a soft-serve consistency. It can take longer if alcohol is used in the recipe, which will delay or even prevent the ice cream from freezing.

Quick Freeze Time for a Cup of Ice Cream

For those who need a quick fix of ice cream, you can refreeze a cup of ice cream within 30 minutes to an hour. The freezing time depends on the fat content and other ingredients in the ice cream, but it will freeze properly in about 30-45 minutes with the right combination.

For those looking for a store-bought solution, it will take 4-6 hours for the ice cream to freeze properly. It takes around 3-4 hours to freeze homemade ice cream. Be sure not to exceed this time, as the texture of your ice cream will become grainy due to ice crystals.

Of course, if you’re looking for hard serve consistency, you may need to freeze it for longer than 3-4 hours. For those looking to enjoy soft serve straight from the machine, it should take about 20 minutes of steady cranking before your ice cream is ready for consumption.

Refreezing a Pint of Ice Cream

Once you’ve got a pint of ice cream that’s been melted, it’s best to refreeze it within three hours. This is to ensure that the texture of your ice cream remains the same instead of becoming grainy due to the formation of ice crystals. If you store your pint upside down before refreezing, the melted ice cream will drip into the lid and have less chance of ruining the texture.

Place the freezing unit in a freezer and allow the cooling liquid in the double walls of the unit to freeze completely, which could take anywhere between 6 and 24 hours. After that, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream in no time!

Melting and Freezing Timeframes

Ice cream generally takes between 15-20 minutes to melt and roughly an hour to freeze. Of course, these timeframes will depend on the temperature of the environment and the type of ice cream in question.

Motor Churning and Soft Serve Consistency

When using a motorized ice cream maker, the churning process plays an important role in achieving the desired soft-serve consistency. Depending on the type of machine, it can take up to 30 minutes to one hour for the ice cream to freeze thoroughly.

However, if you’re using a machine with a pre-frozen bowl in your freezer, it needs to be there for at least 12 hours for the best results. On the other hand, if you’re making homemade ice cream with a hand-operated machine, the freezing process should take between 4 and 6 hours.

Regardless of the type of machine you’re using, it’s important to remember that freezing timeframes can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used and the temperatures involved. With this in mind, it’s always best to follow manufacturer instructions when making ice cream.

Alcohol’s Impact on Freeze Time

Although alcohol doesn’t freeze, it does have an impact on the freeze time for ice cream. Pure ethanol alcohol freezes at -173.5°F, and adding even one ounce of this to the ice cream mix will cause the ice cream to freeze more quickly. In addition, adding alcohol to the mix helps reduce the ice crystals’ size, resulting in a smoother texture and better taste. For best results, it is important to use the right amount of alcohol in the mix so that it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors in the recipe.

Best Practices for Making Delicious Ice Cream

When making homemade ice cream, it is important to follow best practices to ensure a delicious outcome. Pre-freezing the ice cream bowl in the freezer for more than 24 hours before use is preferable. Additionally, the ice cream base is recommended to be chilled over an ice bath before it is churned and frozen.

Ensure the freezer bowl is frozen before you begin churning, as it needs at least 24 hours in the freezer for best results. Finally, when freezing the ice cream to a hard-serve consistency, allow 4-6 hours for store-bought varieties or 3-4 hours for homemade ice cream. With these tips in mind, you’ll make delicious homemade ice cream every time!


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!