Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker – a review by Ice Maker Experts
Everyone loves ice cream. When NASA asks astronauts what foods they miss the most ice cream is always one of the top three, along with pizza and sodas. Americans like their ice cream hard, in soft serve form, and homemade in a Cuisinart ice cream maker or even an old-fashioned salt churner.
Making ice cream at home is not difficult or expensive if you have the right machine. We've taken a look at several Cuisinart ice cream makers to help you make a decision about an ice cream maker for your home. Once you decided which one is right for you, you'll be making and enjoying lots of homemade ice cream.
What Is a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker?
Cuisinart is the biggest name in homemade ice cream makers. If a family has an ice cream maker at all, most of the time it will be a Cuisinart ice cream maker. This is despite the fact that there are actually dozens of different ice cream maker's and some other big names in the field. Cuisinart first started selling their homemade ice cream machines in 1998. Since then, they have sold more than six million units. Their machines come in various sizes and are suitable for making not just ice cream, but also sorbets, frozen yogurts, and gelatos. The Cuisinart ice cream maker continues to set the standard for reliability, ease-of-use, and affordability.
The precise specifications of any Cuisinart ice cream maker depend on which model you buy. Most models come with a freezer bowl that needs to be frozen anywhere from one hour to overnight in order to make ice cream. The fastest machines can churn up a batch in 12 minutes while the slowest will take around 40. There is even a homemade soft serve ice cream maker. all of them with the Cuisinart warranty and one of the best brand names in the business behind them.
Again, pricing will depend on which model you prefer to buy. The most expensive models run about $100 or a bit more. The cheapest model can be purchased for around $50.
How It Compares
We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare. We’ve taken a look at how easy they are to use, what they cost, the quality of their design, the warranty provided by Cuisinart, and the pros and cons of each model. Here are the models we compared:
Cuisinart ICE-60W Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker
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This is the most expensive one we reviewed, but makes excellent ice cream and is designed well
Ease of Use
This is a very simple machine. It has a capacity of two quarts, which is good for most families. It takes only 20 minutes to make ice cream, but it is necessary to freeze the bowl in advance. Cuisinart sells replacement bowls so it’s a simple matter to have one bowl always in the freezer and ready to make ice cream at any moment.
This ice cream maker comes with a countdown timer so you always know when your ice cream is ready. To add solid ingredients to an ice cream or frozen yogurt recipe, remove the circular lid cover just before the end of the cycle. Then add your ingredients. The ice cream maker comes with recipes that are simple to make and work well in this Cuisinart ice cream maker.
The design is simple, which means that there's very little to break. Replacement paddles and bowls are easy to source. Like all the Cuisinart machines, this is a workhorse that can be expected to provide you with delicious frozen desserts for years to come. Its simple design also makes it easy to clean. Just be sure to wash everything by hand.
Like all the Cuisinart machines, this Cuisinart ice cream maker comes with a three-year limited warranty. There is no need to register the product in order for the warranty to remain in effect, but it is essential to retain your original purchase receipt.
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Cuisinart ICE-21PK Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker
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This Cuisinart machine is billed particularly for making ice cream and sorbet. It will, however, also make gelato and frozen yogurt, though not as well. It takes 20 minutes to produce frozen desserts and mixes up one and a half quarts. This machine is designed for a smaller load, so it is not as forgiving as other models if you add a lot of solid ingredients.
Ease of Use
This could not be easier to use. Simply freeze the bowl for 30 to 60 minutes before using it, add your mix, and press start. It is fully automatic and is easy to store away when you’re not using it. The machine comes apart easily for cleaning and storage, but the parts are not dishwasher safe.
Some users comment that in high humidity conditions the recipes that come with this ice cream maker turn out too much volume and overflow the bowl. Some trial and error may be necessary to establish the right amount of mix for your conditions.
This machine is slightly smaller than other machines we looked at and so less useful for larger families. Additionally, several of the parts are not dishwasher safe which can make it inconvenient to wash. The lid is somewhat fragile and may crack easily without careful care.
Cuisinart warranties this product for three years and the company tends to stand behind their ice cream makers. As with all the ice cream makers we reviewed, there is no need to register in order to activate the warranty. It is important to keep your original receipt purchase.
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Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
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This Cuisinart ice cream maker comes in a brushed stainless steel housing and has a heavy duty motor the produces some of the best homemade ice cream you can make. It comes with a large entrance for adding mix-ins, so it's easy to add whole ingredients to your mix. The bowl makes two quarts of ice cream at a time, which makes it suitable for larger groups.
Ease of Use
This ice cream maker is easy to use but does take a little bit of planning to use well. The drum needs to be frozen overnight in order to turn out really good ice cream. It's also crucial to remember not to put the freezer bowl in the dishwasher. The recipes that come with the machine tend to overfill the bowl, so it's important to pare down recipes through trial and error.
This machine is very durable and of the highest quality. The parts can be expected to last for years, and it works quickly. It has been designed to accept add-ins easily and will work well as long as the freezer bowl is properly frozen and never put into the dishwasher.
This Cuisinart ice cream maker comes with a standard warranty available on all Cuisinart products. They will replace or repair it if it is defective within three years of the purchase date. Be sure to keep your original receipt in order to get warranty service.
This machine is mid-range among the ones that we looked at but is one of the highest quality machines available at this, or any, price.
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Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker
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This machine is excellent at making ice cream and sorbet but will not make frozen yogurt quite as easily. It's the perfect machine for homes with children in the house that prefer soft serve ice cream to the harder type and who enjoy dispensing their ice cream into cones like at a restaurant.
This machine is different from the others in that it has a soft serve design, but in the end, it has many of the same capabilities and capacity as others in the Cuisinart line.
Ease of Use
Dispensing the ice cream can be a bit of a trick and take some practice to do well. It comes with a cone holder and a simple dial for turning on and off. The machine is fully automatic.
While this machine is fun to use, there are some design issues that could be improved. The dispensing buckets for add-ins are designed for different sizes of additives, but this is not clearly explained from the beginning. As a result, putting in something too small, such as silver bullets, can result in the additives coming out all in one giant heap.
Cleaning is also an issue with this machine. There are many crevices and corners that require a diligent search to hunt out and clean effectively. That being said, reviewers who have grown accustomed to the machine and how to use and clean it largely find it enjoyable.
Despite the fact that this is quite a different machine from any of the others in the Cuisinart line, it still comes with the Cuisinart three-year warranty. There is no need to register the product with Cuisinart, but it is important to always keep the original receipt of sale.
This ice cream maker is one of the less expensive models we reviewed. When compared with other soft serve ice cream makers from other manufacturers, it is a bit expensive. But for a Cuisinart ice cream machine, it is affordable and durable. It's also important to be aware that this ice cream machine is a bit smaller than other models we reviewed and may make less than you expect. It does work faster than other models, however.
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Cuisinart makes some of the best ice cream machines in the world for home use. You can't go wrong with any of the machines on this list and all of them will provide you with excellent homemade frozen desserts no matter what your ice cream preference.
While the soft serve machine is fun, we just don't think it's there yet. It still needs a few design tweaks to make it really good for everyone. And while the ICE-60W has more bells and whistles, we don't find it worth the extra $25 or so over the solid and dependable ICE-30BC. If you want to spend as little as possible but still get a quality machine, then the ICE-21PK is definitely the one you want. It makes slightly less volume than the other machines but is easy to store and clean and very reasonably priced.
However, in the end, it just does not get better than the ICE-30BC Cuisinart ice cream machine. In our opinion, there's no reason not to spend the extra $20 for this excellent and reliable Cuisinart ice cream machine. Whatever you choose, though, you are unlikely to regret it.