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Ice Cream Maker Shopping Guide
If you want to enjoy your favorite frozen treat from the comfort of your own home, you can learn to make your own with the quality ice cream makers on the market today. Save money by not buying individual scoops at ice cream shops and be in total control of the ingredients that are used.
What should you look for in a good ice cream maker? We’ll highlight some questions you’ll want to ask yourself as you’re shopping.
How Much Ice Cream Does The Machine Make?
Do you only have to feed yourself, or do you have several children you’ll be making ice cream for as well? Look for an ice cream maker that can accommodate the needs of your household. Some models make 1.6 quarts, while others make just over 2 quarts. If you’re not sure which will work better for your needs, always go with the bigger serving option. There’s no such thing as too much ice cream.
How Easy Is It To Clean The Ice Cream Maker?
Some ice cream makers have removable bowls and churn blades, which helps you when it comes time to clean the unit. You’ll find yourself resenting your purchase if you spend more time cleaning up the appliance than you do eating the ice cream. It’s not worth buying an ice cream maker if it sits in a cabinet because you dread the thought of cleaning it.
Is the Control Panel Easy to Understand?
Do you feel like you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to operate your ice cream maker? That may be frustrating. If the control panel looks intimidating, you might be better off with another model. Ideally, the control panel shouldn’t have more than a few buttons, unless you’re the type who loves to tinker with high-tech gadgets.
How Long Does It Take To Make Ice Cream?
Cravings can get ugly fast. If it takes seemingly forever to make your ice cream, you might decide that heading to the nearest ice cream shop would be quicker than waiting for it to freeze at home. A good machine will have the ice cream ready to eat in an hour with plenty to eat immediately and even some leftover for later.
If you want ice cream as quickly as possible, stay away from ice cream makers that require pre-cooling measures. Some units require that you place a bowl in the freezer for hours before you begin the process of making ice cream. That doesn’t work for someone who is a little more spontaneous. If you don’t want to be stuck waiting hungrily as a bowl freezes, look for an ice cream maker that has a built-in compressor that will let you skip this step. If you see a machine you love but notice it requires pre-cooling, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it. If you’re the type who plans things out well in advance, it may still be a good unit for you. Only you know your planning capabilities, so think about that before making your purchase.
Can It Make Other Types Of Cold Treats?
Even if you love ice cream, you might like to switch it up once in a while. Some units give you the option of picking whether your ice cream will be hard or soft. Some machines make more than just ice cream - they can also produce frozen yogurt, sorbet, and gelato. Finding a machine that offers multiple treat possibilities is a good idea if you’re buying the ice cream maker as a gift or like having a variety of frozen desserts.
Does It Come With A Recipe Book?
A recipe book is a necessity with an ice cream maker, since what works in one unit won’t work in all of them. You’ll want a recipe book that gives you a bit of variety, so you aren’t stuck with plain vanilla every night. Scope out how many recipes are in the booklet they offer and determine if you think that’s workable for you.
Does The Motor Have Safety Features?
Your ice cream maker can be damaged if it keeps running after the mixture has already been frozen solid. To prevent damage, some units come with a motor that will automatically shut off when the ice cream is done. This can be a reassuring safety feature for newbies who don’t want to see their investment go up in smoke if they aren’t watching carefully enough or don’t know exactly what they’re doing just yet.
Trusting our Top Pick
Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.
Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you find the ice cream maker that's right for you.
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We leverage user data to understand decision-making and put the best products in front of each user. We tailor our comparisons to what matters to our user's needs, specific or broad. We keep our content up to date, we are constantly looking for new merchants and products to compare, and we are quick to remove any that are outdated or no longer meeting our standards. Our rankings change day-to-day based on our proprietary algorithms, that crunch data to identify top-performing products and tailor recommendations to exactly what our readers are looking for.
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