A hand cranked ice cream maker, also known as a domestic ice cream maker, or domestic ice cream machine, is a machine used to make small batches of ice cream at home. The best hand cranked ice cream maker will be easy to clean, compact, and make ice cream quickly (Source).
Hand cranked ice cream machines work by providing two separate canisters, an inner and an outer, to fill with materials and ingredients. The outer canister is filled with salt and ice, while the inner canister is for your ice cream mixture.
The magic happens when the crank is turned. The more the canisters rotate, the more the mixture freezes. This continuous action produces the final product, which should be thick and smooth, ready to eat (Source).
With all of the new models available on the internet these days, in addition to some long-time market leaders, finding the right hand cranked ice cream maker for you can be overwhelming.
Before going out to buy your new hand cranked ice cream maker, consider the cost, speed, reliability, and size of the appliance. It’s also important to consider how easy the ice cream maker is to clean.
In this write up, we will thoroughly examine all the top-rated hand cranked ice cream makers. All of the ice cream makers in this review will help you make delicious, fresh ice cream, whether you are making multiple batches to sell at an event, or just whipping up some fresh ice cream at home.
What Is the Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is the Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker?
- 2 How Do Hand Crank Ice Cream Makers Work?
- 3 Comparing the Top 5 Hand-Crank Ice Cream Makers
- 4 1. Donvier 837409 Manual Ice Cream Maker – The Quick Maker
- 5 2. Buffalo Tools Hand Ice Cream Maker – The Electric Hand-Crank
- 6 3. White Mountain 6-qt. Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker –The Best Design
- 7 4. Amish Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker – The Ice and Salt Ice Cream Maker
- 8 5. Maxi-Matic 4-qt Old Fashioned Pine Bucket Electric/Manual Ice Cream Maker – The Best Value For Your Money
- 9 How to Use a Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker
- 10 How Long Does It Take to Hand Crank Ice Cream?
- 11 Consider These Factors Before Buying A Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker
- 12 Ready to Buy The Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker?
The best hand-crank ice cream maker will depend on convenience, capacity, durability and its ability to keep your ice cream cold. Some machines are built for convenience, offering digital displays or bowls that are easy to remove from the machine for serving or cleaning.
Most hand-crank ice cream makers have a large capacity, usually from 1 quart up to 6 quarts. It is typically more time and cost-effective to buy a machine with a larger capacity to prevent having to make multiple batches at at time.
All of these added features will come at a higher cost. The best ice cream maker will be a balance of added features and price. However, hand-crank ice cream makers are typically quite cheap, some costing less than $50.
How Do Hand Crank Ice Cream Makers Work?
Hand-crank ice cream makers require manual effort to make ice cream. These old-fashioned machines consist of a canister which holds the ice cream mixture that sits inside another container which holds a freezer agent, typically ice and salt.
Once the ice cream mixture is placed inside the canister, a hand-crank on the outside of the machine has to be turned in order to churn the mixture to the desired texture and consistency.
The ice cream maker freezes the mixture while simultaneously churning it. This churning process not only further mixes the ingredients together but also pushes air into the mixture so that ice crystals do not grow too large during the freezing process.
This process allows most ice creams to be ready to consume immediately.
Whether for home use or for an outdoors adventure, making your own ice cream is sure to make the entire family happy!
Comparing the Top 5 Hand-Crank Ice Cream Makers
|Donvier 837409 Manual Ice Cream Maker|
|Buffalo Tools Hand Ice Cream Maker|
|White Mountain 6-qt. Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker|
|Amish Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker|
|Maxi-Matic 4-qt Old Fashioned Pine Bucket Electric/Manual Ice Cream Maker|
1. Donvier 837409 Manual Ice Cream Maker – The Quick MakerThe Donvier is one of the top hand-crank ice cream makers on the market. It comes with so many positive reviews; some might consider it the best maker out there.
The Donvier is an old-fashioned, compact ice cream maker that produces about 1 quart of frozen dessert. The keyword here is ‘frozen dessert’ because it makes all kinds of different treats including ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, and sherbet.
The great thing about the Donvier is that it doesn’t take much time to make the ice cream. All you need is 15-20 minutes of cranking. Sure, for some people that might be a bit tiring, but if you take turns with a friend or family member, it won’t be.
In terms of size, the Donvier doesn’t take up much space in your kitchen. It’s ideal for those who have limited working space, but still want to make healthy, homemade ice cream.
This hand-crank ice cream maker comes with a double-insulated Chillfast cylinder. After churning, this cylinder acts as a storage place for your ice cream. Leave it for 12-24 hours in the freezer and soon, your ice cream will be ready!
The Chillfast cylinder is specifically designed to stay cold for the longest possible time. Not to mention you can use it as an ice bucket, as well.
The Donvier also comes with a transparent lid. This means you’ll be able to see the whole mixing process while making your ice cream. That allows you to adjust the consistency and texture and add more ingredients if necessary.
You’ll be able to make perfect ice cream every time with the Donvier.
- Chillfast cylinder
- Transparent lid
2. Buffalo Tools Hand Ice Cream Maker – The Electric Hand-CrankThis hand-crank ice cream maker by Buffalo Tools is truly one of a kind. Not only does it offer amazing capacity, features, and durability, but it also allows you to switch between manual and automatic churning.
This means you can choose between old-school ice cream churning and the automated electric method. Most ice cream makers only offer one of the two options so having both is definitely a big plus.
In terms of capacity, the Buffalo Tools Ice Cream Maker is just as impressive. It can take up to 6 quarts of ice cream, which is one of the largest capacities on the market. This will save a lot of time. You won’t have to make separate batches.
- 6-quart aluminum can with clear plastic lid
- Sealed pine tub
- Ice crusher
- Mixing paddle
- Motor with 3300RPM
- You can choose between electric and hand-crank methods
- automatic shutoff
- Completion time: 30 minutes
- 90-day warranty
3. White Mountain 6-qt. Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker –The Best DesignWhite Mountain was first founded back in 1853. Since then, it has gained quite an impressive following with its incredible ice cream makers. Most of them are traditional, hand-crank machines, much like this model.
The White Mountain has a unique, triple-action dasher. This patented system works by continuously folding the ingredients using triple-motion action. This ensures that your ice cream will end up creamy, smooth, and with perfect consistency.
- 6-quart hand-crank ice cream maker
- White pine bucket bound by strong galvanized hoops
- Triple-action dasher
- Hand-crank system
- Stainless steel canister with lid
- Large Capacity
- 5-year warranty
- Delicious recipe booklet
- Completion time: 40 minutes
4. Amish Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker – The Ice and Salt Ice Cream MakerIt’s no wonder that the company’s name means “always good” in German. Its products live up to the name. This beautiful hand-crank ice cream maker comes with an insulated fiberglass tub, instead of the usual wood. It’ll stay cold longer.
With this piece of beauty, all you need is three things to make ice cream: ice cream mixture, ice, and salt. You’ll need about 6 cups of ice for every 1 cup of salt.
- Capacity: 6 quarts
- Polished stainless steel canister (holds the ice cream)
- Clear plastic lid (allows you to see the ice cream as it’s made)
- Stainless steel gears won’t rust or strip out
- Wear bushings between gears and housing prevents wear (no grease needed)
- Triple-motion dasher
- One-piece, leak-proof tub with smooth surface
- Powder-coated gear frame and crank
- Stainless steel handle with plywood grip
5. Maxi-Matic 4-qt Old Fashioned Pine Bucket Electric/Manual Ice Cream Maker – The Best Value For Your MoneyThis ice cream maker is one of the best on this list. It can make up to 4 quarts of all kinds of dessert including ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. The Maxi-Matic is perfect for barbeques, parties, and picnics.
This ice cream maker, much like the one by Buffalo Tools, offers two options: manual crank and electric motor. If you get tired halfway through cranking, you can just switch to the automatic system and save yourself the effort.
- Heavy duty aluminum freezing canister
- Hand-crafted, solid pine wood bucket
- 6-fin paddle
- 90-RPM motor
- Manual hand-crank
- 4-quart capacity
- Completion time: less than 40 minutes
How to Use a Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker
Hand-crank ice cream makers are not easy to use. They require a fair amount of physical effort to work. Some makers have added features to make this process easier, but all work through the same process.
First, prepare your favorite ice cream recipe. Pour the mixture into the metal ice cream canister. Leave about 1/3 of the canister empty to allow for expansion.
Next, place the canister into the bucket or container which holds the freezer agent. A container with a built-in chemical coolant needs to be pre-frozen, but then requires no additional steps. If you are using ice and salt, fill the container around the canister with layers of ice and salt.
Then, crank the handle to churn the mixture for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, or until the ice cream reaches your desired consistency.
Ice cream made with a hand-crank maker is usually soft serve. It will melt quickly, so it should be served immediately once the process is finished. Or you can transfer the ice cream to a freezer to enjoy later.
How Long Does It Take to Hand Crank Ice Cream?
Hand-crank ice cream makers do not have a preset speed, as they are manually operated.
Depending on the amount of ice cream and the freezer element used, it typically takes between 15 to 40 minutes of churning. Using salt and ice as the freezer element will typically require constant churning for longer periods of time
While many makers freeze the ice cream while churning it, some require additional freezing after the churning process is complete.
Consider These Factors Before Buying A Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker
1. Ease of Use
First and foremost, keep in mind that hand-crank ice cream makers aren’t easy to use. They’re old-school. They require some effort and a lot of cranking to work. Don’t expect much help.
That being said, you should favor a device that offers convenience. For example, some machines have digital displays. Others have bowls that are easy to lift out of the machine and to transfer the ice cream once you’ve finished cranking.
While travelling to vacation you can safely transport ice cream in a commercial cooler without any danger of it from melting.
Since you’re going for a hand-crank ice cream maker, don’t expect things to be too pricey. These traditional ice cream makers are usually quite cheap because they require manual work. Some machines cost even less than $50.
Don’t be tricked by companies that justify a high price by claiming to offer amazing features. Stay within your budget. But if you find something that offers a lot, at a reasonable price, go for it.
If you plan on making a large amount of homemade ice cream, perhaps for a big family, then capacity definitely matters. You want to look for a hand-crank machine that can make a large amount of ice cream in one go. No need for several batches.
Don’t forget that you might have to freeze your bowl all day for the ice cream to be ready. That means you won’t have much time to make another batch. Someone at the party isn’t going to get ice cream if your maker is too small.
Luckily, most hand-crank ice cream makers offer a sizeable capacity. These machines can range from as little as 1 quart, all the way up to 6 quarts (about 24 cups). You should know that most companies state their capacity in terms of quarts, not cups.
Kepe in mind that 1.5 quarts are equivalent to about 6 cups. This should be enough for about 4 people or so to enjoy one serving each. It might even be enough for some to have seconds. If you plan on hosting more people, you should go for a larger machine.
Of course, the greater the capacity, the more expensive the ice cream maker will be. But remember, hand-crank machines aren’t that expensive so you might want to get a larger machine, just in case more friends show up.
4. Texture & Consistency
When it comes to the flavor of your ice cream, the most determinative factor is your ingredients. As for the texture and consistency, it depends on the type of ice cream maker you choose.
The great thing about hand-crank ice cream machines is that they offer you control over consistency and texture. Other types of ice cream makers, like compressors, for example, have a preset output that favors smoothness.
For manual machines like the hand-crank, speed is what determines your ice cream’s consistency. Go slow if you want a thicker product. Faster speeds tend to result in lighter and thinner ice cream.
Hand-crank ice cream machines obviously don’t have a certain preset speed, since they’re manually operated. But there’s another thing you should consider when it comes to speed: how soon will your ice cream be ready?
Ice cream makers typically state how long it takes before your ice cream is ready. Whether it takes minutes or hours, you should definitely factor in the time interval when planning a party.
6. Ease of Cleaning
Every single device and appliance in your kitchen needs to be cleaned. Even spoons. Hand-crank ice cream makers are no exception. Now here’s the thing: ice cream is fun, but cleaning up isn’t.
With that in mind, look for a machine that is easy to clean after the party. Those that come with a removable bowl are definitely a plus. Also, smaller devices tend to make the cleaning process much easier than larger ones do.
Of course, that might mean you’d have to compromise between capacity and ease of cleaning. Everything’s a tradeoff. Think about which feature you prefer over the other.
7. Manufacturer or Brand
There are quite a few companies that have made an impact in the world of ice cream makers. Here are a few good ones to consider.
- Nostalgia Electrics
- White Mountain
- Buffalo Tools
Ready to Buy The Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker?
Everyone loves ice cream. It’s the making process that everyone hates. If you want to enjoy your favorite dessert without too much trouble, you need a good hand-crank ice cream maker.
It can be hard to find the right one, but you could always choose one from this list. It contains different kinds of ice cream makers, each unique in its own way. Pick one, start cranking, and enjoy!
Besides an ice cream maker, when it is time to go camping and take food and drinks on-the-go, a cooler with wheels is a great way to carry lots of perishable items around.