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Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, White
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- Easy-lock Lid with Window – Lid is designed to remove and lock easily. An ingredient window allows you to pour ingredients directly through the top and watch the freezing process, Base – Contains heavy-duty motor strong enough to make and dispense ice cream
- Mixing Arm (not shown) – Mixes and aerates ingredients in freezer bowl to create smooth soft ice cream, Dispensing Bracket with Handle – Dispenses the soft ice cream when handle is pulled down. Removable for easy cleaning, Rubber Feet – Nonslip feet keep base stationary during use
- 1 1⁄2-Quart Freezer Bowl (not shown) –Contains cooling liquid within a double-insulated wall to create fast and even freezing. Double wall keeps the bowl cool and at an even temperature, Condiment Chute – Mix-ins are dispensed from the chute into your ice cream cone or bowl while you dispense ice cream. Removable for easy cleaning
- Three Condiment Containers – Dispense the mix-ins of your choice. The front condiment container with a curved edge dispenses small mix-ins such as sprinkles. Two rectangular condiment containers dispense larger mix-ins such as mini M&M s or mini chocolate morsels, Condiment Dispensing Levers –Pull out one of three levers to add the mix-ins of your choice into your soft ice cream
- ON/OFF Power Dial, Cone Holder – Conveniently holds a stack of extra ice cream cones. Can hold both flat and pointed-bottom cones, Removable Drip Tray – Can be removed for easy cleaning. Dot in center of tray indicates where to place the ice cream cone. Mix-in Gauge – Check the size of mix-ins by dropping them through. Mix-ins that do not fit through will clog the ice cream maker
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Homegoods quality shop||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||7.75 x 9.86 x 17.25 in||11 x 16 x 11 in||7.8 x 9.9 x 17.2 in||9 x 9.5 x 11.25 in|
|Item Weight||13.8 lbs||12 lbs||15 lbs||—|
|Material Type||Plastic, Aluminum||Stainless Steel||—||Plastic|
Professional-quality soft serve ice cream, yogurt, sorbet and sherbet is now available right at home, with the Cuisinart Mix It in Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. Not only does it make everyone's favorites, but with three built-in condiment dispensers, it makes them extra delicious! Just a pull of a tab send sprinkles, chips and other mix-ins down the chute to mix right into frozen desserts as cones or bowls are filled. Operation is fully automatic; simply pour in the ingredients and turn the dial!
Top Customer Reviews
- The unit uses a freezer bowl to freeze the product. That means that the bowl MUST be frozen solid and the product MUST be very well chilled, otherwise you will not get good results. We have just kept our freezer bowls in the deep freeze when not in use so that we can make ice cream fairly quickly. It's probably best to mix up your soft serve mix at least an hour in advance and put it in the coldest part of your fridge or (as another reviewer suggested) in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to get it as cold as possible without prematurely freezing it.
- The freezer bowl doesn't have a huge capacity. It can make "10-12" servings - if your servings are small. 6-8 is probably more like it. If you want more, make certain you purchase an additional bowl and keep it frozen.
- The instructions on time expectations generally say 10-15 minutes, and this can be true if you chill the ice cream mixture very thoroughly. Otherwise it will take longer, probably more like 15-20 minutes.
- The first serving or so may be fairly soupy - I have found that I can dispense some into a cup and then re-add that into the top of the bowl.
- The "mix-ins" really don't mix in to the soft serve at all, they are really topping dispensers. If you're expecting something like a DQ Blizzard, it's not the same. Also, don't over-fill (or pack in) the mix in bins. I've had good luck with chopped peanuts, sprinkles and the mini M&Ms.
The differences between this unit and a more conventional ice cream freezer are mainly that this unit has a freezable bowl vs. a bowl that is placed in a mix of ice and rock salt. That means it is a little more convenient, but lacks the capacity of the conventional freezer. Our ice cream freezer makes about twice as much ice cream as the soft serve, but it is much louder, generally requires more clean up and doesn't dispense the product. On the other side, I think a conventional freezer has more versatility if you are making things like frozen custards that set up harder than soft serve. Finally, the freezer just isn't really as much "fun" as this one is which has real appeal if you've got kids in the family.
Overall, I've really enjoyed this gadget - but I did some research first and made certain I understood what I was buying. This is NOT like the soft serve dispensers in restaurants - but it's very nice for a treat on a summer afternoon.
If you've been doing your homework, you're apt to become confused, as I did, as to the reason why so many reviewers rave about this machine whereas the other half claim that it simply doesn't work. Most complaints seemingly center around the fact that the bowl must be frozen, and if your freezer doesn't have the space or doesn't get cold enough it is nearly impossible to obtain desirable results. For the money, consumers seemingly expect that these machines will refrigerate the soft serve ice cream -- but they don't. Yes, you can buy ice cream makers that self-refrigerate the ingredients as they mix but those generally cost much more, do not produce soft serve and do not offer a dispenser. In other words, apples to oranges.
I feel fortunate to have read reviewer tips from successful owners here on Amazon prior to purchase. Had I not, I too may have been among those who are disappointed with the product. Instead, I learned that while the user manual suggests freezing the bowl for 15 hours, 24 may be necessary (toward the back of the freezer). Better yet, if you are able to store the bowl in the freezer it makes it much easier to use the machine spontaneously. I also learned something the manual does not suggest but should: Mix up the ingredients using a wire whisk or low speed mixer at least 20 minutes ahead of time and chill the contents in a pitcher, along with the mixing paddle, for a bit more before you remove the bowl from the freezer, pour in the contents and switch on the machine. The name of the game is to minimize time sitting out on the counter warming up. The colder the ingredients and the faster you get them into the bowl, the less time it will take to bring the contents up to the desired consistency.
The user guide indicates that it may take 20-30 minutes to attain finished results, whereas the box claims as few as 15 minutes. I personally found doing all of the above resulted in ice cream shop soft serve consistency in about 18 minutes. By 26 minutes it was so thick that it was difficult to dispense (at which point the user manual suggests scooping it out of the bowl and serving that way). Also important to understand is the fact that if you fail to turn off the machine, the soft serve may become so thick that a circuit may switch off the motor to protect it from overheating. This is not a defect but something plainly stated in the manual. So for those who are curious to know if it can be left running to produce hard packed ice cream, the answer is absolutely not.
Because there is no timer on the machine, it is entirely up to the user to determine when it is time to dispense the contents (a period of checking that begins 15 minutes into the process). This is by far the trickiest part about the machine's operation and the likely source of most complaints. Wait too little and the consistency is not much better than a milkshake. Wait too long, and the dispenser can no longer propel the ice cream through. The window of opportunity to dispense the entire contents of the bowl may be as little as five minutes (assuming you like your soft serve on the thick side and push it to the last few minutes before it is too thick to dispense). One way to get the consistency you desire is to take a measuring cup or small dish and periodically dispense (test) from about 15 minutes onward (every minute or so). If it is too runny dump it back in the bowl. If the soft serve holds its form, it is ready to serve.
There are certain kitchen electrics that involve a learning curve and this Cuisinart soft serve machine is no exception. I own a Carnival Popcorn Maker (movie theater style), an espresso machine and a bread machine, each that required me to adapt to particular design and operation characteristics for best results. If you understand what you are getting -- and for that I suggest prospective buyers download the owner's guide at the Cuisinart website before placing an order -- you won't be disappointed.
If this machine doesn't seem to live up to its billing, it may stem from Internet descriptions that would have would-be buyers believe this is an ice cream maker. The badge on the machine clearly designates it foremost as a soft serve machine. And for that purpose it is a lot of fun, complete with choice of three topping dispensers. Where the toppings are concerned, I discovered that there is no way to adjust the rate of flow, which is why I'm docking this product one star. Toppings tend to dispense too fast and are best reserved for bowls and not cones; they tend to scatter and a bowl can catch them much better than a cone can.
In terms of cost effectiveness, there are some recipes, typically the more exotic variations, that can cost quite a bit more than just treating yourself to an ice cream parlor. Basic recipe ingredients, however, are cream, sugar, milk and flavoring, which won't set you back too far. Using yet another tip I read here on Amazon, I reduced sugar content on Cuisinart's Basic Vanilla and the results using French Vanilla Extract for flavoring were light, fluffy and silky smooth without ice crystals. And therein lies my final tip: Until you get the hang of this machine, go by the book. Literally. Once you get the operation down pat using the included recipes, branch off into Internet recipes, ingredient substitutions or whatever else captures your imagination. In this way you can easily distinguish between a faulty machine, an inadequately frozen bowl and a recipe that isn't suited for soft serve machine use.
In closing, soft serve lovers should not be dissuaded by negative reviews. As for giving this away as a gift -- particularly to a child or anyone who lacks patience in the kitchen -- I would think twice. Not everyone will be intrigued by the dispensing features or the novelty of spending that much time making soft serve at home.
Although dispensing the condiments and the soft serve is somewhat of an art, it is worth the effort for anyone who prefers their ice cream extra light, fluffy and/or served in a cone. How many machines offer features like this? Only one other non-discontinued product that I'm aware of. As the wildly different reviews attest to, however, this machine is not as foolproof as other kitchen electrics. Success relies upon eyeballing the mixture through the cutout in the lid. And while you're at it, if you want to avoid a messy drip you must make sure to return the lever back into the up position each time you finish dispensing. Otherwise the soft serve flow will not be entirely closed off and you will have soft serve in the drip tray to show for it.
Bottom line? Practice makes perfect.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Min. And you have ice cream !!! Super easy
I don't know who loves it more!
Them or grandpa!Read more