If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Italy and trying their authentic gelato, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to move there. We’ve certainly considered it!
From chocolate to pistachio, and from strawberry to the very delicious biscotti flavor, gelato is a popular frozen dessert that has made its way across the globe and is now available almost everywhere, including the US.
You will find many gelaterias around the country serving Italian-style gelato in several different flavors, and while you can enjoy your favorite scoop from one of these shops, you can also make delicious gelato at home using a gelato machine.
A gelato machine is a type of ice cream maker that works using different temperatures to freeze the mix and may make several types of frozen desserts including gelato, ice cream, sorbets, and frozen yogurt.
So, what are the best gelato machines? The best gelato machines allow for minimal air inclusion and have built-in compressors to make denser and creamier gelato with a more intense flavor.
Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide on how to choose the best gelato machine and our top picks of the 7 best ones!
Nothing beats a scoop (or two…or three) of gelato on a hot summer day, and what could be better than being able to make it yourself at home?
Homemade gelato tastes less processed than most store-bought varieties and gives you complete control over the flavors and other ingredients, especially if you have special dietary restrictions.
When investing in a gelato machine, there are a few features to look for that include!
Gelato machines come in a range of sizes, from small models that make single serves and take up virtually no counter space to larger ones that are perfect for entertaining guests.
Although gelato machines aren’t exactly kitchen essentials for many people, they are extremely fun to use and experiment with.
Therefore, if you can find a model that fits your kitchen and storage space, which we are positive that you will, a gelato machine could be a great addition to your kitchen, especially if you enjoy the occasional cold treat.
Gelato machines come in different capacities, therefore, when buying one, it is important to keep in mind how much gelato you would require in a single batch.
While some machines can make only 1 or 2 quarts (4-8 cups) of gelato in one go, others are designed for much bigger batches and can make up to 6-quart (24 cups) at a time.
Large-capacity models are a great option if you have a big family or need to make big batches of gelato for parties and get-togethers. They are, however, less efficient at handling smaller quantities.
That being said if you are just starting out and wish to try new recipes every now and then, we recommend you invest in a machine designed for smaller batches.
Gelato machines are a type of ice cream maker that comes in 2 different styles (freezer bowl and compressor), each having its advantages and disadvantages.
Freezer bowl ice cream machines have freezer bowls or inserts that need to be frozen beforehand, typically around 8 hours, whereas compressor models operate like mini-freezers and allow for continuous production of multiple batches.
Ability To Make Multiple Batches
Depending on the style of gelato maker you opt for (freezer bowl or compressor), you can either make one batch at a time or multiple batches in a row.
Some gelato machines allow you to make back-to-back endless batches of gelato; however, this may put added strain on the motor and could cause it to overheat.
For such purposes, it is recommended to invest in a commercial-grade gelato maker that is more durable and designed to handle multiple batches.
Settings And Options
The most basic gelato machines have a simple easy-to-use on/off switch.
Others, however, come equipped with additional settings and options such as timers, automatic shut-off, special paddles, and settings for making other frozen desserts.
In short, a compressor-style gelato machine is designed with more controls and options as compared to other models, and while it may be good to have versatile appliances, sometimes a basic model may be all that you need.
Gelato machines come with different warranties, with most of them covering a one-year warranty period.
These cover all manufacturing faults and defects and provide you with the guarantee that all these issues will be fixed by the manufacturer.
A quality gelato machine that is used properly should last well beyond its warranty date, but if you have the misfortune of accidentally breaking it, you may purchase extended warranties for most electrical appliances.
The 7 Best Gelato Machines
The best gelato machines allow you to make the creamiest and most delicious gelato, all within the comfort of your own home.
With so many different varieties to choose from, it can be a little difficult to choose the right one for your needs. Here is a list of our top picks of the 7 best gelato machines available on the market!
|1.||Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker||2-quart capacity with standout gelato setting|
|2.||Whynter ICM-220CGY Automatic Ice Cream Maker||Durable and heavy-duty machine for big batches|
|3.||Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker||Professional-grade gelato machine made in Italy|
|4.||Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker||Fully automatic machine with a commercial-grade compressor|
|5.||Whynter ICM-128BPS Upright Automatic Ice Cream Maker||Space-saving upright design and appealing black and pink housing|
|6.||Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker||12 specifically calibrated settings for different consistencies|
|7.||Ivation Automatic Ice Cream Maker Machine||5-cup insulated removable mixing bowl|
1. Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker
A renowned name in the world of kitchen appliances, Cuisinart was one of the first companies to popularize electric ice cream makers for home use.
The ICE-70 electronic ice cream maker by Cuisinart has a simple control panel with an LCD screen that is incredibly easy to read and operate.
With a 2-quart capacity of ice cream per batch, it also has settings for gelato and sorbet which control the speed of the mixing paddle depending on the type of frozen dessert you would like to make.
Although the time is automatically set for each option, you can also adjust it manually, and when the time is up, the machine automatically shuts off.
The gelato setting on this machine is a standout feature resulting in creamy, dense, and flavorful gelato, three of the main trademarks of authentic gelato.
2. Whynter ICM-220CGY Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Perfect to feed a crowd of gelato lovers, the Whynter ICM-220CGY automatic ice cream maker is a fully automatic machine that can make 2-quart of gelato in a single batch.
It comes with a built-in compressor, doesn’t require pre-freezing, and can be used to make gelato, ice cream, and sorbet. It also has a yogurt incubator function allowing you to make yogurt at home.
A durable and heavy-duty machine that will last for years, it can prepare small batches of gelato in a matter of 30 minutes while larger batches take around 40 minutes.
A built-in timer allows you to set the time for your gelato to churn and the motor protection function automatically shuts off the machine in case the mixture freezes solid.
3. Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker
One of the best gelato makers in the market, the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is made in Italy and guarantees professional results at home.
With a powerful and robust refrigeration system, you can use the different settings to make creamy gelato or sorbet, or iced desserts such as frozen yogurt and sherbet.
It is made of stainless steel and has a 1.5-quart capacity to help you whip up the most perfect gelato in hardly 20 minutes.
The bowls and paddles are easy to clean between batches and the 12-inches wide housing doesn’t take up too much space on your kitchen counter.
4. Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
Another great product from Cuisinart, the ICE-100 compressor ice cream and gelato maker is a fully automatic machine.
It has a commercial-grade compressor that you can use to make batch after batch of your favorite desserts without waiting.
With a 1.5-quart ice cream bowl capacity, it allows you to make decadent ice cream, creamy gelato, and light sorbets all using the same machine.
Unlike other ice cream machines, it features two unique paddles to mix and aerate the ingredients.
You can use the gelato paddle to incorporate less air and create dense and flavorful gelato, and the ice cream paddle to churn perfectly smooth ice cream.
It comes with a 60-minute countdown timer to ensure your frozen desserts have a perfect consistency and a touchpad control panel with an LCD readout for ease of use and convenience.
5. Whynter ICM-128BPS Upright Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Another great product from Whynter, this upright automatic ice cream maker creates 1.28-quart of gelato, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet in as little as 25 minutes.
Its space-saving design is perfect for kitchens with limited counter space and its appealing black and pink housing accents any kitchen counter.
Incredibly easy to use, it does not require pre-freezing and has an LCD timer control that allows you to easily switch the mode operation time duration as required.
It also has a motor protection function that automatically shuts off the machine if the mixture freezes solid in order to prevent damage.
Both its removable bowl and churn blade are BPA-free and made with aluminum, and are safe for making your favorite desserts.
6. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
If you’re getting serious about making gelato at home, this Smart Scoop ice cream maker by Breville is perfect for you.
Although it comes with a hefty price tag, it is well worth the investment considering the great features it has to offer.
With a 1.5-quart capacity, this is a fully automatic machine, although you can change the settings to operate it manually as well.
Incredibly easy to use and operate, it has a brightly lit interface and 12 specifically calibrated settings to create different consistencies – perfect for making dense and creamy gelato, as well as soft-serve ice cream.
The pre-cool setting prepares the machine so that it starts churning immediately and the internal thermometers ensure the temperature stays regulated throughout the process.
7. Ivation Automatic Ice Cream Maker Machine
The Ivation automatic ice cream maker machine is the perfect little appliance to satisfy your gelato cravings at home.
It takes dessert making to a whole new level and allows you to make delicious homemade ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and other creamy desserts in a matter of minutes.
With a large 5-cup capacity perfect for feeding a crowd, its insulated bowl removes from the base and can be scooped, cleaned, and stored in the freezer with ease.
It is very easy to use and eliminates the pre-freezing process thanks to its built-in compressor.
Its sleek LCD panel features one-touch buttons to create your favorite frozen desserts and its stainless-steel housing looks beautiful on your kitchen counter.
Its easy-lock viewing lid makes it easy to monitor the gelato-making process without having to open it every time. In addition to that, it is effortless to clean and store, even in kitchens with limited space.
Now that you know how to choose the best gelato machine for your kitchen, along with our picks of the 7 best ones, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have!
How do you clean a gelato machine?
Since every gelato machine is a little different from the others, it is always recommended to read the instruction manual before using and cleaning it for the best practices on how to clean each part.
Some gelato machines are dishwasher-safe while others are not. You will have to wash the freezer bowls, lids, and paddles by hand using mild detergent and warm water.
You must never put freezer bowls in the dishwasher because the high temperatures can damage the insulation and cause the cooling liquid to leak out.
Before reassembling the parts, make sure they are thoroughly dried.
Also, make sure to completely dry the freezer bowls before placing them in the freezer, or ice may accumulate on the walls of the bowl and interfere with the ice cream-making process.
Can you use an ice cream maker to make gelato?
Yes, you can. Like we mentioned before, a gelato machine is a type of ice cream maker that can be used to make several types of frozen desserts.
However, to get the best results, you need to look for certain features in your ice cream maker if you wish to make gelato with it.
Electric ice cream makers with built-in compressors are the best option since they churn at a much faster rate and incorporate less air into the mixture, resulting in rich and creamy gelato.
You will find these features in most electric models, however, before purchasing one, read about the appliance’s dessert settings to make sure it offers the versatility you require to make gelato and other creamy frozen desserts.
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