Customer Reviews: Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker
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on July 19, 2005
Like another reviewer, I was happy to see a compressor machine available for a reasonable price. I'd owned a smaller machine with a bowl that was placed in the freezer, but the ice cream wasn't as creamy as I wanted and the results varied dramatically from batch to batch.

Armed with a gift certificate (plus quite a bit more), I ordered this machine. For the fourth of July, I made 3 flavors for a party (vanilla, chocolate, & stawberry--I went with the basics), making the bases for each the night before. The next morning, I froze all three ice creams in less than two hours. With a compressor machine, it's easy to make multiple batches one after the other. And the ice cream was a hit at the party, too.

Some tips:

1. The first batch I made was a simple recipe from the instructions which contained no eggs. While it turned out OK, it couldn't compare with custard-based ice creams that include egg yolks. The custard bases consistently result in smoother, creamier, and richer ice cream.

2. Try to make the ice cream base the night before you'll be freezing it (especially custard bases). It allows the flavors to blend and ensures the base is cold. A cold base will freeze more rapidly and is less likely to develop ice crystals.

3. When making chocolate ice cream, using quality chocolate rather than cocoa gives a richer flavor.

4. It's much easier to make ice cream when there's no need to have lots of ice and rock salt or remember to pre-freeze bowl wich may or may not fit in the freezer.

5. It also can freeze sorbets and sherberts and make slushies for the kids. I suppose you could make frozen drinks with it, but I'll stick to the blender for those.

I'm very happy with it so far. It seems well made, produces great ice cream, and has a larger capacity than many other compressor units. While I expect to usually make a half-batch at a time, the 1 1/2 quart capacity plus the ability to quickly freeze multiple batches is great for those times when you need lots of ice cream.
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VINE VOICEon January 30, 2006
The only ice cream maker I used prior to this was an italian gelato machine. That device required the work bowl to be frozen for several hours prior to making ice cream AND the use of alcohol to assist in the transfer of cold from the compressor to the work bowl.

This machine from Cuisinart eliminates the need for both. This is accomplished by finely manufacturing the components so that the work bowl fits VERY snugly in to the device. The result - much easier setup with less mess.

A batch usually takes 35-40 minutes, assuming you have allowed the mix to reach room temperature before adding it to the machine. Add 10 minutes if you are adding a warm mix.

You will still need to place the ice cream in your freezer for 20-30 minutes to get the right texture. That's common with most home machines so don't look at this as a fault of this machine.

Because you do not need to pre-freeze the bowl, you can make batch after batch of ice cream. We have made 5 consecutive batches (for a party) in under 5 hours without any problems.

One star is deducted for the amount of noise this machine generates. We have taken to putting it in our bedroom while it does its work. We were not able to speak with other people at a normal volume when this machine it in the same room.

The recipes in the included recipe book are ok - not great. I would recommend picking up a recipe book - perhaps Ben & Jerry's - when you buy this machine.
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on December 29, 2009
Let me begin by saying I have always been a fan of Cuisinart. But they really missed the ice cream boat on this one! I received this for Christmas this year, despite reading some of the negative reviews here on Amazon. I assured myself that I would love this product, so read the review with this in mind. I truly wanted to love this ice cream maker.
I make ice cream several times a month, using my tried and true Cuisinart Ice Cream maker that requires freezing of the insert. It has always worked perfectly, but I wanted to take it to the next level and make ice cream the commercial way. I was hoping for a very smooth end product, and didn't mind the noise.
I made one batch of ice cream (attempted really) in this machine, and realized immediately that this was not a well designed piece of equipment. The base is heavy and sturdy, and seemed well made. But the arm that drives the churn is plastic!! And there is no way to secure the churning device so that it stays in the bowl. Once the ice cream base begins to harden and the work of the churn blade increases, the plastic arm just can't meet the demand, and when the arm jumps up, the churn stops going. So now here we are, the refrigerator unit is freezing away, but no churning! Almost immediately, the ice cream at the perimeter of the bowl freezes so hard that it can't be churned, leaving the middle of the bowl a soupy mess. And that folks, is all she wrote!
I tried following the advice of others who had this same problem. A heavy book, a 5 pound hand weight, even me just standing there holding down the arm (can you say boring!!) didn't help. The churning blade always stopped.
So do yourself a favor. Stick with the fabulous and elegantly simple design of the freezer bowl Cuisinart ice cream maker. Or plan on spending a lot of money on a professional ice cream machine. This half hearted attempt by Cuisinart to meet me half way between simple and crazy expensive just left me cold. Oh, not my ice cream, just me!!!
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on February 10, 2007
I'm pleased with my purchase of the ICE-50BC. It think the noise issue must be related to a certain run of machines. Mine is no more noisy than any other countertop appliance in my kitchen. It's certainly less noisy than a blender.

Based on reading through some of the other reviews, I think people have unrealistic expectations of a home ice cream freezer. The Cuisinart unit freezes just as hard as the hand crank buckets we used as a kid. And it works just like the 2 frozen tub units it replaced (the ones where you have to store the tub in the freezer before use).

If you're looking for ice cream that's as hard as what you get from the store, you'll have to take it out of your machine and store it in the freezer overnight... just like it sat in the freezer for a couple days at the store.

Don't forget to chill your ingredients BEFORE freezing them. I get perfectly textured soft-serve ice cream from chilled ingredients in 20 minutes from a completely room temperature machine.

And I break the usage rules by ignoring the filling instructions. I put the paddle in, then pour in my mix, then assemble the arm and lid, and only then connect the arm - which sets the lid at the same time. Set the timer to 20-30 minutes and walk away. Much easier than Cuisinart's own instructions.

BTW... my favorite use has nothing to do with ice cream. I take store bought limeaid (usually a brand called Simply Limeaid) or other juice product, add a little kick (wine, spirits, etc.) and let it freeze into a nice Friday night slushie. :) For that use alone, the machine pays for itself. Can anyone say "frozen margarita"?

I do wish the arm had a more positive attachment. It needs a more firm connection method than just general pressure. Cuisinart should have made some kind of positive locking mechanism for it like they have on their food processors. But... I understand the design. It's made to pop loose when the paddle can't turn. That helps prevent paddle breakage and motor burnout. Maybe a smart engineer will come up with a more sturdy after-market arm and paddle for those who want to freeze thick/dense mixtures.
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on July 11, 2005
I was so excited that there's finally an afforable compressor model to choose from. It's super easy to use, nothing to learn really. As long as you get your mixture right, you're all set. It really freezes well. My first batch of sorbet was way too mushy, I suppose it's my mixture, the machine really froze it as much as it could. The ice crystals were very fine and evenly distributed.

Some people say that it's loud, it's not quiet, but it's acceptable. Afterall, there is a motor and a compressor. It sounds the same as my previous Cuisinart freeze-the-bucket verion. Those models are just NOT worth it. They never worked for me anyway.

My one issue is that the inner blade tends to get stuck and trap the ingredients (especially when you have other solids in the mixture). I need to push it to loosen it.
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on February 2, 2006
I bought this machine after my Lello Gelato Junior quit working after a year. I had only made about 12 batches of ice cream with the Lello when it quit. After trying to get the Lello fixed and discovering that I would have to ship it back to New York from California, the shipping costs alone made fixing it out of the question. I bought the Cuisinart because it has a 3 year warranty and I can get it fixed locally or return it to the store if it breaks. It is lighter than the Lello and the paddle motor is very light. I don't know if that is good or bad. The machine is very loud, much louder than the Lello. It can be annoying so I solved the problem by placing the entire unit in one of my lower kitchen cupboards that is fitted with one of those pull out shelves. I can pull out the shelf with the unit on it, pour in my mix, attach an extension cord to the plug and turn it on. I can then shut the cupboard door to muffle the noise. I also don't have to pick it up to use it. The ice cream produced is as good as the Lello's. Your ice cream will only be as good as your mix so it may take many attempts to find the right recipe. Cooked recipes are the best textured. Some recipes have too much cream and are greasy on the tongue, so it is really a matter of personal taste. Remember your ice cream will never be like store bought. it will be a soft serve consistency and if put in the freezer can get rock hard after a long time. Ice cream is best if eaten a couple of hours after it has been in the freezer. Be sure the container is absolutely dry before placing it in the freezer unit because it will freeze to the unit and will have to wait untill it defrosts before removing the container. I gave it 4 stars only because of the noise factor.
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VINE VOICEon June 18, 2009
I'd love to give this machine a full 5 stars. I mean, I pulled it out of the box, pulled off the various stickers, washed the mixing bowl, paddle and lid, and proceeded to make wonderful ice cream in under an hour. No pre-freezing because of the built-in compressor (this is the primary difference between the ICE-50BC and the considerably less expensive Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker).

The machine is a little noisy, and this is even more true later in the freezing process just as the product is getting to the point where it's too frozen for the motor to handle. Indeed, ours lets out an almost disturbing screeching rhythm towards the end, and then a lot of loud clicking as it finally seizes up, but we'll take the noise when the end result is this good.

I see a lot of reviews that ding the product because the ice cream doesn't come out the way you find it in the stores. I think this is a pretty common misconception, and one that I likely would have fallen victim to myself had I not done a good deal of reading about the process beforehand. You can quite literally pour your ice cream out of the freezing bowl when the machine is done. You are not going to have "hard" ice cream without at least an hour or two in a freezer (depending upon how cold yours gets). This is not a flaw, it's just part of the process. Make no mistake, the 'finished' product when the machine is done is ready to be enjoyed, it's just going to be soft. We enjoy it that way, and we freeze a lot of it as well -- the consistency after an hour or two is exactly what you'd get from the stores.

My only complaint about the machine is that I feel like Cuisinart really skimped on the quality of some of the construction materials. You see the pictures here on Amazon, and imagine a nice sturdy stainless exterior. The reality is that the mixing arm (the structure on top of the unit) is silver covered plastic. The top surface of the machine itself is silver plastic. The paddle itself is a somewhat weak feeling white plastic (I can completely see this breaking in the future, but replacements are cheap). The cover is a slightly more impressive clear plastic. Don't misunderstand, it's a very nice machine, and attractive/professional looking enough that it will look at home in many nicer home kitchens, it's just sort of unfortunate that basically everything these days has that "made in China" feel to it.

Finally, do not be without Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. Even if you may not be a fan of their style and flavors, this book offers a wonderful introduction to ice cream making, including different variations of the base cream, a wide variety of recipes and ideas, as well as baked goods and sauces to go with your creations. To top it all of, they include a brief history of their company and themselves, which is an entirely entertaining read. We also picked up The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever, which was far more comprehensive in terms of flavors, but a little less quick and easily accessible. Each compliments the other.
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on July 4, 2005
This machine makes 1 1/2 quarts of fabulous ice cream in less than 1 hour. I love that it doesn't need salted ice or hand stirring; making ice cream with this machine is fun, and easy enough for my five year old grandson to do. The accompanying recipe book is small but contains excellent easy and more advanced recipes. The machine is a bit noisey, but the ice cream it makes is so good and so that I find the noise a minor problem. It's an ideal solution for those of use who want to eat organic, eliminating preservatives and stabilizers from our family's diets.
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on August 11, 2006
Why this ice cream maker is worth the price tag: 1) No need to store quantities of salt in your pantry. 2) No need to store sacks of ice in your freezer. 3) No need to pre-chill a tub in your freezer. 4) Assembly is simple. 5) Parts have strength, do not seem flimsy. 6) Parts requiring washing are easily washed and popped back into the machine. 7) The manual is comprehendible and offers good recipes. 8) I've experimented with low-fat recipes only and they work beautifully.

Things worth knowing: after mixing the ingredients, it will take, on the average, 45 minutes to freeze in the machine, after which it will be more like soft serve. You will need to freeze it for an hour or so to get the harder texture. And, you will have to let it sit at room temperature 10 minutes if it's been in the freezer any longer than that. It makes noise, getting louder as it gets toward the end of the cycle and is pushing against the thickening mass; however, leave it behind a closed door and you don't hear it. Also, the generator has to be level for a while to work, so you can't use it immediately after unpackaging it. Perhaps let it sit a couple of days before attempting it.
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on August 3, 2005
My wife and i eat self made ice cream several times a day when we are home. When we saw the CUISINART ICE-50BC self contained ice cream maker {no need to pre-freeze the bowl}, we bought it instantly. With this little miracle you can make one ice cream after another. We like to use organic whole milk and mix frozen fruit with it. It takes approximatly 1/2 hour to have ice cream this way. If we do not add frozen fruit {coffee ice cream for example}, it takes about an hour. Having an ice cream maker that has its own freezing system is too convenient to pass up. We would not go back to the other system. We have had no problems with it, very dependable machine, jan.
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