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Mar 3, 2012 03:05 PM

Good Ice Cream Machines?

I'm in the market for an ice cream machine- hopefully not too expensive (under $100 would be nice); any tips on stores/brand names, or whether used is a wise purchase?


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  1. I love my White Mountain. I have a Cuisinart one but it doesn't freeze as well as the White Mountain does.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rasputina

      The White Mountain requires you to add ice and rock salt, correct?

      I thought this was true only for the hand cranked model, but it seems it's true for the electric model as well.

      1. re: NotJuliaChild

        I have the electric one and yes it requires ice and rock salt.

    2. I use the KitchenAid stand mixer attachment. Obviously it only works if you have a KA stand mixer. I paid 99 bucks for it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ladooShoppe

        I use this as well. It's super simple and it doesn't take up much room. Once I realized that it's actually cheaper to make my own, and it tastes about 50X better, I was sold.

      2. Jeni from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (best ice cream ever!!) recommends the Cuisinart. She says it does even better than the expensive machines that do not need frozen canisters.

        I have had my Cuisinart for years and I love it! The newest version is supposed to work even better as well. I haven't upgraded yet but I will.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Becca Porter

          Which cuisinart specifically? They have multiple models.

          1. re: NotJuliaChild

            I have the ICE-20 and covet the ICE-21.

                1. re: Becca Porter

                  Why? Just curious.

                  Have you considered any of the models with built in compressors?

                  1. re: NotJuliaChild

                    Well I really like the design of the ICE-20, which has gotten even better with the ICE-21. I do not see the benefit in the new design other than a SS casing. Jeni's book and forum specifically refer to the ICE-20 and 21 so that is what I'll stick with.

                    As far as the built in compressors, their benefit is supposed to be that you can make multiple batches one after the other. Jeni says that it takes longer and longer for each consecutive batch because the machine heats up so much. She says it is not worth the extra cost.

                    I plan on upgrading to the 21 and that will leave me with two canisters to use. I have a deep freeze, so it is not problem to keep them both frozen.

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      I have the 30BC and I love it. The only difference, as far as I can tell, is that the bowl hold 2 quarts, making it 1/2 quart larger than the bowl for the 20 and 21.

              1. re: Becca Porter

                I bought a Cuisinart last year at Costco, and it only cost 30 bucks. May have been towards end of summer at reduced price, not sure. I figured for that much I could take a chance on it. I think it works adequately. You get the bowl good and frozen, and it takes up a fair amount of space in the freezer. I always make sure mine is in back not in front, even though that means when I'm ready to use I have to move stuff. The book says to let it run for 25-30 min, but it would be nearly overflowing at 30 min even with just vanilla, more if you put anything else into it. If you cook any of the ingredients obviously you need to cool them. If that is the main liquid, that's going to need to cool to fridge temp to have any good results. (I've never cooked the main cream/milk mixture, just keep it Philly style.) It doesn't get super firm, but it gets firm enough, and it firms up more in the freezer. Make sure you have containers to transfer it into, and quickly. And of course if you want to make another batch you either need to wait around 24 hours or so (perhaps more, you have to wash the thing, then make sure it's REALLY dry, before putting it back in freezer, and you want it in there 24 hours methinks. Or you can get additional freezer bowls, which take up even more space in the freezer. Tip: Hefty makes a jumbo zip-top plastic bag which is ideal for putting the bowl into for storing in the freezer.

                Mine is model CIM-22RPC. (I know the R is the color, red.) I can't really tell, it looks different than the ICE-21 for sure. I did a search and it appears this model looks like the ICE-20, so maybe they did a new run of the old style for Costco (hence the CIM model prefix)? So maybe that's why mine seems a little less than ideal, because it is old style and not like the newer ICE-21. Interesting. Still, I find this one adequate for paying only 30 bucks on a whim for it.

            1. re: Becca Porter

              In September 2010, Cooks Illustrated did a product testing of six different high and low(er) end ice cream makers.

              Their top budget offer (freezer canister type) was the Cuisinart ICE-21 $50).

              Their top ice cream maker overall (of the ones they tested) was the expensive self-refrigerated model (which has up to a 60 minute timer, and is fully automatic) Whynter SNÖ Professional Ice Cream Maker, Model IC-2L ($220).

              Both received a "Highly Recommended" certification.

              This topic has been covered before if you do a search in the Home Cooking forum.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                That Wynter machine looks like a Lello Gelato Jr with a coat of silver paint. The Gelato Jr currently sells for around $160. A bit over the OP's preferred range, but far superior to the freezer bowl models. I bought one after a couple of years of using a Cuisinart maker and the convenience of not having to store the bowl in the freezer or remember to put it in the day before making a batch and the ability to make two or three batches without having to re-freezing the bowl for 12 hours between batches is worth the extra cost.

                1. re: Zeldog

                  I thought that too until I read this: Jeni says:
                  "In my experience the best way to make ice cream at home is in the canister machines. I do like the Musso Pola - but it's around $1200 (and repairs can be costly). I have not used the Wynter Sno model - it looks a lot like the Cuisinart model. On the Cuisinart, the housing heats up after one batch and it takes longer and longer to make a batch. The freezer bowl model freezes the ice cream faster (especially the newest Cuisinart) and that makes the most smooth ice cream. If you want to make successive batches, I would go that route and buy more canisters. They are cheap and, as long as you have the freezer space, they work better. You won't be sorry. The other models are loud, large and heavy and in my experience, the ice cream isn't quite as good (or as fast). The next jump in quality is pricey."

                  Now I might would feel differently if I didn't have a deep freeze handy, but I really think the ICE-20 or 21 is the best option for me.

                  1. re: Becca Porter

                    The Cuisinart compressor model looks like the Wynter/Lello machine in the same way most freezer bowl machines look alike, but not so much that they seem to be the same design. I've never had the slightest problem with the Lello heating up after the first batch.

                    You're right about one thing: I have only a medium sized refrigerator/freezer and barely have room for one canister, let alone 2 or 3, so things like freezer and counter space (compressor models are rather large and heavy) can be deciding factors.