The Best Commercial Ice Cream Machine

If you’re on the hunt for the best commercial ice cream machine, you need to look into its size and capacity, as well as ease of usage, among others. To help you shop, I’ve put together the best commercial ice cream machines on the market.

There’s also a buying guide I’ve curated within this article. As well as other useful information you may need to further help you make your decision.

soft serve cone ice creams

Ice cream is a summer staple that everyone loves. If you own a restaurant, incorporating this delectable treat into your menu can be a lucrative investment. And all business owners know that a high-quality ice cream requires a good commercial ice cream machine.

This machine can get really expensive, so you must do diligent research to find the perfect one for you. There are several types of ice cream makers to choose from. So, this means there are a lot of things to think about when choosing the right machine.

My Top Picks: Best Commercial Ice Cream Machine

ImageProductDetailsPrice
STAKOL Commercial 3 Flavor Ice Cream MachineSTAKOL Commercial 3 Flavor Ice Cream Machine– 21 x 28 x 29 inches
– 2200W- 120V/60Hz
– Produces 5.3 to 7.4 gallons per hour
– 2 x 6-liter cylinder capacity
– Makes 3 flavors
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VEVOR Commercial Soft Served Ice Cream MachineVEVOR Commercial Soft Served Ice Cream Machine – 32 x 28 x 21 inches
– 2200W- Produces 5.3 to 7.4 gallons per hour
– 2 x 6-liter cylinder capacity
– Makes 3 flavors
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VEVOR Commercial Hard Ice Cream MachineVEVOR Commercial Hard Ice Cream Machine– 19.2 x 16.9 x 25.2 inches
– 1400W- 110V/60Hz
– Produces 5.3 gallons per hour
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VEVOR Commercial Soft Serve Ice Cream MachineVEVOR Commercial Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine– 16.9 x 19.2 x 25 inches
– 2200W
– Produces 5.3 to 7.4 gallons per hour
– 2 x 6-liter cylinder capacity
– Makes 3 flavors
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COSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream MachineCOSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream Machine– 21 x 28 x 29 inches
– 2200W- 120V/60Hz
– Produces 5.3 to 7.4 gallons per hour
– 2 x 6-liter cylinder capacity
– Makes 3 flavors
Check on Amazon

Here Are the Best Commercial Ice Cream Machines

You can efficiently make delicious ice cream your customers will love if you have the right machine. I’ll assist you in picking the ideal model to get you started with your ice cream parlor business. So you can launch an ice cream shop that everyone will love coming to, soon!

STAKOL Commercial 3 Flavor Ice Cream Machine

STAKOL Commercial 3 Flavor Ice Cream Machine

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient machine, investing in the STAKOL Commercial 3 Flavor Ice Cream Machine may be a good place to start. By making high-quality ice cream, this machine could make your business thrive in no time. It’s designed for creamy, soft-serve ice cream that we all have come to love.

It features a touchpad control panel with an LCD digital display that’s easy to use. You can adjust it to five different hardness levels, however, you like it. It’s equipped with fast cooling, energy-saving, strong Toshiba compressors. On top of that, it can make up to 7.4 gallons of ice cream an hour.

With this ice cream machine, you can also make four different hat shapes, allowing you to customize the shape of your soft-serve ice cream. It has a removable tray that prevents ice cream from dripping. How’s that sound? This 2,200-watt machine also has an auto cleaning function that saves you time spent on cleaning it.

Pros:

– User-friendly

– Energy-efficient

– Auto-cleaning feature for easy upkeep

Cons:

– Loud operation

– Some users find it hard to clean

– It’s hard to find replacement parts

VEVOR Commercial Soft Served Ice Cream Machine

VEVOR Commercial Soft Served Ice Cream Machine

Another great machine from the same brand is the VEVOR Commercial Soft Served Ice Cream Machine. Constructed of stainless steel body, it also has a double premium air compressor constructed of the same material. Which makes it look elegant and durable option.

It comes with a high-quality air compressor with a full copper core and quick cooling mechanism. According to the manufacturer, this machine generates low noise when in use. Plus, it’s energy-saving, too! You can precisely control what goes into your dessert with the intuitive LCD display. It also allows you to change the settings to suit your preferences.

Its pre-cooling function can increase ice cream production efficiency while also keeps the flavors. If you need to clean the machine, simply fill the hopper with water and press the “clean” button, and go about your day.

I like that this one has an external cone holder, which is useful for a variety of purposes. If you want to play with different ice cream shapes, that’s totally possible. It has four shape hats that allow you to mold your ice cream to your liking.

Pros:

– Durable; has a double premium air compressor

– Intuitive LCD display

– Generates less noise

– Auto-cleaning function

Cons:

– There are more affordable options

VEVOR Commercial Hard Ice Cream Machine

VEVOR Commercial Hard Ice Cream Machine

Here’s yet another one you could add to your options. The VEVOR Commercial Hard Ice Cream Machine is made of durable stainless steel, with anti-rust properties which makes it easy to maintain. With its intelligent LCD display, you can monitor the temperature. As well as the firmness, and quantity of your ice cream.

Also, with just a click of a button, you can have a quick and fully automated cleaning. Including an overly big refrigeration cylinder and rapid freezing, this machine can create hard ice cream in 30 minutes to an hour. Depending on how much you want to make.

This machine is also designed with a thick plastic baffle, anti-skip rubber pads, and a high-speed rotary agitator. It has a premium air compressor with a full copper core and it features rapid cooling. According to the manufacturer, it’s also energy-efficient and generates less noise.

Pros:

– Durable construction

– Premium compressor

– Intuitive LCD display

– Has great useful features

– Energy-efficient

Cons:

– A user find this machine a bit tricky to clean

VEVOR Commercial Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

VEVOR Commercial Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

The VEVOR Commercial Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine makes one of the best options for soft-serve ice cream. If you’re searching for a commercial ice cream machine for your restaurant that can you can rely on making delectable soft-serve ice cream, this could be a great choice.

It features a 2,200-watt motor that can make you three different flavors to satisfy your patrons. With this machine, you have two single flavors and one combination flavor. You can also incorporate chocolate chips, and nuts into the mix while it’s being mixed.

This ice cream machine produces 7.4 gallons per hour. You’ll appreciate its intuitive LED interface. Which makes producing that much volume of ice cream a simple task. The LED control panel allows you to customize the firmness, amount, and temperature of your ice cream.

It also comes with four distinct hat shapes that let you be more crafty with the soft ice cream shapes. This soft-serve ice cream maker also has a stainless steel case with an air compressor. Making it a strong and durable machine that’s worth going for.

Pros:

– Auto-cleaning feature for easy upkeep

– Durable construction

– Easy to use LED control panel

– Has 4 different hat shapes

Cons:

– Runs loudly

COSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream Machine

COSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream Machine

Good ice cream isn’t possible without a good machine, right? The last one on my list, the COSTWAY Commercial Ice Cream Machine will handle everything for you. One of the perks of this commercial ice cream maker is that it allows you to select various types of ice cream based on your choices. It’s easy to use, convenient, and reasonably priced.

With this 2,200-watt machine, you have complete control over the modulation to suit your tastes. You can adjust the amount, firmness, and temperature of your ice cream — all thanks to the LCD display.

It also has an easy-to-use automatic cleaning function. Simply pour water into the hopper, press the “clean” button, and it will handle all the cleaning. After 3-5 minutes, you can press down the handle to discharge the water.

Cons:

– Easy to use LCD control panel

– Easy to clean with great instructions

– Automatic cleaning function

Pros:

– A user says the machine’s lid isn’t heavy enough to seal in cold temperature

Soft Serve, Frozen Yogurt, Gelato, and Hard Ice Cream

When deciding to purchase a commercial ice cream machine, you must consider which type of ice cream you’re going to serve to your customers. Ice cream machines are very expensive. You wouldn’t want to get a gelato machine if you want to make soft-serve ice cream.

Keep in mind that not all ice cream machines can produce all types of ice cream. Make sure you choose the one that suits your intended purpose.

Contradictory to what most people think, making delicious soft serve, frozen yogurt, and hard ice cream is actually simple. These treats are basically ice cream or milk blended with air. They are deemed to have a high overrun —  the quantity of air added to the mixture and is usually stored anywhere from 35 to 45 percent. This preserves the consistency and flavor while also producing a smooth and creamy.

The end result will likely be stiffer if there is less overrun. Whereas higher overrun could result in a loss of flavor. Also, the consistency of the ice cream in high overrun will not maintain its shape.

Hard ice cream is churned at a faster pace and lower temperature. All while the mixture absorbs the air. This process is what sets hard ice cream from soft-serve.

In the case of gelato, this treat has low overrun, somewhere between 25 to 30 percent, which makes it a denser ice cream than its soft-serve counterpart. What makes its silky consistency is when it’s slowly churned in a batch freezer. Then, you serve it at a fairly warm temperature to keep taste and texture.

A Buyer’s Guide Choosing the Best Commercial Ice Cream Machine

When it comes to buying equipment used in the food industry, you have to make sure you’re getting the right unit. It should be able to handle a busy kitchen setting. Here are some factors you must consider before you invest in a commercial ice cream machine.

Power Supply

Commercial ice cream makers, especially those that are larger and stand-alone, may need three-phase power. So, it’s critical to double-check your power supply before purchasing one. To ensure that your new machine gets installed correctly, consult a certified electrician.

Converting from basic single to three-phase power can also be costly. But even so, running three-phase equipment could be more energy-saving in the long run. As I’ve said, you must consult an electrician. This is to ensure that your estimated cost is accurate.

Size and Capacity

If you’re just adding ice cream as a dessert to your menu, you may lean towards a smaller machine. Something more compact like those machines used at home. Make sure you get one that can make a few gallons per hour. These machines should be sufficient enough to meet the daily demands of freshly made ice cream.

But if you run a restaurant or dessert parlor where ice cream is your major menu, get a high-capacity one. A machine that can produce 5 or more gallons per hour should work fine.

Overrun

Overrun in soft-serve ice cream machines is the amount of extension from the air that’s added throughout the freezing process. This has an impact on the consistency, softness, and flavor of your ice cream. Incorporating 30 percent overrun results in fluffy soft ice cream. At this point, it shouldn’t be dripping.

Easy to use

Ensure the design you pick is easy to use. You can operate certain ice cream machines with a simple click. In most cases, you’ll just have to add all of your ingredients, press a button, then it will take care of the rest. Other machines also have a feature that notifies you when the ice cream mixture has reached a specific concentration. This is a nice perk if you have a busy shop.

Number of Hoppers

If you want to give your customers a variety of flavors, look for a machine with multiple hoppers. Several ice cream machines have only one hopper. This isn’t necessarily bad. But it’s a good option if your customers want various flavors.

You can dispense various flavors from a machine with many hoppers. Certain ice cream machines even have a flavor twist option that enables you to mix different flavors.

Commercial ice cream machines with more hoppers also have higher output and production capacity because they can hold more ice cream. For larger operations, it would be beneficial to have 2 to 3 hoppers. This is because the number of hoppers contributes greatly to actual production capacity. Even when you aren’t making a variety of flavors.

Hopper Agitator

A hopper agitator, which is optional on certain higher-end machines, gradually whips up the mixture in the hopper. Its main role is to achieve better consistency. Sure, you need to mix the ingredients before pouring them into the hopper. But the hopper agitator will make the job easier. It reduces the demand to stir the mixture manually.

The Roles of Gravity and Pressure for Hard and Soft Serve

Gravity-fed machines depend on gravity to distribute the mixture to the cylinder. They are economical and easier to clean and upkeep.

Pressure-fed machines, on the other hand, use a pump to refill the cylinder with more mixture. It lets you integrate an increased, controlled percentage of air. This results in higher quality ice cream. It also aids in maintaining consistent pressure in the freezing cylinder.

Air Pump for Frozen Yogurt and Soft-Serve

Creating airy, creamy ice cream treats requires the use of an air pump. It adds air to the mix before freezing, giving you the right balance of lightness and smoothness. Air pumps are usually adaptable. It lets you control the percentage of overrun in your finished product.

Air pumps are also cost-effective since you’ll be needing a lesser mix per serving. This will lower the per-serving cost. The downside is that ice cream machines with this feature take longer to set up, clean, and upkeep.

Types of Commercial Ice Cream Maker

If you’re new to the commercial ice cream industry, it’s important to know the different types of commercial ice cream machines. You must understand what sets each one apart from the others.

Pre-freeze

Pre-freeze machines are the most widely used for home. Since they lack a built-in freezer, you must first freeze the mixture in a separate freezer. You can then place it in an ice cream machine to be whipped. Such ice cream machines are only capable of producing small batches, which is why they’re ideal for home use.

If you intend to make small servings, they could be a great option. Otherwise, it’s best to stay saws from pre-freeze ice cream machines.

Built-in freezer

A built-in freezer is standard on any good ice cream maker. You pour the ice cream mixture directly into the machine, which also mixes, freezes, and whips it. Such a machine is suitable for commercial use because it can produce much larger batches of ice cream.

Commercial soft serve

Soft serve ice cream is typically a premix powder or liquid. You dispense it directly from the machine into a cone or cup. Certain traditional ice cream machines can make this type of ice cream. But if you wish to sell them in large quantities, it’s better to invest in a machine designed for commercial purposes.

Commercial gelato machine

Although standard ice cream machines are capable of making gelato. But if you’re looking to launch a gelato shop, you may want to purchase a machine designed for this. Commercial gelato machines produce gelato at a lower temperature range. It also uses less air.

Types of Cooling System

How the machine keeps the ice cream cold is also an essential factor to consider. The cooling system of a machine will have implications on its efficiency. It may also influence in where you install it.

Air cooling

Ice cream machines with air cooling systems use a vent mechanism. This system works by transferring hot air outside. Then deliver cooler air inside the machine. These types of machines function better in already cool conditions.

Also, you should avoid obscuring the vents on the side and front. Air cooling machines also yield at a smaller capacity than their water cooling counterparts.

Water cooling

In a water cooling system, cold water flows all around your ice cream machine’s internal parts. It’s the standard method for both applications requiring large-scale production. But it’s almost certain that they will need a stable water supply. As well as a drainage system.

Machine Placement and Footprint

Commercial ice cream machines are available in two forms. There are countertop and floor-standing models. The latter is larger. It also has greater capacity. It’s ideal for bigger ice cream shops.

Meanwhile, countertop models are a good choice for small business owners. Especially those with limited space. Choosing an air-cooled machine entails having enough space for the vents. Also, vent placement varies among manufacturers.

Another thing you need to consider is where you’re going to place the new ice cream machine. Do check if there’s a nice gap between the machine and the storage of your ingredients. As well as the space where you’re going to prepare them.

Cleaning and Maintenance

You might want to factor in the time saved in your budgeting if your machine features an automatic wash cycle. Alternatively, you can request a demo from the manufacturer about the cleaning method. The machine you’ll get should be easy to unload.

Maybe you could get one with easy-to-disassemble parts, too. You may also want to consider how these part fit into your kitchen sink. Another thing you may ask about is the cleaning agent they recommend.

At some point, your ice cream machine will definitely need maintenance and servicing. Before you buy a new machine, ask the manufacturer if they have a local network of skilled technicians. As well as the maintenance schedule and charges.

Costly restoration and servicing may raise the price of a lower-cost machine. While low-cost maintenance on a higher-end machine could lower its long-term operational expenses.

Commercial Ice Cream Machine FAQs

How much is a commercial ice cream maker?

Prices of commercial ice cream machines vary per brand or manufacturer. Most of them can cost at a starting price of $1,100 or more. These machines are expensive. This points you back to why you should do diligent research on the machine before investing in one. You’re going to want to get an ice cream machine that’s worth your money.

How much would it cost to start an ice cream shop?

The cost of starting an ice cream shop usually ranges from $20,000 to $50,000. But it can differ depending on whether you will choose to rent or buy a spot. You may also buy a used ice cream machine to reduce the cost.

Conclusion

Investing in a high-quality ice cream machine can help you build a thriving business in this industry. My top pick is the STAKOL Commercial 3 Flavor Ice Cream Machine because first, it’s energy-efficient. Which is always a plus. Secondly, it’s a user-friendly machine that’s designed to make soft-serve ice cream.

Make sure to check out the rest of the ice cream machines on my list. So, you can grow your own ice cream business by making the most delicious treats in town! Good luck!