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Showing 1-10 of 337 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 379 reviews
on May 6, 2012
After reading scary reviews of some of the costly self-refrigerating ice cream makers, I bought one of the few that seemed to prove reliable. It lasted 20 minutes before the compressor stopped working. So, I returned it and bought a Cuisinart - the "ICE-21" model, which is the updated version of one they've been making for years. It's been turning out batch after batch of excellent ice cream since the day it arrived. Yes, you have to wash, dry and re-freeze the bowl between batches (or buy a second bowl), and, yes, it's high-grade plastic, and it is indeed made in China. But it works, consistently and well. I've tried a couple of the (few) recipes in the unit's accompanying booklet, as well as some from both the Jeni's book and Perfect Scoop book. All have turned out beautifully - producing products far superior to even the "upscale" premium ice creams available in the supermarket. The only negative involves resisting the urge to eat the "soft" ice cream when the machine is done, rather than packing a container and putting it into the freezer to harden further. Let's just say not all the product ends up in the freezer.............!

I long ago came to the conclusion that junk can be made anywhere. So can quality. It's up to the manufacturers to demand that their standards be met. In this case, Cuisinart, like Apple, seems to insist that the products bearing their name maintain a level of quality that reflects well on their reputation, regardless of where the products are made. Wise choice.
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on February 17, 2013
Let's get to the facts.

You will NOT save money by making your own ice cream. Sorry, but that's the cold, delicious truth. The ingredients used to make ice cream cost a whole lot more than buying already-made ice cream. This is even more true if you try to make any VANILLA BEAN flavored ice cream, as vanilla beans are literally around $20 for just ONE at many grocery stores. You can of course find them cheaper online though -- Amazon has them right ~ 10 beans for $14 (nice!).

Most likely though, you aren't here to try to save money. I know that was not the reason I bought this product. I bought it for the joy of making my own ice cream with my family.
-- The ice cream you make tastes better than most store brands!
-- You can make your own creations of ice cream with whatever you can imagine
-- Certain recipes take ADDITIONAL prep work (i.e. you may have to use your stove to make a concoction)
-- The ice cream bowl takes awhile to freeze - longer than expected - so keep it overnight)
-- The longer you let your ice cream stay in the freezer after being made, the harder it will be (until a certain point)
-- The product IS loud, so don't make anything when everyone is asleep at night...:)
-- Cleanup is easy and fast
-- Do NOT clean this product with a sponge or anything with abrasiveness material, as it can scratch the bowl. They suggest using WARM/HOT WATER + SOAP
-- When taking ice cream out of the bowl, use a WOODEN spoon rather than a metal one to avoid scratching the bowl as well!

By the way, this product comes with a booklet that has recipes. You can find even more recipes online. I recommend that for your first choice of ice cream to make, choose vanilla or chocolate. I personally chose vanilla and ended up adding white chocolate chips to it, which tasted great!

Would I buy this product again?

Well...I scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream...So obviously, yes :)
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on October 22, 2012
No, it isn't perfect. But despite a few drawbacks I'd gladly give it 5 stars.

First you should know I don't read instructions, so some of my comments may be pointed out in the booklet that is included.

If you want to go into the ice cream business, or make gallons of frozen desserts for a party, this is not the device to do it. But if you want to make a quart of your own frozen concoction, with whatever flavor you choose, this gadget is both effective and fun to use. I've made ginger, pomegranate, and other tasty treats that don't last long in the freezer.

Things to be aware of before purchasing:

The end result of your efforts will not be a half gallon (or what a half gallon is now, a quart and a half) like you pull from the freezer section at the grocery store. The end result is more like soft serve and in the still frozen container that is a pain to handle or transfer the contents into a suitable container. It would be nice to have a handle or holder for the bowl so you can scoop out the finished product. Somewhat of a poor design in that respect.

You don't want to fill the bowl up, as the contents tend to expand, and you will be left with a drippy mess if you're not careful.

Don't put the ingredients in the frozen container before your ready to get moving. The contents will freeze quickly making it difficult or impossible to insert the paddle or get it to turn. You be waiting for the thing to thaw and ultimately likely have a wasted effort. I've found it easiest to get the thing moving and add the ingredients through the opening at the top. That way you'll be assured that it won't jam or not move at all. Or worse yet, break the paddle or burn out the motor.

You need to freeze the bowl for quite a long time before using. As long as a day in a very cold freezer yields the best results. Keeping the bowl level and at the back of the freezer works best. You want the solution enclosed in the bowl to freeze evenly. So if it is tilted when you freeze it the results may reflect that and not come out as expected.

Some people expect the paddle to turn and the bowl to remain stationary. That's not how it works. The bowl turns and the paddle stays still, scraping the ingredients off the side of the bowl as it mixes them.

I'm not sure how long to leave the machine running, but I have started it and watched TV for about a half hour and that seems to work.

REMEMBER - If you don't want a broken machine, BE SURE THE BOWL IS TURNING BEFORE ADDING INGREDIENTS. AND DON'T FILL THE BOWL OR YOU'LL HAVE A BIG MESS.

Experimentation will lead you to what you want.

Like I said, it has its drawbacks, but for the price (especially in a Lightning Deal), cute colors, fun and results, it gets an easy five stars.

Very happy with this purchase and glad I got one, even though I don't, or didn't, eat much ice cream.

UPDATE 12/1/2012

After several attempts and a few epic fails, I'm getting this thing down to a science. The trick is preparation, getting ready. preparing and cleaning up. A few more tips. Have your containers to hold the frozen results ready, and a space in the freezer to put them. Keep a plate ready to drop the paddles on when you are finished mixing. Use a spatula to scoop out the results. I use a bamboo squared end spatula. Don't try to pour the ice cream out or hold the bowl. I set the bowl on a pad and scoop everything out. And lastly, don't put a wet bowl back in the freezer. Wait till it is dry or frozen water can jam the machine.

If I haven't mentioned it, don't fill the bowl up. Stuff expands as it freezes. I'm finding just over half full is best.

And now is probably not the best time to start a diet...
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on April 25, 2014
Absolutely put the bowl in the freezer over night. The ice cream (yogurt, sorbet, I made them all already) will be softish when it's done, much thicker than a frozen milk shake but not as hard as fresh out of the container from the store. I push the solid stuff that gathers at the top back down into the bowl and give it a few minutes more to spin to get it as solid as possible. Hard to remove from mixing paddle, but that's the stuff you are allows to lick off, if you are inclined. The vanilla custard style recipe in the book is out of this world.

Tips/thoughts:

• Put the final container in the freezer for an hour or so before you make the ice cream, transfer the ice cream quickly into container, put right in freezer and eat it an hour or two later (really hard to wait ;)).

• The ice cream stays nice and cold in the bowl for a bit if you need a couple of minutes (phone rings, someone at door, etc).

• A little tough cleaning bowl right away as water freezes to sides! So it needs to defrost first.

• Will never buy store bought or expensive parlor ice cream again (if possible).
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on March 30, 2013
I purchased this product for $59 at the beginning of last summer and made 20 + batches of ice cream and some sorbets. The quality of my ice cream improved as I became more familiar with the whole ice cream making process. This Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker includes a removable ice cream bowl that must be chilled prior to making the ice cream. The chilling process requires patience and I found that an over-night deep freeze produced the best results in the freezing process. Even after churning the ice cream, the texture resembles a Wendy's frosty; a deep freeze of the finished product is necessary to produce the best texture.

This Ice cream maker has already paid for itself and is still running strong one year after purchase. I have now used this machine to produce 30+ batches of custards, ice creams, and sorbets. I found it necessary to only fill the ice cream maker halfway, thereby providing more space for the ice cream to rise as it freezes while being churned. One repeated difficulty I have encountered occurs when removing the ice cream from the freezing bowl and the churning paddle. Ice cream gets stuck all up in the Paddle and is difficult to remove without waste or drippage. But this difficulty really is irrelevant because owning this device allows you to create the best seasonal ice creams, control the ingredients, and create a perfectly textured product.
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on January 11, 2013
There really isn't anything super special about the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker, sure it come sin all sorts of colors but in the end it is just an ice cream maker. That being said it was the easiest ice cream I have ever made!

I keep the bowl in the freezer all the time to make sure that it is super cold and ready to go. So when I decided to make the first batch of ice cream, for my daughters 8th birthday, we were set! We mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl and then added it to the frozen bowl. Placed the frozen bowl on the stand and put the lid with paddle on. Switched it on and came back 25 minutes later. Done. Nothing difficult at all!

Now I would like to point out that all the warnings they give you about using other recipes and to ensure they don't make more than the maximum amount for the Cuisinart is spot on! In my rush to make a cake batter flavored ice cream full of pieces of candy my daughters guests added it overflowed,. At first it was only a little so I ignored it. When I came back it was a LOT! Keep in mind that the base that the bowl sits on has a small space where liquids COULD get into the motor area. I recommend you watch this thing like a hawk the first few times you make your liquid awesome so that you get an idea of how much is too much.

One final note, when you wash the cold bowl the suds will freeze. It was rather amusing to find a bowl covered in frozen suds beside my sink. The good news is you just take a warm wet cloth and wipe it down after you wash it and the suds go away.

I would recommend this thing to ANYONE who has EVER wanted to try their hand at ice cream making :)
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on January 14, 2013
I thought for some time about making my own ice cream, but held back because I remember all the fuss of rock salt and ice and churning-who has time for that these days? So I did a little research and came across this ice cream maker. After reading the reviews here and elsewhere I decided to take the plunge (coming in plum purple was a nice bonus). It arrived and I hesitantly made my first run at the ice cream. I followed the directions and recipe for plain vanilla ice cream. I had read it was very important to freeze the freezer bowl for 24 hours, so as much as I hated to wait, I did. Then I mixed the recipe and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours and poured it in the ice cream maker. 20 minutes later I had ice cream! It was about soft serve consistency and was delicious. The only thing I found was that it was too much like "whip cream" so my next batch was half milk and half cream-it was perfect!

Cleanup was a breeze. It's a bit on the loud side, so I wouldn't recommend trying to watch tv while it's churning. But it makes fantastic ice cream SO easily. I keep the freezer bowl in my chest freezer now so I can make ice cream whenever I want. The recipes that come with the machine are wonderful starters from which you can then experiment with what works best for your preferences. I find the amount of ice cream it makes is perfect, since I can have a couple different flavors available in the freezer and they're small enough to get eaten before they go bad. (umm..they usually don't make it more than 3 days). Would highly recommend this!
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on November 5, 2012
My 5 year old daughter has had severe food allergies since she was 6 months old. Anyone dealing with food allergies will know the fear and difficulties we deal with on a daily basis. We've been lucky enough to have found alternatives for a variety of foods to make things as easy on her as possible. Ice cream being one of them! However, she's been dreaming of having strawberry ice cream and there just aren't any alternatives out there. Also, coconut milk ice cream tubs do NOT come cheap!

I've been eyeing this ice cream maker for a while now and so, when her 5th birthday rolled around, my little girl had her first taste of strawberry ice cream! Boy, was it good!! I've never used an ice cream maker before so I can't compare its performance to anything else. And I wasn't sure how well coconut milk icecream would turn out. I used a custard icecream recipe and made some changes to it. We are NEVER buying commercial icecream again! It was creamy, thick, delicious and easy. And the best part? Looking at the smile on my daughter's face as she ate her very first strawberry ice cream!

Pros:

* Easy to use- You freeze the bowl overnight, get a recipe, follow it, dump the whole thing into the frozen bowl and proceed to churn. In 20 minutes, you're eating freshly made ice cream. YUM!

* Easy to clean- use soapy water and rinse. You're done.

Cons:

* Bowl can't be used to store the ice cream. Would that have been convenient? Absolutely! Does that warrant a lesser rating? Heck NO!

* Maybe a little noisy. But we get to eat amazing ice cream at the end. What's a little noise?

For anyone who might want an alternative ice cream recipe, here's one for strawberry ice cream-

- Put the bowl in the freezer overnight. You need the bowl to be absolutely frozen.
- Whip 2 eggs and 3/4 th cup sugar together. Add 15oz (1can) full fat coconut milk and 15 oz coconut milk beverage ('so delicious' makes one or you can dilute canned coconut milk). Mix well.
- Heat the mixture on low-medium, making sure to keep stirring. Do not let it boil. You do NOT want to cook those eggs.
- Remove from heat when mixture has thickened and coats the back of your spoon.
- Cool on counter. Add 3 tablespoons of strawberry jam to the mixture (this is optional, I wanted a stronger strawberry flavor). And then cool in the refrigerator. I used the express chill drawer in my refrigerator and it was ready in less than 2 hours but you can also make and chill this custard a day before.
- Purée fresh/frozen strawberries to make 1 cup. Keep cold until ready to use.
- When both custard and strawberry purée are adequately chilled, mix them together and immediately pour the mixture into the frozen bowl. Let it churn until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes.
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on February 26, 2013
I have made home-made ice-cream for years---mostly with a big traditional maker---and this little electric really exceeded my expectations. Some hints:

First, stow the freezer bucket in a deep-freeze, if you can. Remember, kitchen freezers have a defrost cycle that can warm the bucket back up. If you can hear sloshing when you shake the bucket, it's not going to work!

Second, ensure your ice-cream mix is at fridge temperature before you start. If your recipe involves heating, let it chill back down overnight in the fridge before starting.

Last, assemble the bucket and dasher and turn the unit on BEFORE you pour in your mix! The cream will start to freeze so quickly that if the motor is not already running, it can freeze the dasher to the bucket and lock up your motor.

Follow these hints and you'll be making great ice-cream in no time. I really love this thing and so will you!
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on March 10, 2015
Non dairy ice cream is both expensive and most brands contain coconut, which I'm also allergic to and/or has other 'questionable' ingredients. I purchased this to make my own ice cream and sorbets where I could control all the ingredients going in. I have made 2 batches now of banana based ice cream (strawberry and vanilla), both which have come out perfect! Even better, because they are just bananas with other fruit, I can eat pretty much as much as I want without worrying. This is going to be one of my favorite kitchen gadgets ever:-)
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