It’s officially summer time and if you don’t have a pool or access to one, chances are that you find yourself looking for ways to cool down. Sure, you can buy popsicles but you can also make these tasty treats right from the comfort of your own home. Ice cream makers are a great way to beat the heat and have a tasty treat all at the same time. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, there are great machines that fit on any countertop. You can make ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and so much more. Start picking out some new frozen recipes to try out with the selection of products that we’re about to list below.
We’ve highlighted some of the best ice cream makers available right now to get your creative juices flowing. This is a great machine for the kids to enjoy and it's also a great tool to help fulfill your partner’s sweet tooth. Check out our guide below for more information on ice cream makers.
The Top Picks: The Best Ice Cream Makers
The model you choose comes down to price and options. While you don’t want to be limited to just ice cream, you also don’t want to buy a giant that’s going to take up your counterspace. Why not be able to make frozen yogurt or sorbet for the kids. Whether you go for an electric, manual, or traditional salt-and-ice machine ice cream maker, you’ll be serving up the best homemade sundaes, cones and banana splits in no time.
Pros: Versatile, churns quickly
Price range: $160
With the ability to make sorbet and frozen yogurt, this is a great, self-cooling starter unit for family desserts or afternoon treats with friends. It makes ice cream in as little as 25 minutes and can keep churning out new batches, as long as you have enough custard mixture. The frozen-dessert maker features a heavy-duty motor and a double-insulated freezer bowl that holds up to 2 quarts of frozen desserts. It has a spout at the top to add your favourite ingredients once it’s done as well. For the birthday party for the kids or the BBQ in the backyard with a group of friends, it’s a great ice-cream maker that won’t take up a ton of space on the countertops.
Cons: Manual machine, must buy attachment
Price range: $325
If you’re an avid baker, chances are you may already have this product. Did you know that you can also make ice cream with it? All you have to do is buy the ice cream maker attachment and you can make your very own homemade ice cream. Similar to the cylinder freezers mentioned above, the attachment, or dasher, in this case, is designed to fit on your stand mixer. With it, you can produce up to 2-quarts of ice cream or other frozen desserts including frozen yogurt. All you have to do is spread and scrape the bowl to continuously keep the mixture in motion. There is no need for ice, salt or hand cranking. Just freeze the ice cream bowl, attach to your KitchenAid Stand Mixer and stir in your favorite ingredients.
Pros: Does not require pre-freezing
Cons: Only holds 1.5 liters
Price range: $375
The Whynter Ice Cream Maker is a self-contained frozen dessert make that doesn’t need any pre-freezing. If you want a quick and steady flow of ice cream when you’re hosting a birthday party, this is the model for you. Although you can’t make a ton of ice cream at once — it makes only 1.5L at a time — it has a removable bowl that allows for quick and easy cleaning. Not only does it have a built-in timer but it also has a tech motor that shuts off to prevent damage to your ice cream when it’s done. It only takes 30 minutes which, compared to other models, is pretty good. It also includes temperature display, an ice cream scoop and a book for recipes to try.
Pros: Does not require pre-freezing
Cons: Only holds 1.5 liters
Price range: $365
Start making your favourite treats with this 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker from Hamilton Beach. With this one, just pre-freeze the bowl for a couple days before. you make it. Whether it's homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet or gelato, you can get the best result if the bowl is cold before you pour in the ingredients.
Things To Consider When Buying an Ice Cream Maker
To deal with the scorching summer heat, an ice cream machine is a perfect appliance to have to keep you and your friends cool. There are different types of ice cream machines so the one you choose will depend on what you need. Some are built for convenience while others have a little more technology to it. Ice-cream machines mix air and your liquid ingredients with what’s called a dasher (basically a tiny little paddle).
While mixing, it simultaneously freezes the mixture to make the ice cream. As it turns, the dasher scrapes the frozen mixture from the sides of the blow and pushes it toward the center, allowing new ice crystals to form along the sides. The whole process usually takes about 30 minutes. Here’s a look at the models you can buy:
- Bucket freezers: Available in manual and electric models, you used to be able to use these to make some pretty damn good ice cream. You still can; although one of the more old-fashioned models, you can get one for pretty cheap. With the manual model, you have to use a manual crank to control the freezing temperature and the dasher speed. A dasher that turns slowly will trap less air, giving you more of a dense ice cream, similar to gelato. A faster dasher will invite more more air which will result in a lighter ice cream. You can get a model that holds up to 6-quarts. All you need is your ingredients and a steady supply of ice and salt. These machines can be messy and they require a lot of ice but if you enjoy the process of making ice cream, or are doing it for the first time, it might be something to consider.
- Cylinder Freezers: This is a sealed-in coolant machine that allows you to spare yourself the ice. Unlike the previous option, the cylinder freezers use coolant to chill you ice cream for several hours. It holds only 1 ½ quarts of ice cream but you make it to perfection without doing all of the work. You can pour your custard mixture through a hole at the top of the machine once the dasher is turning. The great thing about this one is that it’s easier to add extra ingredients like crushed cookies, chocolate bits and other ingredients that will add to your ice cream. The only downside is that there’s no instant gratification with these models. You don’t get to see the finished product right away or as you’re making it. Some machines can take over three hours to make good ice cream.
- Self-Cooling Units: These models are on the higher end and they take up a bit of counterspace but overall, they’re the best you can buy as far as ice-cream makers go. They can make batch after batch without delay and they’re the easiest of the three to use. Most machines only need about 5 to 10 minutes of pre-cooling time.
Ice Cream FAQ
There are many things to consider when purchasing an ice cream maker. If you’re using it for a birthday party, you may want an ice cream maker that churns out ice cream fast enough to serve your guests. If you’re just using it as a dessert option for your family after dinner, you may be able to buy a machine that takes a little more time to make it. Whatever questions you have to consider about your options, trust us, you’re not alone; Check out some of the frequently asked questions we get from our readers about ice cream makers.
What Ingredient Makes Ice Cream Creamy?
To make ice cream truly creamy, one of the things you can do is a fatty milk. The range of milk fat used in ice cream can go from around 10 percent to a maximum of about 16 percent. Most premium ice creams use 14 percent milk fat. The higher the fat content the richer the taste and creamier the texture.
How Do I Keep Homemade Ice Cream Creamy?
One of the things you can do is add a few tablespoons of alcohol or a fruit liqueur to fruit-flavored ice cream. You can use vodka as well.
How Do You Keep Ice Cream from Getting Hard in the Freezer?
A good way to prevent ice cream from getting too cold and hard to scoop is to place the whole container in a freezer bag. Then, press out the air before sealing it and placing it in the freezer.
Start Shopping for an Ice Cream Maker Today!
For the hot summer sun, get yourself an ice cream maker that’s sure to please friends and family. You can try out new recipes to make all of the best ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet you love the most. Not only will it save you money at the grocery store and at the ice cream store/truck but it will also help you build memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Check out the sidebar on the right to learn more about ice cream makers in our forums as well as sales on ice cream makers from other retailers not mentioned above. Happy shopping!
RedFlagDeals.com is reader-supported. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other similar affiliate advertising programs. These programs are designed to provide a way for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to them. This means that RedFlagDeals.com will sometimes get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links.