- 6 Best Ice Cream Makers in Australia for 2021
- Breville The Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
- Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Frozen Yoghurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker in Rose Gold
- Nostalgia PICM4BG Electric Ice Cream Maker with Easy-Carry Handle
- Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker
- Norpro 6840 Ice Cream Maker
- Zoku Ice Cream Maker
- Things to Consider When Buying an Ice Cream Maker
- FAQs About Ice Cream Makers
- Final Thoughts
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 2021
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 2021 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||21 x 20 x 29cm||2L||Compact with simple one-switch system||Check on Amazon AU|
|Electric + Ice and Salt||31 x 33 x 41cm||4L||Short churning time with large ice cream output||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|
|Manual + Freezer Bowl||18 x 15 x 24cm||500ml||Inexpensive with attractive design||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 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 Pure Indulgence Frozen Yoghurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker Rose Gold
If everyone at home loves ice cream, which probably is always the case, then you got to have a machine that makes enough to share. The 2L capacity of the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker should do the trick. What’s more is that, unlike other bulky ice cream makers, Cuisinart managed to squeeze its generous capacity in a sleek and compact model. At only 5kg, this ice cream maker can sit on your benchtop, stay stashed in the cabinet or whip something delicious on the dining table. Oh, and it features a stunning brushed rose gold housing, too.
On top of being compact and beautiful, this ice cream maker is also friendly to any workspace. Its tiny niche at the back ensures that no cord gets in the way when the machine’s not in use. There are also rubber-coated feet at its base, so the unit stays in place while churning and vibrating. This small detail also protects the surface from scratches every time you move the ice cream maker. The recipe book included should keep you inspired to make one frozen treat after another. And with only three removable parts to wash by hand, cleaning is a cinch.
But what I like the most about this particular machine is its operation. With only one switch to think about, making ice cream couldn’t be any easier. And within 25 minutes or so, your ice cream mixture is all churned and ready to harden in the freezer. The large spout of the easy-lock, transparent lid makes it easy (and mess-free) to add your ice cream base or favourite mix-ins. It’s easy to take a peek and check how your ice cream is progressing, too.
While churning, the robustness of its motor and parts becomes even more evident. For instance, the electric motor stays stable even as the mixture starts to increase in volume. And if it does overheat, for added peace of mind, the ice cream maker has its automated turn-off safety feature. The BPA-free plastic dasher also shows no problem while mixing from start to finish. The quality of ice cream it makes is commendable as well, considering that it can churn your mixture in less than half an hour. With its overall performance, it’s no wonder people have been praising this ice cream maker for its excellent value for money.
But, of course, being a freezer bowl-type ice cream maker means you need to go through long pre-freezing times (6 to 22 hours) before making your dessert. You can resolve this by getting a spare Cuisinart freezer bowl. Extra lids and paddles are also available. In terms of its paddle design, like the Breville Smart Scoop, this Cuisinart model is also incapable of scraping the sides of the bowl. You would have to stop the machine and scrape in between mixing, which affects the temperature. The ice cream maker also produces a deep, grinding noise that some users may find disruptive.
Despite its issues, this Cuisinart ice cream maker is a high-quality and reliable machine at an affordable price point. Families will surely have a blast using it all through summer. And with 2L of delicious ice cream in every batch, there’s always room for seconds!
Nostalgia PICM4BG Electric Ice Cream Maker with Easy-Carry Handle
Nostalgia is a well-known brand for its retro-inspired appliances and for infusing traditional mechanisms with modern technology. One good example is its Nostalgia PICM4BG Electric Ice Cream Maker with Easy-Carry Handle. Ice cream enthusiasts find its vintage design and eye-catching turquoise bucket very attractive. This unit freezes your ice cream mixture using the salt and ice method but without the hard work, thanks to its handy electric motor.
Its plastic bucket is both durable and easy to clean. Although Nostalgia has a range of ice cream makers with a wooden bucket, users will find the plastic one more resilient to water damage and warping. With a high-quality bucket, you’ll be making many years’ worth of homemade frozen treats! The bucket also comes with a metal handle with hand grip, so you can easily carry it anywhere.
Although it has no crank for manual churning, the Nostalgia PICM4BG is still fun to use and will go perfectly with your family’s top-secret ice cream recipes (or with Nostalgia’s line of ice cream mixes). The addition of an electric motor is an excellent solution for people who love the traditional method but not the long wait. Once the electric motor is in place, all you need to do is to refill the bucket with ice and salt when needed and wait for 30 minutes until your ice cream is ready.
Two things that I like about this machine is the large output and ice cream quality. With its generous 4L capacity, this unit can be part of your next summer parties. It’s an efficient machine that produces a lot of dessert in less than an hour. The ice cream consistency is top-notch as well. It makes soft-serve ice cream that’s not icy at all, and when you let it firm up in the freezer, the texture and flavour are even better.
One point to consider, however, is the quality of some of its parts. For instance, the aluminium canister is not as robust as other ice cream bowls. Constant contact with ice and salt can easily scratch its surface or cause damage. The metal handle also needs proper care as it is not corrosion-resistant.
Though parts for this ice cream maker are available, owners find them rather pricey. The locking mechanism of the motor may need some figuring out, too. You may find it difficult to set in place at first. But, overall, it’s an inexpensive ice cream maker that makes excellent frozen treats. It’s also a budget-friendly option for those trying to make homemade frozen treats for the first time.
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 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!
Norpro 6840 Ice Cream Maker
The Norpro 6840 Ice Cream Maker is a model that looks great even if it’s not making ice cream. Kids will surely find its pink crank and cone-like base appealing. This ice cream maker looks like a plastic toy than a kitchen appliance! But do not underestimate its dessert-making abilities. It’s a fully manual ice cream maker that does not require ice, salt or electricity to work. All you need to prep in advance is your freezer bowl and your chilled ice cream mixture. The freezer bowl is small, too, so it won’t take up much freezer space. Even kids will have no problem making their desserts with this charming machine.
The unit can quickly churn your mixture and turn it into sorbet within 15 minutes (or ice cream in 30 minutes), but the speed is up to you. And this is what I like about hand-cranked ice cream makers. Although it requires a little elbow grease, it gives you full control on how you want your ice cream to be. This unit comes with instructions and a recipe booklet, too, to help you get started.
It lacks the bells and whistles of high-end machines though. And after turning the crank for a good 30 minutes, it can only produce about 500ml of frozen treat. Still, it’s very affordable and an excellent starter for first-time ice cream makers.
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 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 low-cost ice cream makers 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 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 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 treats, after all. So, do your research, compare product features and consider your budget. Make your ice cream maker hunting as enjoyable as making desserts!