Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker Reviews

Soft serve ice cream makers are for the person who'd rather have soft serve than ice cream anytime, or who wants a fun gadget to use with kids or friends.

There's a lot to be said about soft serve ice cream, not least of which is that we can honestly consider it one of former British Prime Minister Dame Margaret Thatcher's most lasting contributions to humanity. She was on the team of chemists that developed the method that made soft serve ice cream manufacturing possible. Thank you, Dame Thatcher.

Our own first experience with soft serve ice cream was aboard a U.S. Navy Aircraft carrier that docked in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 1972. The local American school organized a field trip and took a dozen five-year-olds to explore the ship. The highlight of the visit was the stop in the cafeteria, where a food-service sailor kindly handed out swirls of vanilla soft serve ice cream. None of us ex-pat kids had ever had anything like it before.

So yes, we do have a soft spot for this frozen concoction, and there's something about the soft-serve ice cream machines that has us waxing nostalgic. But can we recreate that seminal experience in our very own kitchen? I think not ...

The truth is than any ice cream machine makes soft serve. If you want your ice cream to be harder than that, like the one you buy at the store, you need to let it "ripen" in the freezer for a few hours.

Given that, what's the big deal about these machines and - if you weren't on that field trip to the aircraft carrier in the 1970s - why would you want one?

Well, not only do they make ice cream, like all the other machines on this site, but they also allow you to dispense it straight from the machine into a bowl or cone. With a little practice you can achieve that iconic swirl and have a cone as gorgeous as the ones from an ice cream parlor.

soft serve ice cream maker

Some machines also have dispensers for toppings, so you can shower sprinkles, nuts, or candies on your cone, which is pretty cool and lots of fun.

Any ice cream machine can make ice cream, some better than others. But a soft serve ice cream maker is a novelty item, an amusing gadget that can also be a conversation piece. Most importantly, you can use it to practice your swirl, in case you dream of working at the local Dairy Queen.

If that's your goal, then you definitely need a soft serve ice cream maker.

Click on the links below for our reviews: