Best ice-cream makers for homemade frozen desserts

June 5, 2024

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<img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2023/07/Best-ice-cream-makers-7d8d3e8.jpg?quality=90&resize=620,413" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2023/07/Best-ice-cream-makers-7d8d3e8.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=960,639 960w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2023/07/Best-ice-cream-makers-7d8d3e8.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=720,479 720w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2023/07/Best-ice-cream-makers-7d8d3e8.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=576,383 576w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2023/07/Best-ice-cream-makers-7d8d3e8.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=360,239 360w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2023/07/Best-ice-cream-makers-7d8d3e8.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=180,119 180w, " sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-829184 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail" alt="Best ice cream makers" title="Best ice cream makers" /> <p>Whether you’re having an indulgent evening in, you’re entertaining friends, or simply craving something sweet, ice cream is the fuss-free dessert that hits the spot every time.</p>
<p>With an ice-cream maker you can produce delicious ice cream, <a href="/recipes/collection/sorbet-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sorbet</a>, gelato and <a href="/recipes/collection/frozen-yogurt-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">frozen yogurt</a> at the touch of a button. Yes, they’re a specialist appliance, but if you’re serious about ice cream or just want to be able to make your own and know exactly what’s going into it, an ice-cream maker is a worthy investment.</p>
<ul>
<li>Explore our full collection of <a href="/recipes/collection/ice-cream-recipes">ice-cream recipes</a></li>
</ul>
<p>Making your own ice cream is as easy as it gets and there are very few pieces of kit you need. A <a href="/review/five-best-saucepans" target="_blank" rel="noopener">saucepan</a> is an essential, as is a sieve to ensure smooth results. If you’re flavouring your custard base with nuts, like in our <a href="/recipes/hazelnut-gelato-rich-chocolate-sauce" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hazelnut gelato recipe</a>, you’ll need something like a <a href="/review/best-hand-blenders" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hand blender</a>, <a href="/review/best-food-processors" target="_blank" rel="noopener">food processor</a> or <a href="/review/test-five-best-blenders" target="_blank" rel="noopener">blender</a> to chop up the nuts to really maximise the flavour. For a comprehensive list of tips on how to make the best ice cream possible, Elaine Lemm’s <a href="/howto/guide/ice-cream-maker-recipes-and-tips" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ice-cream maker recipes and tips</a> is an essential read.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-playlist squirrel_playlist_id=”669″ /]</p>
<p><strong>Jump to section:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li><a href="#ATAGLANCE">Best ice-cream makers at a glance</a></li>
<li><a href="#BESTTOBUY">Best ice-cream makers to buy in 2024</a></li>
<li><a href="#CHOOSE">How to choose the best ice-cream makers</a></li>
<li><a href="#WHATCAN">What can an ice-cream maker be used for?</a></li>
<li><a href="#WORTHIT">Are ice-cream makers worth it?</a></li>
<li><a href="#TEST">How we test ice-cream makers</a></li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#ATAGLANCE"></a>Best ice-cream makers at a glance</h2>
<h3>Freeze-first ice-cream makers</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Most versatile ice-cream maker: </strong>Ninja Creami Deluxe, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=8059&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fninjakitchen.co.uk%2Fproduct%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-10-in-1-ice-cream-and-frozen-drink-maker-nc501uk-zidNC501UK" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£199.99</a></li>
<li><strong>Best freeze-first ice-cream maker: </strong>Cuisinart iced dessert maker, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W1SW3HW/?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£119</a></li>
<li><strong>Best high-tech ice-cream maker: </strong>Ninja Creami ice-cream and frozen dessert maker, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=8059&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fninjakitchen.co.uk%2Fproduct%2Fninja-creami-ice-cream-frozen-dessert-maker-nc300uk-zidNC300UK" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£149</a></li>
<li><strong>Best large-capacity ice-cream maker: </strong>Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cuisinart-ICE30BCU-Ice-Cream-Maker/dp/B001D650FA/?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£94</a></li>
<li><strong>Fastest ice-cream maker: </strong>Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£39.99</a></li>
<li><strong>Best budget ice-cream maker: </strong>Sensio Home ice-cream maker, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sensio-Cream-Maker-Machine-Book/dp/B081FF9634?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£32.95</a></li>
</ul>
<h3>Self-freezing ice-cream makers</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Best self-freezing ice-cream maker: </strong>Cuisinart ice-cream and gelato professional, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cuisinart-Gelato-Ice-Cream-Maker/dp/B00ARETWDK?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£239</a></li>
<li><strong>Best blowout ice-cream maker:</strong> Magimix Gelato Expert, <a href="https://john-lewis-and-partners.pxf.io/c/1236178/871855/12148?subId1=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnlewis.com%2Fmagimix-gelato-expert-ice-cream-maker-silver%2Fp4325073" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£499.99</a></li>
<li><strong>Best high-tech ice-cream maker:</strong> Sage the Smart Scoop, <a href="https://breville.oie8.net/c/1236178/501677/8631?subId1=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sageappliances.com%2Fuk%2Fen%2Fproducts%2Fice-cream%2Fbci600.html" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£369.95</a></li>
</ul>
<h3>Stand mixer ice-cream makers</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for families:</strong> KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=1751&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakeland.co.uk%2F32781%2Fkitchenaid-ice-cream-maker-attachment-5ksmicm" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£149</a></li>
<li><span style="font-size: 16px"><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for speed:</strong> Smeg ice-cream maker attachment,</span><span style="font-size: 16px"> </span><a href="https://shop.smeguk.com/small-appliances/food-preparation/accessories/smic01-stand-mixer-ice-cream-maker/" target="_blank" rel="sponsored noopener noreferrer">£99.95</a></li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#BESTTOBUY"></a>Best ice-cream makers to buy in 2024</h2>
<h3>Ninja Creami Deluxe</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Available </strong>from <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=8059&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fninjakitchen.co.uk%2Fproduct%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-10-in-1-ice-cream-and-frozen-drink-maker-nc501uk-zidNC501UK" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Ninja (£199.99</a>), <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=1599&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.currys.co.uk%2Fproducts%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-nc501uk-10in1-ice-cream-and-frozen-dessert-maker-black-and-silver-10261041.html" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Currys (£199.99)</a>, <a href="https://john-lewis-and-partners.pxf.io/c/1236178/871855/12148?subId1=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnlewis.com%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-10-in-1-ice-cream-frozen-drink-maker-black-silver%2Fp111539410" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">John Lewis &amp; Partners (£199.99)</a>, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=3090&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.very.co.uk%2Fninja-creami-deluxenbspice-cream-and-frozen-treat-maker-nc501uk%2F1600980858.prd" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Very (£199.99)</a>, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=3032&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jdwilliams.co.uk%2Fshop%2Fninja-creami-nc501uk-deluxe-ice-cream-and-frozen-dessert-maker%2Fot489%2Fproduct%2Fdetails%2Fshow.action" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">JD Williams (£199.99)</a></li>
</ul>
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<p><strong>Most versatile ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>10 functions</li>
<li>Churns quickly</li>
<li>Comes with three tubs</li>
<li>Intuitive controls</li>
<li>Fully recyclable packaging</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Requires at least 24 hours pre-freezing</li>
<li>Loud in use</li>
<li>Frozen contents need to be flat in the tub</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>800W</p>
<p>This ice-cream maker went viral on social media on its release and it’s not difficult to see why. Aside from the original <a href="/reviews/ninja-ice-cream-maker-nc300uk-first-look" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ninja Creami</a>, it’s unlike any of the other ice-cream makers on this list.</p>
<p>Rather than slowly churning and freezing the ice-cream mixture, the ice-cream base needs to be frozen solid first. Once frozen, you can add the bowl to the ice-cream maker and set it to go. Powerful blades then ‘shave’ and churn the frozen mix into smooth, creamy ice-cream in just a few minutes.</p>
<p>What sets this model apart from its predecessor is the larger capacity across the three tubs (two litres in the Creami Deluxe versus 1.7 litres in the Creami) and three additional functions, which include frappe, frozen yogurt, and “slushi”. We loved how simple and fun it was to use, and all our creations were well combined and soft without any lumps or ice crystals present.</p>
<p>It also provides an easy way to pack fresh fruit into kids’ desserts and frozen drinks, and in test we particularly enjoyed the orange and raspberry “slushi” that features inside the recipe book.</p>
<p>Cost to run for 10 minutes (based on a standard tariff of <a href="https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/news/changes-energy-price-cap-between-1-april-30-june-2024" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">24.5p/KwH</a>): 1.2p</p>
<p><strong>Available from: </strong></p>
<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=8059&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fninjakitchen.co.uk%2Fproduct%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-10-in-1-ice-cream-and-frozen-drink-maker-nc501uk-zidNC501UK" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Ninja (£199.99</a>)</li>
<li><a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=1599&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.currys.co.uk%2Fproducts%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-nc501uk-10in1-ice-cream-and-frozen-dessert-maker-black-and-silver-10261041.html" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Currys (£199.99)</a></li>
<li><a href="https://john-lewis-and-partners.pxf.io/c/1236178/871855/12148?subId1=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnlewis.com%2Fninja-creami-deluxe-10-in-1-ice-cream-frozen-drink-maker-black-silver%2Fp111539410" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">John Lewis &amp; Partners (£199.99)</a></li>
<li><a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=3090&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.very.co.uk%2Fninja-creami-deluxenbspice-cream-and-frozen-treat-maker-nc501uk%2F1600980858.prd" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Very (£199.99)</a></li>
<li><a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=3032&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jdwilliams.co.uk%2Fshop%2Fninja-creami-nc501uk-deluxe-ice-cream-and-frozen-dessert-maker%2Fot489%2Fproduct%2Fdetails%2Fshow.action" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">JD Williams (£199.99)</a></li>
</ul>
<h3>Cuisinart iced dessert maker</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458133″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861283 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker-7c9ca15.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Cuisinart iced dessert maker" title="Cuisinart iced dessert maker">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Best freeze-first ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Easy to assemble</li>
<li>Quiet</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Tricky to get the ice cream out</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>50W</p>
<p>The Cuisinart is a stylish, pretty-coloured, freeze-first machine which makes 1.4 litres of creamy, light ice cream quietly and effortlessly, as well as iced fruit desserts and sorbet.</p>
<p>The machine is easy to assemble and in just minutes you’re ready to make ice cream. It also has two distinctly different paddles: one with two angled arms for churning ice cream, the other with six arms to mash and churn fresh fruit for smooth or chunky iced desserts, so you can really get the most out of this machine. The ice cream we made had a delicious, light and creamy consistency.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cuisinart iced dessert maker</a> review.</p>
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<h3>Ninja Creami Ice-Cream &amp; Frozen Dessert Maker</h3>
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<picture>
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<source media="(max-width: 320px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=299%2C199, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=45&amp;resize=599%2C399 2x" type="image/png">
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<source media="(min-width: 992px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?webp=true&amp;quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C413" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 992px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C413" type="image/png">
<source media="(min-width: 768px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?webp=true&amp;quality=90&amp;resize=407%2C271" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 768px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=407%2C271" type="image/png">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?webp=true&amp;quality=90&amp;resize=555%2C370" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=555%2C370" type="image/png">
<img class="wp-image-756238 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–aspect no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C413" width="620" height="413" alt="ninja ice cream with gold badge" title="Ninja ice cream maker NC300UK with hr badge">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Best high-tech ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros: </strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Easy to use</li>
<li>Fast when churning</li>
<li>Produces smooth and consistent ice cream</li>
<li>Easy to clean</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons: </strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Freezing time is very long</li>
<li>Can’t make large batches (one pint at a time)</li>
<li>Sensitive if not frozen flat</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>800W</p>
<p>The first of Ninja’s Creami ice-cream makers, this appliance is quick and intuitive, taking around two-to-three mins to turn the solid block into ice-cream – but you will need to freeze your mixture for 24 hrs before use.</p>
<p>It produces single pints of ice-cream and has pre-sets for gelato, smoothies, sorbets and milkshakes. Helpfully, it also comes with a recipe book and three one-pint containers with lids that can be used to churn the ice cream and store it afterwards.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/reviews/ninja-ice-cream-maker-nc300uk-first-look">Ninja ice-cream maker NC300UK</a> review.</p>
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<h3>Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU</h3>
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<picture>
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<img class="wp-image-861285 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ICE30BCU-ee84ed1.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU" title="Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Best large-capacity ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Paddle scrapes closely to the bowl</li>
<li>Large bowl capacity</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Loud</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>25W</p>
<p>This stately, brushed-steel-effect ice-cream maker has a 2-litre bowl capacity, so with 1.5 litres of liquid mix you can make a couple of tubs of ice cream. The churning mechanism on this model is pretty nifty and different to other models we’ve tested: instead of the paddle churning the ice cream, the paddle stays stationary and the bowl is turned.</p>
<p>The paddle supplied is thick and robust, which meant that our ice cream came out soft, creamy and whipped. Our lemon sorbet was smooth and had a delicious fizzy sherbet mouthfeel.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ice30bcu" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458130″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Cuisinart ice cream maker ICE30BCU” /]</p>
<h3>Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Available </strong>from <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Vonhaus</a> (<a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£39.99</a>)</li>
</ul>
<div class="image-handler__container image-handler__container–full" style="padding-bottom: calc(100% * (1080 / 1920));">
<picture>
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?webp=true&amp;quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?webp=true&amp;quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?webp=true&amp;quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/jpeg">
<img class="wp-image-861287 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker" title="Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Fastest ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Small and compact</li>
<li>Budget-friendly</li>
<li>Fast</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>No timer</li>
<li>Can’t check on the progress</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>12W</p>
<p>Discreet and simply designed, this ice-cream maker from VonShef makes ice cream in just 20 minutes, making it the fastest model we’ve tested. Our ice cream was a soft-serve texture, and was nicely whipped and creamy. Sorbet came out very soft, so we’d recommend popping it in the freezer straight away: it was delicious after further freezing.</p>
<p>This model just has an on/off switch, so is easy to use. The lid is opaque, meaning you can’t check on the progress of your ice cream. While it’s a little basic in design, this is a budget-friendly option that makes ice cream well.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vonshef stainless steel ice cream maker</a> review.</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Available </strong>from <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Vonhaus</a> (<a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£39.99</a>)</li>
</ul>
<h3>Sensio Home ice-cream maker</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458134″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine” /]</p>
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?webp=true&amp;quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?webp=true&amp;quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?webp=true&amp;quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/png">
<img class="wp-image-861288 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Sensio Home ice-cream maker" title="Sensio Home ice-cream maker">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Best budget ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Small and compact</li>
<li>Easy to assemble and clean</li>
<li>Budget-friendly</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Freezer bowl is quite large</li>
<li>Struggled to make sorbet</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>12W</p>
<p>The Sensio Home ice-cream maker is a great option for anyone short on space and budget. Like the Lakeland model, the bottom half of this ice-cream maker goes in the freezer. Though, be aware, it’s quite awkwardly shaped, so fitting this in the freezer was a bit of a struggle.</p>
<p>Ice cream took 35 minutes to churn and was thick and creamy. It also stood up to further freezing well. We had no such luck when making a sorbet, try as we might we couldn’t get it to work. After two tests over two days we were left with slightly cloudy sorbet mix. Stick to ice cream with this model.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/sensio-home-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sensio Home ice-cream maker</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458134″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine” /]</p>
<h2>Best self-freezing ice-cream makers</h2>
<h3>Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Professional</h3>
<p><strong>Best self-freezing ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”457904″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861289 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-and-gelato-professional-37941d6.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Cuisinart ice cream and gelato professional" title="Cuisinart ice cream and gelato professional">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Self-freezing so no need to find space in the freezer</li>
<li>Clear and easy to use buttons</li>
<li>Different paddles for ice cream and gelato</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Quite noisy</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>150W</p>
<p>This is a high-quality and serious looking ice-cream maker. It comes with two paddles: one for ice cream and one for gelato. It’s straight to the point; it doesn’t have as many settings as some of the models we’ve tested on this list, but it makes consistently delicious, ice cream parlour level desserts.</p>
<p>It’s not small, but not many self-freezing models are. Ice cream, sorbet and gelato take about 40 minutes to churn, but it’s quality worth waiting for. Clean up is a doddle, too.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/cuisinart-ice-cream-and-gelato-professional-ice100" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cuisinart ice cream and gelato professional</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”457904″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” /]</p>
<h3>Magimix Gelato Expert</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458132″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Magimix gelato expert” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861290 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Magimix-gelato-expert-e2bdaf1.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Magimix gelato expert" title="Magimix gelato expert">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Best blowout ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Built-in freezer</li>
<li>Multi functions</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>The quality comes at a price</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>180W</p>
<p>This super-sized stainless steel ice-cream maker with a built-in freezer will impress everyone from the home cook to semi-professional chef. The removable and integrated bowls can produce a remarkable 2 litres of ice cream in under an hour.</p>
<p>Choose from three automated programmes for ice cream, gelato or granita or take control with the manual function. This machine does it all, but it comes at a price.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/magimix-gelato-expert" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Magimix gelato expert</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458132″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Magimix Gelato Expert” /]</p>
<h3>Sage the Smart Scoop</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458131″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sage the smart scoop” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861291 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sage-the-Smart-Scoop-ddf1d87.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Sage the Smart Scoop" title="Sage the Smart Scoop">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best high tech ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Lots of settings and accessories</li>
<li>Feeding chute for ice cream and add-ins</li>
<li>Attractive design</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Expensive</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>200W</p>
<p>Sage always hits the mark with its sleek and frankly great looking appliances. The smart scoop has a 1-litre bowl capacity and settings for sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream. There are 12 hardness settings available, too, so you can fine-tune the results or freestyle with the manual setting.</p>
<p>The ice cream, gelato and sorbet we made to test this model all came out brilliantly, they were all smooth and slow melting. We weren’t able to get the automatic hardness sensor to work, which was disappointing. With so many settings to play with, this is a great option for those looking to get experimental.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/sage-the-smart-scoop" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sage the Smart Scoop</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458131″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sage the smart scoop” /]</p>
<h2>Best stand mixer ice-cream attachments</h2>
<h3>KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”468736″ /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861293 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/KitchenAid-ice-cream-maker-accessory-7f51c27.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory" title="KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for families</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Makes large quantities of high-quality ice cream</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Not compatible with non-KitchenAid stand mixers</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p>A robust, well-made ice-cream accessory that makes almost 2 litres of exceedingly good ice cream quickly and efficiently – but only for those with a KitchenAid <a href="/review/best-stand-mixers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stand mixer</a>. Creating that much ice cream in one go will appeal to big families and ice-cream lovers, but the large bowl means you also need a large freezer.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/kitchenaid-ice-cream-maker-accessory" target="_blank" rel="noopener">KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory</a> review.</p>
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<h3>Smeg ice-cream maker attachment</h3>
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<img class="wp-image-333963 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2020/06/smeg-ice-cream-maker-e3c0955.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C310" width="620" height="413" alt="Smeg ice cream maker" title="Smeg ice cream maker review">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for speed</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Simple set-up</li>
<li>Lovely ice cream</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Not compatible with other stand mixers</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p>To use the pre-freeze Smeg ice-cream maker accessory you will need a <a href="/review/smeg-retro-stand-mixer" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Smeg stand mixer</a>. Once the robustly built, double-layered bowl is frozen, it sits inside the mixer bowl. Everything clicks together so quickly you’ll be making ice cream in no time. The process is effortless and quiet, with super-light, creamy results in just 20 minutes.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/smeg-ice-cream-maker-attachment" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Smeg ice-cream maker attachment</a> review.</p>
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<h2><a id="#CHOOSE"></a>How to choose the best ice-cream maker</h2>
<h3>What is an ice-cream maker?</h3>
<p>An ice-cream maker is a countertop appliance designed to make homemade ice cream. There are two different types of ice-cream maker: freeze-first and self-freezing. Which type is right for you depends on a number of factors, including budget and space.</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Freeze-first</strong> models are simply designed and have a bowl with walls that are filled with a gel coolant. These bowls usually need between eight to 24 hours in the freezer before they can be used and can only churn one batch of ice cream a day. Freeze-first models tend to be cheaper than self-freezing models and can make smooth, good-quality ice cream. They don’t take up too much space on the kitchen counter, though the bowls can be bulky or awkwardly shaped; we’d recommend checking the size of the bowl to make sure it’ll fit in your freezer.</li>
<li><strong>Self-freezing</strong> ice-cream makers are a more expensive option as they feature a built-in freezer. These generally take a couple of minutes to reach the sub-zero temperatures required for making ice cream, meaning you can make several batches of ice cream a day. They’re larger than freeze-first models, owing to the compressor, and these machines need to be stored upright and not moved around too much. They take a little longer to freeze ice cream than freeze-first bowls, but they tend to produce smoother and creamier results.</li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#WHATCAN"></a>What can an ice-cream maker be used for?</h2>
<p>Whether you need something to cool you down in the summer sun or you’re entertaining and looking to impress your guests with exciting flavours, an ice-cream maker can do all that, and so much more.</p>
<p>An at-home ice-cream maker is ideal if you’re looking to avoid certain ingredients or you’re dedicated to using the best produce you can find. With an ice-cream maker you can whip up new, exciting and daring flavour combos not thought of by expensive, store-bought brands. For inspiration, take a look at our <a href="/recipes/collection/ice-cream-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ice-cream recipes</a> for some creative ideas.</p>
<p>But you’re not just limited to ice cream; many of the models we tested can also be used to make <a href="/recipes/collection/sorbet-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sorbet</a>, gelato and <a href="/recipes/collection/frozen-yogurt-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">frozen yogurt</a>. Most brands will include a number of recipes in the manual which will give you an idea of the range of desserts you can make with your new machine. Some models come with dedicated settings for these different ices, others include a whole different paddle.</p>
<p>One brand we tested suggested using your ice-cream maker to make frozen cocktails. Just mix your cocktail and let the ice-cream maker run for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes a slushy texture. While most cocktails can be frozen, we think bright and zesty drinks such as <a href="/recipes/collection/gin-cocktail-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gin cocktails</a>, <a href="/recipes/collection/fruity-cocktail-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fruity cocktails</a> like a <a href="/recipes/strawberry-mojito" target="_blank" rel="noopener">strawberry mojito</a>, and <a href="/recipes/collection/tequila-cocktail-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tequila cocktails</a> will work best.</p>
<p>While there are some brilliant vegan and dairy-free ice creams on the market, they can be expensive and the flavours limited. An ice-cream maker means there’s no need to miss out as you can create your own flavours and save a bit of cash, too. We’ve got a collection of <a href="/recipes/collection/dairy-free-ice-cream-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dairy-free ice-cream recipes</a> to get you started.</p>
<h2><a id="WORTHIT"></a>Are ice-cream makers worth it?</h2>
<p>Using an ice-cream maker to produce fresh homemade desserts can be a fun chance to experiment with different flavours and textures – but some of these gadgets don’t come cheap. Here are a few things to consider before you make your purchase:</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Versatility: </strong>Certain models also come with functions for making gelato, sorbet, smoothies, milkshakes or iced fruit desserts, offering more value for money. Check what each model has to offer and consider which functions you would want to make use of.</li>
<li><strong>Footprint:</strong> Some ice-cream makers can be quite bulky, so it’s important to consider your countertop or storage options before you invest. Look at the dimensions and consider whether the gadget you have your eye on will fit, paying attention to factors like height (some models are tall, so less suited to kitchens with lower cupboards).</li>
<li><strong>Preparation time: </strong>Making your own ice cream can be time-consuming (the Ninja Creami, for instance, requires you to freeze your mixture 24hrs before use), so the process often requires some patience and planning ahead. If you foresee yourself having the time to spare, an ice-cream maker is a great gadget to have in your arsenal.</li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#TEST"></a>How we tested ice-cream makers</h2>
<p>We put all ice-cream makers through their paces with a range of Good Food recipes. As standard, we made our <a href="/recipes/ultimate-vanilla-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ultimate vanilla ice cream</a> and <a href="/recipes/lemon-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener">lemon sorbet</a> in all machines. If a model came with settings or attachments for gelato or frozen yogurt, we made our <a href="/recipes/hazelnut-gelato-rich-chocolate-sauce" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hazelnut gelato</a> and <a href="/recipes/frozen-tropical-fruit-yogurt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tropical frozen yogurt</a>, too. All ice-cream makers were tested against the following criteria:</p>
<p><strong>Effective freezing properties:</strong> most importantly, the machines had to freeze the mixture quickly and evenly for a smooth texture. We looked for sturdy churning paddles that scraped ice cream from the edges of the bowl, breaking up large crystals in the process.</p>
<p><strong>Size:</strong> on freeze-first models, we looked for bowls that were compact enough to fit in the freezer easily.</p>
<p><strong>Easy-to-clean:</strong> hygiene is paramount for making dairy ice cream safely. Some paddles are dishwasher-safe, but most parts will need hand-washing and thorough air-drying before packing away. Machines need to come to room temperature before stowing in a cupboard to avoid condensation and mould. Some models helpfully come with cleaning tools, but for those that don’t, small bottle brushes are essential for cleaning joins and crevices.</p>
<p><strong>Durability:</strong> we looked for machines with durable parts that were easy to assemble.</p>
<p><strong>Noise levels:</strong> though not vital, we preferred machines that were relatively quiet.</p>
<p><strong>Capacity and overall footprint:</strong> we looked at the bowl capacity and footprint for both ease of use and storage.</p>
<p><strong>Instruction manual:</strong> how helpful was the instruction book and did it include recipes?</p>
<p><strong>Packaging:</strong> excessive use of plastic and polystyrene in packaging was negatively scored.</p>
<h3>Ice-cream recipes</h3>
<p><a href="/recipes/ultimate-vanilla-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ultimate vanilla ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/strawberry-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Strawberry ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/vegan-vanilla-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Vegan vanilla ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/buttermilk-brown-sugar-rye-bread-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Buttermilk, brown sugar and rye bread ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/malt-chocolate-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Malt chocolate ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/cranachan-ripple-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cranachan ripple ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/gooseberry-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gooseberry ice cream</a></p>
<h3>Sorbet recipes</h3>
<p><a href="/recipes/mango-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mango sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/raspberry-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Raspberry sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/elderflower-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Elderflower sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/lemon-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Lemon sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/rhubarb-star-anise-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Rhubarb and star anise sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/gooseberry-elderflower-sauvignon-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gooseberry, elderflower and sauvignon sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/refreshing-lychee-lime-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Refreshing lychee and lime sorbet</a></p>
<h3>Related reviews</h3>
<p><a href="/review/best-food-processors" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Best food processors</a><br>
<a href="/review/test-five-best-blenders" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Best blenders</a><br>
<a href="https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/review/best-pancake-pans-uk" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Best pancake pans</a><br>
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<a href="/review/best-doughnut-makers">Best doughnut makers</a><br>
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<a href="/review/best-iced-coffee-makers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Best iced coffee makers and accessories</a></p>
<p><em>If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.</em>Whether you’re having an indulgent evening in, you’re entertaining friends, or simply craving something sweet, ice cream is the fuss-free dessert that hits the spot every time.</p>
<p>With an ice-cream maker you can produce delicious ice cream, <a href="/recipes/collection/sorbet-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sorbet</a>, gelato and <a href="/recipes/collection/frozen-yogurt-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">frozen yogurt</a> at the touch of a button. Yes, they’re a specialist appliance, but if you’re serious about ice cream or just want to be able to make your own and know exactly what’s going into it, an ice-cream maker is a worthy investment.</p>
<ul>
<li>Explore our full collection of <a href="/recipes/collection/ice-cream-recipes">ice-cream recipes</a></li>
</ul>
<p>Making your own ice cream is as easy as it gets and there are very few pieces of kit you need. A <a href="/review/five-best-saucepans" target="_blank" rel="noopener">saucepan</a> is an essential, as is a sieve to ensure smooth results. If you’re flavouring your custard base with nuts, like in our <a href="/recipes/hazelnut-gelato-rich-chocolate-sauce" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hazelnut gelato recipe</a>, you’ll need something like a <a href="/review/best-hand-blenders" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hand blender</a>, <a href="/review/best-food-processors" target="_blank" rel="noopener">food processor</a> or <a href="/review/test-five-best-blenders" target="_blank" rel="noopener">blender</a> to chop up the nuts to really maximise the flavour. For a comprehensive list of tips on how to make the best ice cream possible, Elaine Lemm’s <a href="/howto/guide/ice-cream-maker-recipes-and-tips" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ice-cream maker recipes and tips</a> is an essential read.</p>
<p><em>This guide is regularly updated with new models that have been tried, tested and top-rated by Good Food’s reviews experts. Those featuring earned it based on their performance during rigorous, impartial product testing. Included is a selection of new releases and firm favourites that continuously hold their position against new brand models. We will only ever feature ice-cream makers that prove to be good value for money.</em></p>
<p><em>Visit our <a href="/feature/reviews">reviews section</a> and discover more than 600 practical buyers’ guides offering unbiased advice on what equipment is worth investing in. Find everything from counter-top appliances, such as the <a href="/review/best-food-processors" target="_blank" rel="noopener">best food processors</a> and <a href="/review/best-toasters" target="_blank" rel="noopener">best toasters</a>, through to larger white goods like the <a href="/review/best-microwaves-test" target="_blank" rel="noopener">best microwaves</a> and <a href="/review/best-dishwashers-buying-guide" target="_blank" rel="noopener">best dishwashers</a>, plus advice on <a href="/howto/how-to-recycle-electricals-appliances" target="_blank" rel="noopener">how to recycle your electricals and appliances</a> to avoid creating e-waste.</em></p>
<p><strong>Jump to section:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li><a href="#ATAGLANCE">Best ice-cream makers at a glance</a></li>
<li><a href="#BESTTOBUY">Best ice-cream makers to buy in 2024</a></li>
<li><a href="#CHOOSE">How to choose the best ice-cream makers</a></li>
<li><a href="#WHATCAN">What can an ice-cream maker be used for?</a></li>
<li><a href="#WORTHIT">Are ice-cream makers worth it?</a></li>
<li><a href="#TEST">How we test ice-cream makers</a></li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#ATAGLANCE"></a>Best ice-cream makers at a glance</h2>
<h3>Freeze-first ice-cream makers</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Best freeze-first ice-cream maker: </strong>Cuisinart iced dessert maker, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W1SW3HW/?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£119</a></li>
<li><strong>Best high-tech ice-cream maker:</strong> Ninja Creami ice-cream and frozen dessert maker, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=8059&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fninjakitchen.co.uk%2Fproduct%2Fninja-creami-ice-cream-frozen-dessert-maker-nc300uk-zidNC300UK" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£199.99</a></li>
<li><strong>Best large-capacity ice-cream maker: </strong>Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cuisinart-ICE30BCU-Ice-Cream-Maker/dp/B001D650FA/?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£94</a></li>
<li><strong>Fastest ice-cream maker: </strong>Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£39.99</a></li>
<li><strong>Best budget ice-cream maker:</strong> Sensio Home ice-cream maker, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sensio-Cream-Maker-Machine-Book/dp/B081FF9634?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£32.54</a></li>
</ul>
<h3>Self-freezing ice-cream makers</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Best self-freezing ice-cream maker: </strong>Cuisinart ice-cream and gelato professional, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cuisinart-Gelato-Ice-Cream-Maker/dp/B00ARETWDK?tag=bbc00-21&amp;ascsubtag=bbcgoodfood-0" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£279</a></li>
<li><strong>Best blowout ice-cream maker:</strong> Magimix Gelato Expert, <a href="https://john-lewis-and-partners.pxf.io/c/1236178/871855/12148?subId1=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnlewis.com%2Fmagimix-gelato-expert-ice-cream-maker-silver%2Fp4325073" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£500</a></li>
<li><strong>Best high-tech ice-cream maker:</strong> Sage the Smart Scoop, <a href="https://breville.oie8.net/c/1236178/501677/8631?subId1=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sageappliances.coducts%2Fice-cream%2Fbci600.html" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£369.95</a></li>
</ul>
<h3>Stand mixer ice-cream makers</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for families:</strong> KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory, <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=1751&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakeland.co.uk%2F32781%2Fkitchenaid-ice-cream-maker-attachment-5ksmicm" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£96.85</a></li>
<li><span style="font-size: 16px"><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for speed:</strong> Smeg ice-cream maker attachment,</span><span style="font-size: 16px"> </span><a href="https://shop.smeguk.com/small-appliances/food-preparation/accessories/smic01-stand-mixer-ice-cream-maker/" target="_blank" rel="sponsored noopener noreferrer">£99.95</a></li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#BESTTOBUY"></a>Best ice-cream makers to buy in 2024</h2>
<h3>Cuisinart iced dessert maker</h3>
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<picture>
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker-7c9ca15.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker-7c9ca15.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker-7c9ca15.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/jpeg">
<img class="wp-image-861283 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker-7c9ca15.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Cuisinart iced dessert maker" title="Cuisinart iced dessert maker">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best freeze-first ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Easy to assemble</li>
<li>Quiet</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Tricky to get the ice cream out</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>50W</p>
<p>The Cuisinart is a stylish, pretty-coloured, freeze-first machine which makes 1.4 litres of creamy, light ice cream quietly and effortlessly, as well as iced fruit desserts and sorbet.</p>
<p>The machine is easy to assemble and in just minutes you’re ready to make ice cream. It also has two distinctly different paddles: one with two angled arms for churning ice cream, the other with six arms to mash and churn fresh fruit for smooth or chunky iced desserts, so you can really get the most out of this machine. The ice cream we made had a delicious, light and creamy consistency.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/cuisinart-iced-dessert-maker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cuisinart iced dessert maker</a> review.</p>
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<h3>Ninja Creami Ice-Cream &amp; Frozen Dessert Maker</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458138″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Ninja ice cream maker” /]</p>
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<picture>
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<source media="(min-width: 992px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C413" type="image/png">
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?webp=true&amp;quality=90&amp;resize=555%2C370" type="image/webp">
<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=555%2C370" type="image/png">
<img class="wp-image-756238 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–aspect no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2022/04/Ninja-ice-cream-maker-NC300UK-with-hr-badge-e9fd6f8.png?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C413" width="620" height="413" alt="ninja ice cream with gold badge" title="Ninja ice cream maker NC300UK with hr badge">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best high-tech ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros: </strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Easy to use</li>
<li>Fast when churning</li>
<li>Produces smooth and consistent ice cream</li>
<li>Easy to clean</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons: </strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Freezing time is very long</li>
<li>Can’t make large batches (one pint at a time)</li>
<li>Sensitive if not frozen flat</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>800W</p>
<p>This Ninja model is unlike any of the other ice-cream makers on this list. Rather than slowly churning and freezing the ice-cream mix, the ice-cream base needs to be frozen solid first. Once frozen, you can then add the bowl to the ice-cream maker and set it to go. Powerful blades then ‘shave’ and churn the frozen mix into smooth, creamy ice-cream.</p>
<p>This ice-cream maker is quick – it takes around 2-3 mins to turn the solid block into ice-cream. But, you will need to freeze your mixture for 24 hrs before use. This ice-cream maker produces single pints of ice-cream and has pre-sets for gelato, smoothies, sorbets and milkshakes, too.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/reviews/ninja-ice-cream-maker-nc300uk-first-look">Ninja ice-cream maker NC300UK</a> review.</p>
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<h3>Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458130″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Cuisinart ice cream maker ICE30BCU” /]</p>
<div class="image-handler__container image-handler__container–full" style="padding-bottom: calc(100% * (1080 / 1920));">
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ICE30BCU-ee84ed1.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ICE30BCU-ee84ed1.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ICE30BCU-ee84ed1.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/jpeg">
<img class="wp-image-861285 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ICE30BCU-ee84ed1.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU" title="Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best large-capacity ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Paddle scrapes closely to the bowl</li>
<li>Large bowl capacity</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Loud</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>25W</p>
<p>This stately, brushed-steel-effect ice-cream maker has a 2-litre bowl capacity, so with 1.5 litres of liquid mix you can make a couple of tubs of ice cream. The churning mechanism on this model is pretty nifty and different to other models we’ve tested: instead of the paddle churning the ice cream, the paddle stays stationary and the bowl is turned.</p>
<p>The paddle supplied is thick and robust, which meant that our ice cream came out soft, creamy and whipped. Our lemon sorbet was smooth and had a delicious fizzy sherbet mouthfeel.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/cuisinart-ice-cream-maker-ice30bcu" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cuisinart ice-cream maker ICE30BCU</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458130″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Cuisinart ice cream maker ICE30BCU” /]</p>
<h3>Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Available </strong>from <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Vonhaus</a> (<a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£39.99</a>)</li>
</ul>
<div class="image-handler__container image-handler__container–full" style="padding-bottom: calc(100% * (1080 / 1920));">
<picture>
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<img class="wp-image-861287 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker-964de7c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker" title="Vonshef stainless steel ice-cream maker">
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</div>
<p><strong>Fastest ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Small and compact</li>
<li>Budget-friendly</li>
<li>Fast</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>No timer</li>
<li>Can’t check on the progress</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>12W</p>
<p>Discreet and simply designed, this ice-cream maker from VonShef makes ice cream in just 20 minutes, making it the fastest model we’ve tested. Our ice cream was a soft-serve texture, and was nicely whipped and creamy. Sorbet came out very soft, so we’d recommend popping it in the freezer straight away: it was delicious after further freezing.</p>
<p>This model just has an on/off switch, so is easy to use. The lid is opaque, meaning you can’t check on the progress of your ice cream. While it’s a little basic in design, this is a budget-friendly option that makes ice cream well.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/vonshef-stainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vonshef stainless steel ice cream maker</a> review.</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Available </strong>from <a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Vonhaus</a> (<a href="https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?id=489797&amp;clickref=bbcgoodfood-0&amp;awinmid=16243&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vonhaus.com%2Fvh_en%2Fstainless-steel-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">£39.99</a>)</li>
</ul>
<h3>Sensio Home ice-cream maker</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458134″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861288 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sensio-Home-ice-cream-maker-6d42174.png?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Sensio Home ice-cream maker" title="Sensio Home ice-cream maker">
</source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></source></picture>
</div>
<p><strong>Best budget ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Small and compact</li>
<li>Easy to assemble and clean</li>
<li>Budget-friendly</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Freezer bowl is quite large</li>
<li>Struggled to make sorbet</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>12W</p>
<p>The Sensio Home ice-cream maker is a great option for anyone short on space and budget. Like the Lakeland model, the bottom half of this ice-cream maker goes in the freezer. Though, be aware, it’s quite awkwardly shaped, so fitting this in the freezer was a bit of a struggle.</p>
<p>Ice cream took 35 minutes to churn and was thick and creamy. It also stood up to further freezing well. We had no such luck when making a sorbet, try as we might we couldn’t get it to work. After two tests over two days we were left with slightly cloudy sorbet mix. Stick to ice cream with this model.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/sensio-home-ice-cream-maker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sensio Home ice-cream maker</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458134″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine” /]</p>
<h2>Best self-freezing ice-cream makers</h2>
<h3>Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Professional</h3>
<p><strong>Best self-freezing ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”457904″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861289 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Cuisinart-ice-cream-and-gelato-professional-37941d6.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Cuisinart ice cream and gelato professional" title="Cuisinart ice cream and gelato professional">
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<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Self-freezing so no need to find space in the freezer</li>
<li>Clear and easy to use buttons</li>
<li>Different paddles for ice cream and gelato</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Quite noisy</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>150W</p>
<p>This is a high-quality and serious looking ice-cream maker. It comes with two paddles: one for ice cream and one for gelato. It’s straight to the point; it doesn’t have as many settings as some of the models we’ve tested on this list, but it makes consistently delicious, ice cream parlour level desserts.</p>
<p>It’s not small, but not many self-freezing models are. Ice cream, sorbet and gelato take about 40 minutes to churn, but it’s quality worth waiting for. Clean up is a doddle, too.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/cuisinart-ice-cream-and-gelato-professional-ice100" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cuisinart ice cream and gelato professional</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”457904″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” /]</p>
<h3>Magimix Gelato Expert</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458132″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Magimix gelato expert” /]</p>
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<img class="wp-image-861290 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Magimix-gelato-expert-e2bdaf1.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Magimix gelato expert" title="Magimix gelato expert">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best blowout ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Built-in freezer</li>
<li>Multi functions</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>The quality comes at a price</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>180W</p>
<p>This super-sized stainless steel ice-cream maker with a built-in freezer will impress everyone from the home cook to semi-professional chef. The removable and integrated bowls can produce a remarkable 2 litres of ice cream in under an hour.</p>
<p>Choose from three automated programmes for ice cream, gelato or granita or take control with the manual function. This machine does it all, but it comes at a price.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/magimix-gelato-expert" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Magimix gelato expert</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458132″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Magimix Gelato Expert” /]</p>
<h3>Sage the Smart Scoop</h3>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”text_link” squirrel_id=”458131″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sage the smart scoop” /]</p>
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sage-the-Smart-Scoop-ddf1d87.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sage-the-Smart-Scoop-ddf1d87.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sage-the-Smart-Scoop-ddf1d87.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/jpeg">
<img class="wp-image-861291 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/Sage-the-Smart-Scoop-ddf1d87.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="Sage the Smart Scoop" title="Sage the Smart Scoop">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best high tech ice-cream maker</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Lots of settings and accessories</li>
<li>Feeding chute for ice cream and add-ins</li>
<li>Attractive design</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Expensive</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Wattage: </strong>200W</p>
<p>Sage always hits the mark with its sleek and frankly great looking appliances. The smart scoop has a 1-litre bowl capacity and settings for sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream. There are 12 hardness settings available, too, so you can fine-tune the results or freestyle with the manual setting.</p>
<p>The ice cream, gelato and sorbet we made to test this model all came out brilliantly, they were all smooth and slow melting. We weren’t able to get the automatic hardness sensor to work, which was disappointing. With so many settings to play with, this is a great option for those looking to get experimental.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/sage-the-smart-scoop" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sage the Smart Scoop</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”458131″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” original_product_name=”Sage the smart scoop” /]</p>
<h2>Best stand mixer ice-cream attachments</h2>
<h3>KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory</h3>
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<source media="(min-width: 590px)" data-srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/KitchenAid-ice-cream-maker-accessory-7f51c27.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=556%2C313, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/KitchenAid-ice-cream-maker-accessory-7f51c27.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1112%2C626 2x, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/KitchenAid-ice-cream-maker-accessory-7f51c27.jpg?quality=45&amp;resize=1668%2C938 3x" type="image/jpeg">
<img class="wp-image-861293 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2024/01/KitchenAid-ice-cream-maker-accessory-7f51c27.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C349" width="620" height="413" alt="KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory" title="KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory">
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</div>
<p><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for families</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Makes large quantities of high-quality ice cream</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Not compatible with non-KitchenAid stand mixers</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p>A robust, well-made ice-cream accessory that makes almost 2 litres of exceedingly good ice cream quickly and efficiently – but only for those with a KitchenAid <a href="/review/best-stand-mixers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stand mixer</a>. Creating that much ice cream in one go will appeal to big families and ice-cream lovers, but the large bowl means you also need a large freezer.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/kitchenaid-ice-cream-maker-accessory" target="_blank" rel="noopener">KitchenAid ice-cream maker accessory</a> review.</p>
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<h3>Smeg ice-cream maker attachment</h3>
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<img class="wp-image-333963 align size-landscape_thumbnail image-handler__image image-handler__image–full no-wrap js-lazyload" srcset="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==" data-src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/30/2020/06/smeg-ice-cream-maker-e3c0955.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=620%2C310" width="620" height="413" alt="Smeg ice cream maker" title="Smeg ice cream maker review">
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<p><strong>Best stand mixer ice-cream maker for speed</strong></p>
<p><strong>Pros:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Simple set-up</li>
<li>Lovely ice cream</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Cons:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>Not compatible with other stand mixers</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Star rating: 4.5/5</strong></p>
<p>To use the pre-freeze Smeg ice-cream maker accessory you will need a <a href="/review/smeg-retro-stand-mixer" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Smeg stand mixer</a>. Once the robustly built, double-layered bowl is frozen, it sits inside the mixer bowl. Everything clicks together so quickly you’ll be making ice cream in no time. The process is effortless and quiet, with super-light, creamy results in just 20 minutes.</p>
<p>Read our full <a href="/review/smeg-ice-cream-maker-attachment" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Smeg ice-cream maker attachment</a> review.</p>
<p>[squirrel-affiliate-embed widget_type=”price_comparison” squirrel_id=”468170″ fallback_link_text=”Latest Deals” /]</p>
<h2><a id="#CHOOSE"></a>How to choose the best ice-cream maker</h2>
<h3>What is an ice-cream maker?</h3>
<p>An ice-cream maker is a countertop appliance designed to make homemade ice cream. There are two different types of ice-cream maker: freeze-first and self-freezing. Which type is right for you depends on a number of factors, including budget and space.</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Freeze-first</strong> models are simply designed and have a bowl with walls that are filled with a gel coolant. These bowls usually need between eight to 24 hours in the freezer before they can be used and can only churn one batch of ice cream a day. Freeze-first models tend to be cheaper than self-freezing models and can make smooth, good-quality ice cream. They don’t take up too much space on the kitchen counter, though the bowls can be bulky or awkwardly shaped; we’d recommend checking the size of the bowl to make sure it’ll fit in your freezer.</li>
<li><strong>Self-freezing</strong> ice-cream makers are a more expensive option as they feature a built-in freezer. These generally take a couple of minutes to reach the sub-zero temperatures required for making ice cream, meaning you can make several batches of ice cream a day. They’re larger than freeze-first models, owing to the compressor, and these machines need to be stored upright and not moved around too much. They take a little longer to freeze ice cream than freeze-first bowls, but they tend to produce smoother and creamier results.</li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#WHATCAN"></a>What can an ice-cream maker be used for?</h2>
<p>Whether you need something to cool you down in the summer sun or you’re entertaining and looking to impress your guests with exciting flavours, an ice-cream maker can do all that, and so much more.</p>
<p>An at-home ice-cream maker is ideal if you’re looking to avoid certain ingredients or you’re dedicated to using the best produce you can find. With an ice-cream maker you can whip up new, exciting and daring flavour combos not thought of by expensive, store-bought brands. For inspiration, take a look at our <a href="/recipes/collection/ice-cream-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ice-cream recipes</a> for some creative ideas.</p>
<p>But you’re not just limited to ice cream; many of the models we tested can also be used to make <a href="/recipes/collection/sorbet-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sorbet</a>, gelato and <a href="/recipes/collection/frozen-yogurt-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">frozen yogurt</a>. Most brands will include a number of recipes in the manual which will give you an idea of the range of desserts you can make with your new machine. Some models come with dedicated settings for these different ices, others include a whole different paddle.</p>
<p>One brand we tested suggested using your ice-cream maker to make frozen cocktails. Just mix your cocktail and let the ice-cream maker run for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes a slushy texture. While most cocktails can be frozen, we think bright and zesty drinks such as <a href="/recipes/collection/gin-cocktail-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gin cocktails</a>, <a href="/recipes/collection/fruity-cocktail-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fruity cocktails</a> like a <a href="/recipes/strawberry-mojito" target="_blank" rel="noopener">strawberry mojito</a>, and <a href="/recipes/collection/tequila-cocktail-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tequila cocktails</a> will work best.</p>
<p>While there are some brilliant vegan and dairy-free ice creams on the market, they can be expensive and the flavours limited. An ice-cream maker means there’s no need to miss out as you can create your own flavours and save a bit of cash, too. We’ve got a collection of <a href="/recipes/collection/dairy-free-ice-cream-recipes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dairy-free ice-cream recipes</a> to get you started.</p>
<h2><a id="WORTHIT"></a>Are ice-cream makers worth it?</h2>
<p>Using an ice-cream maker to produce fresh homemade desserts can be a fun chance to experiment with different flavours and textures – but some of these gadgets don’t come cheap. Here are a few things to consider before you make your purchase:</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Versatility: </strong>Certain models also come with functions for making gelato, sorbet, smoothies, milkshakes or iced fruit desserts, offering more value for money. Check what each model has to offer and consider which functions you would want to make use of.</li>
<li><strong>Footprint:</strong> Some ice-cream makers can be quite bulky, so it’s important to consider your countertop or storage options before you invest. Look at the dimensions and consider whether the gadget you have your eye on will fit, paying attention to factors like height (some models are tall, so less suited to kitchens with lower cupboards).</li>
<li><strong>Preparation time: </strong>Making your own ice cream can be time-consuming (the Ninja Creami, for instance, requires you to freeze your mixture 24hrs before use), so the process often requires some patience and planning ahead. If you foresee yourself having the time to spare, an ice-cream maker is a great gadget to have in your arsenal.</li>
</ul>
<h2><a id="#TEST"></a>How we tested ice-cream makers</h2>
<p>We put all ice-cream makers through their paces with a range of Good Food recipes. As standard, we made our <a href="/recipes/ultimate-vanilla-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ultimate vanilla ice cream</a> and <a href="/recipes/lemon-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener">lemon sorbet</a> in all machines. If a model came with settings or attachments for gelato or frozen yogurt, we made our <a href="/recipes/hazelnut-gelato-rich-chocolate-sauce" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hazelnut gelato</a> and <a href="/recipes/frozen-tropical-fruit-yogurt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tropical frozen yogurt</a>, too. All ice-cream makers were tested against the following criteria:</p>
<p><strong>Effective freezing properties:</strong> most importantly, the machines had to freeze the mixture quickly and evenly for a smooth texture. We looked for sturdy churning paddles that scraped ice cream from the edges of the bowl, breaking up large crystals in the process.</p>
<p><strong>Size:</strong> on freeze-first models, we looked for bowls that were compact enough to fit in the freezer easily.</p>
<p><strong>Easy-to-clean:</strong> hygiene is paramount for making dairy ice cream safely. Some paddles are dishwasher-safe, but most parts will need hand-washing and thorough air-drying before packing away. Machines need to come to room temperature before stowing in a cupboard to avoid condensation and mould. Some models helpfully come with cleaning tools, but for those that don’t, small bottle brushes are essential for cleaning joins and crevices.</p>
<p><strong>Durability:</strong> we looked for machines with durable parts that were easy to assemble.</p>
<p><strong>Noise levels:</strong> though not vital, we preferred machines that were relatively quiet.</p>
<p><strong>Capacity and overall footprint:</strong> we looked at the bowl capacity and footprint for both ease of use and storage.</p>
<p><strong>Instruction manual:</strong> how helpful was the instruction book and did it include recipes?</p>
<p><strong>Packaging:</strong> excessive use of plastic and polystyrene in packaging was negatively scored.</p>
<h3>Ice-cream recipes</h3>
<p><a href="/recipes/ultimate-vanilla-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ultimate vanilla ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/strawberry-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Strawberry ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/vegan-vanilla-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Vegan vanilla ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/buttermilk-brown-sugar-rye-bread-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Buttermilk, brown sugar and rye bread ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/malt-chocolate-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Malt chocolate ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/cranachan-ripple-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cranachan ripple ice cream</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/gooseberry-ice-cream" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gooseberry ice cream</a></p>
<h3>Sorbet recipes</h3>
<p><a href="/recipes/mango-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mango sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/raspberry-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Raspberry sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/elderflower-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Elderflower sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/lemon-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Lemon sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/rhubarb-star-anise-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Rhubarb and star anise sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/gooseberry-elderflower-sauvignon-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gooseberry, elderflower and sauvignon sorbet</a><br>
<a href="/recipes/refreshing-lychee-lime-sorbet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Refreshing lychee and lime sorbet</a></p>
<h3>Related reviews</h3>
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<a href="/review/best-iced-coffee-makers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Best iced coffee makers and accessories</a></p>
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<p><em>If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.</em></p>


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