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Jun 22, 2010 01:27 AM

ice cream maker

With summer arriving, I thought now would be the time to buy a ice cream machine. And, after researching various ice cream makers, I was all ready to buy the Cuisinart ICE-20. Several different sources recommended it, including a article on this very own site. And, it seemed to be the best bang for the buck at $50( I don't understand why every store lists the retail price at around $90, when I always see it being sold for $50).

In one of the reviews, it said it was the ice cream machine if you wanted to make philly style ice cream. But, it also said that the Cuisinart ICE-20 had problems when making french style ice cream.

Has anybody else run into that problem?

One of the reasons to make ice cream at home is to be able to make flavors that you can't find at the supermarket. But, most of the recipes for more exotic flavors tend to be french style ice cream because you need to steep the ingredients in the heated cream mixture.

Are there any ice cream makers that don't cost several hundred dollars that can successfully make great tasting french style ice cream? I'm also looking for something that can make great tasting gelato as well?

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  1. I have no problem making custard based ice creams in the Cuisinart. You do need to get the liner very cold; I usually lower the freezer temps below what I normally keep it when chilling.

    1. I have a cuisinart ice cream maker (the model with two canisters) and it works great for both Philly style and custard based. When it finishes in the ice cream maker, it is still soft serve consistency. If you transfer to another container and put it in the freezer, it will harden.

      13 Replies
      1. re: mountaincachers

        Here's the review I mentioned about the Cuisinart's problems with french style ice cream:

        Its the best ice cream review I've read because it actually tested ice cream machines on how well they made french style vs. philly style.

        Does anybody see any problems with its technique or methodology to explain why they had so many problems making french style with the Cuisinart?

        1. re: hobbess

          The methodology looks fine, but what they don't really explain is what the quality differences are. The review states that they are unmistakeable, but doesn't really say if it's a difference in taste? texture? I take some issue with a few other things in the article. Clearly the author considers philly style to be of lesser quality or interest. Depending on the flavor that you want to make, I think it can be delicious. Without the cooking, the cream taste is very pronounced and fresh tasting. Incidentally, I made a buttered hickory nut ice cream from hickory trees on our land that was fantastic using a philly style base, and I wouldn't consider that a ho hum flavor. I do like the custard base for infusing flavors in and also for the creamer texture that it keeps for longer. I disagree with the reviewer that "with practice" you can begin to rival Breyers, etc. I think my very first batch tasted better than anything I had purchased in the store.
          To be fair, I have never used one of the compressor models, so maybe the ice cream would be even better. Also, I make ice cream about once or twice a month, usually as a dessert when we have company. Maybe I would care more if I were making it all the time. If my Cuisinart dies, I might be tempted to try the Kitchen Aid attachment because I already own the mixer. In the meantime, I will stick with my cuisinart.

          1. re: hobbess

            Buy a second container; if you want to make ice cream for a large group or party it's a hassle to wait another 24 hours to refreeze the one container.

            1. re: johnlockedema

              I've seen Cuisinart ICE-20 on sale, but now I'm wondering if I should instead buy a ICE-20 combo with another container. The difference is of course, the price, and I think the ICE-20 combo is a slightly older model but I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes.

              How many people would one container serve, assuming everybody got a small bowl of ice cream?

              1. re: hobbess

                When making custard style ice cream, I have found 2 things to be most important--freezer temperature and length of time the canister is left in the freezer. I lower the temperature in my freezer as low as it will go and I leave it in there a week. I get way better results than if I just leave it in there 24 hours. It doesn't intuitively make sense to me (it should be just as frozen after 24 hours as a week). But experience tells me the ice cream is better, creamier.

                I suspect the reviewer was making as many batches as quickly as he could and wasn't freezing the canister long enough. Buy it somewhere where you can return it if you don't like it.

                Oh, and how many it will serve depends on your recipe.

                1. re: runwestierun

                  I have a big freezer and just store the canisters in there, at the back of the bottom shelf. Maybe this is why it's always worked ok. I have the two canister model and often use both. If you get the one canister size, it may be worth getting a second canister, because you really do need to freeze at least a day to reuse them.
                  One canister makes about a quart of ice cream (most recipes make about this amount. Sometimes a little more, which I will freeze in the second canister). How many people that serves depends on whether they are eating only ice cream or whether the ice cream is accompanying another dessert.
                  In thinking again about possible complaints about this ice cream maker, I do think that sometimes the ice cream that is on the edge (touching the canister as it is freezing) is sometimes a little less creamy and smooth than the stuff in the middle. Maybe that's the complaint. I have no idea if the same thing happens in a compressor model, and likely will never spend the $300 or more to find out. I wish that review had been more specific about what the quality differences were.
                  I think that regardless of which machine you get, the ice cream is so much better than store bought and guests LOVE homemade ice cream. I've probably gotten more rave reviews over homemade ice cream than much more difficult/complicated desserts.

                  1. re: mountaincachers

                    P.S. Do you have any friends who own one of these? I have let some friends test drive appliances they are considering before purchasing. I've had friends test out my rice cooker, ice cream maker, and food dehydrator. It would be nice for you to use one and decide if you are happy with the results.

                  2. re: runwestierun

                    I'm not sure I quite understand that 'how many it will serve depends on your recipe" unless you're saying it depends if you're serving ice cream by itself or accompanying another dessert.

                    1. re: hobbess

                      So, I'm convinced I need to get a second bowl- I realized that the ice cream made is a lot smaller than the bowl itself because so much of the bowl's volume is used up by the freezing liquid.

                      Now, I was leaning towards getting Sur La Table's Cuisinart because it came in a blue color.


                      But, they don't sell extra bowls so I'd have to buy that bowl elsewhere. However, since that model is exclusive to Sur La Table, does that mean that I would have trouble substituting other Cuisinart bowls with the Sur La Table model.

                      I'm not sure what's so different about Sur La Table's than everybody else's except for the different colors.

                      If there's no real difference, then I might as well get it somewhere else. For Sur La Table, it'd cost $50 just for the ice cream maker. Whereas, I could get both a ice cream maker and another extra bowl for $60.

                      1. re: hobbess

                        I got the Cuisinart at Williams-Sonoma and the model I bought came with two bowls.


              2. re: hobbess

                The deal of the day at is a refurbished Cuisinart ICE-50 ice cream maker for $139.

                1. re: hobbess

                  Thanks for posting this link -- I think it explains why I have goopy (custard-based) black raspberry ice cream downstairs. I've had others freeze up w/o problem in the Cuisinart, but I don't remember now if they were Philly- or custard-based. I guess we'll be eating this tomorrow. :)

                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                    FWIW, I have no space here either, but I do love my ice cream maker. As long as I remember to plan ahead, it works very well!

                    Here's my final product:

              3. I just bought a Cuisinart ice cream maker and I am not sure what I am doing wrong. The problem I have is that the ice cream/slurpie sticks to the walls like crazy. It even stops the machine. I can not get the paddle out, let alone the ice cream. Any ideas? The ice is rock hard.

                5 Replies
                1. re: josey124

                  YOu might be churning it too long. Some WILL stick to the sides, as that is the nature of the canister-type ice cream maker. The ice cream should be of soft-serve consistency. You will need to pull on the dasher to get it out. Then, if you want firmer ice cream, place it in a container, which then goes in the freezer for a couple of hours.

                  How long do you churn it? I typically get ice cream after about 15-25 minutes. Check after 15.

                  1. re: nofunlatte

                    Too long? It is rock hard and sticking to the walls while it is still liquid in the middle. I churned for no more than 30 minutes and kept watching it. The ice builts up on the walls immediately. The container was frozen over night so I don't think that was the problem. I put some ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer and it is just one solid block of ice. Not even close to ice cream. Thanks

                    1. re: josey124

                      If you have the same model as I do, the paddle is supposed to stay stationary as the freezer bowl rotates around it. Is that what's happening?

                      1. re: Coogles

                        That's right but the machine stops because the paddle is frozen to the bowl. I think I will just return it. Apparently, making ice cream is not one of my talents

                  2. re: josey124

                    I had the same thing happen. Were you using artificial sweetener or ice milk? You need real sugar to stop the ice cream from freezing so hard, and the fat content of the cream also makes it not freeze ice like to the sides. I used skim milk and Spenda and had the same problem you did!

                  3. Silly question, but I'm amazed by the popularity of icecream makers given they are fairly large and there is a lot of discussion on these boards re: minimizing single-purpose items. Can they serve any other purpose besides make icecream? I live in a NYC rental where kitchen real estate is limited and valuable so was wondering if any of you have figured out creative uses for the maker (or if all of you who have them live in nice big kitchens :-)).

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: iyc_nyc

                      Not sure on other uses (besides other icy desserts of course!) but this is one reason we got the KitchenAid ice cream maker---it's an attachment for the stand mixer and thus didn't add another electronic to our very small kitchen, since the bowl just lives in the freezer. (Incidentally, we had borrowed a friend's Cuisinart for a year beforehand, and are extremely happy with the quality of the ice cream the KitchenAid makes compared to the Cuisinart---only real flaw is the lack of a handle on the bowl so it's hard to maneuver.)

                        1. re: artemis78

                          What was the difference between the ice cream made by Cuisinart vs. KitchenAid?

                          1. re: hobbess

                            Not a huge one, but for whatever reason we found the KitchenAid ice cream froze up with a much better consistency using the same recipes---a little creamier, with no iciness or "pastiness." (We weren't unhappy with the Cuisinart, I should add---we just had to give it back when our friend returned, and decided not to get an ice cream maker that required a separate motor.) I imagine it's just a speed thing, or possibly the particular bowl designs affect how the ice cream freezes.

                            However, the ice cream itself is softer when it's "finished" in the KitchenAid than in the Cuisinart---this threw me for a loop the first time we used it, but after a few hours in the freezer there's not much difference. That might also affect how the ice cream turns out.

                        2. re: iyc_nyc

                          I have that "single purpose appliance" guilt for having an ice-cream maker (I live in a SF rental with a tiny kitchen)...but one taste of the home-made fresh blackberry ice-cream..hell ya it's worth it! Oh, you can use the bucket to keep wine cool.

                          1. re: iyc_nyc

                            It will make (inefficiently) a slushy beverage. It will chill down a bottle of champagne relatively quicker than a refrigerator. It will save you money on frozen items(you won't buy as many as there will be less space in your freezer). It will hold down a stack of papers in a light windstorm. Dyin' here....

                            1. re: LeroyT

                              It makes a cool hat for the summer.

                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                Great consistency for frozen lemonade, margaritas, pina coladas, etc. I love the small ice crystals, smoothness of the mixture.

                          2. Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem......I just bought the Kitchenaid Ice cream maker 2 days ago, followed the instructions, made a batch of vanilla ice cream and poured it in the bowl and instantly the dasher started clicking and the mixture started clumping and the sides froze and wouldnt churn anymore all within 2 minutes of pouring the batter in - is it possible my freezer and bowl were TOO cold? has anyone else ever had this problem. Took out the bowl, had a hard time prying out the dasher and my fingertips froze immediately .........