Ice Cream Maker recommendations?
I am considering buying an ice cream maker for home use. Can anyone make any recommendations about good brands or ones to avoid. I don't want to get anything too elaborate as this is my first foray into ice cream making
I have the Cuisinart ICE-30, I've only had it for a month but I've done three batches in it and they've all been great. It's the 2-quart version of the ICE-20 recommended in CI/Cook's Country. I can vouch for the fact that ice cream made in it tastes nearly as good after five days in the freezer as it does the day you make it, with very little ice crystal formation.
We've been very happy with the Cuisinart as well (1-quart model.) We've had ours for 5+ years, though I admit that we don't make a LOT of ice cream. It's handy that you can usually get a deal that gives you an extra canister. We have an upright deep freeze in the basement, which gives us enough room to store one or both, so that there's always a frozen canister available.
One word of advice that you'll find on other threads about cold-canister ice cream makers - make sure that your canister's had at least 24 hours in the freezer before you make ice cream, and don't try to re-use it for a second batch. It won't be cold enough for a good result.
I love my ICE-20, I've had it for 7 years and it still works like a charm (but I treat mine like a baby and never use metal on it, only plastic spatulas or rice cooker ladles.) Actually, about 4 years ago, I bought one for my mom too and she loves it as well.
I agree with Allstonian, you have to give it 24 hrs between each use, otherwise you get slushy messes. Have fun - homemade ice cream is a delight, and you'll marvel at the lightness of the vanilla that comes out using their manual's directions (milk, cream, sugar vanilla.)
I've used it to make meyer lemon icemilk, strawberry, vanillla, mint chip, cherry vanilla choc chip (with ghiradelli), all sorts of citrus sorbets, cherry sorbet (that one went real quickly!)
Have fun and yums :)
I have had the Krups for years and am EXTREMELY happy with it. The texture of the ice cream that it produces is exceptionaly smooth and dense, but with the requisite air worked in. It is easy to use and clean and although it doesn't make huge amounts, it makes enough for a smallish family to eat too much ice cream.