ice cream maker guru

Gelato Maker vs Ice Cream Maker – Why Not Have Both?

There is no doubt that gelato and ice cream are two of the best cold treats to ever exist. Delectable, smooth, and creamy, it’s always fun to make these desserts especially if they’re personally made with your own maker at home. But in the gelato maker vs ice cream maker standoff, only one question is important: which machine makes the tastiest dessert?

Having either machine at your home can save from spending too much on frequent ice cream shop trips and moments of unfulfilled cravings. Now, imagine if you own a quality home machine that can make both desserts, that’s even better!

To find the best gelato or ice cream maker, you need to know each of their specs, features, functionalities, and the difference between having separate machines or an all-in-one machine instead. In this gelato maker vs ice cream maker comparison, we’ll walk you through the benefits and differences of each that you need to know to make a sound decision.

Let’s get started!

home gelato maker

Can an Ice Cream Maker Make Gelato? 

It’s true that many ice cream machines can make gelato. However, even when you have the best ice cream maker on the market, it still won’t produce authentic gelato.


The reason for this is that up to 50% air is incorporated into regular ice cream to create a fluffy texture that’s free of crystallization. Gelato should only have an air percentage of 2030%. Since the machine controls the air factor, using an ice cream maker will produce a different result than a home gelato maker.

What is the Difference Between a Gelato and Ice Cream Maker?

It’s essential to understand what is the difference between a gelato maker and ice cream maker if you’re after authentic desserts. Only a gelato machine will produce real gelato.

The primary difference between a home gelato maker and an ice cream machine is the speed at which they churn. This speed measurement is referred to as the “overrun” of a machine.

When a gelato or ice cream machine churns, it incorporates air into the mixture. This invisible ingredient determines the texture and density of the finished product. The best ice cream maker will add as much as 70% air, whereas gelato should have no more than 30%.

Meanwhile, the overrun of a machine is determined by calculating how many ingredients go in and how much comes out. If you place 2 quarts of your mixture in a machine, and the end volume is 2.5 quarts, then the machine has a 50% overrun. 

If you’re shopping for an ice cream machine, you should look for one that has a churning speed of up to 200 rpm. With an engine that reaches this speed, you’ll be able to create the lightest, fluffiest ice cream imaginable!

On the other hand, you can make gelato with a machine that has a slow churning speed which only allows for about 20–30% of air to mix into the ingredients. The best gelato makers will produce creamy, dense, and thick gelato.

gelato maker vs ice cream maker

Benefits of Buying a Combined Gelato and Ice Cream Maker

If you have a small kitchen, limited counter space, or a tight budget, then a combined ice cream and gelato maker is what you need! Although you won’t find a home-use machine specifically designed for making both, you’ll find many ice cream makers that have churning speeds from very low to very high.

There are many benefits to buying one of the best ice cream makers on the market and using it to make near-authentic gelato. Here are some:

  • Financial Savings: Buying separate machines will cost you more. If you find an ice cream machine with a slow enough churn speed to perfect gelato, the purchase should be a done deal!
  • Space Savings: One machine takes up less space than two, whether that’s on your countertops or in your cupboards.
  • Variety: If you have a machine with low to high churning speeds, you’ll be able to make various cold desserts besides ice cream and gelato. With these speed options, you can experiment with many different recipes, textures, and new inventions!
  • Less Cleaning: If you want to make gelato and ice cream in one go, a machine that can make both will be really helpful. Simply pour in your mixture, and churn it to make gelato. Once that’s done, you can pour in more of the same mixture and churn it at a higher speed to make ice cream. There’s no need to clean the bowl in between batches, and you’ll end up with fewer dishes in the end!

Is it Worth Making Gelato and Ice Cream at Home?

Of course, it is! Buying a home gelato maker or ice cream machine can seem like a steep investment, but it will pay off before you know it! Store-bought gelato and ice cream are expensive, not as healthy, and typically only come in standard flavors. If you like to sugar up your desserts, you’ll have to buy additional mix-ins and toppings, too. In turn, making you spend a lot more!

Wanting to create your own ice cream flavor or make authentic Italian gelato at home gives you complete control over the ingredients, texture, and taste. You can try new recipes, experiment with different flavor combinations, and add as many extras into the mix as you like. 

Over time, purchasing all that’s needed to make the best ice cream or gelato will cost you less than going to a store to buy mediocre comparisons. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save when you start crunching the numbers!

Want to try an ice cream maker that can double up as gelato maker? We recommend the Cuisinart ICE-100. Check it out now!

Cuisinart ICE-100 Review

To Scoop it Up:

Home-made desserts just taste better! When you know you’ve made it yourself, you savor every spoonful. Also, it’s fun making ice cream recipes at home with your kids or friends for a bonding time together.

If this gelato maker vs ice cream maker review has convinced you to invest in your own machine, the only thing left to do is start browsing for the right product. Decide which features you’d want your home machine to have, how flexible your budget is, and what desserts you ultimately want to make with it.

Once you have that all figured out, you can now choose between a gelato maker vs ice cream maker or an all-in-one machine that can make both!