Nothing beats the summer heat better than the good old ice cream. And there is nothing better than whipping your own ice cream at home.
When whipping ice cream at home, you have the ultimate control over the ingredients and how you want it to taste. Moreover, you can also experiment with different recipes to create the ice cream of your dreams.
Imagine combining peanut butter with a chocolate you love a lot and topping it off with nuts and cream. You won’t get the freedom of combining different on this level when you hit an ice cream parlor.
Even if your ice cream parlor is the old fashioned DIY style parlor, you still have limited ingredients to mix and match.
Whipping ice cream at home gives you freedom but it isn’t always easy to make your own ice cream at home. But thanks to technology, there are now so many ice cream makers in the market that you can forget the old way of making ice cream through rock salt ice cream machines.
We have handpicked and tested 10 best ice cream makers in the market. Our ice cream maker reviews will help you decide on getting your first ice cream maker to whip your favorite ingredients into a creamy heaven at home.
Why Buy an Ice Cream Maker?
Ice cream maker makes things a whole lot easier if you love making your own ice cream at home. At stores, you will always be limited to a number of different flavors and combinations.
Having a good ice cream maker that can easily whip a delicious icy dessert at home will really cheer you up since you can experiment with recipes to your heart’s content.
Also ice cream makers now days are very affordable and no longer need hours and hours of consistent checkups to come up with the perfect creamy dessert.
A typical ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes or more to come up with recipe. Other ice cream makers which cost a little more come with built-in compressor that make things even easier. No matter what your preference is, there is an ice cream maker available that can perfectly work for you under a given budget.
When buying an ice cream maker, there are a lot of things you must keep in mind. Our ice cream maker reviews will help you decide which the best one in the market is for you.
Top 10 Ice Cream Makers Review
Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
The Cuisinart ICE-100 boasts a high quality stainless steel finish on the top and the front of the machine which gives it a very nice commercial look. It also has plastic finish but that is at the bottom and the sides.
The machine comes with two plastic dashers. One for ice cream making and the other is for gelato. Both of these have scraper blades made out of plastic attached to them.
Both scrapers look and feel high quality with very less chances of breaking them.
The biggest feature of Cuisinart ICE-100 is its built-in compressor. This will save you the hassle of freezing your ingredients overnight as the machine will bring the mix to freezing temperature using the built-in compressor.
The compressor is extremely effective but requires like 10-15 minutes before it can start making ice cream.
The Cuisinart ICE-100 takes about 45 minutes or less depending on the size of mixture to create a very smooth and creamy textured ice cream.
Cleaning the machine is also very simple because you can remove the bowl and easily wash it after you are done doing a mix.
Noise level of the Cuisinart ICE-100 is not so loud which is a great if you don’t like the sound of churning.
All in all the Cuisinart ICE-100 makes great tasting ice cream with a very smooth and creamy texture.
Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
However, the same cannot be said about the churning blade inside the machine. Unfortunately, the plastic blade inside feels a bit sloppy and doesn’t give the same high build quality of the exterior.
The Breville BCI600XL is capable of making a maximum of 1 liter of ice cream at a time. This is a good thing only if you are making ice cream for the family. For a gathering, you may find this capacity less.
The machine features an automatic hardness setting that stops as soon as the desired level of hardness is reached. You can also manually control the hardness but the automatic hardness control is definitely worth it.
The Breville BCI600XL features a built-in compressor and the machine is capable of churning ice cream in 30 minutes at maximum capacity.
Thankfully the Breville BCI600XL is also very quiet when churning ice cream at its maximum. The only problem you may face with the ice cream maker is its cleaning process.
Since the bowl isn’t big enough, removing ice cream stuck to the falls can be difficult. But the good thing is that Breville BCI600XL is capable of making an extremely smooth, dense and rich textured ice cream making a worthy buy.
KitchenAid KICA0WH 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker Stand Mixer Attachment
KitchenAid has done an excellent job with the design of the ice cream maker. The attachment it comes with works with nearly all KitchenAid stand mixers. So if you already own an appliance from the company, this attachment will work with it.
One of the biggest benefits of getting the KitchenAid KICA0WH is its extremely easy to use profile.
All you need to do is get your mix from the refrigerator, and attach the attachment to the drive assembly of the mixer and place the bowl and you are good to go.
Since the KitchenAid KICA0WH is manual, we recommend you start churning the ice cream at the lowest speed and then gradually increase it until it’s hard enough to your liking.
The machine is capable of churning ice cream within 20 minutes and it makes around 2 liters of ice cream at a given time.
Cleaning process is also very simple thanks to the attachment bowl that can be easily taken off and washed away. You can also use the mixing bowl to serve ice cream since it looks great on the table.
One of the biggest features of the KitchenAid KICA0WH is that it can make any kind of frozen dessert. You will get a guide with the mixer which will show you how to make other desserts like frozen yogurt, frozen drinks like margaritas, daiquiris and many more!
Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
Since the ice cream maker doesn’t feature a built-in compressor, you may need to freeze the bowl overnight. But that is not a big issue because once you take the bowl out and start churning the ice cream, it takes about 18 – 20 minutes to get the job done.
The only downside of the Cuisinart ICE-30BC is that it is quite loud when it is churning ice cream. We definitely don’t recommend staying in the kitchen when this machine is doing its work.
But since it is so easy to clean with the removable bowl, we have absolutely no issues with its loud sound. Given also the ice cream maker only takes 18 minutes to get the job done.
iGloo ICE102-Red Compact Ice Maker
It also features a water compartment that holds around 2.3 quarts and produces new ice batches every six minutes.
The iGloo ICE102 is great for gatherings where you need to have an unlimited supply of ice. Since it can hold up to 1.5 lbs of ice, it is a great partner for parties where drinks are going on.
The ice maker also features a LED indicator which tells you when the machine compartment has low water volume or if the ice compartment is full. The controls featured on the machine are also very easy to operate.
We love the fact that the iGloo ICE102 is so compact and small that it can be taken anywhere provided there is an electric source around. You can also store ice inside the machine since it keeps them intact for a very long period of time.
Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker
If you thought it was an ice cream maker, you are very wrong.
The Yonanas is simply a blender that turns just about any frozen fruit into something that is quite near to an ice cream. The results are a creamy blend of smooth ice dessert.
The trick is simple, freeze your favorite fruit and plunge it into the chute of the machine and start pushing the fruit down until the compartment for the frozen dessert is full.
When you are done, you can extract a creamy, smooth and tasty frozen dessert free of fat. What’s even better is that you can hand this dessert to your kids and they will never know the difference.
Whynter ICM-15LS Ice Cream Maker
The Whynter ICM-15LS Ice cream maker is an extremely easy to use device because it features a built-in compressor. Unlike other mixing machines where you have to constantly observe the ice cream mix, this machine makes things easier.
All the work required goes into making the recipe mix and maybe refrigerating it for a little while. After that throw in the mixture and the machine will do the rest.
Unlike many other ice cream makers in the market, the Whynter ICM-15LS works great even in hot summers. It has enough power to churn out smooth, creamy and well textured ice cream in about 30 – 40 minutes.
Before you start the churning process, try cooling the mixture in a fridge and that will improve the time of churning the ice cream. When done, the machine is easily cleaned because most of the parts that get dirty in the process are removable and washable by hand.
The Whynter ICM-15LS also features a stay cool function which makes an even better product since it stays cool for at least an hour after the process is done.
Many other ice cream makers in the market go completely off and start to get warm as soon as you turn off the machine. This leads to the mixture getting melted quickly.
Conair Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker
The Conair Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream and frozen yogurt maker does not feature a built in compressor.
For that, it is quite affordable and decent at its given price point.
Cuisinart has improved a lot of things with their new ice cream maker. This new machine has a brand new patented paddle design which according to the company speeds up the process of making ice cream or frozen yogurt.
This is actually quite true when we put the ice cream maker to the test. The machine was able to churn out perfectly smooth and richly textured ice cream in just about 15 minutes. This is a whopping feature of the machine.
When cleaning is required, you may have some trouble because the inside compartment is a bit compact. You will have to carefully remove everything and wash them separately. The removal process is a bit of a mess and we wouldn’t say it is perfect or convenient.
The Conair Cuisinart ICE-21 is an excellent ice cream maker if you do not want to spend a large budget on automatic compressor built machines. This ice cream maker offers enough space to make a liter of ice cream with speed and quality.
Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker
The biggest feature of this machine is its large 4 quarts capacity.
Other machines in the market generally offer 2 quarts or less ice cream churning capacity. 4 quarts is a lot of ice cream which is perfect for large parties.
What’s even better is that the Hamilton Beach 68330N only takes about 30 – 40 minutes to make rich and smooth textured ice cream per batch. So it is mainly aimed at producing ice cream for a large gathering.
The only problem with the Hamilton Beach 68330N is that it requires old school techniques to get the ice cream done right. With no built in compressor, you will have to add ice to the sides of the freezing bowl before you can start making ice cream.
But since it offers fast ice cream making in large quantities, we highly recommend getting it if you only make ice cream for gatherings or parties.
Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
It has a large canister holds 4 quarts of ice cream mixture which is great for big gatherings. But since it does not feature a compressor, you will need to add a combination of ice and rock salt.
One of the biggest benefits of getting the Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE is that it is quite affordable. Unlike other machines that are over $200 or more, this machine can be bought for a very low price of $40.
With every old school ice cream maker, there are benefits and disadvantages. Since the Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE features a powerful electronic motor that can get 4 quarts of ice cream done in about 40 minutes, this is a huge bargain!
Furthermore the bucket where the ice cream is churned is an excellent serving container for the ice cream.
How To Choose An Ice Cream Maker
After reading the reviews of our top 10 favorite ice cream makers, we are sure you now have a nice idea of what an ice cream maker is capable of. When choosing the right ice cream maker, watch out for:
The churning capacity of the ice cream maker – you have to know if you are making ice cream for personal use or a gathering mostly.
Automatic or manual – automatic machines are great if you don’t want to constantly observe the ice cream making process.
Built-in compressor – built in compressors save time by not having you freeze the bowl overnight. Compressors also take less time to churn ice cream.
Price – price is an important factor since a lot of machines out there can cost in the hundreds. Look for a machine that offers you convenience as well as performance and then match it with other options. Don’t settle for low price if the performance is not good.
What To Look For In An Ice Cream Maker
Getting a good ice cream maker is a tricky job. When you head out to an electronics store, look for the following things in an ice cream maker:
Churning blades – it is very important to buy a machine that has durable churning blades and scrapers. We have heard a lot of people complain about blades being broken after repeated use.
Churning time – every ice cream maker has a specific time for churning ice cream. Some can churn ice cream in about 15 minutes while others can take about 40 minutes. If you don’t like waiting, then go for a machine that can churn in 20 minutes.
Build quality – never settle for a ice cream maker that is low in quality. By low quality, we mean that the ice cream maker should be at least made with stainless steel to qualify as a high end ice cream maker. But if you are on a budget go for a machine that mixes both well together.
Multiple desserts – if you want to use an ice cream maker to form other delicious frozen desserts, then go for an ice cream maker that is capable of doing that. You will find many ice cream makers in the market that will only make ice cream and as well as machines that make other frozen desserts easily.
Ice Cream Making Tips
Good ice cream is all about the process. Follow these tips to make an amazing ice cream regardless of what machine you use.
- Freeze the bowl
Always freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker. This speeds up the process of making ice cream and gives you better results.
- Keep the mixture cool
Before adding the ice cream mixture to the ice cream maker bowl, make sure its cooled enough in the fridge. This is done to ensure you get a smooth texture whenever you make ice cream.
- Keep the quantity controlled
With ice cream makers offering 2-4 quarts sized bowls, we always recommend keeping the quantity controlled. For example, if your machine has a capacity of 4 quarts, go for 3 quarts. This helps in making sure the machine doesn’t malfunction and produces maximum results.
- Add extracts before the churning process
If you plan on adding vanilla, almond or other extracts to your ice cream, add them always before the churning process but make sure your ice cream mixture is cool!
- Prevent ice crystals
Ice crystals can easily ruin a good ice cream. In order to stop the ice crystals from forming, cover the bowl of the mixer with a layer of plastic before you close the container and it will prevent the ice crystals from forming.
Verdict and Recommendations
For convenience, ease of use and performance, we highly recommend going with an ice cream maker that has a built-in compressors.
These machines tend to work on its own and don’t require the user to constantly overlook at the mixture being turned into their favorite dessert.
Plus compressor based ice cream makers also come with a lot of other salient features as mentioned above in each review.
If your budget doesn’t allow it, only then go for the old school manual style ice cream maker. These offer you the most capacity but are not beginner friendly.