Best Ice Cream Makers Consumer Reports

Best Ice Cream Makers Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022

No matter what your favorite flavor of ice cream is, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of fresh, homemade ice cream. However, making ice cream can be a lot of work, especially if you don’t have the right tools. That’s where ice cream makers come in. In this blog post, we’ll look at the best ice cream makers according to consumer reports. We’ll also discuss some of the key factors to consider when buying an ice cream maker. So, whether you’re in the market for your first one or are just looking to upgrade your current model, read on for our top picks!

What are ice cream makers?

An ice cream maker is a kitchen appliance used for making ice cream. It basically works by mixing and cooling the ingredients as they are being churned or stirred. The result is ice cream with a creamy consistency that rivals most commercial brands. One of the benefits of using an ice cream maker is that you can make your own unique flavors. Plus, you’ll find it’s much cheaper to make your own homemade ice cream than buying it at the store.

Most Common Types of ice cream makers:

There are two main types of ice cream makers: automatic and manual. Automatic models make things easier for you since they won’t require you to add the ingredients during the process. They also tend to be more expensive than their manual counterparts, which only need you to add your ingredients before turning them on.

Automatic Ice Cream Makers

These appliances feature a built-in compressor which freezes the bowl while making ice cream. The model will automatically stop when it’s done mixing, so there’s no need to turn it off yourself. However, because they have an internal compressor, these models can be quite loud.

Manual Ice Cream Makers

If you’re looking to buy one of these devices, then you probably want something that’s cheaper and quieter than an automatic ice cream maker. These appliances only require you to add the ingredients and turn them on to make your ice cream. They usually use rock salt as a coolant, which is why they’re much quieter than their automatic counterparts. However, this also means that you’ll have to exercise some physical strength while using them since you will need to crank the dasher inside the freezer bowl for 20-30 minutes before adding your ingredients.

Factors to Consider before buying ice cream makers:

Removable freezer bowl: The whole idea behind having an ice cream maker is to make your own ice cream at home, so you don’t need to go buy one every time you run out of ingredients. This means that it should be easy to remove and clean your freezer bowl

Compatibility: While most models work with rock salt, there are other options available if you prefer using regular table salt or even crushed ice instead. However, look for an appliance that’s compatible with whatever option you choose.

Price:  Since you’re going to be using your ice cream maker frequently, look for a model that won’t break the bank. You can easily find a decent device for under or around $50.

Brands:  Some models are made by brands that specialize in kitchen appliances while others are made by companies whose main line of business is other electronics. If you’re looking to buy an ice cream maker for the first time, then go with a trusted company.

Size: Look for a model that matches your needs. If you only want to make ice cream for yourself and one other person, then buy an appliance with a 1-quart capacity. However, if you’re going to be having family gatherings or parties at home, then go with a 2-quart option instead.

Design: Although most ice cream makers look pretty much the same, some models come with added features like an LCD display or push-button controls. Since these devices are usually more expensive than their bare-bones counterparts, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth paying extra for the bells and whistles.

Warranty:  Even the most durable of ice cream makers tend to malfunction after months or even years of constant use, so look for a model with at least a 1-year warranty. This way, you can send it back to the manufacturer if anything goes wrong.

Material:  Most ice cream makers are made from plastic or stainless steel, but some are also available in ceramic. Plastic is the most popular material for these kinds of appliances since it’s lightweight and can withstand both low and high temperatures. Stainless steel is the preferred option for more expensive models because it doesn’t retain flavors or odors, meaning that you won’t have to clean your freezer bowl before making a new batch.

Durability: Ice cream makers need to be able to withstand a lot of beating, so look for an appliance that’s made from high-quality materials. Most models are made from stainless steel or plastic, but more expensive appliances use aluminum instead.

Modes: Some ice cream makers can also function as food processors or even pasta makers, making them a better option if you’re looking to expand your kitchen’s capabilities. However, these models usually cost more money.

Speed of production:  The best ice cream makers work almost twice as fast as cheaper options, but high-performance ones can take up to 30 minutes before you have a batch ready. This is because they apply constant force while keeping your mix at or below the freezing point, so expect them to be loud when in use.

Energy efficiency: If you’re concerned about your electric usage, then look for an ice cream maker that has an energy-saving mode. However, most models don’t use that much electricity and can even be used with solar power if you happen to live in a sunny location.

Amount of noise: Although most models make similar amounts of sound while in operation, some devices are noisier than others due to their over-engineered designs. Because the cheapest versions tend to be noisiest, go for one of these appliances only if you don’t mind the racket they produce while churning out batches after batch of delicious frozen desserts.

Additional features: You should also consider buying an appliance with additional features like pre-programmed settings, built-in timers, or automatic shut-off functions to keep your ice cream from melting.

Maintenance: Most ice cream makers don’t require a lot of maintenance, but others need their freezer bowls to be cleaned before every use. If you’re going to buy a model with a removable bowl, then make sure that it’s dishwasher safe. Also, most high-performance appliances work best if you pre-freeze the bowl for at least 24 hours before using them.

 

Safety: Fortunately, these appliances are very safe to use and can even be operated by children if they understand safety procedures. Most devices come with rubber feet on their base or plastic guards around their blades so that spilled mix doesn’t get all over your kitchen while you’re busy churning out batches of ice cream.

Portability:  Some ice cream makers can also double as snow cone or sorbet makers, while others are small enough to fit in a kitchen cabinet when not in use. If you’re going to be traveling with your appliance, then look for one that’s lightweight and easy to handle.

The Pros and Cons of ice cream makers:

Pros: 

It is very easy to make ice cream with an ice cream maker.

You can create your own flavors by adding yogurt, nuts, candy, fruit, or any other goodies you want to the mix before churning it into creamy goodness.

You are not limited to ice cream flavors- many homemade ices cream recipe books include instructions for making frozen yogurt and gelato as well.

Some models come with built-in compressors that eliminate the need for pre-freezing. Just pour in your mixture and let it do its thing!

Cons:  

Ice cream makers are expensive- prices range from $100-$1 ,000 depending on features and brand. You can cut down on these costs by purchasing a used machine online, but it’s important to make sure that the appliance comes with all its parts before you do.

You can’t use them in hot weather, or during peak hours for electricity in some places.

They are not suitable for making sorbets or sherberts if you want to keep your dessert at a soft-serve consistency.

FAQs:

How do they work?

An electric machine will have a motorized churning arm inside that stirs or mixes the ingredients while they are frozen into an ice cream mixture. An alternative design has two metal containers placed inside each other, filled with the liquid mix which is then frozen from the bottom up. The inner container has a blade that rotates against the sides of the outer one to mix and freeze your ingredients into tasty ice cream within about 30 minutes.

Are ice cream makers worth buying?

Yes, if you love frozen desserts! They are fun to play with and easy to clean. Many models let you experiment with new flavors years after you purchase them, so buying an ice cream maker is a great investment for your family.

What are the main types of home-use ice cream makers?

Electric machines have motorized churning arms that can either pivot inside their housing or be attached to the side of it. There are also two-container designs that allow you to create homemade ice cream without prefreezing the bowl first. Remember that most high-performance appliances need at least 24 hours of pre-freezing before they can be used.

How much should I spend on an ice cream maker?

This depends on how much you like to make your own ice cream and how often you plan on using the machine. The more expensive models come with built-in compressors, can double as sorbet makers and also make other frozen desserts such as yogurt and gelato. They are easier to use than standard machines, but don’t come cheap: expect to pay $200-$500 for a professional quality appliance.

What does prefreezing do?

This allows time for the bowl or containers of an electric machine to reach their optimum temperature before they’re used. If any mix is added while these components are at room temperature, it will take much longer to freeze into tasty ice cream. Pre-cooling helps save electricity too, so remember not to add ingredients until the bowl has reached its optimum temperature.

Is there a special way to remove ice cream from the container?

Yes. Scrape out all the frozen dessert with a long metal spoon, then let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving. This will make your ice cream softer and easier to scoop! Unless you are using an old-fashioned hand-crank model, in which case you should turn the crank by hand while licking the dasher/paddle.

What happens if I forget to prefreeze my ingredients?

Your ice cream will still turn out tasty, but the process might take longer than usual. Many people recommend adding rock salt or ice around the metal container to help it freeze faster.

What else should I remember when making homemade ice creams?

Stir your ingredients on occasion while they are freezing- this will prevent large crystals from forming in your mix and make it smooth and creamy instead. Remember to use whole milk with at least 3% fat content, otherwise you’ll end up with a gummy mixture that won’t soften after it’s frozen! You can also add powdered milk into recipes that require sweetened condensed milk for better results. Don’t expect one of these machines to work miracles though – if your recipe calls for eggs, they will still have to be mixed with sugar before being added.

What are some common mistakes to avoid?

Avoid letting ingredients such as eggs, dairy products and fresh fruits sit at room temperature for too long- this can cause bacteria to form in your mix. You should also be careful when using an ice cream machine for other types of desserts because they might not freeze solid due to the presence of ingredients like custard or whipped cream.

How to clean an ice cream maker?

Dishwashers can do a good job at removing ice cream residue from the inside and outside of your machine. Even easier: fill it with warm water mixed with dishwashing liquid, turn it on for one minute and then rinse it well under running water. Some electric appliances come with self-cleaning functions that use hot steam to push residues off their interiors – this is probably the easiest way to keep your appliance pristine and ready for its next batch!

Are ice cream makers worth buying?

It depends on your needs. If you’re constantly whipping up batches of premium ice cream for yourself and family members, then a machine with a built-in compressor might be a worthwhile investment because it will save you energy and time. On the other hand, if you only plan to make ice creams for special occasions or holidays, then manual cranks can do the job just as well (and they don’t require any refreezing).

Which model offers the easiest way to make ice cream?

A manual crank ice cream maker, also known as an old-fashioned or hand-crank model. This type of appliance is the most affordable option, yet it still boasts professional features like a nonstick surface and built-in coolant for your metal container. It’s perfect for adventurous people who want to experiment with ingredients and flavors to create something that tastes truly delicious!

Are electric ice cream makers any good?

Electric (usually self-contained) ice cream makers ensure excellent results, and they can also make other types of frozen desserts like sorbets, sherbets, and gelatos. On the downside, these appliances tend to be bulky, and they must be plugged into an electric plug or an extension cord – this means that they won’t work during blackouts.

 

 

How long does it take to make ice cream in an ice cream maker?

It depends on your appliance and the recipe’s requirements, but it usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Is it true that hand crank ice cream makers work better than electric ones?

No. It isn’t. There’s no hard evidence supporting this belief if anything, many modern cranks work far better than their manual counterparts.

Is it possible to make ice cream without an ice cream maker?

Yes, but you’ll need to mix all ingredients in a deep freezer instead of using an electric appliance. This is not recommended for novice cooks because the process isn’t foolproof and there’s almost no way to know if your mixture has reached soft-serve consistency until it melts.

How do I prevent homemade ice cream from getting icy once I mix it with fruit or chocolate chips?

You should add these extras into the freshly frozen mixture while it’s still in its semi-solid state, before turning your crank or pressing its button. If you’re working on a batch that takes than usual to freeze (e.g., a high-fat recipe that contains alcohol, too much sugar or cream), you can always prevent your ice cream from turning icy by storing it in the freezer for several minutes while the fruit and chocolate chips melt.

How long should I leave an ice cream maker to mix?

It depends on your model’s speed and its power, but 15-30 minutes (sometimes less) is usually enough to achieve perfect results. Some machines produce “soft serve” ice cream right after you turn them on, while others will need additional time to chill their contents before producing something edible. Always read the directions that came with your appliance!

What temperature should I freeze my ingredients at?

Between -10°F and 0°F (-23°C and -18°C). This is the optimal temperature for quickly lowering ingredients’ temperatures to around 20°F (-6.7°C), which increases their whipping properties without affecting their texture too much.

Why shouldn’t I make ice cream on a humid day?

It will take ages to freeze, and the weather might even interfere with my appliance’s electrical components! If possible, make ice creams early in the morning or in the evening during winter or on a day when the humidity is low.

How long should I leave my ice cream maker’s container to freeze?

It depends on your recipe and appliance, but you’ll need at least 3 hours for a wooden bucket and around 24 hours for a metal container! If you accidentally allow everything to freeze for too long, your ice cream might turn icy so be sure to take it out of the freezer every hour until you’re finished. The optimal duration is usually 1-4 hours, although some recipes might need 10+ hours (with refreezing) if their final consistency needs to resemble something soft-serve-like.

Do any of these machines make healthy ice cream?

No. Don’t be fooled by false claims – if your ice cream contains high amounts of sugar, fat or calories, it will turn out exactly the same regardless of whether you’re using an electric freezer or a hand crank!

Why is my ice cream not freezing in my ice cream maker?

There are several reasons why this might be the case: if your freezer isn’t cold enough, it will take a long time for your ingredients to freeze. If you accidentally used salt instead of sugar when making your base, you’ll have a hard time achieving a smooth consistency even with an electric appliance. Always remember that ice cream makers work by cooling their contents down rapidly over a very wide range of temperatures!

Can I use alcohol in my recipe?

It depends on its proof – if it’s high enough, adding liquor will help keep your ice cream from freezing too much without affecting the flavor or texture too much! You can also add liquor after the fact and let it set for about 10 minutes before proceeding with mixing.

How do I make vegan ice cream?

By choosing recipes that don’t rely on the egg yolk for their base. The best way to go about this is by using cashews or coconut milk, but you can also experiment with various plant-based products that are designed to mimic dairy flavors and textures.

Why is my ice cream separating after I took it out of its container?

This can happen if your recipe contains too many air bubbles, which will cause the dairy products to rise while the water-based ingredients settle on the bottom or re-freeze. To prevent this from occurring, always agitate your mixture during its final minutes before transferring it to containers!

What is the best kind of ice cream maker?

One that’s easy to operate and clean, has a freezer bowl you can use in the freezer or fridge and can produce tasty ice cream.

Why does my homemade ice cream remain icy even if I put it in the fridge?

This can be due to several reasons: if your recipe contains raw eggs, they might not turn into an excellent foamy substitute for whipped cream while slightly warming up on their own. If there isn’t enough fat in your mixture or you don’t mix everything thoroughly enough, your ingredients will separate inside the mold. If you’re using an electric appliance, it might not have cooled down properly after churning which makes it harder for new layers of ice cream to form on top of its contents. If you added anything frozen to your mixture, it might remain colder for longer which makes it difficult for everything else to freeze.

What ingredients should I avoid using to make ice cream?

Raw eggs, gelatin, and low-quality dairy products. Of course, you should also never use anything that’s expired – not even ice cream!

Does my ice cream maker need to be turned off when not in use?

It’s never a good idea to just leave it on the counter because that might allow some bacteria to form even if you’re using high-quality ingredients. You can either turn it off completely or just let it run for about 5 minutes before taking the bowl out of its housing.

Why is my ice cream slimy and gritty?

This can happen if it isn’t thick enough to begin with – the best way to prevent this from happening is by thickening your mixture properly before transferring it into a mold! If you’re using an electric appliance, you might have over-churned it which made the fat separate from other ingredients and their water content. This consistency can be difficult to fix… however, once everything starts setting up too much, you might be able to rescue your product by adding some milk and carefully blending everything back together!

What are some tasty flavor combinations for homemade ice cream?

Any combination of the following ice cream flavors works well together: banana, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, Nutella, cappuccino, caramel.

Can you vacuum seal ice cream?

It’s not a good idea because the lack of air might significantly lower its shelf life and all that condensation will go straight to the bottom.

What is some nice topping for homemade ice cream?

Cookie dough, fruit, sprinkles, nuts, caramel syrup, chocolate sauce.

Conclusion: An ice cream maker that’s easy to operate and clean, has a freezer bowl you can use in the freezer or fridge and can produce tasty ice cream.

1