Several people asked me about ice cream makers after yesterday’s post. Ice cream makers unfortunately come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes and materials. From the $25 Ice Cream maker ball, that makes ice cream by rolling around a frozen plastic ball, to the $2800 commercial batch ice cream makers that can make ice cream in as little as 20 minutes. Ultimately I settled on the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2qt model, I say settled because I couldn’t afford the Taylor 220 shown here used for $11,500. For $79 dollars though I think the Cuisinart was a close second. Keep reading to find out why I like it.
My earliest memories of ice cream making have to be of my parents begrudgingly pulling out the hand crank machine. My memory is a bit foggy but I think it was one of those wood style bucket machines that probably had a stainless steel bucket and required the use of lots of ice, rock salt and man power (or kid power if available). Looking back I can see why we only made ice cream once when I was younger. Quite simply it was a pain in the ass. But that was in the olden days surely technology has surpassed such trivial ice cream issues? Not as much as you would think.
Below $200 dollars you will not find an ice cream maker that has a built in compressor-freezer. This means you are left with units that have either a non-chilled bucket (typically stainless steel) and require the addition of ice and salt to keep the bucket below freezing. Or you will find units like the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence that use a plastic bowl that requires you to pre freezes the bowl for 24 hours prior to using it.
The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence falls into the pre-freeze bowl category and features a nice clean look with stainless steel housing and a very usable 2 quart capacity. There is even space under the ice cream maker for cord storage, a little thing that makes a big difference for storage. Other than the unit itself you have only three addition parts, the plastic lid, plastic paddle and the freezer bowl. All three are very easy to clean and the lid and paddle can be tossed in the dishwasher if needed. Operation could not be easier, just freeze the bowl, and assemble the bowl into the housing along with the paddle and lid. Turn the unit on and pour in your chilled mixture. 30 minutes later you have whatever frozen treat you set out to make.
To me the ease of not having to worry about adding ice and salt make it worth the space I need to have in the freezer for the bowl. Fortunately at Flavourgasmic we have a storage freezer with plenty of space to keep the bowl permanently on freeze for ice cream any time. If you don’t have the freezer space than I would consider a traditional model but be warned having to monitor your progress and add ice and salt is kind of a pain. Either way you will do yourself a favor by not getting a hand crank model. While you may think to yourself that this is cool or olde tyme, you will soon find yourself cursing your decision and not enjoying ice cream.
Not much more to say. The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence has been a great ice cream maker for the two years we have used it. In that time we have produced some truly great ice creams and also some truly horrible ice creams (not the fault of the ice cream maker). If you are on a budget Cuisinart also makes a very similar 1.5qt model that is about $30 dollars less but has most of the same features. You will not go wrong either way and there is nothing better on a hot day or when the craving hits than some wonderful, creamy, delicious homemade ice cream!