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Ninja Creami Review: Can it make proper Ice Cream?

Ninja Creami Review: Can it make proper Ice Cream?

Last Updated on May 5, 2024 0 Comments

The Ninja Creami can “turn almost anything into ice cream” according to their marketing fluff. And if you take a quick look at TikTok or YouTube, plenty of health and lifestyle influencers seem to agree.

But I’m less interested in turning anything into ice cream than I am in turning regular ice cream mixture into ice cream!

That is: I want to know whether the Ninja Creami can make normal ice cream, gelato and sorbet as well as the other domestic ice cream makers I’ve tested.

So that will be the focus of this review. And perhaps I will do another review on how well it makes ice cream out of anything else!

OK, let's get into it…

Ninja Creami Specs

Width:

6.52"

Height:

15.95"

Depth:

12.07"

Weight:

13.58 lb

Loudness:

71 - 81 db

Paddle Rpm:

-

Overrun:

19%

Warranty:

1 year

Manual:

My Ratings

Build Quality

Usability

Ice Cream Quality

Value for money

Overall

Pros and Cons

  • Makes firm & smooth, ready to eat ice cream
  • Spin to eat means it can be good every time
  • Counter top friendly
  • Good for comparing different recipes
  • Have to plan 24 hours ahead
  • Very poor recipe book
  • Balancing recipes may take some practice
  • It's a bit noisy

What I like about the Ninja Creami ice cream maker

1. It makes very good, ready to eat ice cream

The Ninja Creami can make very smooth, ice free, ice cream, if you give it a properly balanced mixture. What’s more, unlike every other domestic ice cream maker (except perhaps the Lello), it’s firm enough to eat immediately.

2. The ice cream can be good always

Homemade ice cream is usually at its best when it first comes out of the machine, after an hour to harden in the freezer. After that, the quality, starts to deteriorate, as it gets increasingly icy and hard.

Ninja creami gelato

Ninja creami makes great gelato style ice cream

With a regular domestic machine, there’s nothing you can do about that. With the Ninja Creami, give it another spin, and it’s as good as new!

3. It’s counter top friendly

Unlike other ice cream makers, the Ninja Creami will fit quite comfortably on most countertops. It’s thin and tall and not too deep.

Ninja Creami with Vitamix

The Ninja Creami is very counter top friendly

If you can fit a Vitamix (or similar bender), on your countertop, you'll be able to fit the Ninja Creami.

4. It’s easy to use

The work flow for the Ninja Creami is very simple and intuitive. Everything clicks into place, so it’s difficult to get wrong. And you can store your ice cream in the same tub that you make it in for less mess and clean up.

5. It’s perfect for perfecting recipes

If you’re trying to perfect a recipe by testing different variations, the fact that you can spin two (or more tubs), back to back, in 2 minutes, means making comparisons is really easy.

Ninja Creami comparing ice cream

Comparing different ice creams with the Ninja Creami 

I have been doing this a lot and it’s super convenient.

6. It’s easy to clean

I don’t really understand the online kerfuffle about the Ninja Creami being difficult to clean (because of the holes in the lid letting in mixture that’s then difficult to get out). I simply run the lid under the tap, leave it to soak in warm soapy water, and then run it under the tap again. Simple.

What I don’t like about the Ninja Creami ice cream maker

1. You have to plan 24 hours in advance

With a compressor machine, you could rustle up a no-cook mix, quickly cool it, and then churn it in the ice cream maker, all within an hour or so, if you really want to. The Ninja Creami will only work with mixtures that have been frozen for 24 hours in advance.

2. It’s a bit noisy

I measured the Ninja Creami running at between 71 and 81 decibels. That’s quite loud, but not much louder than the other ice cream makers I’ve tested. And remember, the Ninja Creami runs for less than a couple of minutes. While a regular machine will run from 20 to 40 minutes!

3. The recipe book is very poor

I’ve only tested three of the recipes in the user manual so far. But the first two were really, really bad. And since these are the first (and easiest) ones in the book, they’re the ones everyone will be trying!

Ninja Creami recipe book

The recipes book is really bad!

They give a really bad impression of the Ninja Creami and I recommend you avoid them.

How good is the ice cream, gelato and sorbet from the Ninja Creami?

If you start with the first recipes in the user manual (as I did), then you’re going to think the Ninja Creami is rubbish.

The first one I tried was the Easy No-Cook Ice Cream. After one spin on the Ice Cream setting, the ice cream was a thick, crumbly mess. A second spin improved things a bit. And although it tasted better than it looked, it was quite icy and certainly not good compared to a regular ice cream maker.

Ninja Creami chocolate ice cream first spin

First spin of the Easy No-Cook Ice Cream: very bad!

The second one I tried was the Easy Strawberry Ice Cream, and this was even worse. Crumbly after 1 spin and pasty after 2 spins, the texture was really unpleasant, with a thick chalky mouthfeel and noticeable ice crystals.

Ninja Creami Strawberry ice cream first spin

First spin of the Easy Strawberry Ice Cream: even worse!

Undeterred, I plowed on.

Next up was the Vanilla Bean Gelato, which includes egg yolks and needs to be cooked. This was much better. The texture was pretty good after one spin. But it was still icy around the edges. A second spin, got rid of the ice but left it too soft to serve. An hour or so in the freezer sorted that out, though.

Ninja Creami gelato first spin

First spin of the Vanilla Bean Gelato: much better!

My own, easy no cook recipe was next and that had a nice, firm and smooth texture after one spin, and didn’t need a second spin. I need to work on the recipe, though, as I’m no longer a fan of the condensed milk!

These last two efforts showed the Ninja Creami could do a good job.

So next, I decided to use the three tubs you get with the Ninja Creami to try a direct compassion between 3 popular ice cream book base recipes: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Base, Dana Cree’s Philadelphia Base and the Salt and Straw Philadelphia Base.

I really like how easy the Ninja Creami makes comparisons like this, by the way, with all three tubs being ready in a few minutes!

All three were good after 1 spin, although there was still a little bit of iciness around the edges of Jeni’s (presumably where the blade is less active). And while a second spin got rid of the ice crystals, it was again too soft to serve from the tub (I just popped it into the freezer for an hour, and it was fine).

Ninja Creami gelato second spin

Second spin of the Vanilla Bean Gelato: a bit too soft!

So you’ve got no worries about using standard ice cream recipes from books with the Creami, it knocks those out perfectly.

For the purpose of this review, I stopped there, but I’m still experimenting with the Ninja Creami (because it’s so easy and so much fun to use), and will update this review when I discover more.

But what are my conclusions so far?

The Ninja Creami can make very good (smooth, firm and dry), ice cream, which has a texture and temperature that is more like gelato, and is ready to eat as soon as it’s spun, without requiring further hardening in the freezer.

However, the recipes need to be properly balanced to get good results. And the first two recipes I tried from the manual weren’t (they didn’t contain enough sugar for the temperature of the ice cream after one spin).

The thing with the Ninja Creami (and with all ice cream makers really) is that temperature is very important.

I found that if I start with the frozen mixture at 0 – -6 °F (-18 – -21 °C), one spin on the Ice Cream or Gelato setting, increases the temperature of the mix by 46–50 °F (8–10 °C). And then a second spin increases the temperature by 37–39 °F (3–4 °C).

This means the temperatures of the ice cream after each Ice Cream/Gelato spin on my Ninja Creami are generally:

  1. ~14 °F (-10 °C)
  2. ~ 21 °F (-6 °C)

I might be able to balance the mix properly for 21 °F (-6 °C), but that’s a bit warm really, so it’s probably better to try and the balance the mix for one spin and 14 °F (-10 °C).

Or I could make my freezer colder, so the starting temperature of the frozen mixture is lower; Ninja recommends a freezer temperature of 10 – -13 °F (-12 – -25 °C). However, I can’t change the temperature of my freezer (as the controls are broken), so I don’t have any wiggle room there!

But the bottom line is: yes the Ninja Creami is capable of making very good ice cream, gelato and sorbet, if you balance the recipe for the temperature that the ice cream is at once the machine has finished spinning.

All the recipes I have tried from the popular books are already well-balanced and have come out really well in the Ninja Creami, and you can always use an ice cream calculator when you’re creating your own recipes.

How does the Ninja Creami work?

The Ninja Creami actually works in the opposite way to a regular ice cream maker. With a regular ice cream maker, you add a liquid mixture to the machine, which then churns and freezes the liquid into a more solid form.

With the Ninja Creami, you freeze the mixture solid first (in your regular freezer), and the machine then uses a fast spinning blade to chop the ice up into smaller and smaller crystals until they are undetectable by the tongue, and you get a perfectly smooth ice cream.

How Ninja Creami works

How the Ninja Creami works

If this sounds a bit familiar, it’s the same way the Pacojet works. However, while the Pacojet costs about $6K and is only found in high-end professional kitchens, the Ninja Creami costs around $200 and is intended for home use!

But while the Ninja Creami and a regular ice cream maker work in opposite ways, the end result is broadly the same: smooth, aerated ice cream, gelato or sorbet.

Apart from one important difference:

The ice cream that comes out of a regular ice cream maker has a soft serve consistency that needs to be further hardened in a regular freezer before it’s ready to eat. Whereas, the ice cream that comes out of the Ninja Creami will already be at the perfect temperature and texture to eat immediately (if you balance the recipe properly).

And for me, this is a massive bonus!

Ninja Creami components

Ninja Creami components

Let’s take a quick look at the different parts that make up the Ninja Creami and how they all work together, before we go over how to make properly balanced ice cream with the Ninja Creami.

The body of the Ninja Creami

While most domestic ice cream makers and short and wide (which means they take up a lot of counter space), the Ninja Creami is tall and thin, and that makes it much more counter top friendly.

I don’t keep any of my other ice cream makers permanently in the kitchen, let alone on the counter top, as I just don’t have the room, so they’re stored elsewhere and need to be brought out every time I want to make ice cream.

But the Ninja Creami, slots easily next to my Vitamix, under the kitchen cabinets and I can leave it there all the time.

This is another massive bonus, and definitely encourages me to use it more often.

Ninja Creami side view

Ninja Creami side view

However, be aware that it is quite tall and might not fit under lower cabinets. The Ninja Creami is 15.95" (40.5 cm) tall, 6.52" (16.5 cm) wide and 12.07" (27 cm) deep.

It also only weighs 13.58 lb (6 kg), so moving it around is pretty straight forward, especially compared to the compressor ice cream makers. The Lello 4080, for example, weighs 38 lb (17 kg), which makes it a real pain to be carrying into and out of the kitchen all the time.

The tubs of the Ninja Creami

You get 3 tubs with the Ninja Creami. These are used to freeze the mixture and store the ice cream.

You add the ice cream mixture to the tubs and then freeze them in your regular freezer for 24 hours, before you put them in the machine.

Ninja Creami ice cream tub

You get 3 ice cream tubs with the Ninja Creami

Each tub has a 21 fl oz (620 ml) capacity. However, there is a max fill line marked on each tub at 16 fl oz (470 ml). You should avoid filling the tubs over this line. This is because the spinning process also adds air (an essential part of ice cream), which increases the volume of the mix.

Once the Ninja Creami has turned the mixture into ice cream, you could decant it into another container, but it makes far more sense to keep it in the tub. It makes less mess, and more importantly, if the ice cream gets too hard or icy in your freezer, you can just spin it again!

The jug of the Ninja Creami

To make ice cream, you put a tub of frozen ice cream mixture into the jug, add the lid (which also contains the blade), and then lock the jug into the machine.

Ninja Creami jug with lid

Ninja Creami jug with lid

As you lock the jug into the machine, it lifts upwards to connect to an axle that protrudes from underneath the lip of the Creami.

The blade of the Ninja Creami

The blade of the Ninja Creami is the little piece of magic that turns an icy block into ice cream.

Ninja Creami blade

Ninja Creami blade

When the jug is locked into the machine, the axle that protrudes from underneath the machine, passes through the lid of the jug and locks into the blade.

Ninja Creami jug lid with blade

The blade attaches to the jug lid

Then, when you choose a program and the Ninja Creami starts, the axle starts to spin the blade and descends further from the machine, forcing the blade through the icy block and shaving it into smaller and smaller ice crystals (and also adding air), to make the smooth ice cream.

The controls of the Ninja Creami

My Ninja Creami is the NC300 model, which has 7 programs to select from on the front control panel:

  1. Ice Cream
  2. Sorbet
  3. Light Ice Cream
  4. Smoothie Bowl
  5. Gelato
  6. Milkshake
  7. Extras

Each setting is pretty self-explanatory: which one you choose depends on what you’re trying to make.

Ninja Creami controls

Ninja Creami controls

After you’ve made whatever you’re making, you can use the “Extras” setting to gently incorporate any mix ins that you want to keep relatively whole, as if you add them at the start they will be completely destroyed!

There is also a “Re-Spin” button that runs a slightly shorter cycle, in case the first spin didn’t result in the right texture. This is very useful, and it seems more common to do a re-spin, than not, for lower fat / lower sugar ice creams.

What’s the difference between how each of the 7 programs work?

Ninja don’t divulge that information but from investigations that Ninja Creami owners have done themselves, it seems that the different programs vary the:

  • rotation speed of the blade
  • speed at which the blade descends
  • speed at which the blade ascends

Here’s a great video, that compares all the programs, side by side:

And here’s a summary of the results:

Program

Speed Down
(rpm)

Time Down
(seconds)

Speed Up
(rpm)

Time Up
(seconds)

Ice Cream

1200

60

450

35

Gelato

1200

60

450

35

Milkshake

1790

60

450

35

Sorbet

1790

105

450

35

Light Ice Cream

1790

105

1790

40

Smoothie Bowl

1790

105

1790

40

+ Mix-in

450

30

450

35

Re-Spin

1200

30

1200

35

It makes sense that the Sorbet and Light Ice Cream programs would run longer and at higher speeds than the other programs, as the mixtures are likely to be icier and therefore need more work from the Ninja Creami to make them smooth.

But there doesn’t seem to be any difference between the Ice Cream and Gelato programs, so what’s going on there? Is it just marketing, or is there something different in the programs that the online sleuths haven’t uncovered?

It’s almost certainly marketing. What’s the difference between gelato and ice cream, anyway (apart from the recipe)? Gelato is generally served at a warmer temperature and has less air than ice cream.

But with the Ninja Creami, whichever program you choose, the final product always ends up closer to gelato serving temperatures and gelato overrun levels (overrun is the amount of air a frozen treat contains).

So it doesn’t really make sense. Which means it's marketing!

How to use the Ninja Creami

Making ice cream with the Ninja Creami involves 4 stages:

  1. Making the mixture
  2. Freezing the mixture
  3. Spinning the ice cream
  4. Cleaning the Ninja Creami

1. Making the ice cream mixture for the Ninja Creami

Any ice cream (or gelato or sorbet) mixture that you can use in a regular ice cream maker, can also be used in the Ninja Creami.

I’ve tested several of the recipes from popular books (including Jenis, Salt and Straw and Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream) and they all came out well. Similarly, all of my own recipes came out well too.

Jenis Splendid Ice Creams at Home cover

A good recipe book is the best place to start

Ninja Creami also claim, in their marketing, that it can “turn almost anything into ice cream”. And this means “unbalanced” recipes. Recipes with little or no sugar. Recipes with little or no fat. High protein recipes.

But the unbalanced recipes I tried from the book were truly awful!

I’m sure it is possible to push the Ninja Creami in ways you can’t push a regular ice cream maker, but I haven’t tested this yet. Perhaps it's best to do that in another review. In this initial review, I am much more interested in how well it makes proper ice cream!

Ninja Creami first ice cream mixes

The unbalanced recipes from the Ninja Creami book were awful!

My recommendation when you’re starting out with the Ninja Creami, is to start with regular recipes from books or trusted websites.

And whether you’re using no-cook Philadelphia type bases or a cooked base, the method is exactly the same as for a regular ice cream maker.

However, if you’re using recipes from a book, then be aware that these usually produce about 2 pints of mixture, so you’ll need to either half the recipe if you only want to use one tub, or use two of the three provided tubs.

2. Freezing the mixture

Once you’ve made your ice cream mixture, you need to decant it into one (or more) of the three tubs.

A line marked on each tub indicates the maximum level for the mixture. When the Ninja Creami is spinning, as well as cutting up the ice crystals, it is also adding air to the mixture, so if you exceed this line, the final ice cream will spill over the top of the tub.

Conversely, if you want to put less mixture in, that’s not a problem, everything still works fine.

Once the mixture is in the tub, you pop the lid on and place them on a level surface in your freezer until they are frozen solid.

Ninja Creami with frozen chocolate

You must freeze the mixtures for at least 24 hours

Ninja specify that your freezer should be between 10 – -13 °F (-12 – -25 °C) for the best results. And that the mixture should be left in the freezer for a minimum of 24 hours. This is to ensure that the mixture is properly frozen all the way through.

When I was testing, I made the mistake of putting a mixture that was still quite warm in the freezer and only leaving it overnight. When I span it, it got significantly softer results than I did when I froze it properly.

You could play about with this (freezing for less time to get specific results), but it’s difficult to measure and predict accurately. It makes much more sense to play about with the temperature of your freezer instead…

The temperature of your freezer (and therefore the mixture) is hugely important to the kind of results you get. Each spin of the Ninja Creami increases the temperature of the mixture, so to get good results, you need to make sure your recipe is balanced for the final temp:

Mixture start temperature + Spin temperature increase = Final ice cream temperature

Ninja Creami with frozen chocolate

You'll get the best results if you balance the recipe for the final temperature

In my case, after 1 spin the ice cream tends to be at ~14 °F (-10 °C), and after a re-spin it tends to be at ~21 °F (-6 °C). See the how good is the ice cream from the Ninja Creami section for more information on this.

But since the controls on my fridge are broken (so I can’t change the temperature), my only real option is to balance for these temperatures.

3. Spinning the ice cream

After 24 hours (or more) in the freezer, your ice cream base is ready to be spun in the Ninja Creami.

Take it out of the freezer, remove the lid from the tub and place the tub in the jug. There are protrusions in the base of the tub that slot into holes in the floor of the jug, to make sure everything is in the right place and secure.

Frozen strawberry ice cream in jug

Put the tub in the jug before you spin

Then check the blade is attached to the underside of the jug lid and lock the lid into the top of the jug. Finally, place the jug in the base of the Ninja Creami and rotate it, so that it rises up and locks into the axle the descends from the underside.

Every step of this process involves a satisfying click as the different parts lock together, giving you confidence that everything is securely in the correct place and properly lined up.

You can now turn the machine on and select the program that’s appropriate for what you are trying to make.

At this point, the axle will descend from inside the machine and start to spin the blade, pushing it through the frozen mixture.

Ninja Creami blade in jug

The blade is forced down through the frozen ice cream mixture

This can be quite loud, and I’ve read lots of complaints from people online, suggesting that it’s almost unbearable. I don’t think it’s that bad, to be honest. All ice cream makers are noisy, and although the Ninja Creami may be slightly louder than other machines (I measured it at 71 - 81 db), it lasts a fraction of the time that a regular ice cream maker takes.

I would rather have a slightly noisier machine that lasts a couple of minutes than something that’s just a bit quieter but runs for 30 min!

And that’s all it takes: about 1.5–2 minutes for a first spin, and then around 1 minute for a re-spin.

After the first spin, you can unmount the jug and take off the lid to inspect the results. If your recipe is unbalanced, then you might get the horrible crumbly texture I mention at the start of the review. In which case, you can try a re-spin, or another program.

First spin chocolate ice cream

First spin of an unblanced recipe

If you get poor initial results, each spin will warm the mixture, until hopefully, the temperature is appropriate for the recipe and everything is smooth and creami.

Second spin chocolate ice cream

Second spin of an unblanced recipe

Of course, if you’ve balanced your recipe properly, it should be perfect after 1 spin!

However, in my tests, although all the recipes I tried from books (and my own too), were perfectly smooth in the center of the tub after just one spin, at the edges of the tub there were often some ice crystals.

I imagine this is because the blade is less effective at the edges.

A re-spin sorts this out, but then the ice cream is usually too soft to eat immediately. For me, on the second spin, it’s around ~21 °F (-6 °C) which is the same temperature at which you’d extract ice cream from a regular ice cream maker. So I could (and have) just popped it into the freezer for an hour to harden up a bit.

Gelato after 2 spins

After two spins a balanced recipe may be a bit too soft

But that sort of undermines one of the main attractions of the Ninja Creami for me: that the ice cream is perfect straight out of the machine.

I have seen people running the tub under a hot tap for 30 seconds to 1 minute before spinning. The idea being that the hot water will start to melt some of the ice around the edges. I’m not sure that this made any difference when I tried it, but it deserves further experimentation.

Or I could just avoid eating ice cream from the edges!

Once you’re happy with the texture, you can add mix ins to the top of the tub and use the Extras program to quickly work them through the ice cream. This works fine. You won’t be able to have the extreme pleasure of drizzling melted chocolate into churning ice cream to make a proper stracciatella though!

When you’re totally happy, you could decant anything you don't eat immediately into another container to store in the freezer. But it makes much more sense to keep it in the tub, where it can easily be spun again if it starts to get icy!

4. Cleaning the Ninja Creami

I found cleaning the Ninja Creami really easy. Usually, the body of the jug doesn’t get dirty, and you'll continue to store any uneaten ice cream in the tub. So all you need to clean is the jug lid, the blade and the axle.

I start off running the bottom of the lid under warm water, while the blade is still attached to the lid. This gets most of the ice cream off, before it can go anywhere that’s difficult to reach (see below). Then, I detach the blade and soak both it and the jug lid in warm soapy water.

Ninja Creami jug lid

The lid is the hardest part to clean

I have read several complaints about how the small holes in the lid can allow ice cream mixture into an otherwise enclosed area that is difficult to clean. If we can’t get the ice cream mixture out of here, it will go rancid and start to smell.

While this is annoying, soaking the lid in warm water melts any ice cream that has found its way into the lid and then running the lid under more warm water, specifically aiming at the holes, flushes it all out.

This seems to do the job for me, although it might be that I haven’t had the Ninja Creami long enough to properly experience this problem.

Ninja Creami axle

You need to wipe the axle as well

Likewise, you need to remember to wipe the axle that descends from the base of the Ninja Creami. As this extends into the tub while the machine is running, it does pick up some of the melted ice cream. A quick wipe with a cloth sorts it out.

And that’s it. There is no bowl full of hardened ice cream that you need to leave to melt before you can properly clean it, like you get with a regular ice cream maker. It’s all super quick and easy!

Alternatives to the Ninja Creami ice cream maker

For domestic use, there really is nothing like the Ninja Creami (I’m going to ignore the Pacoject, which is the machine on which the Creami is based, because it costs around $6K and is squarely aimed at professional kitchens!).

However, there are lots of other ice cream makers that could be more suitable for you depending on your priorities.

Looking for quicker ice cream?

The biggest disadvantage of the Ninja Creami is probably the 24-hour freeze time. There is no way around this. The Ninja Creami will only work with frozen mixtures, and the only way to achieve completely frozen mixtures is to leave them in the freezer for 24-hours.

If you’re looking for immediate gratification when the urge for ice cream hits, then you probably need an ice cream maker with a compressor (unless you’re organized enough to keep a canister permanently stored in your freezer, see below).

Ice cream makers with compressors have built in freezers that cool the mixture as they churn it. And if you use a no-cook ice cream base, as soon as you’ve mixed it, you can wack it in the machine.

Which means “I fancy ice cream” to “I’m eating ice cream” can be as little as half an hour!

The best ice cream maker with a compressor is the Lello 4080. But it’s very big and very expensive.

Cuisinart ICE-100

Cuisinart ICE-100

For around the same price as the Ninja Creami, you could have the next best option, the Cuisinart ICE-100.

I can’t say for sure whether the Cuisinart ICE-100 makes better ice cream than the Ninja Creami, or vice versa, as I haven’t done a head-to-head test yet (it’s coming soon). But they will be similar.

And apart from the fact that you’ll get your ice cream quicker, you also get separate paddles for ice cream and gelato/sorbet and a very generous 3 or 5 year warranty in the US and UK respectively.

Looking for something cheaper?

I think the Ninja Creami is a bargain. But I understand that it might seem a bit expensive if you only want to make ice cream occasionally.

Cuisinart ICE-21

Cuisinart ICE-21

In which case, your best bet is the Cuisinart ICE-21. It’s a freezer bowl machine, which means it uses a detachable bowl that you need to pre-freeze in your regular freezer for between 16 and 24 hours, before you can make ice cream.

If you don’t like the idea of the wait, you can keep the bowl permanently in your freezer so it’s always ready whenever you fancy ice cream.

Apart from the incredibly low price, the Cuisinart has loads of other things going for it. Most importantly, it makes better ice cream than any other machine apart from the Lello. And that includes the above Cuisinart ICE-100, by the way.

Again, I need to do a head-to-head test to establish how it compares to the Ninja Creami.

The Cuisinart ICE-21 is also small, lightweight, incredibly easy to use, with simple controls and reliable functionality that means there is very little that’s ever likely to go wrong. So it will last for years.

I like the Cuisinart ICE-21 so much I’ve made it my default recommendation for anyone starting out with ice cream making, ever since this blog started. And it’s the perfect choice if you can’t stretch to the price of the Ninja Creami.

Final thoughts on the Ninja Creami

I haven’t had the Ninja Creami for long enough to make any definite conclusions about how the quality of the ice cream it makes directly compares to the other domestic ice cream makers I've tested.

Keep checking back, though, as those comparisons are coming in the next few weeks!

What I can say, is that I really like the Ninja Creami, and it has become my go-to machine when making ice cream (taking over from the Lello 4080).

This is because:

  • It's so counter top friendly, I just leave it there permanently
  • The ice cream is at the optimal temperature and texture straight out of the machine
  • That temperature and texture is more like gelato, which is what I prefer
  • The 3 tubs and 2 minute spin times makes comparing different recipes really easy
  • Left over ice cream can be spun again, so it’s always perfect!

And I haven’t even investigated all the programs yet or looked at how well it handles low fat, low sugar and high protein ice creams!

I will keep testing and updating this review as I find out more about the Ninja Creami.

Next up will be the head-to-head comparisons, so I can definitely say whether it makes better quality ice cream than the other machines I have tested.

Ninja Creami Specs

Width:

6.52"

Height:

15.95"

Depth:

12.07"

Weight:

13.58 lb

Loudness:

71 - 81 db

Paddle Rpm:

-

Overrun:

19%

Warranty:

1 year

Manual:

My Ratings

Build Quality

Usability

Ice Cream Quality

Value for money

Overall

Pros and Cons

  • Makes firm & smooth, ready to eat ice cream
  • Spin to eat means it can be good every time
  • Counter top friendly
  • Good for comparing different recipes
  • Have to plan 24 hours ahead
  • Very poor recipe book
  • Balancing recipes may take some practice
  • It's a bit noisy

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Ninja Creami Ice Cream Maker
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star
Product Name
Ninja Creami Ice Cream Maker
Price
USD 180

About the author 

Carl

Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for the perfect ice cream. The "dream scoop". I document my findings, my successes and failures here...

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