Find the perfect ice cream maker for home use with our comprehensive guides and comparisons. Whether you want to get the kids involved or invest in a quality ice cream maker to impress - we can help you choose the right ice cream maker for you.
Find the best commercial ice cream makers on the market with our detailed reviews that will give you the information you need to choose the right ice cream maker for your business. Get ready to watch your business grow!
Find the best gelato makers, sorbet and soft serve ice cream machines. Whether you are looking for something small for home or want to make dessert on a larger scale - our reviews will point you in the right direction.
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Welcome to Ice Cream Maker Guru! My name is Simone and I LOVE making and eating ice cream. I have searched long and hard to find the best ice cream makers that deliver delicious ice cream every time! You will find the best ice cream maker reviews, tips and tricks so that you can make delicious ice cream at home. Take a look around to find some great ice cream maker reviews and tips on the best ice cream makers.
Find out more about myself and the Ice Cream Maker Guru gang here. Thanks for visiting many your ice cream always be delicious!
Our Top Category Picks
This Donvier Ice Cream Maker is a great choice for those looking for something ultra-simplistic, lightweight and mobile to make frozen desserts.
Interested in buying a soft-serve ice cream maker now? We have compiled a list of 8 excellent soft serve ice cream maker options for you. Check them out!
How We Compare & Choose the Best Ice Cream Makers
Comprehensive reviews to help you buy smart
Are you like thousands of other people, in search of the best ice cream maker, but are not sure what exactly it is you need? You need not stress anymore! Read through this page for everything you need to know.
Ice cream has been my favorite treat since I was a little kid. Around 20 old years later and I still find myself having a few scoops once every few days. However, having noticed that nowadays the store-bought ice creams (even the premium brands) are filled with nothing more than artificial ingredients and sweeteners I went on a mission to find a better way of enjoying my beloved dessert.
Thankfully, one day a friend of mine said that she bought a home ice cream maker. I was fascinated and over the next few days did a lot of research and came up with the following list of the best ice cream machines based on customer reviews, technical specifications, durability and price.
Ice Cream Maker Comparisons
|Freezing Method||Churn Time |
|Cuisinart ICE-30R||2||Freezer bowl||25 minutes|
|Cuisinart ICE-100||1.5||Self-refrigerating||34 minutes|
|Lello 4080 Musso Lussino||1||Self-refrigerating||40 minutes|
|Cuisinart ICE-21||1||Freezer bowl||20 minutes|
|Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker||1||Freezer bowl||20 minutes|
|Cuisinart ICE-70||2||Freezer bowl||20 minutes|
|Hamilton Beach 68330N||4||Ice / Rock salt||40 minutes|
|Whynter ICM-200LS||2.1||Self-refrigerating||25 minutes|
|CHULUX Ice Cream Maker||1.5||Freezer bowl||30 minutes|
|Nostalgia PICM4BG||4||Ice / Rock salt||30 minutes|
What to Look for In An Ice Cream Maker
When the time comes that you should be looking for the best ice cream maker, there are many things to look for. It is not as simple as just going and buying an ice cream maker. You want to get one that is going to do what you want it to do, work like you want it to work and serve you for years to come. Failing to buy the right ice cream maker means wasted money and wasted time, and no one wants that.
The first thing to consider is the fact that you have three different types of machines – ice and salt, freezer bowl and built in compressor machines (built in freezer).
Which Type of Ice Cream Maker is Best?
Ice and Salt Ice Cream Machines
Embrace the old style way of making ice cream with the rock and salt technique. These ice cream makers require you to fill the machine with a heap of ice and salt around the canister. As the canister churns the ice and salt combo freezes the ice cream.
These ice cream machines can still make delicious ice cream and it can be fun to get the kids involved to show them how it was made in the old days!
Freezer Bowl Machine
This machine uses an insulated bowl that has to come out of the freezer before you start making the ice cream. It goes into the ice cream maker where a motorized mixer sits on top and churns the mixture up in the bowl. These can be a good idea, and they are cheaper, but the problem is that you need to plan ahead with the ice cream making. It will take between eight and 20 hours to make the ice cream when the freezing of the bowl is taken into consideration.
Ice Cream Maker with Built in Freezer
These machines are more expensive because an element in the ice cream maker cools the bowl within minutes to the right temperature to make the ice cream. This is much more convenient because you can enjoy the ice cream within minutes, not hours.
Read more about the best ice cream makers with built in freezers.
Factors to Consider when Choosing an Ice Cream Maker
There are many different kinds of ice cream makers available to buy. They all come with different types of features that make for positives and negatives.
Gel Canister: This type of ice cream maker uses a container that you put in the freezer for 24 hours before you eat the ice cream. Many of these makers actually come with two different tubs, which allow you to make two flavors at once.
Compressor: This is the most common type of ice cream maker and the one that uses the built-in freezer to make ice cream quickly and easily. You can make one batch of ice cream right after the first batch and continue.
Traditional: If you are old school, you can use a hand crank ice cream maker. You turn the crank and that will mix up the ice cream and churn it. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes of turning to make the ice cream. It is intensive, but it is actually a rewarding way to make ice cream. You will really enjoy it knowing how much work was put into it.
Portable: If you are out and about and want to make ice cream, you can get a portable ice cream maker. You put the ingredients into the container and then you shake and roll the ball inside the container around until ice cream is formed. It is time-intensive, but it also a great way to get ice cream when you are camping or on a long road trip.
Soft Serve: Perhaps you would like a soft serve ice cream maker for home. Some even come with a dispenser that allows you to add sprinkles and even a cone holder. These tend to be very popular versions of the ice cream maker.
Are Ice Cream Makers Worth It?
The typical ice cream maker is going to cost you between $100 and $300. That may seem like a lot of money to spend when you can buy ice cream for about $3 or $4. Considering that you can use the ice cream maker for years, all you need to do is make 100 or so ice cream cones over the course of five years and you will have paid for the maker easily. Chances are you will pay for it this way within a year or two. There are other reasons to go with an ice cream maker over buying ice cream though. Here are just a few:
Taste: Ice cream is a really great tasting dessert. The great thing about the best ice cream maker is that you can add in the ingredients that you want to the ice cream. You are only limited by your imagination. The taste of homemade ice cream is also very smooth, and much better than processed ice cream you get elsewhere, including at an ice cream stand.
Health: Is it healthier to make your own ice cream? The truth is it actually is. You can make the ice cream with natural ingredients, with no processed items. You can use eggs, natural cream, and much more to create that healthy aspect along with some great taste.
Convenience: Having your own ice cream maker with you means that you can make your own ice cream anytime you want. Don’t feel like going out? Don’t want to go to the store? Well, you can just make your own ice cream. That is what is great about making your own ice cream. It is available for you to do anytime, and anywhere. It is one of the biggest advantages of an ice cream maker.
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Best Ice Cream Maker Brands
There are several excellent brands that you can choose from. These brands make good and quality products and are what you should look for when you are buying an ice cream maker.
Cuisinart: This company sells many different types of ice cream makers, and they are often nice and small and compact for easy storage. Check out our Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Comparison.
Whynter: This ice cream maker brand typically makes makers that can create ice cream within 20 to 40 minutes. They also make frozen yogurt, gelato, and sorbet. Check out the latest luxurious Whynter ice cream machine.
Deni: This company makes crush candy as well as ice cream. Typically, the ice cream in their makers takes 10 to 20 minutes to make and will be dishwasher safe as well, the bowl we mean.
Nostalgia: This company makes four-quart ice cream maker machines, and they also have old-fashioned styling that helps to give your kitchen a very unique sense of décor. Check out the best ice cream makers from Nostalgia.
Before You Buy an Ice Cream Maker
Once you know the type of machine that you want, you need to start checking out a few things before you buy the ice cream maker.
First of all, ice cream recipes typically call for a custard base that is chilled. This base consists of egg yolk, sugar, and cream. This cannot just be put into the ice cream maker and mixed together. It is not like a bread maker and it will not work like that. Instead, you will have to mix everything by hand and then put it into the ice cream maker.
If you want to have hard ice cream, you need to freeze it. When you make ice cream in an ice cream maker, it is going to be rather soft. Soft ice cream is great but it melts a lot faster and can make more of a mess on a hot summer’s day. In order to have hard ice cream, you need to put it in the freezer for a few hours. So, you have to make sure that your freezer is going to be able to handle the freezing of the ice cream. Some freezers aren’t able to do this.
In addition, if you have a stand mixer, it may already be able to make the ice cream you want. If it has an ice cream maker attachment, you can actually just use that and save a lot of space within your kitchen. Some mixers will come with a freezable bowl, which you can use to freeze the ice cream in the freezer. Before you do anything, double-check that your current mixer can make ice cream.
Ice Cream Maker Guru's Verdict - The Best Ice Cream Makers
Best Overall Ice Cream Maker - Cuisinart ICE-30R
The best option for you if you want a great ice cream maker is the Cuisinart ICE-30R Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker. This maker is priced extremely affordable but you get a lot out of it for that low price. If you just want to casually make your own ice cream, this is the best option. Some of the great features from this ice cream maker are:
- It is completely automatic and will make not only ice cream but sorbet and frozen yogurt.
- It has a heavy-duty but quiet motor, and everything is housed in a stainless steel casing.
- The ingredient spout allows you to add in your own favorite mixings.
- The freezer bowl is double-insulated and will hold two-quarts of ice cream for you.
- Unlike other makers of the same price, this one allows you to add in all the ingredients and it will make the ice cream for you. There is no need to mix the ingredients by hand before you put it into the ice cream maker.
- It only takes 25 minutes to have some excellent ice cream.
Look at its features and reviews online and you will see that you cannot go wrong with purchasing one.
- Produces a great tasting ice cream that matches in quality.
- It is easy to assemble and use out of the box.
- There is a feature that will turn off the machine if it detects overheating (not something that happens anyway but you will also be glad to hear that it comes with a 3 year full warranty).
- Comes with a manual full of delicious recipes.
- Looks great and is more compact than the Cuisinart ICE-100.
- The only downside that I can think of is that you will need to pre-freeze the container unlike some of the more expensive options.
This will be my top pick if you are looking for an inexpensive machine that produces great ice cream.
Best Value Ice Cream Maker - Cuisinart ICE-100
If you would like to be able to make real ice cream AND gelato at home – Look no further, this is the machine for you!
- Less noisy than the other Cuisinart machines on the list.
- The container is easy to empty from all the ice cream within it.
- It comes with a gelato paddle. You are basically buying two machines in one
- You can add toppings while the machine is working with the easily removable lid.
- The stainless finish looks great and upmarket. It does look like you have bought an expensive machine for your kitchen.
- You do not have to pre-freeze the bowl.
- There is a 10 minute Keep Cool feature that will keep the ice cream or gelato cool even after the machine stops.
- If you are after a basic ice cream maker that you will only use once or twice per year there are cheaper options out there.
- The machine is on the large side. So keep that in mind if you do not have much space in the kitchen.
This ice cream maker with built in freezer is a premium machine that comes with handy features and is able to produce gelato. You cannot do much better than the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker.
Best High End Ice Cream Maker - Lello 4080 Musso Lussino
This is probably the best ice cream maker in terms of quality and features at the moment. The Lello 4080 will truly amaze you as it is not your average home ice cream machine but rather a professional unit that you can use to make everything from ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and frozen drinks.
- You do not need to pre-freeze a bowl and can make ice cream whenever you feel like it without preparation.
- The machine automatically stops if the content is ready by monitoring the hardness of the mixture.
- Everything is made of metal unlike the less expensive machines – the machines not looks really professional.
- The price.
- It weighs 38 pounds – a problem if you do not have enough space in your kitchen and need to move it each time you use it.
If money was no object for me I will definitely go for this machine.
Best Ice Cream Maker for Kids - Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker
This is the older version of the Cuisinart ICE-30R Pure Indulgence. It is a good choice if you are looking to spend as little money as possible. This machine will produce similar results to its newer version.
- Cheapest option out of the 5.
- Makes ice cream with a good mixture that is comparable to the one of the new version.
- Has a cheap plastic feel to it.
You may want to invest a bit more money and get the Cuisinart ICE-30R which has a more premium feel to it and produces a slightly better ice cream based on the customer reviews. I would personally spend the extra few dollars and go for the Cuisinart ICE-30R.
Best Budget Ice Cream Maker - Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker
This Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker also gets a good amount of positive feedback in Amazon and the internet overall. Lets take a look the the pros and cos and see if it matches the quality of the other machines on the list:
- It is not expensive.
- Good customer reviews.
- It is really compact – 9-1/2 inches high and 8 inches in diameter
- Only produces one quart of ice cream per batch.
- There are some bad reviews online – for example, there is a mention that the machine actually takes up to an hour in some cases and not the 20 minutes listed on the packaging.
To be honest, I would not choose this ice cream maker over any of the other 4 on the list. If affordability is in your mind, go for the Cuisinart ICE30. It basically sells for the same price but has better overall performance, better customer reviews and produces twice the amount of ice cream in one serving. It is really a no-brainer.
Making your own ice cream can be fun and rewarding. You will save money, and you will be a hero for your kids when you can make the ice cream whenever they want it. Is it a hot day and you don’t feel like going outside? Well, you can make your own ice cream and enjoy a day at home. Not only that, the ice cream you make will be healthy and very tasty.
Follow this guide and you won’t be disappointed with the ice cream that you make. Enjoy your ice cream, and enjoy saving money with your own ice cream maker.