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on May 9, 2010
Being a manager of a kitchen retail store gives me a little edge because I can see a few of these machines in person. Our store carries the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker that has the prefreeze bowl, we also carry the Cuisinart self refrigerated unit, and the Delonghi gelato machine. We use the Cuisinart prefreeze models for our demo's we do
on Saturday's at the store. It works, but it's not the most impressive ice cream you've ever had.
I wanted something better. I looked at both of the other units I listed above. The Cuisinart unit didn't feel well made to me. I took out the bowl, etc and the arm that goes across the top of the machine to the bowl feels like it will be only a matter of time before that gets broke. I decided to try the Delonghi model.
I have used it several times now. I love it!! The first recipe I made was butter pecan ice cream. It was excellent and the machine had it ready in 30 minutes. It can take an extra ten minutes if you add alcohol to your recipe (and this recipe used Jack Daniels). The next recipe was chocolate hazelnut gelato. OMG...Yummy!
Everything we've made has been great. The machine is very simple to use and it works great. I'm very happy with my decision and hope this helps you if you're debating between machines. I would recommend this machine.
I've read that many people didn't like the Cuisinart unit because it's very loud when you use it.
This machine is not very loud. I would say that it's quieter than a blender running. I can still watch tv with it running without upping the volume. It's pretty easy to clean too. There is one area that can get crumbs when you add nuts, etc. I just wipe around in there with a moist q-tip and that's about the only "problem" I can find with this unit. I also purchased The Perfect Scoop book by David Lebovitz. Excellent recipes. Haven't found a dud yet and it also has great resources in the back of the book in regards to ordering ingredients, etc.
Hope this helps with your decision :)
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on June 2, 2010
If you know the difference between gelato and ice cream, and you don't want to spend a few thousand dollars on a commercial gelato machine to satisfy your gelato urges, then this Delonghi gelato machine is for you. I was a skeptic at first, but after having used the machine and tasted the byproduct, Delonghi engineering has created an acceptable gelato machine that is affordable. I have made french vanilla, vanilla, lemon gelato, lemon sorbet and peanut butter cup gelato and all have been excellent. The advertised differences of less air and more dense conconctions is not hype but reality. I am not ready to say this machine will rival the gelaterias of Italy for truffle smooth creations, but what it produces is close enough for my palate. The peanut butter cup gelato was very close to truffle smooth and oh so rich and smooth. The lemon sorbet is intense and delectable. The concept the machine uses to produce gelato is the same as gelato machines costing a few thousand dollars more. The difference is scale (smaller batches) and the need for hardening in the fridge after processing---minor work arounds for the cost savings. The noise level is tolerable, and it appears to be well built. I believe if you follow the manufacturer's directions for use, the machine will perform admireably for many seasons. I would suggest buying Terrance Kopfer's book "Making Artisan Gelato." Delonghi's recipes are of the mix it freeze it sort---if you really want the flavor rush and smoothness unique to gelato, invest the time to prepare it the way it should be and you will be rewarded with this machine. With that said, the Delonghi vanilla, and french vanilla recipes were very good and the prep time was minutes instead of hours. The 1.2 pint capacity was a concern for me initially and caused me to postpone my purchase a few months. I can now say this is really an asset since you can make several varieties of gelato/sorbet in smaller quantities for entertaining which I believe lessens the potential for waste and ultimately cost. The longest freeze time was 25 minutes and the hardness of the product at the end of the cycle was much more frozen than I expected. In my opinion, given what I have mostly read about other machines, and what I have experienced as an owner of the Delonghi GM6000 Gelato Machine, I believe this may very well be the best gelato, er ice cream machine at this price point in the marketplace.
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on April 12, 2010
I just received my DeLonghi Gelato Maker today. I love DeLonghi products. They are very well made. It's a little heavy, which is good. When I was deciding which Gelato maker to get I read all the different reviews on Amazon. This machine hadn't been reviewed. What sold me on it was all the other DeLonghi products I own are all very reliable. Because there were no other reviews I Googled it to learn more about it. One concern was that other websites listed it as having a 1.5 pint capacity. (24oz) This is incorrect. The actual capacity is 1.2 liters. Which is approximately 40 ounces. I've only made the basic dairy gelato recipe (vanilla). It worked very well. It only took about 20 minutes to freeze the gelato. I only gave four stars because of the lack of information on capacity. But it is a 5 star product.

I've owned this gelato maker now for a month. I love it. Here is an easy recipe that works well in this machine.

Gelato di Fragola (Strawberry Gelato)
Ingredients
*10oz fresh strawberries / or frozen
*1cup granulated sugar
*1cup cold whipping cream
*1cup cold water
*dash of lemon juice (if the berries are not fresh)
Directions
1.Clean and cut washed berries into quarters, or just smaller pieces.
2.Put berries, sugar and water into a blender or food processor and blend until liquid and smooth. (This is also where you'll add lemon juice if necessary.)
3.Whip the cream until slightly thickened - like the consistency of buttermilk.
4.Combine the cream with the strawberry mixture and mix thoroughly until blended.
5.Freeze as indicated by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker.
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on October 13, 2010
I absolutely loved this machine until the plastic mixing paddle broke after the fifth batch. This happens when the gelato starts to get thick and the littler of the two mixing blades just snaps off. It's hard to prevent this because if you take your mixture out too early, it doesn't have enough air mixed in and it's extremely dense. But if you leave it in too long, the blade snaps.

I suppose if you sat by the machine and turned it off the second the motor starts to labor a little, the paddle would last longer. But who wants to sit by the machine for 25-30 minutes?

On top of that, the part is out of stock at Delonghi. I've been waiting a month for it.

UPDATE #1:

Just got a call today from Delonghi. It will be another 3-4 weeks to get the paddle. I'm just glad I returned the whole unit to William Sonoma 2 days ago.

UPDATE #2:

Well I finally received my replacement mixing blade from Delonghi on 11/23. Seems like the same flimsy blade as the original:-(

As another reviewer wrote, if you buy this unit, go ahead and order a bunch of replacement blades because 1) you'll need them, 2) you can ship a bunch of them for 1 shipping cost and 3) you never know if they'll have them in stock when you need them.
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on December 26, 2011
As a careful shopper, I spent a LOT of time researching over the holidays for a good ice cream maker. I didn't want the hassle of the hand-cranked ice/salt units nor the ones that required pre-freezing the mixing bowl, so I concentrated my search on the self-refrigerating/freezing units. Based on reviews on various cooking and ice cream making web sites, as well as sites such as Amazon itself, I narrowed my top picks to three machines:

The Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker
The Whynter IC-2L SNO 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker (OEM for the Lello 4090 Gelato Pro Quart Ice Cream Maker)
The DeLonghi GM6000

All three models are in the $200-$300 price range and received top marks from the various review sites. I am sure that one cannot go wrong buying any of these machines. For my personal choice however, I eliminated the Cuisinart machine pretty quickly off my list due to the potential design problems of the mixer motor arm assembly mentioned in the reviews. Several reviewers commented on the weak mixer motor and/or mixing arm assembly. The problems might or might not be real. But I just didn't want to risk it.

I looked long and hard at the Whynter/Lello machine. Seems like a really good choice. It makes a somewhat larger ice cream batch than the other two machines (2 qts. versus 1.5 quarts). I almost bought it. However, the non-removable mixing bowl was a deal breaker for me. I prefer to be able to remove the bowl and wash it in the sink when done making ice cream. I've had kitchen appliances in the past where this was an issue, and I can do a more thorough cleaning job when the bowl is removable to be cleaned outside of the machine.

That left me with my personal first choice: this DeLonghi model. The reviewers also complained about its mixing paddle tending to break easily. There were also comments about the small batch of ice cream that this machine makes. Finally, there were questions about whether this machine could make good airy ice cream due to its sealed lid design. But the mixing paddle is a really cheap replacement part (~$3 on the Internet). The smaller batches is not a really bad issue for self-freezing units such as this one, since I could just make batch after batch. Despite the airtight lid, some reviewers commented that this machine could still make good ice cream too. So I bought the DeLonghi.

We've made about six batches of ice cream so far on the DeLonghi, and it has worked out great. Every batch starting from the first was quite delicious, and this machine meets all of our needs for frozen desserts. The ice cream does tend to be denser and not so airy. But it is quite creamy and has a good texture like you would get from many premium ice cream brands in the store. Plus you can't beat the fresh and wholesome ingredients we use at home. Our family now prefer homemade ice cream over store-bought. Because the ice cream is so delicious, the smaller batch size is more obviously painful as they go quickly! On the other hand, we feel it's better to have less high-quality stuff than a lot of no-good stuff anyway.

The mixing paddle feels quite robust and turns out to be not a problem. Cleaning up was a piece of cake since the bowl, paddle, and lid are all removable and cleaned in the sink. We are careful not to leave the machine churning ice cream too long in case the mixture freezes over and break the paddle. We found the batches to be ready in under 20 minutes, as soon as the mixture firms up and starts to get pushed upward by the paddle. It then requires some additional time in the freezer to firm up some. If DeLonghi finds a way to make this machine to take in more air for a fluffier ice cream, I'll give it a full five stars.

The free shipping from Amazon was fast and awesome!
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on September 15, 2010
O.K. negative reviews always get bad marks but I feel compelled to warn potential buyers about some quality flaw with this machine. I got mine in July and used it 4 times upon which the plastic paddle that mixes the ice broke during normal use of the machine and creation of regular chocolate ice cream. The paddle has 2 parts: a wide and strong arm and a flimsy and very thin arm. The thin arm broke off. I called their customer service department and they told me they have it on back order and that many people are waiting and I might not get it with the next load. I also found a 3rd party site that presumably sells the paddles but there also the paddles are back ordered until October 31. The net is that a) the paddle seems to brake fairly often b) the company sells machines and doesn't have replacement parts in stocks for SEVERAL MONTHS.

I ordered a couple of these paddles but still I am peeved about not being able to use the machine. In retrospect I would have bought a more expensive machine with all metal paddles....
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on June 16, 2010
Like other reviewers I was a bit hesitant about paying this much for a gelato/ice cream maker. For years I used the Cuisinart ice cream maker (where you must freeze the bowls). However, we wanted an ice cream maker for our weekend house which has a refrigerator with a small freezer compartment: taking up space to freeze those bowls was not an option.

Well! I like this DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker so much that the price suddenly seems very reasonable! I am tempted to get another one for our house.

Mind, this gelato maker does have a large `footprint'. Fortunately, I had a place in the kitchen for it. It is heavy (no fear of it `walking' off the counter). I did not find the unit loud at all; indeed, no more than the Cuisinart I had been using for years. The settings are four: 'off'; 'paddle only'; 'freeze only'; and 'paddle and freeze' (I have yet to use the 'paddle only' or 'freeze only' settings).

No more pre-freezing bowls! The first weekend of usage I was able to make multiple batches of ice cream in short order (after making a batch DeLonghi recommends waiting five minutes before beginning the next batch). I made four batches in a row the first evening.

You make two and a half cups of ice cream at a time. My normal recipe for vanilla ice cream (below) makes two batches. Each batch took about 25 minutes (the instructions say around 30 minutes; however, I stop when 1) the machine starts `straining' and 2) the ice cream is no longer being churned but just moving around with the paddle).

The bowl and paddle are easy to clean. You even get a small plastic spatula to remove the ice cream (never use a metal utensil).

A word to those new to making ice cream: the small recipe book (as well as other recipe books) often calls for heating the ice cream/gelato mixture, then letting it cool off before processing. These recipes usually call for real eggs.

However, I virtually never `heat' my mixture (only if using bars of chocolate, for the most part). For one, there is the real possibility of `scrambling' the eggs if you overheat. Two, the heating is simply for the purpose of pasteurizing the eggs.

I use Eggbeaters, which are already pasteurized. As such, no need to heat. Here is my basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe:

One and one-half cups of Fat-Free Half and Half (splendid stuff, and cuts out a lot of fat; of course, you may substitute regular milk, or regular half and half).
One cup of heavy whipping cream.
One and one-fourth cups of Eggbeaters.
One cup of sugar.
One-fourth teaspoon of salt.
One tablespoon of Vanilla extract.

Mix everything together (I use a blender), then pour half into your DeLonghi Gelato Maker (or, if using one of those pre-frozen bowls, the whole thing).

This basic recipe can be used for many types of ice cream, simply substituting `whatever' for the vanilla (peppermint, peaches, mint, etc). Remember this: taste the mixture! If it does not taste good in the mixing bowl, it will not taste good after churning and freezing.

When your batch it ready it will have the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Enjoy as is or place in the freezer for a bit.

In summary, this DeLonghi gelato maker is very, very easy to use and makes wonderful ice cream. No more waiting 24-hours for the freezer bowl to freeze!

Edited to add: by the way, the instructions talk about getting `some vodka or rum' and moistening a `cotton swab' in order to swab the bottom of the canister, so that the metal bowl does not `stick'.

So, I went out and got some Vodka. I was not sure if it was of good enough quality for such an expensive Gelato machine, so I mixed it with some Coca Cola and tasted it. Hmm. I tasted it again. Indeed, after a few tasting I decided that the Vodka was a little too good for `swabbing'. I can't remember if I came up with that thought before or after I finished the bottle.

So, I went out the next evening and purchased a bottle of `rum'. I believe it was Myers Dark Rum. I am not sure about that. I am sure that mixing some of the Myers rum with Coca Cola is delightfully pleasant to the taste buds. Long story short, I ended up not swabbing the bottom of the canister with anything, and yet the metal bowl came out well.

You may want to try the experiment yourself.

Edited to add: keep an eye on the price, since it tends to yo-yo a bit, from a low of about two and a quarter (if you follow my drift, since prices are not allowed) to two and three bits.
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on October 27, 2010
I purchased this product in 2010 and my initial experience was decidedly mixed. This was due almost entirely to the poor customer service associated with replacing a broken paddle blade. I broke the mixing blade in my first weeks of use and had to wait for over two months for the replacement part to arrive. At the time, customer service staffing was non-existent and it was impossible to obtain information on the parts status. I have no idea whether the repair parts situation or quality of customer service has improved in the intervening years, but I can tell you I have really grown to like this little gelato maker.

It took me awhile to learn the ins and out of the DeLonghi and gain experience and confidence with various recipes. I learned how to not break blades, though I do have a big stash of spares if I need them. I also expanded well beyond the very basic recipes available in the accompanying guide. I now have well over a hundred successful creations to my credit and I can whip up a batch of gelato in less than 45 minutes from start to finish. When you learn just how much of each ingredient you can put into the mixing bowl the sky is the limit on the recipes you can create. Texture and taste obviously vary based on the ingredients you use, but with this maker you can create some exceptionally rich and creamy gelato with far fewer calories and fat than ice cream. Clean up could not be easier as everything pops right into the dishwasher. Aside from the broken blade, which resulted from my error, the maker has proven to be trouble free. There are a few lessons learned I would share:

> Using a high quality kitchen mixer to blend the ingredients makes a huge difference, especially when using eggs or when making chocolate recipes. Taste and consistency will be much improved.

> When the mix is almost finished and you open the lid to check...you're done. Trying to restart the process and get it a little bit more firm will lead to a broken blade just about every time.

> When the recipe is as frozen as it will get, it might still be a little too soft for some. Just pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours and it will harden up perfectly.

Bottom Line: If not for the poor customer service experience I would happily rate this machine five stars.
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on June 11, 2010
I've been using this machine for a month now and I'm very happy with it. It's very easy to use and reasonably easy to clean. I like that it has a removable bowl and mixing blades. It has a 1.5 Pint capacity, but it's a lot easier to clean if I don't fill it up to the very top. There are a lot of recipes for Ice cream, gelato and what have you around on the internet. I also bought a couple of books with this machine. Most of these recipes involve precooking, mixing and a variety of ingredients that aren't always easily available in my local supermarket. I've tried a bunch of these and some were quite good. However I've also gotten pretty good results from using a much simpler recipe. I pour 3 cups of whole milk, 1 heaping cup of sugar and a drop of vanilla into the Ice cream maker and start it going. In about half an hour I have some nice vanilla ice cream. If I want soft ice cream I take it out a little quicker. If I want a thicker consistency, I run it longer. If I want a different flavor I add some flavorings to the basic recipe. Premixing isn't necessary. It mixes as it goes. I've put in chocolate chips, peanut butter, various jellies and jams, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, maple syrup, food colorings, syrups, canned and frozen fruits. The DeLonghi handled them all fine. I've enjoyed experimenting.

Edit: After 5 months now it's still going strong and no problems with the plastic mixing blade.

Edit: After about a year of heavy use it stopped freezing and became useless.
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on May 18, 2010
I just finished making my 5th batch of gelato and I'm very pleased with this machine. Used to have the older Cuisinart ice cream maker, which I loved but wanted to step up...and its great not having to keep the inner container in the freezer. Its also nice to be able to make another batch right away! I'm forcing myself to stick with "basic" flavors before I get adventurous, but so far everything has been tasty. Still working on a more gelato-like consistency. Buy some containers online so you can give some away, people are going to be asking for it! ~~
My only issue is the top of the container, its a little harder than I'd like to put it on. I'm always afraid I'll push (or actually turn) too hard and break something. Not a huge deal but keeps this machine from being perfect for me.
One more thing; you're going to want to buy another cookbook for sure. The one included is small, has 36 mostly basic recipes, many of which are badly translated. "A sachet of vanilla"? --? Coconut flour?? Also its NOT very descriptive; instructions are just a sentence or 2 long, its not always clear if "blend" means to mix items together or to use a blender...but its fine till you get a better book, I got "Making Artisan Gelato" which I'm very happy with.
For the price, this is a great machine and I highly recommend it!!
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