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#1 Cuisinart 1.5-Quart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet Maker

This inexpensive model utilizes a pre-frozen, coolant-lined canister to chill the ice cream base, eliminating the need for salt and ice or an expensive compressor. When properly frozen, it was the fastest of all the models we tested. It has one button, a lid that snaps into place, and a small footprint for tight spaces—everything you want and nothing you don’t.

#2 Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker

With a slightly larger capacity and a sleek stainless steel body, the Pure Indulgence is a bigger, metallic version of our top pick. It features the same on/off operation with a pre-frozen bowl, and it churns light and airy ice cream that holds onto its smooth texture.

#3 Ninja NC301 CREAMi Ice Cream Maker

The Ninja Creami Deluxe promises to make pints of ice cream out of anything—no custard base or hours of churning required. Just freeze whatever you want to creamify in one of the pint containers the machine comes with (for 24 hours—no one said this thing was instant), pop it into the machine, pick a creaming option, and watch (and hear its high-pitched scream) as the blade descends into your frozen base and magically turns it into ice cream (or sorbet or a “drinkable,” like a slushy)

#4 Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Make

This salt-and-ice-chilled unit may as well be a time machine. With the modern twist of a motorized churn, you can experience all the fun of traditional ice cream making without breaking a sweat. It’s inexpensive and holds up to a gallon of ice cream base in its canister, which is then surrounded by layers of salt and ice that rapidly drop the temperature.

#5 Whynter ICM-220CGY 2-Quart Capacity Automatic Compressor Ice Cream Maker

This model from Whynter costs just a couple of bucks more than the Cuisinart and is a half-quart larger. Though, honestly, both are great. We liked its bright, digital control panel and clearly labeled buttons.