FAQ | World's First At-Home Automatic Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker


Q: Can I make my own soft serve mix, or use other soft serve mixes I find online?

A: Absolutely YES! Visit our Recipes blog and follow us on Facebook to see tried-and-true recipes we fully endorse for your soft serve machine! You can also use other brands of Soft Serve Ice Cream mix in the SX1000. Just be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions and only pour in 3 ½ cups of the mixture into the machine. Adding any more than 3 ½ cups of a mix into the machine could cause damage to internal components.

Q: Can I use ice cream recipes I find online in the SX1000?

A: Not really. Soft serve is a different animal than hard scoop ice cream. It's much lower in fat, which keeps it from turning to butter when churned vigorously.  Soft serve ice cream is about 8-11% butterfat; super-premium ice cream has anywhere from 16-29% butterfat.

If there is too much butterfat in your soft serve mix, the machine's centrifuge action causes the butterfat to ball up and spin away from the molecules binding it. We call this “buttering out.” When you eat ice cream that has “buttered out,” you taste little pearls of legit butter. So you want to keep the soft serve mix at a butterfat level underneath the threshold of “buttering out” caused by the centrifugal force of the spinning blade.

The next major difference between soft serve and ice cream is the amount of overrun in the two products. Overrun is the the technical name for the amount of air that is whipped into the mix. Most ice cream is at 20% overrun—the volume of the liquid is increased 20%. Soft serve is around 40%, maybe higher.

Q: How is the SX1000 different than other home ice cream machines (like the Cuisinart Soft Serve machine)?

A: All other home ice cream machines contain a coolant (usually hidden in the walls of a bowl) that can go a bit below freezing, but not much.  This coolant also takes a full 12 to 24 hours to freeze to that temperature. After you use the bowl to make a batch of ice cream, it has to be eaten immediately. And if you want to make a 2nd batch, forget about it! You have to refreeze the bowl for another 12 to 24 hours.

These home soft serve machines are essentially toys that make cold whipped stuff. It isn’t bad, but it's not actually soft serve. To get “real” soft serve, you need to get the ice cream down to about 19° F and do it in about a minute.

The SX1000 freezes internally, so you can make a batch (or half batch) of ice cream, then leave it in the machine for a few hours until you are ready to start eating it. You can make batch after batch, as the system freezes internally versus freezing the bowls in your own refrigerator.  It's the first of its kind for home use, and we think it's pretty great.

Q: How much total liquid mix should be added to the SX1000?

A: Do not add any more than 3 ½ total cups of liquid to the SX1000 at any time. The machine's churning will cause the liquid to expand to 1 ¼ quarts so any more liquid will be detrimental to the operation of the machine.

Q: Can I run the machine with less mix to make smaller quantities?

A: Yes, but you will need to adjust the setting number by trial and error. It will take less time to freeze smaller quantities, but by all means: yes!

Q: The display says OL. What does that mean?

A: OL means the motor has overloaded. If you leave a bit of ice cream in the machine in KEEP FRESH mode and pour in new mix to prepare a second batch, the machine will not process the batch since the barrel is already cold. The machine will not process the second batch and will display OL. This prevents the motor burning out. To correct this issue, press the STOP button to turn off the refrigeration. You may need to power down the machine and wait for 5 minutes to let the core warm up. The unit will automatically reset from this protection mode and run normal. Prepare the second batch, pour in and re-start process by selecting the timer. If this does not correct the issue, contact Customer Support at orders@icecreamdepot.com

Q: When I set my machine to 16 and hit the START button, why did the number on the display change to 20?

A: If the Freezing Cylinder is warmer or colder than average, the Control Panel will automatically increase or decrease the time needed to make the dessert.  

Q: Why is my machine so loud?

A: The SX1000 contains a compressor and a powerful refrigeration system to create frozen treats. It has been rated at 73 decibels, which is less than a garbage disposal (80 dB) or a food blender (88 dB).

Q: Why does the soft serve freeze around the chamber and remain liquid toward the center?

A: If the mixture is freezing at the sides but not the center of the chamber this is because of the auger is not turning the product properly to evenly freeze all contents. The auger comes in two pieces: the auger blade and the inner pole. Verify that the inner pole is secure and has not come loose. Also make sure that the small rubber V-seal is present on the end of the auger that meets the back of the machine. A simple cleaning and readjustment will solve this problem!

Q: Why does the soft serve freeze into a solid block when in KEEP FRESH mode?

A: The SX1000 is designed like a commercial machine with a KEEP FRESH feature, but unlike the commercial machine, it does not continuously add liquid to the freezing chamber.  So, when you draw from the machine, the machine continues to freeze at the original temperature setting, even though there is less liquid to be frozen. This eventually causes your delicious soft serve to turn into a hard block of ice cream. When this happens, the auger can break, the dispense cover can turn and come off, or other damage may be done to the machine.  

If you dispense a bit of ice cream and do not plan to consume the rest for some time, we suggest you dispense the remaining dessert into a container and save in the freezer until it is ready to be used. Otherwise, the remaining ice cream can freeze and harden and cause damage to the machine.

Q: Can I use the SX1000 in any other countries?

A: Right now, the SX1000 is designed to work with American electricity standards; that is, 110 volts and 60 hertz.  Most North and Central American (including Caribbean) countries use these standards as well, but European, African and Asian countries differ. Converters will only convert the volts; not the hertz; so at this time, the machine will only work with countries that use American standards (we're sorry!).  

Refer to this chart if you want to see you country's home electrical wiring standards.   

Q: Do I have to perform any maintenance on the machine?

A: Yes. Always maintain a clean machine. Lubricate the seals with food grade margarine. Please review videos on website, Facebook or YouTube. If you choose to use a specialized cleaning solution (ex: Stera-Sheen), do so after lubricating your machine.

Q: How do I clean my SX1000?

A: Follow these instructions to thoroughly clean your machine: How to Clean Your SX1000.

Q: Can I make the soft serve harder?

A: No. If the soft serve is made harder, it will not dispense and could damage the machine. The torque of the auger will loosen the dispense head as the auger turns in the same direction as the unlocking mechanism on the dispense head.

Q: If the dispense head loosens, what should I do?

A: The SX1000 will shut itself down. Turn off the on/off switch and remove the dispense head. Remove the auger, clean and replace the auger and dispense head. Turn on machine and start the wash cycle.

Q: What happens if the SX1000 has been tipped on its side when being moved?

A: The SX1000 will have to be placed upright for 24 hours before using the machine.

Q: Can I remove the cover of the SX1000 to check refrigeration?

A: No. There are no serviceable parts inside the SX1000 and removing the cover, nullifies the warranty.

Q: Can I use the SX1000 in a commercial environment?

A: No. Commercial use voids and nullifies the warranty.

Q: What is the best cleaning agent to use with the SX1000 soft serve ice cream machine?

A: Water and a sanitizing product.

Q: What is over run?

A: It is the increase in volume of mix due to air being whipped into it. Fifty percent overrun means an increase in volume of 50%; 1 ½ gallons of soft serve ice cream from 1 gallon of mix.

Q: Why does my soft serve melt so quickly?

A: The rate at which your frozen treat melts has many contributing factors in addition to freeze time, like overrun, fat content, and use of stabilizer. The more overrun (or air) the more quickly the soft serve will melt. However, higher levels of fat will slow melting. Lastly, you can add a stabilizer (most store bought brands will have a stabilizer) like eggs, corn starch, locust bean gum and xanthan gum to name a few.

Q: Can I refreeze any left over ice cream that has melted inside my SX1000?

A: No. If any ice cream was left inside of the SX1000 and the refrigeration was left off, the ice cream will begin to melt. Once the melted ice cream reaches a certain temperature, bacteria growth increases exponentially and could result in food poisoning. It's better to be safe than sorry. Just dump out any melted ice cream and clean your machine.

Be sure to use the KEEP FRESH mode if you want to make some ice cream before you and your family are ready to eat it. KEEP FRESH mode keeps the barrel at a lower temperature to restrict bacteria growth. Here are some helpful tips on KEEP FRESH mode.

Q: What is the voltage/wattage of the SX1000?

120 Volts, 60 Hz, 600 Watts