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!
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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! ;]
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stephanieë16 months ago

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

I think
leannmaestas3 months ago
I think so ?
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-kun3 years ago
Simple yet efective! Nothing more to declare!
sspidle3 years ago
can I add a coffee creamer to this recipe? I have single serve coffee creamers that are amertto and it would be delicious!
dodo913 years ago
I added 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder... ganna see how it tastes later!
Nihilistic5 years ago
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?
I've used table salt plenty of times since I don't have any rock salt.
ElvenChild4 years ago
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!
batman964 years ago
 I just tried this, it is AWESOME, and so SIMPLE!

Tempest365 years ago
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
Is this more of a sherbet texture or is it still creamy goodness?
pieman125 years ago
can you use fat free milk/lactose free milk???

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

minime123585 years ago
Making this right know by putting rock salt + ice in my rock tumbler and then putting a zip lock in with it.
Btw i heard somewhere to put a little corn starch to thicken it.
dusty8255 years ago
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
firefliie5 years ago
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?
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.
dainegirly5 years ago
You might want to put the ice cream mixture that's in a bag into another bag. In my experience, this prevents you from having salty ice cream.
cheesphht6 years ago
What about the cream?!!!
in the milk
(removed by author or community request)
I thought cotton candy taste good... Hmm.... that gives me an idea... -PKT
cool man6 years ago
Tastes real good, Im eating it right now.
Yum ill be back with results
jany6 years ago
How long does it take for the zip lock bag method of rocking?
Labot2001 (author)  jany6 years ago
No more than a few minutes.
Kaiven6 years ago
maybe you could drill a whole in the jar lid, put a metal dowel with something like a eggbeater, then add a crank on the top. you could effectively churn the icercream this way every thirty minutes
That's a pretty good idea. If you drill the hole cleanly. Metal shards don't taste all that good...
Well, I think I would plan on using a dremel to smooth the edges.
zonemad966 years ago
im about to try it with a glass with a foil lid be back with the results
IF I CAN WAIT THE LIKE 3+ HOURS "smashes head on desk" AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Great Recipe! We didn't have any ice cream so i looked and found your recipe. Thanks A Lot :D
locofocos6 years ago
I'm about to try to make some with dry ice! I remember a while back in popsci in the how2.0 section they showed you how to make ice cream either with liuid nitrogen or with dry ice. I'll just do the steps here, except substitute ice and salt for dry ice. It's a lot colder than normal ice, so it shouldn't need salt.
Hmm.. wooty32 is right. It's more like frozen milk and sugar and vanilla. I think it really needs cream instead of milk. I'll try some half and half once I can get some... and some more dry ice. There's a little left, but not really enough to make ice cream with.
w00ty327 years ago
im in the process to make some of the jar method stuff, i hope i turns out well...(im gonna add some of my home made granola- I should post an instructable on that....) Oh, and why are you making ice cream if you have some already? is it just or this instructable?
w00ty32 w00ty327 years ago
i made some, it inst as much ice cream as frozen milk. till good though.
PKM7 years ago
Hmm.. I think in preparation for summer the homemade icecream folks like yourself need to get together with the experimental soda folks (like Cool Fool here, and whip up (no pun intended) some great new flavours. Mmmm.. parsley and lemon ice cream.

If you are using the Ziploc method, does it freeze better if you put the bag of milk/sugar/vanilla in the fridge or freezer first to cool down before you freeze it? Just a thought.
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