I Tried Making Ice Cream in the Instant Pot Blender — Here’s How It Went

published Jul 4, 2020
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Credit: Kelli Foster

When I first reviewed the Instant Pot Ace Blender nearly two years ago, I was initially impressed with all of its preset programs: one for making soup (that involved a heating element), one for crushing ice, and one for blending up homemade nut milk. But the one preset program I didn’t test out was the ice cream function. Now that summer is in full swing, I decided it was time to take it for a spin to see how it really works.

Making Ice Cream in the Instant Pot Ace Blender

First, let’s recap the more traditional method for making ice cream at home. Traditionally, homemade ice cream starts with either an egg-based custard or an eggless version that often relies on cream cheese, and contains an ample amount of both sugar and fat. The base is chilled in the refrigerator after it’s prepared, then churned in an ice cream maker until it has a consistency similar to soft serve.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Making ice cream in the Instant Pot Ace Blender is as simple as dumping in all the ingredients (in a specific order, but I’ll get to that in a minute), and pressing the ice cream function, which runs an 80-second chilled cycle.

There are a few small things that you do have to keep in mind, however. Unlike traditional homemade ice cream methods, most recipes for Instant Pot blender ice cream include a frozen ingredient — usually frozen fruit or frozen cubes of milk. The order that ingredients are added to the blender is also important, and this method works best when all liquid ingredients are added to the blender first, with frozen ingredients added last.

Credit: Kelli Foster

The Instant Pot Blender Ice Cream Recipes I Tried — And the Results

There aren’t nearly as many recipes for Instant Pot blender ice cream floating around the internet as I expected. I tried the two I found on the Instant Pot website: blueberry cheesecake ice cream (although I swapped in strawberries) and chocolate banana ice cream. Both recipes call for just five ingredients or fewer, including whole milk, a scant amount of sugar, instant pudding mix, and frozen fruit.

Despite including a frozen ingredient, there was so much milk that the blended mixture was thin and liquid-y, rather than the soft serve consistency I was expecting. To get that consistency, I found it was best to freeze the mixture for a couple of hours. (So I blended up the ingredients, let the chill cycle run, and then froze the mixture before scooping. Not exactly the seamless process I was promised, but not all that hard, either.)

When it comes to taste and consistency, it’s not a perfect stand-in for traditional homemade ice cream, but it was pretty good. And it was so simple to make. Both batches of Instant Pot blender ice cream were super refreshing, with a level of sweetness that didn’t go overboard. While the final consistency was decently creamy, it was also borderline flaky because of the low amount of added sugar.

Credit: Kelli Foster

My Final Thoughts on Instant Pot Blender Ice Cream

Will my Instant Pot Blender become my new go-to for making ice cream at home? Probably not. I’d be down to try it again, though, mashing up the recipes I tested with some ice cream maker in advance, and I like that making ice cream in this blender eliminates that step. (You just have to have some frozen fruit or milk in the freezer, but those things take up way less than room than a big bowl!)

Have you tried the ice cream feature on your Instant Pot Ace Blender? What’d you think?