We whirled, churned and even kicked our way through a slew of ice cream machines. For best results when making your own ice cream, follow these three tips:
1. Freeze the bowl canister for at least 15 hours.
2. Assemble and turn the unit on before adding the cold mixture to the canister.
3. Fill the canister as directed in the manual, and never exceed the maximum.
Here are our foolproof picks for every type of home chef:
Steal of a deal: Deni Ice Cream Maker with Candy Crusher, $80.
Coolest features: This affordable option from Deni is easy to assemble and clean. A candy crusher chops nuts, chocolate and other goodies to top your sundaes.
Why we love it: It delivers smooth creamy results every time and kids love the candy crusher’s tasty treats.
Capacity: 6 cups
Most versatile: Kitchenaid 2-Quart Ice-Cream-Maker Attachment, $130.
Coolest features: The bowl attachment fits most Kitchenaid stand-mixer models.
Why we love it: It’s simple to use and doesn’t take up too much space. Plus, if you have a Kitchenaid stand mixer, it’s a no-brainer. The dasher stirs and scrapes the sides of the bowl as it turns. And you can control the speed (faster for fluffier or slower for a denser texture).
Capacity: 8 cups
Pro power: Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, Sears, $100.
Coolest features: This workhorse from Cuisinart churns up ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet in just 30 minutes. A large spout means it’s easy to add ingredients. You can keep an eye on the texture through the transparent lid.
Why we love it: This sleek and sturdy option produces consistent results no matter what you’re making. And it looks great on your countertop.
Capacity: 7 1/2 cups
These little guys were so cute we couldn’t resist testing them too!
Fun, fast and easy: Churn up to half a pint of ice cream in only 15 minutes with this mini maker.
Hamilton Beach Half-Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker, $40, Hamilton Beach. (Left image)
Play time: Add ice and salt and ask your budding soccer players to keep this “ball” moving in the yard. Thirty minutes later, you’ll score 1 quart of ice cream.
Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker, $41, Walmart. (Centre image)
Dairy-free: This unit churns out frozen treats, like cookies-and-cream ‘soft serve,’ using bananas as a base. Bonus: Most parts are dishwasher safe.
Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker, $65, The Shopping Channel. (Right image).