Choosing Your Ice Cream Freezer

Do you own a restaurant? If you’re looking to add ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, or sorbet to the menu, you’re going to want a high-quality ice cream freezer. A lot of restaurant owners choose to add ice cream to their menus because it brings in a lot of revenue. It’s the perfect dessert or any time throughout the day. How does your business serve ice cream?

Once you’ve decided to bring ice cream into your business, there are a few basic ideas you need to remember. First, ice cream is perishable if not stored properly. While the ice cream may still be edible, there will be changes to the flavor and texture, both of which are really important to serving good ice cream. You’ll want to keep your freezer between -10 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the ice cream to stay cold and keeps ice crystals at bay. When it’s time to serve the ice cream, you’ll want your freezer to be between -10 and 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

One thing most restaurant owners don’t know is that stuffing your ice cream freezer to capacity isn’t always the best for the ice cream you serve. Instead, store your ice cream and other products below the freezer line. This keeps the ice cream fresh, cold, and tasting the best for your customers.

1. Different Treats

Ice cream is best stored at a slightly colder temperature. This keeps it harder and keeps the right texture and flavor until it’s served. If you can keep your ice cream at this temperature, an open container should last between 1-2 months. Unopened, it can last 2-3 months.

Gelato is much softer than ice cream and should be stored and served at a warmer temperature than ice cream. Ideal freezer conditions should keep an open container of gelato good for about 2 weeks or a month. Unopened, it can store up to six months.

Frozen Yogurt, or Froyo, is different from ice cream and gelato. Ice cream and gelato are made with cream, and froyo is made with milk. This lowers the fat content of the product and affects the storage conditions. An open container of Froyo can last in your freezer for up to a month and can be stored unopened for 2-3 months.

Finally, sorbet is a completely different product. Sorbet is dairy-free, made by mixing sweetened water and fruit purees. Because of this, sorbet is much lower in calories and fat content. An open container of sorbet can be stored from 1-2 months, and unopened can store 2-4 months.

2. Different Freezers

There are a lot of different types of freezers you could choose from for your restaurant. It’s important that you pick the right freezer to fit the product you’ll sell. Serving the wrong product out of a freezer can negatively impact the texture, and might give you a bad reputation for serving melty ice cream, or hard gelato.

One of the most popular types of ice cream freezers are dipping cabinets. These have glass tops, allowing customers to see the different flavors of ice cream they have to choose from, but still, allow you easy access from the backside. Most dipping cabinets can hold between 3-39 containers of ice cream, and come in full-service or self-service options.

There are also gelato dipping cabinets. These differ from ice cream dipping cabinets slightly. Since gelato is usually served in trays, there is less deep space to store the product in. It still allows for holding multiple flavors, and glass tops keep the customers viewing the gelato, and allows you to serve from the back. It also is optimized to keep the gelato at the right temperature, allowing you to serve soft and creamy gelato.

Glass-top display freezers are perfect for selling frozen novelties, like popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. They’re small enough (4-19 cu ft) to be close to a checkout stand in a grocery store, or anywhere you’d like them to go. The double glass doors help maintain a constant internal temperature, despite them being constantly opened.

Commercial chest freezers are another popular type of freezer. Many people purchase these for home use, but they also work well in commercial settings. They’re very insulated, which keeps the products inside cold. They can be used anywhere from convenience stores to ice cream shops. They typically have 5-20 cu ft of storage space.

A lot of creameries and ice cream shops choose to invest in an ice cream hardening cabinet. This is great for businesses who make their ice cream on-site and want to finish hardening the freshly made ice cream. It can hold 20-40 containers of ice cream and is built to last without frequent, intense cleaning, or servicing.

Finally, some restaurants choose drop-in freezers. These typically sit inside the counter and allow customers to receive their products quickly after paying. They’re a popular choice for concession stands and snack shops. They’re made with stainless steel, which helps preserve cold temperatures and wipe clean easily.

3. Different Accessories

There are a lot of different accessories to choose from for your new ice cream freezer. You can get a frost top, or cold slab unit, providing a perfect cold surface to mix in customers' ice cream toppings before serving them. There are also sneeze guards, frost shields, can holders, tub covers, and more.

If you dream of having ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, or sorbet in your restaurant, you’re going to need a good ice cream freezer. There are a lot of good options for different kinds of freezers. Do you need an ice cream dipping cabinet or a cold slab? At GoFoodservice, we can help you find the best product that will meet and fill your needs. Have questions on which one is right for you? Contact us today and we’ll help you get the ice cream freezer you need.

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