If your TikTok For You page looks anything like mine, you’ve probably heard of the Ninja Creami. This ice cream blending machine has gained quite a following, with fans claiming it can turn practically anything into a delectable frozen treat in minutes. As seasoned ice cream makers, we were intrigued by the Creami’s unique approach and put it to the test. While it delivered on convenience, we have some reservations about its safety and longevity.
The Creami is Bulky, but it Packs a Punch
The Creami is undeniably hefty, with a mostly metal and plastic construction. It may not exude a premium feel, but it’s far from flimsy. Setting it up takes a bit of practice, involving a series of twists, locks, and releases before you’re ready to start blending.
It Delivers Delicious Ice Cream
We subjected the Creami to our rigorous tests, comparing it to conventional ice cream makers. We made a range of bases, from classic vanilla custard to vegan coconut and even sorbet. The Creami pleasantly surprised us by producing tasty ice cream with a dense, smooth texture. While some recipes turned out crumbly, a quick fix with the “re-spin” button resolved the issue. From custard to Philly bases, each pint came out smooth and mostly iceless. We even added Oreos to the mix-in setting for a delightful twist.
Consistency Can Be a Challenge
One limitation of the Creami is that its thick blades don’t reach the edges and bottom of the pint containers. As a result, there may be sections of unmixed, frozen base left behind. So, while the blended parts are impressively smooth, careful scooping is required to avoid crunchy, icy bits in your bowl.
Red Flags and Uncertainties
We approached the Ninja Creami with some skepticism. Attempting to replicate the performance of a commercial appliance like the Pacojet at a fraction of the cost seems like a tall order. Some concerns arose during our testing. The Creami visibly struggled as it worked, emitting shakes and the smell of burning plastic on occasion. We even detected a burnt-plastic flavor in the ice cream, which was concerning. Additionally, there were reported instances of the machine’s blades digging into the plastic containers, leading to plastic shreds finding their way into the ice cream. Cleaning the Creami thoroughly proved to be a challenge, with water and ice cream residue building up in parts that couldn’t be easily accessed.
The Pricey Predicament
Considering the Creami’s flaws and potential durability issues, its price tag of over $200 is hard to justify. Unless you’re dead set on owning a single appliance that can make both ice creams and smoothie bowls, we recommend exploring alternatives that offer better value and durability. For those focused on making ice cream, our top pick is the Cuisinart ICE-21, priced at around one-third of the Creami’s cost. While it may not offer smoothie bowl recipes, it excels at making ice cream and sorbet, provided you freeze the insert bowl beforehand. The ICE-21 comes with a three-year warranty, unlike the Creami, which only offers one year of coverage.
Seeking a Budget-Friendly Blender Alternative?
If you’re in pursuit of excellent smoothie bowls, consider the Vitamix 5200. This powerful and durable blender sets the gold standard. It can blend thick textures without breaking a sweat and is backed by a generous seven-year warranty. By waiting for Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day, you might snag this premium blender for around $300 or less.
When we recommend expensive appliances, we do so with great care. We want you to make purchases you’ll love while avoiding trendy products that end up wasting your money and filling up landfills. Unfortunately, we remain unconvinced that the Ninja Creami is built to last.
The Final Scoop
We’ll continue using the Creami, not because we adore it, but out of curiosity about its lifespan. However, given its flaws and durability concerns, we believe there are better options on the market. For now, it’s best to approach the Ninja Creami with caution.
(This article was edited by Alexander Aciman and Marilyn Ong.)