A Comparative Look at the: Breville Smart Scoop vs. Ninja Creami. After receiving a Ninja Creami for a Christmas gift, I now own both the Breville Smart Scoop and the Ninja Creami. This comparison will not be written on all models of ice cream makers, but simply on the observations I’ve had using these two. I promised in my Facebook Group that I’d share my thoughts on both. If you’re in a dilemma over which ice cream maker to bring into your kitchen, these two are stirring up a storm in the world of homemade ice cream, each with its own unique charm. So let’s dive into a comparison to help you choose the perfect partner for your ice cream adventures!
I’ve included a bonus at the end of the article. During our Christmas dinner, we discussed ice cream and allergies, specifically how our son couldn’t consume any store-bought dairy products when he was young. This got me thinking about the prevalence of allergies today, and I thought you might appreciate a mini eBook of my ice cream-base recipes. I’ve put together a small ebook with a recipe that should cater to everyone, I hope! If you’re interested, it’s available at the end of this post. Also, the recipes are designed for both Thermomix and Conventional Methods. Back when he was 8, I used to do everything on the stovetop, but that was a long time ago. 🤪
Breville Smart Scoop:
The Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker is a gem for ice cream aficionados.
Breville Smart Scoop – favourite features
- 12 Hardness Settings: From soft sorbet to harder ice cream, the Breville caters to all your frozen desires.
- Pre-Cool Feature: You can get a jump-start on your ice cream making with a machine that pre-cools for you. Don’t skip cooling your ice cream before churning or you’ll end up with grainy or icy ice cream.
- Consistency Control: Love your ice cream a certain way? Store it at your preferred consistency. Once properly churned it will stay soft when you store it in the freezer.
- Bowl Capacity: You can make 1 litre of ice cream at a time with this model.
Perfect for those who adore a wide range of textures and flavours, the Breville Smart Scoop shines in its versatility and user-friendly features.
Breville Smart Scoop – more thoughts
- Preparation Time for Base: Requires pre-cooling of the ice cream base, which adds to the overall preparation time. As I said above don’t skip this bit. But you can have an ice cream base made just after lunch for serving at dinner time, by allowing it to cool a bit and then hitting the pre-cool feature before churning.
- Risk of Grainy or Geasy Texture: Improperly cooling the base before churning can result in a grainy texture. However, many people complain about the grainy or greasy texture of full cream ice cream they’ve blitzed in their Ninja Creami. Blitzing a full cream ice cream immediately after removing it from the freezer will result in a grainy or greasy texture. To remedy that, allow the frozen pot of ice cream to sit out for 15-20 minutes before popping it in your Ninja and blitzing. Did you know that fat and water freeze differently? That’s why the amount of cream in your ice cream matters. If you love your ice cream rich and creamy, go ahead and use plenty of cream. But remember, you’ll need to take it out of the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you’re ready to blitz and serve. This little wait helps it get to that perfect, scoopable texture. On the flip side, using less cream does help avoid the wait, but it also means your ice cream won’t be as indulgently creamy. As a pastry chef, I’m all about that rich texture, which is why I love using more cream in my recipes. Speaking of recipes, I have a free eBook for my followers packed with my favourite creamy ice cream recipe bases. These are tried-and-true gems that I’ve used for years in various restaurants and cafés. Check it out for some creamy goodness! 🍦✨
- Counter Space: Its larger size might be a concern for those with limited kitchen space. This unit has a built-in fridge to chill your ice cream as it churns.
- Care and Maintenance: The ice cream bucket is not dishwasher-safe and will lose its shine with improper cleaning. Bothered me at first, don’t care now because it still works. 🤪
- Initial Cost: Generally higher priced, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious consumers. But this one has its fridge built in so that’s where the cost comes in.
- Storing Ice Cream: You can’t store ice cream in the churning bucket because it doesn’t have a lid, and it’s tricky to scoop all the ice cream out with the churning paddle getting in the way, when fully frozen. However, you can get one or two of these containers, which I love. I scoop the made ice cream out of the churning bucket into one of these straight after churning (ie. while its still easy to do). They are the perfect shape to fit into my crowded freezer and yet hold enough ice cream to make it worth storing.
From what I can see there are 4 different models of the Ninja, some are not available in Australia. They all do pretty much the same thing but the Ninja Creami is not your average ice cream maker.
Ninja Creami – favourite features
- The Creamerizer Technique: This innovative approach starts with a frozen base and transforms it into creamy bliss by cutting through the icy layers.
- Compact and Mighty: While it has a smaller capacity, it’s a powerhouse of flavour. Think of a flavour and you can make it!
- Overnight Preparation: Plan ahead, as the frozen confection needs to freeze solid (possibly overnight) before you can add it to your Ninja to blitz.
- Care and Maintenance: The Ninja parts (buckets, lids and blades can go in the dishwasher and are all fine).
- Storage Pot Capacity: Around 454 grams that’s about 2 Aussie cups. You’re going to want more storage pots. 😂🤪
Ninja Creami – more thoughts
- Overnight Freezing Required: The base must be frozen solid overnight (in your family fridge), which requires planning.
- Freezer Space and Leveling: Requires ample freezer space and careful placement to ensure the mix freezes evenly.
- Consistency Maintenance: The ice cream sets solid in the pot and requires re-blitzing each time before serving, which can be inconvenient.
- Potential Contamination Risk: The process of eating directly from the jar and refreezing could raise hygiene concerns.
- Limited Capacity: Smaller capacity might be a drawback for those looking to make larger batches.
- Solid mass: For the Creami to work the mix must be a solid frozen mass in the jar, nothing loose will work properly, so bags of frozen fruit will work much better by churning them in your Thermomix first.
- It only takes a few minutes: Just drop your frozen ice cream/base into this machine and have it blitz, but with the half dozen recipes I’ve made so far, I’ve found that I’ve had to “re-spin” each one because the texture is more crumbly than creamy with just one blitz. I guess that’s why they have a separate button for that on the front panel called Re-Spin.
- Fat separation: People have complained about the way the fat can separate with your ice cream mix with the Ninja. With the mix so cold the fat and water can separate. Some say to remove at least half the fat but then you’re changing the texture of your ice cream. The way to get around this is to leave the tub out for 15 – 20 minutes or so before blitzing. I know that’s not ideal, but if you want creamy ice cream you’ll be better off doing this. The other way to fix it is to remove a big spoonful of the powdery ice cream after the first blitz and replace it with liquid. I’ve done this with milk and it has come together creamy and delish I guess it depends on how much of a hurry you’re in to serve.
Storing your ice cream
When it comes to storing your homemade delicacies, the Breville takes the cake with its ability to maintain your ice cream at the perfect consistency. Meanwhile, the Ninja requires a bit more planning with its overnight freezing method and you will have to re-blitz each time you desire a scoop. Unlike the commercial product this has been copied from this unit does not incorporate air while it blitzes. See I can’t call it churn cause I don’t think it does. Humm I’m still not sure which one suits me best. Let’s keep going.
General Considerations (for both)
- Learning Curve: Both machines need a little understanding of how they work. There are tips for beginners in the instruction books that come with them if you can be bothered reading them.
- Noise Level: Some users might find the operational noise level of these machines to be a bit high. The Breville doesn’t annoy me, but the Ninja is very loud. Not quite like grinding dried chickpeas in your Thermomix loud, but my dogs leave the room and I feel I want to but….. 😂 I’m too scared to leave it alone. In fact my husband came running in with concerns it was going to explode. It didn’t, but you get the idea.
- Energy Consumption: As with any kitchen appliance, energy consumption might be a concern for environmentally-conscious consumers. I have no idea and don’t profess to know about this subject but I can only think having a fridge attached to the Breville would surely cost more than sticking your ice cream storage cups in your freezer that’s already on.
- Price: The Breville Scoop is a little more expensive ($399) than the Ninja Creami at $268-299, but it does come with a built-in refrigerator.
Final Scoop: Which ice cream maker is my favourite?
My Husband asked me, “If you weren’t a chef, and didn’t have a cooking school, which one would you keep?”. Its a good question. I think I’ll have to keep both while I’ve got the space to do so, but if and when we downsize…. Sheesh, I’m not sure, I guess the Ninja will take up less room. 🤷♀️ In the end, it’s about what works best for your lifestyle. Do you prefer the convenience and versatility of the Breville Smart Scoop, and want to be able to store ice cream in the freezer? Or are you drawn to the unique and hands-on approach of the Ninja Creami, and happy to blitz each time you want to have a frozen creamy dessert? How big is your family, is there someone that would eat ice cream every day at your place? All good questions to ask, I guess they’re both good in their own way. I’m glad I have them. Now, what flavour will I make next, and I think I’ll order more storage buckets…. 🤣🤣🤣
Your Ice Cream, Your Choice!
Remember, whether you choose the Breville Smart Scoop or the Ninja Creami, the journey to perfect homemade ice cream is a delicious one. Happy churning!
Other posts and information on ice cream
- I have a blog post on Simple Ice Cream Base.
- A post on ice cream cones.
- A different kind of ice cream. This is brilliant after Thai or Asian food. Palm Sugar Ice Cream
- Want my Free Ice Cream Base Recipe eBook? Please read my recommendations above for having your Ninja Creami creamy ice cream at its best.