Kitchen

Ice cream maker: Best options and buying guide

When summer approaches, nothing better than being able to enjoy a delicious ice cream. How about you make it yourself at home? With homemade ice cream makers, you can choose the ingredients that compose it at any time, and your children will be delighted.

However, deciding on one of these devices can be complicated, given the great offer that the market presents. Therefore, in this guide, we will help you choose the one that best suits your needs and those of your family.

What is an ice cream maker?

An ice cream maker is a machine designed to make ice cream. There are two types: they can be without a compressor or with a compressor.

In the second case, you will not need to freeze the container previously since it has a freezing system capable of bringing the mixture to a suitable temperature.

On the other hand, the blades are in charge of beating the ingredients, like a good mixer and incorporating air until obtaining an ice cream with the perfect consistency.

Top 10 ice cream makers

Before getting into the subject, how about taking a look at the best models on the market? Choose from these the one that best suits your needs.

1
Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Maker | Makes Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Frozen Yoghurt in 40 Minutes | No Need to...
  • Makes 1.5L of delicious, homemade ice cream, gelato, frozen yoghurt or sorbet in as little as 40 minutes.
  • Professional compressor system means no need to pre-freeze the bowl and no need to wait between batches.
  • 2 mixing paddles, one for ice cream and one for gelato to give your recipe the right amount of air for perfect texture.
  • Easy to use. Simply add ingredients and switch on. Add extra toppings through the lid during churning such as nuts, chocolate chips, fruit pieces and sauces for a ripple effect.
  • Unbeatable taste and flavour, made with fresh ingredients.
2
Duronic Ice Cream Maker IM540 | Create Homemade Frozen Desserts Like Gelato, Sorbet and Frozen Yogurt | 1.5L Freezing...
  • MAKE ICE CREAM IN UNDER 30 MINUTES: Fresh homemade ice cream is just moments away with the IM540 machine. Making your own ice cream can be healthier for you and it can save you money too! It gives you the opportunity to experiment with your own flavours, try new ingredients and new combinations. And just because it’s homemade, doesn’t mean it has to be completely healthy – you could try adding chocolate, vanilla, coffee, cinnamon, honey or mint to create a real sweet treat.
  • HOMEMADE ICE CREAM IN 4 EASY STEPS: 1) Place the bowl in your freezer for 8-24 hours. 2) Once frozen, put the bowl into the IM540 machine and switch it on. 3) While the paddle is turning, pour in your ice cream mixture steadily. 4) Leave the machine to churn the ice cream for 15-30 minutes (the time it takes depends on your recipe). Please note: you must always switch the machine on BEFORE adding your mixture, otherwise it will freeze solid on impact and could cause the machine to stop working.
  • PERFECT FOR DIFFERENT DIETRY REQUIREMENTS: The benefit of making your own ice cream is that you can make it with just the ingredients you want. If you’re vegan you can make it with dairy-free milk, if you’re allergic to certain ingredients you can omit them. If you are on a low-fat or sugar-free diet, you can make your ice cream without any sugar or sweeteners. The possibilities are endless!
  • SIMPLE TO OPERATE: The IM540 comes with a freezer ice cream bowl which needs to be frozen prior to use; simply pop this in the freezer the night before and it will be ready to use the next day. Easy to follow instructions are included which guide you how to use the machine. Once the ingredients are added, it takes 15-30 minutes of churning until you have perfectly smooth and creamy ice cream. Please note: you must start the machine before you begin to pour your mixture in.
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Colour: white with a transparent lid. Bowl capacity: 1.5 litres. Power: 9.5W. Size: 24cm x 17cm x 17cm. Material: outer body plastic. Please note: it is recommended that the bowl is put in the freezer at least 8 hours. It will take 15-30 to make ice cream with the IM540.
3
Cuisinart Ice Cream Deluxe, Pre-Freeze Ice Cream, Frozen Yoghurt and Sorbet Maker, Silver, ICE30BCU
  • Makes 2L of delicious, homemade ice cream, frozen yoghurt or sorbet in as little as 25 minutes
  • Easy to use. Simply pre-freeze the bowl overnight, add ingredients and switch on
  • Add extra toppings through the lid during churning such as nuts, chocolate chips, fruit pieces and sauces for a ripple effect
  • Removable bowl/lid and paddle for easy cleaning
  • Unbeatable taste and flavour, made with fresh ingredients
4
Klarstein Sweet Sundae- Ice Cream Machine, 1.5 litres, with Self-Cooling Compressor, 200 Watts, Dispensing System, 3...
  • ICE AGE: Sweet Sundae is the time for ice cream! With the Klarstein Sweet Sundae ice cream machine, you can create delicious, homemade ice cream specialties in no time at all. Here, ice cream lovers young and old will find something they love.
  • TURBO ICE CREAM MAKER: Within 40 minutes, the selected ingredients solidify into delicious, creamy ice cream. This ensures perfect cooling on hot days - and you always know that only the best ingredients will find their way into your ice cream.
  • EASY CLEANING: The icing on the cake with the Klarstein Sweet Sundae is the dispensing system and the automatic cleaning system. As with a soft ice cream machine, the ice cream can be portioned directly into the cup or cone by pressing a lever.
  • PRACTICAL: With the help of the funnel provided, additional ingredients can be easily added rough the practical opening on top of the device while the preparation is in progress. This opens up many new ways of preparing a wide variety of treats.
  • EASY OPERATION: The operation of the ice cream machine is a piece of cake and succeeds via an easily understandable control field. During operation, the remaining time is shown on a clear LC display on the Klarstein Sweet Sundae ice cream maker.
5
Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker [NC300UK] 7 Programs, Black/Silver
  • SO MUCH MORE THAN ICE CREAM: Create & customise delicious homemade treats including ice cream, gelato, milkshakes, sorbet, smoothie bowls & more
  • FILL, FREEZE, PROCESS, ENJOY: Simply fill a tub with your favourite ingredients, pop in the freezer in 24 hours, then process in minutes when you're ready to serve! Creamify Technology transforms your frozen base into a creamy treat
  • YOUR ICE CREAM, YOUR WAY: Make it indulgent, low sugar, dairy free, vegan & more, to suit every taste; Mix in choc chips, sweets & nuts to complete your treats
  • 7 PRE-SET PROGRAMS: Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Smoothie Bowl, Light Ice Cream, Milkshake & Mix-Ins
  • 3 DESSERT TUBS: Make up to 1.4L of ice cream; make 3 different flavours at once to please all tastes; Includes 3x Tubs & Lids, Creamerizer Paddle, Motor Base, Recipe Guide. Dishwasher-safe removable parts.
6
Magimix 11680 Gelato Expert | Frozen Dessert Maker with Built In Compressor | 2 x 2 Litre bowls | Makes Ice Cream,...
  • Premium Italian ice cream maker 
  • SUPER FAST: Make 100% homemade natural ice cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt and granitas from just 30 minutes.
  • EASY TO USE: 3 automatic programmes (Gelato / Ice cream / Granita) and a manual mode for total control.
  • ULTRA CONVENIENT: Built in freezer unit means no pre-freezing necessary.
  • USEFUL FEATURES: The paddle stops turning when your ice cream is ready and, thanks to the storage mode, your ice cream remains at the right temperature and holds its consistency for up to 2 hours.
7
SPRINGLANE Ice Cream Maker Eni with Compressor 100W, 1L, Frozen Yoghurt & Sorbet Machine
  • SUITABLE FOR ALL KITCHENS – Thanks to its compact dimensions of 35.5 x 26 x 22.5 cm, the Eni ice-cream machine comfortably fits into even the smallest of kitchens.
  • QUICK ICE LOVE – Thanks to its integrated compressor and a cooling performance of 100 watts, Eni creates up to 1 litre of ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yoghurt according to your taste within 30 minutes and without pre-cooling.
  • FULL FEATURE VARIETY – Pre-cooling for creamier results, for enjoying ice cream immediately, or for thoroughly stirring your icy mass? Eni can be controlled intuitively via a round control element.
  • THE WHOLE CABOODLE – The scope of delivery includes the ice-cream machine with aluminium container, stirring component, lid, and spatula.
  • OUR PROMISE - We want you to be 100% satisfied. For this reason, we offer personal customer service with free return shipping.
8
Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine - Gelato Sorbet Frozen Yoghurt Machine Detachable Mixing Paddle - Easy to Operate -...
  • [DELICIOUS HOMEMADE ICE CREAM IN MINUTES] – Sensio Home Ice Cream Makers can create ice cream, sorbet, gelato and frozen yoghurt in approximately 20 minutes! The refill opening in the lid allows you to add extra toppings and ingredients to create your perfect ice cream mix! Indulge in homemade natural ice cream at a fraction of the cost to store bought alternatives!
  • [EASY TO OPERATE] – (1) Freeze the bowl for approximately 12 hours, depending on your freezer (2) Mix your ingredients and pre-chill it in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours (3) Put the freezer bowl in the machine and connect the stirrer and lid (4) Start the machine and pour your mixture into the bowl through the flap in the lid. Fresh ice cream ready in approximately 20 minutes! | Bowl Dimensions (for the freezer): H: 14 cm W: 20 cm (diameter)
  • [EASY TO ASSEMBLE AND CLEAN] – With just 4 removable components the set-up process could not be any simpler. With an easy-to-follow instruction manual you will be up and running in minutes. Plus the removable lid, stirrer and freezer bowl makes it an easy clean!
  • [BRITISH BRAND] – Sensio Home is a British brand you can trust. We have been selling kitchen appliances since 1946 and all of our products are fully tested as well as holding all relevant quality and safety certifications
  • [2 YEAR 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE] – Shop with confidence as the Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker is covered by a 2 year guarantee, proof that we stand behind our products.
9
Sage BCI600UK the Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker - Silver
  • The Sage Smart Scoop is the first ice cream maker to automatically sense the hardness of the mixture based on your selection, it keeps your frozen flavours at perfect temperature up to 3 hours
  • AUTOMATIC SETTINGS: 12 hardness settings including sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream
  • PRE COOL FUNCTIONALITY: Pre-cool your mixture to your optimal operating temperatures
  • MIX IN FEATURE: Ice cream is a canvas; Customize your ice cream with chocolate chips, fruit or other flavours or your choosing
  • KEEP COOL FUNCTIONALITY: Keep your new frozen dessert chilled and churned for up to 3 hours until its time to serve
10
SPRINGLANE Ice Cream Maker Elli with Compressor 135W, 1.2L, Frozen Yoghurt & Sorbet Machine incl. Recipe Book, LCD...
  • COMPACT DESIGN - At 39 x 26 x 21.5 cm, the Elli Ice Cream Machine turns even the smallest kitchen into a gelato shop and, thanks to its chic stainless-steel housing, is also an optical highlight.
  • CREAMY RESULTS - With a preparation time starting from 45 minutes, Elli can conjure up around 1.2 litres of crystal free, creamy ice cream.
  • POWERFUL & VERSATILE - Thanks to the built-in compressor, no ice cream container needs to be pre-cooled meaning you can start whipping up your ice cream whenever you fancy it. Whether classic vanilla ice cream, fruity lemon sorbet or refreshing frozen yoghurt - with Elli, you can prepare your favourite ice cream at the touch of a button.
  • EQUIPMENT - The Elli Ice Cream Maker comes with a self-cooling compressor, an LCD display to indicate preparation time and temperature, a removable stainless-steel ice cream container, a lid with a refill opening, a stirrer, an ice cream scoop and a recipe booklet.
  • OUR PROMISE - We want you to be 100% satisfied. For this reason, we offer personal customer service with free return shipping.

Why buy an ice cream machine?

If you love ice cream, don’t miss the opportunity to purchase one of these machines for your home at a very affordable price.

To enjoy homemade ice cream

Who has not dreamed of having an ice cream machine at home since childhood? Enjoying the taste of good homemade ice cream is all pleasure, especially if we are close to 40˚C. Without a doubt, having the opportunity to savour a product made by yourself is a luxury.

If you like ice cream and you think you could spend a whole day eating it, this machine is for you. Get delicious and creamy textures in your preparations as if it were an industrial product, but with the security of knowing that it does not contain any harmful additives to your health.

To choose the ingredients of the ice cream

However, the best thing about this machine is that you always choose the ingredients that your ice cream incorporates. Prepare your combinations with healthy and natural ingredients.

So you can enjoy delicious ice cream at any time and have the security of offering your children the best. You can prepare pineapple, lemon, strawberry, chocolate sorbets, or whatever you want, and only your imagination limits you.

To make ice cream with natural flavours

Having this ice cream machine at home allows you to experiment every day with new ingredients. It does not matter if you incorporate your favourite fruit to create delicious and healthy natural ice creams or prepare a base with vanilla cream.

Your favourite flavours and the best ingredients in a single combination that can be even low in calories, so you can enjoy a refreshing dessert without regrets. Look for a real food ice cream recipe, and you will not stop using this machine.

How to choose an ice cream maker?

There are several features that you should not overlook when purchasing one of these devices. Take note!

Capacity

Capacity is one of the first characteristics that you will have to assess when deciding which model to buy. You have to consider the members that make up the family so that no one will be left without their ice cream.

Household ice cream makers usually have a capacity between 1 to 2 litres, but some larger models can go up to 6 litres. For this reason, it is essential to check the size of the container since, even if a device has large dimensions, the container may not be so large. Also, check the size of the mixing paddles.

Its potency

This aspect should not worry you since domestic machines usually do not have much power. Generally, they are around 10 W, but they are utensils without a compressor that you will have to freeze before. They do not require more watts by not having to cool the container since they only have to turn the blades.

If the model incorporates a compressor, the power can reach 250 W, since it needs to be able to cool the mechanism to very low temperatures to prepare the ice cream and achieve an optimal result.

Materials

On the other hand, it is advisable to check the materials with which the machine is manufactured. Some cheaper models are usually made of plastic, so they are lighter but also less resistant.

However, metal models, such as aluminium or stainless steel, withstand humidity better and are more resistant to regular use and the passage of time.

Accessories

Among the accessories that these devices usually include are special ice cream spoons, spatulas, containers, or recipe books. If you think you will need some of them, check that the model you are interested in includes them, so you do not have to make an extra expense.

Functions

Do not forget to consider the extra functions that each model can incorporate. For example, to avoid having to keep an eye on the process all the time, some models include an automatic timer that turns the machine off when it’s finished, so you don’t have to worry.

On the other hand, some of these tools can also be used to cool the containers where the ice cream will be placed once it is finished, to freeze fruit or store ice. The most versatile models allow you to create other types of cold desserts, such as sorbets, yoghurts or slushies. If you look closely, there are many options and functionalities. Choose the one that has the ones that best suit your use. You do not necessarily have to choose the one that offers them all if we do not intend to use them, as it will increase the price without being useful to us.

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How much does an ice cream maker cost?

And we have reached the most crucial section, what is the price of one of these machines? The range is extensive, but in general, we can find a clear difference between the models with a compressor and those that only mix ice cream.

On the other hand, the price can also vary depending on the brand, the materials it is composed of, industrial or domestic, etc. 

The first thing you will have to assess in one of these machines is its size and capacity, so you will know if it is suitable for all your family members. On the other hand, it is recommended that you value the use that you are going to give it if you are going to use it sporadically or every day. If you usually make a lot of ice cream, you might be interested in investing in a model with a compressor. Finally, don’t forget to check the opinions of other consumers before making any purchase.

How does an ice cream maker work?

To begin to explain the operation of these devices, we will talk about devices without a compressor. As we have mentioned in the previous section, these are cheaper and smaller machines, but they take longer to prepare the ice cream.

They cannot cool the ingredients by themselves, so you will have to put the tank in the freezer at least 24 hours before.

On the other hand, refrigerators with a compressor can generate cold by themselves. This way, you will save the freezer step and speed up the whole process to enjoy your ice cream in less time. Of course, these models are more expensive, and their dimensions are considerable, something that can be a problem if you do not have enough space in your kitchen.

To make an ice cream with the help of these machines, the process is straightforward. Although the ideal and advisable thing is that you always read the instructions included in the box carefully, there is any recommendation for use by the manufacturer.

In any case, if you have a compressor model, you can start by adjusting the temperature directly from the device. These machines will drop the degrees quickly and without problems.

Then, you will have to place the mixture that you have prepared inside the container and let it mix well with the paddles automatically for about 20 or 40 minutes, depending on the model. Once the ice cream has obtained the perfect texture, you can take it out of the container and enjoy your creation.

How to clean an ice cream maker?

Regarding its cleaning and maintenance, you must choose a removable product and that all its parts are made of resistant materials. Ideally, both its accessories and the tub are dishwasher safe. In this way, if you are lucky enough to have one at home, you can make sure you leave your refrigerator as good as new after each use.

Do not forget that we are talking about a product that works with food. The ice cream can contain eggs, dairy or other ingredients, so we must clean it very well until we make sure that there is no trace of any food used to prepare our ice cream.

It is recommended that you read the instructions first to clean according to the manufacturer’s suggestions, so you will avoid damaging the equipment. After each use, you will have to disassemble all the parts that make up the machine and put them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand with a little hot water and a non-abrasive detergent.

The body of the machine can be cleaned with the help of a damp cloth and some soap. Finally, before reassembling the machine, make sure that each part, the blades and the thermal tank are thoroughly dried.

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Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising