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Do I seriously need a food processor to prepare ice cream?

I just got my ice cream maker today from costco.com. I don't feel like blowing over a hundred on a food processor, yet.

Does using a blender make any difference in the taste? And what setting is the best? I have an Osterizer 14 speed blender.


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  1. Who told you that you need a food processor for ice cream?

    1. I make ice cream all the time, and I use neither a food processor nor a blender - just a saucepan and the ice cream maker.

      1. I make ice cream fairly often. the most complicated piece of equipment involved is a zip lock bag.

        1. You do not need a food processor or a blender. You need an arm, a bowl, and (for cooked custard styles) a saucepan as ricepad noted. Maybe a strainer for a smooth custard base (though I often forgo that step). Enjoy your ice cream maker! Lots of threads--past and present--on homemade ice cream.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nofunlatte

            I don't usually make custard-style ice cream, but I still use the saucepan to scald the mix before cooling and putting it in the ice cream maker.

          2. The only reason for a blender is if you want to puree fruit to use as a flavour base.

            1. Someone is pulling your leg. I have never used a food processor or blender in conjunction with making ice cream, even fruit ice creams.

              Could you explain, please. I'll bet I'm not the only one who is confused by this advice.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Sherri

                Oh, it's just that the "Vegan Scoop" book I got tells me to put some things in a food processor, like fruit, nuts, vegetables and herbs/spices that will be mixed with the remaining ingredients in a saucepan or mixing bowl. BUT sometimes the book tells me to puree fruit in a BLENDER instead. So, i was wondering what the difference was between using blenders and food processors when making ice cream.

                Same thing with the little booklet that comes with some recipes. This booklet, however, will say food processor with S blade OR blender, with a condition like blending only two cups at a time.

                1. re: sirahola

                  Your book "Vegan Scoop" implies using non-dairy products to make ice cream. I use cream & milk, have no experience making non-dairy ice cream in my machine so can offer no input in your query, I (wrongly) assumed that you were making traditional ice cream using milk, cream and maybe eggs.

                  Non-dairy sorbets can be made easily without machinery of any kind.

                  1. re: sirahola

                    The Voluptuous Vegan has a few frozen dessert recipes (ice "cream" and sorbet). Two of them do call for a blender, but that's to make the cashew milk that will be used in the base. I imagine you could simply replace that step with almond milk or the like. Veganomicon has a recipe for vanilla ice cream, made with tofu, as well as variations. This calls for a blender (to puree the base). If you do decide to buy an extra appliance, a decent blender can be had for much cheaper than $100! A mix of tofu, soymilk, and sugar isn't going to require some megamotor--should be easily pureed by a standard blender. If your recipes do call for tofu, that will need to be pureed with the other ingredients.

                    1. re: sirahola

                      I don't think the recipe police will come after you if you defy the instructions to use a food processor or blender, and just chop everything with a knife. They haven't gotten me yet.

                      1. re: irishnyc

                        Oh, no, I'll bet the recipe police are reading this thread and they'll be duly noting this in your FBI (Food Bureau of Investigation) files, irishnyc.

                        Thanks for the chuckle!

                  2. 99% of the time I don't use a blender. But for uncooked ice cream it does make a slight difference.
                    There is one double chocolate recipe that I will beat / whip the eggs, sugar, and cocoa to get it really light and airy. Then I stir in the cream and proceed with the Donvier as per usual.

                    The extra step does make the ice cream a bit 'creamier', but I wouldn't go out and buy a mixer / food processor just for this operation and for the most part I don't bother.


                    you can see video of me making this ice cream on my website.

                    1. A few days ago I made fresh blueberry ice cream. It is the best ice cream I have ever made that did not have eggs in the recipe. I used my stick blender to squish the blueberries in the mixture. Then I drain and squeezed through a sieve. It came out wonderfully smooth and very blueberry tasting. For apricots and strawberries, sometimes I get the blender out, but I have never used the food processor for ice cream. Since I like my fruit ice cream chunky, the stick blender works just fine, and is much easier to clean.

                      Here is the recipe I used.