These Are the Best Ice Cream Makers You Can Buy Under $100
For homemade frozen treats all summer.
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 home 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, and most are small enough to use on the countertop.
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. Even more impressive, it churns ingredients into creamy perfection with the push of a button.
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 Ice Cream Maker
- Best Instant: Klee Instant Ice Cream Maker
- Most Versatile: Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
- Best Traditional: Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker
- Best Small Ice Cream Maker: Dash My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker
- Best Soft Serve Maker: Yonanas Original Soft Serve Maker
- Best for Toppings: Nostalgic Ice Cream Maker
- Best Single-Serve: Zoku Ice Cream Maker
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 eight of the best ice cream makers under $100.
Best Overall: Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
This entirely automatic 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 filled with plenty of recipes for you to try. No wonder it has more than 8,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.
Best Instant: Klee Instant Ice Cream Maker
You don’t need a fancy kitchen appliance to make delicious ice cream at home. This affordable 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. “I’ve always kind of wanted an elaborate ice cream machine but didn’t want to deal with cleaning it afterwards or storing the darn thing,” one reviewer wrote. “This is super simple and no little parts to escape into the recesses of the kitchen drawers. I’m delighted!”
Most Versatile: Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
This versatile automatic ice cream maker from Cuisinart 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. Amazon shoppers appreciate how quick and easy it is, no matter what frozen treat they’re making. “You can make any flavor you can dream up,” said a shopper. “We did it with the family and they had so much fun adding ingredients that they love.”
Best Traditional: Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker
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 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 for you to try. Amazon reviewers say it’s easy to use and makes tasty ice cream. “The results are creamy, decadent, and delicious,” one person wrote.
Best Small Ice Cream Maker: Dash My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker
Dash’s My Pint electric ice cream maker whips up small servings of chilled desserts with the push of a button. Just freeze the mug-like bowl overnight, add a cold mix, and press the button to churn the ingredients for about 30 minutes. You’ll be left with just the right amount of fresh ice cream, gelato, sorbet, or frozen yogurt. The best part is that it’s compact enough to fit inside cramped kitchen cabinets. “This little maker is a great replacement for the giant ice cream maker that required ice and rock salt,” said one Amazon reviewer. So if you’re short on storage space but want to make homemade ice cream, this is the gadget for you.
Best Soft Serve Maker: Yonanas Original Soft Serve Maker
For fruit-focused desserts, you’ll want to check out Yonanas’ soft serve maker. The device can turn frozen fruits into a creamy, soft serve-inspired treat. Just add ripe fruit into the chute and push down on the plunger to create a healthy dessert. Of course, you could always add chocolate, candy, and other toppings for a little something extra. And if you’re not sure where to start, consult the recipe book that comes with the machine; it features 36 recipes, including pies, parfaits, and sorbets. “It is a true marvel of science, magically producing perfect frozen yogurt from fruit,” a happy customer wrote. “It blew my mind how similar it is to real ice cream.”
Best for Toppings: Nostalgic Ice Cream Maker
This electric ice cream maker from Nostalgia was made for people who can’t get enough toppings. Whether you’re into M&Ms, chocolate chips, nuts, or sprinkles, you can incorporate your favorite toppings into freshly churned ice cream with the hand crank candy crusher. “This thing did so well at making my husband's favorite Cherry Garcia but dairy-free,” according to one reviewer. “And with the candy crusher it made it easy to get the little chocolate chunks mixed in.” The machine makes two quarts of ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato after you add a liquid mixture to the aluminum canister, layer in ice and salt, and crush your toppings.
Best Single-Serve: Zoku Ice Cream Maker
Zoku’s ice cream maker creates a delicious bowl of ice cream for one in minutes. Freeze the inner bowl in advance so it’s ready to go, then fill it with chilled ice cream mix. Next, stir and scrape the mixture until it turns into a creamy, frozen concoction. It’ll come together in 10 to 20 minutes depending on what texture you’re going for. Add toppings and enjoy your homemade ice cream straight from the bowl. Amazon shoppers love how fun and easy it is to use. It’s the “perfect size,” one reviewer wrote.