The 10 Best Ice Cream Makers: Reviews And Buying Guide.

When it comes to ice cream makers, there’s no shortage of choices. There are too many! And if you ask me, that’s a good thing.

So instead of drowning in a sea of possibilities as you search for the perfect machine to churn your favorite frozen treat, let me help you cut through the noise and zero in on the best ice cream maker for your needs.

Below, I’ve outlined the 10 best ice cream machines on the market today. You’ll find everything from entry-level models that are ideal for first-time buyers to high-end machines that will satisfy even the most demanding ice cream aficionados.

So whether you’re looking for an ice cream maker that’s easy to use or one that will let you get creative with your flavor combinations, I’ve got you covered.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    What Is An Ice Cream Maker?

    An ice cream maker is a kitchen appliance that is used to make homemade ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and other frozen desserts.

    Ice cream machines come in a wide range of sizes, styles, and price points, so there is sure to be one that is perfect for your needs.

    Our Top 10 Picks

    Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker

    The Cuisinart ICE-30BC is a great product for making delicious frozen desserts. It comes with a brushed stainless steel, heavy-duty motor that makes frozen desserts or drinks in as little as 20 minutes.

    The large ingredient spout makes it easy to add favorite mix-ins, and the retractable cord storage keeps countertops clutter free. Additionally, the ICE-30BC comes with a replaceable lid, a double insulated freezer bowl, a paddle, instructions, and a recipe book.

    The included freezer bowl holds up to 2 quarts of frozen dessert, and the paddle makes it easy to churn ice cream. This ice cream maker is made with a brushed stainless steel finish, and it is BPA free.

    Since this is a freeze-first ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture should also be cold before adding it to the machine. The finished product will be soft serve consistency, but it can be frozen for a firmer texture. The freezer bowl that must be pre-frozen, so it is important to plan ahead. This machine is easy to clean by hand with warm, soapy water.

    Overall, the Cuisinart ICE-30BC is a great product for making delicious frozen desserts. It is easy to use, and it comes with a recipe book to help you get started. It is also made with a finish, and it is BPA free.

    Key Features

    • Heavy-duty, brushed stainless steel motor makes
    • Large ingredient spout 
    • Retractable cord storage
    • Double insulated freezer bowl
    • Up to 2 quarts of frozen dessert

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • No ice or salt needed
    • It is easy to clean by hand
    • Makes ice cream quickly

    Cons

    • A little noisy
    • The ice cream mixture and bowl must be frozen before adding

    Cuisinart ICE-21P1 1.5-Quart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker

    Our second choice is also from Cuisinart, and it’s the ICE-21P1 1.5-Quart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker. This is a great choice for those who want to make smaller batches of their favorite frozen desserts.

    It has a heavy-duty motor that can make frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbet, and even frozen drinks in 20 minutes or fewer. Plus, it’s fully automatic, so all you have to do is add the ingredients and let it do its thing.

    The large capacity mixing bowl lets you make up to 1-1/2 quarts of your favorite frozen treats, and the ingredient spout makes it easy to add ingredients without interrupting the freezing cycle. The lid is transparent so you can watch the freezing process as it progresses, and it’s designed to easily lock to the base.

    The mixing paddle mixes and aerates ingredients in the freezer bowl to create frozen desserts or drinks, and the freezer bowl contains cooling liquid within a double insulated wall to create fast and even freezing.

    The base has a heavy duty motor that’s strong enough to handle ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, and frozen drinks, and it has rubber feet to keep it from moving around during use. The cord can be stored neatly out of the way when not in use.

    Overall, this is a great choice for those who want to make smaller batches of their favorite frozen desserts. It’s fully automatic and easy to use, and it makes delicious frozen treats in no time.

    Key Features

    • Heavy-duty motor
    • Fully automatic
    • 1-1/2 quart mixing bowl
    • Ingredient spout
    • Transparent lid
    • Double insulated freezer bow
    • Rubber feet
    • Cord storage

    Pros

    • Easy to use and clean
    • Doe not move around when in use
    • Freezes quickly
    • It is compact
    • Fairly quiet operation

    Cons

    • The bowl and ingredients must be pre-frozen
    • Paddle design makes it difficult to scrape off quickly

    Ninja NC301 CREAMi Ice Cream Maker

    The Ninja CREAMi is a versatile ice cream maker that can create a variety of frozen treats, from healthy to indulgent. With 7 one-touch programs, this machine can easily create ice cream, sorbet, gelato, milkshakes, smoothie bowls, and more.

    The CREAMi also features a mix-in function, so you can easily add your favorite chocolate, nuts, candy, fruit, and more to personalize any frozen treat. Plus, the re-spin function allows you to reprocess your treat if you want it softer or creamier.

    Ninja’s Creamify technology transforms frozen ingredients into ice cream, sorbet, milkshakes, and more at the touch of a button. This unit includes two 16 oz. CREAMi Pints with storage lids, an Outer bowl and lid to house pint while processing, and a Recipe inspiration guide with 30 recipes.

    This ice cream maker is easy to use and easy to clean, with dishwasher-safe parts. Plus, the compact size is perfect for small spaces and makes it easy to store when not in use. The only downside is that you can only make small batches at a time, so it may not be ideal for large families or gatherings.

    Overall, the easy-to-use functionality of this machine, dishwasher-safe parts, and the compact size make it perfect for the whole family to enjoy making frozen treats together.

    Key Features

    • 7 one-touch programs
    • Mix-in function
    • Re-spin function
    • Creamify technology
    • 2 16 oz. CREAMi Pints with storage lids
    • Outer bowl and lid

    Pros

    • Great for creating ice cream and other healthy frozen treats
    • Produces consistent results
    • Easy to use
    • Easy to clean
    • Easy to rotate flavors in the freezer

    Cons

    • Small batches only
    • Takes up large counter space

    Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

    The Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker is a hand crank ice cream maker that is made in the USA. It comes with a highly insulated, leak-free, triple layer construction that will not rust or strip out.

    The gears are made of stainless steel and have wear bushings between them and the housing for smooth operation. The triple motion dasher is also made of stainless steel to help mix the ingredients thoroughly.

    This machine also has a clear lid that allows you to see the ice cream as it is being made. It can hold up to 6 quarts with its insulated bucket that keeps the ice cream cold and prevents it from melting. 

    The hand crank locks in place, which is a great feature, and the gears are very smooth. The machine is easy to use and makes great ice cream. This machine is a little pricey, but it is worth the price for the quality of the machine.

    The Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker is a great choice for those who want a classic ice cream maker that is still made in the USA. It is a hand crank model, so it does require some effort to use, but it is a great choice for those who want a classic ice cream maker.

    Key Features

    • Made in the USA –
    • Insulated, leak-free, triple layer construction
    • Stainless steel gears and triple motion dasher
    • Clear lid
    • Holds up to 6 quarts of ice cream

    Pros

    • Sturdy and well-made
    • Easy to use
    • High-quality paddle and wall scrapers
    • Great value for money

    Cons

    • It is not cheap
    • Requires manual effort to make ice cream

    Nostalgia WICM4L Electric Bucket Maker

    The Nostalgia Electrics WICM4L 4-quart Wooden Ice Cream Maker is designed to bring back the nostalgic feel of making homemade ice cream. This bucket ice cream maker is made from real wood and features a light wood finish.

    The unit makes 4-quarts of delicious ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato – enough to feed everyone. It is durable and looks great in any kitchen. The light wood finish is perfect for any décor.

    With a plastic bucket that wipes away messes with ease, cleaning up afterwards is a breeze. For added convenience, this machine comes with a see-through lid is included that fits on top of the canister to let you see when the ice cream is ready.

    The WICM4L features a powerful electric motor that does all the churning, so no intensive stirring or manual effort is required. The motor locks into place, keeping all parts secure.

    Overall, the Nostalgia Electrics WICM4L 4-quart Wooden Ice Cream Maker is a great choice for those who are looking for an easy-to-use and durable ice cream maker.

    Key Features

    • 4 quart capacity
    • Made from real wood
    • Light wood finish
    • Powerful electric motor
    • Motor lock
    • See through lid

    Pros

    • It is easy to use and clean
    • Classic and nostalgic wooden look
    • Sturdy, strong motor
    • Makes great ice cream
    • Little noise

    Cons

    • Can get moldy if not cleaned properly
    • It takes some time

    Whynter ICM-15LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker

    The Whynter ICM-15LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker is a self-contained frozen dessert maker that does not require pre-freezing. It has a 1.6 quart (1.5 liter) capacity, which gives you the ability to make large batches of your favorite frozen desserts.

    The stainless steel housing and aluminum removable mixing bowl and churn blade make it easy to store and clean. This ice cream maker also has a reliable built-in audible timer and LCD timer control to help you keep track of your frozen treats.

    It also features a Motor Protection Function that shuts off to prevent damage if the mixture freezes solid. The cooling temperature for this ice cream maker is 0.4ºF to -31ºF giving you the perfect temperature for your frozen desserts.

    Overall, the Whynter ICM-15LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker is a great choice for those who want to make large batches of their favorite frozen desserts without having to pre-freeze the mixture.

    Key Features

    • 1.6 quart capacity
    • Stainless steel housing
    • Self-freezing
    • Motor Protection Function
    • Reliable built in audible timer
    • -0.4°F to -31°F cooling temperature range

    Pros

    • Does not require freezing the ingredients
    • Well built
    • Easy to clean by hand
    • Works fast
    • Stylish design

    Cons

    • It is bulky and heavy
    • Pricey

    Nostalgia Electric Maker

    Another great option for making ice cream at home is the Nostalgia Electric Maker. This unit has a capacity of 4 quarts, making it perfect for parties or large gatherings. The plastic bucket is easy to clean and the see-through lid enables you to see the ice cream making process and to store any leftover ice cream in the freezer.

    The Nostalgia Electric Maker also includes an easy-carry handle and a motor lock to keep all parts secure. You can use your own recipes or follow the recipes included in the manual to get started making delicious and creamy ice cream.

    This unit aslo features a powerful electric motor that does all the churning, so no intensive stirring or manual effort is required. Additionally, it works perfectly with all Nostalgia ice cream kits.

    Overall, the Nostalgia Electric Maker is a great option for making ice cream at home. It is easy to use and clean, and it produces delicious and creamy results.

    Key Features

    • 4 quart capacity
    • Plastic bucket is easy to clean
    • See-through lid
    • Motor lock keeps all parts secure
    • Powerful electric motor

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Large capacity 
    • It is affordable
    • Easy to clean

    Cons

    • It is a little noisy
    • Ice and salt can easily scratch the inner bucket

    Elite Gourmet EIM-308L, 4 Qt. Electric Motorized Ice Cream Maker

    This electric ice cream maker from Elite Gourmet is a great choice for anyone who loves ice cream. It comes with a galvanized metal bucket whose liner is waterproof, so there is no need to worry about leaks or damage to the wood when in operation.

    The unit is easy to assemble and use, and cleanup is a breeze. The electric motor does all the churning to whip the ice cream to a creamy consistency in minutes, so there is no need for manual effort.

    This ice cream maker is also whisper quiet, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to enjoy their ice cream without disturbing others. The included recipes make it easy to get started making delicious and creamy ice cream without any unnecessary additives or preservatives.

    Overall, this is a great choice for anyone who loves ice cream and wants an easy and convenient way to make it at home.

    Key Features

    • 4 quart capacity
    • Galvanized metal bucket with waterproof liner
    • Electric motor for easy churning
    • Solid plastic interior
    • See-through lid

    Pros

    • Quiet operation 
    • It is easy to use
    • This machine makes ice cream quickly
    • Simple to clean and assemble

    Cons

    • Requires pre-freezing
    • You have to use clamps to keep its motor from backing off

    Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker

    The Whynter ICM-200LS, like the ICM-15LS, is a self-contained frozen dessert maker that can make ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and gelato. It has a 2.1 quart (2 liter) capacity, making it great for small families or gatherings.

    The stainless steel housing and reliable built-in audible timer make this a great choice for those who want a durable and easy-to-use ice cream maker. The BPA-free aluminum removable mixing bowl and churn blade make cleanup a breeze.

    The LCD timer control and motor protection function make it easy to keep track of your desserts and prevent damage to the machine. The ICM-200LS has a cooling temperature of -0.4ºF to -31ºF, giving you the perfect consistency for your favorite frozen treats. It measures 16.75″W x 11.25″D x 10.25″H and carries a 1 year limited warranty.

    Overall, the Whynter ICM-200LS is a great choice for those who want an easy-to-use and durable ice cream maker. It makes a great addition to any kitchen and is sure to please the whole family.

    Key Features

    • 2.1 quart (2 liter) capacity
    • -0.4ºF to -31ºF Cooling temperature
    • Stainless steel housing
    • Built-in audible timer
    • BPA-free aluminum removable mixing bowl and churn blade
    • LCD timer control
    • Motor Protection Function 

    Pros

    • No pre-freezing required
    • Easy to use
    • Has a removable container for easy cleanup
    • Intuitive use panel
    • Easy to set up

    Cons

    • Makes a squeaking sound
    • Hard to get replacement parts
    • Bulky

    Elite Gourmet Old Fashioned 6 Quart Vintage Maker Machine

    Like the one above, this ice cream maker is also from Elite Gourmet. This one is 6 quarts, which means it can make more ice cream at a time. It also has both an electric motor and a hand crank, so you can choose which one to use. This gives you the option to make ice cream the old-fashioned way or the modern way.

    The electric motor locks onto the bucket, making sure all parts are interlocked for safe and quiet operation. The aluminum canister also allows for easy wiping away of messes. Cleanup afterwards is a cinch. You can easily store leftover ice cream in your freezer, plus the lid that fits right on top of the ice cream canister is see-thru. Dishwasher safe canister and lid.

    This ice cream maker is ETL approved 50-watt/120V for home kitchen use. It includes an electric motor, a wooden bucket with a handle, a stabilizing ring, a freezing canister with indent, a canister lid and cap, a stirrer, a dasher paddle, and a bonus die-cast hand crank.

    Overall, this is a great ice cream maker for those who want to make a lot of ice cream at once, or for those who want flexibility in how they make their ice cream.

    Key Features

    • 6-quart capacity
    • Aluminum freezing canister Electric motor
    • Die-cast manual hand crank
    • Solid pine wood bucket
    • See-through canister lid

    Pros

    • Dual operation
    • Easy to clean
    • Very low maintenance
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Poor lid design
    • The wood is quite heavy

    Why Should I Buy An Ice Cream Maker?

    There are several reasons why you might want to invest in an ice cream maker.

    First off, it’s fun. Who doesn’t like being able to make their homemade ice cream?

    Second, it’s economical. While store-bought ice creams can cost upwards of $5 per pint, you can make a batch of homemade ice cream for just pennies per serving.

    Making your own ice cream at home is also healthy. Homemade ice cream contains fewer calories and less fat than store-bought varieties. And because it’s convenient, no trips to the grocery store are required. Homemade ice cream also tastes so much better than store-bought varieties.

    Using an ice cream machine is environmentally friendly compared to buying ice cream from the store. When you make your own ice cream, you are not contributing to the waste that is produced by store-bought ice cream.

    Finally, it’s fun. Kids love helping out in the kitchen and they’ll enjoy learning about the science behind ice cream making. It is also easy to make. All you need is some time and patience.

    Types of Ice Cream Makers

    Manual ice cream maker

    A manual ice cream maker is the most basic type of ice cream maker. It usually consists of a metal canister that you pre-freeze, a hand-crank that agitates the mixture as it freezes, and a wooden bucket to contain it all. Manual ice cream makers are the most affordable type of ice cream maker, but they require the most effort to use.

    Electric ice cream maker

    An electric ice cream maker is a step up from a manual ice cream maker. It has a motor that does the churning for you, so all you have to do is add the ingredients and turn it on. Electric ice cream makers come in a variety of sizes, from small personal-size machines to large capacity machines that can make up to a gallon of ice cream at a time.

    Self-freezing ice cream maker

    A self-freezing ice cream maker is the most expensive and most convenient type of ice cream maker. It has a built-in freezer that freezes the mixture as it churns, so you don’t have to pre-freeze the canister. Self-freezing ice cream makers come in a variety of sizes, from small personal-size machines to large capacity machines that can make up to a gallon of ice cream at a time.

    Which Ice Cream Maker Is Best?

    Once you know what kind of ice cream maker you want, you should consider how many pints you plan to churn. For example, if you plan to churn a gallon of ice cream, then you would need a large model. However, if you plan to churn only a few quarts of ice cream, then you could get away with a smaller model.

    As for the type of ice cream you plan to make, this will determine whether you need an automatic or manual model. Automatic machines are great for making soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbets, and gelato. They are also good for making hard ice creams, such as chocolate chip, vanilla bean, mint chocolate chip, and cookie dough.

    If you plan to make hard ice cream, then you won’t need a manual model. Instead, you’ll want to opt for an electric model. This will allow you to control the temperature of the mixture during freezing, which results in a smoother texture.

    Finally, if you plan to make soft-serve ice cream, then you’ll need a manual model. Soft serve ice cream requires constant stirring, which is impossible to achieve using an automatic model.

    What Is The Best Ice Cream Maker Size?

    While most people think of ice cream makers as being either large or small, this isn’t entirely true. There are several sizes of ice cream makers out there. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sizes.

    Quart size

    This is the smallest size of an ice cream maker. Quart size models are perfect for single servings of ice cream. They are often used for sundaes, milkshakes, and smoothies. Quart size models come in three varieties: handheld, tabletop, and countertop. The handheld variety has a capacity of one quart, while the tabletop model holds up to two quarts. Countertop models have capacities ranging from 2 to 4 quarts.

    Half-gallon size

    The next size up is the half-gallon size. It’s perfect for churning large quantities of ice cream. Half-gallon models are similar to quart-size models, except they have slightly more space. They are commonly used for making ice cream cakes, pies, and parfaits.

    Gallon size

    A gallon size ice cream maker holds roughly five gallons. They are perfect for churning batches of ice cream for parties, picnics, and family reunions. Most gallon size models can handle between 5 and 10 pounds of ice cream.

    Pint-size

    Pint-size models hold about four cups of ice cream. They are perfect for churning small amounts of ice cream for individual servings. If you don’t like having to clean your ice cream maker every time you use it, pint-size models are ideal. They are also inexpensive, so they are a popular choice among college students.

    How do I choose the right size?

    When choosing the right size, keep these factors in mind:

    • How much ice cream do you plan to churn?
    • Do you want to make hard or soft ice cream?
    • What kind of container will you store the finished product in?
    • Will you be storing the machine in a freezer?

     

    What To Look For In An Ice Cream Machine

    It’s important to know what to look for when choosing an ice cream machine. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:

    Capacity

    How much ice cream do you want to make at one time? If you have a large family or entertain often, you’ll want a machine with a capacity of at least 1.5 quarts. But if you’re only making ice cream for two or don’t mind making smaller batches, a pint-size machine will do the trick.

    Compressor

    The compressor is one of the most important parts of an ice cream machine. It’s responsible for cooling the mixture and keeping it at a consistent temperature.

    Churning Speed

    The churning speed determines how quickly the ice cream will be ready to eat. A faster churning speed means that the ice cream will be ready sooner.

    Type of cooling

    There are two types of ice cream makers: those that require pre-freezing the bowl and those that don’t. If you opt for a machine that doesn’t require pre-freezing, be aware that it will take longer to churn the ice cream. On the other hand, a machine that requires a pre-frozen bowl will be more expensive.

    Price

    Ice cream makers range in price from about $30 to $400. The more expensive machines tend to have more features, such as a larger capacity or the ability to make other frozen desserts like gelato or sorbet. But if you’re on a budget, you can still find a good quality machine that will make delicious ice cream.

    Size

    When choosing an ice cream maker, it’s important to keep in mind how much space you have available. Most people who live in apartments or small homes have less room than those living in larger dwellings.

    That said, while smaller machines won’t hold up well over long periods, they are perfectly fine for occasional use. On the other hand, if you plan to host frequent parties and gatherings, you’ll probably want something bigger.

    Versatility

    As mentioned above, there are two main categories of ice cream makers: manual and electric. Manual machines are typically made from stainless steel and include a variety of tools, such as beaters, scoops, and spoons. They’re great for beginners because they allow users to create custom flavors by combining various ingredients.

    Electric ice cream makers, on the other hand, are usually built from plastic and come equipped with all of the necessary components for creating delicious ice cream right out of the box.

    Both types of machines offer similar functionality, but they differ greatly in terms of convenience and ease of use. For example, electric models are more convenient because they require no assembly and only one tool.

    In addition, they’re easier to clean and maintain than manual models. However, manual models are often more versatile because they allow users to customize their creations by adding different ingredients.

    If you’re looking for a versatile ice cream maker, consider buying a model that offers both manual and electric features. This way, you can use either type of machine depending on what you prefer.

    Conclusion

    The capacity, type of cooling, and price are the main factors to consider when shopping for an ice cream maker. If you have a large family or entertain often, you’ll want a machine with a capacity of at least 1.5 quarts. But if you’re only making ice cream for two or don’t mind making smaller batches, a pint-size machine will do the trick.

    There are two types of ice cream makers: those that require pre-freezing the bowl and those that don’t. If you opt for a machine that doesn’t require pre-freezing, be aware that it will take longer to churn the ice cream. On the other hand, a machine that requires a pre-frozen bowl will be more expensive.

    Ice cream makers range in price from about $30 to $400. The more expensive machines tend to have more features, such as a larger capacity or the ability to make other frozen desserts like gelato or sorbet. But if you’re on a budget, you can still find a good quality machine that will make delicious ice cream.

    FAQs

    How much ice cream can an ice cream machine make at one time?

    Most ice cream machines can make between 1 and 3 quarts of ice cream at one time.

    How long does it take for an ice cream machine to make ice cream?

    It usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes for an ice cream machine to make ice cream.

    Do I need to add anything to the ice cream mixture?

    Most ice cream recipes don’t require you to add anything to the mixture. However, some recipes may call for you to add fruit, chocolate, or other ingredients.

    How do I clean an ice cream machine?

    Most ice cream machines have removable parts that make cleaning easier. You can also refer to the owner’s manual for specific cleaning instructions.

    What is the best ice cream machine for home use?

    The best ice cream machine for home use is the Cuisinart ICE-30BC. It’s easy to use and clean, and it comes with a 2-quart capacity.

    Leave a Reply