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Chilling Out: A Buyer's Guide to the 10 Best Ice Cream Makers for Summer Treats

As summer approaches, the quest for the perfect home-made ice cream becomes more pressing. Whether you're a fan of classic vanilla, rich chocolate, or adventurous flavors like lavender honey, having the right ice cream maker can turn your kitchen into a gourmet creamery. This guide aims to simplify your decision-making process by comparing the top 10 ice cream makers available on Amazon, highlighting their pros and cons, and helping you understand which product suits your needs best. From basic models for casual enthusiasts to advanced machines for serious connoisseurs, we've got you covered.

Cuisinart ICE-21

The Cuisinart ICE-21 is renowned for its simplicity and efficiency, making it a popular choice for those new to making homemade ice cream. It features a large 1.5-quart bowl and a user-friendly design that can churn ice cream in less than 20 minutes.


  • Fast and efficient operation.
  • Very easy to use, making it perfect for beginners.
  • Compact design for easy storage.


  • The freezer bowl needs to be pre-frozen, which requires planning ahead.
  • Limited to making relatively small batches at a time.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachment

This attachment turns your KitchenAid stand mixer into an ice cream maker, letting you leverage the power and versatility of your existing appliance. It features a 2-quart double-wall bowl designed to produce soft-consistency ice cream and other frozen desserts.


  • Utilizes the robust motor of the KitchenAid mixer.
  • Larger capacity compared to some standalone models.
  • Easy to store when not in use.


  • Only compatible with KitchenAid stand mixers.
  • Some users report that it can be messy during use.

Whynter ICM-201SB

The Whynter ICM-201SB is a self-contained ice cream maker with a built-in freezer, eliminating the need for pre-freezing. It's ideal for serious enthusiasts looking to make larger batches.


  • No need to pre-freeze the bowl.
  • Can make continuous batches of ice cream.
  • Offers a sleek stainless steel design.


  • Higher price point.
  • Takes up more space than many other models.

Breville BCI600XL

The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop is an advanced ice cream maker that automatically senses the hardness of the mixture based on your selection and keeps it ready until it's time to serve.


  • Automatic hardness settings.
  • Self-refrigerating compressor.
  • Can make sorbet, gelato, and frozen yogurt in addition to ice cream.


  • Expensive compared to other options.
  • Heavier and bulkier, requiring more countertop space.

Hamilton Beach 68330N

The Hamilton Beach 68330N is a budget-friendly option that can make up to 4 quarts of ice cream per batch, making it perfect for families or gatherings.


  • Very affordable.
  • Large capacity.
  • Simple to operate with a fully automatic function.


  • Noisy during operation.
  • Requires ice and rock salt for freezing.

Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE

This model from Nostalgia provides a retro look with a modern approach to ice cream making, using an electric churner placed inside a bucket that requires ice and salt to freeze the ice cream.


  • Fun, vintage design.
  • Good capacity at 4 quarts.
  • Affordable.


  • Manual monitoring needed during the freezing process.
  • Can be messy with the ice and salt method.

Cuisinart ICE-70

The Cuisinart ICE-70 is a step up in technology and convenience, featuring multiple settings for ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, and a digital timer to help perfect your recipes.


  • Three different settings for different frozen treats.
  • Countdown timer with an automatic shutoff.
  • Easy to clean.


  • Requires pre-freezing the bowl.
  • Somewhat pricey for the features offered.

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is a premium ice cream maker known for its exceptional build quality and the ability to churn incredibly smooth ice cream.


  • Fully automatic and self-contained with a built-in freezer.
  • Makes up to 1.5 quarts in less than 30 minutes.
  • Stainless steel construction for durability.


  • Very expensive.
  • Heavy and requires permanent counter space.

Zoku Ice Cream Maker

The Zoku Ice Cream Maker is perfect for quick, single-serving ice cream making, appealing to those who want a treat without waiting.


  • Extremely fast, making ice cream in as little as 10 minutes.
  • Compact and easy to store.
  • Simple to use and clean.


  • Only makes small servings.
  • Requires pre-freezing.

Ninja NC301 CREAMi Ice Cream Maker

The Ninja NC301 CREAMi transforms frozen bases into creamy ice cream, sorbets, milkshakes, and more, using its innovative technology to ensure smooth results every time.


  • Versatile, with multiple functions beyond ice cream.
  • Compact design for easy storage.
  • Simple operation with push-button controls.


  • Requires the base to be frozen solid, which can take several hours.
  • Some users may find the texture less creamy than traditional methods.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Ice Cream Maker

Now that we've each model, let's move into a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you choose the right ice cream maker based on your specific needs.

Capacity and Size

Consider how much ice cream you typically want to make in one batch. Larger capacity models are perfect for families or parties, while smaller units are ideal for personal use or smaller households. Also, think about the storage space you have available; some models are bulkier than others.

Ease of Use and Cleaning

Look for ice cream makers that are straightforward to operate and clean. Models with dishwasher-safe components and clear, simple controls will save time and effort. Ease of assembly and disassembly can also influence the user experience.

Speed of Ice Cream Production

If you don’t like to wait, consider a model with a compressor that allows continuous use without pre-freezing. However, these models tend to be more expensive. If you're okay with a bit of planning, a model requiring pre-freezing might be acceptable.

Features and Technology

Advanced features such as multiple texture settings, automatic timers, and keep-cool functions enhance flexibility and convenience. Decide which features align with what you need from your ice cream maker.

Recommendations Based on Needs

To help you make your decision, here are some tailored recommendations:

  • Best for Families: Hamilton Beach 68330N or Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE, both offering large capacities to cater to multiple people.
  • Best for Tech Enthusiasts: Breville BCI600XL or Whynter ICM-201SB, which include advanced features for a customized ice cream making experience.
  • Best Budget Option: Hamilton Beach 68330N provides great value for its price, making it accessible for those on a tighter budget.
  • Best for Quick Ice Cream Making: Ninja NC301 CREAMi or Zoku Ice Cream Maker, ideal for those who prefer their treats ready in a short time.


Choosing the right ice cream maker can elevate your summer treats to a new level of enjoyment. By considering the factors outlined in our buyer's guide and comparing the pros and cons of each model, you can find an appliance that fits your lifestyle and satisfies your sweet tooth. Whichever model you choose, prepare to enjoy endless frozen delights that you’ve crafted to your personal taste!

This guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice about the best ice cream maker for your needs. Enjoy your delicious, homemade ice cream!