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Best Home ICE CREAM MACHINE ??

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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.

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  1. 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).

    1. 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.

      1. Without a doubt the Cuisinart ICE 30! It makes ice cream that is extremely smooth and creamy and comes with a 2 litre bowl. The only downside is that you need a fair bit of space in your freezer to freeze the bowl the night before you make your ice cream. I've tried 3 other machines with in-built compressors and don't think they justify the extra cash because the texture wasn't as creamy as the ICE30.

        http://icecreamscience.com/2012/06/13...

        Hope that helps!

        1. I have an earlier version of this machine:
          http://www.amazon.com/Gaggia-Gelatier...

          I bought it back in the early '90's and it is still going strong. Makes wonderfully smooth and creamy ice cream

          1. I'm thinking that with more than 3 years past you're either the worlds greatest procrastinator or you have already bought an ice cream maker. To others that might drop by this is for you. There are three types of ice cream makers that I know of; your budget, how often you use it, and the amount of ice cream you make each time will dictate which is the best machine for you. I've owned all three types and this is my take.
            Type 1 uses a metal container that sits inside a larger plastic or wood container. Ice and rock salt is put in the space between the two containers to cool the ice cream. The first kind I used and the last I used before stepping up to type three.Pro's: Large capacity, Can be used to make several batches in a row providing you have enough salt and ice. inexpensive models available. Con's: Uses a lot of ice which you will need to add at the beginning and during the process. Can be very messy. Takes longer to make a batch than type 2 or three. Most noisy.
            I had a few of these Hamilton beach was as good as the other brand I can't remember. HB has 4qt maker about $35
            Type 2 uses hollow metal bowl that contains a chemical liquid. You keep the bowl in the freezer take it out when you want to make a batch. For the average pesron type 2 is your best bet. Pros: Makes good quality ice cream easier clean up. No need for salt or ice. Cons: Bowl needs to be kept in freezer taking up freezer space. You need to freeze the canister for several hours before using and refreeze to make a second batch. Recommended Cuisinart 1 1/2 qt Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker $ 49 Cooks Illustrated best buy.
            Type 3 The caddilac or should I say Mercedes of home ice cream makers has it's own compressor to freeze your ice cream. Pros: Make great ice cream . No salt or ice to deal with and you can make many batches one after the other. Cons:$$ Price
            I make ice creams and ices for large dinner parties so I usually make several batches of different flavors at once. For this operation Type 2 doesn't cut it and type 1 is a lot more work and makes a big mess. I use the Whynter SNÖ Professional Ice Cream Maker it makes 2 qt batches of high quality ice cream, sorbets and Italian ices. I've used mine often for about three years without issues. Cooks illustrated top pick . Price $ 233.99 to $300