Ice cream makers

Considering buying an ice cream maker to avoid paying unrealistic prices for allergy free versions and to reduce sugars and additives in our diets. Any recommendations


I don’t use one so can’t give any recommendation about them. I tried to find if Choice had done any reviews on them but was unsuccessful, perhaps someone more skilled than I on Choice may have success. If they haven’t been reviewed perhaps another set of tools for Choice to consider reviewing.

From my early married days when we made Ice Cream it was the use of a freezer and electric beaters to get the product made and if you look at some chef’s online/TV presentations they also produce some great ice creams with similar tools to what we used that may interest you. While I have not used an Ice Cream machine the convenience may outweigh the hands on method but I have included some links below and many do not require an Ice Cream machine so may be a starting point to help you.

To help reduce suigars you can also consider using artificial sweeteners or Natvia/Stevia (a more natural product).


You might also consider using one to make gelati or sorbet from natural fruits. Traditional recepies don’t use icecream makers, although it is one way to save on effort.

Certainly some believe that if it is not made with an icecream maker it can’t be icecream. It would be interesting to compare the end results between hand and machine made for equivalent ingredients.

Our extended family cookery gurus seem to make do. The cooking programs seem to make it look so easy with the machines they have on set. These appear to be the models with the built in freezer compressor, like a small fridge. Bulky and heavy.

There are simple old school models which use crushed bagged ice for cooling and others that you have a heavy bowl you freeze first to cool the mix.

Did you have a particular type or cost expectation?


I spent some time reviewing ice-cream makers last year. I don’t recall a Choice review, but you can do your own search by adding “review” to your topic the browser search bar.

For ice-cream makers, I suggest the following decisions to assist your selection:

How much effort and time you want to invest. If you are prepared to use your own freezer and do some of the mixing then you probably don’t need a machine.

If you want to be able to make other frozen recipes (such as sorbet, gelato) then you will need a variable thermostat.

Are you willing to use freezer space to chill the bowl (where the mix goes) for at least an hour before starting the machine - if not, look for “pre-chill” or similar.

If you don’t want to be present when the machine has finished the program (to then immediately transfer the ice-cream to new container for the freezer), then a “keep chilled” option is important. Unless you’ve eaten all the ice-cream immediately - fresh tastes so good that this is a real risk!

Some lids allow extras to be added towards the end of the cycle (choc chips, etc). If added at the beginning then these may end up only at the bottom.

The loudness of the machine (it is a freezer acting on a “rapid chill”) may affect when you use it, or aim for a quieter machine.

And, importantly, for smoother ice-cream:

  • the relative shape and size of the blades (which rotate) to the bowl
  • auto-sensing reduces ice crystals (“crunchiness”) in the ice-cream

This year I used my FlyBuys points to gift myself a Heston Blumenthal Sage 2 Smart Scoop, which is marketed by Breville in Australia as Smart Scoop BC1600. I am very pleased with it:

  • No use of my freezer space for pre-chilling.
  • Lots of settings. Very simple to use.
  • Keeps the ice-cream frozen for a few hours until I get to it.
  • Great smooth texture, no ice crystals. Success with ice-cream, sorbet and gelato!
  • Bowl easily fits into the chill-chamber, and is easy to clean. The bowl, lid and blade are not dishwasher suitable, but this is MUCH easier that using my freezer to make ice-cream.
  • I wanted a machine which did not require much effort from me (or I’d buy good ice-cream).

You do have to keep the machine upright for 30 minutes before use, for the refrigerant - not an issue for me.
It is quite a large appliance, and heavy, so you will not be wanting to frequently lift it in/out of of the recesses of a cupboard. I have enough space on my bench to park it in a corner (covered with a tea-towel to reduce distant splatter from other cooking). Being ready to use immediately I am now using it lots more: over-ripe fruit, strawberries diced to exclude needles, and for delicious creme anglaise.

Hope that helps.


I also purchased the Breville Smart Scoop in order to be able to make sugar free ice creams. The only issue I have had with it are the actual settings for the various types of ice cream. The ice cream setting resulted in a brick, but if you lower the setting say to frozen yoghurt and keep an eye on the timing it makes good ice cream. Very heavy machine so you need to have a place to set it up rather than constantly moving it. It only makes a lite of ice cream at a time.


Thank you great tip about settings


How do you manage that? I thought that the balance of water/fat/sugar determined the texture and aeration. Are there adapted recipes for sugar free? Do they work?


There are plenty of recipes on the internet for “keto icecream”.
To replace the sugar you use a n Erythritol & Stevia blend. Usually sold as just Stevia, but when you read the fine print less than 1% is stevia. It looks like sugar but you don’t need as much as you would sugar. The optional addition of vodka and food grade glycerine further reduce the crystals. Sugar free is NOT fat free so you still have lots of cream and eggs. Some types are egg free also.
Peters also sell Sugarfree icecream in 1.5 litre tubs. It is more expensive but you can’t tell the difference between it and regular icecream.


You had me at vodka. Would malt whiskey work also? can you double the quantity of the same and remove the need for glycerine?


If you like cream in your scotch I’m sure it would work.


We haven’t tested these recently, but I’ll be sure to pass on the requests. Thanks to all those who have shared their experience, please keep them coming :slight_smile:


I imagine so. The purpose of the booze is to supply alcohol that helps to break up the ice crystals as the water freezes. This roll is usually done by sugar. This dispersion of small ice crystals in fat globules and unfrozen liquid provides the soft texture that distinguishes ice cream from other frozen confections. The texture is also amended by entraining air bubbles as the mix freezes.


We have an Aldi ice-cream maker and a Sunbeam one. They both function well, and there’s not much between them in build or performance. The Aldi one is a bit easier to disassemble and clean.

They both have bowls that need to be frozen, and the motor with the agitator sits on top.

We learnt quickly to put the ingredients in slowly and gradually. If not, the machine freezes up (couldn’t resist the pun sorry).

We have made it using milk, cream, yoghurt, and buttermilk. And put whatever our heart desires, or is lying about into it. This has been stewed fruit, flavourings, confectionery, honey (that’s what was on the label anyway), chocolate, spirits, etc. Again, just depends on what is lying about.

So the obvious advantage is the ability to make what ever combination you want, and whenever you want. (Limited of course by having the bowls frozen, and having the ingredients on hand.)

It is ideal to whip up a quick dessert if guests drop by as it only takes 15 or so minutes to make a batch. Generally, we use both machines at once to make two different flavours.

A good way to see if you like making ice-creams is to keep an eye out at op shops, because they seem to appear fairly often very cheaply. We bought the Sunbeam for something like $5.