Ice cream is an excellent treat almost everyone loves. Being able to make it at home exactly how you like it is even more of a treat. We researched electric ice cream makers to find the best option for any budget. Our research found that the Cuisinart ICE-70 is the best ice cream maker for most people. It’s a great balance between manual ice cream makers and fully automated ice cream makers and is reasonably priced. It’s also capable of making gelato and sorbet and has settings specifically for making them. This machine takes the guesswork out of the process. If you’re looking for a great activity for the family that also produces a great treat this is your pick. For a more hands on experience you can go with the Nostalgia ICMP400. Or for a more hands off experience you can go with the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker. Continue reading to learn about the details of each model.
The Cuisinart ICE-70 Electric Ice Cream Maker doesn’t just make ice cream, it also makes gelato, frozen yogurt, or sorbet. This newer design has an improved paddle so that it will speed up the process of making ice cream. It also has an integrated ingredient spout, measuring cup, countdown timer, and auto shutoff function. Online reviewers give this ice cream maker solid reviews and customer feedback is amazingly positive for an appliance.
The Breville BCI600XL is our runner up upgrade pick. This well designed ice cream maker has an intuitive and smart interface that make it very easy to use. Its “keep cool” function is a great addition that allows you to not have to be at the ready the moment your ice cream has finished. The “keep cool” function will keep your ice cream for up to 3 hours without your attention. Another great feature is the Breville pre cool function which means you won’t need to pre chill the ice cream bowl before placing in the maker. The Breville is much more expensive than the Cuisinart but you get a lot more practical and easy to use maker. It also gets great marks from online reviewers and overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers.
This extremely inexpensive option is the Nostalgia ICMP400 is a lot more hands on but great for the family. It is essentially an old fashioned hand crank ice cream maker with an electric motor to save your arm the hassle of having to crank it yourself. You’ll need plenty of ice and salt but otherwise this ice cream maker is simple to use and does a very good job of making tasty ice cream. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars and don’t mind baby sitting the process it’s a winner.
It usually takes anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes. This obviously depends on several factors like the type of maker used, the ingredients, and the temperature. You should also expect to need to chill your ice cream in the freezer if you want it to firm up. Freshly made ice cream will be very soft and melt rapidly. You’ll need to put it in the freezer for at least a couple of hours for it to begin to firm up nicely.
An ice cream maker churns the ice cream ingredients so that it can not only freeze them but it will add air into the mixture while it freezes. The goal is to keep ice crystals small so that you end up with a creamy result as opposed to a solid block.
Usually melting and then refreezing causes ice cream to become icy. An ice cream maker is specifically designed to keep ice crystals as small as possible by constantly churning the ice cream as it freezes. Simply freezing ice cream that has melted causes large ice crystals to form in the ice cream.
All three of these ice cream makers are great options. The main drivers for picking which one is best for you is first and foremost budget. But also of importance is how hands on you want to be with the process. The Cuisinart ICE-70 is our pick for the best ice cream maker for most people. It’s reasonably budget friendly and while it isn’t hands off it is fairly intuitive to use and requires little prep work and attention. The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop is the luxury option. It’s completely hands off and you don’t even need to be ready to transfer the ice cream to the freezer immediately when the machine has finished making the ice cream. It will keep your ice cream chilled for up to 3 hours after it has finished making it for you. Plus, you won’t need to remember to put the bowl in the freezer the night prior to making ice cream since it will pre cool the bowl for you as well. Last is the Nostalgia ICMP400 which is an excellent old school ice cream maker. It is most definitely a hands on experience but this can be a great experience for the family. The kids will get a kick out of the process and finish with a treat. Plus the price is incredibly cheap.
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