Best icecream/gelato maker?


35 Answers

  • Indirect Heat May 2, 2021

    If you have a KitchenAid mixer, this is an excellent ice cream maker attachment:

    • cups123 May 2, 2021

      really? is it better than a “real” icecream maker that is a separate system?

      • Indirect Heat May 2, 2021

        Well, you don’t have to pay for a motor to churn, because that’s already in your mixer, so what you get are some nice paddles and a well-insulated bowl. You won’t get a better ice cream maker without spending a *lot* more money. If your budget is high enough, and you have more space in your kitchen, there are refrigerated units that are better, but I think you won’t find anything better than the KitchenAid attachement for less than $500.

    • RetiredChef May 2, 2021

      I’ve made ice cream for over 40 yrs and have used quite a few different machines – Why don’t you let un know you budget so I don’t start speaking about $1,000 + machines right away.

      For a quick answer on the low end (under $100) both the Kitchen Aid Mixer attachment and the Cuisinart ICE 30 are excellent entry bowl/machines to begin with.

      • cups123 May 2, 2021

        max $300. what is the difference in outcome (product) of the different models?

        • amokscience May 2, 2021

          One difference is that the cheaper ones require a pre-frozen bowl. You can make one batch of about 1 quart of ice cream about once a day. The more expensive ones will have a compressor and not require the frozen bowl. I’ve not read many people say there’s a difference in product between the two until you reach the $600+ range.

          I have a $50 cuisinart and taste is easy but texture is the challenge. The biggest thing is making sure the (pre) ice cream is cold, the right thickness, has the right stabilizers and sugar content.

          • cups123 May 2, 2021

            It seems like needing a prefrozen bowl could be a bit of a pain or affect the ultimate outcome if it wasn’t frozen to the right temp

            • Beckyleach Jul 21, 2021

              I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker (got one of the first models, about ten years ago) and bought an extra bowl. I keep them in one of my freezers (I have two; an old upright and and newer chest freezer) all the time and they’re ready to go whenever. The cooler temps of a deep freeze seem to work perfectly at freezing the bowl rock solid.

          • Indirect Heat May 2, 2021

            Yep, no difference in outcome. It’s all ease-of-use and size until you get into the units with refrigeration.

            • Zeldog May 2, 2021

              In my experience there is a difference in outcome. My compressor type maker cools the mix faster and produces a smoother ice cream/gelato compared to the freezer bowl types I used previously. It’s also more forgiving. I can start with a luke warm mix. If I tried that with a freezer bowl type I’d end up with mush.

              • hobbess Jul 2, 2021

                Then, maybe you shouldn’t start off with a luke warm mixture 😉

                But, seriously, I’ve read that you should leave the mixture overnight anyways- to get it cold enough and to also develop flavor.

                • Indirect Heat Jul 10, 2021

                  You’ll note, I said, “It’s all ease-of-use and size until you get into units with refrigeration.” And you replied: “My compressor type….”

                  You’re absolutely right. Once you get into machines with compressors, there is a difference.

              • RetiredChef May 3, 2021

                Other posters have gotten it exactly right – for $300 you would find much better value staying with a freezer bowl than getting the low-end compressor style units. The reason being is the way the refrigeration compressor on the cheaper units work creates more cold spots that result in more ice crystal formations. It isn’t until you start paying some big bucks that you a get a compressor and a freezing unit that runs full time and is much more regulated reducing those cold spots.

                I use the Cusinart ICE 30 because I could buy it and a second bowl for the cost of the kitchen – aid bowl and mixer. I also have a basement freezer where I keep the two bowls in constantly. The kitchen aid’s advantages is that you don’t need a second machine, you can vary the speed of the churn (very helpful when mixing in delicate items) and the bowl is easier to remove the ice cream and clean. While the Cuisinart’s advantage is the bowl is smaller and fits better in a freezer and price. The end product is virtually identical with maybe a very tiny nudge towards the KA bowl because of the ability to change the speed.

                Good luck and remember that you are not buying the machine to save money or time, it will do neither. Instead you are buying it to make better ice cream than what you can buy at the super-market and with a little practice all of your friends will pick you masterpieces over store bought – even in blind taste tests.

                • Tastyfreeze Jun 30, 2021

                  I can’t speak to the science but I can tell you this: I picked up a Delonghi gelato maker (they were $200 — 33% off — at William Sonoma) and have been amazed at the quality. I refrained from buying a Cuisinart or the KA attachment because I found them a bit underwhelming when it came to sorbet production — too icey, not like the lovely fruit sorbetto/gelato I yearned for. This maker, which has an internal compressor, gets it right. Truly unbelievable — no ice crystals and what I would call a creamy consistency, despite the lack of dairy. And it remains this way even after it has been frozen for several days. I have to assume the gelato maker — which should, technically, use less air — makes the difference. Who knows? What I do know is that I can’t recommend this maker more highly.

                  • cityhopper Jul 1, 2021

                    I have been eye-balling this machine and the price that WS makes it more tempting (even when I know I should not even be thinking about making such a purchase).

                    I have notice shinning reviews of the Delonghi from other websites confirming your experiences too. I do have a question, is the machine only capable of making gelato and not “standard” ice cream?

                    • Heaven is a good latte Jul 9, 2021

                      My sister and I just went in “halves” on the De Longhi Gelato Maker GM6000, taking a chance that it would make good ice cream too. Neither of us actually like gelato – at least not the commercial stuff. Happily, the De Longhi makes terrific ice cream, silky smooth texture for egg custards, and the sorbet made this morning seems clean and fine grained. This is a preliminary review, as we have only made 3 batches so far, and not tried a Philadelphia style ice cream recipe . The William Sonoma 200.00 price for the GM 6000 is a great deal.

                      BTW The Cuisineart 20 can make excellent ice cream but it is inconsistent in doing so even with the same recipe. I get the impression that with a cannister model the stars have to be in perfect alignment to get the results we obtained from the De Longhi. I’d spend the extra 150.00.

                      Final note, the DeLonghi does have a small (2.75 cup ) max capacity, which means smaller batches – but no problem since you can make several batches in a row. And you will want to:)

                      • ted Jul 10, 2021

                        Looks like it’s down to $150 now. 3-cup capacity would be both a good and bad thing for us. That said, we still have the 4 quart old-fashioned electric one.

                        • cityhopper Jul 10, 2021

                          Trying to suppress the urge to indulge in this purchase. The price is EXTREMELY tempting.

                          • Heaven is a good latte Jul 12, 2021

                            One downside is that most of the ice cream recipes are for 1 quart, I make the full recipe and run two batches. Since my first post of a couple of days ago we’ve tried the De Longhi out on three custard based recipes, two sorbets, and one philadelphia style recipe – an ice cream party is planned for Tuesday 🙂 I have to say that the results are uniformly terrific. The difference in the philadelphia style strawberry ice cream done with the De Longhi as opposed to Cuisineart cannister model was astonishing, so much creamier – I would not have believed it was the same recipe. It may be that any compressor model is going to be way better than a gel cannister, All I can say is that the GM6000 makes really, really, great ice cream.

                  • balucita Jul 14, 2021

                    Based on your expirience, which machine do you recomend? I’m betwin Cusineart supreme ice cream maker (300.00 aprox) and Delonghi GM600 (200.00 aprox)
                    Thanks, I would apreciate your answer.
                    (I apoloyise for my english)

                    • Heaven is a good latte Jul 15, 2021

                      I haven’t tried the Cuisinart Supreme model, but David Lebovitz (author of The Perfect Scoop) recommends it highly. The problem was that I looked at the consumer reviews and at the design and came away unenthusied. The paddle looks flimsy and some of the consumer reviews reported problems with it and other parts. So I kept looking and came across rave reviews for the De Longhi gelato maker. I do absolutely love the De Longhi GM6000 and I am very happy with the purchase.. It produces silky smooth lovely tasting ice creams and sorbets, and is more versatile, in that you could make Italian style gelato, if you wished. You can’t make gelato in a regular ice cream maker, from what I have read, because gelato is produced with finer ice crystals. At 200.00 or now less, I figure with the De Longhi I will spend the money saved and buy their three year warantee. So we will have a ice cream machine with a warantee three times longer than the Cuisineart’s – I figure that’s not a bad idea with a compressor style machine. The downside to the De LOnghi is it has a smaller capacity, but I haven’t been bothered by that. If I make a quart of vanilla ice cream base then I just run two batches – often with different mix-ins. To date I’ve made french custard style bases, sorbets, and philadelphia (American, egg-less) ice cream and all have turned out beautifully. I’m also trying different sweeteners – honey, cane sugar, agave, xyilothol (spelling?). The one thing I now know for sure is that compressor style ice cream or gelato makes produce a far better quality of ice cream than the gel cannister models, so I suspect either Cuisineart or De Longhi will make you happy.

                    • balucita Jul 14, 2021

                      Based on your expirience, which machine do you recomend? I’m betwin Cusineart supreme ice cream maker (300.00 aprox) and Delonghi GM600 (200.00 aprox)
                      Thanks, I would apreciate your answer.
                      (I apoloyise for my english)

                      • josephnl Jul 15, 2021

                        The W/S website is now offering the Delongi for $150!! Seems like a terrific deal…but the video stresses that this is not an ice cream maker, because the design prevents incorporation of air into the mix which they say makes the difference. Is this true? Can you indeed make sorbets and ice cream with the Delonghi?

                        • Heaven is a good latte Jul 17, 2021

                          I was worried about whether the DeLonghi GM6000 would produce ice cream, as well as gelato, so we did purchase it from a bricks and mortar source – i.e. Williams Sonoma and asked carefully about the return policy. Turns out, we’ve been really happy with the machine. I haven’t seen the video, but I’ve been using recipes specifically for ice cream and sorbets and so far every one has turned out beautifully, like really creamy, smooth ice cream. I was also worried about the non-incorporation of air – thinking it would result in too dense an ice cream, but it hasn’t. The only recipe I’ve done that was a bit dense was an Agave Chocolate – it was a pretty firm mix, but also delicious. I also worried that gelato is supposed to be turned out at a lower temperature, but again, that hasn’t been the case. Ice cream recipes turn out something that looks and tastes exactly like ice cream – really good ice cream. I love the GM6000 and at that price it is a stunning bargain, but you could also go with the Cuisinart model that David Lebovitz recommends.He is the expert and I think it’s price is now around 250.00.

                          • josephnl Jul 17, 2021

                            Wiliams-Sonoma’s website says that the DeLonghi is “no longer available”. They must have been closing them out for $149! I missed the boat!! I wonder why they are no longer carrying it…has the machine itself been discontinued by DeLonghi?

                            • rainey Jul 17, 2021

                              I was just in a mortar and brick store the other day and they had them on the shelf on sale. You might try a store.

                              • cityhopper Jul 17, 2021

                                Some locations were closing them out for $99; I scored one today at that price but it was the last one in stock.

                      • rainey Jul 16, 2021

                        I’ve got a freeze-the-bowl type and an ice-and-salt-brine type. Personally, I really prefer the somewhat messy brine type. I’ve considered one with a compressor but I don’t have the storage room for one.

                        For one thing, as long as you’ve got ice and salt, you can keep making ice cream. I can do a quart and a half of one flavor, rinse things out, start again and make ice cream all night long without having to have a second already-frozen bowl waiting.

                        My brine machine doesn’t require that I plan ahead to have the bowl frozen or that I keep the space-wasting bowl in the freezer on an ongoing basis.

                        The brine machines have much superior open dashers that let things flow through more smoothly than the toy dashers on the frozen bowl types. That’s important if you’re including chunky things like fruit, nuts, etc.

                        And finally, it’s much easier to unload the churned but not fully frozen ice cream into freezer storage containers. I find it incredibly frustrating that when I use the freeze-the-bowl machine, a really significant amount of the ice cream ends up frozen hard against the bowl once the dasher stops turning. I feel like I’m playing Beat the Clock or throwing out a good part of what I worked to make.

                        My brine type is a counter top model once made by Waring that takes conventional ice cubes and table salt. I *dearly* wish they still made it because I’m not sure what I’ll do when it gives up the ghost.

                        • KCrossland Jul 17, 2021

                          If you can afford it, don’t get one where you have to freeze the bowl. I have a Cuisinart that requires the bowl to be frozen first. I don’t keep it in the freezer because I don’t have the room so when I want to make ice cream, I need 6 hours to freeze the bowl and by the time it is frozen, I either don’t make it or don’t have time to make anymore and then go shopping and need the freezer room so out comes the bowl… an endless cycle that means that I don’t make much ice cream.

                          • cityhopper Jul 17, 2021

                            Picked up a unit at W&S today for $99.99. At this price, I had to bite. Looking forward to making my first batch tomorrow.

                            • Heaven is a good latte Jul 17, 2021

                              When the price dropped to 150.00 my sister started talking about buying another one just to have as a a back up model 🙂 I had to talk her down. If WS had demo’ed them in their stores with an ice cream recipe I think they would have sold out at the orginal price – $399? A lot of people must have looked at them and thought “what would we do with a gelato machine.?” Too exotic sounding. I hope you report back on your results. Happy churning.

                              • doreet Jan 22, 2021

                                W&S? where 8s it so cheap? walmart? target? where? should i go google for “sale on (brand, type?)i really want a GOOD ice cream maker this spring and summer–and something that wo6ld also make frozen yogurt & ice milk—low fat ice cream. i’m on a diet.THAT would really help the diet.

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