Best Ice Cream Makers – Which.co.uk

Below are the best information about Best home ice cream maker public topics compiled and compiled by our team

Ice cream is always a crowd-pleaser and what’s better than creating your favourite indulgent flavours from scratch with an ice cream maker.

There are two types of ice cream makers and we’ve discovered the best of both:

  • Freeze-first: Cheaper-to-buy-but-take-longer-to-get-your-ice-cream makers where you have to freeze the bowl first for about 8 to 12 hours.
  • Self-freezing: More expensive, self-freezing ice cream makers will give you ready-to-eat ice cream in less than an hour.

We’ve tested ice cream makers costing from around £20 to almost £500 from top brands including Lakeland, Cuisinart and Magimix. Read on to find out which are the best ice cream makers for airy, creamy and smooth ice cream with no ice crystals/freezer burn and least fuss.

And make sure you have room in your cupboard and on your countertop because ice cream makers are larger than the average stockpot.

We tested self-freezing ice cream makers in July 2021 and freeze-first ice cream makers in June 2022. Pricing and availability last checked: 13 June 2022.

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The best ice cream makers – freeze first

Freeze-first ice cream makers are the cheaper route to machine-made ice cream at home but they have a freezer bowl or tub that has to be frozen for a good number of hours before you can go about making your ice cream.

We found paying extra does, in general, get you a better machine, although we’ve also found a cheaper freeze-first ice cream maker which was brilliant.

We also discovered they’re all pretty easy to clean. And if you’ve read reviews elsewhere bemoaning freeze-first ice cream makers where the paddle gets stuck don’t worry – it happens to pretty all of them at some point but it’s easy to get around

Only logged-in Which? members can view our freeze-first ice cream makers test results below. If you’re not yet a member, or not yet logged in, you’ll see an alphabetically ordered list of the ice cream makers we’ve tested.

Join Which? to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendations.

American Originals Ice Cream Maker

Only available at Argos: £22.

Size: H16 x W16 x D16cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 600ml – H10 x W16 x D16cm

Pre-freeze time: 12 hours

Easily the smallest ice cream maker we tested, how does this ice cream maker from American Originals hold up against the larger competition?

Log in or join Which? now to read our full review and find out.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Deluxe

Cheapest price: £99 available at Amazon, Argos, also available at Cuisinart.

Size: H29 x W22 x D22cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 2 litres – H16 x W20 x D20cm

Pre-freeze time: Overnight

Cuisinart claims this ice cream maker is easy to use.

Did we agree? Log in or join Which? now to read our full review and find out.

Lakeland Stainless Steel Digital Ice Cream Maker

Only available at Lakeland: £74.99.

Size: H19 x W22 x D22cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 850ml – H14 x W19 x D19cm

Pre-freeze time: 12 hours

The best ice cream makers should deliver you ready-to-serve, airy, creamy and smooth ice cream.

Did the Lakeland ice cream maker meet our standards? Log in or join Which? now to read our full review and find out.

Magimix 1.1 Le Glacier Ice Cream Maker

Cheapest price: £54 available at Amazon, Argos, also available at Magimix

Size: H22 x W20 x D20cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 850ml – H15 x W19 x D19 cm

Pre-freeze time: 8 to 12 hours

No ice cream maker is silent but some are louder and more annoying than others.

How loud was the Magimix? Log in or join Which? now to read our full review and find out.

Ninja Creami Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker

Cheapest price: £179 available at Amazon, Currys, John Lewis, also available at Ninja.

Size: H40.5 x W16.5 x D27cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 1.4 litres – H11 x W12 x D12cm

Pre-freeze time: 24 hours

Unlike the other freeze-first machines we tested, the Ninja Creami ice cream maker instructs you to freeze your ice cream mixture before churning it.

To find out if this different approach made creamier and smoother ice cream, log in or join Which? now.

Sensio Home Ice Cream Maker Machine

Cheapest price: £32.95 available at Amazon, also available at Sensio Home.

Size: H23 x W20 x D20cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 500ml – H13 x W20 x D20cm

Pre-freeze time: 12 hours

Sensio says that, with just four removable components, this ice cream maker couldn’t be simpler to set up.

How did it compare with the others for ease of use? Read our full review to find out. Log in or join Which? now for instant access.

VonShef Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

Cheapest price: £32.99 available from Amazon, also available from Vonhaus

Size: H23 x W21 x D21cm

Freezer bowl capacity and size: 750ml – H15 x W19 D19cm

Pre-freeze time: 8 hours

Ice cream makers should make ready-to-serve ice cream that’s neither too hard and frozen nor too wet and sloppy. How did the VonShef ice cream maker do?

Log into your account or join Which? now to read our full review and find out.

The best ice cream makers – self-freezing

Although speedier at getting you your ice-cream fix, self-freezing machines tend to be much pricier than their freeze-first counterparts. They’re also far weightier – the self-freezing ice cream makers we tested are heavier than the average microwave, so if that might be an issue you’re for you’re better to plump for a lighter freeze-first model.

While paying more does get you a better self-freezing ice cream maker, we found a threshold for how much you need to spend to get the best.

Only logged-in Which? members can view the self-freezing ice cream makers test results below. If you’re not yet a member, or not yet logged in, you’ll see an alphabetically ordered list of the ice cream makers we’ve tested.

Join Which? to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendations below.

Cuisinart Gelato and Ice Cream Maker

Cheapest price: £239 available at Amazon, also available at Cuisinart, Lakeland, John Lewis.

Size: H23 x W29 x D56cm

Capacity: 1.5 litres

Different desserts it makes: Ice cream, sorbet, gelato, frozen yoghurt

Scoop: No, Measuring jug: No Spatula: No

Cuisinart claims its ice cream maker can make 1.5 litres of ice cream or gelato in as little as 40 minutes.

This mid-priced ice cream machine has fully automated processes that mean you simply add the ingredients, select the recipe and press start.

But was it as straightforward as that and how well did the frozen desserts turn out?

Log in to your account or join Which? to get instant access to all our reviews.

Lakeland Compressor Ice Cream Maker

Only available at Lakeland: £199.99.

Size: H32 x W28.5 x D38.5cm

Capacity: 1 litre

Different desserts it makes: Ice cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt

Scoop: Yes Measuring jug: Yes Spatula: No

This ice cream maker from Lakeland can create ice cream, sorbet, gelato and frozen yoghurt.

It claims to make a litre of ice cream within 60 minutes and there’s no need to pre-freeze any components.

To find out how it fared in our tests, log in now or join Which? today and see our full results.

Magimix Gelato Expert

Cheapest price: £499 available at Amazon, also available at John Lewis (out of stock).

Size: H26 x W29 x D37 cm

Capacity: 2 litres

Different desserts it makes: Ice cream, sorbet, gelato, frozen yoghurt, granita

Scoop: No Measuring jug: No Spatula: Yes

The Magimix Gelato Expert can whip up a wide range of frozen treats, including granita and gelato.

It’s the ice cream maker with the highest price we’ve tested. But does spending more make a big difference?

To find out log in or join Which? today to gain access to our product reviews.

Sage The Smart Scoop Gelato and Ice Cream Maker

Cheapest price: £348.99 available at Lakeland, also available at Sage.

Size: H23 x W39 x D26 cm

Capacity: 1 litre

Different desserts it makes: Ice cream, sorbet, gelato, frozen yoghurt

Scoop: No Measuring jug: No Spatula: Yes

Sage says this ice cream maker ‘transforms the kitchen into your favourite scoop shop.’

It offers a wide range of frozen desserts and allows users to tailor them to their preference in terms of consistency and softness.

It also claims to keep your frozen treat at the perfect serving temperature for up to three hours.

To find out how it stacks up against the competition, log in or join Which? now.

VonShef Ice Cream Maker with Compressor

Cheapest price: £98.99 available at Amazon, also available at Vonhaus.

Size: H26cm x W36cm x D23cm

Capacity: 1 litre

Different desserts it makes: Ice cream, sorbet, gelato, frozen yoghurt

Scoop: Yes Measuring jug: No Spatula: Yes

VonShef promises results within the hour when using its Ice Cream Maker.

It’s the cheapest self-freezing ice cream maker put through its paces in our rigorous tests.

We looked at how easy it is to use and clean, and whether you’d want to serve its ice cream to your guests.

To find out how it ranks, log into your account or join Which? today.

In the mood for a luscious treat of ice cream and waffles? Check out our best waffle makers guide.

How we tested ice cream makers

Was the ice cream ready to serve?

We made three batches of ice cream with each machine and reviewed how well each machine had made the ice cream.

The best machines created perfect ready-to-serve ice cream, easy to scoop out. Others produced sloppier or too solid ice cream.

Ice cream texture

We conducted a blind ice cream texture test using vanilla and chocolate chip ice cream we’d made in each machine.

The samples were frozen for 24 hours before this test and given 5 minutes to defrost before being served.

Each tester was given samples in a different order and wasn’t told which sample came from which machine until after they had completed the test.

They scored on how well the chocolate chips had spread and how creamy, airy and smooth the texture of the ice cream was.

Ease of use

For each of the ice cream makers, we consider how easy they were to operate, assemble and unload ice cream from.

The better ice cream makers had intuitive designs were clearly labelled parts and responsive functions. The worst machines were overly complicated.

Noise

Most of these machines make noise due to the built-in freezers and motors, but some are much louder than others.

The louder the machine the worse it scored

Cleaning

We washed each ice cream makers three times and found they were all scored pretty much the same on ease of washing. It wasn’t a chore with any of them.

Build quality and storage

We examined each ice cream maker for any manufacturing faults or design flaws.

We also measured them to see how easy they be to store or how much countertop space they’d take up while using.

How we choose the ice cream makers we tested

We tested the most popular ice cream makers sold at leading UK retailers.

Want to make a special dinner before dessert? Check out our guide on the best pasta makers.

How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker

Although it’s easier with a dedicated machine, you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker.

No-churn vanilla ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 198g (about half a 397g can) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, cream and vanilla extract until thick and quite stiff (like clotted cream).
  2. Scrape the mixture into a freezable container.
  3. Freeze until solid (for best results leave overnight).
  4. Defrost for 10 minutes before serving.

Should I buy a hand mixer or stand mixer?.

No-churn salted caramel ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 397g of canned caramel
  • 500ml double cream
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the canned caramel, cream and salt until thick and quite stiff (like clotted cream).
  2. Scrape the mixture into a freezable container.
  3. Freeze until solid (for best results leave overnight).
  4. Defrost for 10 minutes before serving.

Top five freezers for 2022.

We purchased all the ice cream makers we tested.

Getting the best ice cream near me is easy! Find the nearest ice cream shop with our store locator. View hours, contact information, maps and driving directions

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