Best Ice Cream Maker

Summertime is the perfect time for a cold, sweet treat. But let’s be real…we love ice cream any time of the year. It’s just not as much a thing to go get a nice cold cone in the middle of winter.

But you can make your own, and instead of buying ice cream that’s likely to contain a long list of ingredients you may not want to feed to your kids, you can make your own ice cream at home using ingredients you trust. Plus, the process of making ice cream can be a fun activity that you and your children can enjoy together. And you can go beyond creamy scoops on cones by making thick shakes and massive sundaes with all of your favorite toppings too. Yum!

The Best Ice Cream Makers

Editor’s Pick

Cuisinart ICE21R Frozen Yogurt Automatic Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker

The Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Automatic Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker can be used to create your own ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, and frozen yogurt right at home. It is BPA free, and it has a large capacity, as it can make up to 1½ quarts of ice cream.

Plus, it’s fully automatic, it has rubber feet that will ensure it stays in place during use, it features a double-insulated freezer bowl to eliminate the need for ice, and it comes with a transparent, easy lock lid with a large spout for adding ingredients with ease. And it even comes with simple-to-follow instructions and recipes, so you can get started right away.

Thanks to the patent-pending mixing paddle and heavy-duty motor, it takes a mere 20 minutes or less to prepare yummy frozen desserts and drinks with this appliance, so it is a smart choice for busy parents.

Just be sure to completely freeze the bowl (this could take anywhere from 16 to 24 hours) before getting started. Then, get your ingredients together, add them to the bowl through the spout to prevent messes, turn the maker on, and that’s it! The machine will take care of everything, and cleanup is a snap too, so it’s a great choice if you’re new to making your own ice cream.

Key Features:

  • Fully automatic
  • Double-Insulated Freezer Bowl means no ice needed
  • Ice cream in 20 minutes or less

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Best Memory-Making Ice Cream Maker

Nostalgia WICM4L Electric Ice Cream Maker

This Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker reminds you of old-fashioned ice cream makers, thanks to its unique appearance with real wood construction. But it works like any other modern appliance that is designed to make your life a lot easier.

With this product, you can make plenty of ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt—4 quarts, to be exact—surprisingly quickly and easily within 20 to 30 minutes. Plus, if you don’t want to follow the recipes that are included in this product’s manual, you can get Nostalgia ice cream mixes in various flavors to make the process even simpler.

Start by adding your ingredients into the canister and then placing the canister in the middle of the bucket. You will need to add salt and ice, but the electric motor will take care of the rest, with the paddle churning ice cream that’s sure to please everyone in your family.

And if you are using one of the brand’s ice cream mixes, all you have to do is pour it into the canister, layer in salt and ice, and let the machine churn for up to 30 minutes. Then, when it’s all done, cleanup is easy, and, thanks to the see-through lid, you can store leftovers in the freezer.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-clean bucket
  • Locking Motor Mount
  • 4-quart aluminum canister
  • Durable Churn Paddle
  • Nostalgic feel

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Best Budget Homemade Ice Cream Maker

Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Maker

With the Hamilton Beach Automatic Ice Cream Maker, you can prepare 4 quarts of frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, sherbet, custard, and, of course, ice cream right at home whenever you want. This fully automatic appliance doesn’t require any stirring, as it will do all of the work for you, so it is perfect for beginners.

Even when it comes to recipes, this product has you covered with more than 20 easy-to-follow recipes included, but once you get the hang of things, you can experiment with creating your own tasty recipes.

All you need to do is add whatever ingredients you prefer, along with some rock salt and ice. The easy-lock lid will fit on the top, lock into place with a quick turn, and prevent messes. Then, once it’s all done and ready to eat, the machine will stop on its own. It doesn’t get easier than that!

Whether you’re preparing cold treats to enjoy conveniently at home, without needing to wait for the ice cream truck and without needing to head to the store, or you’re planning a party and want to impress your guests with unique desserts, this machine will get it all done for you.

Key Features:

  • Affordable
  • Fully automatic
  • Good for beginning homemade ice cream makers

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Best Luxury Ice Cream Maker

Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

When you want to look for something other than a budget ice cream maker, consider the Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, which allows you to make ice cream just how you like it. It’s super easy to use, it comes with a simple-to-follow recipe guide, and you can make more than just ice cream because it also allows you to make sorbet and gelato.

And, thanks to its 2.1-quart capacity, you can make enough for the entire family. But the best part is that you don’t need to worry about pre-freezing your mixing bowl, thanks to the powerful compressor freezer that is built in and lets you conveniently use this product anytime (this means you also don’t need to worry about taking up space in your freezer while waiting for the bowl to freeze completely).

Plus, this maker also has an Extended Cooling function that will keep your mix from melting, along with a Motor Protection function that will stop the motor to prevent damage and overheating if your mix becomes solid.

Key Features:

  • BPA-free Aluminum removable mixing bowl and churn blade
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Soft-touch LCD control Panel
  • Temperature display
  • Built-in audible timer

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Best Individual Serving Ice Cream Maker

Maxi-Matic 1.5 Quart Automatic Easy Homemade Electric Ice Cream Maker

Finally, there’s the Maxi-Matic Automatic Easy Homemade Electric Ice Cream Maker. Affordable and simple to use, you can have delicious ice-cold treats before you know it, with minimal effort. And you can get started right away, as it comes with handy recipes that you can follow to make ice cream, sorbet, gelato, and frozen yogurt that’s smooth and rich. In less than 40 minutes, you and your family could be digging into a tasty snack that will cool you down and satisfy your sweet tooth.

To use this product, which boasts a 1.5-quart capacity and powerful motorized paddle, all you need to do is start by freezing the double-insulated bowl overnight. Once totally frozen, you can add your ingredients (you can also use ice cream mixes).

Turn on the machine, and let it do the work of churning your ice cream while you relax or watch it in action through the transparent cover. You don’t need to add anything extra, like rock salt and ice.

But you can certainly add in your favorite toppings to mix them into the ice cream by using the ingredient chute. Yum! Then, cleanup is easy too, thanks to the nonstick interior of the quick-freezing bowl, so you don’t need to worry about that either.

Key Features:

  • 1.5 quart capacity perfect for individual serving
  • Motorized paddle
  • No Ice Needed
  • Affordable

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The key is to start with a high-quality ice cream maker that will make creating the most flavorful frozen desserts a breeze. Before you know it, you can have a delectable, refreshing snack that you can indulge in by the pool, while entertaining friends in the backyard, and anytime in between. And the best part is that you can rest assured your kids aren’t eating something that’s loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients.

If you’re ready to make ice cream at home, check out our list of some of the best ice cream makers on the market. These will give you all the tools you need to get the right texture, consistency, and flavor every time. All you need to do is bring the ingredients and follow the instructions. So easy, and your family is sure to love it!

The Benefits of Making Ice Cream at Home

In addition to being a fun activity for the kids, making ice cream at home can also be a healthier alternative to going to the ice cream shop or buying packaged frozen foods at the grocery store. Remember, you’re in total control over the quality of the ingredients, so if you want to stick with organic and non-GMO ingredients, or you want the freshest and most natural ingredients possible, you can have it all—and you won’t have to pay a premium for it either, as we all know how much more expensive higher quality ice cream can be!

This is also a smart, convenient, and affordable way to make frozen desserts that don’t contain any allergens or ingredients that you want to avoid. As an example, if someone in your family has a specific food allergy, you can rest easy knowing you don’t have to worry about any of the ingredients potentially causing a reaction. Or, if you want to avoid dairy, you can make a variety of vegan treats with your favorite flavors and toppings without feeling deprived in the least.

Also, if you’re taking health-conscious steps every day, like counting calories, keeping an eye on your fat intake, or reducing your sugar intake, you can make ice cream that will help you meet your goals, especially if you’re hoping to lose weight or maintain your target weight.

What to Look for in an Ice Cream Maker

There are different types of ice cream makers available, so you have quite a few options when it comes to features and budget. To narrow down your choices, home in on the pros and cons of each type of maker, as doing so can help you determine which one you would prefer using.

Here is a basic breakdown of three types of ice cream makers that have become extremely popular:

  • As you read through our product recommendations below, you’ll notice that some ice cream makers require that you add ice and rock salt to the bowl. This is the old-fashioned way of preparing ice cream. The drawback is that the ice and salt need to be layered in, so this type of maker will require that you put in a little extra work.
  • Many of the ice cream makers available come with a bowl that you can place in your freezer in advance. Once totally frozen, you can add your ingredients, set the bowl on the machine, and let it work on churning your ice cream, without the need for salt and ice. Overall, these are really easy to use, so if you don’t mind the slight inconvenience of having to wait for the bowl to freeze, it’s a good way to go.
  • If you’re ready to splurge on a higher end product, check out ice cream makers that have a compressor built in. With this type of appliance, you can make ice cream whenever you want. Just turn it on, add your ingredients, and let it work on your favorite frozen recipe, without needing to worry about adding salt or ice, and without needing to wait an extended period of time to freeze a bowl beforehand.

Get Ready to Indulge in Homemade Ice Cream!

With the right ice cream maker, you can start making a wide variety of treats for your family, party guests, and, of course, yourself. Doing your research and knowing what to look for in this type of appliance will steer you in the right direction so you can purchase a durable, high-quality product that will last a long time.

If you’re ready to save money that you’d otherwise spend on ice cream at the grocery store, and you want to be able to enjoy healthier and more natural frozen desserts, consider adding this convenient product to your arsenal of kitchen tools. You won’t regret it!

Photo credits:  vm2002/Shutterstock

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