The Best Ice Cream Makers to Buy in 2023

updated Jun 22, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Perhaps the single best thing about being a grown-up is that you can have ice cream whenever you want it. Even if you don’t technically have any in the house — because you can just make some! With summer temperatures finally here, we decided now was a good time to talk about the best ice cream makers on the market.

When it comes to ice cream machines, there are two types: canister-style and self-refrigerating. Canister-style machines have, well, a canister that’s lined with coolant and must be frozen ahead of time. Self-refrigerating machines are going to be more expensive because they have built-in compressors that chill the canisters — meaning you don’t have to remember to freeze the thing hours before you think you might want some ice cream.

Got it? Now let’s take a look at the best machines out there, so you can get your hands on one of them ASAP before it gets too unbearably hot outside.

1 / 9

While most ice cream makers take up a lot of room in your freezer, the Dash mini ice cream maker makes a little less than one pint during each use — whether it be ice cream, sorbet, or gelato — in less than 30 minutes. And best of all, it’s an extremely affordable alternative to most other machines at only $22.

2 / 9
was $99.99

Another option from Cuisinart, this one makes a half-quart more ice cream without taking up much more cabinet space. It produces thick-yet-smooth ice cream that's ready in about half an hour.

3 / 9
Crate & Barrel
was $69.95

With this old favorite, your dessert will come out consistently creamy. It’s also lightweight, compact, and has one-button operation (off and on!). Plus, the paddles fully submerge in the ice cream and don’t get in the way of the thermometer, should you want to be scientific about it. Just keep the bowl in the freezer at all times and you’ll be good to go when the craving strikes.

4 / 9
was $99.99

We also like the KitchenAid ice cream attachment bowl if you already have a stand mixer and don’t really want to add another appliance to your cabinets. It makes up to two quarts of ice cream and works with your stand mixer. Just chill it ahead of time.

5 / 9
Williams Sonoma

Claiming to make your dessert in just two minutes after freezing the dish ahead of time, with the Chef’n Sweet Spot, you just toss in your ingredients and stir. It’ll whip up six servings in 30 minutes, if you want to make your batch in bulk. Plus, this one doesn’t use electricity, so it's super simple.

6 / 9
was $185.00

For contributor Madina Papadopoulos, Cuisinart’s soft serve option was a source of joy during the pandemic. After freezing the bowl for at least 24 hours beforehand, it’ll produce one and a half quarts in just 20 minutes. It “turns into hard ice cream consistency after it’s been in the freezer overnight, if you like it better that way. It even has a built-in cone and sprinkle dispenser for convenience and cuteness,” Madina wrote.

7 / 9
was $282.99

Not really a name brand most of us are familiar with, the Whynter machine is one of the best for consistently great homemade ice cream. It’s pretty pricey (because it’s self-refrigerating), but it’ll get more play than cheaper machines. It’s incredibly easy to use and scoop from. And it churns out ice cream that is unbeatably smooth.

8 / 9

Assistant shopping editor Britt Franklin swears by the easy-to-use Ninja CREAMi — she tried the 7-in-1, but now there’s an 11-in-1 available that not only makes ice cream, sorbet, gelato, but also Italian ice, slushies, "Creamiccinos," frozen yogurt, and frozen drinks. “It’s so easy to store pre-made mixtures in the freezer that I often have multiple pints frozen at one time,” Britt said. “Whenever I have a craving for something sweet, all I have to do is grab one, load it into the Ninja CREAMi, and enjoy it — all in less than five minutes.”

9 / 9
Williams Sonoma

This one from Breville is a more splurgy pick, but you get quite a few more perks for the extra money. The self-refrigerating machine has 12 hardness settings and pre-cool and keep-cool options, and it plays classic ice cream truck songs to alert you when your ice cream is ready.