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Jun 29, 2007 09:01 AM

Ice cream makers? advice needed

I've seen them at thrift shops and yard sales, and I always dismissed them as one of those expensive trends (the woks of the 1980's could have paved a pathway to Mars). But a few threads about homemade ice cream made it sound like a fun way to use fresh fruit in the summer, and I was thinking about buying one. How much better does homemade ice cream taste, anyway? And any advice on 1) whether those second-hand ones would likely be any good and 2) if new is better, which brands are good value?

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  1. Homemade ice cream is truly special. I make my home made vanilla with Penzy's double strength vanilla, and it stands up to any premium ice cream out there. Once you go homemade, its hard to go back. For diet reasons, this summer I will be making frozen yogurt.

    I just bought a cheap Deni for $24.99 a few seasons back. I don't think there are any out there that cheap new anymore though. It works fine, but it would be nice to have one where you don't have to freeze the canister first.

    1. I have an ice cream maker and it makes amazing ice cream! Unfortunately, I don't make ice cream nearly as much as I'd like. The tubs have to be frozen in advance and that proved to be a major inconvenience since I have limited freezer room. It would have cost a lot more but I do wish I got the Cuisinart model with the compressor (so no more pre-freezing).

      Just a quick warning: these things can be really loud!

      1. Homemade sorbets are way better than any commercial products. You can control the sugar and sweetness of the final product.

        Some people love homemade ice cream and some people prefer the familiarity of commercial ice cream. It's really a preference, but there's nothing "cleaner" than homemade vanilla. It's smooth, creamy, and simple.

        If you are going to buy a unit, I'd buy one new, unless you're seeing relatively new units at thrift stores because someone else just never used it. Amazon has refurbished units quite often. I have a Cuisanart 1 1/2 qt unit and it works just fine. I actually don't mind the frozen canister since we can't eat ice cream faster than we make it.

        1. If you already have a Kitchen aid mixer, I'd recommend the ice cream maker attachment. I've gone both ways (actual ice cream machine vs the KA mixer) and have got to say I prefer the attachment

          1. I've got a cuisinart ice cream maker. It works great. I love the freezer bowls they come with now, so much easier than back in the day when you had to deal with the rock salt, ice, and hand crank....

            1 Reply
            1. re: admas

              The best ice cream maker I've ever used is a Simac. These were made in Italy and are unfortunately no longer available. They come up on Ebay regularly, so check that out. They operate quietly and are easier to clean than the Cuisinart. The only downside is that the better model #800, which is for light duty restaurant use, will probably set you back over $200 on EBay.