If you have ever thought about how to make ice cream at home, you have probably also wondered what might be the best ice cream maker for home use.
In this article you will learn what to consider when buying an ice cream machine, you will also find out about the best selling and best rated models and hopefully by the end, you will know which is the best ice cream maker for your home.
Reminiscing of riding with my sisters in the bed of a truck on a hot summer day, eating an ice cream cone, giggling at the creamy chocolate goo dripping down my arm, smiling ear to ear while trying to avoid getting too much of it in my windblown, eager-to-eat-it-with-me hair, and bobbing my head to “I Love Rock and Roll…” I have realized that some of my absolute favorite memories revolve around ice cream.
Another of which was when I was in middle school. It was the coolest thing in my world; making my very own ice cream. We converted two coffee cans, some ice, salt, cream, sugar, and the laws of gravity together to miraculously create ice cream. I remember rolling the coffee can down a hill thinking to my overly-excited self, “Oh my, oh my, oh my… I’m doing it! I’m making it! I’m making ice cream- and I’m going to eat it!”
When I got older, I realized that although the rustic, old-fashioned way I made ice cream in middle school was sentimental and to my young mind, rather romantic, there were much easier and not mention, quicker, ways to make ice cream. Although the method I initially learned is an all-time classic, the same methods, as well as many others, are utilized in more modern forms of ice cream machinery.
Why Make Ice Cream at Home?
Have you ever let ice cream melt a little too much and suddenly be revolted by the sickly sweet taste? Our taste buds are less sensitive with cold foods, so in order to make frozen treats taste sweet, usually a LOT of sugar is added.
By choosing to make your own ice cream at home, you have a ton of options and get to avoid yucky stabilizers that keep store-bought ice cream from melting. For example, you can use less or healthier sweetener, use yogurt, only half cream, or make it dairy-free (I love coconut milk ice cream)!
Of course you also have a million options to flavor your ice cream. From classic vanilla or chocolate, to salted caramel or peanut butter chocolate ripple. The sky’s your limit!
Continuing on the ‘health’ argument above, there definitely are options of healthier or dairy-free store bought ice cream. But then you’ll be lucky to get a dainty pint of it that isn’t pushing close to $10.
Any die-hard ice cream lovers, large families, and especially large ice cream loving families will have the investment of an ice cream maker pay for itself in no time!
How to Choose the Best Ice Cream Maker
There really isn’t a “best” way to judge an ice cream maker. Quality we can judge, yes, but it seems as though there are many different preferences on methods how to make ice cream at home, and price ranges in which to do it. It’s important to be thoughtful -rather than impulsive- when buying an ice cream machine, so deciding which type is best for you is an important consideration.
Type – Cooling Method
1. Fully Automatic Ice Cream Makers
There are a few different models to choose from. The more expensive models are fully automatic, which have built-in compressors to create temperatures as cold as your freezer. This kind is really nice for the spontaneous ice cream cravings (which we all know don’t happen seldomly).
2. Manual Ice Cream Machines
The second type are manual machines, where you have to freeze a bowl prior to use. These require adequate freezer space and some planning ahead as to when you would want to make and serve homemade ice cream.
While these may seem like great downsides, manual ice cream machines are considerably cheaper than fully automatic ones.
3. Classic Ice Cream Makers
Lastly, there is the classic model, which, by churning, combines the powers of rock and salt with cream, sugar, and flavoring to create ice cream, in a fairly cost-effective way.
In this post, I will share with you the best of each different method and model, in hope of helping you find the ice cream maker that is most perfect for you!
There are vast differences in the amount of ice cream each machine can produce per running cycle. Keep in mind your family’s size or the number of guests you are likely to have, if serving homemade ice cream while entertaining.
And with the type of ice cream maker that requires pre-freezing of the bowl, you can’t just put on another batch – you’ll likely have to wait 12-24 hours before running another cycle.
BEST ICE CREAM MAKERS COMPARISON CHART
This comparison chart shows all the best rated ice cream machines along with ratings from Amazon. Below the table you’ll find more detailed ice cream maker reviews of the listed models.
|Name||Image||Capacity||Pre-Freezing||Price||Rating ( /5)|
|YayLabs Ice Cream Ball||2 cups||not required||$||4.3|
|Nostalgia Vintage Ice Cream Maker||16 cups||not required||$||4.4|
|Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker||8 cups||yes||$$||4.6|
|KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment||8 cups||yes||$$||4.3|
|Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker||6 cups||not required||$$$||4.6|
|Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker||6 cups||not required||$$$||4.4|
Price Range: $ = Under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $100+
Price Range accurate as of September 2016
YayLabs Ice Cream Ball Review
For a good price, you can keep my childhood memories alive with Yaylabs Ice Cream Ball by rolling your ice-cream-to-be down the hill, down the street, to your dog, or even just on your kitchen floor (for obvious reasons, this one is my favorite).
With or without kids, this act of rolling the ball around is highly recommended and can be a lot of fun for adults with the right attitude. If you wish to have even more fun, and get a little more crazy, you can also buy an inflatable cover!
By just adding cream, flavoring, and sugar in one side, and ice and rock salt in the other side, you can play with this soft-shell ball and 25 minutes later, also have a pint of homemade ice cream! Plus, it’s easy to clean (dishwasher safe) and BPA free! What’s cooler than showing up to a beach party with a homemade ice cream volley ball?
Nostalgia Vintage Collection Electric Ice Cream Maker Review
If you are nostalgic like me, and are strangely attracted to the classical way of making ice cream (with rock salt and ice), but prefer to not manually churn it by running up and down hills, slightly more advanced versions of Ye Ol’ Coffee can trick exist.
Constructed of real, old-fashioned wood and a durable electric-powered churn paddle, this Nostalgia Vintage Collection makes a whopping 4 quarts of rich, fantastic ice cream!
Also, when you are finished, you can use the provided lid to easily store any leftover ice cream in the freezer – bonus!
Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker – AMAZON BESTSELLER
It’s stainless steel; and although this machine requires that responsibility I mentioned earlier, of knowing when you’re going to want ice cream (pre-freezing the bowl), it can easily churn up 2 quarts in only 25 minutes. At a fair price, this is one of the more “standard” ice cream maker approaches you can take, which may be why it is so popular.
I’ve personally used this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker to churn up many delicious and healthier batches of homemade ice cream. Price and ease of use were the deciding factor here.
Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment Review
This is a genius purchase for ice cream lovers who happen to also be Kitchenaid owners.
By pre-freezing the bowl (that responsibility again), adding the ingredients, and letting the dasher scrape, spread, and mix, you can quickly have yourself 2 quarts of soft, luscious goodness.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker Review
This one is for serious ice cream makers. Looking rather snazzy, this ultra high-quality, stainless steel machine gives birth to perfect, professional grade ice cream (as well as sorbet, frozen ice cream, gelato, and all kinds of frozen drinks), time and time again.
With its built-in freezer, all that you have to do is make sure it’s on, pour in the ingredients, push two buttons, wait a few minutes, and bam- you have your spontaneous-ice-cream-making-self 1 and ½ quarts of delectable, spontaneous ice cream.
Now, perhaps this could be why it is the most expensive machine I’m mentioning here, but hey, if it’s up your alley but out of your price range, it also comes with a 12-month payment plan.
Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker Review
What’s even cooler, is that it lets you customize the hardness and consistency of your ice cream. Not only that, but it comes with a “keep cool” function that maintains the consistency of your ice cream for 3 hours, by automatically sensing the hardness every 3 minutes.
Oh, and did I mention there is no need to pre-freeze any bowls? Yes, this machine is also spontaneous-friendly, and gets down to temperature in less than 10 minutes! With it’s high quality, so you can produce batch after batch of ice cream – because sometimes it takes more creamy goodness to fulfill the craving than others.
Whichever your preference, there is the right ice cream maker out there for everyone! It is my desire that you find the one that is best for you, and either by yourself or with loved ones, let the creamy chocolate goo drip down your arm, smile ear to ear, and create silly, long-lasting memories.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Apologies for ending with a cliche’, I just had to.
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