Ice cream, where would the world be without them. Man has been eating the stuff since he started scooping handfuls of snow and flavoring it with syrups of his choice. In fact many of the recipes that we use even today are as old as the Persian Empire that first started the trend. More than 2500 yrs ago, Persian Emperors had horsemen relay snow from the high up mountains where snow was present even is summer down to them so that they can have ice cream in summer.
The first patent for ice cream makers was issued in the 1930s and since then although there have been advancements in design, the old ones still hold sway. I have reviewed many of the leading manufacturers in the market and give you our verdict on which the best one is for your home.
Truly, the Italians have understood man's need for ice cream much better than we have. The Simac Gelato is a very small machine and makes only one quart, lesser even than the tiny counter top options that you have. They have however understood that you do not plan in advance to have ice cream; you eat it when you want it. They therefore have made their machines fully integrated with a refrigeration unit so that all you need to do is to put in the ice cream mix into the canister and press the button.
No waiting, and the only preparation that you need is to ensure that you have a ready supply of ingredients in your home. This is our first choice because at $200 they give you everything except maybe quantity, but then if you want more, you just put in another batch. It gets done in half an hour's time and you can always make two batches before you eat them while another one gets done in the mean time.
White Mountain 6 quart automatic maker
This is our second option because of the capacity that it gives you. A 6 quart machine is massive. Since you are making it at home, you can control the amount of sugar that goes inside and compensate with quantity with your kids. We give this second place because at $200 it costs just as much as the Gelato, but comes with a much much bigger capacity, and if you have kids at home, you need quantities. As long as you have a refrigerator that can keep supplying you with enough ice cubes, you can pretty much keep making ice cream the whole day long, although why anyone would want more than one batch is beyond our guess.
Cuisinart ICE 45 soft serve maker
The Cuisinart ICE 45 comes in the third place ahead of other similar soft serve makers because they give you a 1.5 quart capacity. Although there are may such machines in the market and some that are even cheaper, this is one of the largest capacities for soft serve machines. If you freeze the inner canister then you get sufficient ice cream for a small family, and this is more than enough. Because this is a soft serve option, the volume of ice cream that you get is also much more, plus you get to add in up to four extra ingredients that you like with their add on plastic jars.
There may be other machines that some of us may feel is much better. Everyone has a different need and the best one for them may not be the best for everyone.