Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker: Pros and Cons

Aroma Ice Cream MakerWith an ice cream maker, it is quite easy to make your favorite frozen treats within a mere few minutes. These extremely versatile machines can be used to make plain ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, frozen custard or even frozen drinks like slushies or margaritas. More importantly, they are very easily available under different price tags, which enables you to purchase one even if you’re trying to restrict your budget. You don’t even need to know how to operate the machine to use an ice cream maker: quite on the contrary, they are quite suited to beginners, with some models even sporting child-friendly features.

When shopping for your machine, you might be faced with two primary types of ice cream makers: hand cranked or electric. Hand cranked apparatuses are best suited to users who don’t plan on making large batches of ice cream at the same time. They are also perfect for anyone who wants to benefit from the cozy feel of old-fashioned ice cream. While this machine is quite an excellent choice, it does have its own set of pros and cons.

So, if you’re looking for the best ice cream maker, read on for the advantages and disadvantages of this type of apparatus.


Hand cranked ice cream makers have the advantage of being extremely affordable, especially when compared to electric models. Indeed, the majority of models can start at $30, if not lower. In spite of their low price tag, these machines do not compromise on quality. The Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker, for example, only costs between $40 and $50, but comes with a plethora of features designed to provide you with a smooth and super-creamy texture. In fact, it even comes with a double-insulated freezer bowl to keep your mixture at optimal temperature.

Another major advantage with hand-cranked ice cream makers is that they can churn your mixture in just half an hour. Some manual machines like ball ice cream makers are also extremely fun to use since you only need to toss or roll the ball around to prepare your frozen yogurt or ice cream.


On the flip side, however, while hand cranked models do not require a lot of time to churn your mixture, it may be time consuming in terms of preparation. Indeed, these models normally come with an outer and an inner bowl: the outer bowl needs to be filled with a mixture of rock salt and ice to create heat of fusion and consequently keep the mixture at optimal freezing temperature during the churning process. Consequently, this may be a problem for anyone who needs to whip up a quick batch of homemade ice cream.

Another problem with hand cranked machines is that they are more suited to smaller batches at a time. This can be an issue if you have a larger family or if you need to make ice cream for a party. The rock salt and ice treatment can also get quite messy if you’re not careful.

Hand cranked vs Electric Ice Cream Maker

hand cranked ice cream makerAffordable and easy to use, ice cream makers are increasingly growing in popularity. Indeed, instead of constantly having to go out for a sweet treat, it is highly recommended to make a one-time investment in an ice cream maker, hence ensuring that you can always whip up quick batches of ice cream on the go. Because their versatility, these machines can be used to personalize your mixture. Whether you choose to add chocolate flakes or chips, coconut flakes or other such ingredients to your mixture, you can easily personalize your dessert while making as many substitutions as you want. If you suffer from diabetes, for example, you can finally enjoy as much sugar-free ice cream as you want.

The market normally presents two main types of ice cream maker: hand cranked and electric. To make the best choice between these two, here are the pros and cons of each machine.

Hand Cranked Machine

Hand cranked machines are usually composed of a small inner bowl as well as an outer bowl. Users have to operate a hand-cranked system to activate the paddle and consequently churn the mixture. These ice cream makers are ideal for users on a limited budget because they tend to be less expensive and more compact than their counterparts. On the flipside, however, hand cranked machines need to be treated with a mixture of salt and ice prior to the churning process. They can also be slightly messy because of their compact size. Hand-cranked apparatuses do require more time to prepare the mixture as opposted to electric machines. They still remain quite an interesting option for users who want to benefit from the distinctive look and taste of homemade, old-fashioned ice cream.

Electric machines

Slightly more expensive than hand-cranked apparatuses, electric ice cream makers are equipped with motors to drive the paddle and churn the mixture. While some electric machines are designed to sit on the countertops, other models are designed to be placed in the freezer where the paddle slowly churns the mixture into soft ice cream. A more expensive albeit better-quality choice would be to go for an electric ice cream make with a freezing mechanism built directly into the canister. Consequently, all you need to do is pour in your mixture and allow the machine to take care of the messy work. The majority of electric machines are equipped with sprouts that enable you to add extra ingredients while the apparatus churns your mixture.

Ice Cream Makers For Experienced Customers

Readily available in most online and offline stores, ice cream machines are among the most popular kitchen appliances on the market. Indeed, they can be used to make a variety of frozen sweet treats such as slushies and frozen drinks, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, gelato and the likes. Best of all, they are quite easy to operate, even by beginners. Luckily enough, the market does present a wide variety of machines with different features to suit your requirements and expertise levels. Beginners, for instance, will be glad to learn that they can very easily procure an inexpensive and basic apparatus that can churn individual servings in a mere matter of minutes.

If you’re used to ice cream machines, it’s recommended to go for a more advanced machine. These do not only provide you with a smoother and creamier texture but advanced ice cream makers are also far more versatile and can be used for additional treats. Most of the time, these advanced apparatuses do not require any salt and ice treatment which can be quite messy in the long run. While they can be slightly more expensive than compact machines aimed at beginners, they are certainly worth the cost.

Here are some of the top ice cream makers for experienced users.

Cuisinart ICE-21PKSLTCuisinart ICE-21PKSLT

With a capacity of 1-1/2 quarts, the Cuisinart ICE-21PKSLT is ideal for more experienced users, especially because of its fully automatic feature. This machine even features an oversized ingredient sprout that allows you to add as many additional ingredients as you want to your ice cream or sorbet. With this machine, you will also benefit from a double insulted freezer bowl, which means that you won’t need to treat the canister with salt and ice during the churning process. It only requires 20 minutes to make your ice cream, frozen drinks and other treats.

Whynter ICM-200LS

Whynter ICM-200LSWith a stainless steel housing, the Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker costs between $300 and $400. Built for more experienced users, this apparatus comes with a unique Motor Protection Function that automatically shuts down to keep both your mixture and machine in top-notch condition. Best of all, the machine even includes a built-in timer which enables you to leave your machine unattended. Both the bow and dasher are entirely removable to facilitate washing up. This apparatus can also be used to make gelato.

MegaLane Machine, Soft Ice Cream Maker, Frozen Yogurt Machine

MegaLane MachineIdeal for softer-serve desserts, the MegaLane Soft Ice Cream Maker is ideal for more experienced users who want to make frozen custard, ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbets at home. Perfect for both home and commercial use, this particular machine also has an LED digital display system to help you keep track of the amount of ice cream that you make. It even features a low liquid mix level alert designed to keep the mixture from over-freezing. With this apparatus, you can benefit from a swirly dispenser for your ice cream cones.

Ice Cream Makers With Larger Capacities

Easily among the handiest tools that you can have in your kitchen, ice cream makers can be used for a wide range of purposes. From frozen yogurt to frozen custard or even gelato, these apparatuses are extremely handy. Best of all, they are readily available on the market and come in different price ranges, which means that you can afford them no matter what your budget it. The majority of ice cream makers- especially budget-friendly ones- are more suited to smaller individual portions. However, you can certainly find quite a few apparatuses designed for far large capacities.

Whether you have a large family or if you simply want to make larger batches of ice cream at a time, here are some of the highest rated machines with larger capacities.

White Mountain F69204-X

White Mountain F69204-XWith a 4 quart capacity, the White Mountain F69204-X 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Freezer comes with an electric motor and can be used to make frozen yogurt, ice cream and various types of frozen confections. The large wooden tub can easily accommodate a stainless-steel freezer to keep your mixture at optimal temperature. Users will also receive a handy recipe book as well as an instructional manual. Both the dasher and the canister are entirely dishwasher safe which makes cleaning up far easier. It requires a treatment with rock salt and ice to help you achieve the perfect creamy consistency. This item costs between $200 and $300.

J.B. Prince P180

J.B. Prince P180One of the most efficient machines on the market, the J.B. Prince P180 Tabletop 2 Qt. Commercial Ice Cream Machine costs between $1000 and $2000. With an impressive 2 quart bowl capacity, this apparatus is composed of a stainless steel bowl, blade and body. Consequently, it is scratch-free and can easily sustain heavy-duty use. It is extremely easy to clean and only requires 20 to 30 minutes to churn one batch of ice cream. This apparatus has a 110 volt motor and compressor which is quite powerful, especially when compared to other ice cream makers. Because of its exceptional capacity, this apparatus can easily be used for commercial purposes as well.

Breville BCI600XL

Breville BCI600XLPriced between $300 and $400, the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker can make up to four cups of ice cream at a time. This apparatus has no less than 12 hardness settings that can be used for gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, ice cream, frozen custard, sherbet and other similar frozen treats. In fact, some users even found that they were successfully able to use this machine to make slushies and margaritas. It has a self-refrigerating compressor to keep your ice cream at freezing temperature or less. With this machine, you will be able to easily choose between manual or automatic functionality. More importantly, you can benefit from a keep cool setting that lasts up to 3 hours.

DeLonghi GM6000

DeLonghi GM6000With a four-star rating, the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor has a total capacity of 1.2 liters, which can easily feed a larger group. It costs between $300 and $400 and has a four-star rating on most major sites. Because of the self-refrigerating compressor, this apparatus does not require any waiting time between the batches. This apparatus also automatically brings your ingredients to below freezing temperature to ensure a perfectly creamy consistency. Along with ice cream, this machine can also be used to make authentic gelato, frozen custard, frozen yogurt or even slushies. It is made from stainless steel that can withstand quite a lot of wear and tear.