How to Choose a Top Rated Ice Cream Maker

For me, nothing says warm weather better than a heaping dish of ice cream. Or an ice cream sundae. Or a waffle cone. Or a milkshake, for that matter. But you get my point.

How to Choose a Top Rated Ice Cream Maker | Foodal.com

And friends, I assure you – the store-bought stuff can’t hold a candle to a batch of homemade frozen goodness. So, in the event that you don’t happen to own an ice cream maker already, this article is here to help you make this much-needed investment.

Foodal’s Top Picks

1. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop. With a solid build quality, warranty support, and enough power to chug through anything, the Breville is Foodal’s #1 pick. This compressor model can make a 1.5-quart batch in 45 minutes with no fumbling around with freezing bowls or loading up ice and rock salt.

Read Our Review Below   OR   Read Customer Reviews on Amazon!

2. Cuisinart ICE-100. Another superb compressor model with a three-year warranty. With two different paddles – one for Gelato and one for ice cream – the Cuisinart’s ICE-100 is a versatile option.

Read Our Review Below   OR   Read Customer Reviews on Amazon!

3. Lello 4080 Musso Lussino. Best Quality, But Pricey. This is the third compressor model on our top 5 list. With solid stainless construction, a direct drive mechanism (no belts), and more power than you need, the Lello will last for many years of consistent use and is closest to being a commercial grade appliance. However, it’s not without faults. The price tag and the non-detachable bowl may be deal breakers for some.

Read Our Review Below   OR   Read Customer Reviews on Amazon!

4. Cuisinart ICE-30BC. If you want to save a great deal in terms of cost on an ice cream maker, but avoid the mess of dealing with crushed ice and rock salt that you’ll encounter with a traditional machine, a freezer bowl model may be worth considering. This works by freezing the the fitted container for 12-14 hours prior to making a batch. Because there is no compressor attached, these types tend to be very economical. We feel that the Cuisinart ICE-30 is the best match for most people.

Read Our Review Below   OR   Read Customer Reviews on Amazon!

5. MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart. If you want the traditional look paired with the convenience of electric-powered churning, then this MaxiMatic offering may be one to consider. Featuring the option to hand crank OR engage the attached electric motor, the product is perfect for those times when you don’t have handy “kid” power available. It also has a very large capacity, so cranking out a big batch is super easy. Ice and rock salt provides the freezing element with this old fashioned apparatus.

Read Our Review Below   OR   Read Customer Reviews on Amazon!

How to Choose

Methods of Freezing

There are a couple of different things to keep in mind before you head out to make your purchase. Back in the day, of course, the only option out there was the big hand-crank operated wooden bucket.

Now, there is a huge selection of different electric models out there to choose from, and the deciding factor among those choices is going to come down to price, size, and aesthetics.

If in it for the nostalgia factor, you can still find the big manual machines. However, they require a lot of grunt work (or a lot of help from energetic young hands), and this may be something that you don’t want to contend with.

See Our Top Picks For Salt and Ice Models

Another thing to decide ahead of purchasing is whether you want to stick with the old-fashioned rock salt and ice method for freezing, go the freezer bowl route, or up the ante and go with a full compressor unit that provides the chilling power directly in the machine.

However, using rock salt and ice means that you have to worry about planning ahead to make your dessert, or keep a good supply of salt on hand if you already have a steady stream of ice – or be prepared to make a trip to the local convenience store.

Also, for most of the machines that require a pre-frozen bowl to work, you have to freeze that bowl for several hours, or even overnight, before it’s ready to use.

You could always keep the bowl in the freezer at all times, but for those of us with limited freezer space, that’s not really a good solution – especially if you need a larger capacity machine, meaning there’s a larger bowl to make room for.

See Our Top Picks For Frozen Bowl Models

The third way (and best for convenience), and the way that we like best, is to choose a device that has a built-in compressor that performs the chilling for you – right in the machine. These are often found only in the best ice cream makers, which are often the priciest.

See Our Top Picks For Compressor Models

Price

Price is probably the biggest factor for most consumers, which will narrow the field somewhat for most of us. You can get a decent ice cream maker for as little as $20 or $30 that will give you a pretty good result, but be aware that the motors on the lower-end models are not made to withstand extended use.

This means if you make ice cream for the family once or twice a week all spring and summer (or if you’re my husband, in any season, no matter the temperature outside), you are likely to burn out the motor by season’s end.

Spending a little more up front will normally result in a product that will last a little longer. At Foodal, we often (but not always) recommend some of the more expensive items that we review for the quality that they offer.

We’ve found the price does often (again, not always) reflect the quality of manufacturing and the ease of use of the appliance or tool. We’ve found that this is definitely true with ice cream and gelato makers, and this holds true with our number one recommended model – the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino.

However, there are a few exceptions to this “price reflects quality” rule, such as the relatively expensive Delonghi Gelato Maker that we DON’T recommend.

Gelato vs. Ice Cream

Okay, so some folks seem to think that gelato is just the Italian word for ice cream, and while that may indeed be technically true, Italian ice cream is NOT the same thing as American ice cream.

Strawberry Gelato | Foodal.com
Unlike its frozen brethren, gelato has almost no air added to make up its volume.

Here are the main differences:

1. First, gelato is made with less fat.

2. Second, it’s frozen at a lower temperature, meaning that you get the full flavor impact faster than you do with ice cream.

3. Third, the way we make ice cream incorporates a lot of air into the final product. With gelato, no air is added to the mixture, which results in a richer, creamier taste.

Why is this important to you?

Some frozen treat machines can only make ice cream, others can also make gelato and sorbet, while still other models only make gelato.

With all that being said, if you are a fan of true Italian gelato (and I certainly am!) then you may want to consider spending the extra money for an actual gelato machine. Like I said, the key to making gelato is keeping as much air out as possible.

This means the lid to the machine needs to be completely airtight, and also the way the paddle or beater works needs to ensure that air from the chamber isn’t mixed into the gelato as it processes.

Rock Salt and Ice Method

For nostalgic reasons, I will probably always prefer using rock salt to make my ice cream. My earliest memories all involve summertime family gatherings that included hand-churned vanilla ice cream with a hint of a salty bite.

That and Grapico ice cream floats. If you’re not from the South, you probably don’t even know what Grapico is, but trust me on this. If you ever get to enjoy an ice cream float with slightly salty homemade vanilla ice cream and Grapico, you will think you have died and gone to heaven.

But, I digress. Let’s talk about some options in this category.

MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart

For big family gatherings or summertime parties, for me, nothing will ever beat the big pine buckets for making ice cream for a crowd.

For that reason, I would recommend you purchase something like the MaxiMatic Elite Gourmet, which will make enough for everyone, and has the added benefit of using either the electric paddle or a hand crank.

The manufacturer recommends using the electric paddle for the first 15-20 minutes, and then switching to the hand crank to get the creamier and thicker texture that only a manual machine can give.

MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart Old-Fashioned Pine-Bucket Electric/Manual Ice-Cream Maker

One thing to keep in mind with larger capacity units, however, is that it will take longer to get to a frozen consistency. This is simply because the machine has to freeze a larger quantity of liquid.

In this case, according to the manufacturer, using the electric component it will take about 40 minutes to make the full 6 quarts.

Compared to the 15-20 minutes that is common with smaller models, that may seem like a long time. But remember that this is an electric machine, so you can just set it up and forget about it while the hard work is done for you.

An added bonus with this model is its over-heating protection system, which will shut off the machine automatically in the event that it starts to overheat.

Read our in depth review on this model or you can check it out on Amazon for real world customer reviews.

Nostalgia Electrics ICMW400 4-Quart

If you like the idea of the big wooden bucket for your ice cream-making needs but 6 quarts is a little too big for you, then you may want to consider this next model.

It still makes a good amount, just not quite as much as the Elite Gourmet. You get the same old-fashioned look in a more compact size, and for a little less money.

Nostalgia Electrics ICMW400 4-Quart Wooden Bucket Electric Ice Cream Maker

The other main difference between these two models is that there is no manual option with the Nostalgia Electrics. For me, this is actually a drawback, but for most people that would probably be no issue at all.

Other than that, the Nostalgia Electrics unit is pretty much the same as the MaxiMatic, and will cost you less to achieve the same results. Read Foodal’s in depth review or see it on Amazon today.

Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart

If you are not as tied to the aesthetics of the wooden bucket machines but still prefer the flavor that the salt gives the finished product, this Hamilton Beach option would be perfect for you.

You get a gallon of ice cream, which is more than enough for my whole family to have dessert tonight, and have plenty left for another night.

You can get the full amount finished in just 20 minutes, which is pretty quick. And it’s equipped with an auto shut-off, so it will turn off by itself when the ice cream reaches the right consistency.

Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker

A nice bonus with the Hamilton Beach model is that it includes a recipe book, with 20 delicious ideas to get you started. If you have never made your own ice cream before, this is nice to have as a starting point.

Also, there’s a 1-year warranty. As I stated earlier, one of the drawbacks of purchasing a less expensive model is that the motors usually don’t last that long.

However, if you wear this machine out after just a few months of ice cream making, the company will send you a new one at no cost to you, so there’s that problem solved. All in all, this would make a great little investment. Read Foodal’s detailed review or see it now on Amazon.

Freezer Bowl Route

As I have already explained, I would much rather use salt and ice for my ice cream making, but if you have plenty of room to store the bowl in the freezer, I guess nothing beats the convenience of the machines that use a pre-frozen bowl to bring the ingredients down to the correct temperature.

The freezer bowl works because of a specially formulated liquid that is stored in between the insulated inside and outside layers of the mixing bowl. Once that liquid is fully frozen, it works as well as rock salt and ice at freezing the ice cream mixture.

KitchenAid Ice Cream Stand Mixer Attachment

I wanted to include this stand mixer attachment first in this category. Honestly, I have never been a fan of one-trick ponies in the kitchen.

Who has the space for tons of small appliances that you use for just a single purpose? (This is the only reason why I don’t own a waffle maker, though I may be close to breaking down on that one. I do love waffles).

KitchenAid 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker Stand Mixer Attachment

Because of that, if you don’t really plan to use it all the time, it may not suit your needs to purchase a separate machine if you already own a KitchenAid mixer.

While you can always store the freezer bowl in the freezer itself, you still have to find a place to store the base of the unit if you buy a standalone ice cream maker.

On the other hand, if you already have a spot for your stand mixer, just buy the extra attachment, and you won’t have to worry about that. Just make sure that you purchase the correct device for your machine – these can vary based on the size of the mixer.

This attachment works great for making your frozen indulgence in less than 30 minutes, and it also comes with a recipe booklet. A bonus is that you’ll benefit from KitchenAid’s surprisingly good customer service, as well as the one-year warranty on the attachment.

A downside is that unlike most other units that utilize this freezing method, the attachment does not come with a lid.

Check out Foodal’s Guide to KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachments for more information on expanding the capabilities of your machine, or have a look at the ice cream maker attachment on Amazon. Click here to read our full review of this piece of equipment.

Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker

The Cuisinart ICE-21 is one of the most well-regarded models sold today. It has a heavy-duty motor, which makes for a long-lasting product, and the powerful motor makes dessert in 20 minutes or less.

It does take at least 16 hours to get the freezer bowl ready for use, so you need to either plan to use it the day before and freeze it overnight, or just always store it in the freezer when ice cream season rolls around.

Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, White

As with most of their products, Cuisinart includes a recipe booklet with this machine, which is something I always look for when I buy a new small kitchen appliance.

The only aspect of this model that is a slight con for me is the size, as it only makes 1 ½ quarts of ice cream at a time.

For a family of five, this means we would only get one use out of the finished product with no leftovers. And if I’m going to make homemade ice cream, I’d like to have some left over to enjoy the next day.

You can read Foodal’s in depth review of this fine machine or read the 1,2oo reviews on Amazon.com for more information.

Foodal's top rate/best in class badgeCuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic

For more of a polished look and a slightly larger capacity, you could invest a little more to purchase this brushed chrome 2-quart option from Cuisinart.

It has the same heavy-duty motor as the smaller model, but fits in a little better with a contemporary kitchen design, with its shiny silver appearance. The vast majority of other automatic ice cream makers on the market are white, so this is a nice option.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

The easy-lock lid attaches easily to the base and is transparent, so it’s easy to check the progress of the ice cream. It also has a large spout for adding additional ingredients towards the end of the process, like chocolate chips or caramel bits. It does take a few more minutes to get to the right temperature, but only because you are freezing a larger amount of liquid.

Again, these two Cuisinart models are basically the same, but the 30BC gives you a more upscale look on the counter, half a quart more ice cream per batch, and the prices are comparable. You can read our in depth review or read a few of the 1300 reviews on Amazon.

Compressor Models

Compressor models are the crème de la crème of the available ice cream maker selections. These models immediately bring ingredients below the freezing mark, thanks to their built-in chilling compressors.

In other words, they are freezers unto themselves, and don’t require you to pre-freeze anything before you get to work (though pre-chilling the ingredients can save on wear and tear).

Also, because of this, you could make multiple batches one after another if you needed to, like if you were having a big party and had to serve a lot of guests.

Foodal's top rate/best in class badgeLello 4080 Musso Lussino

We have examined numerous machines, continually seeking the best of the best in a quest to locate the Shangri-La, the Holy Grail, and the golden fleece of the homemade ice cream world. Ladies and gentlemen, if you love frozen nirvana, this is it. The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is the model to choose.

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker is truly an exquisite machine. But it is pricey.

Nonetheless, we feel this may be money well spent. Multiple users on Amazon report using this model for as long as 10 years before it required any maintenance, typically a shot of R234 refrigerant.

Most other machines would just get chucked into a landfill.

The Lello 4080 is completely constructed of stainless steel. This includes the outside frame, the freezing dish, and the dasher.

There are no major components that made of plastic anywhere on this machine, including the dasher or blade. Sure, there is plastic where you’d expect it – on the knobs and cord. But the working parts are plastic-free.

This fantastic model features a built-in compressor, which freezes as it churns your frozen concoctions.

You won’t have to freeze bowls 24 hours prior, worry about messing with ice and salt, or even finding a willing youngster to serve as a power source (probably not happening in this day and age, with distractions such as the XBox and PlayStation).

Frozen goodness from a Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker | Foodal.com

You can also create multiple batches of frozen treats one right after the other, thanks the powerful 100-watt motor that attaches directly to the bucket. No belts to worry about slipping, and the built-in clutch system protects the appliance from burning out, should the ice cream become brick hard.

The motor is at the base rather than on the top. On models with a top-mounted motor, you cannot remove the cover without the motor and the dasher as well.

To offset this hassle, a number of competing machines use a small chute for adding additional ingredients, such as candies and chocolate chips.

Because the dasher on this particular model is powered from a motor within the bottom, the plastic cover is the full size of the actual bowl and can be taken off whenever you want, to incorporate ingredients or even to simply observe the freezing process.

It really doesn’t get any better than this for a home ice cream maker, unless you significantly up the price range and purchase a small commercial model. Check out our full review of the Lello 4080 or Read actual customer reviews of the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino now.

Foodal's top rate/best in class badgeBreville BCI600XL Smart Scoop

The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop is really easy to operate, and is Foodal’s number 1 pick. You merely prepare the ingredients, place into the tub, choose the firmness level, and press the button.

The appliance emits a tone when it’s ready to receive any additional ingredients, and again gives an audio alert once the frozen goodies are ready to be consumed.

It is extremely quiet during operation, and a batch normally takes about 45 minutes to complete, from start to finish.

Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

The Breville is one of the few examples (along with Lello) that we’ve seen which whips ice cream the same as store bought, to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a solid brick as soon as you place it in the deep freeze.

The primary reason that commercially produced frozen products are so fluffy and scoopable is primarily due to this added air (and a little to the added gum ingredients – yuck). This feature is very difficult to find in home models, but this machine does this well.

Since we seem to love the Lello 4080 so much, then why is the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop our top rated pick? First, the cost. This machine is significantly cheaper while producing similar results (albeit at a slightly slower pace).

Second, the warranty. Although the chances of needing warranty or service support on the Lello are slim, some users have complained that communication and willingness to work on their machines (particularly after a warranty has run out) have been less than stellar.

Speaking of warranties… a small appliance that has the price tag of the Lello should have more than a one-year parts and labor warranty! These support issues are NOT the case with Breville, a large (but somewhat upscale) international manufacturer with support systems firmly in place.

Third, the Breville has removable tubs (with extras available for purchase) while the Lello’s churn canister is firmly attached, and non-removable. Also, the Breville, like the Lello, has a bottom mount motor and full size removable plastic cover, so you don’t have to fumble around with feeding extra ingredients through a channel.

See our full review or Read customer reviews of the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop now.

Delonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker

This is a model that we’d love to love, so to speak. But it is not without some glaring issues.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor

However, we’ll cover the good points first. The hermetically-sealed lid maintains the ideal temperature inside the chamber, and keeps any air from getting into the mixture. This gives you the ideal gelato consistency and texture.

Also, the durable stainless steel bowl, paddle, and lid will last forever. and all are dishwasher safe, making for easy cleanup. Lastly, Delonghi gives you 50 recipes for gelato and sorbetto, so you might never need to look elsewhere for a recipe, which is great.

That being said, the Delonghi is not without some serious flaws.As reported by MANY reviewers on Amazon, its thin plastic parts such as the dasher, control knobs, and linkages aren’t very strong, and these break often.

Although this level of quality may be expected in lower priced machines, this is really unacceptable in a machine that hovers around this price point. Delonghi quality has gone downhill somewhat since being bought out by Kenwood, and most everything is now manufactured by the lowest bidder overseas.

Although Delonghi does not play the “warranty game” and is normally good about covering anything that breaks, it’s a crapshoot as to whether repair parts are available. You can read our full review of this Delonghi offering, but we suggest saving yourself the aggravation and purchasing a different model.

Foodal's top rate/best in class badgeCuisinart ICE-100 Compressor

With the same price and same appearance as the Delonghi, the Cuisinart gelato maker has much better customer reviews. It comes with two separate paddles, one specifically for making ice cream, and a separate one just for the gelato. Like the Delonghi, it is its own freezer unit – so there’s no need for freezing the bowl, and you can make multiple batches with no downtime.

Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

An added feature with this Cuisinart is the “keep cool” feature, which maintains the same freezing temperature after the machine is finished, for at least 10 minutes. Read Foodal’s full review of this awesome machine or check out all of the customer comments on Amazon.

One thing to keep in mind with both of these gelato models: their size.

Because both contain a compressor, they are somewhat larger than other ice cream makers. This is an important consideration if you have limited counter or cabinet space in your kitchen.

While you won’t need to dedicate freezer space for a bowl as with other types, you will need to devote a good amount of space to the unit itself.

Choices, Choices

Eating Homemade Ice Cream | Foodal.com

So, there you have it. These are all great choices for an ice cream (or gelato) maker, it just depends on what you are looking for in the machine, and how much you are able to spend.

Keep in mind that with any of these options, you are going to end up with something more soft-serve than a traditional store-bought ice cream. To get it harder, if that is your goal, you’ll need to let it firm up further in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

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About Ashley Martell

Ashley has enjoyed creative writing since she was six years old, when she wrote her first short story. She majored in English literature at the University of Montevallo. After years of professional work, she is now a stay-at-home mom of three, who uses her craft to write about her life and adventures in and out of the kitchen.

37 thoughts on “How to Choose a Top Rated Ice Cream Maker

  1. There are a ridiculous amount of ways to make ice cream &/or gelato. I wasn’t even aware of half of these. I’ll tell you what this article did to me though: I must find Grapico! That combination you described, salty vanilla ice cream with grape soda, is what I think my life has been leading up to. =)

  2. There’s so many design models of ice cream makers that it’s almost overwhelming just looking at them. If I ever decide to get into making ice cream,, I’m definitely going to come back to this article. The only thing that’s off putting is the price on all of these. The cheapest one is about $20 which is okay, but then the next one up is $50.

    • I thought i was the only one overwhelmed by the numerous appliances listed above…phew!…and here i was thinking making homemade ice cream is a walk in the park…only to find out its not, thank God for the article, it’ll clear my line of thought in that area 🙂 …i can see myself doing some serious budgeting in this regard…no excuses, page bookmarked 🙂

  3. I know it’s a little bit of a hassle but what about just making the ice cream in the traditional method: with lots of salted ice on the side and a lot of steering? I used to make vanilla ice cream this way, plus it really develops your forearms and gives you a nice workout overall.

    • So by the time you’ve made the ice cream, you’ve already burnt off the calories! Sounds like a good deal to me!

  4. So if home-made ice cream means that you are not putting any nasty additives in your body, am I right to assume it is therefore healthy? What’s that, I’m right? Yes, that’s what I thought, lol!

    Seriously though, ice cream costs a fortune these days so investing in a quality machine and making your own certainly seems like the way to go. I love the idea that you can have complete control over the flavors and ingredients.

    • It is healthy, it even tastes better than the ice cream you purchase at the store! I’ve had my mother make home-made ice cream last summer and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, the machine broke for some reason and I think is time to get her a new one for this summer! The links provided really helped me narrow my selection of ice cream makers, kudos!

    • It being healthy depends entirely on what you put in it. Of course there will be no preservatives or anything, but you can still slip up a lot of sugar or something along the lines into it.

  5. I didn’t know there were machines that could do gelato and sorbet as well, because then it becomes an investment piece if it can do more things. I’m glad the price of machines has come down now, because they used to be so expensive, where now they are affordable and much more high-tech.

  6. My family had bought 4 different ice cream makers all at different times of my life and they all seemed to work just okay. Of course now ice cream makers are so much better. But I prefer my ice cream either made for me whether that be someone makes it or I buy it. But homemade ice cream is delicious!

  7. Great guide. I’ve never had very much luck with ice cream makers, but perhaps this guide will help me find one that actually works right this time around. I’ve see other people use a little automation and make far better products than I could ever manage. Maybe I’m the problem, not the machine!

  8. I love ice cream but i prefer gelato or sorbet. I would need an combo machine. I like the old time mixers I would not mind having one. I would need to have the electric one that can switch to manual because I would only want to use the hand crank once. But I can get the kids to do it too.

    • I’d have to agree. Gelato is much better than ice cream in most cases, especially if you want something rich and unique tasting with a great texture. I don’t have gelato as often as I should, and I know for a fact that I’d be terrible at preparing some myself. I’ll leave that to the ice cream companies and the professionals.

  9. I love ice cream, gelato, and anything sweet and frozen:) Thanks for educating me on all of the options of these marvelous machines. I have not heard of nor tried the compressor models. I will definitely be checking this option out. I worked for a long time to perfect some of my ice cream recipes, and then my maker crashed. I think it just might be time for an upgrade!

  10. It’s really amazing what technology can do nowadays! With technology, prices can also become over time as new inventions and manufacturing processes are applied (as well as increased competition). I’m really amazed at how far we’ve come in just a short time in order to make various types of delicious frozen treats.

  11. I’ve recently gotten into researching methods for making ice cream, but as a lactose intolerant person sorbet has fast become my go-to replacement, and I’ve resorted to doing it without any machine… what a hassle! I must then question if these methods can make sorbet as well as ice cream, and seeing that there are a substantial amount of these devices for doing just that this article has proved very helpful! The range of choice is, however, pretty overwhelming but its great that there is something good at every price range.

  12. Wow! I never knew there so many different types of ice cream machines. And there’s so many different options that I didn’t know about, too! I am a die-hard fan of anything frozen and sweet so a post like this makes me smile. I didn’t even know what gelato was until reading this article. It sounds really delicious. I’m definitely going to have to invest in one of these devices that can also make gelato. Thank you so much, Amanda! This was a great article!

  13. My husband and I were just talking about trying our hand at homemade ice cream after our next trip to the grocery. I’m happy to see the model we already own, one of the Cuisinart freezer bucket models, is on the list. Now I just need to find a yummy recipe for us to try!

  14. Oh ice cream, the savior of summer. I’m more familiar with gelato thanks to being a neighboring country to Italy, but my mom’s chocolate was always better than any store-bought or from a parlor. It’s been years since she’s bothered with the homemade stuff, so I can only vaguely remember the mixing sounds and the cute animal themed molds she’d put them in. Might be time to show her some of these models…

  15. I’m so glad I saw this post! I was just thinking of buying an ice cream maker as a surprise for my kids. Ours broke last summer (we used it a LOT). Can’t remember what one we had but the Kitchenaid looks great. Looking forward to making blueberry ice cream again (my favourite).

  16. I completely agree that nothing beats ice cream made from scratch. I rarely purchase any from the store – my grandmother has spoiled the majority of our family with her homemade recipe. Every weekend during the summer, her living room is filled to the brim with cousins, aunts, and uncles waiting to grab a bowl. Her special blend with a side of pound cake makes a delicious taste that no store-bought brand has ever come close to.

    • Yes, growing up we ate a lot of store bought, just because it was convenient. We bought an ice cream maker from Wal-Mart on an impulse Black Friday Buy one year, and we never looked back.

      Although it doesn’t yield a batch quite as large, the taste is vastly superior. Store bought tastes like spoiled milk to me now. It leaves a gross coating in my mouth and it’s so…gooey? Blech. I’ll take homemade any day of the week.

  17. OOO, this is a good one. The pine bucket one looks cool, but probably the metal ones keep it cooler as your making it. Making ice cream is fun cause you know what you love what you are getting when you are done. I’m really thinking the kitchen aid one is probably the best idea because of the multi-function of the mixer.

  18. I love the idea of homemade ice cream. With people having so many allergies to so many things, making your own will probably be the best solution. I recently went to a picnic and someone had made vanilla ice cream. I’m not sure with what type of machine they used though. I never knew how gelato was made so I’m glad to have read this article.

  19. I just got the Cuisinart ICE 21 model this summer, and there has been lots and lots of ice cream made in it since. It really is a great little machine and the bowl really doesn’t take up much room in my deep freeze. The only thing that annoys me about it, is it really needs a storage lid so ice crystals, etc, don’t get knocked into the bowl so that it requires a quick rinse in cold water before I can use it. I usually end up taking it out the night before, cleaning it out/rinsing it out, and putting it back in the freezer while my ice cream base cools down.

    As for one trick ponies, well, you really can’t get any more one trick pony than ice cream and gelato machines. Allow me a chuckle at that. You really must buy a waffle maker though! You must! Have you SEEN the Waffling blogs out there? Have you seen Chefstep’s waffling video on youtube? Comedy value aside, it’s really, really awesome. And proves a waffle iron is NOT a one trick pony! 🙂

  20. This is great. I’d love to be able to make ice cream from home especially since I have young kids. I like the waffle cones too. Putting fruits in there is a fun new idea as well.

  21. This is the kind of thing I would have a lot of fun with for a week, or maybe even a month. After that it would end up in a cupboard and eventually my wife would make me get rid of it! We have had a couple bread makers go that way along with some other kitchen appliances. it is amazing how far the options and technology has come though.

  22. Great information. We’ve been wanting to get an ice-cream maker but it was just never a top priority. We will probably end up going with the kitchenaid attachment since we have the stand mixer already. The gelato makers are quite tempting, though, but they are all way out of our price range right now.

  23. I had no idea these gadgets were so handy. I will certainly check them out. I would like to visit a store and take a look at them my self. I am seriously thinking about getting one as we love ice cream and it is so hot here!

  24. I love this article. Thank you for this information. Because I am diabetic, I can only eat sugar-free ice cream but there are several issues with that. Mass majority of ice cream is filled with artificial sugars that are actually harmful to your body or they offer little not no variety in flavors. Not everyone wants to eat ONLY chocolate or vanilla. So I decided I was going to start making my own ice cream but was unsure what would be the best ice cream maker for me to use. This article really helped me to decide.

  25. The more I read this blog the more I realize how many delicious food I haven’t eaten, I really need to give gelato a try! It seems like my perfect ice cream! there’s a big variety of ways to make ice cream, and with an ice cream maker things get less difficult, I think. I really liked the nostalgia electrics one, it seems just the right one and I also love the design, and with summer coming, it just seems to be the right investment for family gatherings.

  26. Why not go for the Cuisinart’s Gelato and ice cream maker. We have a similar sort of machine but a different brand and has been quite satisfactory. I didn’t have a clear idea about the differences between Ice Creams and Gelatos before. So, thank you very much. It an enriching experience to read these blogs and to know so much about different kinds of delicacies and their preparations.

  27. So, I adore making ice cream. I used to have a simple awful, small machine that was manual. I hated it but used it so much anyway because I make great ice cream. I upgraded to a better, mechanical one, but it is nowhere near as nice as the Lello or the Breville that are mentioned in this article. I would love to upgrade to one of those one day. I really make enough ice cream all year round that I could probably justify the cost of something like this. The convenience of being to make several batches back to back!

  28. This is really great. Now I know which ice cream maker to get, and my daughter and I are going to have the best time making ice cream this weekend.

  29. Oh man, one of my favorite memories from when I was a kid was visiting one of my friends houses, just so I could eat some of his mom’s homemade ice cream. Every Sunday was a special treat for me because I’d go to his house to play around for a few hours, and then eat some delicious food at the end. After a few months of that, he had to move away, and I stopped seeing him and his mom. I guess I just forgot about homemade ice cream for the years following that, but this article really brought the feelings of love that I had for that treat back to me.

    I’m gathering the ingredients as I write this, the only thing that’s left is to wait for my wife to come home with the ice cream maker. There’s a specialty store that sells Hamilton Beach products near us, so she’ll be picking one up on the way home from work. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to relive my childhood fairytale!

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