Ice Creme Maker suggestions
I'm interested in buying an ice creme maker, one that can make ice creme, sorbets, and frozen yoghurts. This is a spur of the moment interest after asking whether ice creme can easily be made without an ice creme maker.
I saw online that some ice creme makers require ice and rock salt and some are 'automatic'. Is there a difference in the quality or taste of ice creme from either of these with or without the ice and rock salt?
Has anybody tried the Cuisinart® Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker? Or are there other brands you'd suggest?
I saw your from post on the Home Cooking board that your storage space is very limited. In that case, I would recommend very strongly against the ice/rock salt-style ice cream makers, because they have much larger footprints (not to mention costing a lot more) than the type with a canister that you freeze overnight. The Cuisinart, Krups, and Deni brands are all fairly comparable as far as I can tell, both in reports on how well they work and their size, though they have differences in design. They all work the same way, though: they have a canister that you freeze for 24 hours before you churn your ice cream, sorbet, etc., then insert in the machine, and they have a motor that turns the dasher. Donvier machines work similarly, but are hand-cranked. All the electric models tend to cost around $50; shop around on line or in local department stores for discounts, stores, good prices, etc.
I have a Cuisinart, couldn't tell you which model - I've had it for several years but it was only about $60ish when I got it. Works quite well. I keep the canister in the freezer at all times wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent odors from infiltrating into it (manufacturer recommends this). This way it's always ready. You can purchase extra canisters too. I've been happy with the way it works - ice cream will be a bit on the creamier side when you first remove it but will firm up in the freezer. I'm pretty sure most of them in this price range work similarly.
I've just started making ice cream this summer and have been using my mom's Cuisinart (the one you've mentioned) and it works very well. I've only, previously, made ice cream with a hand-cranked, old-fashioned machine which is fun, but those things are big, it's messy (I would only do it out in the backyard; there will be salt and water and salty water everywhere), it takes a lot of elbow grease (though it's fun if you have a mob of kids on hand), and the ice cream is delicious (maybe it's all the elbow grease and mess and anticipation).
I purchased the Cuisinart fully automatic model--no prior freezing required. My prior experience is 20 years of using a White Mountain electric freezer with ice/salt.
The Cuisinart is highly convenient. It takes the liquid to soft-serve consistency in 50 to 60 minutes, completely unattended. I then transfer the contents to an oblong plastic container holding 5 cups. After chilling the product a couple of hours more in the freezer, I can dip picture-perfect scoops.
While some might consider it noisy, it isn't nearly as LOUD as the White Mountain. I like to think that the whirr of an ice-cream maker is a very cheerful sound.
The White Mountain will freeze a scant gallon to soft-serve in 20 minutes. That's 3 times as much product in 1/3 the time; however, it requires loading and monitoring the 20+ lbs. of ice and salt, and a lot of messing and washing of large pieces later.
I will keep and use both machines. The Cuisinart is just plain fun for my family of 4 to enjoy small batches of "Ben & Jerry" type flavor combos. The White Mountain has its place for serving a crowd of happy people.
I would be very interested in how you'd compare the quality of the ice cream from the two machines.
I believe there's a big difference in the quality I get from a smaller brine-type freezer which has a waffle-type dasher like the White Mountain and a Cuisinart sealed bowl type with the open dasher. I wish I could experiment with a compressor-type and see if I'd be interested in popping for one.
My wife and I have not one but two of the Cuisinart, and are very favorably inclined towards it. I've never made frozen yogurt in it, but both ice cream and sorbet turn out beautifully. The sorbet is particularly nice, not grainy at all like it can be in some homemade applications.
I had a White Mountain, a Cuisinart and a Waring that's no longer made. Of them, I think the White Mountain (a salt brine machine) is too large and too messy as someone earlier mentioned. But a salt brine machine definitely makes superior ice cream. And the WM can make up to 2 qts at a time.
The Cuisinart (a sealed coolant bowl machine) is OK. It has a smaller capacity. You have to remember to pre-freeze the bowl and it takes up a lot of freezer space. And it's messy to unload the churned cream because it keeps freezing to the inside of the bowl after the dasher has stopped scraping it away. So you get either a significant amount of waste or a product that includes hard frozen bits. And if you want to make a second flavor, you have to wait another 18 hours or so to refreeze the bowl or have a second one pre-frozen.
The Waring (a salt brine type) is my favorite. It makes 1 1/2 quarts. It uses a couple trays of ice and half a box of table salt so I can make ice cream without advanced planning. It makes ice cream of a superior quality because it has a waffle-shaped dasher that works more air into the cream and that creates a softer, more scoopable and a creamier tasting ice cream. It also stops freezing the second the canister is removed from the brine so it's much less messy to transfer to a container for curing in the freezer. You can also begin making a second flavor right away if you repack it with additional ice and salt.
I have written to Waring to ask them to revive this machine. 'Cause I want to replace mine when it finally gives up. Perhaps you'd like to to. It's only slightly larger than my Cuisinart (ICEE WS25)(the bucket-shaped one with the bail-type handle) and was comparably priced when I bought it a long time ago.