If you are intrigued by the idea of making ice cream at home, then your first question is probably how? How do you turn a liquid ice cream base into creamy, frozen, real ice cream? There are many ways to do this, and some of these don't involve an appliance at all (see our best tips here for making ice cream without an ice cream maker
Our Ice Cream Maker Reviews
Freeze the Bowl Models
1. Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, $59.95 from Amazon: We dubbed this ice cream maker "an excellent little machine for a great price." While you still have to freeze the bowl and chill the mix, this machine enabled us to make two batches back to back in about 15-20 minutes. Impressive!
Read the Full Review: Product Review: Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker
2. Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker, $49.99 from Amazon: A very basic model that requires no rock salt, no ice, no hand churning. However, you can only do one batch at a time because the bowl needs to be refrozen in between. It also produces a very soft ice cream, so you'll need to give it a few more hours in the freezer to harden. But it's small, convenient, and inexpensive!
Read the Full Review: Product Review: Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Makers
3. Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker, $260 at Amazon: A major step up from freezer-bowl makers, this consumer compressor model is perfect when you want to make more batches in a shorter period of time. It's bulky and a little loud, but if you're a heavy-duty ice cream or sorbet eater, this is a fabulous machine.
Read the Full Review: Product Review: Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker
4. Cuisinart ICE-100 Ice Cream and Gelato Maker, $299 at Amazon: another compressor model we've had great experiences with. It took a couple tries, but our "second batch was a miracle." Rich, creamy, no ice crystals, and hard after 40 minutes. Also, it's super easy to use and easy to clean up.
Read the Full Review: The Cuisinart ICE-100 Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
5. DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor, $248 from Amazon: We were totally swooning over this machine. It was significantly quieter than other ice cream machines and fast. Both batches we made froze in about 40 minutes.
Read the Full Review: Product Review: DeLonghi Gelato Maker
Readers, do you have an ice cream maker? What kind do you have?
More on Ice Cream Makers from The Kitchn's Archives:
• Can You Recommend a Bigger Ice Cream Machine?
• Questions for David Lebovitz: Best Ice Cream Maker?
• Ina Garten's Favorite Ice Cream: And Ice Cream Maker
• 10 Ice Cream Makers and Accessories for Your Kitchen
• Help! Why Doesn't My KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Work?
• Good Question: Should I Upgrade My Ice Cream Maker?
(Image: Faith Durand)