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The incredible Anti-Griddle by PolyScience is just about exactly what the name promises: the opposite of a griddle. It rapidly cools to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34.4 degrees Celsius), allowing you to flash-freeze almost anything you put on it. It’s a modernist cuisine dream come true that lets the discerning chef experiment with all sorts of concoctions that would be essentially impossible otherwise.
If you don’t know much about the Anti-Griddle, though, you may not be clear on exactly what it is or isn’t. If you’ve been yearning for one of those quick freezing plates for ice cream that you so often see in viral Instagram videos, this might not be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s too cold to make ice cream unless you know how to work really quickly, freezing the liquid mixture solid before it can be massaged into ice cream. (And besides, if you’re just looking for an ice cream freezing plate, the Anti-Griddle is honestly overkill anyway!)
In short, if you’re a modernist chef or passionate home cook looking to dramatically expand the range of creative possibilities, we wholeheartedly recommend the Anti-Griddle. You’ll be able to create masterpieces that you’ve only dreamed of until now.
But if you stumbled on this incredible and versatile device while just looking for a rolled ice cream freezing plate, we would recommend the Whynter ICR-300SS Automatic Instant Maker Frozen Pan Roller instead of the Anti-Griddle. This is our top pick for an ice cream freezing tray because it’s electric (meaning it stays cold indefinitely instead of needing to be put in the freezer overnight), it’s small enough to be realistic for home use (instead of being a large station on wheels), and it achieves its low temperature quickly so you can start making ice cream right away.
Read on to learn our review of the Anti-Griddle, our other suggestions for ice cream rollers, and our recommendations for two bonus ice-cream-related devices that you probably didn’t even know you needed!
Table of Contents
The PolyScience Anti-Griddle Flash Freezer: Complete Review
Ideal for: Experts, Professional Chefs, Creative Advanced Hobbyists
The Anti-Griddle by Polyscience is the top-tier ultimate device in its category of flash-freezing surfaces, without question. It was inspired by the creativity and techniques of world-renowned Chef Grant Achatz of three-Michelin-star restaurant Alinea in Chicago. If you’re familiar with his work, you already have some idea of the caliber of brilliantly creative cooking that this product is designed for. Now, almost anything you’ve imagined freezing can become a reality.
One of the things we love most about the Anti-Griddle is its ability to create a crunchy frozen crust around the outside of foods, while the inside is slightly warmer and therefore still soft and creamy. Think of it as being essentially the opposite of a sear, but with cold instead of heat.
Playing with different textures, thicknesses, and cooking times will let you harness the power of this freeze-sear and create final products that are frozen through, just slightly cold-seared on the outside, or somewhere in between.
While the Anti-Griddle comes to temperature pretty quickly, it’s not immediate. The product takes up to 20 minutes to reach its final temperature of -30°F/-34.44°C, so plan ahead and make sure it’s ready to go when you want to start using it.
Endless Creative Possibilities
As you play with the Anti-Griddle and its dazzling range of possibilities, keep in mind that serving frozen foods is just one option. Another creative choice is to focus on the experience of melting creations instead of frozen ones.
Imagine, for example, using a partially frozen liquid topping on a cold salad or dessert which then changes in flavor profile as more and more of the frozen product melts over it.
Another benefit of flash-freezing on the Anti-Griddle is that you have incredible control over the final texture. Depending on how thickly you apply the substance you want to freeze, whether you flip it, and how long you leave it in place, you can end up with a result that’s fully frozen, frozen on the outside and still soft inside, or even frozen solid on the bottom and creamy on top.
Tips For the Best Results
Remember to flip your foods on the Anti-Griddle just like you would on a normal griddle. A hot griddle requires you to flip most foods so that they cook evenly on both sides; with the Anti-Griddle, this allows them to freeze evenly on both sides.
If you’re having problems with foods sticking to the griddle, lightly coat the surface with a neutral cooking oil while it’s still at room temperature. Once it’s coated, turn on the device and bring it down to its final cooking temperature.
Is It Worth the Money?
Let’s be honest: for your average home cook, this would be a novelty device that might get pulled out once or twice a year on the hottest days. For the average home user, one of the various alternatives we list further down this page would probably be better.
But what if you’re not the average home user? In that case, we wholeheartedly recommend the Anti-Griddle. Whether you’re a truly passionate home chef ready to wow everyone you know or a professional chef looking to seriously up your restaurant’s game, you can’t go wrong with this incredible device. Its low temperature is unparalleled by any other product on our list, giving you a huge range of mouthwatering creative possibilities.
Specs and Features:
- Minimum temperature: -30°F/-34.44°C
- Adjustable temperature: No
- Freezing surface dimensions: 14.5” by 9.4”
The Top 3 Ice Cream Roller Alternatives to the Anti-Griddle
#1. Whynter ICR-300SS Automatic Instant Maker Frozen Pan Roller
Best for: Serious Ice Cream Enthusiasts
On a hot summer day, nothing is better than enjoying your own homemade ice cream—except maybe impressing your family, friends, and neighbors by making it yourself almost instantly! The Whynter ice cream maker is ideal for the task, offering all the childlike joys of delicious ice cream combined with a sleek, classy elegance that makes it clear that this device isn’t just a toy.
With a quick cooling time of just 8 to 10 minutes (or until the light comes on to indicate that it’s ready), this ice cream roller is ready to go almost as soon as you are. Use those few minutes to get your other ingredients ready (we love fresh summer berries, but experiment with whatever you have on hand!), then get started. In under 5 minutes from the time it hits the cold surface, your delicious homemade ice cream will be ready.
The beautifully sleek and elegant stainless steel exterior is interrupted only by the power button and light, and the brand’s name. We also appreciate the (included) suction legs, which make the machine less likely to accidentally slide or fall off your working surface as you’re using it.
This machine is enough of an investment that we don’t recommend it if you’ll just use it a couple times a year. But if you (and your family) really love ice cream and would enjoy the freedom to create your own amazing flavors, it’s absolutely worth the investment.
Specs and Features:
- Minimum temperature: -10°F/-23.33°C
- Adjustable temperature: No
- Freezing surface dimensions: 13” by 9”
#2. E&B Ice Cream Maker/Pan/Roll
Best for: Occasional, Casual Users on a Budget or Families With Kids
If you just want to try making rolled ice cream on a whim and don’t plan to do it too often, the prices of some of these other items may leave you feeling discouraged. Don’t worry; there’s a product for you too!
The E&B ice cream maker doesn’t plug in like the Whynter ice cream maker. Instead, you prepare it by putting it in the freezer at -0.4°F/-18°C for 24 hours, and then using it. Of course, this means that the amount of ice cream that you can make on it at one time is pretty limited. As you make ice cream, the tray begins warming up, and will need to go back in the freezer until the next day. It’s possible to make a maximum of four batches of ice cream from this before needing to freeze it again, but you should realistically expect to make two to three batches.
There are quite a few other similar devices to this, but this one is our top pick for both its price and shape. We recommend a square-shaped ice cream roller (like this one) rather than a round one for more even shapes and easier rolling.
Note: while this device is child-friendly, don’t let your child use it unsupervised. The surface is extremely cold and may even get stuck to hands or fingers if touched directly.
#3. VEVOR Commercial Ice Roll Maker
Best for: Ice Cream Professionals
Be aware that this item may come in and out of stock on Amazon regularly; if it isn’t available now, bookmark it for later or go for one of the other options on our list.
With that said, if you manage to find it in stock, we highly recommend this for ice cream professionals or anyone who really takes their ice cream hobby seriously. We particularly love the easy “Defrost” button, which will help you keep your tray ready to use for a long time. And if your hands are busy (or covered in ice cream), you can simply step on the defrost pedal instead.
This machine comes with six individual cups for ingredients, each of which goes into its own slot in the top of the machine. This makes it easy to keep your ingredients or toppings close at hand, instead of scrambling to find another surface nearby.
We also love the overall look and build of this machine. It’s sleek and professional-looking, with all food contact surfaces made from food-grade 304 stainless steel.
While we tend to prefer rectangular or square cooling pans on ice cream rollers, we can forgive this one for having a round pan thanks to the relatively large diameter of 15.7”.
BONUS: TOSCANA Parlor Ice Cream Mixing/Serving Set
Best for: Impressing (Adult) Guests
By looking at most of the affordable, non-professional-level home ice cream rollers, you would think that only kids love ice cream. But we all know that’s not true! If you’re a fan of the sweet treat (and who isn’t) but want to serve it to tasteful adult guests instead of only kids who love bright colors, the TOSCANA Parlor Ice Cream Mixing/Serving Set is our top pick for your best budget option.
Instead of neon plastic and fun designs, this bamboo and marble ice cream set is classy enough to show off at any adult dinner party. We love that the mixing paddles are stainless steel instead of plastic, and that the set comes with three ceramic bowls to hold your toppings within easy reach.
Be aware that this set is not an ice cream maker or roller. You can’t actually turn liquid into frozen ice cream with this one, as you can in the others. Instead, the chilled marble keeps soft-serve ice cream cold as you chop and mix in various toppings and ingredients, customizing the flavor for your guests. If you want an ice cream roller or maker, look elsewhere. But if you just want to impress your guests with your creativity of combinations, this may be the perfect gift to yourself.
BONUS: Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker
Best for: Ice Cream Sandwich Connoisseurs
This isn’t an ice cream roller (or even an ice cream maker) like the other items on this list, but we love it so much that we can’t resist including it as a bonus pick anyway. If you love ice cream sandwiches as much as we do, you’ll probably fall in love with this clever device too.
To use it, you fill the two (included) BPA-free silicon cookie molds with batter, then bake them until the cookies are ready. Allow to cool, add ice cream, seal, and pop into the freezer for a couple of hours. And just like that, you have your own homemade ice cream sandwiches!
Our favorite aspect of this simple tool is that it lets you make ice cream sandwiches in whatever flavors you want. You can experiment not only with the flavor of the ice cream filling, but also with the cookies themselves. (And if you’re really into your ice cream sandwiches and want to get fancy with them, consider also buying one of the ice cream makers on this list. That way you can create your own homemade ice cream in whatever flavor you want to use in your sandwiches!)
For anyone dealing with certain food allergies or intolerances, this device can be the way to finally enjoy your favorite childhood treat again. It may take some experimenting, but you could create gluten-free cookies for the outside and/or dairy-free ice cream for the filling, for example.
And for serious home chefs, imagine the creative possibilities here. You’re free to reimagine the childhood classic and turn it into something elegantly refined, or unexpectedly playful. (How about a Thai-inspired treat using a gingersnap cookie with a lemongrass and coconut ice cream?)
What’s the Difference Between the Anti-Griddle and an Ice Cream Roller?
If you’ve read the introduction, you already know that the Anti-Griddle is so much more than simply an ice cream roller. But many people unfamiliar with the two types of devices get them confused or don’t understand the difference, so let’s recap.
The Anti-Griddle is a remarkable modernist culinary appliance. With this tool, your imagination is the only limit; it feels just about as effective as a normal (hot) griddle, except that it freezes things instead of heating them. And just like a hot griddle can either cook something all the way through or just sear the outside, so can the Anti-Griddle. However, since its temperature isn’t adjustable, you’ll need to achieve these different results through practice and skill. With the Anti-Griddle in your home or restaurant, you’ll be ready to create truly breathtaking cutting-edge culinary masterpieces.
An ice cream roller, on the other hand, is pretty specifically dedicated to making ice cream at home. Sure, you can use it for other things too; make frozen yogurt, flavored ice slush, or other similar treats. These are typically designed either for ice cream professionals (like street or event vendors) on the high end, or for casual family-friendly home use on the low end.
Ice cream rollers lack the power and ultra-low temperatures for the modernist applications that the Anti-Griddle excels at. In general, an electric ice cream roller goes down to a maximum of about -10°F/-23.33°C, while the models that go in your freezer only get as cold as the freezer (typically around 0°F/-18°C).
The Anti-Griddle, on the other hand, cools to -30°F/-34.44°C. That might not sound like much in those terms since many of us have little context for such low temperatures. Instead, think of the difference between a cool spring day at 60°F/15.5°C and a summer afternoon at 80°F/26.67°C. That same temperature difference is what you’ll find between a high-quality electric ice cream roller and the powerful Anti-Griddle.
The Different Types of Ice Cream Roller
There are two main distinct types of ice cream rollers.
First, there are electric machines. These use power to keep their tray cold indefinitely. This means they can achieve fairly low temperatures, typically going down to around -10°F/-23.33°C. While this doesn’t approach what the Anti-Griddle can do, it’s definitely cold enough for making ice cream. These electric options are much more costly, but they’re also far more effective, especially if you want to make more than two or three small batches of ice cream in a row.
Second, there are ice cream rollers that require time in your freezer. They aren’t electric-powered and don’t plug in. Instead, you put them in your freezer at least overnight (but ideally for 24 hours or more) to get them as cold as possible before using them to make ice cream. The advantage is that they’re extremely affordable and don’t take up much space.
But their problem is that they don’t get as cold (only around 0°F/-18°C, depending on the temperature of your freezer) and that they warm up quickly. Expect to be able to make an absolute maximum of four small batches of ice cream, but realistically more like two or three. After this, you’ll have to clean your ice cream roller, put it back in the freezer, and wait until the next day to make more.
An electric ice cream roller is definitely the more pricey option, but due to the strict limitations of the kind you put in your freezer, we absolutely recommend splurging on an electric one if you can work it into the budget. Our top pick for devoted home ice cream makers is the Whynter ICR-300SS Automatic Instant Maker Frozen Pan Roller.
If you’re a serious home chef, the incredible Anti-Griddle would be a stunning tool to add to your high-tech kitchen to amaze guests (and even yourself). But as much as we hate to say it (because we LOVE its possibilities!), this machine is overkill for most home cooks—especially those whose culinary dreams are focused around ice cream instead of advanced modernist cooking techniques.
If you’re just looking for an ice cream roller, you have plenty of options ranging from family-friendly low-cost ones all the way up to professional versions that would be well suited for catering events. Whatever you’re looking for, we hope that this list helped you find the perfect fit for you!