On a sweltering day, few things beat a bowl of ice cream. For many, an ice cream maker is an essential part of summer or any time of year. Others will consider it a luxury – but with our increasing focus on health and wellbeing, what’s wrong with knowing exactly what you’re putting into your favourite sweet treat?
Below is our list of the best ice cream makers on the Australian market.
- The Breville Smart Scoop is the first ice cream maker to automatically sense the hardness of the mixture based on your selection it keeps your frozen flavours at perfect temperature up to 3 hours
- AUTOMATIC SETTINGS: 12 hardness settings including sorbet frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream
- PRE COOL FUNCTIONALITY: Pre-cool your mixture to your optimal operating temperatures
- MIX IN FEATURE: Ice cream is a canvas; Customize your ice cream with chocolate chips fruit or other flavours or your choosing
- KEEP COOL FUNCTIONALITY: Keep your new frozen dessert chilled and churned for up to 3 hours until its time to serve
How We Picked
When it comes to an ice cream maker, you can get ones that are fully automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. If you’re someone who is willing to sit there and churn your own ice cream, then a manual one might be right for you.
I remember ice cream makers that required elbow grease to get the job done, and I know I’d rather have a fully automatic ice cream maker for my home. I used the help of simplerandsmarter.com.au, wereview.com.au, and amazon.com.au to compile my list of the best ice cream makers.
Now let’s get down to brass tacks. If you are going to invest in an ice cream maker and want it to be a good one, you need to look for certain things besides the fact that it will make ice cream and fits your budget. Here are some other things to keep in mind when shopping for an ice cream maker.
If you are willing to wait for your ice cream, then you may not care about a compressor-style machine. But if you want your ice cream right now, you will want a compressor-style.
A good compressor will yield many bowls of ice cream in what seems like no time at all. Compression style ice cream makers have a refrigerator built into them so that you don’t have too much prep work.
The ice cream maker’s capacity will all depend on how much you want to make. If you don’t have too many people in your household, then a smaller machine could be right for you. But then again you could have a small family and just want a lot of ice cream!
If you have a larger household, you will need a bigger capacity unless you want to be churning batch after batch.
A self-refrigerating machine will keep your ice cream cold for you. It means that you do not have to put your ice cream in the freezer after it has churned to finish the ice cream making process.
No ice cream maker is going to be so quiet that you forget it is running, but there is a huge difference in how loud they can be.
Making ice cream will always take time, but the amount of time will depend on what machine you buy. Some ice cream makers are faster than others, but on average, a fully automatic ice cream maker will take half an hour to a full hour.
It is no secret that some machines are harder to clean than others. Ideally, the best machine will come apart easily and be made of materials that are quick to clean. After all, no one wants to spend more time on cleaning up the ice cream maker than it did to make the stuff!
If you are intent on ice cream and want nothing else from your machine, then you will not really care about add-on features. However, a lot of models come with all sorts of functions. Ice cream makers may include a digital display, timers, removable parts, and the ability to make more than just ice cream.
If you want the extra features, you will be paying for them. The more bells and whistles, the more you will end up spending on your ice cream maker.
Top Pick: Breville Smart Scoop BCI600
This ice cream maker is extremely quiet – you could probably make ice cream in the wee hours of the morning, and no one would know. It's also fully automatic and has a 1L capacity.
This machine looks good in the kitchen, and it's by far the most stylish of our picks. Just be careful to keep the sides wiped clean, as we've had issues with other Breville stainless steel products becoming discoloured on contact with kitchen splatter.
The Breville also 12 different settings so you can make sorbet, frozen yoghurt, gelato, or ice cream. The settings allow you to choose how hard or soft you want your confection to be. You can use the preset programs or set your own timer, if you're the experimental type.
The ice cream maker comes apart to help make clean up easy and fast. Once your ice cream finishes churning, the Breville can keep your ice cream cold for up to 3 hours, so it is ready when you are ready to serve it.
The biggest downside to this machine is that many have experienced performance issues. And we have to mention the sticker price sadly – at AU$369, the Breville Smart Scoop is also on the expensive side.
Runner Up: Cuisinart ICE-21A 1.5L Ice Cream Maker
This machine does not make just ice cream. It can make frozen yoghurt, sorbet, and even slushies. It's worth thinking about how this changes the recipe ingredients too – if you ARE a person who likes to add extras to your ice cream or sorbet, this machine has a wide spout that will allow you to do that.
Cuisanart claims that this this ice cream maker features 'patent-pending mixing paddles', which can will churn your confection in 25 minutes on average. We also liked that the bowl for the machine is double-insulated, so you do not need extra ice when you make ice cream.
With an RRP of $139, this was a cheaper option than the Breville, although it lacked some bells and whistles, which meant that we couldn't offer it our best ice cream maker top spot.
It makes gelato and sorbet in 40 minutes and can also make slushies. Once the ice cream is made, it will automatically switch into a 10 minute keep cool feature.
This machine also has a large spout so you can add unique ingredients at the right time. This product also has a timer with touchpad controls and a blue LCD readout.
The downsides on this machine are that as the runner up, it is more expensive and (some say) slightly noisy. We've also noticed some availability issues in Australia, although you might get lucky in a Myer or Harvey Norman store.
The Apuro Ice Cream Maker has a 1.5L capacity, which is excellent for large families and ice cream lovers. This quality compressor can turn out a tub of ice cream in about 30 minutes. It can also make yoghurt and sorbet.
You can make ice cream, soft serve, frozen yoghurt, gelato, or granitas in about 10-20 minutes. You do not even need to transfer the dessert to a different bowl when you put it in the freezer.
The ice cream maker comes with a stainless steel bowl, a spoon, and a protective sleeve. The parts are all easy to clean after use. Since this machine is manually operated, this means it is much cheaper than all the other machines on this list.
One of the downsides is that because it's manual, this machine does not have a very large capacity (0.18L). We weren't huge fans of the plasticky design of the Apuro, though it's bright and appealing for kids.
Overall, it seems easy to make ice cream with this machine – you just need to freeze the bowl, add the ingredients, put the dish in the machine, and then start it up.
This ice cream maker has a 1.5L capacity, which is perfect for large families and those who just want lots of ice cream. It will make ice cream, frozen yoghurt, sorbet, and gelato in about 15-30 minutes. It comes with recipes so you can quickly start making ice cream. The machine comes with a 12-month limited warranty as standard, which is great, because the plastic construction didn't fill us with confidence.
The David & Waddell ice cream maker also has a transparent lid and non-slip feet to prevent it from making a mess in your kitchen.
The Bottom Line
There is an ice cream maker to suit all homes, needs, wants, and budgets – but if you want a reliable ice cream machine that can handle making gelato, frozen yoghurt, sorbet, and ice cream with the bells and whistles, then you should look into the Breville Smart Scoop BCI600 Ice Cream Maker. It’s simply the best ice cream maker you’ll get in Australia this year.
If you want a machine that has a slightly bigger capacity and can make frozen yoghurt, sorbet, and slushies as well as the ice cream, you will want to consider buying the Cuisinart ICE-21A Ice Cream Maker.