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Top 10 Best Ice Cream Makers 2017
Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker

Today we’ll be looking at our top 10 best ice cream makers, we will go over what you will get with each machine and we will explain what criteria we used to rate them, and why we came to the choice of the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker as our No1 choice.

When it comes to the summer time and the children are running around outside, especially when the sun is out, and they are looking for a cooling snack, ice cream is an easy choice to cool them down while giving them something they will love. The problem with this nowadays is that the ice cream that you buy is usually full of sugar and additives.

To combat those problems more people are turning to making their own foods from scratch and you can do the same for ice cream with a good ice cream maker machine for home use. It doesn’t take many ingredients to make ice cream, the only thing you need to decide is what type of machine you want to buy and how much you want to pay.

Today we’ll be looking at our top 10 best ice cream makers, we will go over what you will get with each machine and we will explain what criteria we used to rate them, and why we came to the choice of the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker as our No1 choice.

If you’re interested in our No1 choice ice cream maker you can read the review of the Cuisinart ICE-21 or click the banner below to go to the product page on Amazon.com…

What we looked at when choosing our ice cream makers…

Type and price

What we mean by the type of ice cream maker is how it makes the ice cream. You can have a manual hand crank ice and salt, electric ice and salt, electric freezer bowl and compressor. The hand crank machines and the electric ice and salt are similar in function except one is a manual control, the ice cream mixture is placed in a container in a bucket with the churning paddle attached to the motor, the freezing is done with the ice and salt layered around the ice cream container. These can vary in price but some of the cheapest machines are ice and salt types.

The electric freezer bowl ice cream makers are probably the most popular and well known. The machines can be compact and the ice cream is made in a bowl which is double layered and has a freezing liquid sealed inside. When these bowls are frozen they produce enough coldness to turn the mixture into ice cream when it is churned. The bowls need to be frozen at least 16 hours in the coldest part of the freezer. The prices of these machines can be reasonable to high depending on the features offered.

The compressor ice cream makers are machines that have a built in freezer, the only preparation needed is to make your ice cream mixture and add it to the bowl in the machine and switch on. The benefit is the fact that you can make your dessert then clean out the machine and make another. The price of course reflects the fact it is an all-in-one machine, they are quite expensive.

Features and capacity

You can get machines that can have a variety of capacities, the ones we are looking at range from 1.5 quarts up to 6 quarts. There is something for everyone depending on your requirements. The ice and salt machines tend to have the larger capacities as they are churned in a container in a bucket, so the larger the bucket the larger container you can use. The main feature is that you can make a large amount of soft serve ice cream at one time, it’s a little harder to see the churning process and to add things in because the motor sits on top of the container.

The frozen bowl machines are usually 1.5 quarts or 2 quarts in size, which is a reasonable amount to make at one time. Most of these machines are easy to set up and use, they usually have see through tops with an add-in window to mix in bits, and to pour in the mixture for churning. Once the bowl is removed from the freezer it can be place in the machine and you’re ready to go. Again it usually makes the mixture into a soft serve consistency, some machines can even dispense it into a cone.

The compressor machines are usually around 1-2 quarts in capacity but very easy to set up and use. They usually have timers so you can get your ice cream to the same consistency time and again. Some have built in ice cream bowls and some have removable ones. Most have simple controls all housed in larger units that include the compressor.

Capability

The capability of most of these machines is a soft serve ice cream which can either be eaten as is or can be frozen in a suitable container to harden up for an hour or two before eating, or it can just be stored for another occasion. The process of freezing is the same for yoghurt, sorbet, ice cream and gelato, but gelato is a denser ice cream so is probably less likely to be churned long enough unless made in a compressor. Sometimes if you don’t start with the mixture cold enough in the ice and salt machines or the frozen bowl machines you can have problems with the mixture thickening into ice cream, but when you have the process right it can make a great ice cream.

With the compressor machines you have a bit more selection in timing, mixing without freezing or keeping cold without mixing when the ice cream is complete.

Take a look at our top choices for ice cream makers below, if you would like to read the full review of the products or check out the page on Amazon.com to read their information and check the customer comments we will place links below each product.

Don’t forget to check out the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker at Amazon.com if you want to see our top choice.

Best Ice Cream Makers

#1 Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker

Our No 1 choice is the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker, so what makes it so special and why did we choose it?

The ICE-21 is a frozen bowl type of machine which has a capacity of 1.5 quarts. The reason this type of ice cream maker is so popular is because the only preparation needed is to freeze the bowl prior to using and to make sure the ice cream mix is chilled before churning. The price is pretty reasonable too, at $48.58 it makes it affordable to a lot of families.

It’s easy to use, just place the frozen bowl onto the base add the paddle which is held in place by the transparent lid. Switch on the motor and pour in the mixture through the large spout at the top, which can also be used to add any other sweets of fruit to your finished ice cream.

You can have your dessert in 20 -30 minutes. You can make ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet, and recipes are included in the instruction booklet to start you off. The finished article is usually soft serve ice cream, which can be eaten immediately or you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge and harden it up for a couple of hours before eating if you prefer that.

We chose this ice cream maker as our No 1 choice because it is easy to use, affordable and gives a good ice cream result according to the many excellent buyers reviews.

Check out our full review of the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker

Buy the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker at Amazon.com

#2 Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Ice-30BC
Cuisinart Ice-30BC

The Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker is another frozen bowl machine, so what is the difference between the ICE-21 and the ICE-30BC?

The first thing to notice is the larger capacity freezer bowl which is 2 quart size, so you can make a larger amount of ice cream, which is great but you need to check that the larger bowl will fit in your freezer.

The function of this machine is the same as the previous one, you put the frozen bowl in the machine add the paddle and the lid, switch on and your ready to add your mixture. The machine is finished in a brushed stainless steel which fits in with most kitchens, the design allows the freezer bowl to fit further into the base which allows a bit better insulation to keep the bowl frozen long enough to make the frozen desserts.

It takes about an extra 5 minutes to make the ice cream due to the larger size bowl, but you have to pay extra for the upgraded design and size. You can make frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream in this machine and if you want a larger capacity and don’t mind paying a little extra this could be the best ice cream maker for you.

Check out our full review of the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

Buy the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker from Amazon.com

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

Cuisinart ICE-45
Cuisinart ICE-45

We think this Cuisinart ICE-45 ice cream maker offers the most fun, probably the best ice cream maker for kids. It is a frozen bowl machine the same as the previous two ice cream machines, but this one has 3 mix-in holders on the side to store your chips and sweets in to add into your ice cream, so provided the add-ins are small enough to fit through the supplied gauge you can have your kids favourites which they can choose to add into their ice cream. They can choose to add 1, 2 or all 3 add-ins depending on what they like.

The ice cream maker itself is a 1.5 quart capacity and it makes the ice cream in the same way as the previous machines but this unit can actually dispense the ice cream when the attached handle is pulled down and as it dispenses into a bowl or a cone the add-ins drop down a chute and mix with the ice cream. As you can imagine the kids love the fact that they can choose their favourite sweeties and see it coming out into a cone. If you wanted more than the 1.5 quarts if you were having a party for example, you can buy extra bowls and as long as you can hold 2 bowls in your freezer then you could have a 2nd flavour on the go when the first is finished.

Check out our full review of the Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker

Buy the Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker at Amazon.com

#4 Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker

Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE
Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE

We move on from the freezer bowl ice cream makers to the ice and salt machines. Our cheapest and most popular is the Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker which can make you a decent 4 quarts of ice cream.

This isn’t the type of machine that you can leave on your counter top as it is a large bucket with a motor that fits onto the top of it. This is also a great machine to get your kids involved with making ice cream because they like to help in putting the ice and salt around the ice cream container.

It’s the old fashioned way that ice cream was made except for the motor, but some people don’t want the mess of the ice and salt which is why the ICE-21 is so popular. It’s easy to use this type of machine just add the chilled ice cream mixture to the container, attach the lid and paddle to the motor and clip the motor onto the bucket. Start the motor and add the ice and salt in layers, add more ice and salt as needed.

You get a soft serve ice cream mixture which you can eat straight away or put into a container to harden in the freezer. You can also make frozen yogurt but you have to make sure the mixture is cold to give the ice the best chance of freezing it. This is a great budget machine if you have no problem getting ice and the rock salt.

Check out our full review of the Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker

Buy the Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker at Amazon.com

#5 White Mountain Ice Cream Maker with Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket, 6-Quart Electric

White Mountain Ice Cream Maker
White Mountain Ice Cream Maker

Our second choice of ice and salt machines is the White Mountain Ice Cream Maker with Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket, 6-Quart Electric. White mountain is a well known make and also supply hand crank machines. This ice cream maker can make a whopping 6 quarts of ice cream at a time but will need a bit more ice and salt than the previous machine.

What is different about this machine is the wooden bucket which is bound by strong galvanized hoops for durability, the extra strong motor for churning and the heavy-duty cast iron dasher system. This would be a great machine for family parties as it can make a good quantity of ice cream and it looks good.

Although this is a ice and salt machine it is not a cheap option, you pay for the heavy duty and durable parts. The ice cream is made in the same way as the other machines with the container including the mixture being attached to the motor with the dasher and the lid, the ice and salt is layered around it and the motor churns the ice cream. If you like the idea of an old fashioned styled ice cream maker and like to be able to make a lot of ice cream in one go then check this one out.

Check out our full review of the White Mountain Ice Cream Maker with Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket, 6-Quart Electric

Buy White Mountain Ice Cream Maker with Appalachian Series Wooden Bucket, 6-Quart Electric at Amazon.com

#6 Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker

Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart
Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart

Our last ice and salt ice cream maker is the Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker, this is very similar to the Nostalgia and can make 4 quarts the same. This is very reasonably priced, you just need to supply the ice, rock salt and ice cream mixture to enjoy 4 quarts of creamy soft serve ice cream.

The mixing can take anywhere between 20-40 minutes, the container sit in the bucket surrounded by the ice and salt with the motor attached to the paddle and lid of the container. You can make homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and gelato in your own kitchen with the recipes supplied. These low cost ice cream makers can allow everyone to make their own ice cream concoctions easily, even if you’re a beginner.

Most people use this machine inside their sink so that you don’t get bits of ice over the floor and its easier to empty when you’re finished. You can use the ice cream container to freeze your soft serve but it can be hard to get out, so probably best to use a plastic airtight container. If you want a cheap machine to try this would be a good choice.

Check out our full review of the Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker

Buy the Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker at Amazon.com

#7 Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

Our first recommended compressor machine is the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker. This machine has a built in freezer so no preparation needed except to mix up your ice cream mixture. If you want an all-in-one machine and don’t mind investing a little extra money this would be a good machine to buy, it isn’t cheap but if you use it a lot it could be well worth it.

This is a fully automatic ice cream maker commercial quality machine with a removable 1.5 quart container. These type of machines are a little bit larger, they will fit on your counter top but if you have a small kitchen you might want to store it in a cupboard and you will need to keep it upright because it is a mini refrigerator.

The ICE-100 provides 2 paddles for mixing your ice cream, a standard paddle which mixes more air into your ice cream, this makes your standard soft scoop and it also has a gelato paddle which doesn’t mix as much air into the mix as gelato is a denser type of ice cream. The mix is added into the machine, add the paddle and the lid and switch on the timer to start churning your ice cream.

There is a 60 minute timer although it probably won’t take 60 minutes to get your ice cream to the right consistency, the timer can be set to whatever time you want. There is also a 10 minute keep cool function so you don’t have to remove your ice cream immediately. If you want to you can clean the container and paddle and start another batch. You can see how your ice cream is progressing through the transparent lid and you can also add anything you want about 5 minutes before your ice cream finishes to get it well mixed in.

Check out our full review of the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

Buy the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker at Amazon.com

#8 Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

Breville BCI600XL
Breville BCI600XL

Another compressor machine choice is the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker. This ice cream maker is the same capacity as the ICE-100.

The main difference is in the settings available, both these machines are of similar size and both have a removable container. The Breville smart scoop has it’s own freezer unit so that you can make your ice cream without the need for any preparation other than creating your favourite ice cream mixture.

On this machine there is a pre-cooling function so that you can add your mixture then pre-cool it before churning it into ice cream, this isn’t necessary but when your mixture is cold it’s turns to ice cream quicker. The controls for the churning is quite comprehensive, you can choose your type of ice that you want to make and the hardness that you prefer and it automatically sets the time accordingly.

It has a great alert to tell you when the process is complete, it comes with 2 jingles like on an ice cream sellers van which you can choose between or not, if you don’t want the kids in the street thinking you are supplying ice cream cones. The other good function on this machine is a 3 hour keep cool setting which is good if you want to make your ice cream in advance of a meal and don’t want to put it in a container to freeze because you want to eat it all.

There are more functions on this machine but it is reflected in the price, this ice cream maker price is $359. If you want to invest in an easy to use all-in-one ice cream maker then this might be the one for you.

Check out our full review of the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

Buy the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker at Amazon.com

#9 Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart

Whynter ICM-200LS
Whynter ICM-200LS

Another compressor machine for your review is the Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart. At $298.62 it’s a bit cheaper than the Breville but it can make 2.1 quarts of ice cream automatically, so if you want an all-in-one machine with a bigger capacity this might interest you.

This machine has a 60 minute timer so you can set it to whatever time you want or just set it for the 60 minutes and start monitoring your ice cream from half way till you find the time that makes your ice cream to the consistency you like then you know what to time to choose the next time.

This Whynter ice cream maker has a removable container and paddle to make it easy to clean it also has a cooling only function so that you can keep your ice cream cold after churning for up to 30 minutes, and it also has a mixing mode which you can use to mix in your add-ins. It has an easy to use control panel and an alarm when your ice cream timer has finished, it also has an automatic shut off if the ice cream gets too hard to turn the paddle, this is to stop the motor burning out.

Check out our full review of the Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart

Buy the Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart at Amazon.com

#10 Gourmia GSI480 Automatic Ice Cream Maker with Built-In Cooling System

Gourmia GSI480
Gourmia GSI480

Our final choice in ice cream makers is the Gourmia GSI480 Automatic Ice Cream Maker with Built-In Cooling System. This isn’t a compressor ice cream machine as it uses thermoelectrics for the built in cooling system making it an all-in-one. This is more of an affordable choice for an all-in-one ice cream maker but it does have a smaller capacity of 2.1 pints or just over 1 quart. It is also a smaller sized machine so it would be easier to keep out on the worktop.

This machine has a white plastic outer casing and the ice cream bowl is incorporated into the base. The Gourmia takes about 60 minutes to make ice cream and has a simple control panel on which you can choose a hard or soft setting.

The ice cream makers with built in bowls are a little harder to clean, but if you leave them till they come back to room temperature a warm cloth should clean it out easily. The only downside to this machine is the small capacity especially if you have a large family but if that isn’t a problem for you, then you would like this compact little machine.

Check out our full review of the Gourmia GSI480 Automatic Ice Cream Maker with Built-In Cooling System

Buy the Gourmia GSI480 Automatic Ice Cream Maker with Built-In Cooling System at Amazon.com

Verdict

Our No1 choice is, in our opinion, the first ice cream making machine that you will want to check out, the price and ease of use make it a great machine to start making your own healthy, additive free ice creams. If you are looking for something different there are plenty of choices of ice cream makers in different types, sizes and price for you to review above especially if your looking for something cheaper or want to spend a bit more money.

Buy the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker at Amazon.com

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