This post is all about what to do when your ice cream maker freezer bowl is not freezing.
Unless you have a super fancy, professional-grade ice cream maker machine with a built-in freezer, before making any ice cream you are required to freeze a freezer bowl for 24 hours prior.
This, although it makes ice cream making accessible for most, is sometimes a bit of a hassle, because not all freezers work the same. The ice cream freezer bowl has an internal lining with freezer liquid which should be completely frozen (not slushy) before starting to make your ice cream. You can check this by shaking the bowl and listening out for some slushy sounds. If not, you’re good to go!
However, if this step isn’t working for you it can be a bit of a worry as you’ll not be able to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream.
So, why isn’t your ice cream maker freezer bowl not freezing anymore?
In short, your ice cream maker bowl is not freezing most probably because of your freezer not being cold enough. Alternatively, there might be a crack in the bowl and the freezer liquid has been lost. It is very unlikely the freezer liquid has lost its properties. If there is liquid inside the bowl lining, the problem is your freezer or how you place the bowl in the freezer. If the bowl lining is empty, there is a crack and therefore there is nothing to freeze.
Ice Cream Maker Freezer Bowl Fixes:
1. Make sure your freezer is cold enough
There is no doubt your freezer doesn’t freeze or isn’t cold. But, for ice cream maker freezer bowls to freeze, it needs to be at a certain temperature. Maybe your freezer is just a few degrees away! It’s worth checking this out, because, without this step, none of the others will work.
Most ice cream maker brands recommend your freezer settings to be at 0F or lower. Now, even at the lowest settings, not all freezers get that cold. There are two things that might need to be done:
- Check wether the coils in the back of the freezer need to be vacuumed, or there is dust buildup underneath the unit.
- Check wether you have actually activated the coldest setting. Not al freezers controls are intuitive or well-explained.
If you keep having problems, check out why your freezer is not cold enough.
2. Make sure the bowl is in a completely flat spot
Some people have found the solution to the bowl not freezing solely in this trick. To make sure you are doing it correctly, start from scratch. Let the bowl unfreeze at room temperature for at least 6-12 hours and make sure you hear liquid when shaking the bowl. Then, slightly damp it with tap water and put it back in the freezer, this time completely flat. This balances out the coolant liquid and allows for a uniform freeze.
3. Place the bowl at the back of the freezer with items in front
Not all spots in your freezer are the same temperature. I have seen such a big difference when I place the bowl at the back of the freezer and put items in front to insulate from the exterior when the door is open. This creates an insulated compartment and traps in the cool. And, by having the bowl close to the back wall, it gets the coldes temperature and allows the bowl to freeze!
4. Don’t open freezer doors
This one seems too basic and easy but when a freezer has problems cooling and maintaining the temperature, keeping the doors closed can be so helpful. I know it can be tempting but don’t open the doors to check your bowl every hour. Leave closed fro 24 hours unless strictly necessary and the problem might get fixed! I recommend you combine this solution with some of the other too maximise the chances of freezing the bowl and being able to enjoy yourself some homemade ice cream!
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5. Leave for extra time
Although after 24 hours the bowl might pass the slushy test, the best results come when left for extra time. Based on experience, my best ice creams came from leaving the freezer bowl for 36-48 hours in the freezer.
I know of people who simply let the bowl in the freezer 24/7 and just take it out when they wish to make ice cream. If you have enough storage space in the freezer, this is something you can consider doing!
6. Make sure there are no cracks and it actually has freezer liquid in it
Freezer bowls in ice cream maker machines freeze because they are lined with a liquid non-toxic saline cooling solution inside. This holds the cool temperature for long periods of time and avoids any type of heat.
However, it is possible this liquid has disappeared through a tiny crack that might not be visible to the naked eye. To test this, let the bowl heat up at room temperature for at least 12 hours and shake it. If you don’t hear liquid moving around inside, this could be it.
Lucky for you, most ice cream maker machines sell replacements, and, if you are still on warranty, you might be given a new one at no extra cost.
7. As a last resource, contact customer service for replacement
If all the previous steps fail (and I mean ALL of them), you might want to consider contacting customer service for your ice cream maker brand. There might be a malfunction in your freezer bowl, in which case they might replace the item, or they might give out a specific tip or trick for your ice cream maker model that might help resolve this.
As a last note, remember it is very unprobable the liquid coolant inside the freezer bowl lining malfunctions, or has lost its freezing efficiency. So, if there is liquid inside, there is still hope!
After having seen these seven ideas to fix your ice cream maker freezer bowl, I hope one of them, or a combination makes your ice cream freezer bowl freeze again and you can enjoy youself a freezed homemade ice cream soon!