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Ice Cream Maker Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy an ice cream maker.

Getting Started

Small appliances can perform large tasks. Take the tears out of chopping onions with a food processor or mini-chopper, mix dough with your food processor, make fresh smoothies in the blender, deep fry your favorite fish - the list is endless. For advice on selecting the perfect small appliance check out our quick reference guide to small appliances. If you need further assistance contact our Gourmet Shop Sales Associates at 888-228-5800.


Making homemade ice cream is easy and fun. If you're in the market for an ice cream maker, there are two main things you should consider: size and convenience.

There are a few types of ice cream makers, some with bowls you refreeze, and some very nice, and expensive, self contained makers with their own freezing unit.
If you are looking for a small ice cream freezer, one that freezes one to two quarts at a time, I recommend the type with a refreezing bowl. These are very convenient, as you do not have to deal with messy ice and rock salt. They are also economical. The trick to making good ice cream with a refrozen bowl is that you need to freeze it for a couple of days between each batch of ice cream and your freezer needs to be very cold. If this is going to be a problem, we suggest trying one of the other types of ice cream makers.


The classiest type of ice cream makers comes with their own freezing unit. You simply add the mix and let them go. These also tend to be more expensive.

Depending on what features you are looking for, there is an ice cream maker for you. If you are looking for an ice cream maker to use with children, consider the type with the freezable bowl. Making ice cream is a wonderful treat for children, and if it causes less of a problem for the grown-ups, even better.

Considerations for all small appliances:

  • Determine your cooking needs and wants - both current and future. Is your family growing or growing up and moving out? Are you interested in increasing your culinary endeavors? Are you wishing to simplify and reduce time in the kitchen?

  • Evaluate your kitchen counter space. Where are you going to put all those new small appliances?

  • Check the height of the appliance compared to the height of your cabinets.
    Appliances that mount under the cabinet are available.

  • Decide on the color of your new small appliance. 

  • Determine the appliance capacity. The number of speeds and settings on an appliance usually increases with the size of the machine. Those who have large families or like to entertain may choose to buy larger appliances.

  • Decide whether you want corded or cordless appliances.

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