Who doesn’t love sitting on the patio on a warm summer afternoon devouring an ice cold bowl of rich, creamy chocolate ice cream?
While you could buy a pint of ice cream at the grocery store and save yourself the time and effort of making ice cream at home, those really aren’t factors when deciding to make ice cream from home.
How do you find the best ice cream maker for your family? Or better yet, what is the best ice cream maker? Let’s take a look.
|Picture||Ice Cream Maker||Review|
|Check Price on Amazon.com||Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic||Our Review|
|Check Price on Amazon.com||Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker||Our Review|
|Check Price on Amazon.com||Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE Vintage Collection 6-Quart||Our Review|
|Check Price on Amazon.com||Nostalgia ICMP400WD Vintage Collection 4-Quart||Our Review|
|Check Price on Amazon.com||Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker||Our Review|
- Why Should You Buy an Ice Cream Maker
- History of Homemade Ice Cream
- DIY Methods
- What is a Homemade Ice Cream Maker Machine and How Do They Work
- What You Should Look for Before Buying a Homemade Ice Cream Maker
- Top Brands
- TOP 10 Best Ice Cream Maker Reviews: Best Homemade Ice Cream Maker Found!
- Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic
- Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
- Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE Vintage Collection Ice Cream Maker
- Nostalgia ICMP400WD Vintage Collection 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker
- Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker
- Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker
- Gourmia GSI280 Automatic Ice Cream Maker
- Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker
- KitchenAid KICA0WH 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker
- White Mountain Ice Cream Maker with Wooden Bucket
Why Should You Buy an Ice Cream Maker
Technically yes, pint per pint the cost of ice cream purchased at the store, assuming you purchase a high quality brand, can be more than double the cost of buying the ingredients and making the ice cream yourself.
The Fun Factor
This is one of the top reasons to make your ice cream from home. Fun, entertainment, amusement – these are great incentives to make ice cream from home.
The whole family can get involved. You can make it a tradition in your family. Imagine making candy cane ice cream for Christmas, when the family comes over each year.
You could make a delicate green tea ice cream to go with the hand made sushi you created for your special anniversary dinner.
Maybe your best friend’s birthday is coming up. Whip up a batch of Butterfinger Chocolate Ice cream featuring her favorite candy bar and watch her eyes light up.
Making Ice cream is also a great activity to do with the kids when they are off school for the summer. What a memorable experience that would be for them. You will spend time with them and enjoy a treat at the same time!
Variety, Creativity, Customization
This is another TOP reason to make ice cream at home. If there is a flavor that you just must have, you can make it yourself.
Maybe fresh strawberries are in season- this is your chance! Imagine, strawberry shortcake ice cream with fresh just picked strawberries and no funky additives. Oh My Goodness!
Speaking of additives…
The Health Factor
OK, So Ice cream is not the healthiest food on the planet, but in moderation it is a great treat. But making it at home can be healthier than eating the store bought ice cream.
For one thing, you have control of the sugar content when you make it yourself. Some store brands are overly sweet anyways.
If you like to use real fruit as a sweetener you can decide to use less sugar or even an alternative sweetener, it’s up to you.
Another benefit is you don’t add chemicals, preservatives; thickeners are other non ice-creamy ingredients to your homemade ice cream, so you won’t be consuming that junk when you eat your ice cream. Yum.
History of Homemade Ice Cream
What is the history of this beloved concoction we call Ice cream? There is a swirl of theories regarding the origin. In antiquity, only royals could afford frozen treats on a regular basis.
Alexander the great was said to have indulged in snow mixed with honey or nectar. According to legend King Solomon enjoyed and icy treat once in a while.
The Chinese emperor Shang Tang was reported to take pleasure in a frozen dessert made from milk and camphor, possibly using salt or saltpeter to make ice “colder” facilitating the freezing of the mix.
Ice cream became a more widespread treat by the 1600 and the colonists brought recipes for making ice cream from Europe.
In 1843, the first patent was awarded for an ice cream machine, called an “artificial freezer” which has a design similar to some machines seen today. By the 1880’s folks were enjoying ice cream floats at the soda fountain.
But because soda was banned on Sunday they were forced to invent the ice cream “Sunday” now called “Sundae”. The poor things!
There are ways to make ice cream from home without a machine, but they are challenging and messy, and often unsuccessful, taking some of the joy out of making ice cream from home.
Place the half and half, vanilla extract and sugar in the pint bag. Place the ice and salt in the gallon size bag. Seal the pint bag and place inside the gallon bag. Seal the gallon bag and SHAKE for 5 Minutes.
This method works if you use enough ice and salt. But it can be messy and the ice cream is somewhat soft. It only makes a pint, and some people are not able to get the mixture to freeze.
Plus, you must shake by hand, for a full 5 minutes.
The best ice cream maker is one that does the work for you!
What is a Homemade Ice Cream Maker Machine and How Do They Work
There are three types of modern homemade Ice cream makers included in our reviews:
Old Fashioned Rock Salt and Ice
This type of machine uses the same freezing technology that was used in the good old days. The unit will have a large bucket, and a smaller inner canister.
You fill the canister with the ice cream ingredients. Then you layer ice and rock salt around the canister. Turn the unit on and the churn stirs the ice cream, freezing it, aerating it and giving it a creamy consistency.
In this category, the Nostalgia brand got the best ice cream maker reviews.
Tips for Ice and Salt Ice Cream Machines:
Freezer Bowl Type Machine
This machine uses an insulated bowl which must be placed in the freezer up to 24 hours in advance. The bowl has a special cooling fluid with a lower freezing point than water to make your ice cream mix freeze.
In this category Cuisinart got the best ice cream maker reviews.
Tips for the Freezer Bowl Type Machines:
Self-contained Self-freezing Units
These are units that do the freezing themselves, no need to use ice or pre freeze the canister/bowl. This type of ice cream machine is the best ice cream machine for those who want homemade ice cream with minimum fuss, planning and ingredients.
It takes a bit more time, generally 60 min, vs. 25 min for other styles. The best home ice cream maker in this category is a Cuisinart.
Tips for Self-contained Self-freezing units:
What You Should Look for Before Buying a Homemade Ice Cream Maker
All of the best ice cream makers we reviewed use a motor. Be sure the motor is made from high quality material.
Avoid those that use plastic gears which can become stripped. As the ice cream thickens it puts more demand on the motor and this can wear the motor, as can chunky add-ins.
As far as the bowl/canister goes, if this is a freezer bowl model, avoid plastic bowls because they can crack and leak coolant. Plastic is OK for the salt and ice models, but they too can crack if abused.
The wood bucket on some of the salt and ice models is attractive, but the metal bands on the wood corrode easily on contact with salt water. Plastic does not do this.
Consider the capacity. The 1.5 quart models can make about 4 servings. The larger capacity models would be appropriate for large families or folks who eat ice cream frequently.
Also consider the actual size of the unit, how much counter space it occupies, and if the freezer bowl will fit in your freezer.
Brand Reputation Today
Probably one of the most important considerations is the current brand reputation. Look for a brand that has an excellent reputation. Some brands had a good reputation but due to changes in manufacturing went down hill.
Surprisingly, the most expensive units are not always the best performing units when it comes to the best ice cream makers.
Cuisinart had one of the top rated ice cream makers reviewed in the Freezer bowl and self-contained self-freezing categories. They outperformed others in terms of durability and simplicity. Where they lacked was capacity.
This is where the Nostalgia brand shined. Nostalgia ice cream maker reviews showed us that this brand offers a large capacity ice cream maker and a high quality machine that lasts.
Other of the best home ice cream maker brands we reviewed include White Mountain, Hamilton Beach, Gourmia, Whytner and Kitchenaid.
TOP 10 Best Ice Cream Maker Reviews: Best Homemade Ice Cream Maker Found!
In order of preference:
We hope you enjoyed reading our guide and hope you find the best ice cream maker for your family.