With ice cream season heating up, there's no better time to search for a budget-friendly ice cream maker. Churning up a batch of the sweet creamy treat at home is cheaper than buying a carton at the store and certainly more fun for family and friends. Equally important is control over what goes into every quart, a clear boon for health-conscious consumers and those with food allergies.
Cheapism.com identified the best entry-level ice cream makers, most costing less than $45, and all capable of delivering the goods within 40 minutes. These basic models score well with consumers for performance, although a minority complain about disappointing ice cream and limited durability. For the best results, thoroughly chill the ice cream base (the mix of ingredients) and follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Freshly churned ice cream has a soft-serve consistency that appeals to some consumers, while others prefer to let the finished product “ripen” or “cure” in the freezer for a couple of hours for a firmer, scoopable consistency.