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best ice cream makers and snow cone machines

It’s summer—and National Ice Cream Day on July 21—so obviously you’re gonna want some ice cream. But you don’t have to wander outside of your air-conditioned home (heaven forbid!) or wave down the ice cream truck to get a cool treat ASAP. These at-home ice cream and snow cone makers churn out cool eats in a jiffy and are total life-savers on a hot summer day.

The best part? From an old-timey crank machine to a nifty ball that does all the work for you, each of these cool machines churns out treats that are totally customizable (as in, you can add as many candy mix-ins as you’d like to your froyo), meaning you can also be your own ice cream scientist and make flavors you’d never find in the cooler aisles at the grocery store. And there’s a style of ice cream maker for every personality too.

Related Reading: We Ranked the Best New Whole Foods 365 Ice Cream Flavors

For Traditionalists

Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, $59.99 at Sur la Table

This best-selling countertop machine makes 1.5 quarts of the creamiest dessert ever in just 20 minutes. (Cool tip: You do have to freeze the interior barrel overnight first. We recommend keeping it there permanently so you can always make ice cream whenever you want.) It’s also a total breeze to use. Just pour your ingredients in, flip the switch, and watch ice cream magic happen before your eyes. And when it’s all over, you can pop the freezer bowl in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Buy Now

For Feeding a Crowd & Looking Cute

Nostalgia ICMP400WD Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart, $44.99 on Amazon

Amazon

For when you’re entertaining a crowd, this throw-back ice cream machine makes a stylish statement—and churns out a whole 4 quarts of the good stuff, no cranking required. In the unlikely case that there are leftovers, the kit includes a transparent lid so that you can store the whole canister in the freezer until your next craving. Buy Now

For the Attachment Obsessed

KitchenAid® Mixer Ice Cream Bowl Attachment for 5-Quart Mixer, $49.96 on Sur La Table

Sur La Table

This genius ice cream attachment transforms your 5-quart KitchenAid mixer into a high-quality ice cream maker. (Is there anything a KitchenAid mixer can’t do?) Just hang the frozen bowl where you’d normally put the mixing bowl, and let the dasher attachment do all the work. About 25 minutes later, you’ll be diving into delicious ice cream, fro-yo, or sorbet. Buy Now

For Those Who’d Rather Be In Hawaii

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Electric Shaved Ice Maker, $38.99 on Amazon

Amazon

Take yourself to the tropics without even having to leave your kitchen. To make this shaved ice machine sing, just fill the included ice molds with H2O to make round blocks of ice, then put them in the crusher cup. Push down on the top of the machine, and in a matter of seconds, you’ll be blessed with a flurry of fresh, totally edible snow. Just add your favorite flavored syrup to the soft, fluffy mound, and it’s like you’re on vacation.Buy Now

For Dairy Queen Devotees

Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, $71.90 on Amazon

Cuisinart soft serve maker ice cream machine

Amazon

If you live for Dairy Queen Blizzards, this machine will give you a similar thrill. Just pour your ingredients (think sprinkles, mini candies, and all the chocolate morsels you desire) into the top of the machine, where they get mixed up and aerated into the smoothest soft serve that dispenses just like a professional machine—except no one will judge you if you skip the cone altogether and just put your open mouth under the machine.Buy Now

For Campers & Kids

YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker, $69.99 on Amazon

manual ice cream maker ball for camping

Amazon

You can now consider making ice cream a sport with this goes-anywhere 8-inch ball (no really, it doesn’t even need electricity) that churns out a pint of creamy ice cream as you kick it around the yard or throw it around the room to each other. All you need to do is add ice and salt to one end, and ice cream mix (cream, sugar, and vanilla) in the other. Now play ball!Buy Now

For Perfectionists (& Those Who Don’t Want to Wait)

Whynter ICM-15LS Ice Cream Maker, Stainless Steel, $155.95 on Amazon

Amazon

It’s a splurge, but if there were a Cadillac of ice cream machines, this one would be it. There’s no barrel to freeze beforehand, so all you really have to do is add your ingredients and step away for 30-40 minutes while the machine works its magic. (It even shuts off automatically if the mixture inside freezes solid.) Afterwards, you’ll have 1.6 quarts of gelato, sherbet, fro-yo, or ice cream. Buy Now

For Portion Control

Ice Cream Maker PowerDoF LX-1504D Frozen Yogurt Double Mini Ice Cream Machine for Home, $38.99 on Amazon

Amazon

Double your fun with this ice cream maker that dispenses your dessert into two chilled cups that keep everything extra-cold while you eat it. It’s easy to add mix-ins right into the cup, then take your homemade treat to go, well, wherever.Buy Now

For Power Outages & a Sense of Personal Accomplishment

Donvier 837450 Manual Ice Cream Maker, 1-Quart, White, $77.95 on Amazon

Amazon

If you like a sense of accomplishment with your ice cream, this hand-crank machine lets you feel in total control. Just keep turning the top, then wait two minutes, then start up again. Then toast to your efforts with a delicious handmade dessert. Buy Now

For Would-Be Professionals

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, $620.54 on Amazon

Lello high end best ice cream maker

eBay

Ready to start your own ice cream parlor from your kitchen? Then meet your new BFF. This Italian-made monster machine (it weighs nearly 40 pounds and isn’t cheap) makes 3 quarts of ice cream or sorbet per hour. It’s also fully automatic and doesn’t require any pre-freezing: just pour in your ingredients and press two buttons. Yep, it’s that easy.Buy Now

Header image courtesy of Amazon

Julie Vadnal is a writer and founder of the newsletter JULES. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire, Glamour, and Real Simple. Follow her on Instagram at @julievadnal.
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