on May 5, 2005
I purchased this after much debate about whether or not I needed a two quart ice cream maker or just go with the original Cuisinart $49.95 one. I am so glad i bought this one. It is so great. Easy to use, makes alot of ice cream,so sleek looking.
I have a tiny kicthen and everytime I turn around I am buying something that will clutter my counterspace, but I have to say this I don't mind. It is square, not to bulky and the cord fits nicely up inside the machine. It doesn't dangle or anything. It's right next to my KitchenAid.
I have made two recipes out of the manual that comes with the machine. I usually don't like "manual recipes" however, these are fantastic. The Mango Gelato was a huge hit with family and friends. One girl who doesn't like ice cream, liked it. The simple ice creams that dont require making a custard, you just mix all the ingredients together and freeze, I was thinking it would be terrible. It wasn't, so you can make ice cream in 30minutes from start to finish with those recipes.
I do keep the bowl in the freezer like others suggested with the smaller ice cream maker. It has been very useful to have it already frozen when I am ready to make ice cream.
As far as noise, it is not as quiet as I thought, but don't let that scare you. It's not like turning on a blender and leaving it running for 25 minutes. It's not an annoying noise. Not like the old ice cream makers with the ice and stuff. It is fun to watch it churn too. So the noise just fades to the background.
It's very interactive and a great thing to do with kids and company.
I really can't say enough good. One of the best appliance investments I have mad yet.
on June 8, 2009
This product started to malfunction a little more than a year into its life.
At first, it made great ice cream. Now, the unit generates so much heat while it is turning that the bowl unfreezes and I end up with a pultaceous mess that isn't remotely close to ice cream.
UPDATE: Cuisinart replaced my defective product. For a $10 shipping charge, they shipped a new unit to me the same day I called. It shipped from New Jersey via UPS and I had it two days later. They require that you ship the defective unit to them in New Jersey at your own expense, but they will ship your replacement without first having the defective unit. My total out of pocket expense was $20. I'm very happy with the customer service.
on February 6, 2008
I bought this a few months back from Sharper Image. Since then, I haven't bought ice cream outside of my home. You can make not only ice cream, but sorbets, slushes, and other frozen desserts. It's very simple to use: mix the ingredients, turn the single switch on, and come back in 20 minutes. The machine makes a humming noise as it's churning. I'd say it's louder than an electric can opener, but quieter than a blender.
Clean up is pretty simple. There are only 4 parts to the machine: the machine base (which you don't wash), the drum, the mixer, and the top. The last two are easy enough to put in the diswasher. In fact, if you pour perfectly, then you don't have to clean the top. The drum, however, you'll have to wash by hand. It's easy enough to clean though. Just DON'T use paper towels to dry it if it's still in the frozen state, otherwise the towel pieces will stick.
I've seen two common complaints that I'd like to address:
1) "You can't use it right out of the box." True, you have to take the drum (it's like a thick bucket) and put it in the freezer overnight. Or at least until you can't hear the liquid sloshing in between the walls of the drum. But keep in mind how ice cream is made.
Regardless of what device you use to make ice cream, in all cases you're basically taking a sweet cream-based liquid (cream, sugar, egg, flavoring) and stirring it against a cold surface. This freezes the substance while still keeping it soft (there's a microscopic amount of air inside the ice cream), instead of becoming a block of frozen solid cream. The old hand-crank devices do this by lining the outside surface with chunks of ice and rock salt. This machine instead just has a single piece you store in the freezer until it's cold, then take it out when you're ready to make ice cream. This is much less messy and easier than having to get ice and rock salt out for every recipe.
2) "It comes out soft." Yes, freshly made ice cream will have a consistency like softserve. All you have to do is pour it in an air tight container and stick it in your freezer. Then it will have the correct consistency of store-bought ice cream. It says this right in the directions. I have to wonder if people bothered to read them first.
Although about a dozen sample recipes are included, I would recommend buying an additional ice cream recipe book. I HIGHLY recommend the one by Ben & Jerry's, as it's extremely informative (gives their trial & error tales for each recipe, etc.), has lots of recipes, and is very easy to follow. I'd also recommend getting some Tupperware or similar to store the ice cream. I've found that the 2-quart Glad Interlock plastic containers are the perfect size for a batch.
Have fun experimenting. Oh, and as I'm sure others have said: you may just need a gym membership after getting this.
on June 19, 2006
The Cuisinart ICE-30BC works wonderfully. It is easy to use -- just one switch which says "on" and "off". In addition, it has a handsome design and is easy to store.
If you like to experiment with foods, this is a great purchase.
I had not previously owned an ice cream maker -- if you're in the same position, here's some things to expect:
* Don't buy one if you're simply trying to save money on ice cream for the family. The maker is costly, as are good ingredients.
* Good, rich ice cream requires cooking a custard-like mixture. Meaning double boiler on the stove, then a lengthy cooling process. Although you could avoid cooking and make a simple ice cream with the ice cream maker alone -- the results are not the same.
* The canister part of the 2 quart Cuisinart maker must be placed in the freezer for about 24 hours before each use. Keep this in mind if you have a packed freezer and/or tend to like instead gratification.
* The machine is noisy. A bit noisier that most blenders. And it needs to run for about a half hour.
on May 23, 2005
I used this to make a custard based ice cream (recipe below) and it came out WONDERFULLY! The ice cream was done in 20 minutes and the consistency was fluffy. The recipe I made before (non custard) didn't thicken as nice, but I believe it was because it was not made with the custard base. I have uploaded a customer image of the maker in action near the end of the cycle.
*TIP* Make sure the bowl is completely frozen and do not pull it out until you are ready to pour the ingredients in.
Custard Base Recipe:
Ingredients for base - 4 egg yolks, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar.
For Ice cream - base, 1 cup fresh heavy cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Directions - In a double boiler slowly bring milk to a boil. In a glass bowl mix together egg yolks and sugar until thickened. Slowly pour in the milk stirring constantly. Return to double boiler and slowly heat until thickened. (Mixture will stick to back of the spoon. DO NOT BOIL! Remove from heat and allow to cool. (I recommend putting it in the freezer for about 2 hours before using.) When the mixture is cooled mix in the heavy cream and vanilla. According to maker directions, turn on machine and slowly pour mixture in. If you want to add chips, fruit or anything else to the ice cream, do it about 5 minutes before the end of the cycle. Enjoy!
on December 9, 2005
If you like frozen treats and you like them easily made with very little mess and fuss...for goodness sake get this appliance BUT don't use the recipes in the machine's guide...also pick up Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. We bought this frozen treat maker based on the reviews here and it exceeded our expectations...we've made a number of the recipes in Ben and Jerry's book but I'll describe our first effort because it's representative of all our efforts...here it goes...I threw together some sugar, milk, eggs, and cream for about 5 minutes...placed it in the machine, turned it on, did some chores for 23 quick minutes...two minutes before stopping the machine I added crushed Oreos...I stopped the machine and we enjoyed absolutely GREAT ice cream...clean up was a breeze...that's it! One warning...Ben and Jerry's recipes say a "generous one quart"...that means close to two quarts. I have to say the "problem" mentioned by some of having to keep the freezing bowl in the freezer wasn't an issue...in fact, I'll probably get another bowl and keep it in the freezer as well...they take up VERY little space. Get this machine and enjoy...it's a no-brainer folks!!!
on November 17, 2009
In order to make quality ice cream with a good consistency, you need good ingredients, a frozen apparatus, and a mechanism that properly turns and scrapes the sides of the container. That's a pretty basic view. This machine gives you a 2qt container/bowl that stays frozen pretty well throughout the ice cream making process. The scraper, on the other hand, does not adequately scrape the sides of the container. Can you still make good tasting stuff? Yes, but it could be much better.
If you don't care and just want something quick to eat, this machine should be fine. It is loud, for sure, but that is to be expected. It is a motor after all.
If you are particular about your ice cream like I am and have experience with the old-fashioned hand crank types, my recommendation is this: occasionally/frequently take a plastic device (spoon, spatula, etc) and scrape the sides (and bottom) of the container while it is turning. This will keep the most frozen parts from staying on the side. You want them to be intregrated into the rest of the mixture. This accomplishes two things: 1) your ice cream will freeze faster and 2) it will have a better/creamier consistency.
Also, don't forget to make sure your ingredients are cold BEFORE putting them into the container. I did not buy the extra bowl but it would be worth it for those who wish to make a lot of successive batches. Otherwise you'll be waiting for the bowl to refreeze.
Overall, I would buy this item again. It is reasonably priced and is easy to use.
on July 17, 2008
I purchased this ice cream machine a few months ago. My first few attempts at making ice cream were disappointing. I followed the recipes straight from the book and the ice creams were entirely too runny to consume. I had to freeze the ice cream after making it, which significantly lengthened the duration of time required to make your ice cream with this machine. After a few trial and errors, I came up with several solutions to the problem:
(1) Mix the ingredients together and freeze for an hour prior to putting them in the ice cream machine to churn for 30 minutes. This does not necessarily cut down on the time needed to make the ice cream but does allow you to eat it straight after the machine finishes churning.
(2) Use a custard base by mixing 4 egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk together and heating until thick. After making the custard, procede with the recipe in the book accordingly and the ice cream will be thick and wonderful!
(3) Use a different recipe book.
The machine is such an improvement to the days of churning the ice cream manually. It is so simple; You merely keep the inside bowl frozen then place your ice cream mixture in it when you are ready and turn the machine "on" and wait 30 minutes. As I said, the ice cream recipes in the book have all produced very runny ice cream for me so there is a little extra time needed if you prefer a thicker ice cream. However, the frustrating part of this was merely figuring out how to tweak the recipe to make it work. Once that was done (using options (1) or (2) above), the process was simple.
The machine is a little loud (I would not use it while anyone was sleeping or a child was napping) but given that it only needs 20-30 minutes to work its magic, it is manageable. One thing I was concerned about was the size of the machine and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how compact this machine is. It is not nearly as large as I anticipated which makes storeage much easier. Like other reviewers, I highly recommend keeping the freezer bowl in the freezer (in a plastic bag to prevent freezer burn) at all times so it is ready when you decide to make some ice cream. If you don't, you should expect a full 24 hours for the bowl to freeze before making the ice cream. The ice cream will not make properly if the bowl is not completely frozen.
I have added two pictures of the chocolate ice cream I made a few weeks ago (see above in the pictures of the product). It was incredible. You can see the amazing thickness and creaminess of the ice cream.
If I had written this review after the first week, I would have given this machine 2 stars. But...after some trial and error, I am incredibly happy with this purchase and give it an easy 5 stars. If you love ice cream, you will not be disappointed.
On a side note...I have two young children (ages 3 and 5) who love helping me make the ice cream. It is a great family thing to do together. My girls are so proud to eat the end product of what they made from scratch. In addition, I have taught them about measurements (i.e., a cup of sugar, a tblsp of vanilla, a tsp of this or that) which has turned the fun project into something they can also learn with which is nice.
In short...GREAT product! I would recommend to anyone!
on April 19, 2006
This machine makes great homemade ice cream easy! For those of you who complain about the machine being loud or messy, you must've never used one where you need ice and salt to freeze the cream. Yes, it does make some noise, but it's tollerable and it's only for 30 minutes.
The ice cream does come out with more of a soft serve consistancy, but this is not unusual and you need to put it in the freezer for a firmer ice cream. Just being able to make fresh ice cream on your kitchen counter is worth it.
on December 28, 2012
I have the ICE-21 model and love it. It makes tremendous ice cream. I am really into making ice cream and do 1 - 2 batches a week. I researched how to make the best base and find the best maker. For the money, the ICE-21 was great. However, I make 1.5 quart recipes and with expansion I overtop the 1.5 quart ICE-21.
My family gave me the ICE-30 2 quart and I was really excited to use it. The first thing I noticed was the dasher, AKA paddle is redesigned for the ICE-30. It only scrapes one side and bottom whereas the ICE-21 scrapes both sides on the side and bottom. When reading the instructions for the ICE-30 they say it takes 25-35 mins which is much longer than the ICE-21 which is 20 minutes. I made my first batch in the ICE-30 and noticed right away that the consistency is much softer than the ICE-21. The ice cream was good, but formed with larger grainer ice crystals than my ICE-21 and took 35 minutes.
The reason for this is the dasher. It does not scrape the sides of the freezing vessel close enough. A thin layer of frozen ice cream forms and is not scrapped off. This thin layer acts as insulation and the rest of the base does not contact the brushed metal sides for a rapid freeze. This is a real problem because the faster the base freezes, the smaller the ice crystals, the creamier the ice cream. On my second batch I used my thumb to apply pressure to the dasher to scrap the sides, and bam, the ice cream came out great in about 15 minutes.
The secret to great ice cream is a terrific base, with rapid freezing where the ice crystals are so small they are nearly imperceptible. The size of the freezing vessel, speed at which it turns, and the contact of the dasher scraping the sides are key. Cuisinart gets this really right and at a great price. However, with the ICE-30 the dasher is slightly too small and leaves too much buildup on the sides. I am going back to the ICE-21 and regrettably am retuning the ICE-30. I am sending my feedback to Cuisinart and hopefully they redesign the dasher. I am a big fan and hope they perfect it. Good luck and have fun.