What is a good ice machine
The best ice cream machine
Making ice cream yourself is a great thing, especially for families, in summer. Depending on which ice cream machine you buy, the money for the ice cream portions eaten over the summer will soon be recovered. It's also more fun to create your own ice cream than queuing in the long line in front of the ice cream parlor.
Whether you choose a device with or without a compressor depends, among other things, on the purchase price, but enough space in the home freezer is especially important for devices without a compressor.
We tested 23 ice machines with and without a compressor. Both versions have their advantages and disadvantages - it depends on your own taste. In terms of price, devices without a compressor are significantly lower than their compressor siblings, but they also require more time.
Ice machines - you should know that
There are basically two types of ice machines: devices with their own cooling system and those that use ice packs. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Ice machines with cold packs are cheap, starting at around 60 euros. To do this, you have to pre-cool the battery for between 12 and 24 hours, which requires space in the freezer.
In addition, the battery becomes warm during use and thus loses its cooling capacity over time. Accordingly, the ice mass must be as cold as possible, ideally even slightly frosted. The production of ice cream is therefore a little more laborious.
Ice machines with a compressor are significantly more expensive than models with ice packs
The devices with their own cooling system do not have this problem. However, such ice machines are not only more expensive, they usually also require significantly more space. On the other hand, you have less stress when making the ice cream and on top of that you get a better consistency.
Ice machines are simple devices - the main differences are in the capacity they can take and, if applicable, the performance of the cooling unit. Then come the little things: the handling, how it behaves with the cleaning or how easy it is to take the ice cream out of the container.
The test has shown that the easier the devices are to operate, the easier it is to use them. A sticking point in the test was the timer built into some devices.
Because ice cream takes time and, unlike baked goods, cannot be prepared in the same time every time. Devices that can only be activated by timer switch off at some point - and the ice melts. Above all, the limitation to 60 minutes seems arbitrary, with the larger machines it could have been significantly longer.
That's how we tested
We tested a total of 23 ice machines. The price of the compressor devices was significantly higher than the models without self-cooling.
All machines make good ice cream
First of all, the good news: every ice machine reliably performed the task for which it was designed in the test: the production of ice cream. However, there are significant differences in the speed, the capacity of the containers and the processing. Otherwise, ice cream machines are probably one of the most sparsely equipped household appliances: apart from a power button, there is at most the option to set the operating time. That's it then. The only exception is the Dolce Bacio from Klarstein.
The freezer bins on our compressorless ice machines all spent a day in the freezer before being put in the ice machines. For the ice cream mass, we have prepared a simple ice cream recipe using milk, sugar, vanilla sugar and cream. 300 milliliters of the prepared liquid were poured into each machine.
The ice was then stirred until it had a firm but still creamy consistency or the automatic switch-off of the devices intervened automatically.
Important: When the mass is poured in, the stirring rod should already be rotating. This prevents a thin layer of ice from immediately forming on the inner wall.
In the case of the machines with a compressor, we let the ice mass cool down, only then did the freezing process start. After the cooling and stirring elements were switched on, it took around an hour to have delicious ice cream - a little longer on some machines, faster on others.
In operation, the devices are a little quieter than classic kitchen appliances, but a little louder than a hand mixer.
The ice cream mass should be as cold as possible before filling
When using fresh ingredients, take your time as it takes time to mix the base mix from the ingredients. Then you should put them in the machine as cool as possible. If possible, the mass should be chilled directly in the cooling container. This ensures minimal cooling effort, and the ice cream is ready accordingly faster. In an emergency, a lukewarm compound can also be poured in, even if this is not recommended by the manufacturers.
Since ice machines do the work completely on their own and there are almost no additional or comfort functions, we focused on processing, assembly and cleaning in addition to the production time. In the update, we also measured the sound pressure that the devices emitted during operation.
Ice machines with compressor
Devices with a compressor make it easy for the user. Most of the work is done by the device, all you have to do is pour it in and enjoy the finished ice cream yourself. Here are our recommendations:
Brief overview: Our recommendations with a compressor
DeLonghi Gelataio ICK6000
The DeLonghi ICK 6000 is our clear recommendation for anyone who wants a really good ice cream machine at home. It holds 1.2 liters and works pleasantly quickly: the ice cream is ready in less than an hour. We especially liked the simple operation: The system has two switches, one for cooling and one for the stirring element - nothing more is needed.
The only drawback is that the cooling container has to be touched when emptying it. Without gloves, your hands almost freeze off, because the machine cools down a lot. But that's a good thing for an ice cream machine. After all, we don't complain about an oven that it gets hot.
Good as well
The Nemox Gelatissimo performed almost as well as the DeLonghi. Here, too, the operation is simple: One button activates the cooling function, the second the stirring element. The Gelatissimo creates almost 50 percent more ice with 1.7 liters - and in a similarly quick time as the DeLonghi. Compared to our favorite, it fell a little behind in the test in terms of processing. In terms of price, it is now on the same level as the DeLonghi.
Good & cheap
Springlane Kitchen Elli
The Springlane Kitchen Elli offers an excellent alternative for those looking for a reliable ice cream maker without digging into their pockets. The operation is simple and limited to the essentials, which is completely sufficient for its purpose. After preparation, it keeps the ice cream cool for another hour. This is useful when you don't want to stand in the kitchen with a stopwatch.
Variety of varieties
Sage Appliances The Smart Scoop
The Smart Scoop from Sage Appliances is a well-made device that has many functions: First you start the Pre-Cool function, which brings the device down to the recommended temperature in five to ten minutes - depending on what you are preparing would like to. You can choose from a wide selection here: sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato or ice cream.
|Test winner||Good as well||Good & cheap||Variety of varieties|
|DeLonghi Gelataio ICK6000||Nemox Gelatissimo||Springlane Kitchen Elli||Sage Appliances The Smart Scoop||Klarstein Dolce Bacio||Medion MD 18387||H.Koenig HF180||Profi Cook ICM 1091||Klarstein Snowberry & Choc||Unold Cortina||Gino Gelati GG-90W|
|Show product details|
|Capacity||1.2 liters||1.7 liters||1.2 liters||1 liter||2 liters||1.5 liters||1 liter||1.5 liters||1.2 liters||1.5 liters||0.7 liters|
|material||Stainless steel, plastic||plastic||Stainless steel, plastic||Stainless steel, plastic||Stainless steel, plastic||Stainless steel, plastic||Stainless steel, plastic||stainless steel||stainless steel||Stainless steel, plastic||plastic|
|power||230 watts||150 watts||135 watts||200 watts||180 watts||150 watts|
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