Who doesn’t love ice cream? Sure, some people don’t, but the vast majority of us consider ice cream to be the ultimate summertime sweet. As the hot summer months draw nearer, it’s good to think of ice cream not just in terms of a treat, but also in terms of expanding your business.
Ice cream sales can bring in a whole lot of business all-year-round, but of course, the greatest profit is made in the spring, summer, and early fall. Fortunately, selling ice cream is a relatively simple business to get into and there’s still time for you to get started.
Of course, the first thing to do will be to secure yourself a reliable supplier of all kinds of ice creams. Once that’s done, your next step is to figure out a way to store them safely in an accessible way so that your customers can pick and choose.
Finding the best ice cream freezer is going to help your business blossom. Getting a freezer may seem simple enough, but there are many things to take into account. Proper cooling of your stock is going to be crucial in gaining and retaining customers. Your ice cream has to be perfectly frozen to remain delicious & safe to eat.
Whether you own a shop or a restaurant, selling ice cream, if done correctly, can be a great source of income. Navigating the ins and outs of ice cream refrigeration can be a tricky process, so we’re here to make it a bit easier for you. Keep reading to learn all about ice cream freezers.
Table of Contents
- Is it worth it to buy an ice cream freezer?
- What does “ice cream refrigeration” really mean?
- How to properly use an ice cream freezer?
- How often to clean an ice cream freezer?
- What are the best ice cream freezer brands on the market?
Is it worth it to buy an ice cream freezer?
As we mentioned above, adding ice cream to the list of your wares can be a great way to boost sales. Ice cream refrigerators are usually found in most stores, restaurants, gas stations, and even out in the open during the summer months in tourist destinations. The numbers don’t lie — ice cream sells, and it’s an easy way to generate extra profit.
You may think that ice cream can be sold out of the same freezer that you store other produce in, but it’s likely not true. Freezers suited to the storage of meat or frozen meals are adjusted to different temperatures.
Storing ice cream the wrong way can have an adverse effect on its taste, consistency, texture, and best-before. If you want to secure returning customers and appeal to the masses, you need to make sure that your ice creams are stored in the best possible conditions.
It’s true that buying a professional-grade refrigerator is an investment, but the returns are usually quick and painless. You may need an employee if you’re selling ice cream by the scoop, but for pre-packaged ice creams, all you need to do is restock when they’re sold out.
Almost every business sees a good return on their ice cream freezer investment — keep that in mind when you make your choice.
What does “ice cream refrigeration” really mean?
Ice cream refrigeration covers all types of freezers and other ways to securely store ice cream.
There is no specific type of ice cream that would fall under this category. The ice cream stored in these freezers may be in tubs, boxes, come in the form of cones or other types of ice creams on a stick, or even be stored in open containers and sold by portions.
Ice cream freezers don’t vary much from regular freezers used to store other types of products. However, they do come with a few changes that guarantee the safe and secure storage of ice cream in particular.
How to properly use an ice cream freezer?
Many factors add up to the proper storage of ice cream. The first thing for you to consider is the type of freezer you’ll be using. Next, you will need to adapt the temperatures to the freezer, but also to the kind of ice cream you’re storing.
Once you manage to safely store your ice creams without running into the very unwelcome issue of freezer burn, there are other things to keep in mind. For example, how long can you store ice cream for? How often to clean your freezer?
We will address all of these concerns in our guide below.
Types of ice cream freezers
In general, these refrigerators can be split into two sub-categories: storage freezers and display freezers. The common ground between these two types is that they both generate even and consistent cooling. Ice cream can be a little difficult in terms of temperatures — you don’t want it to be too warm, but you also don’t want it to be too cold or it may lose its taste or texture.
Storage freezers are often used for ice creams that are stored in tubs, boxes, or wrappers. These rectangular refrigerators are flat and have sliding glass-window openings at the top. The body of the freezer can be painted over, allowing for advertising space or simply decoration. They typically achieve lower temperatures.
These freezers are usually used for selling ice cream by the portion. The ice cream is stored in open, metallic tubs, and then scooped out to serve to customers. This type of refrigerator will often feature a sloped interior, allowing the customer to have an easier time picking out different flavors of ice creams. These offer sub-zero temperatures, but the temps are slightly higher than in a storage freezer.
Within the above categories, you will find sub-types of ice cream freezers such as:
- Upright cabinets
- Serve over counters
- Chest freezers
These types vary by how the ice cream is stored and displayed, so make sure you pick the type that best suits your business.
How long to store ice cream for?
There is a running misconception that ice cream can be stored near indefinitely. Sadly, that is simply not true. It’s true that ice cream takes a long time to go “bad”, but that doesn’t mean the taste will be any good after a certain number of months.
Keep in mind that the most important thing is to store ice cream at the right temperature. Next, consider the manufacturer’s best-before date. With all that in mind, here’s a set of handy guidelines on how long you can store ice cream.
- Gelato: a maximum of 1-2 months
- Sorbet: around 2-4 months
- Granita: no more than 2-3 weeks
- Regular ice cream: no more than 3 months
- Frozen yogurt: no more than 3 months
What temperatures to store ice cream in?
The temperatures that you will be able to achieve will vary based on the type of freezer that you buy. The key, regardless of the type of fridge, is to achieve consistent temperatures.
Fluctuating temperatures are the bane of every ice-cream seller’s day. They may cause the formation of large ice crystals which then, in turn, lower the quality of your ice cream. This is why you shouldn’t raise or lower the temperatures too quickly.
Another issue stems from storing ice cream for too long. We’re sure you’ve seen this before — freezer burn on ice cream is very distinctive. Once this appears on your stock, you can’t use it or sell it anymore and you have to get rid of it.
To avoid the formation of crystals and the risk of freezer burn, take it step by step and allow your freezer to slowly rise or fall in temp.
The recommended temperatures per freezer type are as follows:
- Display freezers generally operate at around -12°C to -18°C. In such relatively high temperatures, the ice cream is just soft enough to be easily scooped but still ice-cold.
- Storage freezers generate lower temperatures of around -14°C to -24°C. Ideally, aim for temperatures below 18°C when using these.
How often to clean an ice cream freezer?
Servicing and maintenance is something you need to get into the habit of once you purchase an ice cream freezer. Your main guide here should be food safety laws in your location, but also basic rules of hygiene.
If your freezer is open to customers, there will be dozens, if not hundreds, of fingerprints left on it each and every day. That’s why cleaning must be done regularly.
A lot of the maintenance can be performed by you and your staff. Make sure to use top-quality sanitary products for this. However, every 6 to 12 months, consider employing a qualified refrigeration engineer to run full maintenance on your freezer. Remember that it’s always cheaper to prevent than to fix, so regular check-ups for the freezer should be adhered to.
What are the best ice cream freezer brands on the market?
Now that you’re all clued up on the different kinds of freezers, the storage, and the maintenance, it’s time to talk about the brands that do it well. A good freezer is going to last you and your business for years and years, so it should be a well-thought-out investment.
We want to help you with your market research. To make things easier, we’ve prepared a list of some of the best ice cream freezers on the market.
Omcan 27941 50-inch Ice Cream Display Freezer
- Manufacturer's WARRANTY 1 Year Parts and Labor
- Manufactured with 13 cubic feet capacity for maximizing storage
Omcan is a brand well-known for its excellent freezing solutions. Present on the market for many years, they have manufactured countless ice cream freezers over the years. Combining their expertise with the market’s demands, they created this particular display freezer.
This refrigerator is spacious, offering up to 13 cubic feet in capacity. This makes it a professional-grade ice cream storage option. Due to the way it is built, your customers will easily be able to access the stock found inside by simply sliding the glass to the side.
The sliding doors can be locked, which is a good option for when your store is closed. This is especially crucial if you are considering storing the ice cream freezer outside (a common option for smaller shops). Simply lock up for the night and your stock is safe.
This freezer measures at 30 x 53 x 38 inches. It comes with four casters for added mobility, so even though it’s large, you won’t have any issues with pushing it from place to place.
Want to buy something made by real experts? Check out Omcan to aid your business.
40″ Glass Top Lid Sliding Door Display Freezer
The second brand on our list is Galaxy Equipment. With a capacity of 7.4 cubic feet, this freezer is smaller and will fit less spacious interiors.
If your business doesn’t have a lot of free floor space, you may need to consider a smaller solution. This display freezer by Galaxy Equipment has all the features of bigger models, but it does not take up that much space.
At the top, you will find two sliding doors that can be locked up for the night if needed. The inside features various carts, allowing you to store the ice cream in the most efficient and attractive way.
The surface of the freezer is coated in white paint and can be painted over. You might also consider adding a large sticker to liven up the otherwise somewhat plaint exterior.
As this is a display freezer, the temperatures will reach comfortable highs and lows that will keep your ice cream safe while maintaining a certain softness.
VBENLEM 250W Commercial Ice Cream Display Freezer
This freezer vastly varies from the above two. Why? Because this is a commercial-grade display freezer that will allow you to sell your ice cream by the scoop, maximizing profits even more.
While the previous two picks on our list merely store the ice cream that comes in its own container, this freezer will let you display certain flavors and sell them to-go as ice cream desserts, sundaes, or simply cones with a few scoops.
The most eye-catching factor in VBENLEM is, of course, the gorgeous display. By buying this, you get a large window glass that features a flat design. This makes it easier to see the stock and also allows it to stand out.
As the display is made out of tempered glass, it’s capable of locking the temperature — an exceedingly important feature in any ice cream storage solution. You’re also getting an efficient, top-quality Embarco compressor. This guarantees the three things you want the most in an ice cream freezer: longevity, low noise, and low energy consumption.
With proper care and the right cooling solution, you may be able to achieve great success by selling ice cream. As ice cream is a universal treat, you should be making a profit throughout the majority of the year. However, this won’t be possible without the best ice cream freezer.
As this is an easy business to get into, don’t wait! Research all the particulars and get started today with a brand new freezer.