Best Home ICE CREAM MACHINE ??
I' doing some basic research on the various machines out there, but assumed some folks here have bought one inside the last 12 months or so?
Any feedback on which unit you bought and its performance and most liked features would be very much appreciated.
I don't know why I've wiated this long to buy one. Not really worried about cost per se, just want to find a really great machine to make really great ice cream---and of course the highest priced item isnt necessarily the best.
I have several. The one I love and use the most is not made anymore. I mention it because I hope there will be enough pressure on manufacturers to make one again.
The one I'm talking about is a small Waring machine that's a little bigger than the Cuisinart freeze-the-bowl type. Only my Waring takes 2 trays of conventional ice cubes and half a box of table salt. Things every kitchen has.
So why do I love it if it's messier than the freeze-the-bowl type of machine? 1) It's not all that messy. It's water and ice not something greasy or sticky. Takes me about 5 minutes to clean up and the bowls of the other machines need hand washing too. 2) It doesn't take up space in my freezer and I can make ice cream at the drop of a hat -- even if I didn't anticipate the urge 24 hours in advance or let the bowl take up valuable freezer space 24/7 in case the urge struck. 3) When I've made one batch it's not out of commission. A quick rinse, load it up with more ice and salt and I'm ready to make flavor #2. In 5 minutes so long as I've got the ice cubes. Or can go to the corner deli and buy a bag of them. 3) It doesn't peter out before the ice cream is churned thick. If a batch takes a particularly long time, I just drain off some of the brine add more ice and salt and keep going until I'm happy with the ice cream. 4) It has a full sized dasher with open spaces. That means that the custard flows through it smoothly and I can add generous pieces of fruit or whatever. 5) When the custard is fully churned it's much easier to unload into my aging/storage container. I lift the can from the brine and the freezing is done. No freezing to the side of the can while I take out the immobile dasher. Every bit of the frozen custard goes in my aging/storage container and my hands aren't all gooped up from trying to break away stuff frozen to the bowl or throw away clumps frozen so hard they've lost their creaminess.
If you want, you can still get these results by using a conventional full-size ice-brine machine. But the convenience of the small one is so very nice and it still makes 1 1/2-2 quarts of ice cream. I dearly wish they'd reintroduce it before my 20 yo one gives up the ghost. Fortunately, no signs of that yet except in the plastic lid that had developed multiple cracks I have to keep gluing up. In any case, either a full sized brine machine or my little Waring make superior ice cream, I think. I hardly ever use my frozen-bowl type machines.
As for the freeze-the-bowl type machines -- whether self contained or the KA accessory -- I haven't seen much difference in them. The KA bowl costs about what the Krups and Cuisinart machines do. For any of them you might want a second bowl if one flavor isn't enough for you. Look at the dashers and get a solid one with as much open space as possible for incorporating the air that enhances the light creaminess and doesn't clog up with inclusions.
I have the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer. I've had it since it first came out (5 years ago, maybe?) and I love it. I have way too many small kitchen appliances and appreciate that, w/ this one, there is only the bowl to store (which I keep in my spare freezer), and nothing really to break (other than the stand mixer, which is pretty indestructible).