What’s the Best Ice Cream Maker for Camping?

Lets’ face it, going camping, you want to experience the relative calm of the woods, and ‘disconnect’ from the bustle of towns. This means you probably won’t be really interested in having to find electrical outlets with which to power some appliances.

In the world of today, this doesn’t stop you from doing a number of things such as cook without a proper flame using solar powered cookers; to find your way in the dark with a high powered torch that doesn’t even use batteries; to keep in touch with all the news in the world using a wind-up radio.

Luckily for us, ice cream lovers, the nerds who invent these things have also made an ice cream maker that requires NO ELECTRICITY to produce creamy delights.

While cooking may be possible using a a solar cooker, making ice cream outdoors without power will require that you have a gadget that:-

a.        Doesn’t run on electricity (d’uh!)
b.        Is light weight
c.        Is relatively easy to prepare the frozen treat
d.        Makes an appreciable amount of ice cream
e.        Speedy cleaning up
f.         Cost effective

Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? Well I found a gizmo that does all that does all that and more. It’s the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker (Ice Cream Ball). This brightly coloured plastic ball has the ‘power’ to make you either a pint or a whole quart of ice cream in between 20 and 30 minutes with absolutely no electrical power.

Ice cream is made in this appliance by an agitating motion. You may have experienced this, as a kid, with the hand-cranked ice cream makers of days gone by, but this one eliminates the need to crank and crank and crank and… You get the idea.

I hear you ask, ‘How then is this the best ice cream maker for camping’?

The Play and Freeze is made up of a sturdy polycarbonate (a type of light but strong plastic) ball with a one pint metal cylinder inside it.To use the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker, fill the ball with several cups of crushed ice and half a cup of salt (only about 80% of the capacity), then fill the cylinder with your chosen ice cream base; hand tighten the screw top hatch nice and tight.

Now the fun begins, you can shake, rattle and roll in as many directions as you can. (You can’t throw or kick this ball as it’s made of really strong plastic and you will most likely end up with a stubbed toe).

It’s this agitation of the ice cream base, whilst nestled in the cocoon of ice that turns it into ice cream. During breaks, scrape down the cylinder so that the harder ice cream that’s at the edges of the can will be mixed with the softer core.

NOTE: Be careful tough, the opening is a wee bit narrow and you shouldn’t use any metal objects. A plastic ice cream spoon will do just fine.

Re-pack the ball with more ice and do this again. This ensures that the whole batch freezes evenly.

This ice cream maker is available in 2 sizes :- the Original and the Mega. The Original makes only 1 pint at a time, while the Mega makes 1 quart with each use. Preparation takes 20 minutes when using the Original and 10 minutes more when using the Mega Ice Cream Ball Maker. Also, when full, the Mega weighs up to 9lbs. Instant Workout, anyone?

With the smaller, Original, you won’t get more than 2 cups per batch, but with the Mega, you can feed up to 5 people with healthy portions of dessert. This plastic ball is really durable and comes in many different colours. Enjoy as many delicious treats as you can with the included recipe book.

This baby makes delicious soft serve consistency that you can enjoy ANYWHERE. Whether you are going out on a boat, a day at the park with your kiddos, hiking up a mountain, out to the beach or simply camping in the woods and you want some delicious ice cream, you can’t go wrong with the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker (Ice Cream Ball), available on Amazon for a bargain price.


#randomfact – The Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker received the Seal of Approval from The National Parenting Center in November, 2007. After undergoing careful review and testing by parents, educators, and panelists, it was awarded high marks for fun and design.


Photo Credit: delicious ice cream outdoors

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