How to Use a Rival Electric Ice Cream Maker

Homemade chocolate ice cream
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Making homemade ice cream, fruity sorbet, or frozen yogurt for your family can be lots of fun during the hot summer months. If you don't have your instruction manual, here are instructions on how to use your Rival Ice Cream Maker to make cold and creamy ice cream and other frozen desserts at home.

The Rock Salt Model

These instructions are for the traditional style of ice cream maker. It uses rock salt and ice in an outer bucket and churns the ice cream in a chilled canister. While these models are electric (no more hand-cranking required), Rival has also made ice cream makers that use gel-filled canisters. Those models are more like a small appliance, automatically churning ice cream in the frozen canister without the need for salt and ice. Since the method is different for the gel models, it's recommended that you visit the manufacturer's website for operating instructions.

Preparing the Ice Cream

You'll get the best results out of your ice cream maker if you plan ahead:

  • Prepare your favorite ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt recipe. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
  • Cool the canister of the ice cream maker in the refrigerator while the mixture is chilling.
  • Make sure you have plenty of crushed ice and rock salt ready.

Any recipe can be made lower fat by changing the main ingredient—the milk or cream. Substitute 1 percent milk for whole milk, whole milk for half-and-half, and evaporated skim milk or half-and-half for cream. Make these adjustments according to your personal preference. Keep in mind that the more fat in the mixture, the smoother and creamier the texture. Lower-fat recipes result in a refreshing lighter dessert with a less creamy texture.

Using the Ice Cream Maker

When everything is properly chilled, it's time to make ice cream!

  1. Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into the cooled ice cream canister.
  2. Fill the ice cream canister 3/4 full. The mixture will expand during the churning process, so do not overfill it.
  3. Insert the dasher, making sure it is positioned correctly into the canister indentation.
  4. Place the cover on the ice cream canister.
  5. Place the filled canister in the bucket, making sure it is centered and engages with the bottom of the bucket. 
  6. Place the motor driver over the ice cream canister cover so that the stem of the dasher engages with the hole in the bottom of the motor driver.
  7. Plug the ice cream maker into an outlet.
  8. While the unit is running, add 2 inches of crushed ice to the bottom of the bucket.
  9. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup rock salt over the crushed ice.
  10. Continue layering crushed ice and rock salt until the ice level reaches the top of the rotating ice cream canister.
  11. Wait about 20 to 40 minutes for the ice cream maker to stop churning. The ice cream will be soft at this stage.
  12. Remove the motor driver and then remove the canister.
  13. Carefully clean the lid of the canister to prevent salt or water from entering the canister.
  14. Lift out the dasher and scrape it clean with a spatula.
  15. Pack down the ice cream in the canister and replace the lid.
  16. Place the ice cream canister in the freezer for several hours until the ice cream hardens.
  17. Transfer the completed ice cream to smaller freezer containers or enjoy immediately.


  • Add more crushed ice and rock salt as needed while the machine is churning.
  • If you are away from a freezer, drain the salted water and add fresh crushed ice. Cover the unit with a kitchen towel to keep it cold.
  • There is a drain hole on the side of the bucket that allows the salted water to drain out of the bucket. If it becomes blocked while the unit is running, clear the blockage.
  • If the unit jams during operation, unplug it and twist the canister a few times. Plug the unit back in and continue making ice cream.