6 of the Best Ice Cream Makers to Buy – Indulge at Home & Save!
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No matter the recipe, these are the best ice cream & frozen yogurt makers you can buy!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! 🍨
There’s nothing better than eating delicious, homemade ice cream on a hot, summer day! Whether you’re an ice cream addict or just enjoy making your own low-carb ice cream from time to time, an ice cream machine is an awesome kitchen gadget worth splurging on. It also makes a fun gift idea for just about anyone too!
Looking for an easy way to store your homemade ice cream? Try these highly-rated ice cream storage containers with silicone lids!
Here are 6 of the best ice cream makers:
1. The Cuisinart ICE21R can churn out your ice cream in 20 minutes or less!
Cuisinart ICE21R Ice Cream Maker – $48.98 (regularly $63.74)
With the Cuisinart ICE21R 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, you can easily make your favorite frozen yogurt, sorbet, or ice cream at home in as little as 20 minutes! Just add ingredients, turn the machine on, and let the automatic churner do all the work for you!
Here’s what one reviewer loves about their ICE21R:
“I’m obsessed with this machine! I’ve made at least 15 batches, if not more, of ice cream and I’m not stopping! The ice cream is everything I’ve been searching for in the stores but waaaay better. The machine churns out light and creamy ice cream each time!”
2. You don’t even need electricity to use the Play and Freeze Ball.
Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker – $55.96
This ball-shaped ice cream maker is a blast! If you have kids, it will give them a fun, hands-on experience with the properties of movement, freezing, and basic science principles, all while making ice cream! No electricity is needed – just put your ingredients in the ball roll it for 30 minutes, and it will yield about 1 pint of ice cream.
Here’s what one reviewer says about their Play and Freeze:
“Fantastic way to make ice cream! I used a frozen custard recipe with heavy cream and no milk and the ice cream took only 10 minutes to make. You throw the ball back and forth (between two adults or strong youth – it’s like a medicine ball), then open and stir the ice cream. Then, 5 more minutes of tossing the ball and it’s done! Easy clean up too. What a great value! I took this on a river trip and it was a big hit! No leaking and the tops are easy to open and close. I could have made this indoors without any mess too.”
3. The Nostalgia 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker is another great option for kids!
Nostalgia 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker – $30 (regularly $49.99)
Reminiscent of the old-fashioned churners of the past, this 4-quart bucket-style ice cream maker is a fast and easy way to make ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato. It features a locking motor mount, an easy-to-clean bucket, and a 4-quart aluminum canister.
Simply add your ingredients into the aluminum canister, place in the middle of the bucket, layer with ice and salt, and allow the electric motor to do the rest. The durable churn paddle produces delicious creamy homemade ice cream, while the easy-clean plastic liner provides simple cleanup. Plus, the 4-quart capacity is larger than most other ice cream makers on the market, so you’ll have enough for the whole family! 🙌
My Hip teammate, Jenna, has this ice cream maker and loves it! Here’s what she said about it:
“Now THIS is the ticket! I had to use this straight from the box. I washed it, poured in the custard mixture, topped it with layers of ice and salt, put the top on, and plugged it in. Viola! The motor never bogged down. When the ice cream was done, the machine stopped. Absolutely zero issues. It goes together easily, cleans up quickly, and functions flawlessly. I finally found a keeper!”
4. You can completely customize your frozen treats with the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence.
Making ice cream is a breeze with this Cuisinart ice cream maker! Just freeze the bowl overnight, add your ingredients, and churn for up to 2 quarts of delicious homemade ice cream.
The automatic mixing paddle does all the work for you, and you’ll get to enjoy your frozen treat in only 25 minutes or less.
Here’s what one reviewer said about their Cuisinart:
“This was the best kitchen gadget purchase I’ve made in a long, long time! LOVE this. I don’t know how they could even improve on this model. It works flawlessly for me. I use it to create healthy, homemade, keto ice cream and it has surpassed all of my expectations! We turn this baby on when we sit down to eat dinner and by the time we’re done with dinner, we have the most beautiful soft serve ice cream waiting for us!”
5. Make more than just ice cream with the Ninja CREAMi.
Ninja NC301 CREAMi Ice Cream Maker – $212.99 (regularly $229)
This model doesn’t just make ice cream! The Ninja CREAMi can make sorbet, gelato, and custard-based ice cream. It also can allow for mix-ins and blend milkshakes. Unlike standard ice cream makers, this versatile model uses its own technology to shave and blend everyday items into a delicious dessert.
Want a rich and decadent treat? This machine can do that. If you want a vegan, dairy-free, or healthy snack, the Ninja CREAMi does that also! You can make a sorbet out of nothing but fruit.
The product comes with a recipe guide that includes 15 simple recipes to get you started. This compact ice cream maker fits right on your countertop and it is so easy to use. Kids will love it too! Just plan for some prep time as some ingredients may need to be frozen beforehand.
It’s also worth noting the machine is a little louder than some of the others, but the result is worth it!
Here’s what Ninja customers had to say about their Ninja CREAMi:
“I LOVE this machine! I just got it and am on Weight Watchers so I wanted to make healthy sorbets and light ice cream. Well, I made my first sorbet using one can of crushed pineapple in its own juice and it was super delicious and oh so creamy. I can’t believe it..this machine is the answer to my dreams!!!” – Anonymous
“Listen, it’s simple. You can keep on spending five bucks or more for just a PINT of Ben & Jerry’s. Or a fortune on gelato, and other overpriced sorbets. Or, you can make one simple smart-money investment in an appliance like this. And this gadget will pay for itself many times over, with the money you save. It’s easily the best kitchen investment you’ll make all year.” – Peter
6. The Whynter Ice Cream Maker is the BEST team-favorite ice cream maker!
Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker – $243.34 (regularly $347)
This 2.1-Quart Ice Cream Maker from Whynter features an extended cooling function that prevents the mixture from melting and a motor protection function that stops the motor from churning to prevent overheating or damage to the motor when the mixture becomes solid. This unit also includes an electronic timer, ice cream scoop, and easy-to-follow recipe guide.
This is Collin’s favorite ice cream maker! Here’s why…
“It’s not just me who loves this ice cream maker… it’s my whole family’s favorite machine, too! It’s seriously the BEST ice cream maker out there, and trust me – I’ve gone through a few. 😬 This unit makes up to two quarts of delicious dessert in a single batch.
Aside from oh so delicious ice cream, it’s by far the easiest ice cream maker to use, and it literally takes an hour or less from start to finish. You just mix the ingredients, pour them into the machine’s container, press a button, and BOOM — homemade ice cream with barely any work. 🍨
And clean-up is a breeze, with the removable bowl and churn blade, leaving you more time to enjoy your dessert and less time cleaning the machine.
Even my team LOVES this machine! It’s perfect for those of us who eat keto since we can customize the recipes to use sugar alternatives to keep our keto lifestyles and sweet tooths happy — by the way, you NEED to check out this yummy raspberry cheesecake keto ice cream recipe! Oh my… 😍 – Collin
Our entire team loves the Whynter brand and we highly recommended purchasing one of their ice cream makers whenever you can get your hands on one!
Here’s what some other Hip team members have to say about their beloved Whynter ice cream machines:
“I love being able to make my own ice creams at home with my Whynter Ice Cream maker and customize ingredients to make sure I know exactly what is going in it and how many carbs per serving. I used to have a Cuisinart ice cream maker and never used it because you had to freeze the bowl ahead of time, which I never remembered to do. With Whynter, it’s more expensive, but it has an actual compressor so you can make custom ice cream anytime. Plus, it’s so easy to clean!” – Stacy
“Yes, Whynter! There’s no salt or waiting for a frozen bowl. It’s for sure the best!” – Lina
I got the nostalgia one for my birthday. We love it. It’s really easy to use. The size is a little cumbersome but we got it on sale. We make the fun flavors for my daughter that she can’t normally have. Gluten free choc chip cookie dough, gluten free cookies and cream. We love it, it’s so easy to use.
How fun! SO glad that one has been a hit! Thanks for sharing with us, Jess!
I have the Whynter and it has hands down changed our lives! My dad and my kids are addicted to ice cream…sine buying this machine during the prime day deal last year I think we have purchased ice cream from the store maybe 2-3 times and each time it was bc someone wanted something I was not making a whole batch of like pistachio or rum raisin. I have chocolate and vanilla at all times but other family favs are cookies and cream, fudge ripple, strawberry, peach, cherry garcia, banana split, coffee, dark chocolate, lemon raspberry white chocolate… I literally make three full batches of ice cream per week. Love that my family is still getting to enjoy their favorite dessert but also love that we know exactly what goes into each serving!
How does it freeze and keep? I always have a hard time with homemade ice cream keeping in the freezer because it’s turn to pure ice! If it’s not eaten in the first hour we make it I just toss…
I almost never have that problem! When the cycle finishes the ice cream from the Whynter is very much so like a soft serve. If we want immediate hard pack ice cream I add on like 10-15min and then the majority of the container is hard pack with with the center still more like soft serve. We honestly have only on rare occasion had our ice cream turn icy but that only happens when I don’t have the right ratio of ingredients. My base recipe is 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 2 cups half and half, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla. That’s it…from there you can add all kinds of toppings, extracts, cocoa powder, fruit, etc… Just make sure to mix it in a bowl first and don’t put it into the machine until the sugar is dissolved. If making chocolate ice cream I find that you really need to let it set for a few hours for the cocoa to do it’s thing…if you rush it it will taste nasty. I also find that good quality extracts are sometimes best. For example, if you want strawberry to have the flavor you get in stores you need to use an extract or cook the strawberries down with a little sugar….just blending them and tossing it in won’t do the trick and it will make it icy.
I don’t know if you have children but if you toss in a splash of alcohol, personal choice but Amaretto for vanilla and bourbon for chocolate, it won’t freeze solid. And really a splash will do, not a whole cup but it is up to you. I don’t have children so I often make boozy milkshakes just because.
One reason is how much air is infused into the mixture as it churns. Machines like Whynter and the Breville Smart Scoop do a great job regarding the airiness factor. It tastes great right out of the machine and freezes well.
Wow! Those flavors sound SO yummy! Thanks for sharing your experience with the Whynter ice cream maker!
I don’t own a deep chest freezer can the cuisinart (first machine listed) tub go into a regular freezer to chill? Just wondering if anyone has had luck with this? Ty
Yep! Itll take 24 hrs from room temp.
I had the WORST luck w/my Cuisinart. I hated it! Note it wasn’t this model it was the white one where you can add sprinkles etc. Terrible
I got my husband the Cuisinart back in May for his birthday. He has wanted an ice cream maker for years. I went with that one based on reviews and price (plus a personal review from a friend). Its been awesome so far and we’ve used it a lot – probably more than we really need to lol. So much better than store bought and fun to tweak and personalize the flavors!
We have the Whynter model and love it! To prevent our ice cream from getting icy, we use the SUMO ice cream containers that you can buy on Amazon. They help a ton! I would like to have an extra stainless steel bowl or the ice cream maker, but I’m having a hard time getting that part.
God I love this blog. You all are so giving of your time & ideas. Thanks so much. Lost my job & have been very down, this blog helps so much w getting sales & ideas. Thanks to all of you. After reading this I am making ice cream this week. I have the Cuisinart that goes w my mixer. I used it a long time ago. I hope it is easier this time since I know more. lol
You’re most welcome! 💕 SO glad the deals and tips have been helpful during a stressful time. Thanks a bunch for your sweet feedback. We truly appreciate YOU! Enjoy your ice cream!
I bought one of the Cuisinart ones this summer and love it. I got one that had an extra bowl so I always have 1 in the freezer. I have made orange, lemon, and vanilla so far. I keep trying different recipes with each.
Thank you hip2save for this post. We have wanted to order an ice cream maker.
Just an FYI – when I just clicked on the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker $99.95 to purchase – the silver version comes up 66.98 and I thought wow – even a better deal. Then luckily I saw it said used. We have a child with very severe, life threatening food allergies – so I could never take a chance of buying this used for us. I know we can and would clean it when it arrives, but I still would not want to risk it. So if anyone is selecting this and sees that price – make sure you realize that it is used. The white is available new for 119.99. Again – just sharing in case someone else has a similar situation to us or does not see that it says used.
Again – thank you HIP2SAVE – I am reading through the 5 different ones you have listed to decide which would work best for our family.
Thank you for the tip, becca! That sometimes happens on Amazon when they run out of stock. A different seller that swoops in until they have more stock. It’s something to always be aware of!
Stainless steel is $78.62 now – new with Prime shipping.
For those who already have purchased and are using an ice cream maker – where have you found the best recipes? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
We bought the Nostalgia maker some years back. Used it twice and loved it. The paddle broke on the 3rd use. Called to see if we could get a replacement but no, you have to a buy a whole new unit. Bought the ball one used at a yard sale. It works but it takes FOREVER! Kids had long given up… LOL I am seriously considering the Cuisinart but really don’t need more ice cream in my life!
Have had the Cuisinart 2qt model for many moons. It’s wonderful! I got it at Costco for $50, but I haven’t seen them since.
Also, if you don’t want to buy an ice cream maker, Gemma Stafford has amazing recipes. The vanilla is actually my go to often times because it stays nice for a long time and it’s super quick to mix up and pop in the freezer. I actually use 3 cups whipping cream as it’s too sweet for me otherwise and omit the vanilla bean pod. https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-vanilla-ice-cream/
This might seem like a dumb question but can custard be made in these machines? I LOVE custard but where I’m at in California I swear there is not an establishment that sells custard.
Maybe I should open an Andy’s or Culvers 🙂
As far as I know, the difference between basic ice cream and custard is that custard uses egg yolks. I have a Breville machine and use a recipe slightly adapted from Cooks Country:
1. Combine in a saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until it reaches 175 degrees:
– 1 3/4 c heavy cream
– 1 1/4 c whole milk
– 6 T sugar
– 1/4 t salt
– 1/3 c light corn syrup (don’t skip the syrup– it’s the secret ingredient to keep your ice cream from going rock hard and forming ice crystals)
2. While it is heating, whisk together:
– 1/4 sugar
– 4 egg yolks (recipe calls for 6 but it turns out too eggy for our family- adapt it to your taste)
3. Once the first mixture hits 175 degrees, off heat slowly whisk about 1 c of the hot mix into the egg/sugar mix to temper it. Then whisk the egg/sugar mix into the saucepan.
4. Heat the mixture to 180 degrees, stirring constantly.
5. Take it off the heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
6. Refrigerate for about 4 hours or cool down in an ice bath
7. Before you put it in your machine whisk in:
– 2 t vanilla extract
8. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and follow your machine directions to freeze it.
Seems complicated but once you’ve made it a few times it gets super easy. It’s also a great base for other flavors:
– chocolate chip: add 6 oz chopped chocolate just before the machine is done churning
– mint chip: omit vanilla and add 1/3 c Torani creme de menthe syrup and 6 oz chopped chocolate just before churning ends
– chocolate: use only 1 t vanilla and add 8 oz melted chocolate to the egg yolk mixture in step 2
– coffee: use only 1 t vanilla and add 3 T powdered instant espresso into the mixture in step 1
Hope this helps!
Thank you Amy! I bet your recipe is delicious but I’m soooo not a cook/baker and want to look for the easiest way to go. lol
Yes, I do know that custard contains egg yolks but was just wondering if anybody has used any of these machines to make custard and how it turned out.
Thanks for the reply 🙂