Ice cream is one of the most nostalgic sweets available; it’s the perfect summer delicacy that can be savored all year round. If you love ice cream and are still looking for the ideal flavor, owning an ice cream maker at home means you will never have to forgo toppings or your favorite combination of ingredients.
These fascinating kitchen tools are the secret to personalizing your sundae: Depending on the model, you can build new flavors, manage texture and hardness, and add your preferred mix-ins.
The 8 Best Ice Cream Makers of 2024
- It is lightweight and has about the same space as a mixing bowl.
- Its sturdy, straightforward design makes it simple to understand and use.
- This machine produced some of the creamiest ice cream that we tested.
- It can also function as a frozen margarita maker.
- Ice cream prepared in this machine freezes harder and faster than some other makers we tried, so use caution when scooping.
- It makes less ice cream than some of the other products.
- It is not dishwasher safe.
One of the most straightforward and affordable devices tested proved our favorite. The Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker produced some of the creamiest ice cream we’ve ever tasted with minimal setup, maintenance, and cleanup. It is a manual ice cream maker, but in the spirit of “getting back to basics,” we concluded we preferred it over all of the others we tried.
To use, create your ice cream base, pour it into the frozen bowl, and mix it with the provided spatulas. We discovered that the simplicity of this gadget contributed to its overall convenience—it’s lightweight and approximately the size of a large mixing bowl, so it doesn’t take up much countertop space and has no extra pieces to clean.
This gadget performed admirably throughout testing – it created ice cream faster than any of the other products we tried and produced creamy results with evenly distributed mix-ins. Although it does not have as much ice cream as some larger, more sophisticated machines, it is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to dabble in making ice cream at home. (It also serves as a frozen margarita maker for hot summer nights.)
- Produces smooth, creamy ice cream without grit or separation.
- It can also be used to create frozen cocktails and coffee drinks.
- The parts are dishwasher safe but can also be cleaned by hand.
- When the motor is turned on, it might become extremely noisy.
- It only makes two pints at a time, so it’s not ideal for huge batches.
The 11-in-1 Ice Cream & Frozen Treat Maker is another one of our top picks. This multifunctional gadget is electric, requiring less effort than the Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker, but it produces comparably creamy results. However, the $250 price tag prevented it from being our top choice.
Throughout the testing process, we were impressed with how straightforward this machine is to grasp and use, and its performance and versatility set it apart from the competition. Its small size makes it easy to store and doesn’t take up much space, and we appreciate how easy the controls are to read – especially for beginners. With eleven modes, this electric ice cream maker is one of the most versatile we tested, and it can also produce frozen lattes or milkshakes.
We appreciate how hands-off you can be with this electric machine while getting incredibly creamy results. This is an excellent choice for anyone searching for a little appliance that can make a variety of frozen delicacies. Remember that while it is smaller, it produces less finished output than some of the other machines.
- Ensures smooth, creamy, and evenly mixed ice cream and sorbets.
- The four feet provide a robust platform, ensuring that this machine does not move about while in operation.
- The machine is quiet and straightforward for novices to understand and operate.
- This simple gadget is ideal for children and teenagers.
- The churning process takes longer than other machines we tried.
- Because this is a frozen bowl method, you will need extra storage space to keep the bowl.
This simple, easy-to-use electric ice cream maker is ideal for novices or anyone who does not want to spend a lot of money on a new gadget. It employs a frozen bowl approach, which means the technique is straightforward and produces wonderfully creamy results with constant mix-ins.
Throughout the testing process, we discovered that this machine was one of the most basic and straightforward to use while yet producing high-quality results. The ice cream and sorbet were rich and creamy, not runny or crystallized. It works swiftly, and the simple on/off switch was straightforward to learn and use. We appreciate that this machine includes an ingredient spout, which allows you to quickly scatter ingredients without spilling anything out the side.
Remember that this machine took longer to process the components than others we tested. Because this ice cream maker uses a frozen bowl, it will take up space in your freezer, so keep this in mind before purchasing.
- This ice cream maker does not take up much countertop space.
- It is one of the most user-friendly we evaluated, thanks to its simple design and straightforward on-off functionality.
- A scraper blade allows you to mix all of the components correctly.
- This model produced some of the most incredible ice cream we made.
- Because of its simple, small form, this electric ice cream maker lacks any particular features.
This super-simple electric ice cream maker is small and compact, so it can produce excellent ice cream without taking up too much counter space. Throughout our testing, it consistently made airy, fluffy, sweet, and light ice cream, with toppings perfectly integrated throughout.
This machine produced some of our favorite ice creams from all our tried goods. Its ease was unparalleled—in addition to being tiny, it is also straightforward to clean. It’s simple to disassemble, and all the pieces were easy to hand-wash, leaving no residue on the countertop or the machine’s electric base.
Remember that this product should not be put in the dishwasher, and abrasive cleaning agents are not recommended for use on the freezer bowl. This fast, efficient, and hassle-free ice cream maker produces fantastic results.
- All fruits pulverize instantly, saving time.
- It produces creamy sorbet and soft serve that may be scooped effortlessly.
- This can pulverize frozen fruit and transform it into sorbet, making it ideal for creating healthy sweets.
- Getting the fruit down the chute can be difficult.
- This applies exclusively to dairy-free ice cream or sorbet.
This simple ice cream machine is ideal for children and young adults who want to create delicious frozen delicacies. It pulverizes fruit rapidly and transforms it into smooth, creamy fruit-based desserts in seconds. Place frozen fruit in the chute and press the plunger to push it through.
Throughout our testing, we discovered that this machine produced excellent results fast and efficiently. It makes a modest noise, and even when pushing fruit through the grinder, we never thought it was deafening.
Keep in mind that this machine only produces fruit-based, dairy-free frozen sweets. Pushing it down the chute can be difficult, depending on the size of the frozen fruit.
- Easily customize the texture of your ice cream with 12 hardness levels.
- The machine can keep your ice cream at the desired temperature for up to three hours.
- It’s among the most expensive devices on our list.
- It’s pretty massive and bulky.
This loaded computer has clever features that make it highly functional and modern. The compressor mechanically cools the bowl before use, so you don’t have to freeze it when making ice cream. It has a tonne of presets that enable even beginners to manufacture everything from gelato to sorbet, and the 12 hardness levels allow users to customize the precise texture of the ice cream they want.
Throughout testing, we appreciated how this machine produced high-quality ice cream and how you could set the preset function and walk away, leaving the automated machine to do all the work. This is an excellent choice for a machine to set and forget.
Remember that this is a large and cumbersome machine, making it unsuitable for tiny rooms or kitchens with little storage.
- A touchpad control panel with an LCD screen makes controls simple to access and operate.
- The lid features a unique spout that allows adding mix-ins quickly and easily.
- The finished ice cream is highly fluffy, airy, and light.
- The compressor base makes this equipment quite heavy to lift.
- It’s a bit messy to use.
Throughout the testing procedure, this machine wowed us with its expertly light, airy, fluffy, and creamy ice cream production. The touchscreen is simple to use and operate, given its few functions. This ice cream machine was simple to use and produced professional-quality results despite the lack of additional buttons or functionalities. It’s simple, appealing, and a simple method to set up an ice cream business in your own house.
The compressor cools the machine automatically, eliminating the need to freeze the bowl between uses. While we like using this machine during testing, we observed that it is a little dirtier than others and a touch heavier than some machines of comparable size.
- Great ice cream maker Replaces up to 4 appliances.
- It is faster and requires less work.
- Dishwasher-safe parts.
- The ice cream maker is noisy,
- requires frequent respinning for creaminess,
- is more expensive than traditional machines,
- cannot produce large amounts of ice cream at once.
The clever CREAMi makes pints of exceptionally smooth ice cream in three simple steps: prepare your base, freeze overnight, and blend. The seven-in-one ice cream maker can make regular, low-sugar, keto, vegan sorbet, gelato, milkshakes, smoothie bowls, ice cream, and light ice cream. Use the mix-in option to add crumbled cookies, fresh fruit, candy, and other ingredients.
Frozen desserts are blended straight in the lidded pint containers and placed in the freezer; you can use the intelligent Re-Spin feature later to make your creations even softer and creamier.
Price Match Guarantee for Ninja CREAMi 7-in-1 Ice Cream Maker. 12.07″Wx6.52″Dx15.95″H
- Metal and Plastic
- Seven one-touch programs: ice cream, sorbet, gelato, milkshake, smoothie bowl, lite ice cream, and mix.- In three steps: Prepare base, freeze overnight, and process.
- Ideal for low-sugar, keto, dairy-free, and vegan recipes.
- The Re-Spin feature creates even softer and creamier frozen desserts.
- Contains three 16-ounce CREAMi® covered pints.
- All removable parts are top-rack dishwasher safe.
Types of Ice Cream Makers
Salt & Ice
Since the mid-1800s, one old-fashioned method of making ice cream involves churning the base in a container surrounded by a salt and ice mixture to freeze it. The strategy must be practical because machines like these still exist. Some require physical cranking to turn the paddle, but others use an electric motor to perform the work for you. Salt-and-ice machines can freeze more ice cream in less area since they don’t require large insulated bowls.
This approach requires a lot of ice and salt, but producing many batches is easy. You remove the finished ice cream from the inner container, refill it with base, and restart churning. However, be careful not to overfill the ice compartment since this will cause salty water to leak into the ice cream.
The most common type of home ice cream machine is the freezer bowl. They have a specific bowl that goes into the freezer well before churning—overnight or a total of 24 hours—so you must plan or leave the bowl in the freezer. The ice cream freezes inside the ice-cold bowl, and a rotating paddle scrapes off the frozen layers before incorporating them into the recipe. There are freezer-bowl types with hand cranks, but most are electric and relatively easy to use.
Churning a single batch of ice cream typically warms the bowl sufficiently that it cannot be reused, but some machines include a second freezer bowl (or sell them separately) that allows you to produce batch after batch. The only negative is that those bowls occupy space in the freezer or cabinet.
Ice cream machines that use compressors function similarly to small freezers. They cool themselves down using the same technique as a home freezer or air conditioner, resulting in ice cream without needing extended pre-chilling times. These machines often have more functionality, including settings for preparing gelato, sorbet, and other frozen desserts.
Some versions include advanced timers to tell you when to add mix-ins and keep-cold capabilities that refrigerate the ice cream for several hours before serving. (A soft serve machine is a compressor ice cream maker that is adjusted at just the correct temperature to keep the ice cream flowing, solid, liquid.)
The downside of these equipment is that they are heavy and expensive. A compressor ice cream maker is certainly overkill for a home that only produces ice cream a few times a year, but if you’re a genuine addict who will use it regularly, it could be excellent.