They’re all under $100.

By Christie Calucchia
May 05, 2020
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Nothing says summer quite like enjoying a frozen treat outside in the sunshine. While you can stock up on ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet from the grocery store, it’s so much more fun (and rewarding) to make them from scratch at home. In order to do so, you’ll need a top-notch ice cream maker—and no, we’re not talking about that old hand-crank bucket you used as a kid.

If you think an ice cream machine is too pricey to invest in, think again. Brands like Cuisinart, Dash, and Hamilton Beach all offer high-quality ice cream makers at reasonable prices. From simple instant ice cream trays to rock salt mixers to automatic appliances, there are plenty of affordable ice cream makers to choose from. 

In order to pick out the best ice cream maker for your needs, you’ll want to decide how much prep time you’re willing to commit to, what you’re ready to spend, and which types of treats you’re craving. For instance, this affordable instant ice cream maker from Klee offers a simple way to make homemade treats at home, but it will take a bit of planning and elbow grease. And while this Cuisinart machine is a bit more expensive, it requires no prep time so long as the freezer bowl is already frozen and churns ingredients into creamy perfection with the push of a button.

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No matter which ice cream maker you choose, all of them will help you make delicious desserts to enjoy on a hot day. Ahead, take a closer look at seven of the best ice cream makers under $100. 

Best Overall: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

This entirely automatic stainless steel ice cream maker from Cuisinart takes the hard work out of making frozen desserts from scratch. All you have to do is add your ingredients into the two-quart freezer bowl, shut the lid, and turn on the device. The bowl and the paddle are removable for easy cleanup whether you mix up frozen yogurt, sorbet, or classic ice cream. It works in as little as 25 minutes and comes with an instruction booklet complete with plenty of recipes for you to try.

Buy It: $74; bedbathandbeyond.com

Best Budget: Dash Deluxe Ice Cream Maker

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For an affordable, basic ice cream maker, this simple option from Dash is just the thing. Once the freezer bowl is properly chilled, you can make homemade ice cream in about 20 to 40 minutes. Just pour in your mix and allow the electric device to churn the ice cream for you.

Buy It: $43 (orig. $50); wayfair.com

Best for Toppings: Nostalgia Electric Ice Cream Maker With Candy Crusher

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If you believe no frozen dessert is complete without a sprinkle of crushed candy or nuts, this ice cream maker is for you. The machine includes a hand crank that breaks up any toppings for custom homemade treats that taste gourmet. It has an electric motor to do the stirring for you and uses the rock salt method to create tasty ice cream from scratch.

Buy It: $63; wayfair.com

Best Instant: Klee Instant Ice Cream Maker

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You don’t need a fancy kitchen appliance to make delicious ice cream at home. This instant ice cream maker from Klee comes with everything you need to prepare a special dessert and have a little fun while doing it. The set comes with a pan that you’ll have to freeze for 24 hours before getting started. (You could also store it in your freezer between uses so it’s always ready to go!) Then you’ll create a liquid ice cream mixture and pour it in. The cold pan transforms the liquid into solid ice cream, which you can scrape out with the included hand tools and top with your favorite add-ons.

Buy It: $41; wayfair.com

Most Versatile: Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

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When it comes to automatic ice cream makers, this Cuisinart machine is quite versatile. It can easily whip up frozen yogurt, sorbet, or ice cream in 20 minutes or less. The freezer bowl contains a cooling liquid inside its double-insulated walls for fast and even freezing—no ice necessary. Once you pour in your ingredients, the device will mix up frozen treats in a snap.

Buy It: $70 (orig. $104); wayfair.com

Best for Rock Salt Method: Hamilton Beach 4 Qt. Ice Cream Maker

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This rock salt ice cream maker is automatic, so you don’t have to work up a sweat stirring or cranking. It’s still a bit more old-fashioned than some other appliances, requiring quite a bit of ice and rock salt in order to mix together tasty ice cream. However, it does do the churning on its own once you add your ingredients, and it comes with over 20 recipes.

Buy It: $61; wayfair.com

Best Dishwasher-Safe: Ovente Electric Ice Cream Maker

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This ice cream maker has so many features to love: It’s electric for hands-free churning; it comes with openings to easily add toppings as you go; it can make ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt; and best of all, after quickly mixing together a refreshing batch of ice cream, you can simply place all of the removable parts into the dishwasher for an easy cleanup. That way, there’s even more time to enjoy your homemade frozen treats!

Buy It: $56; wayfair.com