Introduction: Homemade Ice Cream: Quick, Easy, & on the Cheap!

Picture of Homemade Ice Cream: Quick, Easy, & on the Cheap!

Want to make some good ol' fashioned ice cream? Don't feel like spending $20 and surrendering some kitchen space to an ice cream maker? DO YOU SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM?!?! If so, read on...

'Tis true, my friend; you can bring this playground favorite right to your own home, crafted from your own hands, using only a handful of common ingredients.

For all intents and purposes, I'll show you two ways to make your own ice cream: the Ziploc method, and the jar method.

AND GUESS WHAT!!! For all you allergy folks out there, great-tasting ice cream is now possible! You can substitute your favorite "milk" for this recipe!

Step 1: The Ziploc Method

Picture of The Ziploc Method

The Ziploc method is my preferred method. It takes less time, and the ice cream usually ends up having a better texture. However, you'll need rock salt - an ingredient which is not a common household item, yet not hard to find in your local supermarket.

1. Milk - 1 cup or 240 mL - I used Rice Milk; just make sure that if your milk is sweetened, you use less sugar
2. Sugar - 2 tbsp or 30mL - use less if you are using a sweetened milk substitute
3. Vanilla - 1/2 tsp or 2mL
4. Ice - 2 cups or 475 mL
5. Rock Salt - 1/4 cup or 60 mL - this ingredient can also be referred to as ice cream salt
6. A 1-Qt (.94 L) Ziploc bag
7. A 1-Gal (3.78 L) Ziploc bag

Step 1
Pour milk, sugar, and vanilla into quart-sized (.94 L) Ziploc bag; shake.

Step 2
Pour ice and rock salt in gallon-sized (3.78 L) Ziploc back; shake.

Step 3
Put small Ziploc into larger Ziploc. Slosh the bag back and fourth across your countertop until the ice cream becomes nice and thick.

Step 4
This is Ziploc ice cream; grab a spoon and just eat it right out of the bag! ;]

Step 2: The Jar Method

Picture of The Jar Method

The jar method does take longer than the Ziploc method, but you have less chances of a mess, and you don't need rock salt.

1. Milk - 1 cup or 240mL - I used Rice Milk; just make sure that if your milk is sweetened, you use less sugar
2. Sugar - 2 tbsp or 30mL - use less if you are using a sweetened milk substitute
3. Vanilla - 1/2 tsp or 2mL
4. Jar
5. Freezer

Step 1
Measure out and pour all ingredients into jar; shake.

Step 2
Place your jar in the freezer. Placing it in between other items will help speed up the process. You'll need to keep it in the freezer at least 3 1/2 hours, taking it out and shaking it at 30-minute intervals.

Step 3
When you take out your ice cream to shake and hear little or no "sloshing", it is ready. Run it under some cool water to loosen up the top.

Step 4
Pour, serve, and consume. =D

Step 3: Notes

Picture of Notes

A few notes on this Instructable...

On rock salt... Rock salt varies by brand. At school we used 1/4 cup of rock salt for every 2 cups of ice. However, at home I used a different brand of rock salt and discovered that I needed a lot more - a whole cup of the stuff!

Also - the ice cream mixture is not necessarily directly proportional to the rock salt mixture; that is, if you were to halve the ingredients in the ice cream mixture, you could still use the same amount of rock salt and ice.

Additional notes may be added at later times, so keep checking back!

Good luck, and have fun!

Oh! And I'd like to give a round of applause to Eric and everyone at Instructables HQ who helped design the new Editor! I absolutely LOVVEEE it! ;]


Nonow237 (author)2017-11-27

So I just made it! the first and only time I've made it and it was a horrible ice cream. It was a amazing milkshake though!

Nonow237 (author)2017-11-27

Hello, how do you make other flavors? Do you add it with the vanilla extract or do you substitute the vanilla extract with the desired flavor?

Thanks in advance.!!

AshleyP116 (author)2017-03-15

So I tried it with mint extract and green food coloring!! Gonna see how it tastes in a couple minutes. Might wtf some sprinkles for fun because I don't have any chocolate chips!!! Perfect for a hot day thanks a bunch!!

Pawswaks (author)AshleyP1162017-08-06


Would like to know how

lucasp120 made it! (author)2017-07-04


Heaven7202 (author)2016-09-05

Is there anyway to make this coffee/ espresso flavored?

Tika CymoneW (author)Heaven72022017-01-07

I would say YES as i used chocolate milk but didnt add sugar or vanilla so whatever flavor youre going for tweak the sugar next im going to try frozen fruit to see if the fruit inside the mixture and the ice and salt outside the mixture if it may be thicker. I used 1 cup of chocolate and an additional cup of strawberry banana

ryantt.santos (author)2016-12-19

can you take it out the bag???

If you do take it out i would put in freezer so it will be firmer and easier to get out or just cut the bag open once you figure its hard enough

Tika CymoneW made it! (author)2017-01-07

I just made it instead of vanilla i used Double Chocolate milk and Strawberry Banana milk (Neslie Quik) nothing else i shook until the mixture got firm u fortunately your only going to get a little thicker than Dairy Cream Ice Cream. DA LI SHUSH YO MOUTH!
Ps. I used gloves for the cold, more ice and salt i believe the thicker it gets.

marytaylor2016 (author)2016-12-06

I made it like this and its the easier way of making it. Its really Fun and it tastes so good!

Yoooooow (author)2016-11-06

I just used milk sugar vinilla essence in a ziplock bag shakes it all together and then put it in the freezer because the ice/rocksalt shake method didn'tb work, my method did but it took a little longer

Jillxz (author)2016-09-01

I make that all the time in a jar and it does not taste anything like ice cream. It is good , but definitely not ice cream

firefliie (author)2009-05-24

ok i accidently got a little bit of rock salt in my ice cream...then i ate it anyway...then i looked on the package of salt and it said if eaten then call hospital immediately...should i be concerned low?

bamb6 (author)firefliie2016-08-28

I cant stop laughing

Are you OK now

Kandid (author)firefliie2009-05-24

Not really, but just to ease your mind, try to vomit and after that drink a lot of milk. Next, call 911 (or whatever is the phone for your emergency services) and tell them exactly which brand of rock salt you ate and how much. They will give you any additional info.

The Honey Boy (author)2016-06-05

I tried it and it does not get hard, but it stays runny.

could you help me? I really want to make ice cream!!!

BrookeH23 (author)The Honey Boy2016-06-30

Add more salt and ice. Shake longer.

JasC5 (author)2016-06-19

can we use regular salt instead of rock salt, and is the ice supposed to be crushed or just regular ice?

icecraem (author)2015-10-01

could you substitude pureed strawberries for the vannilla ?

The Honey Boy (author)icecraem2016-06-05

yes you can!

OwenZ2 (author)icecraem2016-04-16

I believe so!

AbbyR15 (author)2016-06-01

What if the icecream doesn't freeze at all and it just stays very runny?

JoeyW5 (author)2015-06-20

This was the worst thing I have ever done, 1/10 don't recommend! Currently I am sitting with a bag of milky ice salt and I hate it.

HalfChocolateCow (author)JoeyW52016-05-24

You don't put the ice and salt in the same bag as the other ingredients. You obviously didn't read the directions.

ShaelynM (author)2015-08-22

Can I make this recipe with my Cusineart Ice cream maker?

jany (author)2008-11-20

How long does it take for the zip lock bag method of rocking?

Labot2001 (author)jany2008-11-20

No more than a few minutes.

Chicken10 (author)Labot20012015-07-10

If i want chocolate ice cream, do i just add cocoa powder and more sugar?

dodo91 (author)2011-07-25

I added 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder... ganna see how it tastes later!

ChristyO2 (author)dodo912015-06-24

Howd it taste

nicelle.tagle (author)2015-05-03

stephanieë1 (author)2014-09-22

Can you make this without the vanilla extract? and is it still going to taste good?

I think

leannmaestas (author)2014-12-03

I think so ?

Marie.Spraggins (author)2013-01-26

I just made this 5 minutes ago. I didn't have any rock salt, but then I remembered, you could use table salt instead. So, I used a little over a 1/4 cup of regular table salt. The ice cream turned out just fine. It was so good Also, I wrapped the bag in a towel cause the bag gets very cold after a few minutes. Thanks for the Satisfaction of my sweet tooth! :-D

Misac-kun (author)2011-12-27

Simple yet efective! Nothing more to declare!

sspidle (author)2011-08-20

can I add a coffee creamer to this recipe? I have single serve coffee creamers that are amertto and it would be delicious!

Nihilistic (author)2009-05-27

Is the rock salt necessary, or can you substitute regular (table) in its place? Wouldn't the reaction be similar enough temperature to make the ice cream?

SephysManda (author)Nihilistic2010-10-26

I've used table salt plenty of times since I don't have any rock salt.

ElvenChild (author)2010-07-10

I just came up with some exotic new flavors; idea 1 add pink lemonade when making idea 2 when ma king put in coke fanta orange or fanta strawberry and mentos shavings for reaction and flavor idea 3 put in gingerale and skittles for reaction and flavor!

batman96 (author)2010-05-04

 I just tried this, it is AWESOME, and so SIMPLE!

Tempest36 (author)2010-04-04

I just made this 5 minutes ago. I didn't have any rock salt, but then I remembered, when I first did this in high school, you could use table salt instead. So, I used a little over a 1/4 cup of regular table salt. The ice cream turned out just fine. It was so good my fiance had me make him some. Also, I wrapped the bag in a towel cause the bag gets very cold after a few minutes. Thanks for the 'ible. Satisfied my late night sweet tooth! :-D

portiapwnxyou (author)2010-04-02

Is this more of a sherbet texture or is it still creamy goodness?

pieman12 (author)2009-08-01

can you use fat free milk/lactose free milk???

thepelton (author)pieman122010-03-22

I know someone who is lactose intolerant.  They get coconut ice milk.

minime12358 (author)2009-09-27

Making this right know by putting rock salt + ice in my rock tumbler and then putting a zip lock in with it.

minime12358 (author)minime123582009-09-27

Btw i heard somewhere to put a little corn starch to thicken it.

dusty825 (author)2009-09-04

I let the kids do this all the time, it's a good way to keep them busy for a few minutes, and they always appreciate learning new things

About This Instructable



More by Labot2001:Floppy Disk Coaster holds 1.44MB of Your Favorite Beverage - Hot or Cold!Wine Bottle Lamp10-Minute Project: Cigar Box Charging Station
Add instructable to: