Top 5 best ice cream makers + shopping guide
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Now that summer is in full bloom in the Northern Hemisphere we want yummy ice cream but if you want to watch your weight, commercial ice creams tend to be loaded with sugar and additives, a better option is to use an ice cream maker at home.
You can add the ingredients of your choice and customize however you like, a great idea to do with your kids and get them involved in the kitchen in a fun way. In this article, we are reviewing the top 5 best portable ice cream makers on Amazon and provide you with a full shopping guide.
Comparative table between Ice Cream Makers 2020
Recommended Products and Best Rated
The first homemade fridge on the list comes from the Cuisinart brand. You will only have to introduce the ingredients you choose with it, which will be something straightforward thanks to its large opening. After 25 minutes, your ice cream will be ready to serve.
Among other things, this ice-cream maker stands out for its large capacity of 1.5 quarts. Once started, you will add extra ingredients while the ice cream is being prepared, such as fruits, nuts, chocolate, etc.
The machine has a transparent lid that opens so you can see the progress of your ice cream. Besides, cleaning this machine to make ice cream at home is very easy, and there are two different models available (silver and red), with the best quality-price ratio.
Makes ice cream in 25 minutes
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Cord storage below the machine
Basket must be frozen beforehand
The only drawback of this homemade ice cream maker is that you will have to put the container in the freezer for several hours before you can use it, so you will have to plan the ice cream's preparation.
If you have ever wanted to make ice cream with a fridge most easily and quickly possible, Cuisinart Pure Indulgence is one of the best choices. With an excellent quality-price ratio, once the machine is ready, you only have to wait 25 minutes for your ice cream to be ready. It is simple to operate and clean and has a large capacity to prepare ice cream for your whole family.
One of the problems we find in a traditional frozen yogurt machine is putting the container in the freezer for 12 hours to work. However, with this Cuisinart ICE-100, that problem is a thing of the past.
Thanks to its internal refrigerator, you only have to introduce all the ingredients in the container and select one of the two paddles (ice cream or gelato). You will have your dessert ready in a blink of an eye. It will keep your ice cream prepared for 10 minutes. Also, the LCD control display is very intuitive.
The machine has several extra functions such as a cooling function for the prepared ice cream, automatic disconnection, a removable container for easy use and cleaning, and a compressor system that allows you to make many ice cream batches one after the other.
Two paddles to create ice cream or gelato
60-minute cool-down timer
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Large counter footprint
This ice cream machine's negative point is that it is a bit bulky and heavy, so the idea is to find a fixed place and not have to move it continuously.
If you want to prepare ice cream most easily and quickly, without introducing parts of your refrigerators in the freezer for hours, this machine is what you were looking for. Whether you are looking for a gelato or traditional ice cream device, with the Cuisinart ICE-100, you can have it in less than 30 minutes, with greater ease of use and cleaning.
This affordable brand includes many features and extra accessories that make it one of the best on the market for budget-friendly options.
With its 1.5 quarts capacity, this compact ice cream maker can prepare the perfect dessert for your whole family. Just freeze the basket the night before and pour your favorite ingredients, with the practical on/off button you will have delicious homemade ice cream in less than 40 minutes.
Small and easy to store
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Basket must be frozen before use
Noisy (not a deal-breaker)
The Maxi-Matic Americana is one of the best budget-friendly ice makers on the market. With its 1.5 quarts of capacity, it will allow you to prepare ice cream for the whole family less than 40 minutes. It's easy to control, clean, and store. Ideal for small apartments as a house-warming gift.
The next home ice cream maker on our list is one of the most robust and professional-looking home ice cream makers. Made with stainless steel, its blades have been specially designed to prevent lumps and crystals.
Besides, it has a capacity of 1.5 quarts, so you will be able to prepare a significant ice cream amount at once. It incorporates an internal compressor that allows you to make your ice cream in record time without cooling the machine first.
It also includes an LCD for easy process control, an automatic stop function at the end with three musical tunes to alert you, and a removable bowl for easy removal and cleaning.
Intuitive LCD screen
No freezing required
Keep cool setting for up to 3 hours
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Bulky ice cream maker
The most significant disadvantage of this ice cream machine is that it is much heavier than the average, so the most useful thing is to find a fixed place for it so that you do not have to move it often.
If the strength and durability of the products you buy are important to you, the Breville Ice Maker is undoubtedly the best choice. Made entirely of stainless steel, with a blade designed to prevent the formation of lumps and crystals, and with an enormous capacity, it will allow you to create ice cream easily and quickly without fear of breaking.
Our final choice is the Cuisinart ICE-20, it is from the same line as the ICE-100 but much cheaper with excellent ice cream making quality.
Among other things, this ice-cream maker stands out for its large capacity of 1.5 quarts. Just freeze the basket, pour your ingredients, and once started, you can add extra ingredients while the ice cream is being prepared through the top window.
The machine has a transparent lid so you can see the progress of your ice cream. Besides, cleaning this machine to make ice cream at home is easy, Great price-quality ratio for those who don't want to invest much in an ice cream machine appliance.
Small appliance ideal for apartments
Easy to use
Non-stick chamber easy to clean
Basket must be frozen before using
If you have ever wanted to make ice cream with a fridge most easily and quickly possible, buy the Cuisinart ICE-20. With an excellent quality-price ratio, you only have to wait 30 minutes for your ice cream once the machine is ready. It is simple to operate and clean and has a large capacity so that you can prepare ice cream for your whole family.
Ice Cream Maker Shopping Guide 2020
Use this guide to learn more about ice cream makers and make an informed decision.
What is an ice cream maker?
It is also called a sorbet maker and is nothing more than an electrical appliance designed to make ice cream or sorbets that work at 220V. The sorbet maker works the mixture (ice cream uses milk, egg yolks, and essences, and sorbets use fruit juice or pulp with water) while it cools.
You have to prepare the whole equipment in the freezer if it does not have a freezing system because making ice cream is not as fast as more prep is required.
With the automatic sorbet machines it is different, they work like turbines to make ice cream, they are faster, where it works with crushed ice, and then it is placed in the freezer; you already have your sorbet.
How does a home ice cream maker work?
Ice cream makers operation is quite simple and most people will be able to use them, to make ice cream the machine must be at a certain temperature.
Expensive models have an incorporated system that lowers the temperature, the downside to this is they tend to consume more energy, cheaper models on the other hand have removable parts that go in the freezer before using, this is an affordable alternative but requires some prepping a day before.
Once the machine is cold, you introduce the ingredients that you want to ice and the mixing arms will constantly move the food until it reaches a similar consistency to commercial ice creams.
Ice cream maker parts
There are three main parts to this type of electrical device, an external drum that opens so as to insert the ice cream container and a central stirring section into the drum.
They can vary between models, systems, and brands, they could have more parts, but these three elements are the main ones. There are multiple varieties of spare parts and accessories to repair the machines.
Which is the best ice cream maker for me?
We recommend reading this guide because we are sharing suggestions and relevant information for you to know how the ice cream machines work.
All the questions you may have, there are clear; how long it takes to make ice cream, if you can make frozen yogurt in these machines or not, what accessories you need, how to store your homemade ice cream, etc. so you have the best shopping guide in the market as far as ice cream machines are concerned.
Ice cream makers type
Ice Cream Makers With Freezer Bowl
The bowl is the removable part that we have to freeze before for up to 12 hours to create ice cream, for that reason these machines are among the cheaper models compared to the ones that include a freezing system.
Ice Cream Maker With Freezing System
A much easier machine to use as you won't have to freeze the bowl beforehand. However they are expensive, if you are looking to save time then this might be the option for you.
Ice Cream Compressors
These machines include a device that lowers the temperature in a few minutes, ideal for those who do not have time or pastry chefs who need ice cream right away for their desserts.
Portable Ice Cream Maker
Ideal for summer as you can bring them anywhere with you (beach, forest, camping, etc.), you create ice cream by shaking the ingredients.
Traditional Ice Cream Maker
A mechanical machine not as popular nowadays because it takes a lot of time to create ice cream even though the texture is said to be much richer than the ones created by machines.
How long does it take to create ice cream?
It depends on the machine, expensive models will make ice cream in minutes while cheaper models can take up to 12 hours if you take into consideration the freezing time required for the machine parts like the bowl.
Can I make yogurt ice cream?
Yes, in fact, you can make ice cream with yogurt, and most liquids (almond, soy, rice, lactose-free milk). The final consistency and how similar to an ice cream store your ice cream is will depend on the machine features and price. The overall process shouldn't be that different anyway.
Tips To Make The Best Ice Cream At Home
The most important tip to consider the temperature of the ingredients and machine, especially if your ice cream maker doesn't have a freezing system if you have to freeze the bowl or mixing arms.
When it comes to ingredients the ideal temperature is between 33.8°F or 1°c and 37.4°F or 3°C, the colder the better. The fat percentage of the chosen ingredient matters too, the quality and creaminess of the ice cream will depend on how much fat it has, an ideal average is between 10% and 16%.
To store your ice cream, place it on a scoopable container (rectangular ones work the best) with plastic wrap or a lid which some models include, this will keep the ice cream from absorbing any odd smell from the freezer.
What Accessories Do You Need?
Most ice cream maker sets include some of the following accessories, in case they don't it is not a bad idea to purchase them, they will make the job easier.
They will cover the ice cream maker when it is working, to avoid splashes and overall mess, choose models with removable lids or small opening to add more ingredients as needed.
Automatic turning off systems
Making ice cream is an easy but delicate process, if you do it too much the consistency will break, a system that lets you know when it is finished or that turns off automatically is recommended.
Where we pour the mixture, in some models two bowls are included, but the average is one per machine.
Spatulas and scoopers
For spatulas, silicone is better as it will scoop every bit of ice cream from the bowl without damaging the surface. Scoopers are optional but metal ones are better to make perfectly delicious ice cream balls.
Optional but most models include them, physical or digital, these include great yummy ideas to make different ice cream flavors, Pinterest is another great option for ice cream inspiration.
How to clean an ice cream maker
Here we will give you some tips that you should follow so that your ice cream machine is always well cared for and clean; furthermore, a good cleaning will affect the finished product's quality.
Although most ice cream machines nowadays include a built-in cleaning system that is water-based, working it with high temperatures makes cleaning easier.
Follow the manufacturer's maintenance and cleaning recommendations. That should be in the manual that comes with the machine when you buy it.
Only use cleaning products that are cooking appliances friendly, to avoid chemical contamination.
Ensure to remove all food scraps; it is essential to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Rinse each piece with plenty of lukewarm water to remove excess detergent, do it patiently, until the water comes out clean.
Cleaning and maintenance
It would be best if you do it consistently. As for washing, avoid using solvents, alcohol, or detergents as they can damage and contaminate functional parts in ice cream production.
The use of powdered products, abrasives, abrasive sponges, sharp tools increases the risk of eliminating or weakening the protective film on the surface.
The use of steel and synthetic abrasive wools can cause oxidation and surface damage. Detergents containing chlorine, bleach, ammonia, muriatic acid, and derived products will attack the steel's composition by staining or rusting it irreparably and will damage the plastic parts.
We recommend that you wash the parts by hand in the water, and for sanitation, leave the dismantled parts in warm, sanitized water for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse them before reassembling them.
Dry with a soft, clean cloth, suitable for contact with food, to prevent any type of humidity rich in mineral salts and chlorine from attacking the metal surfaces and leaving traces that might remove the shine, for nooks and crannies is better to let it air-dry.
My ice cream maker stopped working
There can be several reasons why the ice cream machine may be malfunctioning when preparing the ice cream, or it does not turn on, it does not make the ice cream as such, etc. Your ice cream machine not working well can be for several reasons; these are the most common:
The condenser is dirty.
The air pump is not injecting enough air to freeze the mixture.
The compressor is failing; if you handle it wrong, it can burn out.
The protector is failing, and its repair is costly. It can also increase energy consumption.
The cables inside the machine could be loose due to the constant machine movement.
In these cases, consult with your user manual, but if you can't fix it, either reach the manufacturer or a technician, don't try to fix it yourself if you have no experience with appliances as you may damage it more or cause an accident.
More ice cream makers
Liquid nitrogen ice cream machine
Somewhere between gastronomy and science, you can create very delicious meals using this practice.
Liquid nitrogen freezes at a temperature of -196°C, leaving the ice creams much more creamy because of the speed at which it is achieved to reach the desired consistency point.
The liquid nitrogen makes the fat and water particles remain small to avoid ice crystals, so the faster the ice cream is prepared, the better the texture will be.
Gasoline engine ice cream machine
They are more common in commercial premises, ideal for selling ice cream on the street or in your business, events, school, etc. They are too big to keep in a home kitchen.
Industrial ice cream machine
These machines do everything automatically; they are big because ice cream's capacity to go out is enormous; they are expensive and not meant for home use either.
Ice cream toys
For children, they are nothing more than toy ice cream machines that you can find in toy stores; believe it or not, they are 100% functional, only on a smaller scale ideal for their size, never leave children alone to play with this as adult supervision is ideal.
Fried ice cream
A popular trend that became popular through Youtube, this ice cream has different variations; the most popular ones are in Japan, where it quickly deep-fried on a pancake-like batter, and in Thailand, where it is grilled.
Craft your own ice cream maker
They are handcrafted, and there are many ways/guides/ways to make a homemade ice cream machine on the internet. If you have time and are good at making crafts, you can create your ice cream machine.
Here we will give you some simple steps for what you should have at home when making it:
A cylindrical container to mix the ingredients, with lids that should close tightly so that the mixture does not come out.
Five pounds of ice.
A sturdy mallet to crush the ice and thick long wire.
A cloth bag to put the ice, to crush it easily. Choose a reasonably thick cloth so that it does not tear every time you hit it to break the ice cubes.
A large metal bowl.
Once you have all this, follow the other steps:
Create a small ring with the wire and seal by twisting it, and then continue to edge the container.
Then, roll the remaining ends and pass them over the container until they form a handle big enough to handle it.
Begin gently turn the bowl for at least five minutes, at most ten, so that the mixture begins to form. Take it out, open it, and load it with the liquid ingredient of your preference; it must be quick to close the container immediately.
Take it back to the container and turn it from right to left and vice versa, slowly and then faster. Open it five minutes later, start taking out the cream stuck to the sides, close it, and repeat the operation, opening it every five minutes and keep removing the cream.
After 20 minutes, we will obtain a frozen cream; let it rest closed in the container inside the ice bucket. Unmold the ice cream made by submerging it in boiling water for a second.
What is the best place to buy ice cream makers?
The best of all options is Amazon. You can find these machines or sorbet makers in different models, shapes, and colors according to your tastes and multiple functions for you to use it at home, office, business, or event. If you want them creamy, soft, fried, on ice, there you have everything.
We hope this top 5 best ice cream makers list helps you find the appliance to fit your lifestyle and needs.
Want To Find More Cool Kitchen Small Appliances? Check out these lists!
Mykitchenstyle.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.