Who doesn’t love ice cream? Especially in the hot summer as a refreshing treat or as a dessert to finish a delicious dinner.
My family and I have been searching for top-rated ice cream makers so we can indulge in homemade frozen yogurt, gelato, or sorbet all year round. Best of all, we can create our own flavor combinations which is fantastic for my kids.
It has been a bit of a mission to find the best ice cream maker that suits our families needs and our budget. That’s why I have decided to share with you what I have found during my research to find the best top rated ice cream makers available on the market.
I have reviewed ice cream makers which I consider to be the best ice cream makers for families with a capacity of at least 1.5 quarts or more. They are relatively affordable and churn out a mouth-watering frozen dessert in around 30 minutes.
You will also find a short buying guide that hopefully answers as many of your questions as possible. Please see our table of contents to find everything at a glance.
Our comparison chart will give you a quick overview of the top rated ice cream makers including their capacity, weight, and price indication.
Comparison Chart Top Rated Ice Cream Makers
|Our Top Choices||Brand||Weight||Capacity||Electric/Manual||Price||Rating|
Cuisinart ICE- 30R
|Cuisinart||12lbs||2qt||electric with freezer bowl||$||9.6/10|
|Cuisinart||13.5lbs||2qt||electric with freezer bowl||$$||9.5/10|
Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker
Cuisinart ICE 100
|Cuisinart||23.7lbs||1.5qt||electric with compressor||$$$||9.6/10|
|Whynter||24.2lbs||2.1qt||electric with compressor||$$$||9.5/10|
Breville BCI 600XL
|Breville||30lbs||1.5qt||electric with compressor||$$$||9.5/10|
Price indication: $ – under $100; $$ – under 250; $$$ – over $250
The Top Rated Ice Cream Makers – Reviews
Cuisinart ICE – 30R Pure Indulgence, 2 Qt
The Cuisinart frozen dessert maker is featuring a BPA-free housing and is equally good in making not only ice cream but also sorbet and frozen yogurt.
The Aluminum freezer bowl holds 2qt of ice cream which should be a sufficient amount of dessert for a family of four or five.
I do love the sleek design and stainless steel housing. Also, the lid has a big spouting to add ingredients to the ice cream mixture which you should usually do in the last five to ten minutes of the churning process.
The Cuisinart ice cream maker is easy to operate. You need to pre-freeze the bowl for at least 24 hours at below 0ºC. If you shake the bowl you shouldn’t hear any liquid moving. That is how you know for sure it is frozen.
Simply pop the bowl into the ice cream maker, fill in the (chilled) ingredients, put the plastic dasher in, turn it – done. And, e voila, 25 minutes later you and your family can enjoy deliciously creamy ice cream in any flavor you like.
Are There Any Cons?
Some customers have found that the ice cream maker can be loud and also that the motor can get hot. Also, the dasher doesn’t reach the side of the bowl to scrape off some of the ingredients.
Please bear in mind that you shouldn’t put the freezer bowl in the dishwasher. It may lose its freezing capabilities.
Overall, the Cuisinart ICE-30R is a great ice cream maker at the lower end of the price range. Be prepared to plan ahead by chilling the freezer bowl at least 24 hours prior.
It is easy to operate and a breeze to clean. It comes with a three-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
Cuisinart ICE-60W Cool Creations
But the Cuisinart Cool Creations has a bit more features and therefore has a higher yet still affordable price point.
The capacity is still at 2 quarts but instead of only having an on/off button, the Cuisinart ICE-60W offers three speed settings: for ice cream, sorbet, and gelato.
I do like the auto shut off button, in case you are getting too busy with other things around the house and family. 🙂
According to Cuisinart, a batch of ice cream should be ready in 20 minutes. Gelato and sorbet will take a little bit longer.
Make sure to chill the ingredients in the fridge before making your dessert and also to put the freezer bowl into the freezer for 24 hours.
Are There Any Cons?
A few customers have reported that they had problems putting the lid into place properly. If the lid is not on the right way the ice cream machine will not work.
Overall, the Cuisinart has received good reviews and seems to be a solid ice cream maker that churns out delicious frozen desserts in no time. It comes with a limited three-year warranty.
Nostalgia ICMP Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker
The Nostalgia is also the biggest ice cream maker with a capacity of 4 quarts.
Even though it is an electric ice cream maker, you’ll need to put ice and salt around the ice cream bowl so the ice cream reaches the right consistency.
You don’t need to put the aluminum bowl into the freezer as you have to with the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence and Cool Creations. I would still recommend to chill the ice cream mixture and to put the bowl in the freezer for a couple of hours.
But you have to have salt and ice ready to make a mouthwatering ice cream.
The wooden bucket has a plastic liner that prevents any leakage and is also easy to clean.
I do like the fact that the freezer bowl comes with a lid and lid cap so you can store the ice cream in the same container.
Please bear in mind that the consistency of the ice cream is soft so itis best to put it into the freezer for a while before consuming it.
Are There Any Cons?
It may be difficult to line up the motor with the lid on top of the bucket. Some customers also complained that the motor gave up after a short time of using it.
Overall, the Nostalgia 4 quarts electric ice cream maker is a basic and easy to use kitchen appliance. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
Simply put your ice cream mixture into the 1.5qt bowl, set the timer at 40 minutes, and press the start button.
The great thing with a compressor ice cream maker is that you can make batch after batch without any waiting time.
The consistency of the ice cream and gelato will be a bit soft so you need to transfer the mixture into an airtight container and let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
The Cuisinart comes with two paddles, one is specifically designed for making ice cream and the other one for gelato.
Additional features of the Cuisinart ICE-100 include a 60-minute timer, a touchpad control, blue LED lights, and a 10-minute keep- cool setting.
Please make sure not to overfill the bowl because the mixture will expand during the churning process.
Are There Any Cons?
Well, a compressor ice cream maker is more expensive than an ice cream maker with a freezer bowl. It is also quite heavy and needs a lot of counter space. It would be nice to have a bucket that holds 2 quarts of ice cream.
Overall, the Cuisinart ICE-100 is a great choice for people who want to make a few batches of ice cream a day and don’t like the idea of using a freezer bowl.
The Cuisinart is stylish looking with the brushed stainless steel exterior and will be the ideal ice cream maker for any lover of delicious frozen desserts.
Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, 2.1-Quart
You’ll find a 2.1qt aluminum bowl in a stainless steel housing.
Thanks to the compressor, there is no prior freezing of the bowl necessary. I would still recommend chilling the ice cream mixture before pouring it into the bowl.
The easy-to-use display features three settings: ice cream, cooling only, mixing only.
The 60-minute timer has an audible alert which is a helpful feature especially in a busy household where you can get easily distracted.
Another great feature is the motor protection function. Just in case the mixture freezes too solid, the ice cream machine shuts off automatically.
Are There Any Cons?
Even though the Whynter ice cream maker comes with a one-year limited warranty, some customers experienced issues with Whynter’s customer service.
Overall. the Whynter ice cream maker seems to be a solid product that produces a batch of ice cream in under an hour. It is still best to transfer the mixture into an ice cream container to let it set in the freezer for another hour.
The Whynter ice cream machine comes with a one-year warranty, an ice cream scoop, and recipes.
Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
Besides having a compressor to cool the ice cream mixture at the right temperature, the Breville ice cream machine has a few more features compared to the Whynter and Cuisinart appliances that may justify the higher price tag.
First up, there are 12 hardness settings to chose from, starting with sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, and lastly ice cream.
A great feature is the pre-cooling setting to get the 1.5qt aluminum bowl to the best temperature for making ice cream.
The machine will also chill and churn the ice cream for up to three hours once the ice cream making cycle is finished.
Lastly, there is a child lock and you can choose between three different sounds to let you know that the dessert is ready to be taken out of the machine.
Are There Any Cons?
Besides the high price tag, it is noticeable that the Breville ice cream maker is quite heavy with a weight of 30 lbs. Some customers have found that the ice cream has ice crystals due to the slow churning of the paddle.
Overall, the Breville has got some useful additional features that also results in a higher price tag. This ice cream maker comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Buying Guide Top Rated Ice Cream Makers
How To Find The Best Ice Cream Maker
Before you decide on buying an ice cream maker, it is essential to have a look at the features each ice cream maker has.
One of the most important things to look at is the size /capacity of the bowl. As mentioned before, for us as a family of four, a capacity of at least 1.5 qt. even better 2 quarts and up, was non-negotiable.
We haven’t considered a manual ice cream maker either because I don’t think it is a lot of fun to crank the machine for around 30 minutes. It may be okay for a one-off fun activity but if you run a busy household, there is hardly half an hour to spare.
Another crucial decision to make is whether or not you’d prefer an electric ice cream maker with a bowl that needs to be in the freezer for at least 24 hours before making the frozen dessert.
Or, would you rather invest in an ice cream maker with an inbuilt compressor?
I guess, the final decision depends on your budget and also if you don’t mind planning ahead in advance.
– it costs less
– doesn’t need much counter space
– easy to use and to clean
– you need to plan in advance
– you can’t do batch after batch
– you have to wait before you can put the second batch on and a second freezer bowl may be required
– no planning required
– make batches of ice cream back to back
– easy to easy and to clean
– needs a lot of counter space
– more expensive
Why You Should Consider To Buy An Ice Cream Maker
If you and your family only indulge in a frozen dessert only now and again, then investing in an ice cream maker may not be on your priority list.
But if your family, like mine just can’t get enough of gelato, sorbet, or frozen yogurt, then it is worth it to consider to get one of these kitchen appliances sooner than later.
It is not only heaps of fun for the whole family to come up with new ideas for new and exciting ice cream flavors and combinations.
More importantly, you know exactly what is in your ice cream. No stabilizers, no artificial flavors or other nasty things.
Also, people who can’t have dairy products or have allergies will love the idea to make a healthy and delicious treat that would be otherwise very expensive to buy.
With each of our reviewed ice cream makers, you can use soy milk, coconut milk etc. instead of milk and heavy cream.
Get fresh fruit from your garden or the farmers market and have a real fruit ice cream.
I also recommend getting a few additional accessories like an ice cream scoop or airtight ice cream containers.
Please check out my Amazon picks (below) for more details.
General Tips For Making Ice Cream
Please chill the ice cream mixture before putting it into the ice cream maker bowl for better results.
Add chocolate chips, pieces of fresh fruit, and other yummy flavors five minutes before the process of making the ice cream is going to be finished. Please see the instruction booklets for the individual ice cream maker for more details.
The consistency of the finished ice cream is usually more like a soft serve ice cream. Therefore it is best to put the ice cream into a container and let it set in the freezer for a while.
Do not overfill the bowl because the mixture will expand while it is freezing.
Summary Top Rated Ice Cream Makers
There you have it. I hope my post has inspired you to get an ice cream maker that will fit your budget and is best for you and your family.
Start creating your own ice cream flavors from scratch and indulge in homemade goodness all year round.
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