Why would one have to bother to buy the best ice cream maker when it isn’t essential kitchen equipment? A good ice cream maker while not being an essential kitchen tool is a vital item in the arsenal of folks who love to experiment with a wide variety of homemade treats (ice creams included).
If you have spent over $100 dollars on ice cream in a week or less, then you qualify to own an ice cream maker. It may cost you a bit more than a $100 to buy one but in the long run, you would have saved a lot of money. In addition to that, you would also gain the freedom to experiment with myriads of recipes and flavors.
So to help in this your journey to ice cream freedom, we went to ‘town’ scouring high and low for ice cream makers that would fit different budgets and specifications. Stay with us as we bring you a review of our 10 best pick of ice cream makers that would be worth your while.
Best All Round Performer
Product Name – Whynter ICM-15LS Ice Cream Maker, Stainless Steel
Our Rating – 4.3 Star
- Comes with a highly efficient CFC-free compressor
- Makes ice cream without the need to pre –freeze it
- Has a detachable bowl and churn blade which makes for ease of cleaning and storage
- Comes with an inbuilt timer that is reliable; it makes a pinging sound so that you would know when the ice cream is ready.
- The motor drive shuts down once the mixture is frozen solid; this ensures that the machine is not damaged.
The Whynter ICM-15LS Ice Cream Maker, Stainless Steel is a machine that makes homemade ice cream preparation a breeze. It has a 1.5 liter or 1.6 quart capacity with a cooling temperature of -0.4°F to -31°F and comes in a housing of top quality stainless steel.
This Whynter Ice Cream Maker is a versatile machine with which you can make so many other frozen desserts apart from top quality ice cream. The in-built compressor is so strong that you can use the machine continuously without having to pre-freeze the mixing bowl of the machine.
Although this machine doesn’t come cheap, you are sure of getting good value for your money because of the features on it. It is a user friendly machine that’s very intuitive and convenient to use and the ice cream it produces is always professional quality.
The safety feature of this machine allows you to set it and go do other things and it would automatically shut down once your mixture is solidly frozen. This means that you don’t have to babysit the machine while it is churning the ice cream. Therefore, you can multitask while making your ice cream or other frozen desserts.
Cheaper Option of All Round Performer
Product Name – Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
Our Rating – 4.6 Star
- Fully automatic and comes with a compressor of commercial quality
- Has a 1 ½ quart mixing bowl capacity
- Comes with 2 paddles – a gelato paddle and an ice cream paddle
- Has a 60-minute countdown timer with touchpad controls
- 10-minutes keep cool feature
The Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker come equipped with many features that allow you to make scrumptious ice cream, gelato and other frozen desserts.
This machine has a blue LED readout and touchpad controls that’s easy to read and use. You can use the countdown timer to set your ice cream and leave to go and do other things.
There are 2 unique paddles in this machine; one for gelato and sorbets and the other for ice cream. The gelato paddle perfectly aerates ingredients while the ice cream paddle churns out scrumptiously creamy ice cream.
When the ice cream is done churning, the machine shuts down and the 10-minute keep cool feature kicks in. After this, you can put your ice cream in an airtight container and place in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours. Conversely, you can serve the ice cream immediately!
The parts of this machine that comes in contact with your edibles are made with BPA free materials. You can use it to make one batch of ice cream after another without having to wait, and best of all, you get frozen desserts with frozen desserts. It is quite easy to use and fully automatic.
Furthermore, the anodized aluminium mixing bowl precludes the need to pre-freeze mixing bowl before use.
The transparent cover of this machine makes it easy for you to add your ingredients and then watch the progress of your treat. There’s also an opening in the lid for you to add mix-in ingredients without needing to stop the freezing cycle.
When you buy this machine, you get a recipe booklet that gives you a variety of flavors to experiment with.
Best High End Product
Product Name – Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.6 Star
- Has a 1.5 quart capacity that can freeze 3 quarts of ice cream per hour
- Fully automatic and produces your frozen dessert with just a touch of two buttons
- Has timer controls for making different frozen desserts
- Made with top quality stainless steel that’s easy to clean
- Made in Italy and comes with a 1-year warranty against defects
The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker is a high end machine that’s versatile and functional for all kinds of frozen desserts. So with this machine, you not only get perfect chef quality ice cream but also all kinds of frozen dessert that you can imagine.
There is no learning curve to this machine as it is intuitive to use. All you need to do is place your ingredients in the bowl, set the timer and push two buttons. In 30 minutes time, you’ll have your ice cream or whatever frozen treat you are making.
Unlike cheaper ice cream makers, the mixing bowl of this machine doesn’t need pre-freezing. This translates to faster making of batch after batch of ice cream or frozen desserts with no waiting time.
The safety feature of the machine ensures that your machine is not easily damaged. This works by the machine shutting down once your dessert is frozen as required.
This machine delivers as advertised and on top of being high end is very easy to use. You can safely buy this machine with a one year warranty and also get a recipe booklet for different flavors and frozen desserts that you can try out.
Based on all the foregoing, this machine is recommended for folks who want nothing but the best for their home/kitchen.
Cheaper Option Of High End Product ( Smart Ice Cream Maker)
Product Name – Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.2 Star
- Has 12 hardness settings for different frozen desserts
- Can be fully automatic or manually operated
- Has from pre-cool setting to the best operating temperature
- Comes with a self-refrigerating compressor
- Powered by a 165 watt motor
The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker is a smart ice cream maker. This means that it uses automated settings to get the right consistency required. It is the first of its kind; it automatically senses how hard your mixture should be based on the selection you make in the setting.
Not only does it automatically sense how hard your frozen dessert should be, it keeps it at the perfect temperature for up to three hours.
This BCI600XL Smart Scoop is easy to use and is made with BPA free materials. You can rest assured that you would not ingest toxin with your frozen treat.
Additionally, your machine is safe from accidental operation by your kids all thanks to the child lock feature. And finally, when you set your machine to operate, it would alert you to when your treat is ready with a beep or any of the musical tunes that you choose.
This Breville Ice Cream Maker is recommended for folks who love digital/smart home/kitchen gadgets.
Best Portable Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Product Name- TuoFang Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.4 Star
- Compact size of the machine makes it space efficient
- Delivers Ice cream and other frozen dessert in less than 30 minutes
- Has a 30-minutes countdown timer with automatic shut off function
- Detachable mixing paddle and freezer bowl makes for ease of use and cleaning.
- The bowl needs to be frozen completely before use and has capacity for frozen dessert for 4-6 persons
The TuoFang Ice Cream Maker is ideal for folks who are space constrained. The portability of this machine notwithstanding, it has a capacity of 1 ½ liters with a mixing paddle and freezer bowl that can be easily removed.
This machine is made with food grade aluminium (BPA-free) that guarantees that your frozen desserts are always toxin free. It is recommended that you place the mixing bowl in the freezer overnight before use. When you bring it out of the freezer, shake it and if you don’t hear any swishing sound then the bowl is adequately frozen.
The lid of this machine is transparent and has a large chute; with this you can add your mix-ins and then watch as your ice cream/frozen dessert is prepared. It provides a very convenient means of making smooth, creamy and delicious ice creams and frozen desserts.
The TuoFang Ice Cream Maker delivers even mixing at an ideal speed that ensures that you have your ice cream ready in 20-25 minutes. It saves time and energy while taking up little space on your countertop.
Best of all, this machine comes with a lifetime guarantee of after sales/customer service.
So if you are looking for a machine that would give you professional style results without taking up too much space in your countertop or in your kitchen cabinet, the TuoFang Ice Cream Maker is highly recommended.
Best Large Capacity Ice Cream Maker
Product Name – Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.4 Star
- Versatile and multifunctional – Can be used to make a variety of frozen desserts in addition to ice cream
- It is fully automatic so you don’t need to stir ingredients. Just add the ingredients and other elements and the machine would do the work.
- The lock is easy to fit onto the machine and lock in place
- It has a large capacity of 4-quarts that’s perfect for making ice cream and frozen desserts for family occasions and parties
- Purchase comes with 20 recipes that can help you get a hang of your machine and further enjoy it.
The Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Maker is a large capacity machine with which you can churn out 4 quarts of ice cream with minimal stress.
With this machine, all you need to do is add your ingredients, ice and rock salt and set it to do the work. When that the mixing is done, the machine stops by itself. This is a safety measure that guards against over mixing of your frozen desserts or damaging your machine.
The Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Maker comes with smart design touch control that makes it easy to use. So this machine comes highly recommended for beginners.
Smart design touches make Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Machines easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. What’s more, you can multitask with this machine; just set it and go make snacks (lol). The machine would stop buy itself.
When you buy this machine, you get recipes that are easy to follow so if you have issues with preparing homemade ice creams, this might be the solution to your issues.
Single Serve Manual Ice Cream Maker
Product Name – Zoku Compact Make and Serve Bowl Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.0 Star
- Does not need electricity to operate
- Can be used to make both soft serve and hard ice cream
- It is fast and convenient to use – turns out tasty frozen treats in 10 – 20 minutes.
- Made with BPA and Phathalate free materials
- Included in purchase is an Endless Summer Cookbook.
The Zoku Compact Make and Serve Bowl Ice Cream Maker is one innovative way of making ice cream without complications. This appliance can make soft serve or hard ice cream; you can also use it to make gelato, frozen yogurts and granitas.
In addition to the convenience that it delivers, this ice cream maker is fast; 10 minutes for soft serve and 20 minutes for hard ice cream. It is so easy to use as all you have to do is pour in your chilled mixture into the stainless steel bowl, churn and scrape until you get your frozen desserts.
When you order this product, your package comes with a 16-ounce stainless steel inner bowl, the outer bowl (protective sleeve) and 1 spoon. You can select from any of the 6 colors that are available.
In addition to the above, you get the Zoku’s Endless Summer Cookbook which you can use in addition to other recipes and flavors that you can try out.
Finally, because this bowl is a single serve ice cream maker, every member of the family can get their own recipe and flavour as desired.
Another Design of Instant Manual Ice Cream Maker
Product Name – Chef’n Sweet Spot Instant Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.0 Star
- Manual ice cream maker has a fast freeze surface
- Ideal for making rolled ice cream
- It’s a fun gadget that enables you to spend time with your kids in the kitchen.
- Even though it is not dishwasher safe, it is easy to wash by hand
The Chef’n Sweet Spot Instant Ice Cream Maker is a no –brainer appliance that delivers result within minutes of you pouring your chilled mixture into it. All you have to do is scrape and turn the chilled mixture in the bowl until it gets to the consistency that you desire.
There’s no waiting time after you have frozen the ice cream maker in the freezer overnight. It can be used by anyone including kids. You do not need electricity or any complicated accessories, just a scoop, spade and some elbow grease.
This ice cream maker cannot be washed in the dishwasher but it is very easy to wash by hand.
Fun Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker
Our Rating – 4.2 Star
- Manual and needs no electricity
- Made of Polycarbonate construction which equips the ball to last for long
- Has the capacity to make a pint of ice cream
- Comes in handy as an educational resource
The hand2mind Play and Freeze, Ice Cream Ball- Ice Cream Maker, (77349)) is a manual ice cream maker that helps kids to have fun while learning. It gives students something to use in their study of the properties of movement and freezing in addition to some other science principles.
This apparatus provides students with a hands-on experience studying the properties of movement, freezing, and basic science principles.
It is also a simple and convenient way of making ice cream and also get some exercise in the process. The way this works is that you fill one cavity of the ball with the chilled ice cream mixture and the other cavity with ice cubes and rock or kosher salt then shake the ball vigorously for about 30 minutes. You can also use it for a game of toss with your kids or a group of friends.
If you want soft serve ice cream, you can serve right away but for hard ice cream, you have to put the ice cream in an airtight freezer safe container and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
When considering ice cream makers to buy, there are some issues/factors to bear in mind. But before we go on to discuss some of these factors, we feel you should know the different types of ice cream makers that we have in the market these days.
Old Fashioned Ice and Salt Appliances
These types of ice cream makers are about the cheapest type in the market. The way it works is that you put your ice cream mixture in a container and then place the container inside a bigger one with ice cubes and salt.
After that, you begin to churn the mixture until it freezes into soft serve consistency. You can either serve immediately or freeze further. This set requires that you have space either in your kitchen or backyard.
Howvere, there are new designs of ice and salt ice cream makers that are portable and don’t take up much space in your kitchen. The hand2mind Play and Freeze, Ice Cream Ball- Ice Cream Maker, (77349) and Zoku Compact Make and Serve Bowl Ice Cream Maker are examples of such products.
Ice Cream Makers With Pre –Frozen Bowl
Ice cream makers with this type of design are those with insert bowls that are filled with liquid that you have to freeze for a minimum of 8 hours. These ice cream makers are usually recommended to be frozen overnight before the day you intend to use it.
The insert is then placed under a bowl in which you pour your ice cream mixture and then churn the mixture. This type of ice cream maker can either be large size or portable; it is also pocket friendly. One disadvantage of this type of ice cream maker is that you can use it back to back (that is for one batch after another immediately). You have to pre-freeze the bowl before making a new batch. This translates into a long wait time.
Self-Refrigerating Ice Cream Maker
This type of ice cream makers is the easiest to use and usually among high end products. These machines are automatic and with one touch of a button you can turn out one batch of ice cream after another. There is no waiting time for these types of ice cream makers.
Self- refrigerating ice cream makers yield ice cream with less ice crystals because of the speed at which they churn and freeze ice cream
Of all the three types of ice cream makers we have mentioned, these models are the best but are among the most expensive models in the market.
Style of Freezing
You have to decide on which style of freezing that would work best for you before buying an ice cream maker. Looking at the types of ice cream makers we discussed above, you can see that there are three major types.
If you decide to buy an ice and salt contraption, then it means that you would have the elbow grease and patience to churn the ice cream. Additionally, you may not get the creamiest of ice creams from these types of ice cream makers. However, they are the least expensive.
Ice cream makers with pre-frozen bowls are next in the order of quality and cost and they make better ice creams than the ice and salt models. However, one great disadvantage that they have is that you have to pre-freeze the bowl before making a batch of ice cream. This means that you cannot make batches of ice cream without a long wait period. Another issue with it is that it might require more storage space than some other designs/models of ice cream maker.
The best ice cream maker in our opinion is the self-refrigerating models. These one have everything all in one and the bowls do not need pre-freezing. They usually operate with powerful compressors that churn and freeze ice cream in record time. This ensures that fewer ice crystals are formed which translates to creamier ice cream.
They are usually high end products and on the high rung of the price ladder. However, for those who are very serious about their homemade ice creams, this is the way to go. A product such as the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker or the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Makerwould work wonders in your kitchen.
That said however, note that any of the products we have reviewed in this post would give you delicious ice cream and frozen desserts. The only difference would be in the ease of use and convenience and the quality of the ice cream and frozen dessert that would be produced.
Source of Power
The source of power that your ice cream maker requires is important. The most common ice cream makers known for now are the electric and manual machines.
The manual ice cream makers require that you churn the ice cream by hand and this can take a lot of elbow grease and time. However, with products such as the hand2mind Play and Freeze, Ice Cream Ball- Ice Cream Maker, (77349) you can turn ice cream making into exercise time for kids and teenagers. Even adult out on a picnic or fun day can have a go at making ice cream manually.
Electric ice cream machines however, take all the stress and guesswork out of making ice cream. Just plug the machine add the ingredients and touch a button to operate!
The capacity of an ice cream machine determines the size the machine can make per batch. If you make ice cream for a large family regularly or for parties and such events, then you should be looking for a large capacity ice cream maker. One such as the Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Maker allows you to make 4 quarts of ice cream per batch.
However, for those who make ice cream on occasions or always like to try out different recipes, you might just stick to a small size ice cream maker. With it you can make small batches of ice cream without wasting resources.
These extra features are often referred to as the bells and whistles that a product comes with. Once some features are referred to as ‘extra’ that means that they are not fundamental to the operations of the product. However, these extra features increase the value that the product delivers to the user.
In this case, an ice cream machine with bells and whistles would deliver more convenience, faster churning, safety measures such as the auto shut down and the highest quality of ice cream.
Many home chefs have argued that some of these machines with extra features are a waste of money. That all they need is a good recipe and a basic ice cream maker and you’ll always get good results.
Well to each, his own! If you want to make ice cream like a pro in the comfort of your home, try out the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker or the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
But if you are not overly concerned about chef quality ice cream and just want something to have fun with your friends and family, then consider the Chef’n Sweet Spot Instant Ice Cream Maker , the Zoku Compact Make and Serve Bowl Ice Cream Maker and the hand2mind Play and Freeze, Ice Cream Ball- Ice Cream Maker, (77349).
Now that you have read the review of these 10 products and our buying guide, we believe that you have enough info to go shopping.
As you do however, bear in mind that the costliest machine does not translate to the best. A high end machine might not be what to need at the moment; a simple manual ice cream maker might do.
Just take into consideration all that we have discussed in relation to your needs and specification. Also take out extra time to read reviews of the product that you’re thinking of buying. This would further help you know whether the product in question would meet your need or not.