Greatest ice cream makers of 2021


Whether or not you wish to ensure you at all times have frozen treats readily available to chill off on a scorching day or wish to experiment with flavors and take your selfmade desserts to the following degree, an ice cream maker is an easy-to-use equipment that positively deserves a spot in your kitchen.

We went hands-on for weeks with 9 completely different ice cream makers, and after churning over 20 pints of ice cream, solely two proved to be the most effective of the most effective.

Greatest total ice cream maker

The Cuisinart ICE-21 had the most effective stability of value and efficiency of any ice cream maker we examined. It churned a few of the finest, creamiest ice cream of your complete group whereas additionally being one of many least expensive. It’s a must to freeze the bowl in a single day earlier than making ice cream and it is fairly loud, however we nonetheless assume there is not a greater machine on the market for the value.

Greatest compressor ice cream maker

A compressor-style ice cream maker has a built-in refrigeration unit, so no in a single day prep is required. The Whynter ICM-201SB is expensive, however it’s an awfully handy, surprisingly quiet ice cream maker that churned the creamiest ice cream out of our complete group.

Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt ICE-21P1

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt ICE-21P1

Throughout our style checks, the Cuisinart ICE-21 made one of many smoothest ice lotions, with solely a bit iciness, beating out machines that price a whole bunch of {dollars} extra.

The Cuisinart ICE-21 is extremely simple to make use of, though you do should pre-freeze the blending bowl in a single day. It requires a bit little bit of planning earlier than you can begin churning, however as soon as your base is made and the bowl is frozen, making ice cream is a breeze. Merely assemble the bowl, paddle and lid, pour in your base and switch the machine’s single swap into the “on” place.

Whereas the ICE-21 is working, it’s loud sufficient that in case your kitchen is adjoining to your lounge you gained’t have the ability to flip it on when you’re watching a film with out actually cranking up the TV. However whereas it was one of many loudest machines we examined, it additionally churned ice cream quicker than lots of its rivals (it solely took about 15 minutes for each of the recipes we examined), so that you gained’t should undergo by way of the noise for too lengthy.

When mixing, we additionally observed the ICE-21 created a few of the least ice cream buildup out of the machines we examined, particularly among the many non-compressor choices. Many manufacturers left a layer of ice cream caught to the facet of the bowl, and whereas this was nonetheless scoopable, it was so much icier than the creamy concoction that persistently handed by way of the paddle.

As soon as your ice cream is finished, you gained’t have the ability to reuse the frozen bowl instantly, because it’ll have warmed up fairly a bit, so if you wish to make back-to-back batches, you’ll must buy an additional bowl and freeze them each the night time earlier than.

Cleansing the ICE-21 was not as tough as the opposite makers. Not one of the bowls we examined had been dishwasher-safe, so we washed each by hand to see how exhausting or annoying it was to wash all of the nooks and crannies. Most bowls have a vertical tube proper within the center the place you connect a paddle, which makes scrubbing the underside of the bowl a bit tough. You may clear the bowl fairly nicely with a sponge regardless of this, however you’ll nonetheless have to make use of a bottle brush to adequately clear the within of the tube, which is an extra ache. The Cuisinart bowls that it’s important to pre-freeze don’t have this impediment, which makes scrubbing them squeaky clear a a lot much less troublesome job.

If you would like a dependable, easy-to-use and cheap ice cream machine, there’s no different possibility that may beat out the Cuisinart ICE-21. For simply $70 and little planning, you may make deliciously creamy and wealthy desserts time and time once more simply in addition to higher-end fashions.

Whynter ICM-201SB Upright Automatic Ice Cream Maker

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Whynter ICM-201SB Upright Automated Ice Cream Maker

Compressor ice cream machines are dearer than non-compressor fashions since they’ve a built-in refrigeration unit, however if you happen to’re making ice cream regularly, they are often well worth the splurge. Continually freezing bowls can take numerous foresight and — extra importantly — freezer house. So if you wish to make ice cream ceaselessly or experiment with flavors on a regular basis, compressor fashions can prevent numerous effort and time.

Out of all of the compressor machines we examined, the Whynter ICM-201SB Upright Automatic Ice Cream Maker was by far the most effective. This ice cream maker was not solely amazingly easy to make use of, however it additionally churned the smoothest ice cream out of all of the machines we examined, with barely any icy buildup on the perimeters of the bowl. Plus, the Whynter’s upright configuration implies that it takes up so much much less house in your counter than different compressor fashions. The truth is, it solely took up a bit extra room than many of the non-compressor fashions, which is kind of wonderful because the Whynter has a full freezing system within it.

The machine’s design was so much completely different than different compressor fashions we examined. Upright, with a shallow and broad bowl the place the others are tall and slender, it was each simpler to wash and a dream to scoop out of. The Whynter’s bowl nonetheless has the annoying tube within the center (not like the Cuisinart ICE-21), however with extra room round it, cleansing the protrusion was a lot much less of a ache.

The Whynter ICM-201SB Upright machine was heavy, like all compressor fashions we examined, so you must most likely hold it saved in a decrease cupboard to keep away from any overhead lifting. Nevertheless, after we turned the machine on we had been amazed by how quiet it ran. All the opposite ice cream makers made an honest quantity of noise (some, just like the Cuisinart, made way more than others), so when the Whynter let loose a low and quiet hum — considerably just like an environment friendly dishwasher — we had been completely impressed. You can simply have this machine going within the background when you work, discuss and even watch TV in the identical room with out it being an enormous distraction, which was a giant win in our guide. It was comparatively speedy too, taking 25 minutes to churn out a batch of dairy ice cream, and 35 minutes for a vegan recipe.

Whereas the Whynter ICM-201SB Upright Automated Ice Cream Maker is certainly an even bigger funding than the Cuisinart, the comfort issue of this machine beats out every thing else we tried. It saves you the trouble of freezing a bowl and, not like different compressor fashions, isn’t huge, and is simple to scoop out of and tremendous quiet. If you would like the comfort of a compressor ice cream maker, the Whynter ICM-201SB is completely the one to get.

There are many methods to make ice cream at residence, whether or not it’s in a plastic bag, in a Mason jar or with a machine like these we examined. Utilizing an ice cream machine isn’t a really tough course of, however there simply are some things you must know earlier than you dive in. First off, most ice cream makers fall into two teams: ones with compressors and ones with out. Machines with compressors have a built-in refrigeration system that chills the bowl right down to freezing temperatures firstly of the method, whereas makers with out this characteristic require you to freeze a bowl beforehand, sometimes not less than in a single day.

Freezing the bowl upfront requires some planning however isn’t an excessive amount of of a chore when you’ve got the freezer house. Nevertheless, you gained’t have the ability to make a number of batches of ice cream in a row except you purchase an extra bowl (which implies you want much more freezer house). However the outcomes are similar to these you’ll get from a compressor mannequin, and also you’ll save some huge cash upfront.

Whereas compressor machines are usually dearer and heavier and take up much more room, you gained’t should do as a lot planning forward of time (simply enable time in your base to sit back fully if you happen to’re cooking it over the range) and you may make pint after pint of ice cream with out having to refreeze something. These machines are undoubtedly an funding, however they churn out high-quality ice cream persistently and prevent from worrying about freezing bowls on a regular basis, which could be a big plus if you happen to make ice cream commonly.

We examined 9 ice cream makers over a number of weeks to seek out the most effective ones available on the market. To do this, we assembled, made ice cream in and cleaned every machine not less than twice and took notes on ease of use, mixing time, noise, weight and extra.

We made a pair batches of ice cream to choose commonplace recipes to make use of all through testing and selected Bon Appetit’s True Vanilla Ice Cream and The Kitchn’s Vegan Ice Cream. These recipes each offered a wealthy, creamy ice cream so we might extra simply inform when machines churned an icier finish product.

Right here’s a breakdown of all of the checks we ran over the weeks of testing:


  • Texture of dairy ice cream: After making every batch of ice cream, we carried out a number of style checks evaluating the consistency and texture of every ice cream to at least one one other. We judged how icy or creamy every ice cream was in relation to the remainder of the pool.
  • Texture of vegan ice cream: After making every batch of vegan ice cream, we carried out the identical style checks, listening to iciness and texture.
  • Mixing time: For each dairy and vegan recipes, we timed how lengthy every machine took to show the liquid base into ice cream.


  • Ease of preparation: We famous all of the steps it took to get the machine prepared for making ice cream, whether or not that was assembling the completely different components, pre-freezing the bowl or working the machine by way of a pre-chill perform.
  • Ease of use: As soon as every thing was able to make ice cream, we famous all of the steps essential to churn the bottom into ice cream.
  • Ease of cleansing: We cleaned every ice cream maker and all its parts twice, paying attention to how exhausting the completely different components had been to scrub.
  • Dimension: We put every machine on a counter and measured how a lot room it took up, evaluating every machine to the others.
  • Noise: We judged how loud every machine was whereas it was working.
  • Weight: We weighed every machine and paid consideration to how simple or exhausting it was to maneuver it across the counter or put it in a cupboard.

High quality and design

  • Normal high quality: We felt every a part of the machine and judged its high quality, whether or not we thought it was flimsy and would break or would final for years.
  • Normal design: We arrange all of the machines subsequent to at least one one other and ordered them by seems to be and design.

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Whynter ICM-15LS Automated Ice Cream Maker ($219.43;

This Whynter ice cream maker was additionally a standout in our texture checks, producing a wealthy and creamy ice cream that was higher than most different ice lotions we tried. Nevertheless, it’s so much bigger and louder than the Whynter ICM-201SB. The bowl can also be extra awkward to scoop from and clear, but when these issues don’t trouble you and also you wish to save $100, this compressor mannequin is an impressive possibility.

Cuisinart ICE-70 Digital Ice Cream Maker ($139.99, initially $250;

Just like the ICE-21, it’s important to pre-freeze this machine’s bowl and, just like the ICE-21, it’s extraordinarily loud. It did churn out an honest ice cream, however not so good as the Cuisinart, so given the value we predict the ICE-21 is the higher buy.

Sprint My Pint ($19.99;

We had been pleasantly shocked by the Sprint My Pint’s efficiency. You do should freeze the tiny bowl beforehand and it makes fairly an icy ice cream, however if you wish to present somebody an ice cream maker otherwise you reside in a small residence, this can be a nice introduction to creating ice cream, particularly given its price ticket.

Cuisinart ICE-30 Pure Indulgence ($99.95;

This machine was the quietest out of the non-compressor choices we examined; nevertheless, we received numerous buildup on the perimeters of the bowl and the ultimate product was persistently icier than the ICE-21.

Breville Good Scoop Ice Cream Maker ($499.95;

This machine seems to be extraordinarily good on the counter and has a nifty and helpful interface that helps you observe the consistency of your ice cream, however it took for much longer to churn each the dairy and vegan ice lotions we made than the opposite compressor fashions we tried. And being the most costly possibility on our checklist, we positively assume the Whynter ICM-201SB could make a greater ice cream quicker, and for almost $200 cheaper.

Cuisinart ICE-100 ($249.99, initially $545;

The Cuisinart ICE-100 actually didn’t impress us a lot, because it was simply as large, heavy and loud as the opposite compressor fashions and didn’t make an particularly creamy ice cream.

Ninja Creami ($199.99;

This new ice cream maker from Ninja was very intriguing (it vaguely resembles a cross between a blender and a espresso machine), however the outcomes don’t reside as much as its competitors. Utilizing the Ninja machine requires extra prep than even the opposite non-compressor ice cream makers, since it’s important to freeze not only a bowl however the ice cream combine itself within the included pint containers. You even have to make sure that the pint is degree because it freezes or else you’ll should soften and refreeze it (the blender gained’t work in any other case).

As soon as your pint is frozen, you lock it into the Ninja machine and choose your setting. The ice cream maker then makes use of a blender blade to combine up the frozen ice cream. After a loud and aggressive two and a half minutes, the machine stops and you may unlock your pint. The dairy ice cream we received was extraordinarily icy and powdery and tasted extra like Dippin’ Dots than ice cream. The vegan ice cream we made was decently creamy, however we nonetheless don’t assume the prep was well worth the finish end result. For the $200 price ticket, we’d suggest a extra conventional compressor mannequin that requires zero prep. In any other case it can save you some cash and get a less expensive, non-compressor mannequin that may nonetheless provide you with higher outcomes, and spend the rest on elements.

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