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Pump vs. Gravity Machines: Which One To Choose?

Posted by Slices Concession on

Slices Concession Gravity VS Pump Ice Cream Machine Information Blog

In the ever-evolving world of the frozen dessert industry, one crucial decision can significantly impact the success of your business: choosing between pump and gravity machines. This comprehensive guide will delve deep into the intricacies of both options, providing you with invaluable insights to make an informed decision that can potentially transform your operation.

When you're deciding on a new soft serve ice cream or yogurt machine, there are many different features we have to account for to decide which one best fits your needs.

The main difference between gravity and pump-fed machines is how the mix is fed into the freezing cylinder:

  • In gravity-fed machines, the mix flows into the cylinder with‚Ķ gravity (I know, shocking!). It is fed through a mix feed tube into the freezing cylinder with a fixed air ratio of about 30%, depending on the feeding tube size. This means we will get 30% of ice cream overrun (extra ice cream compared to the mix).
  • In contrast, the pump fed machines have a pump in the hopper that feeds the mix into the freezing cylinder, allowing us to control the amount of air we want in the mix. This lets us control the amount of overrun we get from each batch. Most pump machines allow for up to 60% overrun.

We can see that the difference in the amount of overrun we get is substantial. Even though this might be perceived as a disadvantage for the gravity machines, there are advantages and disadvantages for each machine.


taylor 8756 pump fed machine & taylor c713 gravity fed machine with slices concession logoGravity Machines

Stoelting F231 & Taylor 794 Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream gravity fed Machines

What are Gravity Machines?

Gravity machines, as the name suggests, rely on gravity to dispense the frozen dessert mixture. They are simpler in design compared to pump machines

Benefits of Gravity Machines

1. Cost-Effective Entry

If you're just starting in the frozen dessert business, gravity machines offer a cost-effective entry point. They are typically more affordable upfront.

2. Simplicity

Gravity machines are known for their simplicity. They have fewer components, which translates to easier maintenance and fewer chances of breakdowns.

3. Typically More Affordable

These machines are generally more affordable as a machine in both the initial cost and maintenance due to it’s additional parts.

4. Flavor

Ice cream can have a  stronger, more intense flavor when compared to a pump machine being a more dense product.

Factors to Consider

1. Product Variability

Gravity machines may struggle to maintain consistent product texture and flavor, which could impact customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

2. Slower Production

Compared to pump machines, gravity machines have a slower production rate. This can be a drawback for businesses with high customer traffic.

    Pump Machines

    Electro freeze 99T & Taylor 8756 Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream pump fed Machine


    Benefits of Pump Machines

    1. Consistency is Key

    Pump machines excel in maintaining product consistency. They ensure that each serving of your frozen dessert possesses the same texture and flavor, which is essential for customer satisfaction.

    2. Overrun 

    If overrun is your goal, then the pump machine is your best option. The ice cream tends to have a creamier texture & more structure when compared to gravity machines

    3. Time Efficiency

    Pump machines are known for their speed. They can produce a high volume of product in a relatively short period, making them an excellent choice for businesses with a high customer demand.

    Factors to Consider 

    1. Cost - Initial & Ongoing 

    While pump machines offer numerous advantages, they tend to come with a higher initial price tag. In addition with more parts to consider and eventually replace they tend to be more expensive to maintain. It's essential to weigh this cost against the potential benefits and long-term returns.

    2. Maintenance

    Maintaining a pump machine can be more complex than its gravity counterpart. Regular cleaning and upkeep are crucial to ensure consistent performance.

      Choosing Pump vs Gravity Based On Sales Volume

      PUMP: If you're busy with a large amount of sales, a pump machine would be the best choice for your business as this machine is faster and more efficient at producing ice cream or yogurt.

      GRAVITY: If you have a small business, with less sales volume, (or an already existing operation and just looking to add soft serve ice cream to it) we recommend going with the gravity machine. It would be a smaller investment and capable enough to handle a lighter demand.


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       chocolate chip vanilla soft serve ice cream waffer cone made with a stoelting f231 352-888-1107 butter pecan ice cream cone with waffer cookie made with a taylor 794 machine

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