From trucks to carts to freezers in supermarkets, you can get ice cream pretty much anywhere. However, the old-fashioned ways of actually making ice cream from scratch still exist in the average person’s home.
What is an Ice Cream Maker?
These small machines take ice cream mixes you can either buy from the store or make yourself and use a frozen exterior to create ice cream. Some of these makers are also good for making gelato and other cold products.
The following ice cream makers simplify the whole process. Before you purchase an ice cream maker, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Type: Some of the makers below are attachments that combine with larger machines rather than a whole machine itself. They can sometimes be cheaper than purchasing a full ice cream maker.
Cost: With ice cream so easy to make nowadays, most makers are affordable and cheap. Don’t look to purchase the most expensive one unless you’ve got a good reason to.
Capacity: Most makers can make between 1.5-4 quarts of ice cream per batch depending on the size of the frozen tub that holds the mixture.
The ICE-21 is one of the most popular ice cream makers on the market. On top of the base machine, it only needs the bowl to make the ice cream and a lid. The bowl that holds the ice cream is also freezable so there is no need for a process that involves ice. Once you’ve poured in your custard mix, it will have your ice cream ready in as little as twenty minutes. You can also look down through the transparent lid to check the progress of your ice cream.
The Aicok maker is an easy to use maker whose parts come separately to allow for easy cleaning. It can hold up to 1.5 quarts of ice cream which it can make in 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the mixture. It is insulated so there’s no need for actual ice, but the mixture tub does need to be completely frozen before actual mixing begins.
Best Ice Users
The Nostalgia 4-Quart ice cream maker has a more traditional maker style and function. You place the ice cream mix in an aluminum tub which goes into the primary bucket. In turn, it should be surrounded by salt and ice. Once that’s done, the electric Nostalgia does the rest. The Nostalgia is also perfect for making gelato or sorbet, so don’t feel limited to just ice cream.
The Hamilton Beach 4-Quart maker works in almost the same way as the Nostalgia maker. Its motor is also electric so there is no manual effort required. It’s as simple as pouring mixes in and out once they’re complete. With a 4-quart capacity, it makes enough ice cream to satisfy a handful of people in as little as 20-40 minutes.
Best Under $200
The 1.6 quart Gourmia has a unique look compared to most ice cream makers but still does its job all the same. The Gourmia works in a way very similar to the Cuisinart ICE-21 but takes about twice as long to complete a cycle of mixing. While it may take longer and not hold as much ice cream, it still fits neatly on a countertop and doesn’t require any removable parts.
Best Under $300
The Whynter 2.1-quart maker is very similar to the Cuisinart maker and has four simple controls to manage the making process. It also has a countdown timer and see-through lid so you check the status of the ice cream at any time. Like other makers on this list, it doesn’t require ice and only needs a frozen bowl to begin the process. It has a big price tag for only having a 2.1-quart capacity but is efficient and doesn’t take up much space on the countertop.
Best Stand Mixer Attachment
This blender attachment by KitchenAid eliminates the need for a larger ice cream maker. While ice cream makers are convenient, this attachment is even more so. It makes up to 2 quarts of ice cream in around 20-30 minutes, which is practically the same time frame as the actual makers on this list. It would be ideal to fit this attachment onto a KitchenAid stand mixer.