Sweet, creamy, and smooth, fruit sorbet is the perfect end to a hot summer day, especially if you are looking for a dairy-free and fat-free option.
Though it has never been as popular as ice cream, if made properly, it can give the fan-favorite a serious run for its money.
Sorbet can be made with absolutely any fruit and is simply a syrup of water and sugar that is churned in an ice cream machine.
To make the perfect homemade sorbet, you need to take care of two things: the correct ratio of fruit puree and sugar to get a perfect consistency and the right kind of sorbet maker to churn it to perfection.
If not prepared properly, it may freeze solid, taste too sweet, or melt into a puddle as soon as you start scooping it out. As a rule of thumb, the ideal ratio for the perfect fruit sorbet is 1 cup of fruit puree for every ¼ cup of sugar.
Of course, you can adjust this according to the sugar content of the fruit you are using, but usually, this proportion works just fine. The other most important thing is your choice of the sorbet maker.
So, what are the best sorbet makers? When choosing the best sorbet maker to make the perfect homemade sorbet, you need to consider the following things: your budget, the size of the machine, and of course, the features that matter to you the most.
Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide for choosing the best sorbet maker and our picks of the 9 best ones!
What To Look For In A Sorbet Maker
Sorbet is a simple frozen dessert that can easily be made at home using a sorbet maker/ice cream machine. You need to:
- Blend the fresh fruit and sugar in a food processor to make fruit puree,
- Strain the puree in a fine-mesh strainer to sift out any seeds or skin,
- Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine until it reaches the desired consistency,
- Freeze it for at least 2 hours.
You can use an ice cream machine or churn the mixture by hand. As is obvious, using a sorbet maker will make the process much easier and quicker, and help you make the perfect sorbet with just the right consistency.
As mentioned above, using the right kind of sorbet maker to make the frozen dessert is absolutely vital if you want to end up with something that you’re happy with.
When choosing the right sorbet maker, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
Sorbet makers come in a variety of sizes with some models small enough to fit absolutely anywhere and other larger ones that may be too big and heavy to even move around.
Since these machines aren’t exactly kitchen essentials, you must carefully choose a size that easily fits in your storage space and is also big enough to accommodate your sorbet needs.
Depending on how much sorbet you wish to make at once, you will have to keep in mind the machine’s capacity and how much sorbet it can produce per batch.
Most ice cream machines produce around 1-2 quarts (4-8 cups) of ice cream or sorbet at a time. You can also easily find models designed to produce a single-serve and others that can make up to 6 quarts (24 cups) at a time.
There are different types of ice cream machines with different components and freezing styles. Many of them use a freezer bowl that needs to be frozen before it can be used to churn the sorbet or ice cream.
This might not be the best option if you have limited freezer space and want to make a second batch since you’ll have to wait for the bowl to freeze again before you can use it.
Other options include the compressor models that allow you to churn one batch after the other and are more efficient when it comes to ice cream and sorbet making.
The catch, however, with these models is that they are more expensive and tend to take up more counter and storage space.
You can also opt for the traditional ice cream machines using the ice and salt freezing method that requires manual labor on your part to churn the frozen dessert.
Ice cream machines come in both electric and manual variants. Electric ice cream machines plug into a power source and do all the churning for you.
Similar to other electric kitchen appliances, they are incredibly easy to use and require you to simply add all the ingredients and push the start button to let the machine do its job.
Manual machines, on the other hand, require more effort on your part since you have to churn the ice cream or sorbet by hand.
It takes longer to prepare a batch and the churning may become more difficult as the sorbet or ice cream starts to harden.
However, since they require no electricity, they are extremely portable and convenient, especially for parties, beaching, and camping trips where everyone can help with the churning.
Most basic sorbet makers come with a simple on/off switch, and at times, that is all you need.
Other models have advanced features such as timers, auto shut-off, extra freezer bowls, special settings for making gelato and other types of desserts, and special “keep cool” features.
Compressor models generally have more controls and options for making various types of ice creams and frozen desserts as compared to basic freezer bowl machines.
While it’s great to have added features and functionality, you need to assess what your needs are and make a decision accordingly.
The 9 Best Sorbet Makers
A good ice cream machine is one of the most important things you need to make the perfect homemade sorbet that is not just perfectly sweet but also just the right amount of frozen. Here are our top 9 picks to help you choose!
|1.||Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker||Manual and automatic modes|
|2.||Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker||12 hardness settings|
|3.||Cuisinart ICE21R Ice Cream Maker||Budget-friendly|
|4.||Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker||Large capacity and lightweight|
|5.||Dash My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker||Compact and easy to use|
|6.||Elite Gourmet EIM-308L||Old-fashioned look with modern convenience|
|7.||Whynter ICM-200LS Ice Cream Maker||Award-winning ice cream maker|
|8.||Zoku Ice Cream Maker||Compact make-and-serve bowl|
|9.||KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment||Makes use of an existing appliance|
1. Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker
One of the first manufacturers to popularize electric ice cream machines for home use, Cuisinart has a range of sorbet makers.
This particular model, the ICE-70, is definitely our favorite.
With both automatic and manual modes, it can make around 2 quarts of sorbet per batch in hardly 20 minutes.
It has settings for sorbet, ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt with improved paddle speed and performance.
It comes with a simple control panel and an easy-to-read LCD screen, along with a built-in automatic timer that shuts off the machine when the time is up.
The lid has an integrated measuring cup that allows you to measure up to ½ cup of add-ins, and when the cup is removed, it gives way to an ingredient spout that makes it easy to pour in stuff.
2. Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
The Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker is perfect if you’re ready to get serious about making sorbets and other frozen desserts.
With a capacity of 1.5 quarts, the machine contains a compressor that freezes the sorbet while it churns.
The pre-cool setting prepares the machine to start churning immediately and internal thermometers ensure that the temperature remains constant.
It also boasts 12 settings for various levels of softness allowing you to prepare sorbets, ice creams, and other desserts based on your preference of how hard or soft you want them to be.
Since it is a heavy-duty machine, you can expect it to take up some space on your kitchen counter, and its heavy weight making it a little difficult to move around.
Other than that, it is a great long-term investment that comes with a 1-year warranty.
3. Cuisinart ICE21R Ice Cream Maker
Another great model from Cuisinart, the ICE21R is a great, budget-friendly sorbet maker that is incredibly easy to use and very solidly built.
The process of making sorbets with this machine is simple and mess-free.
It comes with a double-insulated freezer bowl that requires no extra ice to churn and has a capacity of 1.5 quarts.
It is a fully automatic machine and has a large ingredient spout that makes adding ingredients simple and hassle-free. In addition to basic white, it comes in several fun colors including red, yellow, and light pink.
4. Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker
With the capacity to make 4 quarts of sorbet per batch in just 20-40 minutes, this fully automatic machine by Hamilton makes much more than just sorbet.
You can make frozen yogurt, custard, gelato, and sherbet, all using just one machine!
Since it is fully automatic, there are no settings to worry about.
All you have to do is plug it in, add in all the ingredients and the ice and rock salt, and let it handle the rest. There is no stirring required and it stops when the sorbet is ready.
With a pretty large capacity and an extremely light weight when empty, the Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker is a great budget buy, especially for smaller kitchens.
5. Dash My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker
This ice cream maker is a great option for preparing single-serving portions of your favorite desserts, including sorbets, ice creams, gelatos, or frozen yogurt.
This machine is extremely easy to use and turns on with just the push of a button.
All you have to do is chill the bowl overnight before adding the ingredients.
You can also add as many condiments as you like to customize your dessert.
Weighing less than 1 lb., its small size takes up very little space and is ideal for smaller kitchens, college dorms, campers, and RVs. In addition to that, it is available in cute color options such as aqua, pink, and white.
6. Elite Gourmet EIM-308L
The Elite Gourmet ice cream maker is an electric machine capable of making 4 quarts of sorbet, ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt in about 40 minutes.
It’s made from galvanized metal that gives it a classic old-fashioned look.
This fun and friendly sorbet maker is great for parties and picnics and comes with special features such as a metal housing, a plastic interior for easy cleanup, and a 4-quart freezing canister.
The process is very easy and requires you to simply mix all your favorite ingredients, assemble the machine’s parts, add the ice and salt to the bucket, and plug in the motor to turn it on.
7. Whynter ICM-200LS Ice Cream Maker
The Whynter ICM-200LS Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker is an award-winning ice cream maker with a 2.1-quart capacity.
This self-contained sorbet maker has a powerful compressor freezer and requires no pre-freezing.
It can make a variety of frozen desserts including ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet.
It is incredibly easy to use and prepares rich and creamy sorbet within minutes. It comes in a stainless-steel housing and has a reliable built-in audible timer to let you know when your sorbet is ready.
8. Zoku Ice Cream Maker
Perfect for single-serve frozen desserts, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker holds just 5 ounces and is a cute, compact machine ideal for individuals with little kitchen space.
Unlike big and bulky traditional ice cream makers, this machine is pretty compact and is made up of a small make-and-serve bowl.
It can easily be used in any kitchen, regardless of the counter or storage space.
With no electricity needed, you can make your favorite desserts including ice creams, gelato, sorbet, sherbet, frozen custard, and frozen yogurt in a matter of minutes.
All you have to do is freeze the bowl, add your chilled ingredients into it, stir and scrape the mixture with the included spoon, and watch it freeze along the sides and bottom of the bowl right before your eyes.
9. KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
If you already have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you do not need to invest in another appliance to make homemade sorbet.
You can simply turn your existing stand mixer into a sorbet maker using this great ice cream maker attachment!
The KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment is compatible with the KitchenAid stand mixer and allows you to make around 2 quarts of sorbet, ice cream, and frozen yogurt in about 25 minutes.
For best results, you must freeze the freezer bowl in the coldest part of the freezer for at least 15 hours. Next, add in the ingredients and power up the stand mixer to allow the mixture to churn and solidify.