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If you also scream for ice cream as loud as we do, you probably agree that there’s no better way to celebrate anything than with a delicious frozen treat.
While store-bought ice cream can certainly fill the void, there’s something about producing homemade ice cream that can’t be beaten. It could be the flavor, the texture or just the feeling of eating something you made from scratch. Alternatively, it could also be the fact that you’re the one in control of the flavor. Want strawberry and peach flavor with chocolate chips? No problem. You can create any unique flavors you want.
If you’ve never tried it, you simply have to give making your own ice cream a try. But, rather than churning it by hand, you’ll want to buy your very own ice cream maker. So, what’s the best ice cream maker to choose?
When it comes to picking the right option for you, there’s a number of elements you need to consider. The biggest question is how many people are you looking to feed? Some ice cream makers can only produce a limited amount of product before needing to be re-chilled. Other larger makers, which include their own built-in cooling functions, are capable of producing ice cream in back-to-back batches. Another thing to think about is whether you want to produce more than just ice cream. Many ice cream makers can also produce gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbet.
Below, you’ll find 14 of the best ice cream makers available. There are options to fulfill every ice cream need, from budget-friendly, bucket-style options to self-contained makers capable of supplying ice cream-seeking crowds.
1. Cuisinart Compressor Ice Cream Maker
The Cuisinart Compressor Ice Cream Maker is one of the top options for making frozen desserts at home. From decadent ice cream to light, refreshing sorbet, this fully-automatic kitchen appliance can create batch after batch of delicious frozen delights without the delay you may experience with competing ice cream makers which require pre-cooling or freezing. The compact device includes a transparent lid so you can watch your creation come to life as well as a handy mix-in opening so you can add delicious extras, like nuts, chocolate chips and fruits. You’ll also find the anodized aluminum mixing bowl lifts out for easy removal and distribution of your tasty treat. Furthermore, the maker includes a recipe book to get your creative juices flowing.
2. Hamilton Beach 1.5-Qt. Ice Cream Maker
There’s no need to get complicated when you’ve got the Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker in your kitchen arsenal. This fully automatic maker boasts a 1.5-quart capacity is large enough for a family of 4-6 to enjoy a frozen yogurt, ice cream, sherbet and gelato. Simply add the necessary ingredients, secure the easy-lock lid and let the device get to work. In addition, the maker comes with recipes to inspire your future products.
3. Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker
With its bucket-like design and built-in carrying handle, the Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker makes creating and delivering your homemade desserts especially easy. Whether it’s a party with friends or your family, the device’s 4-quart capacity ensures there’s plenty to go around. In addition to ice cream, this versatile maker can also be used to create frozen yogurt and gelato. The ice cream maker is ideal for use with Nostalgia’s ice cream mixes which come in strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavors. Plus, the bucket’s plastic construction makes cleaning it especially quick and easy. This is also one of our favorite gifts for mom in 2021, if you’re looking for unique Mother’s Day gift ideas.
4. Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker
This ice-cream maker is like the little engine that could. The most challenging part may be remembering to tuck it in the freezer 24-hours before use. When ready, you just need to pop in your ingredients, sit back, and wait for about 40 minutes to have a smooth and delicious treat. You don’t even need fancy ingredients, just cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla.
5. E&B Family Fun DIY Ice Cream Maker
BEST FOR COLD-STONE-STYLE CREATIONS
As well as creating ice cream, ice cream rolls, gelato, yogurt and sorbet, one of the great things about the E&B Family Fun DIY Ice Cream Maker is that it lets you create Cold-Stone-style ice cream treats. The open surface and included spatulas make ice cream manipulation simple by letting you pummel and add ingredients as you please. And, unlike many competitors on our list, this ice cream maker requires no ice or salt in the process. All you need to do is freeze the aluminum plate, create your concoction, chill it for 10 minutes and throw it on the plate! It also makes it super easy to throw in delicious extras, like candy, cookies or chocolate. Furthermore, the freedom to choose the ingredients makes this a great choice for creating vegan-friendly frozen desserts.
6. Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Maker
BEST FOR FROZEN YOGURT
If you’re looking for the best way to create delicious frozen yogurt in your home, consider the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Maker. This handy appliance can create frozen desserts in as little as 20 minutes and sports a moderately sized 1.5-quart capacity, ideal for small families and couples. It’s also capable of producing ice cream and sports a transparent lid which allows you to add ingredients to your mix during the production process. Furthermore, thanks to more than 4,000 five-star reviews from Amazon users, you can be confident you’re going to love this device.
7. Yonanas Classic Fruit Soft Serve Maker
BEST VEGAN ALTERNATIVE
If dairy ingredients are off the table but you still love enjoying fruit-filled frozen desserts, the Yonanas Classic Fruit Soft Serve Maker is the answer for you. Use fruits like overripe bananas, berries and mango to create super smooth, ice cream-like desserts. You can even add chocolate and other delicious treats into the mix, too. By removing the dairy element from this nearly instant frozen dessert, the resulting treat is lower in fat, sugar and preservatives when compared to store-bought options. To create this delicious dessert, simply add your ingredients into the chute and use the included plunger to push the ready-to-eat product out of the spout and into your bowl.
8. Nostalgia Electric Bucket Ice Cream Maker
MOST UNIQUE LOOKING
Sporting a design inspired by old-fashioned, hand-crank ice cream makers, the Nostalgia Electric Bucket Ice Cream Maker delivers delicious ice cream and looks fantastic at the same time. The bucket-style maker features a real wood slate exterior, making this a great choice for parties and public occasions. Furthermore, the maker’s six-quart capacity ensures there’s plenty of dessert to go around, too. This versatile kitchen gadget can be used to create ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato, includes a powerful electric motor for effort-free production and comes with a number of suggested recipes to get you started.
9. Whynter Upright Stainless Steel Bowl Ice Cream Maker
If counter space is at a premium in your kitchen, consider choosing the Whynter Upright Stainless Steel Bowl Ice Cream Maker. This small-footprint device boasts a 2.1-quart capacity and can create ice cream, gelato and sorbet on demand. It comes with a removable, stainless steel mixing bowl and a BPA-free churn blade which make post-creation clean up quick and easy. For further ease of use, the ice cream maker also includes a handy LCD timer control, a built-in audible timer and easy-to-use buttons on top.
10. Smeg Ice Cream Maker Accessory for Smeg’s Stand Mixer
BEST ADD ON ACCESSORY
If you own a Smeg stand mixer, you already know that the brand makes quality products. It is excellent for helping you whip up cakes and throw together muffins, but you can also buy attachments that help you to use the powerful motor to make ground meats, pasta and ice-cream. This separate compact accessory with its double-wall cooling container will allow you to enjoy ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in as little as 20 minutes.
11. Cuisinart ICE-45 Ice Cream Maker, Soft Serve Mix-it-In
BEST FOR SOFT SERVE
If, as a kid, you were a fan of Carvel ice-cream or other soft-serve brand’s this will take you back to your childhood. And if you have children, it is great because it turns your kitchen counter into a pseudo-ice-cream parlor as it features a section to mix in chocolate chips or whatever crunchy items you have in mind, plus it has a cone holder. Before using, you will have to freeze the inner bowl, which will make about 10 to 12 servings at a time. It is also pretty simple to use, and once you press the lever out swirls your smooth and creamy treat.
12. Zoku Ice Cream Maker
BEST SINGLE SERVE
What could be better than being able to have a bowl of homemade ice-cream, custard, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, or sherbet in about ten minutes? Hardly anything. If it is too soft for you, then you can place it in the freezer for another 20 minutes to harden. It’s perfect if you and your family want to have dessert, but all prefer different flavors. Everyone gets to make their own.
13. Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker
The Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker is made for people who love ice cream. This Italian-made, fully-automatic ice cream maker requires users to simply add the ingredients and press two buttons. The process takes around 30 minutes from start to finish, and because it requires no pre-freezing like many churn-only ice cream makers, it’s capable of creating batch after batch of delicious frozen treats. In addition to ice cream, this device can be used to make gelato, sorbets, frozen yogurt and refreshing frozen drinks.
14. COSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream Machine
If you’re looking to create ice cream on a large scale, try adding the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream Machine to your setup. It’s ideal for professional outfits or for anyone who just can’t get enough ice cream. At its top speed, it’s capable of creating up to 28 liters of ice cream per hour. You also get the choice between three different types of ice cream when dispensing. You can pick between two individual flavors or a mix of the two. Furthermore, this ice cream machine sports large handles for easy distribution and comes with four hats for creating different shaped ice creams. For ease of cleaning, you’ll find a detachable drip tray and a one-click, water-cleaning function.