Best Ice Cream Makers Compilation
|NAMES||FEATURES||WHERE TO BUY|
||Built-in timer/Automatic and manual modes/Opening for adding ingredients||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Easy to use/Solid construction/Clear, concise instructions||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Simple and straightforward attachment/Saves you from having to buy a standalone appliance/Quiet when compared to countertop models||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Ready in a few minutes/12 hardness settings/Keep Cool” feature||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Electric cranking mechanism/Large capacity/Easy and quick to use||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Works quickly/Small footprint/Easy to use and clean||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Makes thick soft-serve/Quick operation/Removable drip tray||GET IT ON AMAZON|
||Pretty large capacity/Lightweight when empty||GET IT ON AMAZON|
Making your own ice cream tends to taste less processed than store-bought varieties, and it gives you complete control over flavorings and ingredients—especially important if you have food allergies or are limiting your intake of added sugars.
An ice cream maker lets you churn whatever kind of ice cream strikes your fancy, all in the comfort of your own home. It’s a great activity to get kids cooking in the kitchen, too. From manual to electric to soft serve, there’s an ice cream maker for everyone. Here’s our roundup of the best ice cream makers. Check out our other publication like the best running shoes for women.
Best Ice Cream Makers Buyers Guide
Ice cream makers range in size, from small, single-serve models that take up virtually no counter space to non-electric bowls designed for freezer use and large compressor models that are too heavy to move around.
A large-capacity machine is a good option for a big family or if you want to make big batches of ice cream for parties. Larger models tend to be less efficient at handling smaller batches of ice cream, though. If you’re eager to try new recipes as often as possible, a machine designed to make smaller batches is just what you need.
Settings and Options
The most basic ice cream machines may just have an easy-to-use on/off switch. Other machines come equipped with timers, automatic shut-off or “keep cool” features, extra freezer bowls, settings for making gelato, special paddles, and more. In general, the compressor-style ice cream makers are designed with more controls and options for making different styles of ice cream from other models. While it’s great to have options and versatile appliances, sometimes a basic model that does its one job well is all you really need.
Electric ice cream machines do all the churning for you, so making ice cream is as easy as adding the ingredients, pushing the start button, and waiting until the ice cream is done. The process is similar to using other hands-off kitchen appliances like slow cookers.
There are settings for ice cream, gelato, or sorbet, which control the speed of the mixing paddle. The time is automatically set for each option, but can be adjusted manually. When time is up, the machine automatically shuts off. The unique gelato setting is a standout for our product tester due to its slower churn, one of the hallmarks of genuine gelato.
The lid has a removable cup for measuring up to 1/2 cup of add-ins, and when the cup is removed, there’s a handy hole for pouring those ingredients in. The 2-quart freezer bowl should be refrigerated overnight for best results, or store it in your freezer so it’s ready to go whenever you have that ice cream craving.
Cuisinart is a trusted brand when it comes to ice cream makers and they have a model to meet every budget. The ICE-21 model may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the brand’s higher-end models, but it’s fully automatic and promises to deliver quality homemade ice cream in 20 minutes. The process is simple and designed to be mess-free, for which several people have given it positive reviews. The double-insulated freezer bowl means you don’t even need ice to churn a batch of ice cream.
This model has a smaller capacity (1 1/2 quarts) than some of Cuisinart’s other models so be mindful of batch size when you’re following recipes. A few reviewers note that they’ve had to scale some recipes down to fit this bowl.
|Clear, concise instructions||Need to freeze bowl 24 hours before use|
The two-quart bowl should be fully frozen for 24 hours before use to ensure that your ice cream freezes properly. You can store it in there to make sure it’s always ready to go, and keep it toward the back if possible where temperatures are coldest. Keep in mind that if your kitchen is warm, this bowl will warm up fairly quickly and start to sweat, so it’s not a bad idea to keep a kitchen towel underneath to catch the drips.
The one inconsistency our product tester experienced while using this attachment is when freezing different flavors of ice cream. Her plain vanilla batch never progressed to fully frozen so it had to be put in the freezer at that point; two other flavors ended up with a creamy, whipped soft-serve texture. Regardless, all batches were evenly mixed and ended up delicious. “Even if you have trouble with freezing, the mix will freeze later on and it’ll still taste good,” she says.
|Simple and straightforward attachment||No automatic shutoff|
A pre-cool setting preps the machine to start churning immediately and internal thermometers make sure the temperature stays just right. Our tester highlights the “Softer to Harder” option, which lets you choose softer ice cream or harder sorbet instead of a one-size-fits-all setting. “The only downside,” they said, “is there isn’t a slower churn setting for gelato.”
Keep in mind that this investment piece takes up a lot of room, so it might not be ideal for those with small kitchens, and the compressor makes it the heaviest ice cream maker on the list at a whopping 30 pounds. But hey, moving this ice cream maker around will get you some exercise before you enjoy your dessert.
|12 hardness settings||Warms rapidly when the cover is open|
The ice bucket is made from plastic and doubles as a storage container when used with the included lid. For easy transportation, the machine has a handle and the motor locks when power is off, so all parts stay secure. The interior wipes clean easily when you’re done.
If you want easy ice cream, the company also makes mixes that can be used with this machine or use one of the included ice cream recipes or one of your own. This makes up to four quarts of ice cream, so you’ll have plenty for parties.
Aside from its large capacity, customers rank this ice cream maker highly because it’s so easy to use and operates quickly.
|Electric cranking mechanism||Motor is loud|
If storage space is limited or your kitchen is already overrun with gadgets, this ice cream maker is the perfect solution. At less than 3 inches tall, it can be stored and stacked in your cabinets like a pie plate.
With no electricity—or crank turning—required, making ice cream with the Chef’n Sweet Spot is a great activity to do with kids and perfect for parties. Each Sweet Spot can make six 1/2-cup individual servings. It also comes with a scoop, blade, and recipe book. You do need to store the dish for at least 24 hours ahead of time, so keep it in your freezer if you have the room, and that way it’s always ready to go. Other than this waiting period, several customers are happy with how quickly this works to make ice cream.
|Works quickly||Can only make small amounts at a time|
The best part of this model comes when it’s time to serve up your ice cream. It basically turns your kitchen counter into an ice cream parlor with a cone holder that fits both flat-bottomed wafer cones and pointy sugar cones. To serve simply press on the lever just like you would a commercial soft serve machine. You can also add in your favorite toppings and mix-ins thanks to the three dispensers on the side.
Finally, once you’re done dishing up your soft-serve, this model is easy to clean with a removable drip tray. Just be warned that it is a bit on the heavy side at 15 pounds, so you’ll want to be careful when moving it around.
|Removable drip tray||Heavy|
There are no settings or controls to worry about. Just plug the machine in to begin the churning. When the mixture is so thick that the machine turns off, the ice cream is ready to go into the freezer to finish firming up. All you need to do is stay nearby so you can see that it’s done or listen for the churning to stop, since it’s a little louder than the more expensive compressor-style ice cream makers.
Since this has no freezer bowl, you’ll need to use ice and rock salt to create the chilling needed, so plan ahead to have a sufficient amount of ice available. When you’re done, the container and paddle should be hand washed.
Our reviewer loves what a bargain this lightweight ice cream maker is, especially because it can make so much ice cream. What they aren’t a fan off is how loud the spinning motor is and that you need at least 8 pounds of ice, plus rock salt, to use the machine.
|Pretty large capacity||Not found|
Just freeze the bowl (or keep it stored in the freezer), add your ingredients, and stir and scrape with the included spoon as the mixture begins to freeze along the bottom and sides of the bowl. The instructions say it takes about 10 minutes of mixing to get soft-serve ice cream. For a harder consistency, they recommend freezing the ice cream for another 10-20 minutes.
This ice cream bowl is available in several colors and reviewers say it’s fun to use. Plus, there are fewer items to clean since you can make and eat your ice cream out of the same bowl. Consider picking up a bowl for each member of the family and have a make your own dessert night!
|Makes single servings||Not found|
Normally, you’d have to use a high-speed blender or food processor to make fruit soft serve or “nice” cream (the nickname for ice cream made from bananas). These work fine, but require a lot of patience and scraping of the sides of the container. With Yonanas, all you need to do it place frozen fruit into the feed chute, push the plunger, and watch as your fruit soft serve is dispensed.
Some users note its noisy in operation, but so are blenders and food processors. Note that some fruit soft serve tends to get stuck around the blade, but you can easily keep from wasting it by scraping into your serving or storage dish when you disassemble the parts for cleaning. The chute, plunger, and blade are top rack dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
If you are still here it means you’re ready to get a ice cream maker and we’re totally sure you must have found one or two among our list that you’ll like to purchase. If that be the case, kindly ensure you check all the necessary details of your preferred choice before purchasing.