Let’s face it, life can get really busy at times and the convenience of picking up a tub of ice cream from the shops is very appealing. It’s right there and in your hand, spoon at the ready and you can indulge as soon as you get home if indeed you manage to wait that long.
Who’s got time to make ice cream? Buy all the ingredients, prepare it all, then combine and churn, if you even own an ice cream maker. Making Homemade takes time and planning, versus just popping along to the shops and grabbing a tub or two, or three.
However, there is no doubt that there is something very special about making your own homemade ice cream and with a little organising and planning, you might find it’s far easier than you think. Plus homemade ice cream offers amazing health benefits, as you know exactly what goes into it.
Let’s check out the Pros and Cons of Homemade Ice Cream vs Shop-Bought ice Cream.
First and foremost Flavour and Taste
Homemade ice cream, without a doubt, has a unique taste that is different from shop-bought ice cream, the freshness of the produce used, and the evident lack of additives and extra sugars, become very apparent when comparing the two.
The great thing about Homemade Ice Cream is that it can be customised exactly to suit each one’s individual preferences and tastes. You can experiment with different flavours and ingredients to create a unique taste that is not available in shop-bought ice cream.
Shop-bought ice cream, on the other hand, has a consistent taste that is familiar and comforting to many people.
When it comes to the taste of homemade ice cream compared to shop-bought ice cream, there are a few key differences to consider. Here’s a breakdown of the taste factors:
- Homemade Ice Cream: One of the biggest advantages of making ice cream at home is the ability to customise the flavours exactly to your liking. You have complete control over the ingredients and can experiment with different flavour combinations. Whether it’s adding fresh fruits, nuts, or chocolate chunks, homemade ice cream allows for endless flavour possibilities. Allowing you to tailor the ice cream to your personal preferences and dietary restrictions.
- Shop-Bought Ice Cream: Shop-bought ice cream offers a wide range of flavours to choose from, often created by professional ice cream makers. These flavours are carefully crafted to appeal to a broad consumer base and consistency of those flavours, in order to meet the brand’s appeal is an absolute must. While there is a variety of flavours available, they may not be as customisable as homemade ice cream.
Next up has got to be Goodness/Nutrition.
Ingredients: When it comes to ingredients, homemade ice cream has an added advantage over shop-bought ice cream. With homemade ice cream, you can avoid the ingredients that many shop-bought brands add to stabilise the cream, i.e. thicken it up, and keep it from crystallising.
Quality Control: With Homemade Ice Cream you have the freedom to choose high-quality ingredients. You can opt for fresh, organic dairy products, real fruits, and natural colourings and flavourings. This can result in more wholesome and flavourful ice cream.
Many popular brands like Ben & Jerry’s add guar gum and carrageenan to their ice cream (questions have been raised over the toxicity of these ingredients in high doses). These are two of the less offensive supplemental ingredients that are consistently added to shop-bought ice cream.
The simplicity of homemade ice cream is incredible. Just take a look at our Tropical Mango Ice Cream which requires only 3 ingredients!
You have 100% confidence in knowing exactly what goes into your homemade ice cream.
Whereas, pick up a tub of shop-bought ice cream and take note of the seemingly never-ending list of ingredients. Half of which you might even struggle to pronounce!
Making ice cream at home ensures there are no additives, preservatives, colourings, stabilisers, flavour enhancers etc, whereas there’s no guarantee of what you’re getting with shop-bought ice creams.
Freshness: Making ice cream at home allows you to enjoy the freshness of the ingredients. You can use seasonal fruits and ingredients, ensuring that your ice cream is made with the best produce available.
This can enhance the overall taste and flavour of your homemade ice cream. You can use ripe fruits, herbs, and spices to create vibrant and refreshing flavours that are not always available in shop-bought options
Whereas shop-bought Ice Cream goes through a manufacturing and distribution process, which can affect its freshness. While efforts are made to maintain the quality of the ice cream, it may not have the same level of freshness as homemade ice cream.
Homemade ice cream is generally cheaper to prepare than shop-bought ice cream. The cost of shop-bought ice cream varies depending on the brand and type of ice cream you are purchasing. However, even for the most basic of ice cream flavours like vanilla, homemade ice cream is cheaper to prepare.
If you are particularly partial to indulging in premium or speciality flavours, you can make larger batches of homemade ice cream for a fraction of the cost of shop-bought options.
Homemade Ice Cream: The texture of homemade ice cream can be creamier and smoother compared to shop-bought ice cream. This is because homemade ice cream is often churned at a slower speed, resulting in smaller ice crystals and a denser texture. The slower churning process allows for a more luxurious mouthfeel.
Whereas shop-bought ice cream is churned at a much higher speed than homemade ice cream. Commercial machines are designed to whip lots of air into the ice cream, as much as legally possible in some cases. Consequently, homemade ice cream will not have as much fluffiness to it as the ice creams you buy in the supermarket.
Shop-bought ice cream is more convenient than homemade ice cream, this is a given. You can buy it from the shops and enjoy it immediately without any preparation. Homemade ice cream, on the other hand, requires preparation time and effort.
You need to buy the ingredients, prepare them, mix them together, and churn them in an ice cream maker. This can be time-consuming and requires planning ahead.
Both homemade and shop-bought ice cream have their pros and cons. Homemade ice cream is cheaper, healthier, and allows for customisation. However, Homemade ice cream requires preparation time and effort.
Shop-bought ice cream is more convenient and has a consistent taste and texture. However, shop-bought ice creams are likely to contain additives and can frequently be more expensive.
We lined up a couple of shop-bought ice creams versus a couple of homemade ice creams and tried these on some unknowing friends and family. The result was a resounding win for Homemade Ice Cream. Flavour, creaminess, and texture were all noted as the winning factor.
Advantages of making homemade ice cream
As detailed above, the obvious benefits of making your own homemade ice cream are flavour and taste, nutrition and goodness, quality control of produce used, and freshness, but there are some more benefits too;
Healthier Options: By making ice cream at home, you have the flexibility to create healthier versions. You can use alternative sweeteners, reduce the amount of sugar, or choose dairy-free options to accommodate specific dietary needs or preferences.
Fun and Creativity: Making homemade ice cream can be a fun and creative activity for individuals or families. It allows you to experiment with different recipes, flavours, and techniques, providing a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment.
It’s a great skill to involve the kids in too. Children can gain so much knowledge by weighing out ingredients, preparing fresh fruits, and bringing these all together, to master their own delicious, healthy creations!
And of course, they get to enjoy the fruits of their labours and you know what they are eating is healthy and quality. A win-win situation all round.
In summary, homemade ice cream offers the advantage of flavour customisation, the use of high-quality ingredients, and the ability to create a creamier texture. On the other hand, shop-bought ice cream provides a wide range of flavours and is super convenient.
Ultimately, the taste preference between homemade and shop-bought ice cream is subjective and depends on individual preferences.
We hope you enjoyed our article comparing the pros and cons of Homemade Ice Cream vs Shop Bought. We’d love to hear your thoughts on which is your preference. Do drop us a comment below if you have any questions.