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Small Kitchen Appliances

Best Ice Cream Maker

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. 

Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

Capable of making 2.1 quarts of ice cream, the Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker will have no problem keeping up with you or your family’s appetite for top quality ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurts. The Whynter comes in at about 11 inches high by 17 inches long and 10 inches deep. It has an extended cooling function so ice cream doesn’t melt after it’s finished and a motion detector switch shuts off the motor if the ice cream becomes too hard. This unit makes a batch of ice cream in about 30 to 40 minutes, with both the bowl and churn blade being removable for very easy cleaning when you’ve wrapped things up.

Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker

If price isn’t holding you back and you want to make larger quantities of high quality ice cream, then the Lello Musso Pola 5030 Dessert Maker is just right for you. These machines are frequently used in commercial settings with some performing for 10+ years without breaking down. You can make up to 6 quarts of ice cream, gelato, or sorbet per hour, making this model a perfect machine for larger families hungering for ice cream. The 5030 Dessert Maker measures in at about 20 inches long, 14 inches high and 12 inches deep. It’s also a heavy unit at over 50 pounds thanks to the massive, built-in freezing unit built-in.

This beast has a manual timer and two switches, one for your basic “on and off” and then one to turn off just the freezer part of the machine while it’s still churning up your decadent frozen treats. Sadly there’s no removable bowl, so although cleaning can be done by wiping it out with a damp cloth, it’s still a bit more labor intensive to clean than some of the other options on this list.

Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

If counter space is at a premium but you still want high quality ice cream, the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker might be just what you are looking for. The ICE-100 sacrifices speed for size, coming in at 16 inches deep, 9 inches high and 12 inches long. That means a smaller freezer size, and this unit can take up to 1 hour or more to make 1.5 quarts of ice cream. However, the Cuisinart ICE-100 would be the perfect ice cream maker for a couple or a small family. This unit comes with two churning paddles, one for ice cream and a specialized paddle for gelato. It also features a 10 minute cooling function to keep your ice cream from melting before you can remove it, and a removable bowl makes cleanup a breeze. It comes with a 3 year limited warranty.

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

If you want massive quantities of ice cream and the most fun dispensing it, choose the Grindmaster-Cecilware 200805L Stainless Steel Soft Serve Ice Cream Dispenser. It makes 1.5 gallons of ice cream per hour, and that means you will never run out of ice cream, ever. This incredibly versatile machine makes everything from gelato to sorbet, frozen yogurt and even granita!

The Grindmaster stands 24 inches tall, but don’t worry; at 9 inches deep by 8 inches wide, you can set it almost anywhere. This is the only machine that will keep your ice cream frozen for up to 3 days, so you can take your time and enjoy every delicious bite. With an adjustable density switch, you can literally make your ice cream as hard or as soft as you prefer. The dispenser means no digging ice cream out of bowls either and it comes apart for easy cleaning when you’ve polished off the last bite.

Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

If you want multiple setting on the hardness of your ice cream, try the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker. With 12 different hardness settings, you'll get the right consistency that you want, every time for maximum ice cream enjoyment. The Breville will make 1.5 quarts of hard ice cream in about an hour but it will take less time if you want softer ice cream.

This ice cream maker will keep your frozen treats frozen for 3 hours after it’s finished, and if the pre-cool setting is turned on about 20 minutes before you begin, it will shave about 10 minutes off of ice cream production time. Although fully automatic, this unit can be run manually if you want to experiment with different times and ingredients. At 16 inches long by 10 inches deep and high, it is fairly compact too.

The BCI600XL is versatile in making sorbet, frozen yogurt and gelato, and although it is rated at making 1.5 quarts of ice cream per batch, in actuality it’s more like 1 quart so take that into consideration if you decide to choose this model.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor

If you are looking for the only dedicated gelato maker on this list, you have to go with the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor. Made in Italy, this baby has a built-in compressor that keeps your gelato at the perfect temperature throughout the entire process. The DeLonghi has a hermetically sealed lid limiting the air introduced into the mixture. This unit is capable of making about a quart of gelato every 30 minutes and once the mixing bowl has been rinsed out, you can fill it up and make another batch. There is no chill or "keep" function, so when the cycle is complete, the gelato must be removed or it will begin to melt.

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

If versatility is what you want in your gelato maker, than the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker is what you might be looking for. Made in Italy, the Lussino excels at making excellent gelato as well as a range of other frozen treats. The Lello 4080 is made entirely of stainless steel including the freezer bowl and mixing paddle, meaning clean up is as easy as wiping it down. This self-contained unit will produce 1.5 quarts of gelato an hour and the slow mixing/freezing process keeps the air out during gelato production. The simple push of a button after the ingredients are added makes it extremely user-friendly. Although the 4080 comes with a 1 year warranty, the actual compressor unit has been reported to last over 10 years during continual usage.

Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

If counter space is at a premium but you still want high quality ice cream, the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker might be just what you are looking for. The ICE-100 sacrifices speed for size, coming in at 16 inches deep, 9 inches high and 12 inches long. That means a smaller freezer size, and this unit can take up to 1 hour or more to make 1.5 quarts of ice cream. However, the Cuisinart ICE-100 would be the perfect ice cream maker for a couple or a small family. This unit comes with two churning paddles, one for ice cream and a specialized paddle for gelato. It also features a 10 minute cooling function to keep your ice cream from melting before you can remove it, and a removable bowl makes cleanup a breeze. It comes with a 3 year limited warranty.

Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker

If price isn’t holding you back and you want to make larger quantities of high quality ice cream, then the Lello Musso Pola 5030 Dessert Maker is just right for you. These machines are frequently used in commercial settings with some performing for 10+ years without breaking down. You can make up to 6 quarts of ice cream, gelato, or sorbet per hour, making this model a perfect machine for larger families hungering for ice cream. The 5030 Dessert Maker measures in at about 20 inches long, 14 inches high and 12 inches deep. It’s also a heavy unit at over 50 pounds thanks to the massive, built-in freezing unit built-in.

This beast has a manual timer and two switches, one for your basic “on and off” and then one to turn off just the freezer part of the machine while it’s still churning up your decadent frozen treats. Sadly there’s no removable bowl, so although cleaning can be done by wiping it out with a damp cloth, it’s still a bit more labor intensive to clean than some of the other options on this list.

Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

Capable of making 2.1 quarts of ice cream, the Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker will have no problem keeping up with you or your family’s appetite for top quality ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurts. The Whynter comes in at about 11 inches high by 17 inches long and 10 inches deep. It has an extended cooling function so ice cream doesn’t melt after it’s finished and a motion detector switch shuts off the motor if the ice cream becomes too hard. This unit makes a batch of ice cream in about 30 to 40 minutes, with both the bowl and churn blade being removable for very easy cleaning when you’ve wrapped things up.

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

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

The MaxiMatic "Mr Freeze" EIM-550 Elite Compressor Ice Cream Maker is a versatile ice cream maker also capable of making frozen yogurt, custard, sherbet and gelato. This ice cream maker is totally self-contained; simply add the ingredients, push a button, and it automatically goes to work. Soft serves are done in about 40 minutes while hard ice creams may take up to an hour but if you freeze the bowl ahead of time, you'll shave off about 10 minutes of production time. This unit makes 1.5 quarts of ice cream per batch, and the stainless bowl and housing are simply wiped down when you’re ready for clean up. It has a transparent top and an ingredient spout for a straightforward method of adding ingredients while your favorite frozen treat forms up.

Hamilton Beach Hamilton Beach 1-Qt. Ice Cream Maker

Hamilton Beach 68320 1-1/2-Quart Capacity Ice Cream Maker is an easy and fun way to make 1.5 quarts of ice cream for yourself or the whole family. This ice cream maker must have the gel-filled freezer bowl frozen for up to 24 hours before it’s ready after which you’ll add ingredients, turn it on, and let mixing commence. In about 40 minutes, the push button release will unlock the machine, stop the mixing process, and sounds an alert that the ice cream is finished. It has an extra wide opening in the top so you and the kids can easily add your favorite ingredients.

Nostalgia Electrics ICMP-400BLUE 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker

For parties, large events, or just big families hungry for ice cream, you can't beat the Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker. This is a modernized version of the classic ice cream bucket, and capable of making up to four delicious quarts of ice cream the old fashioned way via salt and ice added into the exterior freezing container.

Add the ingredients into the mixing bowl, mount the motor, switch the unit on, and in about 40- 50 minutes, you'll have a full batch of soft serve ice cream; you can even make gelato and frozen yogurt if you feel like it. The aluminum ingredient container and the mixing paddle is dishwasher safe, while both buckets, the outer plastic freezer, and inner ingredient container can be rinsed and wiped clean.

West Bend IC13886WB Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

West Bend IC13886WB Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly ice cream maker, look no further than the West Bend IC13886WB Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine. This model is built to look like an old fashioned ice cream dispenser and functions just like one too. It uses the freezer bowl method where you freeze the freezer bowl for about 12 hours, add ingredients into the mixing container, and fire the mixer up. In about 40 minutes you'll have soft serve ice cream you can dispense right from the machine into a bowl, cone, or cup. Kids will absolutely love this ice cream maker and since it makes a full quart there will be more than enough to fill multiple waiting ice cream cones. It has an easy-add ingredient opening for adding your favorite sweet condiments, syrups, nuts or whatever else you desire during the mixing process.

YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker

Although the YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker is geared towards letting your kids have fun, even teens and grownups can join in the fun of making a quart of ice cream through its unique mixing process. This ice cream ball is filled on one side with salt and ice while the other is loaded up with ice cream ingredients. From there you literally have a ball rolling it around between 20-40 minutes, after which you’ll have a wonderful quart serving of ice cream. Hands down this is the easiest ice cream maker to use and definitely one of the most fun to use.

Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Makert

If you want proven ice cream quality, the rugged Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker makes it to the top of this list. Just put the freezer bowl in the freezer between 18 to 24 hours, load your preferred ingredients inside, and mount it on the motorized base. Push one button to begin the mixing process and in about 20 minutes you'll have 1.5 quarts of ice cream. Clean-up is merely rinsing out the freezer bowl and then putting it back into the freezer. The Cuisinart ICE-21 is simple and easy to use which makes it perfect for kids and adults alike. With a three year manufacturer’s warranty it will last for years to keep providing you with delicious, quality ice cream.

Hamilton Beach 68990 Easy to Store Ice Cream Maker

When traditional ice cream production meets a space saving idea, you get the Hamilton Beach 68990 Easy to Store Ice Cream Maker. This unique idea takes shape in the form of a traditional wooden bucket which is actually made of cloth which folds up for easy storage and you can take it with you almost anywhere. All you do is unfold the freezer bucket, put the ingredient container inside, add in ice and salt, position the motor on top of the ingredient container, and turn it on. The unit will automatically stir the ingredients and make four quarts of ice cream in about 30 to 40 minutes; it will even make frozen yogurt and sorbet too.

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

For you traditionalists out there, if you love making ice cream in a wooden bucket, the Aroma 4-Quart Traditional Ice Cream Maker, Fir Wood is for you. This is a genuine fir wood bucket featuring a heavy duty electric motor so there’s no need for tedious hand cranking. Like all traditional ice cream makers, you'll need to add salt and ice to the freezer bucket, fill the aluminum ingredient container, made of aluminum, put the motor over the top, and turn it on. If you’re feeling adventurous, this appliance does come with an alternate hand crank for manual mixing. Ice cream will be ready in about 40 minutes, and with a four quart capacity there’ll be plenty to fill everyone’s bowl.

Yay Labs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball Blue

If you are looking for innovation and fun when making your next batch of ice cream, the Yaylabs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball is a novel and effective way for making ice cream. Load up one half of the mixing ball with salt and ice then fill the other with your favorite ice cream ingredients. Fasten down the hatch and roll the ball around which mixes and hardens the ingredients. After about 20 minutes you'll have a pint of cold, delicious ice cream. Rinse to clean, fill it up, and you’re ready to do it all over again. With this ice cream ball you can make your favorite frozen treat virtually anywhere, from home, at the park and even camping. It's the most innovative and versatile ice cream maker on this list hands down and a favorite of kids everywhere.

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

Although the most expensive selection on our list, the Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker might be the neatest one to use. This appliance uses a freezer bowl that must be frozen for 12 hours before use; once frozen, add the ingredients, push a button and allow it to mix for about 20 minutes. When complete, press a button to dish out the ice cream from the convenient dispenser nozzle. Place your cone, cup, or bowl beneath these containers, pull a handle, and load your ice cream up with tastiness!

Three separate condiment compartments are located on the side which you can load up with your favorite ice cream toppings from crushed nuts to chocolate chips; there’s also a convenient holder for ice cream cones. Kids and adults alike will love dispensing their ice cream into a cone, cup or bowl, and the 1.5 quart capacity means there should be some for everyone. It also comes covered by a three year manufacturer’s warranty.

Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball, Blue, Quart

Sometimes innovation wins out over tradition, and the Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball is definitely the most fun way to make ice cream. This ice cream maker is constructed in the shape of a hollow ball with two compartments; one side is filled with ice and salt while the other side is filled with ice cream ingredients which can be as simple as cream, sugar and vanilla flavoring. Once the cover is attached, you merely roll the ball around for about 20 minutes and after that, you'll get 1 pint or quart of soft serve ice cream depending on the model you choose.

This ball allows you to easily make ice cream virtually anywhere, from campsites to backyard parties. Kids will absolutely love it and the reward will be a cold and delicious treat. The optional inflatable covering allows for even more aggressive rolling for more complete ice cream production. For the best and most innovative way to make ice cream, the Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball takes the crown.

Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker

For a modern take on the old crank handle ice cream makers, choose the Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker. It uses a plastic crank handle to mix the ingredients and make up to a quart of ice cream. The Donvier uses an outer freezer bowl which must remain in your freezer for about 7 hours before it can be used. An inner ice cream bowl is then inserted, ingredients are added and you turn the crank occasionally for about 20 minutes to produce ice cream. The inner bowl wipes clean when the ice cream is removed, making this a very efficient way to make ice cream. However, you must place the freezer bowl into the freezer and wait another 7 hours before you make your next batch, a bit of a buzz kill for devoted ice cream fans.

Zoku Ice Cream Maker (Red)

For a single serve ice cream maker which can't be beat, try the Zoku Ice Cream Maker which can deliver you ice cream in as little as 10 minutes. The entire Zoku bowl needs to be frozen for up to 12 hours before use, after which you add your ice cream ingredients and stir the mixture with a fork or a spoon. In about 10 minutes it will harden up and if you want a harder ice cream composition, put it back into the freezer for another 10 or 15 minutes. This is the most hassle free way to make a single serving of ice cream but you'll sacrifice quantity to get that level of delicious convenience. Just remember to put the bowl in the freezer the night before, or you’ll deny yourself the pleasure of tasty ice cream the next day.

Sassafras Ice Cream Maker

If you like both innovation and a touch of battery operated buttons, the Sassafras Ice Cream Maker is right for you. This ice cream maker produces two individual (and differently flavored if desired) servings and it does all while sitting comfortably in your freezer. Once the ingredients are added to the twin single serving bowls, a mix button is pushed and held to effectively blend everything together. The unit is them placed into a freezer, and the "freeze button" is pressed.

This is a timed mix cycle that mixes intermittently, until the ice cream freezes. Your freezer must be kept at about 25 degrees, or both the buttons and/or the mixing blades might freeze up. You'll never get more than a very soft serve this way, but except for replacing the 4 double “A” batteries, this is as close to a no-hassle ice cream maker as you can get. This ice cream maker is good for about 3 batches until the batteries need replacing.

White Mountain Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket Hand Cranked Ice Cream Maker

For nostalgic types who like their ice cream made the old fashioned way in a bucket, get the White Mountain PBWMIMH412-SHP Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket 4-Quart Hand Cranked Ice Cream Maker. This is the classic hand crank model that’s been around for more than a century. The White Mountain has an ice cream bucket which slides inside of an outer ice bucket. Add ice and salt into the outer bucket, dump in your ice cream ingredients into the inner bucket, then get to cranking. After about 40 minutes or so, you'll get 4 quarts or 6 quarts of ice cream, depending on the size bucket you choose. While this is the most labor intensive way to make ice cream on this list, but you'll also get the most ice cream with this method too. The White Mountain Appalachian Series makes great ice cream, and it makes enough for the entire family. It comes with a 5 year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Buyer's Guide

 

Dale Y
Dale Y has been writing about home improvement and Do-It-Yourself projects for more than a decade, using his own hands-on maintenance, construction and facilities management experience as a guide. He has covered the gamut by writing about news and views, home and garden ideas, home and business maintenance, and property management. As an offshoot, he had his own sewing machine and small appliance repair business, and can tell an embroidery stitch from a stretch stitch, all the while cooking the best salmon fillet ever on a countertop grill, while making a smoothie in the latest bullet blender. In this capacity, he has used a wide variety of tools and equipment for every need, worked with products ranging from adhesives to solvents, sewed shirt sleeves with a #14 needle and finished leather appliqué with a #18 needle.
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