Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker review


There’s nothing that tastes better on a hot summer night than a bowl of homemade ice cream, and I’ve never used an ice cream maker that can make a better scoop than the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker. This ice cream maker has a built-in compressor so you don’t have to put the bucket in the freezer overnight. It works fast, makes all types of ice cream, as well as frozen yogurt and gelato, and has a hardness dial so you can make soft serve or a hard scoop. I tested out this ice cream maker for two weeks and I can’t stop experimenting with different kinds of ice cream. Here’s how the Breville Smart Scoop works and what my experience was using it.

Features of Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker

Breville Smart Scoop ice cream Review

The Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker is a sturdy, mid-size small appliance. It’s larger than other ice cream makers I’ve tested out, but that’s because it has a built-in compressor that freezes the ice cream as you make it. In the box you’ll find the ice cream machine, ice cream bucket, removable paddle, spatula for scraping the sides of the bucket, and brush for cleaning the bucket.

The dimensions of the Breville smart scoop are—width 18.2 cm (7.165 in), height 41.2 cm (16.22 in), depth 27.3 cm (10.748 in) and its main features are as follows:

  • Ice cream maker with self-refrigerating compressor
  • LCD display makes it easy to choose different ice cream settings
  • 12 hardness settings you can adjust with a dial
  • Makes sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, and ice cream of all types
  • Pre-cool feature will cool the unit before you add your mix
  • Keep Cool will maintain optimal operating temperature for up to 3 hours
  • Removable 1 litre (1.5 qt.) container
  • Choose between fully automatic or manual operation
  • The transparent lid has an opening that flips up for add-ins
  • Temperature conversion between Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Plays retro ice cream music when the ice cream is ready
  • Has child lock

Testing the Breville Smart Scoop

Smart Scoop by Breville

The Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker is easy to set up. You just insert the ice cream bucket and the paddle and plug the machine in. I like the stainless steel finish, and although it’s a pretty big appliance, I was still able to store the machine in a cupboard when I was done making ice cream.

Pre-cooling your Breville Smart Scoop ice cream machine

One of the issues I’ve always had with ice cream makers is how you have to pre-chill the bowl. It’s not recommended that you leave an ice cream bowl in your freezer permanently, but I always forget to add the bowl at least 24 hours before I make ice cream. For me, it kind of takes the spontaneity out of making treats at home if you have to think about it a day or two ahead of time.

With the Breville Smart Scoop, you don’t have to worry about pre-cooling your ice cream bucket. The machine has a compressor of its own so it will freeze the ice cream without any prep. You can choose to pre-cool the machine so it can begin freezing your ice cream right away or just press start after you pour your ice cream mix into the bucket. Pre-cooling only takes a few minutes and the machine will be ready to go. It also has a Keep Cool feature that maintains freezing temperatures for up to 3 hours. That’s a great feature because you can just walk away and come back to ice cream when you’re ready.

The easiest ice cream I’ve ever made

Breville ice cream maker review

I love how fast the Breville Smart Scoop can whip up ice cream. It made soft frozen yogurt in 20 minutes and hard ice cream in 30 minutes. You can choose to make ice cream automatically or use the manual function. If you choose automatic, the machine will churn your ice cream for a set amount of time and notify you when it’s done. While automatic is the easiest to use, I started using manual after I learned the ins and outs of the machine. With manual the machine won’t stop until you hit stop or if the ice cream becomes too hard for the paddle to turn.

There are 12 hardness settings you can choose on the Breville Smart Scoop machine, and the settings correspond to the type of ice cream you’re making. If you’d like to make sorbet, that’s the softest setting. If you’d like to make frozen yogurt, you’ll choose medium. For custard-based ice cream, you can choose the hardest setting.

Recipe experiments in the Smart Scoop

Breville Smart Scoop menu

Breville has included a manual with recipes you can test out or you can branch out and try your own. I started by making frozen strawberry yogurt following one of the recipes and it was very easy. I just poured the mixture into the bucket, added the paddle, and put the lid on. The lid is designed to align with two arrows at the top of the machine, and when it is on correctly it protects the top of the paddle from spills.

You can use the flip up lid when the machine prompts you to throw in a few add-ins. Add-ins can be anything you’d like, so if you’re making soft to medium consistency ice cream like soft serve and you want to create a ‘blizzard’ type of dessert, you can make your ice cream and add in some crushed cookies, cookie dough, or fruit.

Four examples of iced desserts you can make

Frozen yogurt is yogurt based
Sorbet is frozen fruit dessert that’s dairy free
Gelato is churned slowly for smooth texture
Ice cream is made with eggs and dairy

Find recipes for these four great desserts—lemon honey frozen yogurt, raspberry sorbet,
pistachio coconut gelato, and vanilla ice cream on Breville’s website.

I made everything from frozen yogurt to sorbet and custard based ice cream. The custard based ice cream I made was from a recipe in the Breville booklet. It used milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar, and a puree of strawberries. To make it you’ll boil the dairy products with the egg yolks and sugar. Once it’s thickened slightly you’ll take it off the stove and put it in the fridge for several hours.

When the ice cream mixture was sufficiently chilled, I added it to the Breville Smart Scoop bucket. I had already pre-chilled the bucket so it was placed inside the machine. If you pre-chill with the bucket inside the machine, I recommend you pour the ice cream mixture into the bucket using a bowl with a spout or use a ladle. I tried to pour the mixture in from the side and I had a bit slip out onto the machine. I also managed to pour a bit of the mixture down the center spout of the ice cream maker, and that caused a bit of a mess because that’s where the paddle goes. It’s much easier if you just ladle your ice cream mix in.

Once your ice cream mix is in the bowl you can add the paddle, close the lid, and press start. Everything I made turned out great, and if you have the Keep Cool setting on you can just leave the ice cream in the bucket until you’re ready to serve dessert. Otherwise, you can scoop it out of the bucket and place it in a freezer-safe bowl.

Cleaning up the Breville Smart Scoop

Frozen yogurt made in Breville Smart Scoop ice cream machine

You don’t have to worry if you splash the Breville Smart Scoop while you’re making ice cream. You can wipe down the body of the ice cream maker with a soft cloth. It’s not fingerprint resistant but I found it buffed out very easily. The ice cream bowl and lid are not dishwasher safe but are easy to clean in the sink. You can use the included brush to remove any ice cream that dripped in the tube that holds the paddle. The spatula is top rack dishwasher safe.

If you drip any ice cream inside the unit itself, it’s easy to wipe out. Just keep in mind that if you drip ice cream when pouring it into the bowl, the bowl itself may become frozen in the machine. You don’t want to pull on it if that happens. Just let the machine warm up for a bit and then gently remove it. This happened to me so I removed the paddle and scooped my ice cream out into a bowl, then let the machine warm up before I removed the ice cream bucket.

Should you choose the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream machine?


The more I used the Breville Smart Scoop, the more I wanted to use it. It’s so fun making ice cream at home with this machine. I’ve always wanted to make Dole Whip, and this is definitely the machine to make it with. I tried a few different recipes I found online with varied results. The first attempt was very good, but it was more like a pineapple sorbet than the consistency of Dole Whip.

I kept trying, and armed with a few tips from the Breville Smart Scoop user manual, I managed to create a hybrid sorbet/custard-based Dole Whip that was pretty close to the real deal. If I didn’t have the Breville Smart Scoop with compressor, I would have had to wait a day in between ice cream-making sessions. With this machine and its capacity to cool, I spent a fun afternoon with the kids experimenting with Dole Whip recipes.

Overall, I found the Breville Smart Scoop to be very easy to use, and I think anyone who wants to make ice cream without a lot of steps or hassle will love this machine. You can find it right now at Best Buy.

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