How To Choose the Best Ice Cream Maker

Though it is a simple piece of kitchen appliance, choosing among varied options makes it difficult. That is why, we have provided all the information below to help you make the right choice.

Types of Ice Cream Maker Machines

Based on working methods and time consumption, ice cream makers are divided into three different types. Read the detail explanation below to understand which type suits best to you.

1. Ice and Salt (Bucket) Machine

Ice and Salt Machine

This type uses ice and salt for freezing the ingredients – it is the oldest technique of making ice cream. It contains a long metal canister which is placed in a bucket filled with ice and salt. Liquid mixture is poured into the canister.

It is churned using the dasher while salt and ice cools it down. Salt maintain the lower temperature of the ice so that the mixture can freeze into ice. Any type of salt can be used for this process but some people generally prefer rock salt.

During olden times, hand crank used to manually churn the mixture. But modern ice cream machines come with electric motor that takes away all the hard work. Few modern machines come with both options – motor will complete the most of the churning and at the end, you can finish it using your hands.


  • Pre-chilling of the bowl is not required. So you can make ice creams or frozen desserts whenever you want them.
  • You can make another batch immediately after making one batch.
  • These machine can make ice cream in big quantities (4 to 6liters) at a time. So, you can make lots of frozen dessert within less time.


  • A lit amount of pre-planning required. You have to make sure you have plenty of ice and salt before starting the process.
  • The process can get messy sometimes.
  • You should keep a close eye on the machine as you may have to add salt or ice whenever required.
  • If you are purchasing a bigger machine, then you should consider storage requirements as well.

2. Canister (Frozen Bowl) Machines

As they are moderately priced, canister ice cream makers are suitable for everyone. They contain a bowl with freezing element. You have to place this bowl in a freezer for 1 or 2 days. After that, you can place the bowl in the ice cream maker and add the ingredients. Now you can start the machine and ice cream will be ready in 10 to 15 minutes. These are suitable for people who plan things in advance.


  • Easy to use than bucket mode. You can just add the mixture, turn the machine on and come back after 3 minutes.
  • As there is no ice or salt to deal with, they don’t leave any mess.
  • Being compact, they are perfect for small kitchen and easy to store when not in use.
  • They are affordably priced, last long and low in maintenance.


  • Bowl should be placed in freezer for at least 6 hours before using. So, pre-planning is compulsory required.
  • Bowl of this ice cream maker are not small, so you have to check whether your freezer has enough space or not.
  • Their bowl capacity is smaller than ice and salt machines. They can make 1 or 2liter frozen dessert per batch.
  • Not suitable for making large capacities at a time as you cannot make back to back batches.

3. Compressor Machines

Compressor type are digital ice cream makers. Compared to above two types, they are expensive. They contain a compressor which churns and freezes the ingredients to make ice cream quickly. They provide smooth textured ice cream within less time.

These machines also have certain smart features like speed control, temperature setting and others. They can store ice cream for long time without letting it melt.


  • Most convenient and flexible to use. You don’t have to put bowl in the freezer beforehand. There is no ness that is usually caused by the ice and salt machines.
  • You can make ice cream whenever you want to eat. Once a batch is finishes, you can make another batch immediately. So, it is perfect for large families.
  • They come with more options and features than other models. Some smart features include auto-shut off, ice cream storage, and different mode settings like gelato or sorbet.


  • Being big and heavy, they can occupy space on your kitchen platform.
  • Their capacity is similar to canister model.
  • Expensive than other types.

How to Choose an Ice Cream Maker?

ice cream maker

Once you have decided which type of ice cream maker machine you need, next important thing to consider is the factors. We have mentioned them clearly below…

1. Capacity

This is the most important factors, especially if you have large family or like to entertain guests regularly. Choose a capacity size according to your requirements. This is even more important when you are purchasing canister type of ice cream maker. Because you have to freeze the bowl in the refrigerator for almost 1 or 2 days.

So, if the capacity is less, then you will not have the option of whipping up another batch immediately. When it comes to compressor models, they don’t come with huge capacities, but you can make back to back batches immediately. For higher capacity, ice and salt machines are perfect but they are very slow. They are available in 2, 3 or 4 liter capacities. You can make back to back batches with this machine.

2. Speed

Speed varies depends on models and type of ice cream maker. While choosing an ice cream, it is important to note that the bowl requires pre-freezing for at least few hours to overnight. If you want to make ice cream same day or instantly whenever you want, then go for compressor model. To know time taken for making one batch of ice cream, check the specifications mentioned by the manufacturer.

3. Texture

For some consumers, texture is a very important factor. Compressor ice creams produce smooth ice cream than other types. Frozen bowl or ice/salt machines provide more control over the ice cream texture by providing speed variation to dasher.

For thicker texture, slow speeds work effectively. For lighter and thinner texture, it is better to go for faster speeds. Faster speeds prevent ice crystals formation so it can provide better texture.

4. Bowl Size

This feature mainly important if you are choosing a canister type of ice cream machine. As it contains a freezing bowl, you have to make sure it fits into your refrigerator or freezer rack. So, check out the measurements of the bowl before making the purchase.

5. Mixing Paddle

In manual ice cream makers, hand paddle is used for churning the ingredients. Electric ice cream makers use mixing arm. So, while purchasing, make sure the mixing arm is durable. If the mixer can handle faster speeds, then it can provide ice cream quickly with better texture. Among all the materials, prefer stainless steel mixing paddle.

6. Spinning Blades

As it has rust resistance, stainless steel is usually preferred option for spinning blades. This material can aerate the ingredients perfectly and provide better texture for ice cream.

7. Frozen Treat Types

Apart from making ice cream, some of these machines has additional capabilities like Frozen Yogurt, Gelato, and Sorbet. Not all ice cream machines have this functionality. So, make sure to check the models for its ability of specific functions you are interested. You have to check the hardness setting function for the same.

8. Ease of Use

Main difference between the models and types of ice cream is ease of making homemade ice cream process. Compressor ice cream is the best option as it completes most of the work for you. It comes with several features that make the controlling or operation much easy.

It has intuitive digital display which makes it control the machine and set the features you want. A light weight and easy to life bowl ensures easy transferring of ice cream.

9. Noise

Noise is common in any appliance with electric motor. Some generate more while some are as silent as whispering. If you are noise sensitive, then you should consider this factor as well. Among all the types, bucket ice cream makers make loud noise.

10. Ease of Cleaning

The biggest task when using the machine is its cleaning, as it should be cleaned after every use. It will be easy if you can remove the parts then clean. Compressor or canister type have a detachable bowl which can be washed easily, these models can be preferred if cleaning is the consideration. If cleaning is not the preference, then you can go with bucket type machine that is less expensive. This type comes with the attached bowl with machine.

11. Auto-Turn Off

Automatic this is the feature we prefer in all the products. If this feature is present in ice cream maker, there is no need to pay attention to it every time and you can carry out other work simultaneously. It also saves electricity. Ice cream makers provide beep sound when ice cream is ready. This alarm helps you turn off the machine as soon the machine gives the sound.

12. Features and Extras:

  • Extra Frozen Bowl: Few frozen bowl ice cream makers come with extra bowl or they sell additional one which can make it easy for you start the making of ice cream every time you are ready for the batch.
  • Ready Bell: As your ice cream is done the ready bell inform you with a sound.
  • Stay Cool Function: A stay cool function gives you flexibility to take your time, to save the trouble of having to eat or transfer your ice cream as it’s done.
  • Hardness Options: You can choose the preferred thickness for your ice cream as they have different setting option.
  • Cool Down Function: Compressor models allow you to get the ice cream faster as they have cool down function.
  • Digital Display: Digital Display helps you to choose temperature and change settings easily.

Advantages of Using Ice Cream Maker at Home

There are many benefits of having ice cream maker at home. We have mentioned them below for your information.

  • Fresh & Healthy Home Made Ice Cream: Ice creams that we buy are filled with added preservatives to increase their shelf life and high level sugar which are harmful for everyone. Having ice cream makers at home lets you prevent preservatives and also add the ingredients according to your taste that keeps you healthy.
  • One Machine, Multiple Recipes: Apart from making ice creams, you can make many dishes like gelato, slush, frozen yoghurt, sorbet with the same machine by not buying any additional parts.
  • Experiment with Different Flavors: For people who like to try new recipes with different ingredients, buying ice cream makers is the best choice as they can try many dishes with one machine.
  • Choose you’re Ingredients: For people allergic to food ingredients like lactose, gluten, sugar or nuts, ice cream makers are the good choice as you can skip these ingredients and still enjoy the taste of the ice cream.

Frequently asked questions?

1. How long do the ice cream makers take to prepare ice cream?

This depends on the type of the ice cream makers. If you want to prepare ice cream immediately within 30-40 minutes then, use canister type of ice cream maker.

2. Which is best method to clean ice cream maker?

As there are 3 types of ice cream makers the cleaning method also differs from each other. If you have bucket type or compressor type ice cream makers then all you need to do is just take a wet cloth and clean it properly. But the canister type ice cream maker has a detachable insulated bowl which can be cleaned using soap water and normal water.

3. Why do we need salt for bucket type ice cream makers?

Salt lowers the temperature of the water and maintains the cold temperature of the ice cream. So, the combination of salt and ice is used for bucket type ice cream makers.

4. Which is the best ice cream maker available in India?

There are number of brands available in India. By research we have listed out top 7 best ice cream makers and chosen Kitchenif digital ice cream maker as our first product because of the best features. The features it has are la

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