The 8 Best Milkshake Makers
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in August of 2015. It's hard to believe anyone lives more than five minutes from a fast-food restaurant these days. But, if you do, or if you're just worried about what goes into the stuff you get from some of those franchises, one of these milkshake makers will let you blend your own tasty treats using only the freshest and most natural ingredients. We've included both home and commercial models. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 30, 2020:
Today the budget-friendly Nostalgia Electric MLKS100BL comes on board, and it’s a fun, brightly colored model for anyone looking to add a retro touch to their kitchen without spending a lot of money. While it’s not as powerful as many of the others on our list, it’s very easy to use and can handle basic milkshakes. You can set it to either low or high, and when your milkshake is done, just tilt the head back and detach the spindle for a quick and easy cleanup. It’s also great for beating eggs or mixing batter for pancakes or waffles. For another retro model, but considerably more powerful, and thus pricier, look to the Oster Chocomilera, which sports a stable blue-green base and a polished chrome head. It’s got 110 watts of power and offers two speeds. It’s activated and deactivated when you insert or remove the cup. It’s designed to be operated hands-free and is equipped with an auto-shutoff feature.
We kept the Hamilton Beach HMD200 in a prominent spot, since this versatile model is both attractive and durable, making it suitable for either home or business use. It’s got a powerful 1/2 horsepower motor and can be operated either manually or automatically. Some of its components are safe for the dishwasher, and it’s backed by a one-year warranty. The Waring Commercial WDM120 moves into a more prominent position, as it’s a rugged model that can stand up to frequent use. It comes with a butterfly agitator that you can attach for softer ice creams, as well as a stainless steel malt beverage cup. The motors incorporate thermal protection and are easy to replace, as needed over time. The ball bearings are sealed and permanently lubricated, to ensure a long lifespan. You can buy it with confidence, thanks to its one-year warranty. Today we say goodbye to the Waring Commercial Triple Spindle, which has been discontinued by the manufacturer. No matter which model you choose, never allow small children to use them unsupervised, as they contain fast-moving parts.
May 26, 2019:
When it comes to commercial milkshake makers, Waring has been king for a long time. Look in any restaurant, ice cream shop, or cafe that serves them and we are willing to bet that more often than not, a Waring model is what you'll find, which makes it no surprise that this brand dominates our list. What may be surprising though, is that Hamilton claimed our top two spots. The reason for this is simple. In the case of the Hamilton Beach HMD200, our number one choice, it is because it offers professional-level power and durability in an attractive design that most people wouldn't mind showing of in their home. In the case of the Hamilton Beach 730C, our number two choice, it is because of its affordability. While it certainly couldn't stand up to the demands of a busy ice cream shop, it is more than suitable for home use where you will probably be making just a few of milkshakes a day, at most. That being said, for any busy cafe or festival milkshake stall, we recommend the Waring Commercial Triple Spindle. Each of its motors is individually powered and mounted, allowing you to operate either one, two, or three of the spindles at a time. Plus, it has a thin design for a three-spindle model, so it won't take up all your counter space. The more attractive Hamilton Beach HMD400 is definitely a counter space hog, but it features a handy pulse switch for quick bursts of the agitator. If you don't even have room for a single-spindle machine, like the Waring Commercial WDM120, then we recommend the wall-mounted Waring Commercial DMC180DCA. We realize that no matter how badly you may want to make a milkshake at home, you may not be ready for a dedicated appliance, so we included the Breville BSB510XL Immersion Blender. Sure it isn't really a milkshake maker, but it can serve the purpose, though you may find the consistency isn't exactly what you would get in a restaurant.
Breville The Shake Creation Featuring a double aerating motor, this shiny chrome device whips milk and ice cream into a frozen drink that’s both smooth and frothy. Easier to clean than a blender, it features a stainless steel cup and agitator. It takes up refreshingly little countertop space, so it’ll fit right into kitchens of all sizes. It stands 15 inches tall and comes with a one-year replacement warranty. breville.com
Waring The Big Freeze We felt no list should be complete without this option, though since it isn't a time tested and proven model we aren't yet ready to include it in our rankings. It is one of the only variable speed units around, which means you'll have maximum control over the blending process. It also features a strong 1.2-horsepower motor and splash guard to keep you and the surrounding area clean. waringcommercialproducts.com
A Brief History Of A Delicious Treat: The Milkshake
The term milkshake was first used in the late 19th Century.
Today, it goes by several names. In Europe, you might hear it called a thick shake. In New England, you might hear it called the frappe. And in some small towns or in the vernacular of an older generation, you might hear it referred to as a malt. Whatever you call it, the milkshake is a delicious dessert treat beloved all around the globe.
The term milkshake was first used in the late 19th Century. The item on offer back in the 1880s, however, was quite a bit different than the one you will get at a Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins today. The first milkshakes consisted of milk, eggs, and whiskey. This strong product was marketed both as a healthful tonic as well as a treat to be enjoyed.
By the turn of the 20th Century, the word milkshake had come to refer to a beverage much more akin to that which is still enjoyed some more than a century later. Most early milkshakes consisted of frozen milk and sweeteners and were flavored by syrups, with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry as popular then as they remain today.
In the years before World War I, the first soda shops -- often also called malt shops -- had popped up around America. Soda jerks served colas, ice cream sodas, and milkshakes to an ever larger customer base. They were popular with people of all age groups, but younger crowds in particular flocked to the soda fountain, which became a place of socialization as much as a place for enjoying beverages.
In the early 1920s, an inventor named Steven Poplawski created the first viable electric blender, and the creation of milkshakes became even easier and faster. Many milkshakes from the 1920s would have the same consistency and taste of a milkshake you could enjoy today.
While a milkshake might not be the healthiest foodstuff on the planet, it is certainly one of the tastiest and most popular. The milkshake is enjoyed at fast food chains, casual dining restaurants, ice cream shops, and is no stranger to cinema, either. Just think of some iconic dialogue from films such as Pulp Fiction and There Will Be Blood.
Choosing The Best Milkshake Maker
The modern milkshake maker is little different than the same design used for decades behind soda fountain counters and in ice cream shops. Today's units are more compact and more powerful and, more to the point, most milkshake makers are now priced well in range for the common consumer. Many options are highly affordable and work just fine for making smooth, rich milkshakes at home.
You should consider all the likely uses to which your unit will be subjected before choosing which milkshake maker is right for you.
There are also milkshake makers that cost a pretty penny. These most expensive units tend to mix a milkshake more efficiently and more thoroughly, both of which are necessary attributes for a machine to be used in a shop or restaurant. But on the other hand, an individual consumer with a passion for milkshakes would be remiss in not at least considering a high end model.
The amount of time saved thanks to efficient preparation during the lifetime of the milkshake maker does much to compensate for its cost, as does the increased durability and operating life of these units. Or, in other words, if you spend more on a good milkshake maker, you might never have to replace it.
Some milkshake makers are purpose built and really only suitable for making shakes; others are more versatile and can be used to create coffee drinks, smoothies, and even frozen cocktails. You should consider all the likely uses to which your unit will be subjected before choosing which milkshake maker is right for you. The more use you can get out of this and any other kitchen device, the better.
Wild And Wonderful Milkshake Ideas
The classic milkshake is a wonderfully simple affair. Just use two parts ice cream to one part milk and it's hard to go wrong. If you're looking to make a great shake for two, add two cups of vanilla ice cream, one cup of milk, and let the milkshake maker do the rest.
Just use two parts ice cream to one part milk and it's hard to go wrong.
If you want to get a bit more adventurous, try a Bananas Foster milkshake. Stick with the same milk to ice cream ratio as above, but now add a whole ripe banana (cut into chunks), a pinch of cinnamon, two ounces of caramel sauce, and at least an ounce of a good dark rum. It's a delicious take on a classic dessert, and one that can also be made for the kids, just swap out the rum for a dash of vanilla extract.
Adding extra ripe berries to a vanilla milkshake is an easy way to liven up your dessert, as is adding spices like nutmeg or even a dash of clove. Just remember that it's better to use too little spice than it is to use too much, as many spices can easily overpower the flavor balance ideal in a good milkshake.
To make milkshakes kids will love (as if that were a challenge) consider adding little bits of chocolate, sprinkles, or even flavored cereals. These can add crunch and flavor at the same time.
And remember that almost any milkshake recipe will taste great when prepared with frozen yogurt, too, which is a healthier, lower fat option than standard ice cream.