“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times

You've got plenty of options when it comes to cheap ice cream makers. To keep things fast and easy, you'll probably want a cheap electric ice cream maker -- either one with a canister that requires several hours in the freezer before embarking on your ice cream making adventure or a more traditional model that uses rock salt and ice. Then there's the ultra-portable Play & Freeze, which relies on muscle power rather than electricity, but gets thrown or rolled rather than cranked. The cheap ice cream makers on our list deliver the goods in about 30 minutes or less. The end results should be creamy and smooth and require no additional freezing or mixing; consumers liken it to soft-serve ice cream. Most cheap ice cream machines also make gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt and custard, slushies, and adult drinks. They typically come with a one-year limited warranty; the Cuisinart ICE-20 raises the bar to three years. Cleanup requires hand washing detachable parts and wiping down the rest.

Size Amount of Ice Cream Type Warranty Extra features
Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker estimated price $42
10x10x15 inches; 9.5 lbs. 1.5 quarts Freezer bowl 3-year None
Play & Freeze Ice Cream Ball estimated price $25
Ball-shaped, 8- inch diameter; 26 oz. 1.5 quarts Rock salt and ice 1-year None
Hamilton Beach 68330R estimated price $30
12x12x13.5 inches; 6.5 lbs. 4 quarts Rock salt and ice 1-year None
Deni 5205 Automatic Ice Cream Maker estimated price $43
10x9x14 inches; 7.2 lbs. 1.5 quarts Freezer bowl 1-year Candy crusher
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Also see our full Ice Cream Makers review:
  1. Best Cheap Ice Cream Makers
  2. Discount Ice Cream Makers Features Comparison Table