If you’ve been scrolling through your TikTok For You page like me, chances are, you’ve come across the Ninja Creami. This revolutionary ice cream blending machine has been making waves, with users raving about its ability to transform almost anything into mouthwatering frozen treats in just minutes. But as experts in the field, we have reservations about the Ninja Creami’s safety and long-term durability.
A Bulky Machine that Requires Practice
One glance at the Creami, and you’ll notice its substantial size and weight. The base is a combination of metal and plastic, while the pints and the accompanying bowl are made of thick plastic. While it may not exude a premium feel, it is by no means flimsy. Setting up the Creami does take some getting used to, as it involves a few twisting, locking, and releasing actions before you’re ready to blend.
Impressive Results with Some Consistency Issues
We subjected the Creami to our rigorous testing alongside traditional ice cream makers. We tried out various recipes, including vanilla custard, vegan coconut, sorbet, and eggless Philly-style bases. Surprisingly, the Creami delivered delectable ice cream with a dense and smooth texture. Occasionally, a recipe would turn out crumbly, but the manual assured us that a simple fix of spinning it again with the “re-spin” button would do the trick. The custard and Philly bases turned out smooth after one spin, while the coconut and sorbet bases needed two or three spins. Ultimately, each pint came out mostly iceless and smooth. We even experimented with adding Oreos to the Philly base using the mix-in setting, and the results were delightful.
However, consistency became an issue. The Creami’s thick blades couldn’t reach the edges or bottom of the pint containers, leaving sections of completely unmixed frozen base. So, while the blended parts were impressively smooth, it’s likely you’ll encounter some crunchy, icy bits in your bowl, depending on how carefully you scoop.
Concerns and Red Flags to Consider
Our skepticism towards the Ninja Creami arises from its ambitious goal at a relatively low price point. It’s comparable to the Pacojet, a commercial appliance that uses a similar drilling function to blend through frozen bases. However, the Pacojet costs thousands of dollars, while the Creami attempts to replicate its functionality at around $200.
Repeatedly drilling a blade through frozen solid materials requires significant force, and we observed the Creami working hard—perhaps too hard. During our tests, it shook and emitted a burning plastic smell on more than one occasion. In fact, one taster even detected a distinct burnt-plastic flavor in the ice cream.
Furthermore, while the Pacojet employs steel pint containers, the Creami uses plastic ones. Several Creami owners have complained online that the machine’s blades dug into the black plastic lid or sides of the containers, resulting in plastic shreds mixing into their ice cream. We discovered approximately 15 Amazon reviews mentioning this issue. In early 2023, a moderator in the Ninja Creami Community Facebook group implemented a rule banning any more posts about the plastic problem to prevent overcrowding the group.
Cleaning the Creami thoroughly also poses a challenge. After a few uses, we noticed water and ice cream residue accumulating inside the outer bowl’s translucent plastic lid, which cannot be disassembled for cleaning. Additionally, the Creami’s spindle becomes coated with ice cream, and when retracted into the machine’s base, it allows for the build-up of ice cream residue inside the drill housing.
Is the Creami Worth the Price?
Considering its flaws and durability concerns, the Ninja Creami’s price tag of over $200 is difficult to justify. Unless you’re set on owning an appliance that can handle both ice creams and smoothie bowls, we recommend exploring alternative products that offer better value and longevity.
If your primary focus is making ice cream, the Cuisinart ICE-21 is an excellent choice and our top pick. Priced at around a third of the Creami, it doesn’t provide smoothie bowl recipes but excels at making both ice cream and sorbet. Just remember to freeze the insert bowl beforehand. For approximately $70, you get a reliable machine backed by a three-year warranty, unlike the Creami’s one-year coverage.
As for budget-friendly alternatives to the Creami’s blender-like features, the Vitamix 5200 is worth considering. It is renowned for its power and durability, blending thick textures effortlessly without burning out. Moreover, it comes with a seven-year warranty. Keep an eye out for Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day deals, where this premium blender can often be found around $300 or less.
We take our recommendations to our readers seriously, especially when it comes to expensive appliances. Our aim is to ensure your satisfaction and avoid contributing to trend cycles that leave your pockets empty and landfills full. In this case, we are not convinced that the Ninja Creami can withstand the test of time.
Our Verdict: The Creami’s Time Remains Uncertain
While not exactly enamored with the Creami, we will continue to use it to satisfy our curiosity about its durability. However, we cannot guarantee that it will last for a year, let alone a lifetime.
This article was edited by Alexander Aciman and Marilyn Ong.