Save Your Coffee Cans For A Cool Homemade Ice Cream Maker

Home ice cream makers can be an expensive purchase, ranging from $50 to well over $200 depending on the model. Despite the potentially high price tag, these gadgets are quite appealing. After all, who wouldn't want to make their own ice cream on demand? These machines allow you to create nearly any kind of frozen treat you'd like and in a seemingly limitless combination of flavors. Peach and honey? No problem. Peanut butter and jelly? Go right ahead.

But believe it or not, you don't actually need a special device to pull off your own frozen delights. It all starts with two items you may already have in your home –- coffee cans. More specifically, to start this project, you will need two differently sized coffee cans,  with one small enough to fit inside the other. It's the first step to making ice cream in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Get two differently-sized coffee cans

Before you start, be sure to clean the smaller coffee can thoroughly. Otherwise, your ice cream may take on a coffee flavor. You will also want to ensure that there's a significant size difference between the two coffee cans, as you will be filling the space between them with ice and rock or ice cream salt. Consider using a three-pound can as the larger one and a one-pound can for the smaller one. 

It might take a little effort to locate ice cream salt, but it's definitely worth it for this project if you can find it at nationwide retailers such as Walmart.

You'll also want to have duct tape on hand as well, as sealing the small can tightly is a key part of successfully making ice cream this way. After all, you don't want any leaks once you start the ice cream making process.

Get ready to roll

Once you've got all your materials in place, it's time to start thinking about your ice cream flavors. You can go for a simple vanilla ice cream base, which is typically made with heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and a dash of salt. This is just a starting point, however. Consider mixing in pureed fruit of your choice. You can also play with small amounts of extracts, such as using mint extract along with chocolate chips to make your own mint chocolate chip ice cream. Or crush up some of your favorite cookies to create your own version of cookies and cream. The flavor options are nearly endless.

Once you've got your ice cream base all set, pour it into the smaller coffee can. Carefully seal it up with duct tape. Next, place the sealed container inside the larger coffee, then add the salt and ice to the space in between cans. 

Now you're ready to roll — literally. Roll the can back and forth for roughly 30 minutes on a towel-covered surface (just in case anything spills). By the end of this time, you should have delicious homemade ice cream.