Cool, creamy and more importantly, exquisitely delicious, ice cream is undoubtedly among the most favored sweet treats. Still, with the ever-increasing prices, more and more people find that they can’t afford to regularly buy ice creams for their families. Moreover, commercial ice creams are often laden with additives, excessive sugar and other fattening agents. Therefore, it’s certainly worth investing in your very own ice cream maker to save up on such expenses and easily whip up your own batches of dessert.
These appliances have certainly grown in popularity over the past few decades, which is quite understandable considering the fact that homemade desserts tend to taste much better than store-bought ones. Best of all, these machines often come in various price ranges, making them entirely suitable for beginners who don’t want to invest a lot of money in their very first appliances. Ice cream makers are also quite readily available with most stores and supermarkets carrying them nowadays.
However, it’s quite important- or rather crucial- to take the proper time and effort to find the machine that’s best suited for you. Indeed, with the wide variety of machines available on the market, making the wrong choice can be just too easy. Too often, customers rush into decisions and purchase just about any machine only to find out that it was all a waste of money. Therefore, it’s recommended to do an educated buy and properly familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each machine before indulging in a purchase. In fact, a proper ice cream maker can very easily last for several decades, hence allowing you to save up on the expenses associated with store-bought appliances.
Best 10 Ice Cream Makers Overall
|Cuisinart ICE-21||Review||1.5 qt.||20 min||-Ice Cream|
|Breville BCI600XL||Review||1.5 qt.||30 min||-Ice Cream|
|Yonanas 902||Review||1 qt.||6 min||-Soft-serve Ice Cream||6 lbs|
|Cuisinart ICE-30BC||Review||2 qt.||25 min||-Ice Cream|
|White Mountain Wooden Bucket||Review||4 & 6 qt.||20 min||-Ice Cream|
|Cuisinart ICE-100||Review||1.5 qt||40 min||-Ice Cream|
|Lello Musso Lussino||Review||1.5 qt.||20 min||-Ice Cream|
|Cuisinart ICE-45||Review||1.5 qt.||20 min||-Ice Cream|
|YayLabs Ball||Review||0.5 & 1qt.||15 min||-Ice Cream||2 lbs|
|Cuisinart ICE-20||Review||1.5 qt.||20 min||-Ice Cream|
Why Buy an Ice Cream Maker
Making delicious homemade ice cream with your own appliance will not only help you cut back on costs, but will also allow you to easily cater to large gatherings at a moment’s notice. More importantly, however, this appliance will allow you to control the amount of sugar and fat that you want in your food. Diabetics, for instance, often have a hard time going out for ice cream because of the sugar content.
Having your very own appliance allows you to decide how much sugar you want in your dessert or simply omit it. In fact, several people choose to add a sugar substitute or artificial sweetener. Other than diabetics, ice cream machines will also help dieters control their daily calorie content and choose their very own flavors. Extremely versatile, this appliance can help you whip up several other treats such as frozen yogurt, sorbets, gelatos and the likes.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Therefore, it’s crucial to properly take a few things into consideration prior to your purchase in order to ensure that you make the perfect choice. These include:
- Capacity: Before you indulge in any purchase, try to consider how often you plan on using appliance, and how many people you intend on serving. Indeed, the amount of product that you would usually require per batch is quite important since these appliances often come in a variety of sizes. Some are small enough to nestle into your freezer for individual servings while others can easily be used to cater to parties. If in doubt, it’s always recommended to go for appliances with larger capacities since they’ll allow you to save any extra batches that you won’t be using.
- Time: This is one of the most important features to watch out for when you’re purchasing your appliance. Users should bear in mind that machines with larger capacities normally tend to be slower. If you don’t expect on using the appliance on a regular basis and if you have a rather busy schedule, it’s recommended to go for smaller models that will certainly whip up your sweet treats in no time at all. It’s important to know that fully automatic and compressor models usually manage to produce more ice cream in much less time than regular appliances.
- Ease of Use: The market is practically brimming with several types of ice cream makers, which is how beginners often find themselves stranded with a professional-grade machine that’s packed with features they don’t understand. Remember that your machine should first of all be extremely easy to clean and use. In fact, with electronic machines, users only have to remove the lid, canister and paddle and place them in the dishwasher. Manual appliances might be slighter more complicated to clean since you’ll have to dive in with a sponge, water and soap. Beginners might also feel more at ease with automatic machines because these are quite simple to operate.
- Extra Features: If you’re on a limited budget, you can certainly invest in a basic machine designed to make regular ice cream. However, if you can afford to fork out a little bit more, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a slightly more expensive machine that will allow you to make other frozen delicacies such as gelato, sorbet or frozen yogurt. Some models are also much more suited to accommodate extra additions such as frozen fruits, marshmallows, nuts, raisins, chocolate chips and the likes.
- Price: Of course, the price is one of the most important factors that you’ll have to take into consideration prior to purchasing your machine. This normally goes in accordance with the features and build-quality of your machine. For instance, appliances with flexible plastic parts tend to be much less expensive but then again, they can also break during use- especially if you add additional ingredients like fruits and nuts to your batter. A slightly more expensive option would be to go for steel or aluminum models: not only are these more durable but they also tend to sustain enough cold to enhance the taste and overall quality of your dessert. Along with the price, customers should also take into consideration the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure that they’ll have adequate support if any problem occurs.
Best Electric Ice Cream Maker by Price
Ice cream makers are available in several price ranges, which means that you can easily afford one even if you’re hesitant about spending a large amount of money at first. Of course, it goes without saying that the more features your machine has, the more expensive it will be.
To help you make the best choice, read on for a brief review of different models according to their prices and features:
Price Range: $20 – 40
Our Choice: Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE
Priced between $20 and $30, the Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE is designed to whip up 4 quarts of ice cream in one batch. Built to suit North American Electrical Standards, this particular machine comes with a plastic dasher as well as a plastic bucket designed to sustain light to moderate use. Best of all, users will also receive an instructions manual complete with various recipes to help you whip up a variety of cold treats in no time at all. In spite of its plastic built, this model is equipped with an electric motor that has been shown to be powerful enough to considerably cut back on the churning time.
This particular appliance is not really suited for heavy-duty, everyday use. Because of its plastic built, it cannot really accommodate chunkier ingredients like large chocolate squares, hard pieces of fruit, wafers, cookies and the likes. Some customers also recommend that you pre-freeze the canisters for at least 8 to 12 hours before use. On a more positive note, several users have stated that it only required around 25 minutes for their batch of ice cream to be ready- something that can come in quite handy to anyone with a busy schedule. The plastic built also completely eradicates the rust issue.
Price Range: $40 – 80
Our Choice: Cuisinart ICE-21
Located between the $40 to $50 price range, the Cuisinart ICE-21 is especially reputed for its large capacity. In fact, it has been shown to make up to 1-1/2 quarts of ice cream in only 20 minutes- or even less. Fairly professional in spite of its affordable price, this particular machine even comes with a double insulated freezer bowl which means that you won’t have to prepare the machine with ice and salt prior to using it. Users will undoubtedly appreciate the oversized sprout that can very easily accommodate a wide variety of additional ingredients, no matter how large or chunky they are.
The machine is also equipped with an easy-lock transparent lid that allows you to see what’s happening without having to constantly open the appliance. Built to North American Electrical Standards, the Cuisinart ICE-21 also comes with a base designed to sustain heavy-duty use. By this token, you can easily use the machine to make several other items such sorbet, frozen yogurt, sherbet and even frozen drinks. Extremely easy to use, the appliance even comes with a non-slip rubber base. Available in white, this appliance weighs 10 pounds and is protected by a manufacturer’s warranty.
Price Range: $80 – 200
Our Choice: MaxiMatic EIM-506
With a capacity of 6 quarts, the MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet is a medium-range appliance. Now while it may be slightly more expensive than other average machines, this particular item is entirely suited to heavy-duty use. In fact, the solid pinewood, handcrafted bucket even looks attractive when displayed on the counter, which saves you the hassle of having to store it away. Perfect for occasions such as picnics, barbeques and family parties, this appliance is also known for its exceptional rapidity. Indeed, users will be able to easily make fresh batches of ice cream in no more than 40 minutes.
The heavy-duty aluminum freezing canister is entirely rust-free and can easily last for several decades- or even for life- if properly cared for. To guarantee your safety and longevity of the machine, the motor even comes with an over-heat protection system. The complete set includes a freezing canister, cap, canister lid and ice cream stirrer. Users will also receive a manual crank designed to provide firmer, extra-creamy ice cream. Weighing 16 pounds, this model is light enough to be carried just about anywhere in your kitchen. It is protected by a solid manufacturer’s warranty and is available in brown.
Price Range: $200 – 300
Our Choice: Cuisinart ICE-100
One of the highest-range appliances on the market, the Cuisinart ICE-100 is priced between $200 and $300. Enhanced with a commercial-quality compressor, this particular model is fully automatic. Best of all, it comes with a capacity of 1-1/2 quart, making it perfect for people who plan on using it on a regular basis. Other than the regular features, the machine is also equipped with additional amenities such as a 60-paddle countdown timer, complete with a blue LCD readout and touchpad controls for ease of use.
Users will also receive two paddles: a regular ice cream one and a special gelato paddle designed to provide you with authentic gelato in the comfort of your very own home. Several customers have even praised the 10-minute “keep cool” feature that maintains an adequate temperature for your gelato, frozen yogurt or ice cream for 10 minutes after the timer goes off. Thanks to the exclusive Mix-In Opening, you’ll be able to periodically add your favorite ingredients right during the churning process, without having to interrupt the freezing or churning cycle. Measuring 16 x 12 x 9 inches for an overall weight of 26 pounds, this model is protected by Cuisinart’s solid manufacturer’s warranty.
Price Range: $300+
Our Choice: Breville BCI600XL
One of the most professional quality ice cream makers on the market, the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop has been especially designed to provide you with commercial-quality dessert right in the comfort of your very own home. It even comes with no less than 12 hardness settings designed for gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt and regular ice cream. This allows you to easily alternate between soft and hard serve ice cream. In fact, thanks to this feature, users can even turn towards the machine to whip up other treats like frozen drinks.
The compressor is entirely self-refrigerating- something’s that’s bound to enhance ease of use. The machine is even equipped with a keep-cool setting designed to keep your produce cool for up to 3 hours after the timer has gone off. This model can cool down to around -20F, ensuring that all your ingredients are cold enough to be mixed into the ice cream. According to most users, this appliance was so professional that their mixture ended up cool and creamy, without any ice crystals or solidification of any kind. This machine requires around 40 minutes per batch. Weighing 30 pounds, this particular model is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years.