The Best Ice Cream Makers

Ice Cream Makers

Often, when we run out of ice cream (or any other frozen dessert) we say a little curse and run to the store to grab another carton. However, with a little time and investment in an ice cream machine, you could make your own ice cream flavors at home.

We spent more than a week researching the best ice cream makers on the market and came to the conclusion that the Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker is the best ice cream maker currently on the market.

The 5 Best Ice Selling Cream Makers

For your convenience, the below list shows the 5 best selling ice cream makers on Amazon.com. The list is automatically updated once a day.

On Sale Bestseller No. 1
Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Chrome, Ice Cream Maker with Countdown Timer,...
  • Makes 2-quarts of ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato or sorbet , UC Cubic Feet - 1.65 inches
  • Improved paddle with faster processing time
  • Countdown timer with auto shutoff. MC Cubic Feet: 3.30
  • Ingredient spout with integrated measuring cup
On Sale Bestseller No. 2
Nostalgia Electric Bucket Ice Cream Maker With Easy-Carry Handle, Makes 6-Quarts in Minutes, Frozen...
  • 6-QUART CAPACITY: Makes up to 6-quarts of delicious ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato
  • NOSTALGIA ICE CREAM KITS: Unit works perfectly with all Nostalgia ice cream mixes - try Vanilla...
  • EASY-TO-CLEAN: Bucket makes it easy to cleanup and wipe away messes
  • SEE-THROUGH LIDS: Cover the ice cream canister with included see-thru lid to easily view ice cream...
On Sale Bestseller No. 3
Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker -...
  • Fully automatic frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream maker. Dimensions (LXWXH) : 8.25 x 8.00 x 11.25...
  • Brushed stainless-steel housing; heavy-duty motor. BPA Free
  • Large ingredient spout for easily adding favorite mix-ins
  • Double-insulated 2-quart freezer bowl; instruction book and recipes included.UC Cubic Feet: 1.23
On Sale Bestseller No. 4
Dash My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker Machine for Gelato, Sorbet + Frozen Yogurt with Mixing Spoon &...
  • HEALTHIER: Dash ice cream maker lets you make healthier, homemade ice cream right from your kitchen...
  • QUICK, EASY + CUSTOMIZABLE: Turns on and ready to go with just the push of a button 16 cups of fresh...
  • COMPACT + LIGHTWEIGHT: Weighing less than 1 lb, this is a MUST-HAVE for that first apartment,...
  • PERFECT GIFT: The perfect wedding gift, new home gift, or gift for kids Its small size takes up...
Bestseller No. 5
VPCOK Ice Cream Maker 1.5 Qt Electric Frozen Yogurt Sorbet Ice Cream Machine with Recipe Easy...
  • Heavy-duty Motor: Mixing paddle can mix, scrape and aerate food to create frozen dessert with faster...
  • Good Gift Idea: Perfect size 1.5 quarts of ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato or sorbet, enough for...
  • Easy Operation: Transparent lid lets you remove and lock it, and watch freeze process simply. Large...
  • Healthy Flavor: Recipes included. You can create your own unique taste or follow the cookbook to...

Due to their dual functionality home, ice cream makers are also known as automatic ice cream makers, frozen yogurt makers, and sorbet makers.

Our selection of the 5 best ice cream makers:

With all the options out there, it can be hard to decide on which machine is the right option for you, so to help you out we’ve listed and reviewed the five best home ice cream makers below.

1. Hamilton Beach 683330N 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker

Hamilton Beach 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker

Hamilton Beach is a company known for its kitchen appliances. They often feature an affordable price tag and a simplistic design. Their ice cream maker is no different. The Hamilton Beach ice cream maker features a large 4 quart capacity with an automatic motor for easy churning. It has a plastic finish that could deter those that prefer a more stylish finish.

However, it features a very simplistic “touch and go” design which can allow anyone to make delicious ice cream, sorbet, gelato, and any other number of frozen treats. It also comes with an easy lock lid for effortless storage.

Just add ice and salt to the outside ring and the ingredients to the inside ring and push start. It has an automatic stop function that will stop the motor at the perfect moment. As an added bonus, it comes with a simple recipe guide.

2. Nostalgia 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker

Nostalgia 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker

For those wishing to recapture the wistful days of old, the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker may be the perfect fit. This maker, which is also capable of making frozen yogurt, gelato and other such treats, features a lovely wooden exterior with an easy to clean plastic liner bucket.

It also comes with a transparent lid for easy storage and viewing. It also comes with a locking motor mount for electric churning which preserves the retro feel of the ice cream maker without the work of hand churning.

Another positive aspect of this maker is the large four-quart capacity which can easily feed an entire family or picnic group! As with other simplistic designs, ice and salt must be added to the outside ring while the ingredients go into the inner bucket. This is a perfect machine for those that love the whimsy of an older era.

3. Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker

Some people like the most technological gadgets they can find. This ice cream maker is for them! The Cuisinart ICE-70 is a high tech wonder. It features 3 different settings with multiple speeds for the perfect consistency whether the user is making frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato, frozen drinks, or ice cream.

It also features a countdown timer with an automatic shut off so you never have to wonder how long you have to wait for your frozen treat to be done. It also features a mess-free spout with a built-in measuring cup.

It has a smaller two-quart size which is perfect for those that like to switch up their ice cream flavors often. Another major feature of this maker is the freezer bowl. The freezer bowl gets pre-frozen in the freezer for around a day and no ice or salt is needed!

The freezer bowl makes it much easier to upkeep, create, and clean. In fact, it has a speedy 20 minute make time. The main drawback of this maker is the price tag. It’s well above any of the others on this list, but if features are important, this is the maker for you.

4. Cuisinart ICE-30BC Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Ice Cream Maker

This maker is the less technologically fancy version of the ICE-70. It doesn’t feature the multiple speed settings but is fully automatic. It also features the easy pour spout with a measuring cup for easy and clean making. It has the same type of freezer bowl as the ICE-70. This freezer bowl allows for quick and easy ice cream creation but you must make sure the freezer bowl is completely frozen or the ice cream will not come out correctly.

Additionally, you must make sure your freezer is at 0F or the freezer bowl will not get cold enough. It has the same heavy-duty motor as featured in many Cuisinart makers and non-slip rubber feet for secure counter placement. It has a two-quart capacity which is great for those that like to change their flavors up.

It also has an easy locking transparent lid and has storage for the cord in its base. It has a price tag below the ICE-70 but it still might be out of the range of average consumers.

5. Cuisinart ICE-21R Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart ICE-21R Ice Cream Maker

This maker is the basic model compared to the ICE-70 and the ICE-30BC. It comes in an attractive red color and has a capacity of 1.5 quarts which is perfect for an individual or those that like to experiment with flavors. It has a similar freezer bowl which means no ice or salt needed. It also features a large spout and a transparent locking lid for storage.

Just as with the other two models, it features non-slip rubber feet, cord storage in the base, and a heavy-duty motor. The best feature of this model compared to the other two is the price tag. It runs in a much more reasonable range for the average consumer.

What is ice cream? 

Ice cream, a common word that we all understand, even small children, but do we know what it is, and how it is made? It is not as simple as mixing cream with ice but is more a blend of ingredients that result in that tantalizing soft, smooth, irresistible treat that is ice cream.

Ice cream is a mixture of milk, cream, sugar, salt, and flavorants which is churned and frozen, using special techniques, to produce that creamy delight.

In the United States, to qualify as ice cream, the frozen mix must contain a minimum of 10% milkfat, also known as butterfat, up to 16%. The higher milkfat will produce a  smoother textured ice cream as there will be a lower water content and therefore fewer ice crystals. 

The overrun may not exceed 100%, which means that if the increase in volume during the churning process exceeds 100%, the air content would be greater than 50%. Ice cream with a milkfat (butterfat) content below 10% is referred to as “ice milk” or “low fat” ice cream.

Stabilizers such as gluten can be added to help to give the mixture a consistent texture, and sugar or sugar substitutes provide the expected sweet taste we all look for. There are no sugar varieties available these days that rely on the fruit or natural milk sugars additives to provide the sweetness.

With modern technology and real or artificial flavorants available the variety of ice cream flavors on option are only limited by imagination. From basic vanilla or strawberry to exotics like pomegranate, mango, and litchi, to chocolates and caramels, and all the colors of the rainbow. 

Still, there are even more options, with real fruit chunks, biscuits, and marshmallows, not to mention coffee and liqueur flavors.

How is ice cream is made?

Putting a container of milk or cream in the freezer will give you a block of hard, solid frozen liquid, not the soft, creamy yummy stuff we know as ice cream. This is because this freezing process will produce large ice crystals. There has to be a process or special techniques that will yield smaller ice crystals and introduce some air to the mix to produce a softer texture.

Constantly churning the mixture using muscle power by hand, or mechanically, prevents large ice crystals from forming. This churning process also softens the mixture by introducing air to create a foam-like texture.

Earlier we mentioned salt as one of the ingredients, the salt is not used in the ice cream, but rather in the production process. Salt has the ability to lower the melting point of ice. Heat is drawn out of the ice cream mixture faster when the melting point of ice is lowered this way, causing it to freeze quicker.

Freezing the ice cream mixture quickly in this manner produces those smaller ice crystals for a softer, smoother end product. The salt is mixed with the ice, and never comes into contact with the ice cream, and therefore has no effect on the taste or sodium content of the ice cream. The salt-filled ice is packed in a separate chamber surrounding an inner chamber containing the ice cream and is there only to assist with the rapid freezing process.

Dry ice and liquid nitrogen can also be used in the production of ice cream as they also assist with a quick freezing action.

How to store homeade ice cream?

Ice cream must be stored in the freezer and kept as cold as possible. When making your own ice cream at home, or when buying from the shop, make ice cream the last item to go into your trolley then go straight home.

What you don’t want is for the ice cream to partially defrost, and then refreeze at home. The process of melting and refreezing will form large ice crystals in the ice cream, spoiling the texture and the enjoyment when eating.

Ensure that the ice cream is stored way back in the main compartment of the freezer, and not in the door. Every time the door is opened warm air will attack that area, harming ice cream with a continual thaw and refreeze cycle. Deep in the freezer ensures the ice cream remains properly frozen, and scooping, texture, and taste remain uncompromised.

An additional precaution, once the ice cream tub has been opened, is to place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface before replacing the lid. This will prevent ice crystals from forming by providing a barrier from air and moisture in the freezer. It will also help to prevent the introduction of “rouge” flavors that may permeate from other items in the freezer.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Ice Cream Maker

Now we know all about ice cream we want to have this at home whenever the mood takes us. Before you jump into this blind, let us check out these different types and features of ice cream making machines so that we can make an informed choice.

Ice cream maker types (Freezer Bowl vs Compressor)

There are two types of ice cream makers on the market, one called a freezer bowl ice cream maker and one called a compressor ice cream maker, and firstly we will look at the ice cream makers with a freezer bowl.

These ice cream makers have a bowl or canaster that needs to be frozen in advance. Depending on the brand, this pre-freezing could require a couple of hours, or even overnight. This means that some advanced planning will be needed as instant results will not be possible.

Secondly, are the ice cream makers that have a built-in freezer (compressor) making them far more convenient. Unlike the pre-freezing type, this compressor-based ice cream maker cools down the bowl to the perfect temperature for ice cream making. If you are an impulsive person then this type may be a wise choice.

Features

Apart from the two types of ice cream makers, there are also certain features we need to take into consideration, starting with capacity. Ice cream makers come in two standard sizes: 1.5 and 2 quarts. In trying to decide which size will best suit your needs, the typical ice cream tub sold at stores is 1.5 quarts. If you feel you may need more you have the bigger option.

If you are a large family you may consider buying additional freezer bowls and be able to experiment with different flavors. Both 1.5 and 2-quart bowls are available as separate items.

The time factor is the next important decision. Most ice cream makers require pre-freezing of the bowl which in turn requires preplanning. If you are the impulsive type or want to have ice cream on the fly you will need an ice cream maker with a built-in freezer. The drawback is the price, as these machines are considerably more expensive.

Apart from making ice cream, some ice cream makers are also able to make frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and even Gelato. As not all machines have the ability to choose the type of frozen treat, check for a Hardness Setting function on the specific machine you are interested in.

Conclusion

There are many options for consumers who want a great ice cream making machine. Many of them have a variety of features and deciding on a type of maker can be a difficult prospect. Depending on what makes your priority list, different features will definitely point you in different directions.

This list is a comprehensive representation of what is available in the market. Hopefully, by laying out the features available, you can make a decisive and informed choice on the best ice cream maker for your needs.

What Is The Best Freezer Bowl Ice Cream Maker?

In our professional opinion the 683330N 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker, from Hamilton Beach, is the best ice cream maker currently on the market.

What is The Best Compressor Ice Cream Maker?

In our professional opinion the ICE-100, from Cuisinart, is the best compressor ice cream maker currently on the market.

This article was last updated on September 7, 2020 .

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Written by

Writing full time from home, Charl has plenty of time to tinker around the house, whipping up something in the kitchen or enhancing the garden. As a result, he writes extensively on topics related to the home and garden. He enjoys modern technology and advanced gadgets but still has a soft spot for quality reliable appliances. He is passionate about durability and quality going to great lengths to find the very best ideas and leading products to share with readers.

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