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The 5 Best Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines
Soft ice cream can be made at home with my choice of the best soft serve ice cream machine. The Smithsonian says soft ice cream first became popular in the 1930s. No one knows who invented it first. It could be the Dairy Queen founders, Tom Carvel, or even the British leader Margaret Thatcher. There are so many flavors to enjoy. The following ratings and reviews can help you disover the top 5 best soft serve ice cream machines on the market today.
In This Article
Best Choice: Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker
The Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker is the best soft serve ice cream machine because it includes a bonus recipe book and three containers for mix-ins. It is easy to use and clean.
The Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker makes it like having a miniature commercial ice cream maker at home. This unit has a one and one-half quart capacity. Its clever design includes a place to stack extra cones, which are both flat on the bottom and pointed. This makes the filling up and handing out soft ice cream cones easier. The top has a clear lid so you can see the contents while they are mixing. Three built-in condiment containers dispense mix-ins, like sprinkles, mini M&Ms, and chocolate bits. They go down a chute and then blend with the soft ice cream, so you can make flavors like mint chocolate chip with actual chocolate chips.
This unit is easy to use by just lifting the lever, causing the soft cream to flow. You pull out the levers at the bottom of the condiment containers to add your favorite mix-ins. There is a removable drip tray to catch any melted ice cream that falls. All the pieces come apart easily for cleaning. This unit is a good candidate for the best soft serve ice cream machine because it works very well and looks nice as a countertop ice cream maker.
- Includes three built-in containers for mix-ins
- Bonus recipe book for soft ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and sorbet
- Made from BPA-free materials
- The mixing bowl needs to be put in the freezer for 24 hours before use
Premium Pick: COSTWAY Commercial Soft & Hard Serve Ice Cream Maker
The COSTWAY Commercial Soft & Hard Serve Ice Cream Maker is the best soft serve ice cream machine because it can make both soft and hard ice cream. It has an ergonomic design and an LCD screen for easier usage.
The COSTWAY Commercial Soft & Hard Serve Ice Cream Maker might be my choice for the best soft serve ice cream machine because it is the same kind you would find in a fancy restaurant or ice cream store. It can make both soft serve or hard serve ice cream. It has two, six-liter hoppers for mixing the ice cream with other ingredients. There are two models of COSTWAY ice cream machines. The larger one has a capacity of up to 20 liters (7.4 gallons) per hour, perfect for a commercial ice cream buffet-style shop.
If you have a big family, you might be able to justify the investment in this professional unit. Certainly, small businesses such as bakeries, coffee shops, and convenience stores can benefit from having one of these units. It can deliver three different flavors from the two stainless steel hoppers, plus a mixed flavor of ice cream from both hoppers. It comes with four nozzles to create different shapes of the ice cream flows. I like using this unit because you can see what is happening on the LCD and easily control its functions with the touchpad. The display even tells you how many cones or bowls have been made to let you decide when it needs to be refilled.
- Ergonomic delivery handles are comfortable to use
- Large capacity and output
- Easy to automatically clean by simple water washing and draining
- Powerful compressor with good heat dissipation through cooling vents
- There is no refrigerating function in the mixing hopper
Best Value: Chefman Simple One Push Operation Frozen Dessert Maker
The Chefman Simple One Push Operation Frozen Dessert Maker is the best soft serve ice cream machine because it makes many frozen desserts. It is easy to use and clean, plus it includes a free membership to an online recipe club.
The Chefman Simple One Push Operation Frozen Dessert Maker is a very inexpensive unit costing less than others in the category of the best soft serve ice cream machine. It makes all kinds of tasty frozen desserts, including soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, and tasty fruit sorbets you could expect from a gelato maker.
This device is a bit like a blender or a food processor. You use slightly thawed frozen fruit for consistency. Place it in the top of the unit. Push it down into the processing blades and it comes out as a nicely blended frozen dessert. Mix-ins can be blended into the mixture as well. One thing I like about this device is you get to decide exactly what you want to include in the mixture.
For example, if you make pure fresh fruit sorbet, there is just the fruit in the dessert and no extra added sugar or other less-healthy ingredients. Also, you can make just the right amount you want. All the pieces of this unit come apart easily for washing and cleaning.
- Low cost
- Easy to clean
- Includes a free membership to an online recipe club
- There is a need to prepare fresh fruit and freeze it in advance
Runner Up: Black & Decker IC200 Arctic Twister Ice Cream Mixer
The Black & Decker IC200 Arctic Twister Ice Cream Mixer is the best soft serve ice cream machine because it comes with a one-year limited warranty. It is simple to use and the parts are dishwasher safe.
As consideration for the best soft serve ice cream machine, the Black & Decker IC200 Arctic Twister Ice Cream Mixer is another low-cost choice. It is a blender-type mixing device. You put hard ice cream or other frozen desserts into the top, along with things you want to mix in. Then, like a hand-crank ice cream maker, you use the hand tool to push the ingredients down into the mixing mechanism, and out comes a nice blend of what you put in.
This device is simple to use and easy to clean. It also has an attractive contemporary design with clear blue plastic so you can see the blend as it is mixing. It is fun to take store-bought hard ice cream and then blend in things like nuts, candy, fruit, granola, and toppings of all kinds. When filled up with ingredients, it makes enough soft ice cream swirls to fill three cones.
Kids love to watch this device operate. It may remind them of a candy factory as the ingredients come down the blue plastic tube to get mixed. Try colorful items as a mix and this is even more fun to watch. Add fresh fruit to the same flavor of ice cream, such as fresh strawberries with strawberry-flavored ice cream, to enhance its taste. It only takes a few moments for the mixture to be prepared and the anticipation for them is exciting.
- Low cost
- Five components come apart easily for cleaning
- Parts are top-rack dishwasher safe
- One-year limited warranty
- The dispenser works quickly and you need to be ready to catch the spiraling dessert
Honorable Mention: Gourmia GSI180 Automatic Healthy Frozen Dessert Maker
The Gourmia GSI180 Automatic Healthy Frozen Dessert Maker is the best soft serve ice cream machine because the machine is ETL-certified and can make all your favorite delicious sorbets.
The Gourmia GSI180 Automatic Healthy Frozen Dessert Maker is an easy-to-use machine that quickly turns frozen fruit into soft sorbets. This is a great choice if you’re trying to live healthier but still find yourself craving ice cream every now and then, and it works on any type of frozen fruit from blueberries to dragonfruit.
The Gourmia is ETL-certified, which means it abides by North American safety standards, so you can make ice cream with confidence. The pieces are also easy to disassemble and clean, so, so washing it after making dessert is a breeze.
- Easy to clean
- Only requires frozen fruit to work
- Ice cream needs to be frozen for an hour before eating
Features to Consider for the Best Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine
When I was taking a look at all the units that could be my choice of the best soft serve ice cream machine, I noticed a big difference between the blender-mixer styles and the ones with a more robust and professional design. For my comparison, I decided to rank them based on capacity, durability, and being easy to clean.
The smaller units make enough for three bowls at a time. There are also some models with a continuous flow system, which you can insert more things to keep making more. For a small family, these work quite well. The professional units have a larger capacity. The biggest units can make up to 20 liters (7.4 gallons) per hour. You will need to have a small business or a very large family to want to make this much soft ice cream.
The lower-priced models, in the best soft serve ice cream machine group, have many parts made of plastic. These plastic parts can break or crack if dropped. The motor may be problematic with some cheaper units. If your fruit is too frozen, you may cause the motor to strain from the blending efforts and perhaps burn out.
Easy to Clean
One excellent feature of the design of every unit in the best soft serve ice cream machine category is they are easy to clean. The ones with parts can be disassembled easily and the plastic parts are dishwasher safe on the top rack. The professional unit has a one-button automatic cleaning feature, which uses a water rinse to rapidly clean the device and then wash the water out through a drain.
Benefits of Using Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines
If you use the best soft serve ice cream machine you can afford, you should save money on trips to get a soft cream swirl at a fast-food restaurant or an ice cream store. You can also make frozen yogurt at home. Save on the driving time and having to wait in line.
One benefit I enjoy is the ability to make my favorite flavors, with or without an old fashioned ice cream maker or an ice cream ball. I fancy myself a master ice cream maker and love to come up with new recipe ideas. You should try my avocado-flavored ice cream. You would be shocked how delicious it is. I make it with avocados, organic honey, vanilla ice cream, and a touch of lime.
Not only can I control the flavors, but I also control the ingredients. I can even use hard ice cream I made from scratch. Natural fruits are healthy snacks, and they can be made into a delicious sorbet.
Precautions of Using Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines
The main precaution I have for those who want to buy the best soft serve ice cream machine is to always make sure to thoroughly clean it after every use. This will avoid any contamination.
Also make sure to be careful and supervise kids if they want to help make the soft serve ice cream, as the blade from blender-style machines can be sharp.
My top pick for the best soft serve ice cream machine is the Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker. I have never been disappointed with appliances made by Cuisinart. There are cheaper models for home use; however, I find them to be less well-made than this brand. The motor of this model is strong. The blending is done smoothly, making the perfectly blended texture of soft ice cream and mix-ins.
The other things I like are the design elements, which include both a place to put empty ice cream cones and the ease of adding the condiments from their hoppers. When you are filling up multiple ice cream cones for the kids, as I do, this design makes it much easier to accomplish.