A Quick Guide to Ice Cream Overrun

What is overrun?

Ice Cream overrun refers to the amount of air that is incorporated into ice cream during the churning process. A higher level of overrun will result more ice cream being produced at the end of churning. Ice cream manufacturers love overrun. It means they can sell a tub of ice cream; half of that being air! It’s a great way to reduce costs. Governments, however, regulate how much overrun can be incorporated into commercially made ice cream to ensure customers aren’t “ripped off” excessively.

An ice cream with 100% overrun: means air has doubled the quantity of the ice cream from when the ice cream base was first added to the machine.

An ice cream with 50% overrun: means air has increased the quantity of the ice cream by 1.5 times from when the ice cream base was first added to the machine.

  • An ice cream with high overrun tends to be lighter, warmer and melt more slowly. Ice cream with low overrun is a denser, colder texture and melts more quickly. Manufacturers of premium brand ice cream have a lower overrun. 

Commercial v domestic overrun

Overrun will vary depending on the type and brand of ice cream machine used. A commercial machine has dashers that rotate at 100+ rpm and can create a lot of air. The end result is ice cream with as high as 150% overrun. Domestic ice cream makers such as a Cuisinart could be as low as 20% as their dashers are much smaller and slower.

Ice Cream Overrun

  1. Low Overrun 20%
  2. High Overrun 150%

Gelato Overrun

  1. Low Overrun 20%
  2. High Overrun 60%

The impact of overrun on ice cream recipes

It’s important to keep overrun in mind when you’re making ice cream at home. The yield quantity that I state in my recipes may not yield the same for you. This is because overrun varies by ice cream maker. The more you use your ice cream maker at home, the better you’ll understand the overrun you can expect from your finished product.

2 Replies to "A Quick Guide to Ice Cream Overrun"

  • 10 Tips to Improve Ice Cream - Creamish June 10, 2016 (8:24 pm)

    […] Don’t overfill your ice cream machine and, if possible, keep your ice cream base below the maximum fill line. Domestic ice cream machines can’t deal with the extra volume and you’ll usually end up with slushy ice cream which will freeze with extra ice crystals. You’ll also need to allow for overrun. […]

  • How to Make Mason Jar Ice Cream | Fun 5 Minute Recipe | Creamish September 26, 2017 (12:47 pm)

    […] was a very creamy ice cream. As an ice cream machine wasn’t used there wasn’t a lot of overrun which meant it was very dense. You’ll need to let it sit out of the freezer for 10 minutes+ […]

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