Ice cream makers fall into three general categories. One type uses a steel container surrounded by a mix of rock and ice in a small barrel. The mix of cream, sugar and flavorings–often called a custard–is poured into the steel container and it is sealed with a lid that has a motor on top and churning paddles below. The motor is turned on and the process is underway. This type of ice cream maker will make four to six quarts of ice cream, depending upon the model. Those interested can still find a hand crank version of this style ice cream maker.
Another kind of ice cream maker uses a double walled bowl that contains a liquid that freezes at a temperature lower than the freezing point of water. It is stored in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator until it is frozen solid. Then the churning paddles are placed inside it, the custard is added, it is sealed and either the bowl turns or the paddles turn to produce the ice cream. Typically, the amount of ice cream is a quart and a half.
A third model has its own freezer compartment. The custard is added, it is sealed and the churning begins. It should have a dedicated location as it is not particularly easy to move. This type machine makes about two quarts. The lid can be removed to add other ingredients.
The frozen bowl variety are available for twenty-five to forty dollars, the barrel style, often placed on a porch or patio when in use, can range up to about 150 while those with a freezer compartment can fetch as much as 500.
Crepe makers are more of a niche item than ice cream makers. People with experience can use a skillet with a non-stick surface on a stove top.
There are also electric griddle models. Some have a slight dome. After heating up, it is inverted and dipped into the crepe batter, then turned right side up to complete the cooking process. Others are round and flat. The crepe chef will use a flat, wood tool to spread the batter over the griddle. In all cases, cooking time is short.