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Jul 31, 2008 08:55 PM

Ice cream makers

All the buzz around The Perfect Scoop has made me wonder once again about buying an ice cream maker. I have a Donvier (20+ years old!), and it still does a decent job, although it's pretty soft serve straight out of the canister. Still, I'm not sure I can really justify replacing it. (Besides, do I really need another specialty gadget?!)

What do you use and would you recommend it?

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  1. I recntly received a Cuisinart as a gift, having had a Donvier for years. The Cuisinart is basically a donvier with a motor. It works well and makes pretty well frozen ice cream in about 35 minutes. I'll usually put it in the freezer for a few minutes before serving(sometimes longer as I'll make it in the afternoon for dessert that night. Now I just need to find someone to buy me a PacoJet and I'll be really happy.

    1. I just bought a 2 quart Cusiniart after using a Donvier for quite a while. I think the Cuisinart works much better than the Donvier - I get a much firmer product than I ever could out of the Donvier. I still let the ice cream harden further in the freezer, but I see it as a pretty big step up from the Donvier. For the price I think it is a terrific product and I'm very glad I bought it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: flourgirl

        I am thinking about buying the cuisinart 2 quart as well. Only concern I have, I know that sounds funny, i would be making super small batches, think 16oz or so. I want to try some of the ice creams that Jason Athleton is using in his Maze Cookbook. I.e. Bloody Mary or Sweet Corn. I just would need a tiny bit. I didn't see any small makers, would a 2 quart be suitable for making these small amounts? Or is it like with a food processor, where you are dead in the water with tiny quantities.


        1. re: jk1002

          I've never tried making such a small amount so I don't know if it would work or not. But Cuisinart makes a smaller unit - the 1 1/2 qt model. That might work. Maybe you could call their customer service line and ask.

          1. re: jk1002

            I've made half batches (1 qt) in my Cuisinart (a great $8 thrift store find!) and they've turned out fine. They tend to set up faster, so I set a timer for 10 minutes to check it.

        2. I got the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, and it worked superbly on my first batch (Guiness Chocolate Ice Cream!). Excellent if you already have a KA mixer.

          6 Replies
          1. re: wrenhunter

            I was wondering about the KA attachment vs. the Cusinart (I have a KA mixer already). I've been wanting an ice cream maker for two summers now and have finally decided to get one.

            Can anyone compare the Cusinart and KA attachment and give me an idea of which would be preferable? I am not planning to make large volumes - I just want to experiment with small batches of ice cream, gelato and sorbets. I also have pretty limited storage space in my kitchen at the moment.

            1. re: ms. clicquot

              Sorry, never used the Cuisinart. I was in the same boat as you; what sealed the deal for me was a good review of the KA maker in Cook's Illustrated this spring. And they were right!

              1. re: ms. clicquot

                Having used both, I have given away my Cusinart maker and am using only the KA ice cream maker kit. I like the multi-functionality of the KA kit.

                1. re: MillCreek

                  I'm quite pleased to hear that since I bought the Kitchen Aid attachment about a week ago (although I haven't gotten around to actually making the ice cream yet!).

              2. re: wrenhunter

                I'll second the attachment for the KA - works really well, and maximizes your mixer (assuming you already have the mixer...)

                1. re: Bakerloo Line

                  Thanks wrenhunter and Bakerloo Line - I may go with the KA attachment then. I absolutely love my mixer and any extra excuse to use it is always welcome!

              3. NYTimes today (aug 6) had a great article on bag ice cream, using plastic freezer bags for both salted ice and milk/cream mixture -- 40 minutes to complete a quart

                1. Does anyone have an ice cream maker with a compressor? I am very happy with my low-end Cusinart, and have been using it happily for a good number of years now, mainly to make sorbet rather than ice cream. It works quite well, but there are always the issues of having to remember to leave the bowl in the freezer, having the room in the freezer to leave the bowl, and especially--not being able to make a second batch without waiting another 12-24 hours for the bowl to refreeze. I don't have a ton of room in my kitchen, and the idea of taking more valuable space for a big, heavy ice cream machine does not thrill me, but I must admit that from time to time, I do think it might be nice to have a machine with a compressor to avoid the problematic issues. I would never buy the really upscale (read: expensive) models like the $700 ones, but I have seen online a couple in the $200 range, namely the Lello Gelato Junior and the Cuisinart Supreme. Any owners/users of these or similar out there? Comments? Advice?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: queenscook

                    My Cuisinart came with a second bowl, so you don't have to wait. i'm pretty sure that you can buy a second bowl fairly reasonably to avoid the wait.It's a lot less than the $700, or even the $200.

                    1. re: chazzerking

                      That's true, but the freezer bowls take up a lot of room in the freezer. I have 2 fridges and I still don't have room to store two bowls. (Unless I did a LOT of planning ahead of time.)

                    2. re: queenscook

                      I use that Lello model and it does the job, first rate. I used a freezer bowl model (Braun, I think) but I didn't want to keep a big bowl (or two) in the freezer until I decided to make a batch. And when I do make ice cream, and I usually want to make more than one batch at a time. Does it make better ice cream? I say yes. It freezes the mix faster than a freezer bowl machine, which means smaller ice crystals. Downside, it takes up counter space (or you need to lug a fairly heavy item out of a cabinet every time you use it, and it's a bit more difficult to clean.

                      It really depends on how much you'll use it. If you only make ice cream 3 or 4 times a year, I'd stick with a freezer bowl model.