The Best Ice Cream Makers for Homemade Creamy Deliciousness
Make Delicious Treats of Ice Cream, Frozen Yoghurt, Gelatos and Sorbet at Home
You would be hard pressed to find someone who does not like ice cream. Whether if it is to satisfy a sweet tooth or to finish off a great meal, ice cream is sure to be a crowd favorite with kids and adults alike. Thanks to advanced technology in the frozen dessert field, you can now create your own ice cream at home, and create any flavor combination you can dream of! And for the health conscious, most ice cream makers can also be used to create sorbets and frozen yogurt, and any traditional ice cream can be adjusted to suit any health concerns, such as making them dairy or sugar free. Home-made ice cream has exploded in popularity and the range of different makers is quite large. To help you make a good dessert decision, here are the top 9 best ice cream and frozen yogurt makers on the market as determined by actual users of the makers.
Best Ice Cream Makers
|Conair Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker||1.5 quarts||$$||4.97|
|Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker||2.0 quarts||$$$||4.96|
|Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker||$$||4.96|
|Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker||1.5 quarts||$$||4.93|
|Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker||4.0 quarts||$$||4.93|
|Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE Vintage Collection 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker||4.0 quarts||$$||4.91|
|Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker||1.5 quarts||$$$||4.91|
|Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker||1.5 quarts||$$||4.90|
|Elite Gourmet EIM-506 Maxi-Matic 6 Quart Old Fashioned Pine Bucket Electric/Manual Ice Cream Maker||6 quarts||$$||4.88|
Home Ice Cream Makers Buying Guide
It sounds so simple in theory when you feel like having some ice cream, rather than going out to the shops and forking out a huge amount for what is essentially frozen flavored milk, make it yourself! Ice cream makers used to be reserved for those who worked in restaurants or in ice cream factories. Nowadays, however, you can find an ice cream or frozen yogurt maker in nearly every home. We just cannot get enough of the sweet, smooth and delicious frozen dessert. Nothing is ever completely simple, however. One looks at the range of different ice cream makers on the market will make it clear that there is a vast array of different makers specializing in different areas, all having varied features with differing price points. So what is the difference, and what are the main considerations when purchasing an ice cream maker for your own home?
Check is pre-freezing is required:Many ice cream makers do not actually act as a freezer so they require a special bowl to be pre-frozen prior to the actual start of the process. This means that unless you are prepared, you cannot decide to make ice cream on a whim you need to start at least one day prior to actually eating the finished product. For most families this wont be a problem. You can just leave the bowl in the freezer all the time and take it out when you decide to make some ice cream.
But for those with limited freezer space or who just do not like the idea of having the pre-freeze process, there are makers with compressors or a built in freezer that will do the freezing as part of the process, like how you see on the cooking shows. Make sure you read the product descriptions and make inquiries to understand how it works before you buy to avoid future disappointment.
Capacity:It is difficult to look at an ice cream maker and have a definite idea of just how much ice cream it will make at one time. The exterior does not show the size of the bowl, or take into account the motor and various paddles. The only way to know exactly how much ice-cream you will get out of a single batch is to check the specifications. Generally, they range anywhere between 1.5 and 6 quarts. Smaller capacity ones have the benefit of being quicker and easier to store. However, if you are need to feed a group of people or a family, you will require at least a 4 quart maker. Price is also generally not a great indicator of capacity some of the more expensive ice cream makers can be smaller and vice versa. Think about your needs, compare the size of an average tub you normally purchase from the shops and read the specifications before you buy.
Ice cream, soft serve, frozen yogurt, gelato or sorbet?
If you are unsure on whether you and your family would prefer traditional ice cream, smooth soft serve, healthy frozen yogurt, dairy free gelato or refreshing sorbet, then you will be happy to know that most of the ice cream makers will make all of the above. Some may specialize in soft serve or frozen yogurt but chances are that there will be a way to make any different type. This is because the process is generally the same, it is just the ingredients that differ. So no matter what style of frozen dessert you like, chances are that any of the featured ice cream makers will be able to make it. The best bet is to read the recipe book if possible, which will give you some great ideas for flavors and styles of ice cream that you may not have considered. Some of the ice cream makers that we have reviewed also come with lots of recipes for many fresh and delicious flavours.
Is it possible to have more than a single flavour at a time?
Unfortunately, this is one limitation of the at-home ice cream maker. Generally, they only have the one churner so can only make one batch in a single flavor at any one time. And because most common ice cream makers require the mixing bowl to be completely frozen prior to churning, you will need to wait around a day in-between making different flavors or batches. The best way to overcome this limitation is to purchase a compressor style maker (such as the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker). The compressor means that you do not need to freeze the bowl, so you can effectively make batch after batch of whatever flavor you want one after the other. Simple scoop out the ice cream when it is finished, clean the bowl and start the process again immediately. Alternatively you can purchase additional bowls so you can keep them pre-frozen and make one batch at a time. Make sure you check the particular makers specifications so you know if additional bowls are needed.
What ice cream flavours can the ice cream makers make?
The only limit to what flavour of ice cream you can make is your imagination! Any flavor combination is possible – if you have the ingredients and they fit in the maker (within reason of course), then you will be able to make it. Most of the ice cream makers will come with recipe books filled with ideas, and a quick look on the internet will unearth many other flavour combinations you may not have even considered. One great thing about home-made ice cream is that you can control or change ingredients to meet your specific needs – for example, if you are sensitive to milk and find it hard to find dairy free ice creams in your preferred flavour, then you can purchase your favorite soy or rice milk and adjust the recipe. And if your favorite fruit is lychees and you have been looking for a lychee flavored sorbet, then stop looking as you will now be able to make it yourself at home! Use your imagination, and after some trial and error you will build yourself a real catalogue of great ice cream and frozen yogurt flavours that the whole family will love and look forward to.
Is an at-home ice cream maker good value for money?
Some of the higher end ice cream makers on the market can be rather pricey ranging anywhere between $30 and $300. So you may be questioning whether it really is worth the extra expense when ice cream from the grocery store really is not that expensive and is delicious in its own way. The main reason that people will want to make ice cream at home is more the fact that it is a fun process that the kids can help with, and the fact that the ingredients can be controlled, so is perfect for people with food allergies and sensitivities. You can simply google a flavour online and create it right there!
How expensive a batch of ice cream costs to make completely depends on the ingredients used. If you buy premium fruit at full price and only use organic milk, then yes It will be more expensive than purchasing shop bought ice cream (although will likely taste better and be better for your health). Buying ingredients in bulk or when on a special offer is the best way to lower the cost of making the ice cream at home. If you stop buying the premium ice cream from the shops, then the maker will pay for itself after only a few months. Plus you will now have batches of ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings without significant expenses every now and then.
Another great benefit from home-made ice cream is the fact that you can completely control the amount of sugar, salt and other additives if you dont like a particular ingredient, then simply do not add it to the recipe! Most good ice cream makers will come with ice cream recipe books with lots of ideas outside of the traditional ice cream flavors. So whether home-made ice cream is better than store bought is really a matter of perspective. The sheer popularity of these ice cream makers seem to validate that they are doing something right.