The best compressor ice cream maker can offer quite a bit of convenience, particularly when you are craving a nice, soft ice cream in the middle of a hot summer day. That silky ice cream taste can surely make your afternoons and home parties a bit more enjoyable – because let’s face it, who doesn’t like freshly made ice cream that doesn’t come out of a package?
However, it might be rather troublesome to get the best model, considering there are so many out there to choose from. This guide is here to help you pick the best one so that you can only enjoy the tastiest ice cream.
Who Needs a Compressor Ice Cream Machine?
A compressor ice cream maker is a great thing to have around for those that enjoy making and consuming ice cream, but do not necessarily have the time to spend on spinning the ice cream themselves. These compressor ice cream makers are perfect for those holding house parties or serving a bigger number of people, but they are also great for ice cream shops and other similar establishments.
Compressor ice cream makers work pretty much the same, regardless of the brand that you are using. You have a paddle (also referred to as a dasher) that is found inside a canister in which you put the mixture for the ice cream. The canister will then go inside a container that will contain the freezing unit: chemical coolant or electric refrigerating unit.
To use the device, you simply add the ice cream mixture and start the unit. Bear in mind that depending on the unit that you are using, you might also have to refrigerate your freezing bowl first to ensure that it’s cool. Once you turn the machine on, the paddles will start stirring the mixture, aerating, and smoothing it up until it gets that ice cream consistency. Without this aerating process from the compressor, the ice cream will be quite hard and would have crystals forming on it.
Compressor vs. Non-Compressor: What’s the Difference?
Both compressor and non-compressor ice makers can make some fabulous frozen goods if you know how to use them. However, unlike non-compressor ice cream makers, a compressor model has a built-in refrigeration system. It freezes the bowl itself, which means you will not have to do any overnight freezing yourself. This way, the ice cream will remain cold for a longer time, and you won’t have to spend too much time making the ice cream.
With non-compressor units, the bowls will have to stay in the refrigerator for at least 24-48 hours. Granted, no one says that you can’t stick a compressor bowl in the freezer to get that extra ice – but it’s not entirely necessary. You simply place it in the machine, and it will immediately begin to freeze. This is quite a convenient option if you need to make multiple batches and you don’t particularly know the science of ice cream.
With a non-compressor ice cream machine, you will have to wash the bowl and place it in the freezer first before you use it again. On the other hand, with a compressor unit, you simply clean it and then put it back in the machine. In a couple of minutes, you should be able to make yet another batch of ice cream.
Best Compressor Ice Cream Maker Comparison Chart
Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
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Whynter ICM-201SB 2.1 Quart Upright Ice Cream Maker
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Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
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Whynter ICM-15LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker
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Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker
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Whynter Stainless Steel ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker
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Happybuy 1400W Commercial Hard Ice Cream Machine
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Best Compressor Ice Cream Maker Reviews
Finding the best compressor ice cream maker can be quite a challenge, as there are many models that show a lot of potentials. Here are some of the ice cream makers that got the best reviews.
1. Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
The Cuisinart ICE-100 is a popular option when it comes to ice cream makers, particularly due to its ease of use. Considering that it is a fully automatic compressor, all you have to do is fill it with the mixture and the ice cream maker will begin doing its freezing magic.
At 1.5 quarts, the bowl is quite large and has enough space to make ice cream for a small family. Plus, since the bowl freezes quite fast, you won’t have to wait long even if you have to go for a second round. The top of the lid also has a small window in which you may add things such as fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips.
The ICE-100 comes with two different paddles, which means you can change them at wish to make sorbet, gelato, or typical ice cream. The components are BPA-free, which makes them very safe. Moreover, you may wash the pallets and the lid in the dishwasher but bear in mind that the bowl needs to be gently cleaned by hand.
The unit features a countdown timer for the ice cream, a “keep cool” feature, and a few safety settings that will prevent the motor from overheating. Thus, it is a great choice for those who want to make ice cream, but do not have the time to linger around the ice cream maker.
2. Whynter ICM-201SB 2.1 Quart Upright Ice Cream Maker
Do you want a multifunctional ice cream maker that allows you to prepare all kinds of iced goods, such as frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato, or your typical ice cream? Well, in that case, you are most definitely going to enjoy this Whynter ICM-201SB unit.
Having a 2.1-quart capacity, this device is spacious enough to make ice cream for large parties or family gatherings. Plus, since it does not require any pre-freezing, you can make multiple batches of ice cream without having to freeze the bowl again between rounds.
The display is very clear, with controls that are very intuitive and simple to use. The cooling temperature goes from -0.4 to -31 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of iced treat that you are trying to make.
Moreover, this ice cream maker features a type of stainless steel that is very easy to clean. All you need is to wipe it down every now and then. Since it is also rust-resistant, it should probably last you for quite some time. It is certainly a good option if you are looking for ease of use and cleaning.
3. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
If you really can’t make up your mind when it comes to ice cream, then you may certainly find the Breville BCI600XL smart scoop ice cream maker the right choice for you. Featuring 12 different hardness settings, you can make anything you want, from classic ice cream to gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and so on.
The 1.5-quart bowl capacity is not too small, not too big – but just enough to make ice cream for an entire family. Plus, it features a “keep cool” setting that maintains the ice cream for up to 3 hours.
With a power of 165 watts, this unit may look big, but it consumes very little power. It has energy-saving features that will keep your energy bills low, even if you tend to use the unit often.
The ice cream is made quite fast, and the scoops are nice and smooth, without any ice crystals mixed within. The Breville device is a great option if you are looking to make some soft and smooth ice cream. It is also very low maintenance, which makes it the perfect choice if you don’t like to spend hours scrubbing on the ice cream maker.
4. Whynter ICM-15LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker
Whynter strikes once more with the ICM-15LS stainless-steel ice cream maker. Featuring a 1.6-quart bowl that does not require any pre-freezing, you can make your ice cream quite fast – even if you have to make several batches. You can make any kind of frozen treat that you want, going from sorbet to gelato and your standard ice cream.
The stainless-steel housing is not only very attractive, but it is also very easy to clean. Plus, the unit features an LCD screen where you can see exactly its temperature and settings. The bowl can cool from -0.4 to -31 degrees Fahrenheit, aerating the ice cream with the paddle and ensuring that it comes out nice and smooth.
This device also features motor protection in the event that the ice cream freezes too much. If the paddle can’t spin, the ice cream maker will sense that the motor is being overworked and will stop the unit altogether. This will prevent any further damage from occurring to the device.
Last but not least, this ice cream maker features a built-in audible timer. This way, even if you are handling chores around the house, you will not forget about the ice cream maker.
5. Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker
Do you want a very compact yet large ice cream maker that does not take up too much space? Well, in this case, you might want to try out the Cuisinart ICE-70 – a small unit that can make much more.
Featuring a two-quart bowl, this unit is perfect for making ice cream for larger gatherings – for example, if you are hosting a party. Plus, since the bowl does not have to be pre-frozen, all you have to do is clean it and stick it back into the ice cream maker. After a few minutes, the unit will be ready to make a fresh batch of ice cream.
This device was given a countdown timer with an auto shut-off feature. This means that when the ice cream is done freezing, the maker will stop and announce this through the beeping alarm. It can also keep the ice cream cool for long enough until you get a chance to serve it.
The unit includes a variety of accessories, including a lid with an ingredient spout, a measuring cup, a freezer bowl, and a paddle. You also have access to different settings, depending on the type of ice cream that you wish to make.
6. Whynter Stainless Steel ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Do you want an ice cream maker that is very easy to use and doesn’t have any overly complicated instructions? In that case, you might want to give the Whynter ICM-200LS a try. Featuring a highly intuitive LCD control, the chances are that you’ll realize by yourself how to use it without going through the guidebook too much.
The unit features a durable stainless-steel housing that resists being transported from one place to another – for a prolonged time. Plus, it is very easy to clean, with most of the accessories (except for the freezing bowl) being dishwasher friendly. To maintain the bowl at its peak condition, you may want to wash it by hand using mild dishwashing soap and non-abrasive cloths.
This unit provides several settings for you to choose from. As a result, you can choose to make anything you want, going from your standard ice cream to gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and so on. The built-in audible timer will tell you precisely when the ice cream is done.
Similar to most Whynter ice cream makers, this unit also features a motor protection function. In the event that the ice cream gets too hard, the motor will stop to prevent any damage from occurring. This will greatly increase the durability of the device.
7. Happybuy 1400W Commercial Hard Ice Cream Machine
Are 2.5 quarts not good enough for you? Maybe you want to host a very big party, or you have your own small establishment and you want to sell some ice cream during the warm season. In this case, this 5.3-gallon unit from Happybuy should be just enough to keep you going.
Featuring a stainless-steel body, this unit is very easy to keep clean and shiny. Plus, it has a one-click cleaning function that practically allows the unit’s bowl to clean itself. This way, if you are busy with other people and chores, you won’t have to spend hours trying to clean the ice cream maker.
The display of the unit gives you complete control, and it is also very easy to use. The ice turns out very soft and smooth – perfect as a summer treat for everyone wanting to cool down. At the same time, you have complete control over the temperature, the hardness of the ice cream, and every other aspect.
Features to Consider in Compressor Ice Cream Makers
When it comes to finding the best compressor ice cream maker, there are certain features that you might want to keep in mind. Make sure that you buy the perfect model for your culinary habits by going through all these:
How many accessories does the unit come with? The first thing you should consider is how many paddles it has. For example, the same paddles that you use for ice cream might not be used for gelato. Each unit will have its own set of accessories – so, make sure that it comes with everything you might need.
What is the capacity of the bowl? If you have a smaller family or just want to occasionally make some ice cream for yourself, then a 1.5-quart bowl should be enough for you. On the other hand, if you want to make ice cream for a bigger group, you might want to go for larger options – for example, a 2.5-quart one. This way, you will not have to make ice cream in multiple rounds. If you need an even bigger ice cream maker for a shop, then you might want to get a commercial unit with a higher capacity.
The settings of an ice cream maker are certainly something you might want to consider, as they will improve the unit’s ease of use. What does the unit have that makes it special in comparison to other compressor ice cream makers?
For example, some devices have a timer. This way, you will know precisely how long it should take until the ice cream is done. Others might also feature an alarm – so, if you get wrapped up with chores and forget about the ice cream, the machine will “inform” you when the delicious dessert is ready.
Other settings include multiple ice cream modes, going from cooling only to mixing mode – or maybe a combo of both. This function might be helpful if you have preferences in mixing the ice cream – whether you want to do it separately or prefer that the machine does all the mixing instead.
- Ice Cream Consistency
What consistency do you want your ice cream to be? Some want a nice and fluffy ice cream, whereas others might want some gelato or sorbet instead. Compressor ice cream makers should give you options from soft ice cream to the hard kind, depending on your personal preferences.
- Control Panel and Ease of Use
How is the unit’s display? Can you clearly see everything that is going on in your ice cream maker of choice? Look for units that have an easy-to-use and intuitive control panel – one that does not have you shuffling through user manuals every three seconds.
LCD control panels are recommended, particularly the ones that show you the temperature inside the unit and the timer. Simply put, the control panel should be able to tell you everything that you must address in regard to the best compressor ice cream maker.
- Cooling Ability
Will your ice cream remain cool after it was made? Some compressor ice cream makers will simply stop freezing up your ice cream after they finished making it. Therefore, once you start opening the lid, the ice cream may end up melting as the unit is no longer cool.
Some ice cream makers will feature extended cooling functions that will keep the ice cream cold for a specific amount of time. For some machines, it’s 10 minutes, for others it’s 30 minutes – but regardless, it gives you enough time to serve the ice cream before it melts.
- Size and Weight
You should also consider the size and weight. For example, if you want to make ice cream for a larger number of people, you might want to consider getting a bigger ice cream maker. Otherwise, you might just end up making multiple rounds because the first one just wasn’t enough.
You also need to consider your counter space and whether you will have to move the unit or not. The average compressor ice cream maker is quite heavy in itself, so if you are planning to move it from one place to another, you might want to go for a smaller unit instead.
- Ease of Maintenance
How easy is it to clean your compressor ice cream maker? Some ice cream makers are prone to getting moldy from the humidity or to get stained, which is why you need to pick up one made from high-quality materials. The last thing you want is to make ice cream and then spend a long time trying to clean the unit.
Stainless steel is generally a good choice to have around, as you will only need to wipe it up without worrying about stains. Some machines have a dishwasher-safe bowl, so if this is your preferred method of cleaning the dishes, you might want to look for such a feature.
- Power Used
How much power does your compressor ice cream maker of choice use? This is very important because after all, you will have to plug the unit in. If you are planning on using it quite often, you don’t want a device that eats up a lot of power. So, go for machines that have at least some sort of power-saving features.
Summing It Up
Buying the best compressor ice cream maker should not be that difficult, as long as you know exactly what you are looking for. There are certain brands that stand out, but in the end, it boils down to the capacity of the unit and the smoothness of the ice cream. In the end, you should pick the one that you believe fits your needs the most.
Bonus article: How Long Does It Take to Make Homemade Ice Cream?