So you finally got around to pulling your ice cream maker from the depths of your kitchen cabinet, and you're getting ready to churn up a batch of this cool, creamy treat. In addition to narrowing down your flavor options (so many choices!), there's one more task at hand: finding the right container to store the ice cream. Here are five choices that get the job done.
1. Specialty Ice Cream Container
There's a specialized product for just about everything, and that includes storing your batch of freshly churned homemade ice cream. These plastic containers are sturdy and reusable, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
But, with that said, you don't need this type of container for storing homemade cream — there are a lot of options you likely already have in your kitchen.
2. Freezer-Safe Plastic Containers
You know those Tupperware or Rubbermaid container you use for stashing soup and other make-ahead meals in the freezer? They work just as well for storing ice cream, and they're a lot cheaper than those specialty containers. Added bonus: They're sturdy and stack well, so my freezer stays organized.
3. An Old Ice Cream Container
This is just one more reason to love those pints of gelato and sorbet that come in plastic pints: The containers are totally reusable. After you've polished off what's inside, wash the container well, then load it up with your freshly churned ice cream. Even though the container will be sealed with a lid, it's still a good idea to add a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper over the surface. Unfortunately those cardboard containers aren't up to the job for another spin in the freezer.
4. Loaf Pan
The very best thing about storing ice cream in a loaf pan is its shape. That long, rectangular pan makes an amazing runway for scooping up ice cream, and it's easy to stash in the freezer. A standard 9x5-inch loaf pan — go for metal or glass— can hold up to four pints of ice cream. While airtight containers are generally best, this is still a solid option, as long as you cover and wrap the ice cream well. Press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over the surface of the ice cream, then wrap the whole pan really well with plastic wrap to prevent crystallization and freezer burn.
5. Pie Pan
Pie pans are shallow with a wide surface area that makes them ideal for scooping, and a standard nine-inch pie pan holds up to approximately two pints of ice cream. While airtight containers are generally best, this is still a solid option as long as you cover and wrap. Press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over the surface of the ice cream, then wrap the whole pan really well with plastic wrap to prevent crystallization and freezer burn.