Best Ice Cream Makers

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 7, 2019
Homemade ice cream is a real cold pleasure that tastes awesome! With a high-quality ice cream maker, you can make exceptionally delicious frozen treats with incredibly smooth and creamy texture. What more is there to say? Look at our ice cream maker review and make your pick! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Operation Principle
Cooking
Freeze Method
Freezing Time
Bowl capacity
Convenience
Material
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

It's designed with a high-efficiency compressor which makes it fully automatic and rids you of the need to pre-freeze a bowl or use salt.

CONS

The presence of vents somewhat limits the place of installation of the machine.

OUR VERDICT

The Whynter ICM-201SB is a heavy-duty machine that can deliver you tasty ice cream, sorbet, or gelato with minimum time and effort required. It produces creamy ice desserts with very few ice crystals. The mixture gets airy but still very rich.

detailed parameters
Operation Principle

Fully automatic

Cooking

Ice cream, Frozen yogurt, Sorbet, Gelato, Frozen beverages

Freeze Method

Compressor Freezer

Freezing Time

10-60 minutes

Bowl capacity

2.1 quarts

Convenience

LCD display, Timer control, Cooling temperature (-0.4ºF to -31ºF), three modes (Ice Cream mode, Cooling only mode, Mixing only mode), Pause, Motor protection function

Material

Stainless steel housing, Removable aluminum bowl, Plastic lid

Weight

24.25 pounds

Warranty

1 year limited

PROS

The machine is fitted with a see-through lid allowing you to watch the process and check the consistency of ice cream whenever you want.

CONS

The bucket is made from aluminum that's not very durable.

OUR VERDICT

The Nostalgia ICMP400WD is a unique machine that looks very expensive and classy. It has a capacious bucket and is able to serve quite a lot of ice cream per one go. If you often host parties and seek a machine to surprise your guests, it's a good pick.

detailed parameters
Operation Principle

Semi-automatic

Cooking

Ice cream, Frozen yogurt, Sorbet, Gelato 

Freeze Method

Salt and Ice

Freezing Time

20-30 minutes

Bowl capacity

4 quarts

Convenience

See-thru lid, Locking motor, Recipes included in manual

Material

Real wood construction with plastic liner, Aluminum bowl, Plastic lid cap

Weight

8.85 pounds

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The double insulated walls save you the need to pack ice in a freezer bowl.

CONS
It has a rather small bowl capacity.
OUR VERDICT

This ice cream maker combines portability, ease of operation and maintenance. It's a great choice for small families that allows making delicious homemade ice cream and various frozen desserts.

detailed parameters
Operation Principle
Semi-automatic
Cooking
Ice cream, Frozen yogurt, Sorbet, Gelato, Frozen beverages
Freeze Method
Freezer Bowl
Freezing Time
20 minutes or less
Bowl capacity
1-1/2 quarts
Convenience
Rubber Feet, Cord storage, Easy-lock transparent lid with a large spout (to add ingredients when in use), Recipe book included
Material
Plastic body, Removable stainless steel bowl, Plastic lid
Weight
9 pounds
Warranty

3 years limited

PROS
Hamilton Beach ice cream maker stops working when ice cream mixture reaches a proper consistency.
CONS

It's far better at making soft-frozen desserts than frozen firm ice cream.

OUR VERDICT
Hamilton Beach 4-quart capacity ice cream maker is extremely easy-to-use. Therefore, this affordable and high-capacity cream maker is a great solution for those who wish to have an appliance for everyday use, making homemade ice cream and other treats without much effort.
detailed parameters
Operation Principle
Semi-automatic
Cooking
Ice cream, Frozen yoghurt, Sorbet, Gelato
Freeze Method
Salt and Ice
Freezing Time
20-40 minutes
Bowl capacity
4 quarts
Convenience
Easy-lock lid (for reliable motor fixation and prevention of ice and salt leakage into the bowl), Recipe book included
Material
Plastic body, Removable stainless steel bowl
Weight
6.5 pounds
Warranty

1 year limited

PROS

This ice cream maker features a powerful 12,000 rpm electric motor that ensures thorough churning of the ice cream without the formation of ice crystals. 

CONS
It's rather noisy.
OUR VERDICT
White Mountain ice cream maker offers premium quality and has a unique pinewood exterior. The appliance has a powerful motor, which is ideal for making ice cream and frozen desserts. It is also available in multiple bowl capacities according to your needs.
detailed parameters
Operation Principle
Semi-automatic
Cooking
Ice cream, Frozen yogurt, Sorbet, Gelato, Frozen beverages
Freeze Method
Salt and Ice
Freezing Time
20-40 minutes
Bowl capacity
6 quarts (4 quarts available)
Convenience
Locks on the motor base (to not let ice and salt get into the bowl), Recipe book included
Material
Wooden body, Removable stainless steel bowl
Weight
19.2 pounds
Warranty

5 years limited

Whynter ICM-201SB

Smart and Sleek

If you want to make super-delicious and healthy ice cream, refreshing sorbet, and rich creamy gelato in the comfort of your own home, you should seriously consider the Whynter ICM-201SB. It's a professional machine that can deliver you "premium" results, batch after batch.

To begin with, the Whynter ICM-201SB is a compressor-type machine that requires minimum effort from you. It offers three stages: mixing, cooling, and freezing. And if you want to check the consistency of your ice cream or add your favorite mix-ins for exceptional flavor, you can pause the machine at whatever stage you want.

Also, it's featured with a timer, which is a quite handy addition allowing you to increase or decrease the freezing time for the perfect consistency of your sweet treats.

Speaking of consistency, the machine is capable of making some of the smoothest ice creams on the market, in the shortest time possible. It produces creamy ice desserts with very few ice crystals. The mixture gets airy but still very rich.

Review of Whynter ICM-201SB Stainless Steel Bowl Ice Cream Maker

Fully Automatic

As we've said, the machine uses a powerful compressor, which is its biggest edge over the competition. Let us explain. Since it’s a self-refrigerating compressor appliance, you won’t need to pre-freeze the bowl or deal with messy ice and salt. In other words, it's a fully-automatic machine that rids you of the need to freeze the bowl prior to use, thus simplifying the process of making desserts even more.

All you need to do is add your mixture to the bowl and turn it on. Once the ice cream is done, the machine will automatically shut down. The 2.1-quart bowl is convenient to lift out, so you will be able to scrape out all your ice cream with ease.

Whynter ICM-201SB Stainless Steel Bowl Ice Cream Maker in the use

Durable Construction

This Whynter ICM-201SB is well designed and really built to last. Everything about its construction screams high quality. The said bowl, for example, is manufactured from durable stainless steel instead of flimsier aluminum. Also, it comes with a churning blade made from BPA-free plastic that is far superior to recycled material.

As mentioned, the machine features an automatic shut off function that not only prevents the mixture from melting but also prolongs the service life of the motor, safeguarding it from overheating and damage when the mixture becomes solid.

Finally, we would like to say that the machine itself is pretty compact. It's built vertically, so it sits on the countertop without overwhelming the space. The only thing to note is that it requires some space around for ventilation.

All things considered, the Whynter ICM-201SB is a heavy-duty machine that can deliver you tasty ice cream, sorbet, or gelato with minimum time and effort required.

Detailed review of Whynter ICM-201SB Stainless Steel Bowl Ice Cream Maker

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400WD

Nostalgia

If you're in the market for something unique, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more exquisite ice maker than the Nostalgia ICMP400WD Electric Wood Bucket. At the very first glance at this machine, it becomes obvious that it looks nothing like most other models out there. While other manufacturers are trying to make their ice makers as sleek and modern-looking as possible, the folks behind this one want to bring it closer to the genuine machines.

With an expensive real wood exterior that reminds old-fashioned hand-crank ice cream makers, this product looks very solid and beautiful. Yet, it offers plenty of modern conveniences to be very easy to use even for first-time users. Moreover, it comes with clear instructions that guide you through each step.

Even though it looks old-fashioned, it doesn’t require any manual effort to work. As soon as the machine is connected to the mains, its powerful motor will churn and start to mix ice cream ingredients so you can get your yummy dessert done to perfection. 

Review of Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400WD Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker

Quick Preparation Time

This vintage-looking ice maker allows users to make up to 4 quarts of ice cream per one go, which is more-than-average capacity for home ice cream makers. And if you run several batches in a row, you'll be able to serve delicious home-made ice cream during the next family gathering or party.

The appliance requires about 20-30 minutes to get the job done. And what we like the most is that you can check the mixture during the cycle. The machine is fitted with a see-through lid allowing you to watch the process and check the consistency of your ice cream whenever you want. When done, you can use the included lid and lid cap to store leftover in the freezer.

Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400WD Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker in the use

Ready Mixes

The great news is that the manufacturer provides ready-made ice cream mixes for extra money. You can order Chocolate, Vanilla Creme, or Strawberry mixes with the purchase and start making healthy frozen desserts right-out-of-the-box with no preparation required.

There is no need to pre-freeze an aluminum bucket in advance, however, it needs to be treated with salt and ice for creamier results. Take note that even though the exterior of the unit is made of wood, the interior is lined with very thick plastic, so the salt won't touch the wood and spoil its chic look. The plastic interior also ensures easy cleaning and prevents leakage of ingredients.

Summing up, the Nostalgia ICMP400WD is a unique machine that looks very expensive and classy. It has a high-capacity bucket and is able to serve quite a lot of ice cream per one go. If you often host parties and seek a machine to surprise your guests, you should definitely consider this one.

Detailed review of Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400WD Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Cuisinart ICE-21

Operation Principle

The Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker is a semi-automatic machine, therefore, before making a frozen dessert, you have to pre-freeze the bowl. Typically, you just need to shake the bowl in order to determine whether the ice cream mixture is completely frozen. If the appliance still contains some liquid in the bowl, it means the ice cream maker is not ready for use yet. To turn on the electric motor you need to press the On/Off button.

Review of Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart White

Capacity

The Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker is capable of making frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbet, and even frozen beverages. Actually, it usually takes 20 minutes or less to enjoy ready-to-eat ice cream without waiting for a long time. This ice cream machine has a large bowl capacity that permits you to make 1-1 / 2 quarts of ice cream and other luscious frozen desserts. This domestic ice cream maker is used to make small quantities of ice cream sufficient for small families.

Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart White in the use

Usability

The Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker features non-slip rubber feet that keep the base stable when the appliance is in use. Also, there is a convenient cord storage, which is easily pushed into the base after use. Moreover, it has an easy-lock lid with a large spout in order to add various ingredients without intervention into the freezing process. The ice cream machine is made of high-quality plastic to reduce weight while the inner bowl is made of solid stainless steel. It uses a Freezer Bowl freezing method that requires pre-freezing of the bowl. Finally, the appliance weighs only 9 pounds, so you can easily carry it with you anywhere.

Detailed review of Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart White

VIDEO
REVIEW: Ice Cream Maker - Cuisinart ICE-21

What customers say about this product

Features

This has been so much fun to use! We keep it in the freezer at all times. Clean up is simple.... one of the best features.

Key Specs

The capacity is just right for two or three servings so you don't need one of the big monster capacity machines

Size & Weight

Storage takes a very small amount of space. I put the ice cream made in a Rubbermaid container in the freezer and wash & dry canister and it's stored in the freezer
 

Hamilton Beach 68330N

Operation Principle

The Hamilton Beach 68330N is a 4-quart semi-automatic ice cream maker, which means you need to mix rock salt and ice for homogeneous freezing in advance, only then you can start making luscious homemade ice cream. In fact, salt speeds up the freezing process. This ice cream machine is quite easy-to-handle - just connect the appliance to the mains by means of a cable cord and it will immediately start making your favorite tasty frozen desserts.

Review of Hamilton Beach 68330N Ice Cream Maker

Capacity

Even though the Hamilton Beach 68330N ice cream maker is rather compact, it provides sufficient capacity to hold up to 4 quarts of ice cream. Therefore, this ice cream machine is an excellent solution for making delicious frozen desserts for a large group of people. You wouldn't need to keep your guests waiting for too long since the freezing time is only 20-40 minutes. Cool and yummy desserts will come out rather quickly, gladdening taste buds of kids and adults.

Hamilton Beach 68330N Ice Cream Maker in the use

Usability

The Hamilton Beach 68330N ice cream maker comes with an Easy-Lock lid attached to the stainless steel bowl for reliable motor fixation. The added bonus is an automatic switch-off, which automatically turns the appliance off once the mixture is ready. It's very convenient as you can do whatever you wish while your ice cream machine does all the work. The freeze power relies on adding salt and ice to the bowl. One more benefit is that this model of an ice cream maker is fairly lightweight (only 6.5 pounds), so it can be easily stored in your kitchen.

Detailed review of Hamilton Beach 68330N Ice Cream Maker

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

This ice cream maker was easy to assemble and easy to use. It provides recipes for various types of ice cream and sorbet too. I did not try them yet, but I will. The canister is a nice size. We had delicious homemade ice cream in under an hour!

Features

Don't look at other machines, if you want a lot of ice cream that's the best you may ever have, THIS is the unit to buy.

Size & Weight

Quick. Easy to clean. Great size. Great price. Take it in the RV when we go camping,too.
 

White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP

Operation Principle

The White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP is a semi-automatic ice cream maker, which means you have to pre-freeze the mixing bowl prior to using, next, add ice and rock salt into the space between the wooden housing and the inner bowl, and only then make a batch of ice cream. As a matter of fact, this wonderful domestic ice cream machine is extremely easy-to-use. To turn the electric motor on, simply plug the power cord into the power outlet. You will be amazed by a variety of frozen treats you can make in this ice cream machine!

Review of White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP Wooden Bucket Ice Cream Maker

Capacity

The White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP ice cream maker is capable of making a huge amount of ice cream and a variety of frozen desserts due to the large bowl capacity - up to 6 quarts (4-quart model is also available). This ice cream machine offers a superb solution for making all kinds of delicacies for your near and dear. Believe it or not, but the cooking time this electric appliance requires is just 20-40 minutes. Thus, it can produce large amounts of ice cream without making your guests wait for too long to try your frozen treats.

White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP Wooden Bucket Ice Cream Maker in the use

Usability

The White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP ice cream maker has a patented Triple-Action Dasher system, made of ultra-strong cast iron, which provides high durability and allows the bucket to hold its shape. Besides, this system ensures homogeneous churning of ice cream mixture and prevents ice cream from getting stuck to the sides of the bowl. Moreover, the machine comes with reliable locks on the motor base to prevent ice and salt getting into the bowl. This ice cream machine has a premium quality pinewood exterior and a stainless steel inner bowl. This electric ice cream maker uses Salt and Ice freezing method that requires adding salt and ice to make tasty ice cream at home. The weight of the electric appliance is rather big - 19.2 pounds.

Detailed review of White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP Wooden Bucket Ice Cream Maker

VIDEO
White Mountain PBWMIME612-SHP Ice Cream Maker Review

What customers say about this product

Features

Reuse the ice for multiple batches, after packing the last batch, drain the bucket but keep the ice for the next batch, its already mixed with salt/ice so makes perfect

Key Specs

It does do it's job though and I like the bucket and set up as a whole. Made some awesome mint oreo my first time out.

Size & Weight

This one had the solid metal lid so that it's not going to be stripped like the plastic lidded machines. So far, good quality, even though more money than some of the cheaper varieties. I certainly would recommend this one.
 

Infographics

Comparison of Ice Cream Makers

What Is an Ice Cream Maker?

An ice cream maker is a home appliance designed to make homemade ice cream. In fact, you can use this appliance not only for making ice cream but also for preparing delicious frozen cocktails, various refreshing drinks, delightful frozen desserts and other exotic frozen delicacies like fruit-flavored sorbet or delectable gelato. Typically, an ice cream maker freezes the mixture while churning it in order to aerate the mixture and prevent the formation of ice crystals. Therefore, an ice cream maker evenly freezes ice cream, turning it into a soft texture.

Those who also like cotton candy might be interested in our cotton candy makers review! And if you really love freshly-made organic dairy products, you should consider buying one of the best yogurt makers available.

What Features to Compare

Operation Principle

When choosing an ice cream maker, the first thing to consider is the operation principle, which primarily depends on the freeze method. It should be noted that the earliest ice cream makers were hand-cranked. Thus, to make some ice cream you had to stir the mixture manually every 2-3 minutes. Currently, these machines are out-of-date and replaced by semi-automatic and automatic ice cream makers. To use a semi-automatic ice cream maker, you need to pre-freeze the bowl in the fridge prior to use. This method of making ice cream is called Freezer Bowl. The freezing time is generally up to 8-12 hours. To make the next batch, you have to wait until the bowl freezes again. There are also semi-automatic ice cream machines that require no pre-freezing of the bowl in the fridge. You just need to add ice and rock salt between the bucket and the inner bowl. This is so-called Salt and Ice method. Salt and ice lower the freezing temperature, therefore, the temperature of the mixture around the ice cream gets colder. On the contrary, automatic ice cream makers are more convenient as they require no pre-freezing or adding ice and salt. Although, such models are more pricey as they feature a built-in refrigeration unit. It's very easy-to-use - just turn the electric motor on, wait for 5-10 minutes until the bowl is frozen to the desired temperature, pour the prepared ice cream mixture, and get the ready product in a short while.

Capacity

The other thing we’d like to draw your attention to is ice cream maker's capacity, which is mainly determined by a bowl capacity and freezing time. There are models with smaller and bigger freezer bowls so you can choose the one to fit your family needs. As a matter of fact, the overall amount of ice cream depends on bowl capacity. A freezer bowl of 1/1.5-quart capacity will be surely enough for a small household. However, if you are planning a dinner party, you should choose an ice cream maker with at least 4/6-quart bowl capacity. While churning the mix, ice cream gets saturated with air and becomes fluffy. The time required for freezing usually varies between 20-60 minutes (depending on the chosen model and the amount of product you need to produce).

Usability

And finally, you should pay attention to the usability of an ice cream maker. In fact, ice cream makers are quite easy to handle even for inexperienced users. Actually, you should press the on/off button on the front control panel, or simply plug your machine in. Some ice cream makers come with an LCD display with a number of handy features like a built-in timer, various temperature modes, a pause option, etc. Next, when selecting an ice cream maker, it's reasonable to choose a compact and lightweight appliance that can be easily stored or transported. Besides, you should pay attention to the material a bucket and a bowl are made of. Ice cream makers can be manufactured from high-quality plastic that makes them lighter. If an ice cream maker is made of metal, it is considered to be more solid and durable. Meanwhile, the inner bowl is typically made of stainless steel or aluminum that ensures better absorption of the cold. Furthermore, a reliable lid adjustment prevents ice and rock salt from getting into the bowl and spoil your frozen dessert while rubber feet on the bottom of the bucket keep the base stationary, providing safe use of the appliance. To sum up, all these useful features can make your cooking experience really enjoyable.

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