Best Homemade Ice Cream Makers
Ice cream has existed since ancient times – with the likes of the Greeks, Persians, and Chinese all having some sort of confectionery recipe of their own, but just not sure how many of them actually had homemade ice cream makers.
Today, ice cream is one of the most well known desserts, having entire aisles dedicated to it in most grocery stores. Creation of these delectable desserts doesn’t have to be through just manufacturers either – there are plenty of homemade ice cream makers out on the market that can make these delicious frozen treats in just a few minutes.
Mixing, Freezing & Aeration
Ice cream machines work by mixing necessary ingredients while at the same time freezing them. To make sure they never get too chunky and to cut back on the size of the ice crystals, aeration techniques are incorporated. Oftentimes these mixtures can be eaten immediately afterwards.
High Powered Motor
Thankfully the manually mixed hand cranked machines are a thing of the past, with today’s ice cream makers using a high powered motor to get everything done quickly. If you have already looked at ice cream machines you may have noticed that there are dozens of different brands, each offering multiple types.
Ice Cream Maker Guide
This may be a bit confusing for someone not in the know, of how these machines work, and at what qualities to best look out for. To help you with your quest to get one of these great homemade ice cream makers, this guide has been setup to properly arm you with knowledge necessary to confidently pick the machine that is best for you.
We’ll first open up with a set of characteristics you should consider, a top five list on what the best homemade ice cream makers are, followed by a section on how best to maintain your new machine.
What to Consider
Before you start looking around for an ice cream maker there are few things you need to keep in mind. While just about any ice cream machine will get the job done, price point does matter. If you’re just going to use it every once in awhile a more affordable model is the way to go – these machines can put out enough for the typical family.
Pricier Machine – Higher Quality Desserts
Pricier models work best for more extravagant recipes, and just generally produce higher quality desserts. While a control panel isn’t mandatory, it is more intuitive than typical knob system.
Customization of Settings
A good machine should have an automatic function along with plenty of customization on certain settings like temperature, timer, and relative hardness of the mixture.
Gelato & Frozen Yogurt
By getting a machine that does all of these things, you can be sure you can make much more than just ice cream – expanding to things like gelato and frozen yogurt.
Easily Removable Parts
Whatever homemade ice cream makers you get, you need to make sure that the bowl, mixer, and other parts are easily removable – this allows for simple cleaning after you are done with the machine. It’s also a good idea to look into a maker that has a wash cycle.
Bigger Is Better
At a minimum you should get a ice cream machine that has a 1 ½ quart capacity – but bigger is always better.
From here you need to look at the relative aesthetics of the machine. Most models follow the ultra-modern look of whites, blacks, and silvers – but a few adopt a more retro design that can add a little personality to your kitchen.
Best Homemade Ice Cream Makers
By cross referencing the best Amazon has to offer, this is a percolated list of the best homemade ice cream makers. These machines come at multiple price points and plenty of special features.
#5 – Cuisinart ICE-100 Ice Cream Maker
This fully automatic ice cream maker is a great example of Cusinart’s high craftsmanship.
This commercial compressor has 1 ½-quart bowl capacity, along with a pair of paddles that is great for making incredible tasting gelato.
The Cuisinart Ice-100 has intuitive controls that activate via touch and with an easy to read blue LCD screen.
The timer can be set to as high as 60 minutes, with an additional 10 minute cool feature for after the timer is off.
The top lid of the Cuisinart Ice-100 is easy to remove and transparent. Inside is a mixing bowl this is made of a tough anodized aluminum, along with an easy to use spot to include any other ingredients like chocolate chips, berries, fruits or whatever you’d like to have in ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt.
Each purchase of the Ice-100 comes with an easy to follow recipe book, so you can make plenty of sweet treats.
Users have commented that the Cuisinart Ice-100 works great at making creamy frozen treats every time. This Ice-100 ice cream maker is also great at making sorbet and frozen yogurt.
#4 – Whynter ICM-200LS Ice Cream Maker
This stainless steel ice cream machine has a removable bowl and churn blade making it great for storage and easy cleaning.
This self-containing Whynter ICM-200LS ice cream maker doesn’t need any pre-freezing, as well as having an easy to use and reliable timer.
Whynter has included a motor protection function which turns off the machine in case of the cream mixture freezing solid.
The control interface has five buttons with a blue LED screen for easy use in even low light areas, while the temperature display allows you fine tuned control.
The ICM-200LS has a capacity of 2.1 quarts and compressor cooling for quick and easy freezing.
You can expect to make not only ice cream, but also gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet.
Reviewers mention that the Whynter ICM-200LS offers great control with its power button, start/pause, and plenty of menu options.
Others have commented that this Whynter machine is so easy to use that they are making much more ice cream than they ever expected.
#3 – Ice Cream Depot Automatic Ice Cream Machine
The Ice Cream Depot – Automatic Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine commercial grade, is great for residential use, as it makes restaurant-quality ice cream with just a flick of a lever.
In just 15 minutes you can make as much as 10 servings, with the machine able to serve icy cold treats for hours after it’s ready.
The inside of the bowl is easy to clean, and reassembles in just a couple minutes.
This Ice Cream Depot machine comes with a starter kit that gives a variety of flavors to get you started on some simple recipes. You can make your own soft serve ice cream, slush drinks, gelato, and milkshakes.
The exterior of the Automatic Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine is made from a tough shiny plastic that has been remarked as being really easy to clean.
The style of this ice cream machine resembles a miniaturized version of traditional models.
People who use this Ice Cream Depot machine say that it makes ice cream really fast, and that the sleek design carries to most of the parts inside. This makes it easily cleanable with a simple rag to wipe it off.
#2 – Breville BCI600XL Ice Cream Maker
The Breville brand is renowned for making incredible products, and the Breville BCI600XL Ice Cream Maker is no exception.
This tough ice cream maker has a dozen different settings allowing you to control the relative hardness of the mixture- giving you the option to create not just ice cream, but also gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet with ease.
Automatic functions are available, or you can use the manual for increased customization. For ideal operating temperature, this machine comes with a pre-cool setting, along with a keep cool setting that lasts for 3 hours.
The BPA free BCI600XL comes with a built in child lock to stop little hands.
This Breville ice cream machine has three musical tunes that can be customized for the alarm.
Many have commented that the Breville BCI600XL serves professional grade frozen treats, and that it gets to a super chilly -20F quickly.
The control panel is easy to use too, as it has a few well positioned knobs and buttons, with a clear LED screen.
#1 – Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker
The creme-de-la-creme of ice cream makers! The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker can make 1 ½ quarts of fresh frozen goodness in just under an hour.
For a quick treat, you can just pour the ingredients into a bowl and just press a couple buttons to get started. For more customization on what you want you can use the timer controls to help you create different types of cold desserts.
The Musso 4080 has a bowl, paddle, and housing that are all made of an extra durable stainless steel, which is also notable for being easy to clean.
This Italian made Lello machine has a simple knob and pair of buttons on front to help you make just about whatever you want, along with having that same stainless steel material over the entire exterior.
Incorporated into the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker instruction booklet are many recipes to get you started.
This Lello Musso Lussino has been compared to many professional variants often found in restaurants. As an ice cream maker it has incredible power, yet surprisingly quiet – able to make plenty of ice cream in just 15 minutes.
While a bit on the pricey side, you are getting what you pay for with this excellent machine.
Homemade Ice Cream Maker – Maintenance and Upkeep Tips
It’s important to follow the operating instructions the first time using your machine, as each one is a little bit different. The control panel, if it has one, should contain settings to create the confectionery treat that you want – but, it’s best to look at your product booklet on how best to do this.
Built-In Safety Shut Off
Most machines have a built in safety feature to turn the engine off when the mixture becomes to solid – always be mindful of what you are making though, as even this isn’t a perfect system.
Don’t Add Hard Ingredients Too Early
While there are plenty of recipes online, your user’s manual typically will have a list of easy ones to help you get started. When adding harder ingredients like nuts and chocolate chips, its best to wait until a few minutes before the end of the cycle.
Never Put Machine On It’s Side
It’s important to always keep the homemade ice cream makers in the upright position. If your product is for any reason on its side or upside down for more than a few minutes, you should put it right side up and let it sit for at least 12 to 24 hours.
Mild Soap & Water Is All You Need
When cleaning you can usually use warm soapy water to get everything off, or use a mild cleaner to get the job done.
Regardless of the ice cream maker in question, you can expect to have a container to put all the ingredients in, a paddle to mix it all, and a lid to keep it all in. It is important after every use to clean these – usually you can just remove them and wash them in the sink.
Machine Wash Cycle
If your machine comes with a wash cycle setting you can do this by pouring soapy water into the main chamber and activating it. After this cycle is done make sure to do it again but with water only to wash away any of the soapy residue.
While there are plenty of variations when it comes to homemade ice cream makers, now that you have a little knowledge of these neat small appliances, it isn’t too difficult to find the one that works for you.
If you have a tight budget but still want a quality machine, the affordable Whynter ICM-200LS ice cream maker is the one to go for you.
For a more retro look the Ice Cream Depot Automatic Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine looks like something out of an ice cream stand.
While the toughest and most professional variant belongs to the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino machine.
Whatever machine you get you need to make sure to follow proper operating and cleaning procedure. After each use make sure to clean it out, and never add too many ingredients lest you want to overload the container.
Always be mindful of the relative thickness of the mixture – often times machines might shut off before the timer is finished when it gets too hard.
Any one of these great homemade ice cream makers should be able to make you plenty outside of just ice cream – with the best having the ability to make everything from slush to frozen yogurt with ease.
Confectionery frozen treats tastes so much better when you make them yourself – and it’s possible to do with an amazing ice cream machine!