The Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker

If you’re looking for the best hand crank ice cream maker, the first things you must look into are the size and capacity, operation mode, and how easy it is to use. To help you shop, I searched for the best hand crank ice cream maker out on the market. I will also talk you through picking the right model through the buying guide I’ve included in this article.

chocolate ice cream in a bowl

Making your own ice cream taste fresher and better than a store-bought one. Luckily, you can easily do this at home, the old-fashion way. With a good hand-crank ice maker, you have the option to decide which ingredients will go into your recipe.

Picking a good hand-crank ice cream machine is critical in ensuring that it can produce high-quality ice cream. Hand-crank ice cream makers are considerably more difficult to use than powered machines. Although some manual models are simple and easy to use. Standard models even hardly ever require the use of salt or ice.

Hybrid models are also available, which let you make your ice cream using either a hand crank or perhaps a press of a button. And whatever method you choose, remember to keep the freezer bowl in your freezer overnight.

What Is a Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker?

A hand-crank ice cream maker is a handy tool with the ability to make small batches of ice cream. They come in a variety of sizes, and certain models make servings that’s enough for you. Or, if you’re going to make ice cream for your whole family, other models can offer you this possibility.

A typical ice cream maker typically has a vessel that resembles an old-fashioned barrel. Its canister is made of aluminum or stainless steel and sits inside the vessel or tub. Holding the mixture for the finished product — a fresh, delectable treat you and the whole family will love!

Also, these ice cream makers can be made of plastic, stainless steel, and wood. Intricate models with multiple gears make churning simpler. Although cleaning and maintaining them can be challenging.

How It Works

Aerating the mixture as it freezes is vital in making a quality ice cream, which necessitates steady churning. There are two types of hand crank ice cream makers. There are pre-cooled models, in which, you place a bowl in the freezer to chill before you use it.

And once it’s frozen, you place the chilled bowl in the machine, put your ice cream ingredients in it, close the lid, then rank it. The frozen bowl gradually reduces the freezing point of your mix and freezes it, which will inevitably become an ice cream as you crank it.

Some ice cream machines feature a separate chamber for the coolant. This usually has ice and salt. A dasher or mixing blade is installed into the canister and connected to a crank. Once the canister is enclosed, it’s positioned in the barrel’s center with ice and rock salt.

Its dasher keeps your ice cream mix in continuous motion as you spin the crank. The salt causes an endothermic reaction — a process that reduces the ice temperature, which then freezes your mixture as you churn.

My Top Picks

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best OverallDonvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker - Best OverallDonvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker– 9.2 x 8.8 x 9.04 inches
– Makes 1 quart
– Made of plastic
– Aluminum freezer bowl
– Mixing paddle
– Clear lid
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Best High-endImmergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream MakerImmergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker– 18.82 x 13.7 x 13.5 inches
– Makes 6 quarts
– Triple-layer insulated tub
– Stainless-steel gears
– Triple motion dasher
– Polished stainless steel can
– Clear lid
– 3-Year warranty
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Best HybridElite Gourmet EIM-506 Old-Fashioned Ice Cream MakerElite Gourmet EIM-506 Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Maker– 23 x 13.25 x 13 inches
– Makes 6 quarts
– Crafted with solid pine wood
– Powerful electric motor
– Heavy-duty aluminum canister
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Best ValueElite Gourmet EIM-502 Vintage Appalachian Wood Ice Cream MakerElite Gourmet EIM-502 Vintage Appalachian Wood Ice Cream Maker– 13.4 x 18.5 x 13.4 inches
– Makes 4 quarts
– Crafted with solid pine wood
– Heavy-duty aluminum canister
– Die-cast hand crank
– Powerful electric motor-driven paddle
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Budget PickAmeriHome ICM6C Old Fashion Ice Cream MakerAmeriHome ICM6C Old Fashion Ice Cream Maker– ‎13.5 x 21 x 20 inches
– Makes 6 quarts
– Combo design 
– Aluminum can
– Clear plastic lid
– Sealed pine tub, ice crusher, and mixing paddle
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Here Are the Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Makers

In just about any season, ice cream handcrafted using the hand crank process tastes super smooth and fresh. Plus, it allows you to unlock loads of ice cream recipes in the comfort of your home. I’ve put together a list of the best hand crank ice cream maker you can get on the market today. Each has pros and cons but is worth investing in.

Donvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker – Best Overall

Donvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker - Best Overall

Looking to make delectable ice cream for yourself? The Donvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker makes 1 quart of ice cream in this compact, yet, efficient manual machine. With this manual ice cream maker, you can make your own ice cream with very little effort and equipment.

Rather than filling a hand-crank machine with ice and rock salt, this one has an exceptional wall filled with insulating material that freezes your ice cream. Just don’t forget to place this ice cream maker in your freezer overnight.

Sure, it lacks the old-fashioned allure and homely design, but it offers modern simplicity. It’s made of a plastic exterior and aluminum interior, and it’s simple to disassemble and clean. What I like about this mode is that its hand crank is located on top. So, you should find the whole unit easier to store.

Throughout the process, you can rest your arms, then switch the hand crank just a few times, and you’ll have smooth, creamy ice cream in just 20 minutes. All in all, this may be a good alternative for quick and easy homemade ice cream.

Pros:

– Small enough to fit in your freezer

– Compact design makes storage easy

– The transparent lid lets you keep an eye on the process

– It can freeze ice cream without the use of rock salt or ice

Cons:

– Smaller capacity

– Rock salt and ice are more reliable than the unit’s freezing mechanism

– There are more affordable alternatives

Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker – Best High-end

Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

The Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker could be one of your best purchases with great features. I don’t know about you, but I find the overall look of this hand crank ice cream maker more unique than rustic barrel-like options, which are very common. This ice cream maker is a lovely green color that will complement any kitchen.

But the triple-layer and all-stainless steel construction of this model is the real deal. Its outer tub, inner canister, mixing blade, and hand-crank are all made of stainless steel. Which means it won’t corrode or rust. Making it a durable choice that could withstand repeated use.

The walls are also well-insulated, allowing you to have the most effective cooling inside the tub while minimizing the melting of ice. I like the slimmer outer tub of this model, which makes it convenient to store than those with longer and wider tubs.

The tub also has enough space for ice and rock salt, has a generous 6-quart capacity. This means you’ll make more batches at a time. It’s on the pricier but getting a three-year warranty on all its parts should tell you it’s worth giving it a go.

Pros:

– Durable all-stainless steel construction

– Offers generous capacity

– All of the edges are well-sealed and will not rust or warp

– Its triple-layer construction provides excellent insulation

– Eye-catching green color

– Easy storage

– Comes with a 3-year warranty

Cons:

– Pricier than other models

Elite Gourmet EIM-506 Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Maker – Best Hybrid

Elite Gourmet EIM-506 Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Maker

If you like having two methods of operation in one model, then you may refer to the Elite Gourmet EIM-506 Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Maker. Crafted with a heavy-duty aluminum freezing canister, this wooden, old fashion hybrid machine lets you make 6 quarts of ice cream per session.

With this model, you won’t have to use salt and ice as freezing elements. But the best feature of this ice cream maker is that you can make silky soft serve using either an electric motor or a hand crank. Its case is handcrafted with a solid pine wood bucket that is easy to clean and upkeep. And it has a strong die-cast crank.

The motor’s overheat protection feature is something you’ll appreciate. Especially if you tend to use it more than the hand crank option. Whichever method use choose, this hybrid ice cream machine can produce delicious ice cream in less than 40 minutes.

Pros:

– Wooden, rustic design

– Heavy-duty canister

– Two operation modes

– Stylish, vintage look

– Motor has an overheat protection

Cons:

– Dasher may be too small

– It takes longer to make ice cream

– It runs loudly

Elite Gourmet EIM-502 Vintage Appalachian Wood Ice Cream Maker – Best Value

Elite Gourmet EIM-502 Vintage Appalachian Wood Ice Cream Maker

Here’s another great wooden option similar to the previous model from the same brand. The Elite Gourmet EIM-502 Vintage Appalachian Wood Ice Cream Maker makes 4 quarts of fresh ice cream that’s enough for a group of friends.

It has a heavy-duty aluminum canister and a strong 90-rpm motor with overheat protection. Making the process quick, easy, and enjoyable. You can manually churn your ice cream to a firmer consistency by using the classic die-cast hand crank.

Its motor spins a six-fin paddle, which twirls air into your ingredients. Creating a rich, creamy soft serve ice cream. This same paddle can crush mix-ins like cookies, fruits, chocolate chips, or any tasty toppings of your choice.

You can store ice and rock salt bucket to keep the canister at the ideal temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you can easily remove all parts for convenient cleaning.

Pros:

– Durable wooden ice cream maker with aluminum canister

– Two operation modes

– Stylish, vintage look

– Motor has overheat protection

– All parts are removable for easy cleanup

Cons:

– Some users say the hand crank is a bit flimsy

AmeriHome ICM6C Old Fashion Ice Cream Maker – Budget Pick

AmeriHome ICM6C Old Fashion Ice Cream Maker

Now, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, the AmeriHome ICM6C Old Fashion Ice Cream Maker may be a good model to consider. This ice cream maker lets you make up to 6 quarts of delectable homemade ice cream with fresher flavors.

Its canister is made of aluminum for greater durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. The pine tub not only adds to the unit’s vintage appeal. But it’s also completely encased for long-term use. This one has some of the same components as your grandmother’s. But it also has smart features.

Much like some of the hybrid models on the list, this one also has an interchangeable configuration that lets you to its hand crank or shifts to an electric motor. Its electric motor allows you to make your own homemade recipes, while you can expect to be more flexible with your frozen treat mixture without having to use your freezer after the blending process.

Naturally, the hand crank feature will be useful if you’re always outdoors. That’s the beauty of having a hybrid model — you can switch the methods, whatever works for you.

I think I like this the most than the other hybrid models I’ve talked about above because I find the wooden design of this more elegant. Plus, it’s cheaper.

Pros:

– Durable hybrid ice cream maker built to last

– Two operation modes

– Stylish, vintage look

– More affordable option

Cons:

– The canister is thinner which means it’s prone to warping

– A user says the hand crank is a bit flimsy

Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker

Investing in an ice cream maker means you need to look into things that make it a good buy. Consider the following features in picking the best hand crank ice cream maker.

Size and Capacity

Ice cream makers, like many other kitchen appliances, come in a variety of sizes and capacities. However, when considering size and capacity, what goes into finding the right ice cream maker is knowing the purpose of the machine. For instance, ask yourself how many people you’ll be serving.

If you enjoy being outside, it’s obvious that you’ll opt for one that is compact and portable. It should be lightweight, and even more so if you plan to have children participate in the churning process.

The amount of ice cream you can make at a given time is determined by the machine’s capacity. So, it would make sense to get a larger ice cream maker if you’re serving a larger group. A hand-crank ice cream maker with more than a 4-quart capacity will suffice.

If you want to make ice cream for yourself only, a smaller ice cream maker would be the best option. A hand-crank ice cream maker with less than 2-quart capacity should be enough.

Mode of Operation and Ease of Use

You can use either a hand crank mode or electric mode to make ice cream.  For hands-free churning, the latter is fantastic. The hand crank mode is ideal for directly engaging kids in the process. That’s is the beauty of using a hand crank mode since it doesn’t involve electricity, so it’s safer for kids to use.

You have the option to use both modes of operation, based on your preferences. So, you need to double-check if the ice cream maker you want to get has the suitable operation modes you want.

Another key factor to consider is ease of use. The disadvantage of hand crank ice cream makers, in my opinion, is that they require muscle strength. So, looking for a unit that’ll be more efficient and easier for you to use would be a good factor. I suggest you opt for one that requires fewer turns to prepare your ice cream.

Models that render little time won’t be working your muscles all day long cranking your ice cream. Also, some models don’t entail using salt or ice, which makes these models make an even more convenient ice cream maker.

Crank Type

The main component you should look at is the crank itself. The crank is responsible for turning the blade and churns the ice cream. You have to make sure that the crank is strong, preferably made of heavy-duty materials such as stainless steel, or thick, durable plastic.

Poorly constructed cranks are more likely to scratch or break. But they are likely to be on the cheaper side, as sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

Hybrid

Ice cream makers come in manually and electrically operated models. You can buy a hybrid unit that combines both mechanisms. Having both modes can give you more flexibility.

Materials

Certain hand-crank ice cream makers are built with plastic materials. These models are easy to clean. Plus, they don’t distort nor rust unlike their metal and wooden counterparts. I find tubs that resemble old-fashioned barrels or buckets attractive. Having that classic, vintage design.

Wooden buckets, on the other hand, are more prone to leaking. They may also need pre-soaking to avoid future cracks. The inner canisters are typically made of food-grade materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. They should be thin enough to freeze quickly your ice cream.

Speed

Do you have the patience to wait longer than 20 minutes to perfect your ice cream? I know how tedious waiting can be, so make sure to get a model that lets your churn within the expected period of time. You can consult with the manufacturer regarding the recommended duration.

Ease of Cleaning

As it goes with any appliance, you must clean your hand crank ice cream maker after use. That said, you could perhaps look for one that is easy to clean. Cleaning is actually much easier with a model that has removable components. Also, you can opt for compact ones that are easy to clean and upkeep.

Price and Warranty

You can usually find reasonably priced models if you invest in an old-fashioned means of making ice cream. But certain manufacturers provide many useful and advanced features that make their product more expensive, yet, they are worth the investment.

This is due to the fact that various ice cream maker brands price their products depending on how intelligent or innovative their models are.

However, your budget is just as important as the fancy features and price tag. You can compare the prices of all the ice cream makers you’re interested in purchasing. Then, only pick the one that provides the most value while remaining within your budget.

Aside from the price, you may also want to consider getting a warranty. The gears, dasher, canister, and bucket are the most vital components of your ice cream maker. Its lid, electric motor, and hand-crank are among the others.

They can deteriorate over time as a result of constant use. And the important parts can also screw up in the earliest life cycle of your unit. Because these things are unavoidable, you must ensure that your investment is adequately protected.

A warranty is an excellent way to ensure this. It means you’ll be able to get free replacement parts or repairs done on your unit.

How To Use a Hand-crank Ice Cream Maker:

Hand crank ice cream makers are easy to use that even small children can handle them. I have a step-by-step guide on how to do it, but first, you must prepare your ingredients.

Step #1: Insert the metal canister into the bucket. Ensure the bulge on the canister’s bottom fits into the slot of the dasher before inserting it into the canister.

Step #2: Fill the canister with your recipe, but don’t overfill it because your ice cream will expand as it freezes. Ensure your ingredients are chilled. Then, attach the cover, and using your fingers, turn the ice cream maker’s dasher. Insert the cranking end into the ear of the bucket. The other end will then be fixed into the latch.

Step #3: Pour just around 3 inches of ice into the tub’s bottom, followed by a half-cup of rock salt. You can then take it in turns, adding ice and salt to the canister’s top.

Step #4: Begin cranking the mixture. This usually takes 20 to 25 minutes. Your ice cream mixture will be churned and reach a soft consistency. If within the allotted time your ice cream hasn’t reached the consistency of heavy whipped cream, you can sprinkle a pinch of salt.

Step #5: Loosen up the gear frame while keeping the canister’s lid in place. Start by removing the canister lid, detach the dasher, and use a spoon to scrape off any excess ice cream from the canister wall. At this point, you can either eat your ice cream or you can freeze it for a little while if you want it firmer.

FAQs: Best Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker

How long does it take to hand-crank ice cream?

With a hand-crank ice cream maker, you can expect your ice cream to form in 20 to 25 minutes. But this is contingent on the model you’re using, so other times it could even take up to 40 minutes.  So, patience is necessary.

Ice cream makers that involve adding ice and salt as freezing elements typically require you to turn your machine on and off for a longer period. The rock salt reduces the ice’s temperature., which in turn, will make it colder and won’t melt. It raises the cold element, causing the inner parts of the canister to freeze.

Can you use regular salt in an ice cream maker? Can I use sea salt to make ice cream?

Yes, and rock salt is the best one to use although table salt will suffice. You can even use sea salt if you want. But the larger the salt granules, the better. Because when granules are big, it will be easier to manage the temperature and the freezing method. And that’s why rock salt is widely regarded to be the best for making ice cream.

Why do you need both ice and salt to freeze ice cream in a crank freezer?

Nearly every ice cream recipe requires ice and rock salt, whether you’re using a crank device or a bag. Salt lowers the freezing temperature.

Wrap Up

I like the Donvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker best because despite lacking generosity in terms of capacity and the vintage look, I think it has a great reputation for making delicious ice cream with high efficiency. It’s small enough to fit in your freezer and has a compact design that makes storage easy. Plus, you won’t need ice and salt to freeze your ice cream.

The Immergood Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, however, could be a great choice if you’re in the market for a higher-end model. It has a lovely green color with durable all-stainless steel construction. You may opt for the Elite Gourmet EIM-506 Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Maker for the best hybrid model. It’s heavy-duty and has that stylish, vintage look.

Another hybrid ice cream similar to that is the Elite Gourmet EIM-502 Vintage Appalachian Wood Ice Cream Maker. This model is durable wooden and also has a lovely vintage look to it. Its motor also has overheat protection and easy to clean removable parts.

Lastly, the AmeriHome ICM6C Old Fashion Ice Cream Maker may be a good model to consider if you want a more affordable alternative. This hybrid model is built to last with also an elegant, vintage look. It’s my favorite out of all the wooden, rustic options on the list!

Don’t forget to check out the best hand crank ice cream makers I have above. I cannot wait for you to share your favorite recipes with us using these awesome machines!