Whipping up your ice cream is the best thing that can happen to you during the scorching summertime. But that is only possible if you have the best ice cream makers money can buy. This appliance allows you to prepare your own ice cream in the comfort of your home. It also enables you to monitor each ingredient used in making different types of ice cream.
What is more, this versatile appliance does not limit you to just making ice cream only. You can use it to prepare frozen yogurt as well as sorbet using fruit. In simple terms, these machines give you endless possibilities of creating the best-frozen treat for your family. Now the question is, which is the most ideal ice cream maker on the market today?
Finding the right ice cream maker is not a walk in the part. It requires your time, budget, and knowledge of key features that will make your work easy. Plus, you need to know different brands and models sold today to make a wise decision on investing in the best ice cream makers.
Below are our most favorite ice cream-making machines from different manufacturers to help you make a quick choice. Read on to learn more about manual, electric, or traditional salt and ice machines for your homemade ice cream.
Best Overall: Lello Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Stainless Steel Ice Maker
Although it is costly, Lello Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Stainless Steel Ice Maker is an excellent machine and a great addition to your kitchen. It is crafted from durable and tough stainless steel materials to last you a lifetime.
This appliance can freeze up to 3 quarts of ice cream in a period of one hour. This is impressive given that it can make a variety of delicious frozen treats for your guests, friends, and family members.
It is also fully automatic whereby it requires you to add ingredients into a freezer bowl before pressing the button to initiate the ice-making process. This unit has timer controls to take care of different frozen confections. Certainly, this is a perfect ice cream maker that will give you value for your money in the long run.
- ? quart capacity bowl to freeze up to 3 quarts of frozen treats in one hour.
- Two buttons to operate the ice cream maker.
- A timer controls to handle different frozen confections.
- Brand: Musso
- Color: Grey
- Capacity:1.5 quart
- Product Size:17.72×11.81×11.81 inches
- Product Weight:38 pounds
Best Value: Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Cream Gelato Maker
The commercial quality compressor gives Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Cream Gelato Maker an edge over other products. This fully automatic feature contributes to churning high-quality frozen treats in a matter of minutes. The two paddles come in handy to help you prepare delicious, authentic gelato and creamy ice cream.
There is also a 60-minute countdown timer and touchpad control to monitor the whole operation. These two features combine with LCD readout to give you an accurate time for making a particular type of frozen treat. Additionally, this ice cream maker is BPA-free, which means it is safe to handle any type of food for human consumption.
- Two paddles for authentic ice cream and gelato making.
- A 60-countdown timer to monitor the ice cream-making process.
- Blue LCD readout and touchpad control for easy control of the appliance.
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Color: Grey
- Capacity:1 ? quarts
- Product Size:16.73×12.0x9.33 inches
- Product Weight:27.2 pounds
Best Pick: Cuisinart ICE 30BC Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic
Cuisinart ICE 30BC Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic ice-making machine can help you make sorbet, yogurt, and of course, ice cream. It measures 8.25×8.0x11.25 inches with a capacity of 2 quarts to prepare enough ice cream for your family.
The whole body is crafted from high-quality and durable stainless steel materials to last a lifetime. On top of that, the machine uses a heavy-duty motor to provide the rotary motion that fascinates the mixing of ingredients in order to churn the best quality ice cream.
Most importantly, this machine is BPA-free, meaning that it is food safe. What’s more, it comes with an updated instruction book complete with a recipe to get you started as soon as possible.
- Brushed stainless steel housing for durability.
- Heavy-duty motor to facilitate the mixing process.
- Double-insulated 2-quart freezer bowl to hold the ice cream content.
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Color: Silver
- Capacity:2 quarts
- Product Size:8.25×8.0x11.25 inches
- Product Weight:3.2 pounds
Best Warranty: KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
With a capacity of 2 quarts, KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment is a real deal when it comes to making delicious ice at home. You can only take between 20 and 30 minutes to make enough ice cream, sorbet, and gelato for everyone, due to the efficiency of this machine.
It features a dasher that rotates at a steady speed inside the freezer bowl to spread, scrape or mix the ice cream ingredients thoroughly. The adapter ring is also included to help you fix the tilt head properly.
This freezer bowl adapter ring attaches to the bottom of the bowl when assembling the mixer. However,
the whole unit is powered by a stand mixer to churn high-quality ice cream and other similar products. It comes with a one-year hassle-free replacement warranty to assure you of the quality you can trust.
- A dasher to spread, scrape or mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- An adapter ring to provide a proper fit for the tilt-head models.
- A stand mixer to power the entire ice cream maker.
- Brand: KitchenAid
- Color: Red
- Capacity:2 quarts
- Product Size:10.9×10.3×10.3 inches
- Product Weight:6 pounds
Best Capacity: Nostalgia ICMP 400 BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
Nostalgia ICMP 400 BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker has a capacity of up to 4 quarts. This unit is designed to make delicious gelato, ice cream, and yogurt. For better results, you can pair it with any of the Nostalgia ice cream kits.
The whole unit comprises a large capacity bucket made from high-quality material. This container wipes away messes easily. It also comes with an attached carrying handle to move it around without much of a struggle.
Apart from the bucket, there is a see-through lid to cover the content inside the bowl freezer while monitoring the whole ice cream-making process. The freezer also plays a critical role in storing leftover ice cream for future consumption. Even though this unit is simple in design, it also comes with an electric motor to facilitate the ice-making process. The same electric motor locks in place to enhance safety.
- A plastic bucket to wipe away messes easily.
- A carrying handle on the bucket for easy movement.
- Electric motor to do the mixing of ice cream.
- Brand: Nostalgia
- Color: Sky blue
- Capacity:4 quarts
- Size:15.0×17.0x16.0 inches
- Product Weight:6.4 pounds
Best Quality Ice Cream: Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker
Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker gives you a rare opportunity to create up to 1 ? quart of frozen yogurt, sorbet, ice cream, and frozen drinks in the comfort of your home. The machine takes about 20 minutes to make delicious ice cream.
The process doesn’t require salt or ice to make it a success. Only ice cream ingredients are necessary. But you can add some ingredients such as chopped fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, and other special dairy products to make a variety of frozen treats for your family.
Apart from that, cleaning and storing this appliance is easy and timeless. It also comes with a limited three-year warranty.
- An automatic mixing arm to aerate ingredients to provide light and creamy results.
- A recipe book to get you started as soon as possible.
- Double insulated freezer bowl to maintain a low temperature for even freezing of ingredients.
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Color: White
- Capacity:2 quart
- Product Size:8.5×8.5×11.25 inches
- Product Weight:8.28 pounds
Best Automatic: Cuisinart ICE 20R 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Ice Cream Maker
If you want an ice cream maker for frozen yogurt, ice cream, and sorbet, Cuisinart ICE 20R 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Ice Cream Maker has you covered. It comprises a heavy-duty integrated motor to provide rotary motion for effective mixing of all ingredients. This red-colored ice cream maker is also equipped with a removable mixing arm to provide thorough mixing of each ingredient.
Since it is a fully automatic machine, you won’t have to mix or stir anything on your own. Instead, you will only have to place every ingredient into the bowl before switching on the machine.
Additionally, this machine assures you of perfect consistency thanks to its double-insulated freezer bowl that maintains low temperature for even freezing of ingredients. Its large capacity (1 ? quart ) is an added advantage when it comes to making frozen desserts for everyone in your family. In general, this ice cream maker is easy and mess-free, easy to clean, and comes with a three-year limited warranty to give you confidence when using it.
- Heavy-duty integrated motor to provide rotary motion for the mixing arm.
- Removable mixing arm to mix the ingredients.
- A freezer bowl for freezing key ingredients for making ice cream.
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Color: Red
- Capacity:1 ? quarts
- Product Size:15.0×10.6×10.0 inches
- Product Weight:8.38 pounds
Best Control Features: Cuisinart ICE-45 Serve 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker
Available in white color, Cuisinart ICE-45 Serve 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker is designed to churn yummy ice cream for everyone. This unit boasts several features to make your work easy and timeless. Its 2-quart capacity enables you to prepare enough ice cream at a time.
The easy-lock lid with a window is made to allow you to add ingredients directly into the machine. It also gives you a clear view and access to the freezing process. On top of that, the heavy-duty motor plays a critical role in dispensing the ice cream.
This entire machine is BPA-free, so the prepared ice cream is safe for consumption. With the mixing arm in place, this ice cream maker allows you to mix and aerate all ingredients inside the freezer bowl to give smooth, soft ice cream. Apart from that, the dispensing bracket with a handle churns the soft ice cream when you pull the handle down. The same handle is removable, making it easy for you to clean it.
The whole unit comprises a 1 ? quart freezer bowl that contains cooling liquid. This bowl has an insulated wall to keep it cool and make it fast to promote even freezing. Three condiment containers are also part of this ice maker and their main function is to dispense mix-ins during the ice cream making process. Other features include an ON/OFF power dial, a cone holder, a mix-in gauge, and condiment chute.
- Easy lock lid and window to allow the ingredients into the machine.
- Mixing arm to mix and aerate ingredients inside the freezer bowl.
- Up to three condiment containers to dispense mix-ins of your choice.
- ON/OFF power dial and cone holder to conveniently hold a stack of ice cream cones.
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Color: White
- Capacity:2 quarts
- Product Size:9.75×9.0x18.2inches
- Product Weight:16.7 pounds
Best Price: Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker
Have fun with family members by making them some ice cream, frozen yogurt, dairy-alternatives, sorbets, slushies, gelato, and frozen margaritas. All these edibles are made using Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker.
This simple appliance comes as a complete kit of ice cream maker, recipe book, and a scoop spade. Its instant dessert pan has a diameter of 11.38 inches to create as many as two servings of delicious frozen treats.
What you need to do is to add mixed ingredients onto the surface pan before scooping and turning it until the ice cream is created. Take the scraper and make beautiful, delicious, and sweet rolled ice cream. For maintenance, this ice cream maker is the easiest. You just need to hand wash it and nothing more.
- A scraper to create breathtaking, delicious rolled ice cream.
- Ice cream maker dessert pan to create up to two servings of frozen treats.
- A scoop spade to aid in scooping and turning the ice cream during the making process.
- Brand: Chef’n
- Color: Blue glow
- Capacity: Not provided
- Product Size:11.0×11.0x2.0 inches
- Product Weight:4.84 pounds
Best Material: Zoku Ice Cream Maker
Zoku Ice Cream Maker gives you endless options for creating a variety of fresh, delicious frozen treats. You can use this ice cream-making unit to make hard ice or to prepare soft serve. You can also use it to make healthy frozen yogurt, refreshing granitas, and gelato.
For hard ice cream, this model takes up to 20 minutes while it takes 10 minutes for creating soft serve ice cream. It doesn’t need electricity to run, which means you can use it anywhere away from your home. Plus, it is fast and convenient much to your delight.
The whole unit occupies very little space, making it suitable for all countertops. At the same time, you can serve the ice cream straight out of its freezer bowl. The entire package comes with endless recipe ideas which you can derive from Zoku’s Endless Summer Cook-Book. If possible you may come up with your own unique flavors.
- A protective sleeve
- A spoon for scooping ice cream.
- Stainless steel bowl to hold your ice cream ingredients during preparation.
- Brand: Zoku
- Color: Blue
- Capacity:0.35 liters
- Product Size:5.43×5.43×3.7 inches
- Product Weight:1.1 pounds
Best Ice Cream Makers Buying Guide
What happens when you suddenly develop a craving for ice cream? Well, the answer to your question lies in the store-bought varieties of ice cream. While this is a quick option to your craving, home-made ice can be a convenient solution for you. This is due to the fact that store-bought ice cream is usually limited in quality ingredients and flavor choices.
Just imagine preparing fruit-filled ice cream using berries or roasted figs straight from your own garden. How about combining apple pie with cinnamon ice cream? Nothing is impossible when it comes to making the best ice-cream with the help of the best ice cream maker.
A dedicated ice cream-making machine will certainly incorporate different flavors to give the best results. In addition, you will have full control over your ingredients while making your ice cream. These machines also let you incorporate organic, grass-fed dairy products into your ice cream-making ingredients without adding artificial flavors and food dyes.
Regardless of which machine you use, rest assured that most ice cream makers operate in the same manner. They all use the same principle of operation despite their differences in design, size, price, and model.
The operation starts when you place an ice cream mixture into a chilled container. This same container is usually chilled to sub-zero temperature to freeze ice cream ingredients. The mixing paddle comes in handy to constantly keep the ice cream mixture in rotary motion. At the same time, the paddle scrapes the frozen contents of the ice cream from the sides to push it to the centermost part of the container.
The stirring and continuous scraping motion plays a significant role in adding air to the ice cream mixture. The addition of air ensures that the ice cream acquires a smooth texture. It also prevents the ice cream from freezing into a solid block for a long time. That is how an ice cream maker works.
Here is what you should consider when buying the best ice cream maker.
Essential Considerations When Choosing an Ice Cream Maker
- Ice Cream Maker Size
Although it may not be an essential kitchen appliance, an ice cream maker can provide you with fresh and delicious extra smooth ice for quite some time. Having said that, this machine may not be part of your kitchen plan, especially when it comes to storing it. If you can afford a machine that fits nicely in your storage space, go for it.
Ice cream makers are available in different sizes. Some are small while others are large. A few of them are single-serve models designed to take up less space on your countertop. There are also the non-electric bowls that are made for non-freezer users including the large compressor models designed for commercial purposes. Choose the best ice cream model size depending on your needs, space available in your kitchen, and budget.
- Batch Size
Since ice cream makers range in size, they also range in capacity. The capacity describes the amount of ice each machine can make in one batch. That’s why you need to know how much ice you want to be making when shopping for the best ice cream maker.
Most of the ice cream makers are made to produce between 1 and 2 quarts ( 4 to 8 cups) of high-quality ice for every batch. However, there are models designed to churn a single-serve cup of smooth ice cream. If you are thinking of trying out different recipes most of the time, an ice cream maker for producing smaller batches is ideal for you.
- Easy to Use Settings
A good ice cream maker should be easy to operate. Such a machine should come fully loaded with an easy-to-use on/off switching mechanism. Some machines have timers, “keep cool” features or automatic shut-off, settings for creating gelato, extra freezer bowls, special paddles, and many more. These are the features you should be looking out for when choosing the best ice cream maker.
When it comes to compressor-style ice cream makers, things are a little bit different. These machines have more controls and several options to make different ice cream styles from other models. Even though it is wise to look for versatile appliances, a basic ice cream maker model can be a great option if you are on a low budget.
- Ability to Produce More Batches
Your choice of an ice maker will determine how many batches you will make in a row. For instance, the freezer bowls need you to freeze bowls before using them. This model is designed to make only single ice cream at a time. When you include another bowl to the same model, you will find it easier to produce many batches of ice cream back to back.
On the other hand, the compressor models are designed to churn a second or third ice cream batch without any problem. But the salt-and-ice models come in to accommodate multiple batches provided that you have enough quantity of ice and salt to keep it cold.
You can make as many batches as you want using different models of ice makers. But producing hard ice cream is likely to stress or overheat the motor on less robust models. To avoid such problems, you should think of acquiring low-end commercial models. These models are designed to churn a large number of ice cream batches for large events and parties.
- Source of Power
Most of the ice cream makers are electrical. They do all the churning of ice cream for you, making the whole process easy. All you need to do is to add the necessary ingredients to the bowl and push the start button to make the most delicious ice cream ever. The whole process involving electric ice cream makers is more or less the same as using some hands-off kitchen appliances such as slow cookers.
Some ice cream-making machines are operated manually. Although they are affordable, these machines require more effort and work to churn ice cream. A single manual ice cream maker can take more than 20 minutes to make one batch of ice cream.
Another downside with this machine is that they get more difficult to work with as the contents of the ice cream harden. But they are portable given that they don’t have to be plugged in to operate. For that reason, you take them along with you to camping, backyard parties, or beach trips.
- Style of Freezing Ice Cream
Quite a number of ice cream makers have freezer bowls or special inserts that are frozen before churning the ice cream. As such, they need some extra space to help you work on them comfortably. Also, they help you make more batches within a short time.
Compressor models, however, allow you to produce one batch consecutively but they need more space in addition to being too costly. There are also machines that use ice and salt freezing techniques but they are considered old-fashioned. Make sure you choose the right freezing style depending on your needs.
- The Cost
Ice cream makers are available at different price tags. Most of them are sold at an average of $50 to $100 or more. The simple ones can go as low as $30 or below. But the heavy-duty compressor models can cost you several hundred dollars due to their design, size, and capacity of producing ice cream.
Although not as costly as modern ice cream-making machines, the old-fashioned salt-and-ice style ice makers may require you to purchase bags of ice and salt when you want to produce ice cream for your family members.
- Type of Warranty
Most ice cream makers have warranties that cover only one year. The warranty is awarded to take care of manufacturing defects on your appliance. Mostly, such defects do occur during the first year of your product’s life cycle. Anything beyond that time frame comes as a result of everyday wear and tear caused by frequent use of the machine. Sadly, such defects are not covered with a normal warranty.
A good quality ice maker should last you a lifetime if you handle it properly. But if you feel you want coverage for breakages or you are simply unlucky with appliances, you can buy extended warranties for your electronics. Make sure to read through the fine print on the warranty notice before buying your ice cream makers. This is because most extended warranties start on the day of purchase. In addition, you can only use them, once the manufacturer’s warranties have expired.
Different Types of Ice Cream Makers
- Freezer Bowl
Freezer and bowl models of ice cream makers are commonly used at home today. They are electrically powered, meaning that they are easy to operate. Besides, they take up less space on the countertop because of their compact sizes.
As the name suggests, the freezer bowl models require you to keep them in the freezer before churning some ice cream. They are supposed to stay in the freezer for at least 8 hours before making the ice cream. This means you should start your preparation early or keep the bowl in the freezer throughout to save you time.
Alternatively, you may need to chill the ice cream mixture before churning to make it freeze solidly. With this model, you can only use the freezer bowl once for every batch you make. In other words, you cannot use it for the second batch. But you can make two batches by including a second freezer bowl in your unit. While this is a better and easy way to make more than one batch, extra freezer bowls mean more freezer space.
- Salt and Ice>
Salt and ice-style ice cream makers have been in existence since the 1800s. They are usually hand-cranked during the ice-making process. Most of these models are designed to be manually operated through manual cranking. This technique involves turning the paddle to mix the ice cream ingredients for some models while others are electrically operated to churn the ice cream for you.
In case you want to make more batches of ice cream using this type of machine, you will have to clean it, add more salt, ice, and ice cream ingredients. You will repeat the same procedure until you get the desired number of batches. Even though this style is the cheapest, you will have to look for plenty of salt and ice to create several batches.
- Soft Serve
This type of ice cream-making machine is designed to perform two major roles; to churn and dispense the frozen yogurt and soft serve-style ice cream. The model is equipped with a freezer bowl for the quick production of ice cream. It also operates in the same manner as the freezer bowl-style ice cream machine. But it is designed to chill the ice cream at a higher temperature to prevent it from hardening. This way, your ice cream will stay soft and smooth for a very long time.
The lever on this machine enables you to easily dispense the smooth and soft serve straight into your cup or cone. Some models come with topping dispensers to churn the ice cream with sprinkles, bits of candy, and nuts to enhance its taste. Most soft serve ice cream makers are a great choice among kids who prefer to create their own sundaes and other fancy styles of ice cream.
- Compressor-Style Ice Cream Makers
Compressor ice cream makers work in a safe way as small freezers. This model starts chilling immediately after adding the ice cream mixture instead of chilling prior to churning. A few models in this category can also be pre-chilled for some hours before you can add your ice cream ingredients.
Compressor-style ice makers come with more features including settings to make products such as sorbet, gelato, and many more. Other models have timers with them to remind you of the exact time to add mix-ins. Additionally, they have keep-cold features that play the role in keeping the ice cream chilled for a while after churning.
The best thing about this ice maker is that you can easily make multiple batches in a short time. What you need to do is to clean the freezer bowl between batches. For that reason, this machine is costly, larger, and heavier than other models.
Best Ice Cream Makers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Q: What are the top brands/manufacturers of the best ice cream makers A: Even though there are many brands of ice cream makers, the following are considered the top brands:
- Hamilton Beach
The best ice cream makers of 2021 are designed with great features to churn the most delicious frozen treat ever. These appliances come in different designs, brands, models, sizes, and capacities to serve a wide range of users. They also have varying prices depending on their respective features.
In this case, our best overall model is Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Cream Gelato Maker which comes with superior features that make it efficient and reliable. Other models are also great in terms of performance, cost, and durability. So, choosing the right ice cream machine is your responsibility in relation to your needs.