What do you need to look for in the best ice cream machine? What features will you use and which ones can you leave out? This guide is here to help you understand the terms companies use in their product descriptions and what each of the advertised features actually means to you, the buyer.
The first big choice that you will need to make is whether you want a ready-frozen machine or a fully automatic one.
Pre-frozen machines involve the use of a detachable bowl that you need to place in the freezer for at least 8-10 hours right before you want to make your ice cream. This can be a pain and you will need to use a lot more pre-planning whenever you want to make a batch, but the up-side to this is that they are the most affordable type of machine.
Fully automatic machines are able to turn out a batch of ice cream in as little as thirty minutes with no preparation needed. This is obviously a very attractive feature but it comes at a cost because this type of machine can be considerably more expensive than the afore mentioned pre-frozen style.
Ice cream machines come in various sizes and are able to make different amounts of ice cream, so you should consider this when making your purchasing decision. If you have a large family or need to make ice cream for a lot of people at once then you need to take a look at how much your machine can produce and how quickly.
The capacity will usually be measured in cups or litres depending on which part of the world you live in.
Design and aesthetics
If ease of use and good looks are important to you then you will find it useful to check out how the machine will look on your countertop, what kind of controls and display it has and how easy it is to use. Machines can range all the way from fully manual (turning a crank to churn your ice cream) to fully automatic.
Some ice cream machines come with the ability to produce more than one thing, for example soft-serve and sorbets are a popular capability for many models these days.
As always, many of the practical and useful features mentioned above will need to be traded off against how much you are willing to spend on your new machine. Typically prices can range from $40 or $50 all the way up to the many hundreds of dollars, but given a few minutes reading the reviews on our site here you will soon get a good idea for the kind of value you can expect to receive for your budget.
We hope this has given you a few things to think about so that you know what you are looking out for when shopping for the best ice cream maker for your home. If so, then please scroll back up to the top of this page and check out some (or all) of our reviews!