Making your own ice cream has become a popular option for many people in recent years- perhaps the most noticeable benefit being to your health, as you are allowed total control over ingredients, unlike mass-produced ice cream which can often be laden with sugar, additives and artificial colors. This is not the only benefit however; making your own ice cream at home can be great fun- encouraging creativity and getting the kids interested in home food preparation. Once you get into the swing of things, there’s no limit to the fun and inventive ice cream recipes that you can come up with.
With all this in mind, how do you get started with making your own ice cream? A home ice cream maker can take a lot of the hassle out of the process, allowing you to focus on the fun side instead. So what’s the best ice cream maker for your needs, you might wonder? This guide will compare some of the top products in the market today, and help you come to an informed decision about which is the best ice cream maker for your needs.
A solid mid range ice cream maker, the Breville boasts all the primary functions which you can expect from most ice cream makers. Its simple, dial-based controls allow you to make not just ice cream, but also sorbets, frozen yoghurt, gelatos and ice pops.
It is a self-cooling system which can keep its contents chilled for up to three hours after completion, and its sleek and stylish metal finish will make it an attractive addition to any kitchen. As well as all this, it’s remarkably quiet while operating.
One drawback is that at 1.5 quarts, its internal capacity is less than what other ice cream makers are capable of. However this quantity is likely to be more than adequate for many consumers’ needs, and shouldn’t detract from the fact that this is an effective, attractive and highly intuitive ice cream maker.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino
This is most definitely a high-end ice cream maker, though its outstanding performance and features certainly justify its higher price tag. Its 1.5 quart capacity bowl is capable of making 3 quarts of ice cream or sorbet per hour, perfect every time.
It couldn’t be easier to use either- its fully automatic controls meaning that you essentially just have to pour in the ingredients and press a button, while its expert timer control settings allow you to go and tend to other things, safe in the knowledge that Musso Lussino is taking care of everything.
In terms of drawbacks, the main sticking points are its limited capacity and its bulky weight- it clocks in at nearly 40 pounds. Nevertheless, it is a highly effective and beautiful piece of machinery. It performs to such a high level that the reason for the extra cost will be immediately apparent, however if it remains a little outside of your price range then there are plenty of more affordable models which are better suited to any ice cream novices.
DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker
A sturdy mid range performer, the DeLonghi GM6000 delivers consistent results with minimum fuss. It may lack the capacity and additional features of some other models, but as a straightforward ice cream maker it durable and reliable. It’s also a very easy machine to use, with the controls essentially consisting of one adjustable dial to dictate the output.
As its name suggests, it can create a range of frozen treats with ease, while its patent mixing paddle allows for a perfect consistency and deliciously creamy texture every time. Furthermore, it disassembles very easily for cleaning, and its stainless steel bowl is perfectly safe to use in the dishwasher. There may be flashier models out there, but the DeLonghi delivers where it counts- in the taste and quality of its output. With this in mind, it proves itself to be a strong mid-budget contender for busy families and ice cream enthusiasts.
Hamilton Beach Half Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker
By far the most affordable product that we’ll be looking at today, the Hamilton Beach ice cream maker is a stripped down, more basic machine. However this shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a detrimental factor- the Hamilton Beach performs very nicely within its end of the market.
While it has nowhere near the capacity or features of some of the more expensive ice cream makers, it is ideal for the casual user who wishes to make occasional, small batches of homemade ice cream and other treats. It is also very well suited to those who are interested in an entry level model to test the waters.
In terms of ease of use, price and portability, the Hamilton Beach can also be a very effective second ice cream maker, possibly for bringing on vacation or as a way to introduce the kids to making their own ice cream. Be warned however that its bowls are not dishwasher safe.
Whynter ICM 15LS Ice Cream Maker
This final ice cream maker is a mid range model in name only- it in fact performs on a level that would normally be expected of a premium-priced ice cream maker. It boasts a wide range of features including a touch LCD control panel and an audible timer function.
Its built-in compressor allows for one-stop dessert creation with the need for chilling bowls or overnight preparation, while it has a 1.6 quart capacity which bests most of its peers, as well as several notably more expensive products. It also has a very chic retro-style design; it bears a closer resemblance to a vintage radio set than it does to an ice cream maker.
With a winning combination of affordable pricing and high-quality specifications, the Whynter ice cream maker is a very tough prospect to beat, and is sure to gain the approval of those looking to make delicious ice cream at home without breaking the bank. There are cheaper machines, and more luxurious ones as well, but as an all-round performer, this may be one of the best ice cream maker products currently available.