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Ice Cream Makers Buying Guide

It’s a treat to enjoy the fruits of your labor with a bowl of homemade ice cream. And nowadays, you don’t even have to spend time turning a crank (unless you really want to). Today’s ice cream makers are easy to operate and perform perfectly for a consistent batch of ice cream each time.

Types of Ice Cream Makers

Types of Ice Cream Makers

You’ll find a variety of ice cream makers on the market, from old-fashioned models you crank by hand to units that simply sit on your counter and churn away. The capacity of the maker you choose is really a matter of personal preference, as is the level of involvement required -- whether you want to just dump in the ingredients and have the machine do the rest, or play a more active role by making the ice cream mixture yourself. “Small” usually means 1.5 to 2 quarts, while bigger barrels make at least 4 quarts and may be electric or hand-cranked.

Old-fashioned

If you want to make ice cream the traditional way, this is your answer. Whether you choose an electric or hand-crank model, these barrel/bucket models are labor-intensive, as ice and rock salt need to be continually added to produce great ice cream.

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Norpro
$36.99

Homemade ice cream at the tips of your fingers? Sign us up! The Norpro Manual Ice Cream Maker takes the local ice cream shop and p...laces it into your kitchen. With a 1 pint capacity, you can create the perfect size in only 15 minutes to either share or keep all to yourself! The Norpro manual ice cream maker also includes instructions and recipes for you to try from standard flavors to frozen yogurt. Two scoops of chocolate almond coming right up! Norpro Manual Ice Cream Maker Features: Hand wash only Instruction and recipes included Capacity: 1 pint/500 ml Weight: 3.64 lbs Dimensions: 7.25 x 8.25 6 Looking For Other Norpro Products? Click Here! read more

Elite
$89.99

Find Ice Cream And Yogurt Makers at Target.com! The Elite Gourmet 4-Quart Old Fashioned Electric Ice Cream Maker churns out delici...ous homemade ice cream in less than 40 minutes. It features a 4-quart heavy duty aluminum canister and a powerful 90-rpm motor, so making ice cream is fast, convenient and fun for the whole family! It’s great for entertaining at family parties, BBQ’s and picnics using all of your favorite ice cream, sorbet, gelato and even frozen yogurt recipes. The motor turns a six-fin paddle that whips air into the ingredients producing a smooth, rich soft serve ice cream. The paddle quickly crushes cookies, fruit, chocolate chips or a variety of other yummy... Color: Brown. read more

Donvier
$55.54

No salt or ice are needed to create 1 quart of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or frozen drinks at home with this ice-cream make...r. Just turning the crank occasionally for 15 or 20 minutes is all it takes. The unit's freezer bowl goes into a refrigerator's freezer for about 7 hours to freeze the liquid between its walls. The bowl then goes into the outer case, the paddle goes into the bowl, ingredients go into the bowl, the transparent top is locked in place, and the crank is turned. The aluminum bowl cleans easily, the outer case and top are plastic so they wipe clean. The unit measures 9-1/2 inches high and 8 inches in diameter (not including handle). It carries a 10-year warranty against defects. An instruction booklet containing many recipes is included. read more

Donvier
$55.54

No salt or ice are needed to create 1 quart of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or frozen drinks at home with this ice-cream make...r. Just turning the crank occasionally for 15 or 20 minutes is all it takes. The unit's freezer bowl goes into a refrigerator's freezer for about 7 hours to freeze the liquid between its walls. The bowl then goes into the outer case, the paddle goes into the bowl, ingredients go into the bowl, the transparent top is locked in place, and the crank is turned. The aluminum bowl cleans easily, the outer case and top are plastic so they wipe clean. The unit measures 9-1/2 inches high and 8 inches in diameter (not including handle). It carries a 10-year warranty against defects. An instruction booklet containing many recipes is included. read more

Self-cooling

Less-expensive ice cream makers require you to pre-freeze the canister/bowl, and some require more freezing after the ice cream is made. Self-cooling makers -- those that have their own compressor -- freeze the ice cream as it’s being made.

Mixer attachment

Some high-end stand mixers offer an attachment to churn out ice cream. Pre-freezing the canister is necessary.

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KitchenAid
$79.99

Mixers: KitchenAid Stand Mixer Ice Cream Maker Attachment - Expand the potential of your KitchenAidr mixer with this ice cream mak...er attachment featuring the largest single bowl capacity in the industry. Just pre-freeze the bowl to make frozen desserts... read more

Kitchen Aid
$100.00 $79.99

This ice cream maker attachment fits all KitchenAid stand mixers for delicious homemade ice cream anytime. just freeze bowl ahead ...of time, add your favorite ingredients, attach to mixer and turn on makes 2 quarts of delicious soft ice cream in about 20 minutes includes instructions and recipe book Imported. read more

KitchenAid
$79.99

Find Appliance Parts And Accessories at Target.com! Welcome to a new, more convenient way to make amazing homemade ice cream. The ...KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment fits virtually every KitchenAid Stand Mixer made since 1919. Just freeze the mixing bowl overnight, attach with the dasher to your stand mixer and watch your batter turn into soft-serve ice cream. It only takes about 20 minutes to be enjoying your own ice cream, or if you prefer hardened ice cream, put it in the freezer for an hour or 2. This is one of the most popular attachments for KitchenAid Stand Mixers, so forget about storing a big manual ice cream maker and rock-salt—this is easy to use, easy to clean and easy... Color: White. read more

Kitchenaid
$119.99 $79.99

To maximize use of your ice cream maker, snap in KitchenAid's 2-quart attachment freezer bowl, the largest in the industry. Provid...es complete, even freezing of ice cream batter. Includes drive assembly; rotating dasher to spread, scrape and mix; adapter ring to fit mixers; instruction guide and recipes. Easy to use and clean. Ideal for all sorts of frozen desserts. 1-year hassle-free replacement warranty. Model KICA0WH. read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

The first thing to consider when buying an ice cream maker is the capacity of the machine -- how much ice cream you’ll want to make in each batch. You can get machines with a built-in freezer; otherwise, plan on pre-freezing a bowl before use, which requires adequate freezer time. The average cycle time for ice cream makers is 20 to 30 minutes, but compare products before buying. Look for “extra” items that come with the maker, like an additional bowl or paddle.

Price

Have a budget in mind and stick to it. Know that a higher price does not always mean better ice cream, but it might mean less work.

Capacity

Old-fashioned makers typically produce a 6-quart batch, while self-cooling models typically make 1.5 or 2 quarts.

Prep

Depending on the style of maker, there may be some prep required. Some electric canister models and the ice cream attachment for the mixer require freezing. Units with their own compressor are fuss-free -- simply pour in the ice cream mixture and start the machine.

Add-ins

If you like ice creams with chunky pieces added in, opt for a machine that can handle the pieces. Some machines have size limits for add-ins.

Cycle Time

The average cycle time is 20 to 30 minutes for a smaller batch but will increase with a larger capacity. Be aware of the time needed to make and then properly freeze the ice cream before serving.

Mess

Old-fashioned barrel/bucket models require churning the ice cream outdoors, where the melting ice/salt mixture can freely drain without damaging surfaces.

Settings

Pricier units offer settings ranging from super-soft to extra-firm, allowing you to control the consistency of your ice cream.

Extras

An extra paddle or bowl is nice to have if you really like whipping up batches.

Kitchen on sale

Cuisinart
$430.00 $299.99

Get creative by making your own flavors of frozen treats with this ice cream and gelato maker featuring two unique mixing paddles ...for the perfect consistency. fully automatic with a commercial-style compressor 60-minute countdown timer with touchpad controls and blue LCD readout transparent lid with mix-in opening includes recipe book BPA-free accents 1½-quart capacity AC current. Measures 16x12x9"H. Stainless steel. Wipe clean. Imported. read more

Asstd National Brand
$400.00 $269.99

This quaint-looking, fast-acting ice cream maker offers the aesthetic of an old fashioned, hand-churned ice cream maker with the c...onvenience of an electric appliance. new and enhanced 12,000 RPM motor for faster results corrosion-resistant, cast iron dasher resists aging and damage 6-qt. capacity makes 4-6 quarts of ice cream in 20-40 minutes fun and delicious family activity 120V. Wood/stainless steel/plastic. Imported. read more

Nostalgia Electrics
$49.99 $37.00

The Nostalgia Electrics Wooden Bucket Electric Ice Cream Maker provides a homemade ice cream experience with modern convenience. Y...ou simply place the aluminum canister filled with ingredients in the center of the bucket; fill the bucket with ice and... read more

Kitchen Aid
$100.00 $79.99

This ice cream maker attachment fits all KitchenAid stand mixers for delicious homemade ice cream anytime. just freeze bowl ahead ...of time, add your favorite ingredients, attach to mixer and turn on makes 2 quarts of delicious soft ice cream in about 20 minutes includes instructions and recipe book Imported. read more

CHEF BUDDY
$45.00 $29.99

Make your favorite flavor of ice cream or sorbet from your own home with this ice cream maker. It's fully automatic-simply make on...e of the recipes in the manual, pour it in the pre-frozen machine and let your ice cream maker take over. compact size doesn't take up much room on your counter easy touch on/off switch makes ice cream in 20-40 minutes locking clip holds motor on freezing bowl securely makes 1 quart of ice cream includes recipes Plastic. Measures 6½x6½x8½"H. Imported. read more

Hamilton Beach
$58.00 $39.99

With the Hamilton Beach Easy-To-Store ice cream maker, you can create up to four quarts of homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt, sher...bet and gelato in your own kitchen without taking up much storage space. A unique folding design allows you to either expand the bucket for use or flatten it for storage. no clunky, hard-sided bucket unique folding design stays up when needed and stores flat when you don't and uses 39% less storage space than traditional ice cream makers fully automated motor will churn fresh ingredients into ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard, sorbet, or gelato in as little as 20 minutes no prefreezing needed-just add ice and rock salt easy-care waterproof bucket wipes clean 4-quart capacity Plastic with aluminum container and fabric bucket. Measures 10.98x11.42x16.12"H. Hand wash removable parts. Imported. read more

DISNEY
$60.00 $29.99

Make your favorite frozen treats with this Elsa, Anna and the gang with this ice cream maker. Simply freeze the gel canister overn...ight and then make ice cream in 20-40 minutes. removable gel canister freezes in 8-12 hours make ice cream in 20-40 minutes easy-lock lid with large ingredient opening no rock salt or ice required easy on/off switch add favorite mix-ins to ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard, sherbet or gelato 1.5-quart capacity Plastic/aluminum. Measures 8.1x8.1x9.8"H. Hand wash removable parts. Imported. read more

Cuisinart
$200.00 $139.99

Making two quarts of ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt or sorbet couldn't be easier than with the Cusinart Cool Creations ice cream... maker. The innovate paddle design speeds processing time so you can make frozen treats whenever the craving hits. improved paddle for faster processing time control panel with LCD screen 3 settings with multiple speeds countdown timer with auto shutoff ingredient spout has integrated measuring cup sleek brushed metal housing includes recipe book makes 2 quarts AC/DC. Stainless steel. Measures 10x9x14"H. Imported. read more

Hamilton Beach
$50.00 $34.99

This easy-use ice cream maker let's you serve up fresh, homemade ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt in under an hour. Even better,... no rock salt or stirring required. All yum without the time traditional makers require. simple to use - just freeze the canister, add your ingredients, then flip the switch extra-large opening lets you add candy or fruit during the mixing process outer bowl prevents condensation build-up on the counter handled so you can make treats anywhere recipes included Plastic/stainless steel. Measures 9.8x9.8x11.8"H . Hand wash. Imported. read more

Hamilton Beach
$40.00 $34.99

We all scream for ice cream! It's even more fun to eat when you make it at home in the new, "old-fashioned" way. blue finish for a... fun pop of color on your countertop makes ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard, sherbet or gelato gel canister fits easily into freezer so it's ready when you are no rock salt needed large ingredient opening for ease of use outer bowl prevents condensation build-up on countertop easy-lock lid Plastic. Measures 10.13x10.13x12"H. Dishwasher-safe parts. Wipe base clean with a damp cloth. Imported. read more

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