10 Best Ice Cream Makers Reviewed in 2020
Ice cream is a favorite treat for pretty much anyone these days. While you can find ice cream almost anywhere from a grocery store or to a local scoop shop, what’s better to have around your house than your own ice cream maker? Not only will it be a favorite family memory, but also you’ll be able to make dairy-free ice-cream with any of your favorite flavors, add your favorite candies and always have a yummy treat on hand without having to leave the comfort of your home.
Making homemade ice cream adds, of course, a personal touch. You can use almond, soy, or goat milk to make your ice cream. If you or anyone in your family has allergies, you won’t have to worry any longer about an allergic reaction as you will know every ingredient that went into the batch.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
No need for salt and ice
10 Best Ice Cream Makers Reviewed
1. Cuisinart ICE-21R
No need for salt and ice
The Cuisinart ICE-21R has snagged our top spot! This is a premium ice cream maker is for ice cream connoisseurs. You will not be disappointed with the many features that this ice cream maker offers you. Its sleek design will look gorgeous on your counter.Read more
It comes in pink, fuchsia, red, and white to match any decor. This machine can also whip up a fantastic batch of frozen yogurt or sorbet. This Cuisinart is a crowd pleaser and sized just right for personalization. You can make a smaller batch for a personalized pint or create a large batch for a dinner party or kid’s sleepover. This updated model has a new paddle style that will get you your favorite sweet treat in under 20 minutes. You can make up to 1 ½ quart of pure yumminess with this device. It is the perfect size for your family. The lid is transparent and includes a large spout for adding ingredients and watching the magic happen. This is a great activity to do with the whole family!
Ease of Use
This is one heavy duty ice cream maker. It will get you ice cream in no time. It also makes sorbet and frozen yogurt. If you'd prefer to have a cold icy beverage this machine has your back. Everyone in your group will be pleased that you made the choice to buy this ice cream machine.
This ice cream maker is a great value. You will get years of delicious treats for a mid-level price. Just store the included bowl in the freezer, keep ingredients on hand, and watch your savings add up!
2. Cuisinart ICE-30BC
Large spout for adding ingredients
2 qt capacity
Quick turn around
Heavy duty motor
Must hand wash the freezer bowl
Coming in at number two is the Cuisinart ICE-30BC. It is a bit bigger than its predecessor on the list. This is one versatile machine that doesn't require you to spend all day churning to get a perfect consistency for your dessert.Read more
It is sleek and stylish enough to be left out on the counter. You can make all members of the family happy because this little dynamo makes ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. Just make sure to save room in the freezer or invite over your friends for all of the extra ice cream. This ice cream maker has a two-quart capacity that is perfect for most recipes. It will whip up your preferred treat in as little as 25 minutes. When your machine is done doing all of the work just rinse the bowl with some soapy water and pop it back in the freezer for your next batch! This machine is super easy to clean so you can quickly enjoy your treat.
Ease of Use
The self-locking lid has a large spout for adding ingredients without making a huge mess. Little Johnny will have a blast putting his favorite candy or fruit into his ice cream with this machine.
This sleek and durable machine will have you creating cool goodness for years. It comes in at the middle range of prices for our top ten list, so it is a great value.
3. Breville Smart Scoop
Easy to navigate interface
Alerts you about progress and mix-in status
Self-cooling for up to three hours
12 different hardness/consistency settings
Pre-cooling indicator and blade removal indicator
Motor is located beneath ice cream chamber and leaks can happen
Drive shaft sticks up into freezer bowl and is awkward to navigate around
The Breville Smart Scoop gives you room to try all kinds of tasty treats. There are twelve settings for consistency, including gelato, sorbet, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. It’s capable of self-refrigerating and it can keep your dessert cool for up to three hours. Capable of functioning both in an automatic setting and manually, you have lots of control to customize your experience and results. Grab a good recipe book and get to work; delicious homemade goodness awaits!Read more
This ice cream machine isn’t limited to any flavors or even any style of frozen dessert! The only restrictions are the ingredients you can find and your own catalogue of recipes. Whether you’re craving something light like frozen yogurt, something creamy and rich like gelato, a refreshing sorbetto, good ol’ fashioned ice cream, or something in between, you have plenty of options and all with the push of a few buttons! Flavors come out pure and distinct; no metallic tang or interference from machinery to be found here.
Ease of Use
There are some design flaws but they’re common in ice cream makers. The location of the motor sits housed in the machine beneath the ice cream chamber, resulting in the chance for leaks to slip through. But this doesn’t seem to be an issue for most customers. There are video instructions online as well as an included manual. The menu on the top of the machine is easy to navigate. It even shows you the progress of your recipe and alerts you when to add mix-ins.
This is easily the most expensive option on our list. But, to be fair, it’s also one of the most high tech and convenient options of the bunch. It’s limitless and you can make multiple kinds of frozen dessert with it. It also helps guide you along if you need to add mix-ins to your recipe. Plus it keeps it cool for up to three hours, so even if you have to run some errands and return, you’re not coming home to a mess and a ruined treat.
4. Hamilton Beach 68330N
4 quart capacity
Easy to clean
Does not work well with lots of mix-ins
Hamilton Beach’s Automatic Ice Cream Maker is at number 4 on our list. This machine has a large capacity to make enough ice cream for friends and family. You can use this device whenever the desire for a sweet treat hit you.Read more
No need to freeze any parts, just add cold ingredients and have plenty of rock salt and ice on hand. This is the perfect ice cream maker for your backyard barbeque or family get together. This machine will produce up to four quarts of ice cream! It consists of an outer bucket, an inner bucket, a paddle, a lid, and a motor. These pars are all easy to clean, either wipe them off or wash with warm soapy water. Your ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard, sherbet, or gelato will be ready to eat in 20 - 40 minutes. This is an older style ice cream maker and requires that you pack ice and rock salt around the interior bucket to freeze the ice cream. This ice cream maker is a great addition to any family.
Ease of Use
The best thing about this ice cream maker is that it comes with an included recipe bok so you can start making ice cream right away.
This machine is of great value. It comes in at the lower end of our prices for this list. You will get your monies worth with the first few batches of delicious creaminess.
5. Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE
Easy to clean
Easy to transport
The motor is not intended for use with lots of mix-ins
Our number five ice cream maker is the Nostalgia ICMP 400 Blue. This blue bucket is as cute as it is efficient. It has a larger capacity than some other makers on our list.Read more
The bucket comes with a handle for easy carrying and a quick cool canister. The Nostalgia Blue will make a hot summer day more bearable by giving you a cool treat quickly. This device will make both ice cream and sorbet. It has a locking lid to keep all parts in place while the motor is going. The lid to the interior canister is see through so you can watch the magic happen. The exterior bucket is easily accessible for adding additional rock salt and ice while the ice cream is churning. You won’t be disappointed with this cute blue bucket.
Ease of Use
The convenient carry handle makes this ice cream make easy to transport from your pantry to the backyard or to a friend’s house. This is the perfect ice cream maker for an impromptu get together.
This maker is at the low end of prices on our list. The portability and overall usefulness of this machine make it a great value.
6. Cuisinart ICE-100
Auto shut off timer
10 minute stay cool function
Need a separate container for storage
Our number six pick is the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor. This is a top of the line home ice cream maker. You do not need to add ice or freeze and additional parts. Just plug it in and add your ingredients.Read more
It can quickly make authenticly styled frozen treats. The digital display makes it easy to use. This high-quality ice cream maker will make you and your family delicious ice cream for years to come! The ICE-100 comes equipped with a commercial quality compressor. It also has a second paddle specifically for creating gelato. This machine can make your Italian ice cream dreams come true without leaving your home! It has a 1.5-quart capacity to make plenty of your favorite treat. The 60 minute LCD backlit countdown timer will let the kiddos (and parents) know exactly when the ice cream will be done. The mixing bowl had a convenient handle for easy removal. This device’s lid is see through so everyone can peek in on the mixing action. This top of the line home ice cream maker will keep your family entertained for many a hot summer, and maybe a few cool winter nights.
Ease of Use
The best feature on this ice cream maker is the 10-minute cooldown feature that will keep your ice cream cool in the machine after it is done mixing. Now you don’t have to worry about standing around for the last few minutes of the mixing cycle. This machine will bring you a lot of yummy goodness!
This machine takes the guesswork out of making ice cream, no more worrying about ice to salt ratios or if the bowl is cold enough. The cost is high end, but the peace of mind that comes with its ease of use is well worth the cost.
7. Cuisinart ICE-70
Auto shut off
Multiple speed settings
Integrated measuring cup
The lid is hard to attach
The Cuisinart ICE-70 is our number seven pick. It can make a variety of frozen treats to please everyone in your family. It is the perfect size to make dessert for a small gathering or to last a few days.Read more
It comes equipped with a timer and convenient spout for adding ingredients with less mess. This ice cream maker will help your family make fun memories for years to come nice flavors.
Ease of Use
This machine has a two-quart capacity. The lid is clear so you can watch it churn away at your frozen treat. In 20- 40 minutes you can have delicious frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbet, or gelato. It has three settings and multiple speeds to make the perfect treat. It comes equipped with a countdown timer so you know exactly when your dessert will be complete and ready to eat!
The freezer bowl can be rinsed out and stored in your freezer after each use so you can make ice cream any time!
This device falls into the mid-range for pricing on our top ten list. It is money well spent because you will be able to make multiple types of frozen treats in a timely manner.
8. Nostalgia ICMP400WD
Easy to clean
Real wood outer construction
Uses rock salt and ice cooling method
Our number 8 pick is the Nostalgia ICMP 400 WD. This ice cream maker will bring you back to summers on Grandpa’s back porch waiting for the ice cream to finish churning. It has an outer wooden bucket that looks like something out of the 1950s.Read more
Great flavor maker. This ice cream maker is ready to help you continue the family tradition of summers on the back porch. Add in your favorite ingredients and spend a warm summer afternoon reminiscing over summers past.
Ease of Use
This machine is super easy to clean, with a plastic lined outer bucket and a quick to cool aluminum interior bucket. The sturdy outer bucket is made of real wood and the motor locks into place. The 4-quart capacity makes this ice cream maker perfect for a party or to make a yummy dessert to snack on for the week. Don’t forget some handy storage containers, you will have plenty of leftovers. This ice cream maker is big enough to feed a party and reminds us of times past. It is the perfect combination of modern and old-fashioned.
The price point for this ice cream maker makes it a great value. You can have all of your memories come rushing back to you for a mid-level price.
9. Whynter ICM-200LS
No parts to freeze
Auto shut off
LCD time and temperature display
Easy to clean
Extended cool feature
Whynter ICM-200LS gets our number nine spot. This device does not need any pre-freezing! This premium machine offers a variety of premium options for your convenience. Use the built-in timer to keep your dessert making on track. Your only worries with this machine are to have the proper ingredients on hand.Read more
You will be ready to make a yummy frozen treat in less than an hour from preparation to eating.
Ease of Use
You can make multiple batches back to back! The compressor keeps this 2-quart machine cool, so you don’t have to use your freezer to hold ice cream maker parts. When you are all done making your yummy dessert just give the removable bowl a quick hand wash and you are ready for your next batch. Use this machine to make the best ice cream, gelato and sorbet recipes you can find. Your whole family will thank you! The company will send you secret recipes on request, and they even included an ice cream scoop with purchase!
This Whynter device falls into the high end of our pricing. The value is in the compressor. When you have a compressor motor you don’t need to worry about pre-freezing any parts, you just pour in your ingredients and enjoy your ice cream.
10. White Mountain Wooden
Triple action stirring
Commercial grade motor
Our list ends with the White Mountain 6-quart ice cream maker. This large capacity ice cream maker is a crowd pleaser. It has solid construction and a powerful motor. It has a patented stirring method that creates great ice cream every time.Read more
The flavor is great. The wooden outer bucket is sturdy and reminds you of older model ice cream makers from summers past. This ice cream maker won’t disappoint. Now go grab your neighbors and some family members for an afternoon of ice cream sundaes.
Ease of Use
This machine is full of benefits! It comes equipped with a 12,000 rpm commercial grade motor gives your ice cream a super smooth consistency. The dasher (stir stick) is made of coated cast iron for years of use. This durable ice cream maker will still be working hard when your kids go off to college! It only takes 20-40 minutes to make a batch of yummy goodness. Grab one of these quickly so you can start making memories with your loved ones. It had a gorgeous white pine bucket and durable interior parts to last and last. The interior bucket is stainless steel to keep everything extra cold. This is one device you will enjoy for a while.
The cost of this machine is at the higher end of our list. It is well worth the money you will spend. The parts are super durable and it comes with a 5-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
The last thing anyone wants to do is to have a difficult cleaning task after making such a wonderful treat. You won’t have to worry about that with these ice cream makers–all of them are easy to clean. All you will need to be able to do is remove the bowl and detach the stir sticks for easy cleanup. Every one of our machines on our list is easy to disassemble after a sweet day of ice cream making.
With any new appliance, there is always a learning curve. We wanted to make sure that each ice cream maker on our list was easy to use and had easy-to-follow instructions. Mostly, all you have to do is to chill your ingredients and your interior container (freezer bowl or canister) and you should have great, tasty ice cream each time. They are all electric so all you have to do is push a button and watch the machine do work. No more having to crank your afternoon away waiting for ice cream.
Nobody wants to spend their entire day waiting for ice cream. Once you decide on what flavor to make, you’re going to want to eat it quickly. We made sure that these specific ice cream makers will be done churning in an hour or even less than that. Nobody likes to wait! This way you can get to the best part, eating, quickly. Most of the machines on our list come, of course, with recipe guides that will include times and some of them even have auto-stop motors that stop when the ice cream reaches specific consistency. Timing is everything and when you have a family, especially one with young children, waiting for ice cream is not an option.
If your ice cream maker comes with its own freezer bowl, store it in the coldest part of your freezer and you’re going to want to make sure that the freezer temp is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If the bowl is always frozen then you’re always ready to make ice cream! Don’t put the freezer bowl in the dishwasher for it will ruin the freezing liquid and will no longer keep your ice cream frozen. Prior to making ice cream, you’re going to want to make sure the base is in the refrigerator for a few hours so that you can have the best consistency.
Remember homemade ice cream is free from stabilizers and other additives used to keep store-bought ice cream super-thick. Keep in mind also that homemade ice cream will have a creamier consistency. Of course, it will usually thicken once it’s set up for a few hours in the refrigerator. Most importantly have fun! Don’t forget to experiment with your new machine and find some unique recipes that you and your family will love. You’ll be surprised by all of the possibilities waiting for you.
Look for a product which offers value and good performance and has a good set of features. Shop and search until you find the ideal home product, there are many options.
Consider flavors to avoid repetition, choose a product that can operate and produce a nice selection of flavors to stimulate taste and enjoyment. Some products can allow you to blend and create a choice of flavors. Do some research to see what is the best product for your ice cream making aims.
Other Factors to Consider
The capacity of the ice cream maker was one of the things we considered when coming up with our list. The smallest capacity machine we have makes individual bowls of dessert and the largest of them is six quarts. You can pick a device that will cater to each person, event, or your family, depending on your personal preference.
When it comes to ice cream, your maker should be able to withstand tons of use. Each maker on our list is made of durable materials and built to last. You’re going to want to make sure to read the instructions before adding in a lot of extras to your ice cream. These unique machines are created to stir ice cream and can get easily clogged up if you add too many goodies at the wrong time.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What type of ice cream maker should I buy?
The type of ice cream maker you choose depends entirely on your personal preference and your budget. If timing is your main concern a compressor-style machine will be your best option; it has the quickest start-to-finish time available. If budget tops your list of concerns, then go for a double bucket ice cream maker that requires ice and rock salt for cooling. If you want to avoid the mess of salt and ice and still want a quick treat, then go for the frozen bowl-style of a machine. All of these machines will give you quality ice cream, you just need to decide what options will work best to meet your personal needs.
q: How long will it take to make my ice cream?
The length of time it takes to make your ice cream will depend on many factors. The recipe you choose, the temperature of your machine, and the speed of your motor are the top things that will affect timing. The machines on our top 10 list can make ice cream in as little as 15 minutes when prepped correctly. Make sure to check your user’s guide to ensure that you are using your machine correctly.
q: Is homemade ice cream better than store bought?
Homemade ice cream can be made to your exact preferences. Personalized taste and texture will always win! Sure you can get really good premium brand ice cream, but it still has additives and preservatives. If you make your ice cream you know the exact ingredients. Knowledge is power.
q: How do I clean my ice cream maker?
Clean the bucket or bowl of your ice cream maker immediately after use using warm (not hot) soapy water. Wipe down the outside of your plastic or stainless steel machine with appropriate food-safe cleaner. Use a clean cloth to wipe down the outside of wooden ice cream makers. Check your manufacturer’s directions for proper motor cleaning and maintenance.
q: Are there recipe books for homemade ice cream?
The majority of the machines on our list come with recipe guides. There are also tons of guides available commercially. Be warned that not all motors are created equally. Adding in lots of extra goodies can cause issues with lower power motors. Check your user’s guide for advice. Remember you can always stir in goodies after your ice cream is made like they do in popular commercial ice cream and frozen yogurt shops.
q: How does an at-home ice cream maker work?
All ice cream makers stir specific ingredients together with a long paddle in a cold container. The cooking methods, type of paddle, and the motor will vary based on who made the machine. Usually, when using a compressor or freezer bowl-style machine, the ice cream maker is put together and turned on before ingredients are added. Then you slowly add the ice cream base and watch the magic happen. Once the ice cream starts to set up you may start to add in some special extras like crushed cookies or candies. Once these are fully incorporated and the ice cream is frozen thoroughly, it should be done. If you want a harder consistency place the batch in the freezer for a few hours.
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