Ice cream is a delicious dessert that many people enjoy. While store-bought ice cream can be convenient, making your own ice cream can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the help of an ice cream maker, you can easily create your favorite flavors of ice cream, sorbet, or gelato in the comfort of your own home. However, with so many ice cream makers on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.
Here, we will explore some of the best ice cream makers available and discuss their features, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you!
Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Ice Cream Maker
When considering buying and using an ice cream maker, there are several factors to keep in mind. Here are some important things to consider:
Type of ice cream maker: There are various types of ice cream makers available in the market, such as electric, manual, compressor, and freeze bowl ice cream makers. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to choose one that best fits your needs.
Capacity: The capacity of the ice cream maker is another important factor to consider. If you’re making ice cream for a large family or group, you’ll need an ice cream maker with a larger capacity. On the other hand, if you only plan to make ice cream for yourself or a few people, a smaller capacity ice cream maker will suffice.
Cost: The price of an ice cream maker can vary greatly depending on the type and features. It’s important to consider your budget and choose an ice cream maker that fits within it.
Ease of use: Some ice cream makers are easier to use than others. Consider how much time and effort you’re willing to put into making ice cream and choose an ice cream maker that is user-friendly.
Maintenance: Ice cream makers require maintenance and cleaning after use. Consider the ease of maintenance and cleaning before making a purchase.
Recipes: Some ice cream makers come with recipes or recipe books, while others do not. If you’re a beginner or want to try new recipes, look for an ice cream maker that comes with recipes or has a wide range of recipes available.
By considering these factors, you can choose the best ice cream maker that suits your needs and enjoy making delicious homemade ice cream
Points to Remember When Operating an Ice Cream Maker
Here are some things to consider when operating an ice cream maker:
Pre-freeze the bowl: Most ice cream makers require the bowl to be pre-frozen before use. Make sure to freeze the bowl for the recommended amount of time as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Follow the recipe: Always follow the recipe provided by the manufacturer for best results. The recipe should specify the amount and type of ingredients, as well as the duration of churning.
Chill the ingredients: Make sure all the ingredients are properly chilled before adding them to the ice cream maker. This helps to ensure the ice cream freezes evenly.
Do not overfill the bowl: Overfilling the bowl can cause the ice cream to overflow and prevent the machine from functioning properly. Always leave enough space for the ice cream to expand as it freezes.
Check the consistency: Keep an eye on the consistency of the ice cream as it churns. It should be smooth and creamy, but not too soft or too hard.
Use quality ingredients: Use high-quality ingredients to make the best-tasting ice cream possible. Fresh, high-quality dairy products and fresh fruits will yield the best results.
Clean the machine: Always clean the ice cream maker after use, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help ensure the machine continues to function properly and avoid contamination.
Store the ice cream properly: Once the ice cream is made, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for best results.
Types of Ice Cream Makers
The two main types of home ice cream makers are freeze bowl ice cream makers and compressor ice cream makers. Freeze bowl ice cream makers require you to pre-freeze the container before adding the ice cream mixture and churning it.
Compressor ice cream makers, on the other hand, have a built-in compressor that cools the mixture, eliminating the need for pre-freezing the container or using ice and salt. Compressor ice cream makers are generally more expensive but offer more convenience and faster results. Freeze bowl ice cream makers are more affordable but require more planning and freezer space.
Here’s a breakdown of the main points to consider when comparing freeze bowl and compressor ice cream makers:
Freeze Bowl Ice Cream Makers:
- Require pre-freezing of the container before use
- More affordable than compressor ice cream makers
- Can be smaller and easier to store than compressor models
- Require more planning and freezer space
- Can make smaller batches of ice cream at a time
- Generally have a simpler design and may be easier to use and clean
- Can take longer to make ice cream, as the container needs to be frozen first
- Ice cream may be less smooth or creamy than ice cream made in a compressor machine
Compressor Ice Cream Makers:
- Have a built-in compressor that cools the mixture, eliminating the need for pre-freezing the container or using ice and salt
- Offer more convenience and faster results than freeze bowl ice cream makers
- Can make larger batches of ice cream at a time
- Generally more expensive than freeze bowl ice cream makers
- May be larger and take up more storage space
- Can produce smoother and creamier ice cream than freeze bowl machines
- May have more features and options, such as different speed settings or pre-programmed recipes
Most Recommended Ice Cream Makers
Discover the best ice cream makers to create your favorite frozen treats at home with ease and convenience.
1. The Breville Smart Scoop
A highly rated ice cream maker that is considered the best overall. It is an electric compressor machine that can make up to 1.5 quarts of ice cream and has 12 hardness settings to customize the texture of your ice cream. It also has a pre-cool function that can chill the mixture before churning, as well as a keep-cool function that maintains the temperature after churning. The Breville Smart Scoop is easy to use and clean and comes with a range of pre-set programs and a recipe book to help you get started.
Reviewers have noted that the Breville Smart Scoop is easy to use, with intuitive controls and clear instructions. It is also relatively quiet compared to other ice cream makers.
Some users have reported issues with the machine’s durability, particularly with the paddle and motor. However, these reports are relatively rare and most users are satisfied with the machine’s performance and longevity.
2. The Cuisinart Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt and Sorbet Maker
A popular kitchen appliance that allows you to make delicious frozen treats in the comfort of your own home. This appliance is perfect for those who enjoy making their own ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or gelato, and want to have control over the ingredients and flavors they use.
One of the key features of the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is its large mixing bowl, which can hold up to 1.5 quarts of ice cream or other frozen desserts. This makes it easy to make enough frozen treats for a small family or gathering. The mixing bowl is also removable, which makes it easy to clean and store when not in use.
Another great feature of the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is its powerful motor, which helps to churn the ice cream mixture evenly and quickly. This ensures that your ice cream or other frozen dessert is smooth and creamy, without any ice crystals or lumps. The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker also comes with a variety of accessories, including a mixing paddle, a mixing bowl, and a recipe book.
3. The DASH My Pint Ice Cream Maker
A compact kitchen appliance that allows you to make your own ice cream in just a few simple steps. This machine is designed to make one pint of ice cream at a time, making it perfect for small households or for those who want to experiment with different flavors and recipes.
One notable advantages of the DASH My Pint Ice Cream Maker is its simplicity. All you need to do is freeze the bowl, add your ingredients, and turn the machine on. Within 30 minutes, you’ll have your very own homemade ice cream, which can be enjoyed right away or stored in the freezer for later.
Another benefit of the DASH My Pint Ice Cream Maker is its versatility. You can use it to make traditional ice cream flavors, like vanilla or chocolate, or you can get creative and experiment with more unusual combinations. The machine also comes with a recipe book to get you started.
In terms of design, the DASH My Pint Ice Cream Maker is compact and easy to store, making it a great option for those with limited counter space. The machine also comes in a range of colors to suit your personal style.
One potential downside of the DASH My Pint Ice Cream Maker is that it only makes one pint of ice cream at a time. This may not be enough for larger households or for those who like to have a lot of ice cream on hand.
4. The Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker
This machine comes with a powerful motor that can churn the ingredients to a perfect consistency, and it has a large capacity, which makes it perfect for families or for those who love to entertain.
One of the benefits of using the Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker is that it is incredibly easy to use. Simply add your ingredients to the machine, turn it on, and let it do the work. There is no need for any manual stirring, which can be a time-consuming and tiring process.
Another advantage of this ice cream maker is that it is very versatile. You can use it to make a wide variety of frozen treats, from classic vanilla ice cream to more exotic flavors like mango or lavender. You can also experiment with different mix-ins, such as nuts, fruit, or chocolate chips, to create your own unique flavors.
This is also very affordable compared to other ice cream makers on the market, making it an excellent choice for those who are on a budget. It is also easy to clean, with most parts being dishwasher safe, which makes cleanup a breeze.
However, one potential downside of this ice cream maker is that it can be quite noisy during operation. If you have a sensitive household or live in an apartment building, this may be a concern. Additionally, the machine can take up quite a bit of counter space, so make sure you have enough room before purchasing.
5. The Whynter ICM-201SB
The Whynter ICM-201SB has a 2-quart capacity, which is ideal for making small to medium-sized batches of ice cream. This makes it perfect for families or for entertaining guests.
The powerful compressor of this ice cream maker allows you to make ice cream quickly and easily. You don’t need to pre-freeze the bowl, which saves you time and hassle. It features a digital timer that allows you to set the machine to run for a certain amount of time. This is very convenient because you don’t have to keep an eye on the machine constantly.
It’s easy to use as well. All you have to do is add your ingredients to the bowl, set the timer, and let the machine do the rest. The machine will automatically shut off when it’s done. Apart from that, it is also very easy to clean. The bowl and mixing paddles are removable and can be washed in the sink or dishwasher.
Finally the design has a sleek, modern design that looks great in any kitchen. It’s also relatively compact, which makes it easy to store when not in use.
6. Amazon Basics Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Designed for making homemade frozen treats, the Amazon Basics Automatic Ice Cream Maker is a compact kitchen appliance with a 1.5-quart capacity, ideal for small households or families. It can be used to make ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and other similar treats.
The machine features an automatic mixing paddle that churns the ice cream mixture continuously while it freezes, ensuring a smooth and consistent texture. It also has a transparent lid, allowing you to see the ice cream as it churns.
The ice cream maker is easy to use – simply prepare your ice cream mixture, pour it into the freezer bowl, and turn on the machine. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to make a batch of ice cream, depending on the recipe and the desired consistency.
One thing to keep in mind is that the freezer bowl must be frozen for at least 24 hours prior to use. This means you’ll need to plan ahead and make sure you have enough space in your freezer to store the bowl.
7. The Ninja NC301 CREAMi
A multi-functional kitchen appliance that serves as a blender, food processor, and mixer all in one. It comes with a powerful 1200-watt motor and a 72-ounce pitcher, making it ideal for blending large batches of smoothies or soups.
One of the standout features of the Ninja NC301 CREAMi is its Auto-iQ technology, which provides pre-programmed blending settings for various types of recipes, including smoothies, frozen drinks, and purees. This technology takes the guesswork out of blending, ensuring consistent results every time.
Another great feature of the Ninja NC301 CREAMi is its versatility. With multiple attachments and accessories, it can be used for a wide range of tasks, from mixing dough to chopping vegetables to pureeing baby food. This makes it a valuable addition to any kitchen, particularly for those who enjoy cooking and baking from scratch.
However, some users have noted that the Ninja NC301 CREAMi can be quite loud, particularly when blending tougher ingredients such as ice or frozen fruit. Additionally, its large size may make it difficult to store in smaller kitchens or limited cabinet space.
The decision to buy an ice cream maker or buy ice cream depends on personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Some pros of buying an ice cream maker include control over ingredients, fun activity, and long-term cost savings. Some cons include initial expense, time-consuming process, and storage requirements.
Pros of buying ice cream include convenience, variety, and social experiences. Cons include potentially unwanted ingredients, variable quality, and potential long-term cost. Ultimately, the decision depends on personal priorities.