Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 21, 2005 03:32 PM

Ice Cream maker advice- - - please.

  • j

Hi all,

Recently I was validated regarding an ongoing problem I've had with a very pricey ice cream machine. Years ago I was gifted with a "Ugolini Minigel", and I often would notice little butter chips in my finished product---definitely something not desireable. I've found more success from using the Donvier type of machines versus my supposedly top of the line machine.
Yesterday for some reason I decided to "google" Ugolini Minigel, and within a minute I found some information that said that high butterfat ice creams made in the Ugolini Minigel will form butter chips, as the dasher mixes with too high a velocity.
So now I know I've not been imagining things, and I feel good about that. I feel "less good" about the new purchase I will be making, because I am way out of the loop when it comes to the top models out there. From on line research I've found two brands which sound interesting. Musso is the first brand, and Nemox is the second.
Any ice cream loving hounds out there??? I would LOVE some feedback.
Cheers and thanks,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I paid around $500 for my Simac and I, too am great at making butterfleck ice cream.

    I haven't attempted to use the machine in over 2 years because of it.

    Yet, they use that machine on a good percentage of cook shows.

    I thought it was me.

    1. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      If you have the cash for it, you can't beat the Musso Lussino. If you want to see one in action, I believe that it's the ice cream maker used on the original Japanese version of Iron Chef.


      1. This is a timely question, because I just purchased the Gelato machine from Lello (it's an Italian company, recently changed its name). It was recommended in Gourmet magazine as one of the best ice cream makers, and I picked it up on Amazon for $135 (it's marked down to $159.99, and there's a promo right now thru Nov. 27 that gives you an extra $25 off). With free shipping, it was quite a deal.

        It's heavy, about 32 pounds, and it takes up a bit of counter space. But I've made about 6 batches of gelati and sorbetti so far, and they've been great.

        Check it out.


        3 Replies
        1. re: winedude

          Dear Winedude,

          That was a very thoughtful reply, and thank you for that. I went to your link and read about the Lello. I couldn't find the promotion for the extra $25 through Nov. 27th., that you mentioned though.
          And there is one other thing that has me confused. When I went to look at your Lello, there was an option to look at "other" products by Simac. I clicked on it, and I saw another top of the line machine I've been investigating as well. It's called the Musso 4080. It would appear that it is made by Simac as well, which is something I never knew. The Lello holds a quart and has a removeable bowl, and the Musso 4080 holds a quart and a half, and no removeable bowl. Heck, if the mechanism is the same in both models, I think I'd be a fool to spend the extra bucks. The bottom line for me is that I want to make ultra rich ice cream that when churned, remains smooth and with no little butter chips. My basic "rich" ice cream base is 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, 5 yolks, a pinch of salt, and 6 oz. wt. of granulated sugar. From there, you can only imagine the flavorings and mix ins!
          Thanks again for your reply and happy cooking.

          1. re: JeffW

            Hmmm, don't know why you didn't see the offer, perhaps it's regional. In any event, here's the deal, from the site. If you enter this promotional code, I'm almost positive they'll deduct the extra $25 when you check out. From Amazon:Take $25 off your purchase of $125 or more of Kitchen & Housewares or Bed & Bath products today. Just spend $125 or more on Kitchen & Housewares or Bed & Bath products and use this promotional code at checkout: WTRQUCKDSCNT. This offer applies only to purchases made between October 25, 2005, and November 27, 2005. Applies only to products sold by Does not apply to products sold on our site by third-party merchants or through third-party areas such as Marketplace, Auctions, or zShop.

            Good luck!

            1. re: JeffW
              ChowFun (derek)

              I got the Amazon deal on the Lello a few months far I've never come close to producing butter chips...and since I need the freezer works for me.

          2. Interesting how some of those pricey models cause butter flecks. Didn't know. For a basic machine w/ the gel canister that you freeze, I like my Deni. It's an older model of the one linked below. Consistent and predictable and certainly an upgrade from the Donvier I used to use. Has served me well for 7 yrs. and counting...


            4 Replies
            1. re: Carb Lover

              Was kind of crossing fingers about hopes in getting a response from you. Last night our friends Debbie and Michael were here for din-din, and the whole ice cream maker thing reached a crescendo. Deb said that "Carb Lover" was VERY much into ice cream. Guess I could have titled my post with something like "Carb Lover, please respond". In any event you wrote---and I'm a listening! Thinking that tomorrow (Tuesday), I will decide between the Deni---or the 2 pricier self contained freezer models I've researched. There does seem to be a repeating voice in my head saying "Jeff, you've never had one butter chip any time you've used an ice cream maker which has a cannister that freezed separately". I just have a few lingering doubts regarding excessive air in the finished product. I guess life must be good, if I can take the time to make myself nuts over which ice cream freezer to purchase! One thing is for sure---the Ugolini Minigel is outta here---only wish I knew how to E-Bay!

              1. re: JeffW

                Oh my, seems that I've developed quite the reputation for ice cream (*blushing*). I never used to make ice cream much, but my obsession has really ignited this past year, probably w/ the encouragement and inspiration from others here. Goat milk ice cream is next, but that will have to wait til after the holiday weekend.

                If you are seriously considering the Deni model from Amazon, you might reply w/ a "shout out" to Mr. Taster. He bought that exact model and seems to be churning away happily (updates on that hummus flavor, Mr. T?). It might be helpful for you to hear specific pros and cons from him since there's only one review on Amazon. Who knows, others may chime in too.

                A thought about your other model w/ the butter flecks problem: have you tried to make ice cream that has lower butterfat? It sounds like that model is ideal for lower fat gelati and could potentially make beautiful gelato w/ good whole milk and a little egg or other emulsifier. That actually sounds like an upgrade from the Deni to me...

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  Bleary eyed and ready for bed, but I couldn't resist scouting around for the best price on a Deni---would you believe I found the exact model you spoke of for $29.99?---including tax and shipping----needless to say, it is on its way. I am SO excited.
                  Regarding my existing machine and lesser butterfat ice creams (gelati), I confess that my chemical make up would never let me go that route! Actually at one point I learned that adding dry non fat milk solids to a very rich custard base somehow emulsified the mixture so butter chips would be kept at bay. It has mostly worked for me, but it has been an extra step that I am happy to not have to do any longer. As I've said, I have NEVER had a butter chip problem in a Donvier type of machine, and I am looking forward to this VERY reasonably priced "electric" version of a Donvier. Much thanks to you, and I will definitely post my first experience with it. I'm already planning when I will be able to use it, and as we're going away for a 3 nighter next week with friends, I may not get to use it until the beginning of December.
                  Thanks again for your input.

                  1. re: JeffW


                    At what point do you add the dry non fat milk solids?

                    At 40 pounds, my Simac is still residing in my kitchen though not being used.

                    I LOVE Ice Cream!

                    I want to make more.

                    I was told I didn't get my custard base cold enough, so I tried waiting an entire day and still made disposable butter fleck ice cream my last try.

                    And how hard is your ice cream when you turn off the machine?

                    I was so scared I'd burn up the motor.