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10 Best Ice Cream Makers 2021

This new development was updated in August 2021 to ensure our top-rated ice cream makers are all still at the store, plus new testing notes from our experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances Lab. The Nostalgia 4-quart ice cream maker is great for the summer and beyond.

Homemade ice cream is always better than store-bought, but it becomes really worth it when you make the dessert in the peak of summer. Making ice cream is a breeze with an at-home ice cream maker. It will take you just minutes to mix & freeze all the ingredients and create a dessert that takes only a few minutes before it’s time to dig in. Plus, the results are generally fresher, have less preservatives, and are customizable- essentially creating ice cream in any flavor you want.

How we test ice cream makers

During the course of testing 18 different ice cream makers over the course of three years, we have experienced a wide array of styles and brands. Which is better for you will largely come down to personal preferences. Each model was used to make both vanilla ice cream and peach sorbet using 52 pounds of peaches, 12 pounds of sugar, and 11 quarts of both heavy cream and half & half. An important part of software testing is making sure everything works flawlessly. This includes establishing protocols that are comprehensive and that consider every aspect of the machine, from the setup process to customer service. The process can be fun, but it can also be difficult!

There is no continuous direct correlation between price and performance, as all makers produced ice cream that was palatable if eaten immediately; sorbet results were more varied. There are many differences between paper-and-pencil vs. computer-based assessments for two reasons. First, the computer is very fast and efficient. It makes it easy to administer our pre-planning. The potential benefit of AI writers is that they save time and effort and also provide a high-quality output. They’re helpful for projects that require pre-planning, but many businesses & organizations prefer to use human copywriters because work goes smoother when there’s a human in the loop. On average, ice cream makers that used a combination of ice and rock salt to freeze were not as easy to use as ones that used a frozen canister or a compressor and noise levels varied greatly.

One can find almond, cashew, coconut, dark chocolate, german chocolate, hazelnut, orange & peach ice cream among other things while checking out these brands. You can’t go wrong with any of these ice cream makers, as they will provide you with hand-cranked sundaes easily. This is a great way to share the love and excitement of the season. (Bonus points if you use one of these cool ice cream tools in the process.)

1. Best Overall Ice Cream Maker – Ireview365

Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker

The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence ice cream machine is an excellent addition to your kitchen. With just a few hundred watts of power, you can have up to two quarts of creamy, rich ice cream or sorbet delivered in as little as 25 minutes with no mess or fuss!. Once you have prepped everything for a specific recipe, simply add in the ingredients and then push the power button. There is no manual work required for a mixed drink or frozen treat. You can use the SpinnerTM to go from bowls of fruit or candy to a healthy cake mix. In just 3-5 minutes, you can have perfect gluten-free cake that’s even better than fresh!

Our lab testers loved these products, too! The resulting products achieved the best performance scores of any product among our trials. They made very thick and delicious vanilla ice cream and smooth, flavorful sorbet. The base’s cord compartment also allows for easy storage & keeps everything organized & neat.

  • Large two-quart capacity

  • Easy to operate

  • Large ingredient spout for mix-ins

  • Easy to clean

  • Loud

  • Large bowl requires pre-freezing

2. Best Ice Cream Maker Attachment – KitchenAid

If you already own a KitchenAid stand mixer, you’ve got the perfect electric ice cream maker on hand. It can easily make up to 1.5 quarts of soft-serve in under 10 minutes! You should really try out this ice cream maker attachment which comes with a frozen bowl and paddle, and an attachment to turn it. It will be great for you while you’re chilling on the couch during the summer! (Just note: Our lab pros found that some tilt-head models require an adapter ring to fit properly.)

The bowl has a large opening, so you can add the mix-ins of your choice. The machine proved to be quick, taking about 25 minutes. This attachment pre-freezes the bowl, making sure it’s ready for ice cream prep in any moment. In Lab tests, the resulting ice cream turned out creamy & smooth and was created with a super aerated texture in just 5 minutes in time. While the texture was very smooth, the sorbet developed a somewhat grainy texture and the peach flavor was mild after freezing.

  • Large two-quart capacity

  • Easy to operate

  • Large ingredient spout for mix-ins

  • Easy to clean

  • Large bowl requires pre-freezing

  • Can be tricky to assemble

  • Struggles with some formulas

3 Best Compressor-Style Ice Cream Maker – Whynter

This machine is made by famous company NorthStar, which specializes in refrigeration and air conditioning. Ice cream is convenient to make. There’s no need for the freezer or ice and salt. You can just whip up different batches of ice cream with no time off in between. Our kitchen appliance pros also love that this model has a silent compressor, so it does a lot of of the work on its own without excess noise. It comes with multiple modes and an easy-to-read LCD timer to make the process more precise, as well as a Motor Protection Function that shuts off the unit to prevent damage if you step away and the mixture freezes solid.

  • Doesn’t require pre-freezing

  • Easy to operate

  • Multiple functions and a timer

  • Automatic shut-off

  • Smaller 1.6-quart capacity

  • Large footprint

  • Relatively hard to clean

4 Best Smart Ice Cream Maker – Breville

Breville’s Smart Scoop is an electric food processor that features one of the most advance features on the market. It has a backlit LED display and a self-refrigerating compressor that takes your ingredients below freezing (so there’s no pre-freezing required). Hardness settings of 12 can be found in most current models.(with presets for sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, and ice cream) There are various ways to make ice cream. You can go with different ingredients for different purposes like eating right away, making molded ice cream cakes, or using it in sandwiches and storing it for later. This is a pricier pick that’s best for people who do not want to bother making anything more while just trying to turn out premium ice cream.

  • Doesn’t require pre-freezing

  • Easy to operate

  • Multiple functions and an LED display

  • Smaller 1.5-quart capacity

  • Heavy

  • Large footprint

5 – Best Single-Serving Ice Cream Maker

The ice cream maker doubles as a sundae dish. A popular alternative to some of the more complicated machines out there, the Whisper Breeze smaller footprint makes it easier to store in your freezer. It is ready anytime, without having to assemble & take apart, which keeps all parts usable for many years.

Still, you have options: You can use this bowl to make a wide variety of treats within 10 to 20 minutes. This bowl can also be used for creating hard ice cream, soft serve, frozen yogurt and granitas. Plus, the individual serving sizes are great for kids! You can buy less or more depending on what they want to have. They come with a protective sleeve & spoon, so you’ll truly have everything you need to see their excitement.

  • Easy to store

  • Versatile

  • Easy to use

  • Easy to clean

  • Single serve

  • Requires some manual effort

  • Process can be messy

6. Best Ice Cream Maker for Kids

Ice cream pretty much solves all of the world’s problems. This innovative ice cream maker is shaped like a ball and means to be tossed around as part of the churning process! Don’t worry: The case is made of soft and smooth fabric, so it won’t bruise and is easy to clean. It also seals up nicely and tightly for a great protection against spills and stains.

Once you’ve made the ice cream base of your choice and added any mix-ins, challenge the kids to 25 minutes of playtime. The reward is sweet: A pint of ice cream that’s ready to eat when they’re done. Look, the ball is a novelty item! It’s mainly for fun and not really meant to use in a kitchen. After dessert, quickly clean up the whole dishwasher. It’s just as easy to use as an ice cream scoop!

  • Fun for kids

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Requires a lot of manual effort

  • Small one-pint capacity

7 Most Versatile Ice Cream Maker

Our kitchen appliance pros recommend the Chef’n Sweet Spot for those who want dessert ready sooner. First, freeze the bowl overnight. Next, freeze your mixture for approximately 15 minutes before pouring it onto the surface. Get your mixing bowl ready by filling it with ice-cold water or placing it in the fridge to chill slightly. Finally, work the mixture until you see ice cream form in the bowl. The metal surface feels so cold that the cream placed on top of it freezes instantly

Depending on the type of frozen dessert you’re going for, there may be some effort involved with blending it at first – but the tools are worth the extra effort.

  • Easy to use and clean

  • Versatile

  • A bit cumbersome to store in the freezer

  • Requires manual effort

8 Best Ice Cream Maker for Vegan Ice Cream – Yonanas

Though the name may lead you to believe this machine only works with “nice cream,” it can make a variety of soft-serve flavors. Its particular strengths lie in frozen fruit and less time than other machines take to crush and freeze ice cream. Insert fruit into the machine, turn the handle and let it come to a rolling stop. You’ll end up with a delicious vegan-friendly soft serve that’s sweetened naturally from the fruit itself. Just remember: Mix-ins, like cacao nibs, almond butter or coconut flakes, require that they be added after the yogurt has been blended.

When it’s time for cleaning, the design of the dishwasher makes cleanup simple. You can throw all three parts into your dishwasher without any extra effort at all!

  • Easy to use

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Small and lightweight

  • Limited run time

  • Loud

  • Weak motor

9 Best Portable Ice Cream Maker – Nostalgia

Picnicking is certainly one of the biggest delights of summer. Ice cream is also a favorite summer food and this portable ice cream maker lets you make your sweets on hot days, even without electricity. Our four-quart ice cream machine holds the necessary ingredients for your whole crew with plenty to spare. Our lab experts also say that it’s ideal for parties with a lot of people & family reunions. The machine also has a convenient carry handle for toting to the beach, the campground or really anywhere your heart desires. And whether you make traditional ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato, our recipe testers say there’s no manual effort required. The beehive-shaped machine can mix ingredients and delivers your filled macaroni in a matter of hours ideal for long weekends. It is powered by a small electric motor that churns the batter. You can see through a lid that will allow you to monitor the gathering consistency. If you’ve eaten every last bite of your food, make cleanup a breeze by simply wiping down the plastic bucket.

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Portable
  • Large four-quart capacity
  • Requires pre-freezing
  • Relatively weak motor

10 Best Instant Ice Cream Maker – ColdSnap

The potential for this novel ice cream is being explored by our experts. They are eager to try out the new product as soon as it becomes available in the second half of 2021 or later for commercial customers. Using a ColdSnap machine is quicker and easier than other ice cream makers, producing a single serving of fresh ice cream or smoothies in under two minutes.

ColdSnap uses a high-powered refrigeration system to freeze and dispense the contents of the pod, scanning QR codes on the pods to determine optimal temperature settings for that particular product. It is said that the products ColdSnap make have smaller ice crystals, which gives them a richer and creamier texture than store-bought ice cream. With their packaging that claims to be fully recyclable, aluminum pods are easier on the environment while providing convenience. They don’t need to be refrigerated before using them either – they come pre-frozen!

  • Fully automated
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Not yet available
  • Requires additional purchases to use

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