Best Ice Cream Makers Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
As with any product we looked at durability as the very first thing on our list of criteria. If the machine can’t even produce the amount of ice cream that the price it is at would give you, then it obviously isn’t worth the dimes. Since a few of these products are quite a bit of money, we held those at an even higher standard than those that cost much less- after all if it wants an entire paycheck, while the others are only asking for a fraction of that, and both only make the same amount before having issues, why pay more?
Well, when set out, we felt that these machines held up to their place in the overall scheme of things. The pricier ones only ended up lower on the list because of their price, but truthfully held up to every single penny in how long it lasts and how much it can do. Those that appeared to have issues that were on the list have either had parts redesigned in the last two years to rid itself of the issue, or the parts are easily replaced through the company at low to no cost at all. Every single one of these lovely devices made our cut on durability.
Wow. Here is where we get to explain the truth of an expensive item being on our list and yet still meeting this bit of criteria. With cost and value, we are taking into consideration not just the amount of money, but if the product offers enough to truly pay for itself over time. We feel that all of those listed do this. The more costly ones actually have added benefits, tend to last years and have the capacity to pay for themselves especially after they have produced enough ice cream for you and your family to have saved you the money you might have spent on the premade. Of course, there is also the larger argument of value that each and every one of these machines offer that no amount of premade ice cream can save you: health.
While ice cream is not a health food in the traditional sense, you can make healthier versions. Less sugar and fat, actual natural ingredients and if you have allergies, you will know whether or not the ingredients you need to avoid being in the ice cream you, yourself, make. So, in the end, do they cost more than they are worth? We don’t think so. Nothing is worth more than knowing what you eat won’t cost you your life.
Ease of Use
Some of these are easier to clean than others, but all of them are easily cleaned with warm water and soapy cloth. This is important because, as with any food production equipment, you don’t want to risk the chance of bacteria build-up. With dairy especially, this can be an easy thing to have happen, so we wanted to make sure that we knew you would be able to enjoy your tasty treat without the worry of getting sick after.
10 Best Ice Cream Makers
1. Cuisinart ICE-30R
You scream I scream, we all scream for…. well you know the rest. Cuisinart is a brand well known for its high-quality products and polished look. If you like to have a beautiful appliance that is easy to recognize in your collection then look no further.
Comes with a recipe book
We didn’t think a recipe book would be needed for this kind of gadget, but we were amazed at the variety of scrumptious ideas people at Cuisinart have managed to come up with. While some of us preferred to make up our own, the more adventurous types thoroughly enjoyed using this book for ideas and even bases to create even more interesting concoctions.
Easy to Clean
There are many options for this kind of machine that require a lot of disassembling to be able to get it really clean. Just remove the lid pop out the blades and remove the inner bowl. A rinse with warm soapy water will clean the blades and lid and a simple warm wipeout will clean the bowl. You may want to occasionally wipe down the outside but other than that you are done.
Cost and Value
While the price of this brand is nothing to shake a stick at, it is far from the highest on our list. The bottom line is your also paying for the brand, but what a brand. A name like Cuisinart doesn’t make its way onto just anything. As long as you follow the simple instructions when it comes to prep and care you should have nothing but cool smiles when it comes to this appliance.
2. KitchenAid KICA0WH
Even though most of this list will consist of standalone machines this one is a bit different. KitchenAid has come up with all the working of an ice cream maker but as an add-on to their mixer. Gizmos are one of our favorite things and we think you will find that this falls into that category.
Easy to Store
A positive side effect of having something that is an add-on to a pre-existing appliance is the lack of space it takes up. Story this is easy since all you have to do is rinse it out with warm water, return the bowl to the freezer and the rest will hit into a cabinet or drawer. 3-2-1 poof, it disappeared, and your counter is now clear.
There are products out there that are mostly made of fragile materials not meant to stand the test of time. As with all KitchenAid products that's not the case here. Heavy-duty plastic and metal are used to make this contrivance, meaning it will still be useful to you for years. Just as long as you treat it with respect.
Cost and Value
As without previous listing part of what you are paying for is a well-known brand. We would like to point out however that if you consider its effectiveness, materials and the 1-year hassle-free replacement warranty you really cannot do better for the price. Known for their longevity and adaptability in the kitchen this is a deal we suggest you don’t pass up.
3. Hamilton Beach 68330N
Hamilton Beach isn’t quite as well-known as some of its compatriots, but it is a known brand. It has several features we found interesting and we think you will too. Look out summer you have a new arch nemesis.
When we think ice cream mixer we remember making ice cream with mom as kids and having that darn turn crank that made us think our arms were going to fall off. Luckily for us, manufacturers have moved on from those times and even gone a tad beyond. This maker actually has an automatic mixer that will not only churn the concoction in the bowl but till automatically stop when it is at the correct consistency. If that isn’t just a wonderful invention we don’t know what is.
Simple to use
We were fully expecting this to be the typical add ingredients as directed type of moment. While this does still technically fall into that category it also manages to simplify it. All you have to do is add everything into it at one time and poof. Soft serve ice cream at your command.
Makes a large amount
Almost every other appliance we found that can do this job was at in the two-quart column this one tops the charts at four quarts. If you are looking for a larger quantity for a party or just to impress someone this machine gives you the ability.
4. Nostalgia ICMP400WD
If you are someone who appreciates old world charm, then this is the one for you. The exterior is made of real wood instead of metal or plastic. This manages to give you the old-school look without the old school work. Check out the rest of the details to see what else Nostalgia can offer you.
No manual effort
As we mentioned previously we do not appreciate elbow grease being an ingredient in our recipes. This is another example of modern day machinery simplifying a process. Just add in the ingredients and let the machine do the rest. Simple and easy to remember all the steps.
Includes Manual w/ Recipes
We appreciated many things about his gizmo not the least of which is it comes with an owner’s manual. Mostly because though we made use of it, it was easy to forget some of the little things. While we were flipping through we also found several recipes that they have included, making it even better. Again, comes the options to let the creativity take you or to follow tried and true.
Cost and Value
This convenient little machine not only stands at the larger than normal production range of our list but also on the cost-effective end. It manages to combine all the modern luxuries and still supply the old school charm, and I mean let us face it if your choosing to make your ice cream you don’t mind a little old school being involved.
5. White Mountain Electric
We found this machine to be another chart-topper when it comes to quantity. The outer bucket was attractive, and everything seemed to work as described. Seemingly made for quality as well with the name of White Mountain proudly displayed on the side, we will save the rest of our comments for the blurbs below.
Good Customer Service
Even though we were impressed with the 5-year limited warranty it was the great customer service that really got our motors running. Everything we came up with from questions to concerns was answered quickly and efficiently with no complaints.
Sturdy wooden design
The outer bucket of this appliance is made of New England pine and bound with metal galvanized hoops to make it strong. They even managed to add in electroplated fitting to help bind the whole things together making this the strong man of the list.
Cost and Value
This particular product was at the higher than average end of the cost grid. It has a nice look and the 6-quart bucket makes a bigger than a fair amount of ice cream. The triple action dasher won’t warp out of shape and it even has self-adjusting blades. Even with this being a nice appliance with a lot of fine features we strongly suggest being sure it is right for you before purchase.
6. Lello 4080 Musso Lussino
Now we move onto the exotic end of things. Lello is an Italian brand made of stainless steel and is the epitome of looking professional. It can make you up to three quarts in an hour and requires very little work. If you want something that looks like the kitchen version of a Ferrari this is what you want.
While we found machines that had an automatic shut off and the like this was the first one we found to have its own timer. Another feature we found was that if the batch becomes too hard the machine will sense it and shut off automatically allowing the concoction to soften some for better enjoyment.
One-year Manufacturer Warranty
Even though this is a foreign made product they still offer a nice warranty. You are given a one-year guarantee against manufacturer defects. If something goes wrong, it’s a simple process to contact the company and get it taken care of.
Cost and Value
We were mildly surprised when we found the cost of this machine. It is above our normal search guidelines, but we also know that some people would get this with the thought of using it for a small business or if they make ice cream frequently and know they would be too hard on a standard machine. If you are looking for something that is capable of taking some abuse and can be used frequently and quickly this is a great option. If you think you won’t use it often or it is going to be more of a novelty than anything else, you may find more satisfaction for your money in a less expensive option.
7. Breville BCI600XL
There are a lot of great things about this machine. Not the least of which is that it is nice to look at. We understand that a lot of folks don’t really care about things like that but if you are willing to spend cash on something like this we think it should be pretty.
Don’t have to freeze bowl
Out of all the gadgets that we found for this list this was the one that had what we found to be the coolest feature. This machine had a built-in compressor, so you don’t have to freeze the bowl to make your dessert. All you do it turn on the cool down feature and it takes care of the rest getting the bowl to a nice -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The perfect temperature to create your frozen concoction.
1-year limited product warranty
Breville has provided you with a one-year warranty. If anything should go wrong that falls under the terms of manufacturers defects, then they will arrange for the return of the original and send you a replacement. Considering the fact that it is fully automatic and runs off a digital screen we think this is a great thing to have with the machine.
Cost and Value
This stainless-steel machine leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to looks or ability. There were little to no concerns about it and with the warranty, there was no point in worrying anyway. Though the cost is a bit on the steep side for the average consumer, it wouldn’t be if you knew you were looking at a solid investment towards professional usage. Aside from the cost, this seemed a strong well-made appliance that can make all your ice cream dreams come true.
If you are looking for the personal touch or a way to get everyone involved this is the one you want. This specialty bowl may require the dreaded addition of elbow grease but it is so cute that we chose to look the other way.
Available in 6 colors
Although this isn’t a machine like most of our list it does come with the widest variety of color options. If you have a personal preference or just enjoy the idea of colorful additions to a theme this is a great choice. Lightweight and easy to deal with is also a check in the positive for this.
Makes personal size servings
If you are not really into making larger batches of ice cream and were looking for something smaller then we found it. Although you have to do all the work you can make it fun by setting up ingredients buffet style and letting people create their own inspirations. We think this is something the kids will especially love, and the best part is the easy cleanup. Just let them lick the table.
Cost and Value
This one luckily falls on the cheaper end of our price range. Of course, you basically have to do everything yourself but we honestly didn’t mind that much. It was more fun than we expected to put everything in and watch as our delicate stirring turned the creamy concoction into a frozen treat. If you want the personal touch to give this a try.
9. Donvier 837450
When we think of the way our moms made ice cream this is what we picture. White and plastic with a manual turn crank that would require us to run in every 20 minutes and give it a partial spin. It always seemed to take forever, and it was always some of the best ice creams that ever touched our lips.
Easy to Clean
This comes apart easily, just take off the lid pull out the paddle and remove the inner bowl. Once that is done it’s just a matter of using warm soapy water to clean everything out and wipe it down. We do suggest you do not put this in the dishwasher if you are going to get a manual maker don’t ruin it with mechanical cleaning.
Ice cream in 20 minutes
As long as you have prepped your inner bowl in your freezer to the appropriate temperature, so the liquid had solidified in its walls you can pop this together and have ready to eat ice cream in about 20 minutes. Even if you do have to make the occasional spin of the handle how cool is it to do this kind of thing yourself.
Cost and Value
This is a nice solid product. If you are someone that prefers this method to the automatic machines, then it is a good buy. If you are looking for the larger batches you may want to expand into a slightly bigger machine that doesn’t run on arm power, but for the average user, we think this will get the job done.
10. CHULUX Automatic
Coming in at number 10 on our list is the CHULUX automatic. We can appreciate the fact that you don’t actually have to do much to get your dessert ready to go with this appliance. It isn’t doesn’t have a large footprint which is nice for your countertop and you can keep the inner bowl in the freezer so it's ready to go anytime.
Easy add spout in the lid
This little doodad had a nifty feature we hadn’t noticed at first. While your mix is being made you can add your favorite after thought treats to this through the spout built into the lid. We had seen the see-through lids before but not one that allowed us to add in without stopping the machine. Well done CHULUX.
This lovely convenience allows you to set the timer for up to 30 minutes. Simply give it a turn based on how firm you would like your treat to turn out and, Ding it’s ready. The timer will cause the machine to stop working automatically when it is done another nice bonus to this.
Cost and Value
This is small enough to be able to take on the road but steady enough you can leave it sitting on your counter. The cost is totally affordable, especially for what you are getting. With this being easy to maintain and easy to use it really seems for the occasional treat you can’t go wrong with this purchase. Put in your base ingredients add in something special even if you come up with it part of the way through then sit and enjoy your creation.