Which Compressor-Style Ice Cream/Gelato Maker is Best?
I am looking to make some delicious homemade ice cream and gelato, and have decided to go for a compressor-style machine (i.e. with built-in refrigeration).
The following seem to be the main home-sized units available in the US:
- Lello 4070 Gelato Junior ~$230
- Lello 4080 Musso Lussino ~$680 (highly recommended but does it produce a superior product to these other models?)
- Lello 4090 Gelato Pro ~$350
- Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme (discontinued, used to be ~$300, rec'd by David Lebovitz)
- Cuisinart ICE-100 (newer version of 50--is it better?), ~$300
- Whynter IC-2L SNÖ ~$250 (recommended by Cook's Illustrated but the only other compressor model they considered was ICE-50)
- Whynter ICM-15LS ~$280 (not sure why it costs more since it looks worse than the IC-2L)
- DeLonghi GM6000 ~$300 (recommended by several Chowhounds)
- Breville Smart Scoop BCI600XL ~$380
Is there anyone out there who has tried more than one of these and can compare the quality of the ice cream / gelato they produce? Am I missing some other option?
The Breville SmartScoop is now $260! With free shipping within Canada.
Then I looked into the Lello Musso Lussino 4080. If I have the cash or can wait a little longer this is the one I want.
However, Breville seem to have a much better customer care department. Although I think the design is much better with the Lello I've read complaints of apathy when the machine doesn't function, especially after the 1-year warranty lapse.
When reading reviews I also check the stats on the dates of positive versus negative reviews. This can indicate a company whose product is made cheaper than previous years.
Something to consider; is the blade plastic or metal? Is there a removable canister or is the holding cell inset into the machine? I hear this protects the machinery from spillage. This is the type I used in my pastry course and that machine was well over $1000. The Whytner seems similar. Don't know the model but it is all metal according to a YouTube video. Please let us know what you've chosen and how it rates.
I bought the Lello 4090 but wish I bought the Musso Lussino 4080. The 4070 and 4090 are made by a different company than the Musso Lussino. I don't really understand the 4070-4080-4090 naming scheme but the 4070 and 4090 are similar to each other while the 4080 is totally different (and from what I hear, better).
The Lello 4090 I bought had a strange smell of gasoline that never went away (I ended up giving it to Goodwill). The ice cream it makes was fine (better than the cheaper freezer container machines) but I didn't get the texture of gelato using it.
One thing it didn't have was separate switches for freezer and mixer - that would let you control overrun. You may need to go up a level to get that capability.
Speaking from personal experience, NOT Lello Gelato Pro. (4090)
Mine died after 3 batches. Well it still turns on and spins, but it doesn't get cold anymore. Unfortunately, said 3 batches were each made a few months apart, and it was out of the (one year) warranty period by the time it broke.
A one year warranty on such an expensive piece of equipment should have been a HUGE red flag.
Anyway, I Googled around and there are repair options, for almost as much as the cost of the original unit. There are also a lot of other people out there with similar compressor and/or refrigerant problems with these machines. I don't know how common it is but the fact that I now own a very expensive paperweight gives me no reason to recommend -- and the ice cream wasn't great the times the thing did work. Very slow to freeze, and I thought the quality was slightly inferior to that produced by my bowl-in-the-freezer Cuisinart model.
I don't have any experience with the other models on your list, but I've had a Lello Gelato Junior for about 5 years now, and it still makes great ice cream. It looks exactly like the Whynter SNO, but I don't know if it's just a different label or the insides are different. Excellent results, even when I add the mix when it's still luke warm. It does have separate switches for the compressor and mixer.