From what I've seen, using dry ice to make ice cream makes the whole freezing process a lot faster than a freezer. (Besides speed, the only other benefit I can think of is trapping some gas in the ice cream to make it fluffier/softer.)

What exactly can dry ice do to ice cream besides speeding up the freezing process? What kinds of ice cream are made with dry ice and not just a freezer?

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The main reason for using something like dry ice is because of the speed in which it freezes the ice cream. The faster it freezes, the smaller the ice crystals, and the smoother the texture.

This is why thawed ice cream that’s refrozen in your freezer ends up so icy because it freezes so much slower than even a traditional machine, and has large ice crystals.

However, you may be thinking more about liquid nitrogen, which is used by some ice cream shops lately. Dry ice is harder to use because it leaves chunks in the ice cream that don’t melt (or “sublimate”) right away. Liquid nitrogen produces an incredibly smooth texture that I’ve never had from any factory or traditional machine.

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