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Jul 14, 2005 12:33 PM

Ice cream makers... recs please.

  • r

Am in the market for a new ice cream maker at home. The old one I had, with the wooden bucket and electric motor on top, finally gave up after about 8 years of regular use.

Any ice cream fans here, please give your recommendations on which machine you either use or would buy. Thanks.

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  1. I have one of the Cuisinart ice cream makers, just the basic one. I like it, think it makes terrific sorbets and ice cream. the only complaint I have, and perhaps this is b/c i'm doing something wrong, is that about 1/2c worth of ice cream gets seriously frozen to the side of the freezing container.
    Actually, anyone out there have either the same experience or any suggestions?

    Aside from that, it works really well and was only $30 (on sale at Wegman's last summer!). Something i read in Gourmet/Bon App liked it and noted that it does as good a job as the pricier ones. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they said!

    3 Replies
    1. re: fresser

      Pour the cream in while the machine is on and the paddle is turning. The cream won't have time to stick to the sides of the canister.

      1. re: micki

        awesome! perfect solution. i will give that a go, maybe even tonight. have a recipe for some dark chocolate frozen yogurt i've been wanting to try.
        thank you.

        1. re: fresser

          When that happens to me (and I do turn it on before pouring), I just let the machine churn a few minutes longer. I find that when the liquid in the canister starts melting, the ice cream comes away from the sides of the bowl more easily. That's also the point at which the ice cream is as frozen as it's going to get in the machine, in my experience.

    2. Just curious: Has anyone tried the Donvier? The canister is placed in the freezer to pre-chill, then there's a hand crank to turn about every 15 minutes. No ice/salt required.

      14 Replies
      1. re: doctor_mama

        I've had one for about 15 years. It is simple enough to use. You just need to have to have the space in your freezer to place the cannister upright until frozen. If it is not upright the stuff inside the cannister does not freeze evenly. I've also had a knock-off from Nordicware. They both work okay but do not make a lot of ice cream per batch. They are also good for quick chilling cold soups and making slushy drinks.

        1. re: Candy

          I've had one for prob. that long as well. I do like it, but if you are going to be making a lot of ice cream or making ice cream often, you mite want to try an auto one.
          You have to be right with this unit so you can stir it every so often. It works really well for ices or sorbets and if like me, you only use it now and then-it's a perfect choice.

          1. re: jackie

            You all have me convinced. My kids can do the stirring, too! I will check Ebay. Great idea.
            Thanks for the feedback!

          2. re: Candy

            We've had ours for about ten years. Yes, the can does take up some freezer space, but it'll also hold a few bags of frozen veges, so it's not all wasted space!

            I've done some slushy things, but hardly use it at all anymore, now that we're in The Land Of Trader Joe's. The exception is when Ms. O gets a hankering for some commercially unavailable flavor, like honey-lavender, then I have to make her some.

          3. re: doctor_mama

            I've had and used a Donvier for about 5 years and I love it. Makes great ice cream without much effort. Flexable too. Sorbet's, freezes, slush's all work.
            I recommend it.

            1. re: doctor_mama

              My friend has one, and I've eaten ice cream made from it countless times. He generally makes ice cream without an egg-based custard, and it's always delicious, with a smooth, creamy texture. Despite the fact that you have to crank it yourself, it's not difficult to crank it a few times while the rest of your dinner is simmering, and it's ready by the time you're done with the rest of your dinner. Lots of cheap options on EBay, too.

              1. re: doctor_mama

                I have a Donvier as well. I use it quite often and don't find the churning onorous. The finished product is very good. Some reviews have said that more ice crystals form in the Donvier method, but I've never found that.

                I've gotten to like the not-quite-finished ice cream/froz yog - that is, before you put it in the freezer for the final hardening.

                And you can't beat the price...

                1. re: doctor_mama
                  ChowFun (derek)

                  Just yesterday I retired my Donvier to the garage awaiting a garage sale...I had recently bought the electric Cuisinart...If you live near SF, it's, It still has the original recipe book too!

                  1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                    Thanks for the kind offer; however we live in Raleigh, NC.

                    1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                      Alas--I'm in Boston!

                    2. re: doctor_mama

                      I used to use a manual Donvier which belonged to an ex-roommate, but now have an automatic. While we produced some good stuff in the Donvier, I prefer the automatic. I don't know what a Donvier is going for these days, but a decent automatic on sale probably costs $10 more, so cost is not really an issue IMO.

                      My automatic runs for about 25-30 min. when it's full and I'm making a custard based ice cream. It's nice to turn it on and then attend to other kitchen duties since I often make homemade ice cream when I have guests coming over. The problem w/ the Donvier is that I'd get tired or bored w/in 20 min. of hand cranking and then stick in the freezer when it was rather soft so it could firm up. Not ideal.

                      I usually like being hands-on w/ my food since automatic appliances can make you "lose touch" w/ what's going on; however, ice cream is one of those animals that doesn't need to be watched over carefully. The only good thing about the Donvier is that you can burn off a few calories before you indulge in your frozen treat.

                      1. re: Carb Lover

                        Carb L. What model do Cuisinart do you have? They are selling the ICE20 for $29.95 at a place called Kitchen Gadgets....

                        I thought they (auto) were about $60 and I paid $29.95 for my Donvier years ago....

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          I actually don't own a Cuisinart. I have an obscure model called "Deni" that was given to me as a gift many years ago. It's essentially just like the basic Cuisinart automatic models that I'm seeing for $25-30 on discount. I remember someone on CH posting about an automatic model (probably not Cuisinart) going for about $15 during Amazon's Fri. sale. Can't beat that.

                          Warning about Kitchen Gadgets...DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM!!!! I have a small tale to tell related to my Le Creuset venture, which basically ends w/ me cancelling my order b/c the company couldn't deliver in a timely fashion. They are shady, I tell you. Fortunately, they never charged my card (that I know of), but they don't even have the stock that they purport to sell on their website. I read many other stories like mine after doing a bit of post-cancel research. Stick w/ a more reputable and well-known e-company.

                          1. re: Carb Lover

                            They probably charged you under Dr. Smith, routine office visit.

                            Thnx for the warning.

                    3. After agonizing about it on this board (in May), I recently bought the basic Cuisinart model (about $50, you could probably find it cheaper with some online work but I had a WS gift card). I love it. Very easy to use, and not too cumbersome. As I recall both this one and the slightly-more-expensive Krups got good reviews in Cook's Illustrated not too long ago.

                      1. On a side note, has anyone tried the one that they sell as an attachment to the standard Kitchen-Aid mixers. I received one for my wdding and I'm debating on whether to keep it or return it.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Hojo

                          There's been a LOT of ice ceam and ice cream machine discussion lately.

                          I think the scoop on the KA attachment is that it's very similar (almost identical) to a Cuisinart or Krups basic electric machine, but you can adjust the speed of the churning, which to those who know more about ice cream making science is a big plus.