Love good ice cream, but fed up of paying over £3 for just 500ml? Then why not make your own? It will cost you around half the price and you get the satisfaction of making your own flavour combinations. And although you have to fork out for the machine itself, the cheaper ones can pay for themselves in as little as 25 uses.
Problem is, some ice cream makers don’t produce good results and others can be a hassle to use. That’s why we’ve got busy testing them to bring you a list of the best machines across all budgets.
Some, such as the Andrew James Ice Cream, Sorbet and Frozen Yoghurt Machine, have a removable bowl which needs hours of pre-freezing before use – so it’s worth considering the bowl size if you for this option, especially if you have a small freezer. Meanwhile, the pricier ice cream makers, such as Cuisinart Professional Ice Cream Maker, will make ice cream from scratch in as little as 40 minutes.
Click on the gallery to see the IndyBest buys
10 best ice cream makers
10 best ice cream makers
1/10 Andrew James Ice Cream, Sorbet and Frozen Yoghurt Machine
This easy-to-use machine churns soft-scoop ice cream, sorbet or frozen yoghurt quickly and quietly. Provided you have pre-frozen the removable bowl for eight hours, you’ll have a batch of the good stuff in as little as 18 minutes. £19.99, amazon
2/10 Cuisinart Gelato and Ice Cream Professional
This is a tad bulky and noisy, but don’t let that put you off. Seriously, the neat design looks great and it makes ice cream good enough to sell. The built-in freezer means there’s no need for pre-freezing – it cools up to 1.5 litres of ice cream in just 40 minutes. £248.96, amazon
3/10 Lakeland My Kitchen Ice Cream Maker
Here’s another one that’s quick and quiet and makes great ice cream. We like the fact that the base doubles up as a storage lid for the bowl. The removable bowl needs 12 hours’ pre-freezing, but if you just store it there, it will always be ready when you need it. £39.99, lakeland.co.uk
4/10 Magimix Gelato Chef
This versatile machine has two bowl options, one fixed and the other removable. The ice cream is delicious and even alcohol gets frozen, which is often no mean feat. £251.96, amazon
5/10 Yonanas Frozen Dessert Maker
This turns old bananas into a healthier alternative to ice cream and you can add other fruit, as well as ingredients such as peanut butter or chocolate chips. You’ll need to freeze the bananas for 24 hours, then partially thaw them, so desserts do need planning. But the end result is delicious. £53, amazon
6/10 Shake n Make Ice Cream Maker
If you want to show kids the basics of how ice cream is made, this is a fun little gadget. You add a little ice and salt to the base, then your ingredients and cream to the stainless-steel tub, and you give it a good shake. £12, amazon
7/10 Judge Ice Cream Maker
Kids will enjoy keeping an eye on your creations with this fully automatic machine with a clear lid and an ingredient funnel to add things as you work. You’ll need to freeze the bowl for at least eight hours beforehand, but then you’re good to go. £24.99, amazon
8/10 Cuisinart Ice Cream Deluxe
Unusually, with this one, it’s the bowl, not the paddle, that rotates. Also, you simply use the on/off switch to operate it. The machine’s a bit noisy and slower than some but the end result is outstanding. £69.99, lakeland.co.uk
9/10 Candy Rose collection Pink Ice Cream Maker
This pastel-pink 1.5-litre machine makes ice cream or sorbet in around 15 minutes. The non-slip base is helpful, while the refill window prevents it losing its cool while you work. £29.99, dunelm-mill.com
10/10 Sage Smart Scoop
This is larger than most machines, so is one for bigger kitchens. The attention to detail is impressive, including an automatic hardness sensor and a range of different hardness options. It even plays an ice cream van tune when it’s ready. £349.95, johnlewis.com
Lakeland My Kitchen Ice Cream Maker churns good ice cream quietly and quickly and is a bargain for under £40. If you’re willing to pay out more, the Magimix Gelato Chef makes astonishingly good ice cream from scratch and thanks to the two bowls, you can make huge quantities too.
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