Best Milkshake Makers

Updated November 2020
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Buying guide for best milkshake makers

When a healthy smoothie isn’t what you crave, opt for a thick, indulgent, homemade milkshake. Tired of drinking runny shakes made in your high-powered blender? A milkshake maker is designed to create rich, decadent shakes just like those straight out of a soda shop. Forget dragging everyone out to grab sub-par shakes at a franchise. Instead, enjoy yummy treats in the comfort of your own home with a machine that’s easy to use and clean.

Here at BestReviews, we want to make sure you get the best machine for your mixing needs. Our shopping guide includes information on the features to look out for when shopping for a milkshake maker, as well as a tasty recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Make your next movie night a real treat for the whole family with some delicious, homemade milkshakes.

A milkshake maker is typically smaller than a blender, so one can more easily fit on your countertop.

Milkshake makers vs. blenders

Countertop blenders and immersion blenders are powerful appliances with blades that can perform many different functions, from crushing ice to chopping nuts to puréeing soup.

Milkshake makers are expressly designed for making milkshakes. They blend and thicken cold ingredients quickly, not with blades but with a long shaft and an aeration disc that adds air to the ingredients. When it comes to making thick, milk-based drinks, a milkshake maker delivers creamier, thicker results than a blender. And it’s easier to control the blending process since most models have a removable cup.

You might think that because milkshake makers are less powerful they can’t perform as well as blenders, but milkshake makers do one thing very well, and that is whipping up delicious shakes.

Benefits of owning a milkshake maker

If you already have a blender, you might wonder why you should buy a milkshake maker. Here are a few compelling reasons:

  • Kids: Homemade milkshakes are a great treat for kids

  • Fun: Having your own milkshake maker is great fun for parties and family get-togethers

  • Cool: There’s nothing like enjoying a milkshake at a barbecue on a hot summer day

  • Cost: There’s no need to go out and spend money on multiple drinks for the family

  • Control: You can control what you put into your milkshake

  • Décor: It makes a great addition to a retro-themed kitchen or bar area
"Most milkshake makers don’t have sharp blades like those in blenders, so they’re a lot safer to use."
STAFF
BestReviews

Milkshake maker factors to consider

Before choosing a milkshake maker for your kitchen, consider the following:

Location: Most milkshake makers are compact and stylish enough to stay on the countertop, but if you want to keep your counters free of clutter, make sure you have enough space in your cupboards. Blenders with a shake function are typically bigger and heavier than milkshake makers.

Construction: We suggest looking at milkshake makers with components made of stainless steel. It’s easy to clean and the cup will help keep your milkshakes cold.

Power: You don’t need the same power for making milkshakes as you do to crush ice or make frozen fruit smoothies. A milkshake machine is designed to aerate and mix dairy-based ingredients. Most milkshake machine motors are between 65 and 100 watts. More power isn’t necessarily better when it comes to mixing milkshakes. High-speed mixing can actually affect the consistency of your finished beverage.

Cup capacity: How many people do you want to serve? Most milkshake machines have detachable cups that hold about 28 ounces of delicious, creamy goodness. It’s fairly easy to clean out the cup and make another batch, but if you want to serve a crowd, look for a machine with multiple cup attachments.

Cleaning ease: Milkshake makers with parts made mostly of stainless steel, with a detachable cup, are easy to clean.

Speeds: You don’t need that much power to make a milkshake, but having two speeds is convenient. Some units have two or more speeds to choose from to make sure you’re mixing and frothing up your milkshake to perfection.

Weight: A heavy base is a necessity because it helps to keep the machine from tipping over and makes it easy to control the mixing process if you detach the cup from the machine.

Number of cups: Some milkshake makers come with extra cups, making it easy to serve a crowd. Some machines also come with retro-style serving cups, but these can be purchased separately should you wish to elegantly serve up your ice cream-based concoctions.

Milkshake maker prices

You shouldn’t have any problem finding a basic one-cup milkshake maker for around $30 to $40. Models that cost more than $50 typically have a more powerful motor and an elegant stainless-steel finish. For more than $100, you’ll find higher-capacity milkshake machines and blenders with shake modes.

Tips

  • Be careful when adding ingredients. If you fill the container too full, the ingredients could overflow.

  • Add mix-ins like chocolate chips and peanut butter last. These additions taste great in a shake, but add them last to make sure they mix evenly and don’t jam the machine.

  • Use cold ingredients for best results. The colder your ingredients, the frothier your milkshake.

  • Fill the cup with the wet ingredients first. Then add the rest of your ingredients.

  • Clean your machine after each use to prevent bacterial growth. This is super important when making milkshakes because you’ll mostly be using dairy products, which spoil quickly.

  • Decide on consistency. Using less milk results in a thicker milkshake, so adjust accordingly.

Peanut butter & jelly shake

Use your new milkshake maker to serve yourself a treat.

Serves 1

1 cup ice cream (chocolate or vanilla)

2 tbsp. sugar (feel free to add less)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tbsp. jam (your choice)

1/2 tbsp. peanut butter

1 tsp. chopped nuts, such as peanuts or walnuts (optional)

Mix and froth everything together and enjoy!

Serve your milkshake the right way, in retro-style glass cups with whipped cream and a cherry on top!

FAQ

Q. What’s the difference between a smoothie and a milkshake?

A. A smoothie is typically fruit-based, and most smoothies are colorful drinks. Milkshakes are milk and/or ice cream-based, creamier than smoothies, and sometimes topped with whipped cream. They’re definitely more of a sweet treat and indulgence than most smoothies.

Q. Can I use a milkshake maker for anything other than milkshakes?

A. Absolutely. Most machines are capable of mixing up scrambled eggs and smoothies. Don’t have the budget or space for an expensive stand mixer? Use your milkshake machine to mix pancake or waffle batter for breakfast. You can also use it to mix drinks for your next cocktail party.

Q. If I already have a blender, is it worth purchasing a milkshake maker, too?

A. If you have the space, why not? A milkshake maker is second to none when it comes to creating frothy, creamy milk-based drinks. If you really love milkshakes, it’s the best way to get an authentic-tasting one. A blender just doesn’t cut it when it comes to making milkshakes. The blades are designed for cutting up and blending, not aerating and frothing.

Q. I’m lactose intolerant. Is there a way to make milkshakes that I can enjoy?

A. Yes! There are plenty of lactose-free milk and ice cream options on the market that you can use to make decadent milkshakes.

Q. My milkshake seems runny. How can I thicken it up?

A. Did you add too much milk, or was your milk not cold enough? Add some crushed ice to help thicken up your shake. For a thicker milkshake, you can also use heavy cream.

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