All ice cream uses a machine of some sort to produce it, even the old-fashioned hand-crank method still uses a machine! Some places use fro-yo or ice milk, which are both less expensive and less creamy than "real" ice cream. Also, "ice cream" may be made with milk substitutes and cheap, shortening-type fat alternatives to real milk and cream. Sonic's ice cream uses real milk and cream. If you've ever eaten a cheaper brand of ice cream which felt gritty or greasy in your mouth, chances are the ingredients were something other than milk, cream, sugar and flavorings.