Ice Cream Makers
Making ice cream at home gives you control of ingredients and flavours, and it's great fun for the whole family. We test a few ice cream makers to see if any come out as "cream" of the crop.
Models that require the canister to be pre-frozen cost less. Freezing the canister takes between 6-24 hours, so store it in the freezer if you have space. Before making another batch, the canister must be re-cooled.
For convenience, speed and ease, choose a fully electric model. These tend to be more expensive.
If you prefer to roll up your sleeves and make it an event, choose a maker that’s more labour-intensive (e.g. requires you to stir, etc.) These tend to be less expensive.
Look for thick plastic or metal churning paddles, which last longer.
- Manufacturers often come out with new versions, such as soft ice cream makers. Keep in mind that fad appliances are often discontinued and are hard to get replacement parts for if they breakdown
Avoid canisters that have a lot of crevices where milk can sit and spoil.
Some self-contained models don’t have removable bowls, so cleaning can be a challenge.
We filled each of these three machines with the same strawberry gelato mixture:
- Donvier (hand-crank cylinder freezer): $74
- Cuisinart (electronic cylinder freezer): $96
- Musso (self-contained electronic): $1095
We invited some ice cream aficionados for a taste test, and just for fun, we included a professionally prepared gelato using the exact same mixture:
The Donvier made the smoothest, best tasting gelato.
Some tasters preferred the professionally-made gelato.
The Cuisinart gelato came in second.
OUR TOP PICK
Though the hand-crank model requires a bit more elbow grease, the Donvier was our top pick, cones down.