Adored by millions, ice cream is one of the most universally popular desserts – and for good reason! A home ice cream maker offers an excellent method of creating delicious and nutritious desserts without having to worry about the toxin and chemical-laden options you’d find in your local grocery store. Our website has been designed to assist you in finding the best ice cream maker for your lifestyle, budget, and overall needs.
If you want to make the buying process much easier, please read our buying guide below.
No two ice cream makers are exactly alike, and trying to figure out which one is right for you can be a confusing and frustrating process. You shouldn’t automatically choose the cheapest ice cream maker or the one with the highest ratings. You need to find the one that perfectly suits your unique needs!
In our buyer’s guide, you will learn exactly what you need to look for when purchasing an ice cream maker, and we’ve also included some super useful tips on what you should be wary of. After reading our guide, you’ll know exactly what to be on the lookout for when reading ice cream maker reviews.
Before you make a purchase, it is imperative that you know what type of ice cream maker will fit your needs in terms of lifestyle and cooking. The best place to start is by determining what type of model you want. For example, do you want a hand cranked ice cream maker or an electric one? Once you’ve narrowed the model down, the next step is to look at the different functions each type has to offer and how it matches up with your needs in the kitchen. After deciding what functions you’d like for your ice cream maker to have, the final step will be to start comparing different brands and their models.
Ice Cream Maker Comparison:
When you’ve narrowed your selection down to a specific brand and model you are interested in, it’s time to start reading the reviews. Of course you’ll want to read the positive reviews, but make sure to pay attention to the negative ones too. These can often be more revealing than glowing reviews.
With the proper amount of effort and research, you are guaranteed to find the perfect ice cream maker for you!
Top Reviewed Models
A quick Internet search will show you that there are dozens upon dozens of different brands and models of ice cream makers to choose from. To make the decision process easier for you, we’ve created a comparison chart that will make it simple for you to choose which ice cream maker model is right for you. We have personally reviewed each model listed, graded it, and given a rating on a scale of 1 to 5. We’ve also provided price estimates for each model that we’ve reviewed to make it easier to find a model that’s within your price range.
Manual, Electric, or Pre-Freeze Bowl?
Many people have fond memories of using manual ice cream makers with their grandparents or parents to make a sweet treat on hot summer days, and these manual models are still around. In fact, they’re actually growing in popularity due to nostalgia.
A manual ice cream maker will generally have an oversized wooden bucket that encompasses a smaller, steel container. The steel container is what actually holds the ice cream. Rock salt and ice are added at regular intervals between the two buckets, and the handle is manually cranked to churn the ice cream.
- Because you don’t need electricity to make delicious ice cream, a manual ice cream maker can be used almost anywhere.
- They offer a great way to make memories with your family.
- Since a manual ice cream maker has so few parts to lose or break, you can count on it to last a long time.
- Since it does require rock salt and ice, you’ll have to have these ingredients on hand before you can make ice cream.
- A manual model can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to make a batch of ice cream, and someone will need to continuously crank the handle during this time period.
If you want the freedom of being able to make ice cream anytime you want, then an electric ice cream maker might be right for you. The ice cream base is cooled via electricity, so all of the hard work and planning is already taken care of for you.
- Preplanning isn’t required, so you can make ice cream anytime the mood strikes.
- Many models of electric ice cream makers are professional grade, and you can always count on it to produce a smooth textured ice cream.
- Since the machine itself produces the cold needed to make the ice cream, these models tend to be bigger in size, and they can take up a considerable amount of space.
- Electric ice cream makers are among the expensive models you can buy.
The most common type of at home ice cream maker is called the pre-freeze bowl. Just like the name indicates, it has a bowl that must be frozen before ice cream can be made. The freezer may be a standalone model, or it may be attached to a mixer or other appliance.
- Of all ice cream maker models, the pre-freeze bowl tends to offer the most convenient size.
- It is possible to find ice cream maker attachments if you already own a stand mixer.
- They are among the most affordable models.
- You can’t make ice cream on a whim, since most bowls must be frozen a minimum of 12 hours beforehand.
- Pre-freeze bowls have a tendency to sometimes freeze unevenly, which can cause the liquid to freeze itself to the side of the bowl.
Each type of model has its fans, and you will find ratings that champion each different model. However, before you make a commitment, consider what features are most important to you. Do you prefer simplicity and affordability? Or is ease of use most important to you?
Brands and Models
With so many different options to choose from, it pays to do a little shopping around before you buy.
Ideally, you should choose a brand that you are familiar with and trust. You might be tempted to automatically choose the cheapest model, but consider this…If you purchase a model from a little known brand, can you rest assured that you will receive quality customer service from them? For example, if your ice cream maker needs replacement parts, how difficult will it be for you to obtain from the manufacturer? In this case, you will need the reliability that a reputable company has to offer.
After you identify a few brands that you are interested in, examine their models and the features they offer with a critical eye to gauge if they will meet your needs. This will greatly assist you in choosing the perfect ice cream maker model.
Below, we’ve listed a handful of the most well-known ice cream maker manufacturers. This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive one, but it does providing an excellent starting point from which to begin shopping. Each featured model has been selected for the quality of its construction and its popularity among consumers.
Use this list to begin narrowing down your search for the right ice cream maker for you. Rest assured that each of these brands meticulously maintain a reputation for reliability and high quality. Although some brands may be more familiar to you than others, each one is worth taking a look. Remember to always read ice cream maker reviews to make sure that other consumers have had positive experiences with them.
It’s important to remember that warranties can vary greatly from one brand to the next, so it is imperative to make a wise decision. If you decide to buy one of the models we’ve recommended, then it is highly unlikely that your ice cream maker will break down, but there is always a small chance that something will go awry. Any type of kitchen appliance is an investment, and when it breaks down due to factors outside of your control, then the manufacturer should be willing and happy to repair it or replace it altogether. Ice cream makers on the current market can carry warranties that range from 1 year to 15 years.
Depending upon the specific model you end up buying, it is possible that you end up spending more money than you intended too. For each model that you look at, you should always factor in the length of the manufacturer’s warranty. In general, an ice cream maker model that has a lengthy warranty is a sign that the manufacturer is very confident in the quality of the product they’ve made. Moreover, the longer the warranty is, the longer you can have your investment repaired or replaced for free.
Here are a few of the best rated ice cream makers for warranties:
When you’re reading reviews about different ice cream maker models, you may run across some terms or features that are confusing. Here’s some info that will make reading ice cream maker reviews much simpler:
- Freezer Bowl - A freezer bowl usually has an outer layer that is made of plastic and an inner layer that is made from aluminum or stainless steel. In between the two layers is a gel or liquid that freezes when the bowl is placed in the freezer. A freezer bowl generally needs to be frozen for a minimum of 12 hours before it can be used, but it can be as long as 24 hours. When it’s ready to be used, the bowl is placed in the ice cream maker, and the paddle and ingredients are added.
- Spinning Bowls - Some ice cream maker models feature a spinning bowl, which is a freezer that is mounted atop of a motor and whirls around very quickly. The ingredients in the bowl are forced around the fixed paddle. Spinning bowls make and cool ice cream very quickly.
- Paddle - All ice cream makers have one of two types of paddles: a fixed paddle or a motorized paddle. Fixed paddles are placed inside of a spinning bowl. They are adept at mixing ingredients evenly, but it’s not uncommon to cut softer ingredients in half, which can lead to the ice cream having a gritty texture. Motorized paddles mix the ice cream from above. The paddle is inserted in the ice cream maker’s motor, which requires a fair amount of dexterity. Occasionally, motorized paddles will become detached from their motors and must be reattached.
- Dosing Hole - Most ice cream maker models feature a hole in their lid that enables you to add the ingredients to the bowl. This opening is called the dosing hole. Most dosing holes tend to be rather small, and you must be careful when adding your ingredients to ensure that they don’t run down the sides of the lid.
Here’s why ice cream makers are awesome!
Ice cream is one of the best comfort foods in the world, and modern ice cream makers are enjoying a surge in popularity among kids and adults alike. If you are wondering what all of the fuss is about, then it’s time for you to check out what they have to offer!
- You can create a healthy dessert anytime. When guests drop by your home, serving them a tasty, homemade treat will be one of the highlights of their visit. In addition to ice cream, some ice cream makers can also make sherbert, gelato, and/or sorbets. It’s also fairly simple to take your ice cream maker to a friend’s house for an impromptu party.
- You can save money! If you are a true ice cream aficionado, then investing in an ice cream maker can save you a considerable amount of money over time. Rather than spending money on store bought ice cream or making a run to your local ice cream shop, you can make a batch in your own home for pennies on the dollar.
- There are an endless number of flavors you can make. When it comes to making your own ice cream, the only limit to the number of flavors you can make is your imagination. Most ice cream makers come with a recipe booklet that provides you with several basic recipes to get you started. Once you’re comfortable with using your new ice cream maker, you are encouraged to start experimenting!
- Homemade ice cream is much healthier than the store bought alternative. Much of the ice cream you’d find at your local grocery store has been laden with chemicals and preservatives – not exactly the kind of stuff you want to be eating regularly. And have you ever looked at the sugar content of store bought ice cream? If not, we guarantee that you’re in for a shock.
- You can customize the ingredients to your liking. Not only can you satisfy whatever craving your taste buds have, but if you have food allergies, you can also leave out any ingredients you are allergic too.