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Best Home Ice Cream Maker (2022): Which One Should You Buy?

Ice cream feels like heaven on a hot day but it’s even more heavenly when you don’t have to go out in the sweltering heat to buy it. Not only is it more convenient to make your own ice cream at home, but you also get complete control over its flavor, texture, and the ingredients you put in it. If you think you could use an ice cream maker at home, here’s a roundup of the best models on the market, including high-end, budget, and kid-friendly options.

Best Home Ice Cream Maker Comparison Chart

NameCuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream MakerBreville Smart Scoop Ice Cream CompressorCuisinart ICE-21R Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker
 Cuisinart ice cream maker chartBreville Smart Scoop chartCuisinart ice cream maker 2 chart
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Yield Per Batch2 quarts1.1 quarts1.5 quarts
Duration15 to 40 minutes35 to 50 minutes20 minutes
Adjustable SpeedYesYesNo
Warranty3 years1 year3 years
Dimensions9.74 x 8.62 x 13.22 inches11.1 x 16 x 10.1 inches9.50 x 9.00 x 11.25 inches
Weight14 lbs30 lbs9.9 lbs

Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker

The best home ice cream maker overall.

Cuisinart ice cream maker design
The Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker can make 2 pints of ice cream per batch.

The Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker lands at the top spot on our list mainly because of the amount of control it lends users. There are three modes to choose from, namely gelato, sorbet, and ice cream, and each one automatically adjusts the built-in timer as well as the speed of the mixing paddle. The gelato mode in particular is quite impressive as it produces a slower churn which is one of the requirements of real gelato. While the automatic feature is convenient and worry-free, you can also choose to go manual and set the timer yourself if you’re going for a specific texture. It’s easy to figure out the settings because of its simple LCD control panel.

As for the mixing paddle, it does its job extremely well, able to evenly distribute the ingredients you throw into the mix. Speaking of ingredients, measuring them is a breeze thanks to the removable measuring cup found up top. Removing this cup will reveal a hole which you can use to easily pour in your add-ons. The best thing about this ice cream maker is that it can make 2 pints of ice cream per batch, making it perfect for big families.

Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor

The best compressor ice cream maker.

Breville Smart Scoop design
The Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor freezes the ice cream as it’s churning.

If you take your ice cream very seriously and are willing to splurge on a high-end home ice cream maker, the Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor is for you. The main reason for its hefty price tag is its compressor which freezes the ice cream as it’s being churned. This saves you the hassle of having to refreeze the bowl in between batches. Another premium feature you can enjoy with this model are its 12 settings that have been carefully calibrated to produce specific results. This way, you can get the exact hardness and texture that you want, whether it be soft-serve or rich and creamy sorbet. It’s a little disappointing though that it doesn’t have a slow churn setting for gelato.

What really justifies this $500 splurge is its ability to have your ice cream ready in minutes, thanks to its pre-cool setting. It prepares the machine beforehand so that it’s ready to churn immediately while the internal thermometers make sure that the temperature is ideal all throughout.

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

The best budget ice cream maker.

Cuisinart ice cream maker 2 design
The Cuisinart ICE-21R is an automatic cold-scrape model.

While there are definitely ice cream makers out there that will burn a sizable hole in your pocket, there are also budget-friendly ones like the Cuisinart ICE-21R. It’s easily one of the best models in its price range as it’s able to deliver high-quality, delicious ice cream even without any of the bells and whistles. It’s an automatic cold-scrape model that works by scraping the frozen batter from the sides of the bowl as it spins. The scrapings are then mixed back in with the rest of the batter. In just twenty minutes, you’ll then have soft-serve ice cream. Do note though that you have to immediately place the bowl in the freezer so that the ice cream doesn’t crystalize.

The only downside to this 1.5-quart model is that it’s smaller than the other machines on this list. Definitely consider the batch size when you’re following recipes because you might experience an overflow if you don’t scale down.

Nostalgia 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker With Easy Carry Handle

The best kid-friendly ice cream maker.

Nostalgia ice cream maker design
The Nostalgia 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker uses salt and ice to make ice cream.

For kids, making the ice cream is just as fun as the eating part. If you’d like to enjoy this activity at home with your child, you can consider getting the Nostalgia 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker. It’s an old school machine that uses salt and ice to produce ice cream but at least the cranking system is electric so you don’t have to put in any elbow grease. It’s pretty easy to use–simply turn it on and wait for 30 minutes. You’ll then have four quarts of smooth ice cream which you can dig into right away or put in the freezer

You can also make things more fun for your kid by adding in mix-ins. Just make sure to pause the machine first and take off the lid and motor before doing so. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a hole for easy pouring of add-ons unlike other models. Another downside is that the churning can get pretty loud so it’s best to make your ice cream when everyone at home is awake and don’t mind being disturbed.

Verdict

Ice cream makers are a convenient way to enjoy ice cream without having to leave the comfort of your home.

Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker

Best home ice cream maker overall

Cuisinart ice cream verdict

Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor

Best compressor ice cream maker

Breville Smart Scoop verdict

If you want fresher, better-tasting ice cream, do yourself and your family a favor by getting an ice cream maker. The one we would recommend the most would have to be the Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker because it ticks off all the boxes. It has both automatic and manual modes, is equipped with a built-in timer, and can even churn slowly to make real gelato. The Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor is another high-quality option although it comes with a much steeper price tag. Its compressor justifies it though.

As for the Cuisinart ICE-21R Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker, it’s the ideal pick for those who aren’t ready to splurge. It’s a much simpler model but is still able to deliver tasty ice cream sans the bells and whistles. For those who plan on involving their kids in the ice cream making process, the Nostalgia 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker should make for a fun experience. Like the old school ice cream makers back in the day, it makes use of salt and ice to make ice cream.

FAQs

📌What’s the best ice cream maker machine for home use?

The one we would recommend the most would have to be the Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker because it ticks off all the boxes. It has both automatic and manual modes, is equipped with a built-in timer, and can even churn slowly to make real gelato.

📌What’s the fastest ice cream maker?

Thanks to its pre-cool setting, the Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor can have your ice cream ready in minutes.

📌What’s the best compressor ice cream maker?

The Breville Smart Scoop is the best ice cream compressor. It freezes the ice cream as it’s being churned, saving you from the hassle of having to refreeze the bowl in between batches.

📌 What’s the best budget ice cream maker?

The Cuisinart ICE-21R Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker is an ideal pick for those who are on a budget. It’s able to make tasty ice cream even without all the bells and whistles.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.