If homemade ice cream sounds like a Pinterest pipe dream, then you may want to be sitting for this next piece of information: it’s actually so much easier to make than it sounds. For starters, a homemade scoop requires only the most basic of pantry and refrigerator staples — things like cream, milk, eggs and sugar. Recipes abound online, and the only gadget you need in your kitchen to turn this fantasy into reality is an ice cream maker.
The best ice cream (or gelato, or frozen yogurt, or sorbet) makers all have a few things in common. First? They’re electric, because we don’t care how good of a workout it might be, we’re not interested in churning our own ice cream. Second? They can make large batches, because we don’t understand people who only keep one pint of ice cream in their freezer at a time. And third? They allow for easy cleanup, because we have better things to do (namely, eating our ice cream) than wash a million individual parts.
Once you’ve mastered classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla, the options are as endless as your imagination. Flavor combinations like mint chocolate chip and cookie dough may seem passé by the time you’re done thinking up new confections. And with one of these machines in your kitchen, you can eat sweet, delicious ice cream anytime a craving strikes — which is truly the cherry on top.
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1. Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker
Cuisinart is here to dispel the myth that making your own ice cream at home is hard. All it takes for this stainless steel appliance is the press of a button and 20 minutes for you to enjoy ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato or sorbet. This ice cream maker comes equipped with an ingredient spout and integrated measuring cup so you can spend less time fumbling with ingredients and more time coming up with inventive new flavors. Lemon-blueberry-ricotta? Don’t mind if we do.
2. Nostalgia PICM4BG Electric Ice Cream Maker
You’ll have plenty of ice cream for even the biggest parties with this four-quart ice cream maker from Nostalgia. But don’t be fooled by the old-fashioned bucket design — the PICM4BG Electric Ice Cream Maker features a powerful electric motor that does the work for you. Whether you follow recipes provided in the manual, use one of Nostalgia’s ready-made ice cream mixes or dream up your own flavor, this model churns a smooth and creamy consistency each and every time.
3. Whynter ICM-201SB Ice Cream Maker
This high-tech ice cream maker from Whynter includes bells and whistles that some other machines don’t match. The electric appliance has three modes — an ice cream mode, a cooling-only mode and a mixing-only mode — for added convenience. The removable stainless steel mixing bowl and BPA-free churn blade allow for easy storage and cleaning. But what really makes this model from Whynter stand out is the sleek black and stainless steel design and easy-to-read LCD screen.