Best Ice Cream Maker

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Ice cream has been a decadent dessert loved by people all over the world for centuries. Originally ice cream was created using what was called the pot method, a very hard concept to create a large batch of this decadent dessert. All this changed when a brilliant inventor named, Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia, patented the first ice cream maker.  This invention called the 'artificial freezer' had the basic elements of what we still use today, including a tub, a cylinder, a lid, a dasher, and of course a crank.  New innovated technology keeps advancing all of the time, and this helps all of us who adore this delicious creamy dessert. The newest Ice cream machines boasts features that take the work out of making ice cream. So whether you want to make ice-cream the old fashioned way like grandma, or you prefer the machine to crank it for you, either is not a problem. There are even machines out there which are designed to allow you to do both. All of the machines in our reviews are dedicated to highlight the machines with the best features, so you can decide what ice cream machine is right for you. 

Best Ice Cream Maker Overall:

We’re presenting you with a choice of the best overall ice cream maker in several different categories. There will be manual types, automatic types, all-in-one units that come with built-in freezers, models where the ice cream bowl must be pre-frozen before use, and types where you need to add salt and ice as a freezing medium. Each of these ice cream makers will feature dishwasher safe parts which are easy to clean and most will just need to be rinsed and then wiped out with a damp cloth. These models will also make a minimum one quart of ice cream so you, the kids, and everyone else will all get their serving of tasty soft serve. They’ll also deliver everyone’s favorite frozen treat in less than 60 minutes, with some accomplishing this in even less time! Lastly, all these ice cream makers will feature a minimum 1 year warranty unless otherwise specified.

MaxiMatic "Mr Freeze" EIM-550 Elite Compressor Ice Cream Maker

The MaxiMatic "Mr Freeze" EIM-550 Elite Compressor Ice Cream Maker makes hard ice cream in about 60 minutes and soft serve in about 40 minutes. Since this unit is a one-button ice cream maker, all you do is just load the ingredients and you’re good to go. This ice cream maker is versatile enough to allow you to make such treats as frozen yogurt sorbet and other frozen treats. Read Full Review

MaxiMatic "Mr Freeze" EIM-550 Elite Compressor Ice Cream Maker

Hamilton Beach Hamilton Beach 1-Qt. Ice Cream Maker

The Hamilton Beach 68320 1-1/2-Quart Capacity Ice Cream Maker has a freezer bowl which needs to be frozen for 24 hours before you can make ice cream. This unit has an automatic push button release and alarm which tells you your ice cream is ready to eat. It also features a large opening in the top for easily adding tasty ingredients. Read Full Review

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    Hamilton Beach Hamilton Beach 1-Qt. Ice Cream Maker

    Nostalgia Electrics ICMP-400BLUE 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker

    The Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker has a plastic freezer bucket and an aluminum ingredient container. This unit is modeled after the classic bucket ice cream makers but it’s a convenient rinse and wipe clean unit. For large families, parties, or occasions where you want a large batch of ice cream, this is the sweetest treat for the kid in us all. Read Full Review

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      Nostalgia Electrics ICMP-400BLUE 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker

      West Bend IC13886WB Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

      Kids will cheer every time you take out the West Bend IC13886WBSoft Serve Ice Cream Machine, an all-in-one ice cream maker and dispenser. The freezer bowl must be frozen for 12 hours before you can make up to 1 quart of tasty soft serve ice cream. Read Full Review

      West Bend IC13886WB Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

      YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker

      The YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker simply needs salt, ice, your favorite ice cream ingredients, and a large space to roll it around. It’s incredibly easy to use, rinses out and wipes clean, and anyone will be able to make a quality batch of ice cream. Whether it’s your backyard, camping, the beach, or anywhere else, you’ll always be able to roll out the good times with this ice cream maker. Read Full Review

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        YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker

        Best Budget Ice Cream Maker:

        With budget ice cream makers, you'll still get great ice cream but just have to work at it a bit more. Don't expect any hard and gourmet ice cream with these, you'll get a soft serve type, and any ingredients you want will have to be added manually. But when it comes down to it, ice cream is still ice cream, and it’s a treat virtually everyone loves no matter how it’s made.

        Each one of these ice cream makers will be easy to clean as you simply wipe them out with a damp cloth or rinse them out in the sink. These ice cream makers feature mechanisms which are simple enough to use so even kids can get in on the act of crafting this delicious frozen treat. And unless otherwise noted, these selections will all carry a minimum one year manufacturer’s warranty to protect your investment.

        Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Makert

        The Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker is a no muss and no fuss "one button" unit. Once the freezer bowl is adequately chilled after 24 hours, merely add the ingredients, turn the appliance on and let the machine do the rest. Read Full Review

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          Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Makert

          Hamilton Beach 68990 Easy to Store Ice Cream Maker

          The Hamilton Beach 68990 Easy to Store Ice Cream Maker features a unique cloth bucket which folds up for convenient storage and uses a top-mounted motor with mixing blade to stir the ingredients. This ice cream maker uses salt and ice for freezing, and you can make up to four quarts of ice cream in about 30-40 minutes. Read Full Review

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            Hamilton Beach 68990 Easy to Store Ice Cream Maker

            Aroma AIC-224W 4-Qt. Traditional Ice Cream Maker

            The Aroma 4-Quart Traditional Ice Cream Maker, Fir Wood, is a classic traditional way of making ice cream in a wooden bucket. Use either the included hand crank or the electric motor, you'll get one gallon of ice cream in about 40 minutes. Read Full Review

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              Aroma AIC-224W 4-Qt. Traditional Ice Cream Maker

              Yay Labs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball Blue

              The Yaylabs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball takes making ice cream to a new and fun level. Fill it up, roll it around, and voila, ice cream. Simple and easy to use, kids will love having an ice cream treat virtually anywhere there’s space to roll the ball around. Read Full Review

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                Yay Labs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball Blue

                Cuisinart Ice-45 Mix-It-In Soft-Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice-Cream Maker

                The Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker looks and operates just like a ice cream parlor server, complete with compartments to dispense delicious toppings. This machine takes about 20 minutes to make ice cream after the freezer bowl has been adequately chilled for about 12 hours. Read Full Review

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                  Cuisinart Ice-45 Mix-It-In Soft-Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice-Cream Maker

                  Best High End Ice Cream Maker:

                  There’s almost nothing more satisfying than enjoying a cold, refreshing scoop of decadent homemade ice cream on a lazy summer evening. If want no muss and no fuss when making it, you'll want a high-end ice cream maker. These models are the easiest to use and you can make batch after batch without having to stop to take a break.

                  Each of these ice cream makers is rated to produce a minimum of 1.5 quarts per delicious batch and they’re all fully automatic too which eliminates the need for pre-freezing. These units are also very easy to clean and feature corrosion-resistant, stainless steel bodies. Each of these units will come with a limited 1 year warranty unless otherwise noted in the description.

                  For your convenience, the sizes of these units will be listed since these require no pre-freezing which essentially makes them miniature freezers; therefore, they’re going to take up a considerable amount of counter space. If counter space for you is at a premium, you may want to decide on a smaller unit.

                  Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

                  The Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart is one of the easiest ice cream makers to clean. It is capable of making a batch of ice cream in about 30 to 40 minutes while an extended cooling cycle switches on after ice cream is finished to discourage melting of your frozen treat. Read Full Review

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                    Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

                    Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker

                    The Lello Musso Pola 5030 Dessert Maker can make 6 quarts of ice cream per hour, which is perfect for a large family, small restaurant, or home grown ice cream business. This ice cream maker is versatile enough to make frozen yogurt, sorbet, and other frozen treats, but the non-removable bowl makes it a bit less easy to clean than some others. Read Full Review

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                      Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker

                      Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

                      The Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker is the smallest ice cream maker here and will fit on limited counter space. It can take up to an hour to make 1.5 quarts of ice cream, and it comes with a specialized churning paddle for making gelato. Read Full Review

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                        Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

                        Grindmaster-Cecilware 200805L Stainless Steel Soft Serve Dispenser Ice Cream & Yogurt Machine

                        The Grindmaster-Cecilware 200805L Stainless Steel Soft Serve Ice Cream Dispenser is the most versatile ice cream maker on this list, capable of making frozen yogurt, sorbet, granita and other frozen treats. It is commercial quality and can be adjusted to make ice cream as hard or soft as you prefer. This unit makes up to 1.5 gallons per hour, it will keep it frozen for up to 3 days, and the fun dispenser means you'll never be scooping ice cream out of bowls ever again. Read Full Review

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                          Grindmaster-Cecilware 200805L Stainless Steel Soft Serve Dispenser Ice Cream & Yogurt Machine

                          Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

                          The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker allows you to choose between 12 hardness settings of your ice cream. It will make all of your frozen treats including frozen yogurt, gelato and sorbet. The pre-cool feature, turned on about 20 minutes beforehand, will shave about 10 minutes off of each batch of ice cream you whip up. Read Full Review

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                            Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

                            Best Old Fashioned (Manual) Ice Cream Maker:

                            Manual ice cream makers represent the original ways to make ice cream. During their hey-day, manual ice cream makers bonded families together, each person taking turns turning the crank, until the treat was done. Although this method was exclusively made in buckets with a crank handle, modern materials and ideas have transformed this traditional method into often very novel and efficient ice cream makers.

                            These picks for best old fashioned manual ice cream maker will need to be manually frozen to make them cold enough for ice cream to form, and they're only capable of making soft serve. However, each of these manual ice cream makers will be easy to use, namely since they don’t require plug-in electronics or a power source which also makes them obviously 100 percent energy efficient and ecologically-friendly. These selections are also easy to clean, requiring only a simple rinsing in the sink until you’re ready to use them again.

                            Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball, Blue, Quart

                            The Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball is the easiest and most innovative way to make ice cream on this list. After it’s filled with ice, salt, and your select ingredients, simply roll it around to make ice cream. This ice cream maker comes in both pint and quart versions. Read Full Review

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                              Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball, Blue, Quart

                              Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker

                              The Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker has an inner bowl for ice cream ingredients and an outer bowl that must be frozen for about 7 hours before you can make ice cream. The plastic crank only needs to be turned occasionally during the process and it only takes about 20 minutes to make 1 quart of ice cream. Read Full Review

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                                Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker

                                Zoku Ice Cream Maker (Red)

                                The Zoku Ice Cream Maker is the simplest way to make a single serving of ice cream. While it takes 12 hours to freeze the serving bowl, all you do is just add ingredients and stir once it’s ready. It comes with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty against defects. Read Full Review

                                Zoku Ice Cream Maker (Red)

                                Sassafras Ice Cream Maker

                                The Sassafras Ice Cream Maker allows you to make two different flavored single servings at once. This unique battery powered device stirs the ingredients in your freezer until they turn to ice cream. The manufacturer provides a 30 day return warranty if the machine is unused and ready for resale. Read Full Review

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                                  Sassafras Ice Cream Maker

                                  White Mountain Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket Hand Cranked Ice Cream Maker

                                  The White Mountain PBWMIMH412-SHP Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket 4-Quart Hand Cranked Ice Cream Maker is the traditional way to make ice cream. Depending on what model you get, you'll be able to make 4 or 6 quarts in about 40 minutes of hand-cranking. It takes the most effort of any manual ice cream maker here, but you can make enough ice cream to indulge the entire family. Read Full Review

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                                    White Mountain Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket Hand Cranked Ice Cream Maker

                                    Best Gelato Maker:

                                    Gelato is the "lite" version of ice cream, made primarily of milk instead of cream, and invented in Italy. It is a soft-serve type of frozen dessert, and compared to hard frozen ice cream, it is more delicate in both appearance and texture, mainly because it has less air in the mixture. That is one of the main differences between the two. Gelato is a gourmet type of ice cream that needs to be removed immediately after completion for the best results. It is best served immediately after making to preserve the soft-serve nature of this dairy treat.

                                    Since gelato and ice cream are so closely related, there are very few dedicated gelato making machines, with the majority of ice cream making machines equally capable of making gelato. Realistically, any ice cream maker that produces soft serve ice cream, whether they are manual or electronic, will make gelato, as long as the mixture is turned slowly and carefully to limit air introduction into the mix. There will be no manual ice cream/gelato makers on this list because timing is everything. Too little time and you'll get iced milk, and too much time and you'll get a frozen solid ice cream. Electronics, in this case, is the way to go.

                                    Each of these units will be easy to clean, meaning they’ll break down easily for convenient rinsing or wiped down with a damp cloth. They also have timers that turn the mixing process off once the gelato is completed, with all of these units able to make gelato in 60 minutes or less. Additionally, these gelato makers are easy enough to use that once ingredients are added, even kids will be able to push a button and begin the process without the need for complicated settings or programming. Lastly, each of these units will feature a  minimum one year manufacturer’s warranty, unless otherwise specified within the review.

                                    DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor

                                    The DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor is made for the sole purpose of making gelato with a hermetically sealed cover to keep air out of the mixture. Easy to use, all you do is add ingredients, set the timer and push a button for ready-to-eat gelato in 30 minutes. Read Full Review

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                                      DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor

                                      Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Stainless

                                      The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker is versatile and one of the best gelato makers out there. If you’re okay with spending a premium amount, this unit has got to be considered. All stainless steel construction makes it easy to clean, and you can make 1.5 quarts of gelato every hour. Read Full Review

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                                        Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Stainless

                                        Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

                                        The Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker comes with a mixing paddle specifically design for gelato making. It produces 1.5 quarts of gelato, assuring there will be enough to go around for everyone. The countdown timer lets you know when the batch is done, and the 10 minute chill feature keeps your gelato at its frozen best until you can scoop it out of the freezer bowl. Read Full Review

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                                          Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

                                          Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker

                                          The Lello Musso Pola 5030 Dessert Maker is the most expensive unit here but it will produce the most gelato per hour with one 2 quart batch of gelato in just 20 minutes. The stainless steel build quality can't be beat and you can simply wipe it clean with a damp rag once you’re done. Read Full Review

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                                            Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker

                                            Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

                                            The Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart makes a batch of gelato in about 30 minutes, so that means you can have 4 quarts in one hour. The plastic mixing paddle is non-stick and it can be rinsed clean, and the exterior is made of stainless steel. This is a great gelato making machine that also makes other frozen desserts with ease. Read Full Review

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                                              Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

                                               

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