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JML ice cream maker review


A ice cream machine can be an expensive piece of kit – so does a manual ice cream maker work just as well? Read our review of the JML ice cream maker, which operates via a shallow pan.

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JML ice cream maker

Pros: no mechanical parts
Cons: need to work quickly, no stopping allowed

Star rating: 3.5/5

Available from JML (£39.99)

Read our full review of the best ice cream makers

Ice cream makers don’t come more straightforward than this one, which has no mechanical parts, switches, special functions or lids. It’s simply a shallow pan which needs freezing overnight. No moving bits, assembly or electricity.

This method of producing ice cream is also known as Thai ice cream, as anyone who has travelled to the country will recognise. This method is increasingly popular here in the UK at farmers' markets and festivals.

JML ice cream maker being used in a kitchen

Once the pan is frozen solid – a quick shake will confirm this, there should be no liquid splashing around inside – we quickly poured the cream onto the frozen surface. It spread fast and evenly across the plate; it only takes a moment to begin to set.

We had to move fast to start rolling or scraping up the setting ice cream. Our first attempt failed miserably.

The instructions are inadequate; there's no guidance on how much cream to pour, how long to wait or what the difference between ‘rolling’ or ‘scraping’ the cream is. By the time we had figured out what might work, the pan was defrosting.

Twenty four hours later, a refrozen pan and a few tips from YouTube and the second attempt was a roaring success.

Working even faster and pouring enough cream to cover the whole plate evenly, we scraped the ice cream up. We then spread it again, pressing the cream down onto the plate.

We produced a lovely, smooth cream, though not as light as machine-made.

The ice cream is ready to eat straight from the pan, but we froze it and tasted again after 24 and 48 hours and were delighted with the results – it was still denser than other creams but had a lovely firm texture.

With practice and courage, we believe we could make the finished product lighter and maybe attempt adding a few extra ingredients like soft fruit.

It's hard to justify the price of this ice cream maker as it comes without power, a motor or parts. Still, for entertainment value and simplicity, it could be fun to have in the freezer. Plus, it's a good option for kids to experiment with.

Available from JML (£39.99)

JML ice cream maker specifications
Type: pre-freeze
Capacity: n/a
Size: 30cm diameter x 7.5cm
Noise: n/a
Settings: n/a
Functions: simple ice cream
Lid: n/a
Extras: two scrapers
Cleaning: handwash only
Instruction manual: one-page leaflet
Recipes: no

Read our full review of the best ice cream makers

Ice cream maker recipes

Browse some of our popular ice cream recipes and give them a try in your ice cream machine.

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This review was last updated in May 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at


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