The Ninja Creami has taken over TikTok. It’s more than your average ice cream maker, and people are using it to create everything from protein shakes and smoothies to sorbets and copycat Frosty recipes from Wendy’s. But, there’s no denying it’s a little pricey, and while many would argue it’s worth the price, you might want to look at a few alternatives if you’re on a tight budget. Plus, it’s sold out almost everywhere right now.
First, let’s take a closer look at the Ninja Creami, what it really does, and how you can/should use it.
Then, we’ll cover a few of the best alternatives so you can get your homemade ice cream fix, even on a budget.
The original Ninja Creami model was released on National Ice Cream Day in July 2021. But, it really took off in popularity this year thanks to TikTok influencers showcasing their favorite uses for the machine.
It’s a 7-in-1 ice cream maker designed to whip up a host of frozen treats, from gelato and sorbet to milkshakes and smoothie bowls.
What makes it so unique is the technology it uses to create these treats. It features strong blades that completely break down frozen ingredients to create a smooth, even consistency. You don’t need to pre-chill any parts like you would with a traditional ice cream machine, and as long as your ingredients are cold, it can whip up a batch of ice cream in just a few minutes.
Ninja CREAMi Breeze Ice Cream Maker and Frozen Treat Maker
Get a paired down Ninja Creami with the Ninja Creami Breeze.
Another perk of the Ninja Creami is that it’s easy to use. The machine itself comes with Ninja Creami recipes, but a quick search on social media—especially TikTok, and you’ll see even more tasty creations and hacks.
You simply pour your ingredients into the included pints the night before you want to make ice cream, then put them in the freezer. The next day, attach the lid with the blade, pop the pint into the machine, and decide which type of treat you want. After choosing the right function, the Creami will get to work, and you’ll be able to enjoy your frozen concoction in minutes.
If you have an especially “chunky” treat with a lot of mix-ins, consider re-spinning it to get everything super smooth.
If you’re wondering where to buy the Ninja Creami, good luck. It’s sold out nearly everywhere. There’s the Ninja Creami Breeze, that’s a simpler version, but the OG TikTok favorite But, if you’re looking for a few alternatives for when the Creami is out of stock or if you don’t want to spend that much money, we’ve got you covered.
Cuisinart is a popular name in the world of kitchen appliances. Their ice cream maker is a classic and can whip up traditional full-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet. It makes 1.5 quarts at a time, so it can produce more than the Creami, and while it might take a bit more prep work and time, it’s a fraction of the cost.
Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Machine
Cuisinart remains a popular brand name for a reason.
If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer at home, spending a bit extra on the ice cream maker attachment will make creating frozen treats at home easier than ever. You simply freeze the bowl, add your ingredients, pop it into the mixer, and let the machine churn it slowly. It makes up to two quarts of ice cream, sorbet, or gelato in as little as 20-30 minutes.
KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
A sweet addition if you have a KitchenAid mixer.
If you live in an apartment or small home, or you don’t want big quarts of ice cream sitting around all of the time, the DASH My Pint electric ice cream maker could be the best solution. It’s small, easy to use, and creates 1.6 cups of ice cream, gelato, or sorbet in 30 minutes. DASH has become a big name in the world of waffle makers, but this electric ice cream machine is budget-friendly, works well, and would even make a great gift.
DASH My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker Machine for Gelato, Sorbet + Frozen Yogurt
The perfect machine for pint-sized treats.
If you’re an ice cream fanatic and you want to make more than one pint at a time (and you’re willing to invest a bit of money into your machine), the Whynter ICM-201SB is for you. It’s a compressor ice cream maker that requires no extra work than the push of a button. Plus, for all of its power and ease of use, it doesn’t take up much more space than any other small appliance, and it’s incredibly quiet!
Whynter ICM-201SB 2.1 Quart Capacity Upright Automatic Compressor Ice Cream Maker with Stainless Steel Bowl in Black
If you make ice cream often, this machine with a built-in compressor will make it easier than ever.
While the Ninja SS401 Foodi Power Blender isn’t exactly an ice cream machine, it’s a great option if you want to use the Ninja Creami for mostly smoothies, bowls, or protein shakes. Ninja is the leader of the pack when it comes to powerful blenders, and this model has seven different features so you can use it for so much more than just your morning beverages and treats.
Ninja SS401 Foodi Power Blender Ultimate System
The ultimate blending system for smoothies, drinks, and more.
The Ninja Creami is definitely having a moment, and if you can get your hands on one, it’s worth the investment. But, whether they’re sold out (again) when you’re looking, or you want to try something at a different price point, these alternatives will give you the tasty, creamy, cool results you’re looking for so you can come up with the most delicious frozen concoctions imaginable at home.