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Must Your Ninja Creami Pints Freeze for 24 Hours?

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Ninja Creami recommends freezing pints for at least 24 hours–but is it necessary?

Wondering if you really need to freeze your Ninja Creami pints for 24 hours? Let’s take a look.

overhead view of a pint of Ninja Creami sorbet. An overlay reads, "Do Ninja Creaim pints really need to freeze for 24 hours?"

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When you begin using the Ninja Creami ice cream maker, you’ll be amazed by the many varieties of homemade ice cream, sorbet, milkshakes, frozen yogurt, protein ice creams, and smoothie bowls you can make.

But one of the first things you’ll notice is that recipes call for chilling your Ninja Creami pint container full of ingredients for at least 24 hours.

But you might be wondering if that time frame is non-negotiable for achieving that coveted creamy consistency, or if it can be tweaked a little. 

Let’s take a look at whether or not the 24 hour freeze time is actually necessary!

Do You Really Have to Freeze Ninja Creami Pints for 24 Hours?

The user manual of the Ninja Creami machine indicates that all pints should be frozen for 24 hours prior to spinning in the machine.

This is their recommendation regardless of the ingredients used or the type of creation you’re making.

But it may seem a little confusing, because the contents of the pint may technically be frozen prior to the completion of 24 hours.

However, a full 24-hour freeze completely solidifies your base, ensuring the machine can spin it into a smooth, delectable treat. 

Skipping this crucial step may lead to uneven textures, detracting from the indulgent experience you seek from your home-made dessert.

The whole premise of the Ninja Creami machine is that it operates differently than a traditional ice cream maker, which uses a churning process.

Instead of churning an ice cream base and then freezing it, the Ninja Creami ice cream mixture needs to basically be a frozen block.

The machine can then sort of “shave” the block into a really fine and creamy consistency.

Key Takeaways:

  • Freezing is crucial: It’s paramount that the base is completely frozen into a solid block for the Ninja Creami to work effectively.
  • Texture is key: The 24-hour freeze time results in smaller ice crystals and enhances the dessert’s creaminess. For the most creamy ice cream and smoothest sorbet, this matters! Otherwise, the texture may be more slushie-like.
  • Patience pays off: Respecting the full freezing time provides the best results!
a pint of creamy Ninja Creami chocolate ice cream

Factors Influencing Your Freezing Time

Ingredient temperature, freezer settings, and pint size play a critical role in your Ninja Creami’s freezing time. 

Temperature: Creating a base with colder ingredients can speed up the freezing process. 

Ingredients: Some ingredients, such as sugar and alcohol, can lower the freezing point of your creation. For this reason, the longer freeze time is really important.

Freezer settings: Your freezer’s temperature setting may lead to quicker or slower freezing. 

Pint size: A larger Ninja Creami Deluxe pint may occasionally need more than the recommended 24 hours to solidify perfectly. 

Be sure to check your dessert’s readiness with a simple touch test – if it’s rock solid all throughout, you’re good to go!

There have been times when I’ve been short on time and have only frozen a base for around 20-22 hours, and it’s still been fully frozen and has worked well, likely because my freezer’s temperature.

Several people in the Ninja Creami community on Facebook report having success with even shorter time frames, especially with a really cold freezer and a colder temperature of ingredients used, etc.

Note: I’m not recommending you do the same, as you should follow the instructions set forth by the Ninja company. That’s why I always specify in my Ninja Creami recipes to freeze for at least 24 hours.

Because I know waiting 24 hours is hard, I recommend creating multiple bases at once, so you always have something ready and waiting in your freezer!

That’s why extra Ninja Creami pint containers are on my list of must-have Ninja Creami accessories.

a Ninja Creami pint container with unfrozen ice cream base in it.

Can My Pint Freeze for Longer than 24 Hours?

Yes, it’s totally fine if your frozen mixture stays in the freezer longer than 24 hours!

​The increased freeze time won’t affect your dessert. 

However, leaving it in the freezer for several weeks or months could lead to freezer burn (which could affect the taste a little) or the base becoming a bit more dry. 

So it’s best to use it within a few days to a couple of weeks after freezing.

What if My Ninja Creami Pint Freezes in a Dome Shape?

Sometimes your creation’s mixture freezes with a raised dome in the middle of the ice cream base. That’s okay!

The Ninja Creami can still process through that, and your ice cream will still have a nice, creamy texture.

Just be sure to fill your pint at or below the max fill line, which leaves some room for expansion at the top of the pint.

Then, after the first spin, it should be more level on top.

overhead view of frozen base in a Ninja Creami pint container, where the surface of the base has domed up.

Maximizing Flavor and Texture in Your Frozen Creations

A fully frozen pint contributes significantly to the creaminess and taste of the dessert prepared with your Ninja Creami. 

Patience is truly your key to unlocking an unforgettable Ninja Creami dessert experience!

Related Resource: How to Add a Mix-In with the Ninja Creami

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