The Best Ice Cream Makers of 2011
By Sakai Blue
, last updated May 12, 2011
As the summer season approaches, more and more people are interested in buying ice cream makers, and frequently turn to "best of lists" to head them in the right direction. The options below differ in terms of price and function, and consistently rate at the top of the pack.
Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet Maker
This one gives you major bang for your buck. Most people who try this $60 machine say that there’s no reason for them to upgrade to a more expensive model. It’s loved for the fact that it’s a really well made piece of machinery, especially considering that it costs much less than equally well-made but more expensive ice cream makers. In less than half an hour, you can have about one and a half quarts of ice cream. You can add fix-ins like marshmallows, fruit, and chocolate pieces via a conveniently big opening at the top of the machine. You don’t have to worry about the machine overheating because it has a convenient shut off valve that prevents this from happening. The only downside is that, like with other less expensive makers, you have to freeze the machine’s gel-filled canister prior to making your ice cream. This step adds to your overall prep time. Once the gel is frozen, however, you’re only 20 minutes away from your special chocolate marshmallow raisin surprise.
Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker
This machine is considered the best ice-cream maker for those that like freezing it old school. This is your classic, bucket ice cream maker that makes you feel like you’re in an episode of The Little Rascals. It also makes a lot more than your more modern style machines, roughly 4 quarts in half an hour. At $40, it’s extremely affordable, super simple to clean, and remarkably sturdy considering it’s affordable price tag. The down side is that when you’re making ice cream, everyone in your house will know it, thanks to its super loud motor. It’s also not the type of ice cream maker that you would use to make blueberry ice cream while the machine rests atop your white carrera marble kitchen countertops do to the fact that it can create quite the mess. People that own these Hamilton Beach machines learn very quickly to use them in the garage, or in the back yard.
Whynter SNO Ice Cream Maker IC 2L, top self-cooling
This machine is one of the top self-cooling machines. Self-cooling ice cream makers are always hits because you don’t need to pre-freeze anything before making your ice cream, A lot of less expensive ice cream makers make what amounts to soft serve ice cream, so you need to freeze them up after you make them as well. Not this sweet machine. The Whynter SNO IC-2L has a cooling unit that both makes and freezes your ice cream all in the same machine at the same time. There’s no need to kick yourself because you forgot to set aside a few hours to freeze your canister. It makes about 2 quarts per session. The Whynter makes luscious, creamy ice cream that is a huge hit with people that own and swear by the machine. At roughly $235, it is quite pricey, but as far as self-cooling machines go, it’s one of the most affordable models available.