How to Buy an Ice Cream Maker

buying an ice cream makerMany of us grew up perched on our street corners with our ears cupped, listening for the unforgettable melodies of the slowly approaching Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck. Indeed, this was music to our ears, as everyone loves ice cream.

Now that you’re probably a little older and don’t want to be seen towering over a crowd of 5 year olds as they swarm the ice cream man, you may want to take matters into your own hands. Enter, the ice cream maker. That’s right, just make your own!

Since everyone loves ice cream, it isn’t any surprise that ice cream makers are becoming very popular. If you’re looking to buy an ice cream maker for your ice cream making needs there are several things you should know about before making the purchase.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Cost – This will probably be the most important factor that determines which ice cream maker you buy. There is only so much you should be willing to spend, after all. Ice cream makers can range from $40 to $250. The more you pay, the more durable the machine should be, and the more output it should have. That being said, higher cost doesn’t necessarily correlate to better ice cream.
  • Output – Ice cream makers range from 2 quart output to 6 quart output. The size you get will depend on how much ice cream you need to make in one batch. If you’re trying to serve a large family or group, a bigger machine will be helpful. Keep in mind, the greater the output, the longer it takes to make ice cream.
  • Durability – If you are paying a high price for your ice cream maker you should be assured of its durability. These machines have to churn cream until it is thick and frozen, which can be a continuous strain on the motor. Check out the warranty situation on any maker you consider.
  • Reviews – One of the things you should do before you buy is check out reviews of the makers you’re considering online. There are many places you can do this. Good House Keeping and Consumer Reports are just two of the many places that review this type of household appliance. If there are a ton of poor reviews about durability or output about the machine you’re looking at, you should steer clear of that ice cream maker.
  • Clean-ability – While you’re looking at reviews, look and see what people say about the machine’s ability to be cleaned. Most machines come apart to enable you to clean them more thoroughly between uses. If the machine you’re looking at doesn’t make this a quick and painless process, you should save yourself the hassle and purchase another machine.


The following are the three main types of ice cream makers you might consider when making a purchase:

  1. Old Fashioned
  2.  Mixer Attached
  3. Self Cooling

The type you get will depend on all of the following factors:

  • Cost
  • Durability
  • Output
  • Cleanup

Old fashioned and self-cooling are the most expensive varieties, though you can find cheaper models. Mixer attached versions range from $30-80. The most convenient ones are the self-cooling, which freeze the ice cream while it is being churned. They are also the most expensive, sometimes reaching $300. They are also less likely to come in higher output capacities. Regardless of your decision, the more reviews and user feedback you can find on an ice cream machine before making your final purchase, the better.