I love ice cream, and honestly, I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t. Whether it’s on a dish, with a waffle cone or on top of waffles, we love this frozen treat. But have you tried making ice cream from scratch? With an ice cream maker on your benchtop, you can make your favourite dessert any way you like it, and even when summer’s over!
6 Best Ice Cream Makers in Australia for 2023
I see ice cream and cookies as equals – you got to have them when cravings strike. And if cookies have the oven, frozen treats have ice cream makers. Yes, I know, you can get ice cream from the store, but it’s not as fun as making it from scratch. And why settle on usual vanilla or chocolate when you can concoct something unique like cheese-flavoured ice cream?
But like any other appliance, ice cream makers come in various shapes, sizes and features. Some use traditional manual churning, while others are smart enough to let you know when your ice cream is ready. Finding the best ice cream maker, however, needs more than knowing its product details. It has to match your needs and budget, too.
Don’t worry! These top 6 ice cream makers in Australia for 2023 should help you learn more about this appliance and make an informed choice. Plus, check out our list of things to consider when buying ice cream makers.
|Image||Model||Freezing Method||Size (LxWxH)||Capacity||Best Feature||Where to Buy|
|Compressor||41 x 18 x 27cm||1L||With automated and manual settings||Check on Amazon AU|
|Electric + Freezer Bowl||24 x 23 x 29cm||1.5L||Works with a flick of a single on/off switch||Check on Amazon AU|
|Electric + Freezer Bowl||17 x 27 x 17cm||1.1L||Includes a free app for more recipes||Check on Amazon AU|
|Manual + Freezer Pan||29 x 29 x 5cm||6 servings of ½ cup ice cream||Kid-friendly rolled ice cream maker||Check on Amazon AU|
|Electric + Freezer Bowl||22 x 22 x 24cm||1.5L||Budget-friendly ice cream maker||Check on Amazon AU|
|Manual + Freezer Bowl||9 x 9 x 21cm||148ml||Ice cream maker and serving bowl in one||Check on Amazon AU|
Breville The Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
The Breville Smart Scoop is one of the favourite ice cream makers in the market. From the outside, its body boasts robust stainless steel, smooth corners and high-quality brushed finish. You’ll have no trouble blending this appliance with the rest of your benchtop essentials.
First-time users will surely appreciate its uncomplicated set-up and minimal components. Every removable part, including its bowl, lid and spatula, can be easily washed by hand. Plus, a brush comes with the product for cleaning the paddle or dasher thoroughly.
The Smart Scoop comes with a compressor that surprisingly works quietly at 73dB. This feature is quite rare for compressor models and a big plus for small kitchen owners. Also, the unit’s Pre-Cool function (self refrigerating) means there’s no need to pre-freeze the ice cream bowl, while the Keep Cool function lessens the rush to put your freshly made treat in the freezer.
One thing that I like about this machine is that it’s fully automated yet has options for manual operation. If you have a favourite ice cream recipe, the manual mode should make it easy to set your preferred churn time and get desired results.
This ice cream maker is also a joy to operate, thanks to its user-friendly control panel. Buttons have icons that are simple and straightforward. A simple twist of the knob lets you adjust the texture of your frozen treat, from soft to hard. The illuminated LCD screen also displays useful information, like temperature, churning time and dessert setting, to help you monitor your mixture and the machine itself.
Its sound alerts are also a nifty add-on. You can adjust the volume of your sound alert or change its tone, from conventional beeps to a musical ring. Or set it on silent mode if you want to surprise everyone with ice cream for dessert!
The machine dings when the ice cream is ready and also when it’s time to add your mix-ins. I especially like this part of the process, where you can easily lift the flap on the clear plastic lid and add your nuts or fruit without stopping the churning process.
The Breville Smart Scoop is undoubtedly exceptional and featured-packed. However, it’s also quite expensive for a home appliance. There are also a few downsides to consider. For instance, the machine weighs about 14kg and needs considerable strength to lift and move it around. It’s quite bulky, too. So, if you’re getting this ice cream maker, you have to plan where it will go because it’s likely to stay there for good.
Another point to note is the quality of ice cream it makes. Considering that it’s a compressor and expensive machine, Breville Smart Scoop appears to give an average, albeit icy, result. There are two main reasons that explain its less creamy product.
One is its removable bowl, which creates a gap between the bowl and the freezing unit and allows the temperature to rise.
Another reason is the paddle design, which cannot fully scrape off the mixture sticking to the bowl’s sides. When this happens, the bowl loses direct contact with the freezing unit and churning takes longer, resulting in an icy dessert.
Despite the drawbacks, however, the Breville Smart Scoop is still a good option, especially for first-timers. The user-friendly controls, handy sound alerts and adjustable settings leave little room for error. Overall, it’s an excellent product from a reliable brand that delivers.
Cuisinart Cool Scoops Ice Cream Maker
The Cuisinart Cool Scoops Ice Cream Maker is more compact, lightweight and affordable than other Cuisinart machines. It does sound like an entry-level model. However, performance-wise, this ice cream maker will not disappoint.
Its weight, for one thing, is just right. At 4.5kg, it’s not too heavy to store or carry or too light to move about while churning. The absence of noise from struggling gears is also a good sign of its stable motor power. Its exterior is also easy to wipe clean, plus there are rubber feet at the base and cord storage for a clutter-free benchtop.
The best feature for me would have to be its one-touch operation, which makes this unit very (although others say ridiculously) easy to use! This Cuisinart unit starts mixing with a flip of a single switch. There are no complicated options or extra buttons to figure out. You won’t even need ice and salt to make it work. Beginners and no-fuss homemade ice cream makers will enjoy using this machine for sure.
On top of this excellent feature, it also comes with a transparent lid that you can easily lock into place. I like that it’s clear and can give you a quick sneak peek at how your mixture is doing. And the wide opening at the top makes it quick to add your favourite mix-ins. Think chunks of cookies, nuts, chocolate and fruit!
If you’re an impatient sweet tooth (like me), then the Cuisinart ice cream maker is your ideal match. With a sufficiently frozen double-insulated bowl, this unit can get your ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt ready in 20 minutes or less. Its churning action is also commendable, thanks to its asymmetrical dasher. This design helps ensure even folding of ingredients with minimal mixture left along the walls of the bowl.
There’s also something unique about all Cuisinart ice cream makers. And that is when you start mixing, the bowl rotates while the paddle remains steady and affixed to the lid. With this churning system, the machine can continuously churn your ice cream base without difficulty. It’s also the reason why your mixture is ready in minutes.
The Cuisinart Cool Scoops have a lot of great points. But it also has flaws. Its inner bowl, for instance, needs to be wrapped in plastic and placed in the freezer for at least 24 hours before use. That means, if you want to make homemade frozen treats often, you need to allot a dedicated freezer space for it.
The bowl is small enough (18cm wide and 14cm high) to fit most freezers. But you may still need to free up some space to make room for it. Also, with a 1.5L capacity, this machine may not be the one you’re looking for if you prefer to make ice cream in large quantities.
But despite the downsides, this Cuisinart unit is a quality machine that makes good ice cream. It may not be a big batch, but, hey, I can always whip up a new flavour next time!
Magimix 11047 Le Glacier Ice Cream Maker
Magimix may be known for its food processors and blenders. Now, with the Magimix Le Glacier on your benchtop, you can whip up homemade desserts with the same well-loved brand, too. And it takes no time either. This unit may be small and lightweight, but it only takes 20 to 30 minutes to get your frozen treats ready.
Like other ice cream makers, this Magimix machine works with a double-walled bowl that needs to be in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight. After making a batch, you can pop it back into the freezer, and it’s ready to go again after 5 to 7 hours.
It also has a clear lid with a large feed tube, making it easy to monitor the churning progress and throw in delicious dessert mix-ins. With only one button to press to start mixing, even your kids can help out and join the ice cream making fun!
The Magimix Le Glacier is also one versatile machine. Aside from ice creams, this unit can also make sorbets, frozen drinks and dessert sauces. The product package includes a recipe book with over 30 dessert ideas to try. But in case you need more recipes, you can download the free Magimix app to keep inspiration flowing! It’s lightweight and compact, too, making clean-up and storage a breeze.
Overall, it’s an excellent choice for a small family or household who love making desserts from scratch. However, if you prefer making them in big batches, you might want to look for a unit with a large capacity. The Magimix bowl is quite tall as well, and you need to store it upright in the freezer to ensure even churning.
Some users also shared difficulty when locking the lid with the frozen bowl. It’s because the top of the bowl has small holes that can be clogged with water, making it hard to lock the lid in place. Others find the final churned mixture too runny, too. You would have to pour it into a container and freeze it for a few hours to set. The frozen dessert is delicious but a bit grainy for some.
The Magimix Le Glacier may lack the bells and whistles of other ice cream machines. Still, it’s small, light and easy to use. And with access to loads of dessert recipes, first-time and occasional ice cream makers will have something new to impress family and friends!
Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker
Have you ever tried rolled ice cream before? With the Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker, you can make this frozen treat at home! It’s a fully manual ice cream maker without the work – no cranks to turn or salt and ice to use. All you need is to freeze the ice cream pan and chill your ice cream mixture.
When ready, pour ½ cup of your liquid ice cream into the pan, let it solidify for 15 seconds then scrape away. Without any need for electricity or buttons to press, it’s 100% kid-friendly. And I’m quite sure there’ll be a lot of little hands willing to do the scraping for you.
Everything is easy with this ice cream maker, from the dessert making to cleaning. The pan has liquid refrigerant inside and uses fast-freeze technology to solidify your own ice cream in minutes. The spade lets you remove the ice cream from the pan without damaging its surface.
It nests together with the matching scooper, too, to save storage space. With no small parts to wash or disassemble, clean-up takes no time at all. When you put it away, store it like any other baking pan. It only weighs 2kg, so you can stash it in the cabinet and pull it out with ease come dessert time.
The freezer pan will stay frozen for 30 minutes and can make about six ½-cup servings of ice cream. And if you want nuts, chocolate chips or fruit to go with it, throw them in at any time as you scrape. It’s a simple gadget that’s enjoyable to use over and over again.
The pan is quite big, however. You’ll need a considerable flat space on your freezer to fit it in. And you’ll have to keep the freezer pan inside for at least 24 hours before you can take it out. So, make sure you can dedicate a spot for this pan in your freezer to keep it ready any time someone screams ice cream!
Davis & Waddell DES0318 Electric Ice Cream Maker
A quality ice cream machine does not have to be expensive to produce great-tasting desserts. The Davis & Waddell Ice Cream Maker, one of the best budget-friendly ice cream makers, can attest to this. Fans of low-cost appliances will be surprised at the construction and performance of this unit despite its price.
Its solid ABS and polypropylene housing, for example, makes the machine lightweight and scratch-resistant. It is also compact for easy clean-up and storage. Its simple design and minimal footprint will suit your kitchen no matter its size. And with only a few parts to put together, assembly time takes minutes. That means you can quickly whip up frozen treats as often as you like!
The actual use of this electric ice cream machine is just as easy. You need to freeze the insulated bowl for at least 8 hours before prepping your base, though. But after that, all you need to do is pour your mixture into the frozen bowl, lock the lid into place then flick the on/off button.
The whisk will do the mixing for you while you sit back, relax and wait for your delicious homemade dessert. The whole churning process will take only 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your choice of ingredients. There’s even an instruction leaflet with recipes included to keep you experimenting on new concoctions.
Like other ice cream makers, this Davis & Waddell unit has a transparent lid. It’s an excellent accessory for monitoring the mixture status (and reducing impatience!). If you want to make your dessert extra yummy, fruity or chunky, you can easily add your favourite mix-ins through the chute. This way, you won’t have to interrupt the churning and freezing process.
The 1.5L capacity of this unit can make a few servings of ice cream, frozen yoghurt, sorbet or gelati to share. However, it may not be enough for a crowd, and in that case, you may need to look for a machine with a larger capacity. As it is mostly of plastic construction, this appliance is not for heavy-duty mixing either. Also, it does not come with a timer, hardness setting and other special features, which is a given considering it’s a cheaper model.
Despite these drawbacks, I still consider it as a machine with high value for money. It’s ideal for ice cream lovers who are new to ice cream making or not keen on spending a lot on specialty appliances. Do you love making homemade frozen treats from time to time? Then make sure to have this machine in time for summer!
Zoku Ice Cream Maker
The Zoku Ice Cream Maker is ideal for kids and the kids at heart. Aside from being a fully manual, freezer bowl unit for making single-serve frozen treats, it can double as your serving dish, too. And it comes in several vibrant shades, so each one at home can eat in their favourite bowl. The unit is small and weighs less than half a kilo, so clean-up, storage and pre-freezing the ice cream bowl won’t be a problem.
This ice cream maker has three parts: a stainless-steel bowl, a sleeve and a spoon. To start, remove the ice cream bowl from the sleeve then let it freeze for 12 hours. When ready, join the two parts together, fill it with some ice cream mixture, then start mixing it with the spoon. Stir in your favourite mix-ins then enjoy your soft-serve treat after 10 minutes of mixing. For harder ice cream, you may need to freeze your churned mixture for an extra 20 minutes. It’s easy, simple and ready to eat from the same bowl! It’s a nifty gadget for portion control, too.
However, it does need several hours to pre-freeze. The time is quite long considering that it can only make a single serving. The recipes in the book included are also not as user-friendly as they all yield six servings instead of one. Price-wise, it’s quite expensive for a manually operated, single-serve unit. However, small households with kids who love to play with their food will surely appreciate this ice cream maker. It’s a great DIY treat to cap your get-togethers, too!
Things to Consider When Buying an Ice Cream Maker
Have you decided which ice cream maker to buy? Make sure to include its essential product features into your purchasing decision. Here are some factors you need to consider and understand to find the best ice cream maker for you.
Making ice cream requires a cold bowl for aerating the cream and achieving a smooth texture. Ice cream makers use several methods to give our desserts the perfect consistency, and each method has its pros and cons.
- Ice and salt method. This type features the traditional look and method of making ice cream. The ice and salt used in the process keep the steel container cold. It usually comes with a bucket and crank on top for manual mixing and churning. Some ice and salt ice cream makers, however, have an electric motor to make the whole process easier.
- Freezer bowl method. This type requires users to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer for several hours. Once the ice cream bowl is frozen cold, all you need to do is to mix the ingredients by hand or with the help of an electric motor.
- Compressor method. This type is the crème de la crème of the lot. Compressor ice cream makers come with built-in freezers, so you don’t have to pre-freeze the bowl. It’s best for users who often make ice cream in large batches.
|Ice and Salt|| |
|Freezer Bowl|| |
Texture and consistency
The mouthfeel of the finished product is perhaps the most important factor that consumers consider in ice cream makers. Generally, compressor models are more reliable when it comes to producing creamy ice cream. It’s also one of the reasons why these machines are more expensive. Their adjustable speed settings, in particular, make it possible for these machines to go faster, keep the ice crystals small and maintain a smooth consistency. The ice and salt method should give you similar results, but you need to manually churn and monitor your mixture to get the texture that you want.
Ease of use
Most people prefer compressor models when it comes to ease of use. But some product features would have to be weighed in as well. For instance, compressor types are usually bulky and heavy, making them difficult to carry or move around. In this case, a more compact electric freezer bowl unit is best. Some of them even include an extra bowl to make up for the delay caused by pre-freezing. And while ice and salt units require manual work, choosing a model with an electric motor should make the process faster and easier. So, make sure to know your options and pick the machine that you’re likely to use often.
Size and capacity
When choosing your ice cream maker, you need to consider where you’ll be storing it as well. A unit that’s too high, for example, may not fit on your worktop with hanging cabinets. A bulky and heavy machine, on the other hand, can be hard to pull out from storage. The size of your ice cream maker is also related to its capacity. Most ice cream machines come in 1L or 2L capacity, but units for making large or single ice cream servings are also available. Make sure to choose your ice cream maker based on your kitchen space and the amount of dessert you want to make.
It’s hard to be patient when you’re making dessert. And if everyone at home wants to make ice cream on the fly, then a compressor model is the one you should get. It doesn’t require pre-freezing of the bowl, and some units can even make ice cream in minutes.
All the other ice cream maker types need some lead time before you get to enjoy your homemade treat. Check the package or product description to compare the processing time required by each unit. It might also be helpful to read customer reviews and see how long it took them to make ice cream with the machine.
Ease of cleaning
Speed is somewhat related to clean-up time. An ice cream maker may process your ice cream ingredients in a flash but can be complicated to clean. So, if you prefer low-maintenance machines, try to find the product’s manual online to assess its cleaning procedures. Customer reviews are helpful, too. A video demonstration of how to set it up should also give you an idea of its parts and how to clean them. Generally, compact ice cream makers have minimal parts and are easier to clean. But then again, you have to balance the size feature with your ice cream capacity preference.
An electric or compressor ice cream maker can make quite a ruckus, depending on its size or model. And if you’re living in a small house or you have a tiny kitchen, you might want a machine with minimal noise. Noise level is hard to determine from the product package or manual, but customers often mention it in their reviews. Video reviews are likely to help you more on this aspect.
Appearance and features
Who doesn’t want an attractive ice cream maker on their benchtop? Some consumers prefer well-designed ice cream makers that can double as kitchen décor. In this case, traditional or bucket-style ice cream makers usually top the list. But if you plan to store your machine in the cabinet, its appearance may not be a concern.
Studying the small features of your ice cream maker, however, is a must. These features often determine the cost of your machine and how efficient it will be. You don’t want to pay for a high-end appliance with features that you don’t need. Here are some essential attributes that you’ll need to factor in your buying decision:
- Control panel. A digital display can make it easier to set your machine and its temperature. Fewer buttons should also benefit users who want simple and straightforward ice cream making.
- Cool down/stay cool functions. These features are common in compressor ice cream makers. The Cool Down function lets you make ice cream without having to pre-freeze the bowl. Stay Cool function, on the other hand, lets you enjoy your freshly made treat without transferring it to a freezer container right away.
- Hardness settings. This option is ideal for frozen treat aficionados. Adjusting these settings lets you achieve the right consistency of various desserts, from ice cream to sorbet to gelato.
- Sound alert. This feature is typical in set-and-forget machines and should come in handy for multitasking users. It’s a way to call everyone for dessert, too!
- Spare bowl. This accessory can be a product inclusion or a separate item. Either way, it’s an excellent addition to consumers who prefer electric ice cream makers and want to do away with long pre-freezing times. It’s also best for users who make lots of frozen treats at home.
The main trade-offs of buying a cheap ice cream maker are longevity, dessert quality and convenience. But then again, not all expensive ice cream makers deliver the results you need. So, when it comes to price, I believe it all boils down to what desserts you want to make and how often do you plan to make them with the machine. Most consumers would probably go for mid-priced units that have the essential features. But for users who want to take homemade dessert-making to the next level, high-quality ice cream makers from a reliable manufacturer with useful features and warranty are ideal.
FAQs About Ice Cream Makers
Is store-bought ice cream better? What else can I make with an ice cream machine? If you’re still undecided whether to purchase an ice cream maker/gelato maker or not, this FAQ section should help you out.
Is it cheaper to make ice cream at home?
If we base the cost of homemade ice cream on the ingredients used and the time spent to make it from start to finish, we’ll probably agree that store-bought ice cream is cheaper. Buying high-quality ice cream is more convenient than spending hours to make small amounts of it from scratch. However, one thing that we get from homemade ice cream is top-notch flavour. Store-bought ice cream usually has this gummy texture from stabilisers that we don’t get from homemade ice cream. Homemade ice cream is also free from additives. Also, it is 100% more enjoyable and rewarding to make. It’s a fun kitchen activity with delicious results!
Why is my homemade ice cream not creamy?
The texture of ice cream is dependent on temperature and speed. Spinning your ice cream bowl faster gives you smaller ice crystals and a creamier product. But some ice cream makers do not work with the ideal churning speed, which can affect the texture of your dessert.
To solve this problem, make sure your freezer bowl is thoroughly frozen. It’s better if you can freeze it for 24 hours. Your ingredients, like cream or milk, should be chilled, too. Aside from improving your ice cream texture, chilled ingredients have more satisfying fat consistency that adds flavour to your dessert. Once your ice cream is ready, quickly transfer it to a container for freezing. This last step should keep the ice crystals small and your dessert creamy. Proper ingredient ratio is also essential in getting your ice cream texture right. Sugar in milk (lactose), for example, is excellent in keeping your mixture soft even when frozen. However, too much of it can lead to crystal formation and an unpleasant sandy texture.
What else can you make in an ice cream maker?
Your ice cream maker can do more than ice cream, depending on its model. Most machines have pre-set options to make yoghurt and gelato. But your ice cream maker can also be a drink-making expert. You can use it to make frozen cocktails, frozen chocolate drinks, frozen lemonade and slushies. Ice cream makers usually include a recipe book to make all sorts of frozen treats, too.
Can ice cream be made without an ice cream maker?
Absolutely! You can start with a quick no-churn vanilla ice cream. This recipe only needs three ingredients: two cups of whipping cream, 414ml of condensed milk and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, mix the vanilla extract and condensed milk, then fold them into the whipped cream using a spatula. Next, transfer your mixture to a metal bread loaf pan, insulated ice cream tub or single-serve paper containers. Cover the top with plastic wrap or parchment paper then freeze up to 6 hours. The next time you make it, try to add all sorts of mix-ins that you like or perhaps a different flavour extract.
With several options available, selecting the best ice cream maker in Australia can be challenging. But this also makes it easy for us to find the one that ticks all the boxes. And among the ice cream machines I’ve reviewed, I believe the Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker would meet most user standards, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned dessert maker.
Yes, it’s heavy, bulky and expensive, but its cost covers a nearly complete set of features you wouldn’t find elsewhere. It’s convenient, easy to use and, best of all, long-lasting.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you have the most high-end appliance for making desserts. We purchase ice cream makers for the sheer fun of making homemade frozen desserts, after all. So, do your research, compare product features and consider your budget. Make your ice cream maker hunting as enjoyable as making desserts!