I scream you scream we all scream for...ice cream machine?
July 18, 2011 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Recommend me an ice cream maker?

A while back there was a GREAT ice cream thread that connected me with some really good recipes and whatnot and I get the impression that most folks are using the Cuisinart.

As I look at ordering one (finally) it occurs to me that there's a great possibility that there's a lesser known device that works as well or better.

So, assuming a budget of $100, give me your ice cream machine recommendations?
posted by TomMelee to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
previously on askmetafilter.

I believe this is the one they're talking about. I plan to buy it soon too. :)
posted by royalsong at 9:24 AM on July 18, 2011

My only experience is with manually powered makers, and I like them both. My parents-in-law have an old hand-crank job from the late 1970s or maybe the 1980s that has worked well for the last few decades with sporadic use (it gets used at least once a summer). And if you're patient and/or have kids to play with, ice cream balls are fun. They come in a few sizes, and I'd suggest going with a larger one, as the internal capacity is pretty low, so you'll feel like you put in a lot of work for very little ice cream. The ball is also small enough to take with you on picnics or camping, though I think you could do the same with the old hand crank set-up.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on July 18, 2011

Note: royalsong's link goes to an item listed from an Amazon seller, not Amazon themselves, so there's a $15 shipping fee, where the Amazon.com offer has free shipping (see the More Buying Choices side bar).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on July 18, 2011

Aw looks like I suffer from not-reading-the-more-insideitus. At least the information is there for others!
posted by royalsong at 9:28 AM on July 18, 2011

I have the Cuisinart royalsong linked to; it's excellent. I got it at Williams Sonoma for $70 with the extra bowl - which was actually sort of a waste. I have never used the second bowl, but I have a second freezer so it's not really taking up too much space. Maybe someday I can have a party with TWO kinds of ice cream!

Anyway, it's simple, easy to clean, and it works really well. It's a bit loud, but I put it in the laundry room so I don't have to hear it. And it freezes to soft serve in 15 minutes.

I used to have this Rival one that I got at Target. It was crap. Louder than a jet, took forever but never really got the ice cream properly frozen, and it was a pain the ass to clean.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:32 AM on July 18, 2011

I've got the same one that Horselover mentions and love it.
posted by saladin at 9:32 AM on July 18, 2011

It costs a little more than your budget, but I have a DeLonghi gelato maker that is literally the greatest thing in the universe. It will change your life. It makes gelato, though, rather than American ice cream.
posted by The World Famous at 9:34 AM on July 18, 2011

I have to be the voice that speaks up against the frozen bowl variety.
Perhaps it is where I live and the ambient heat, but a second bowl with a transfer in the middle of the freezing is required in order to get anything to the soft serve/ready to freeze stage. (Yeah, even in an house with a/c my freezer struggles to keep things frozen.) Obviously, other people have different experiences!

I am a fan of the electric White Mountains. these are definitely outside the $100 price range, but I have seen them for $100-130 on Craigslist. Usually in the winter when people down here aren't into the cold stuff quite so much.
posted by Seamus at 9:42 AM on July 18, 2011

The PBS show Cook's Country recently ran a comparison of several models. In a nutshell, the biggest factor in any seems o be having a freezer that goes down to zero, instead of the usual settings.
posted by timsteil at 10:01 AM on July 18, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks. I've got a Samsung fridge/freezer where the lowest freezer setting is something nuts like -22 or something. I'm more concerned about finding space in there for the bowl than anything else, lol.

As a kid, we had the hand crank model. Now I've got the rival mentioned upthread, and it's SUCH A PAIN to deal with, so I'm hoping this is a happy compromise. When I was a kid, the hardest part was waiting for the ice cream to "cure" after it had set in the machine---that is, get hard in the deep freeze. I'm sensing that most folks don't wait that long before digging into these ice creams?

Filthy Light Thief--I actually bought the balls for girls on my soccer team a few years ago, but yea, capacity is too low and I want to mix ingredients while it's churning. It's a similar concept to "kick the can ice cream" we used to make as a young boy scout.
posted by TomMelee at 10:08 AM on July 18, 2011

I'll concur with that previous thread--we have the stainless steel Cuisinart and used to have the plastic model a step down from that. Both are great. I think the steel one has a larger capacity? Both are easy to clean. Hand wash the mixing container and throw the cover and mixing piece in the dishwasher. Also currently have the KitchenAid attachment. It's pretty similar in performance to the Cuisinart models. Not much to say there.

I think Cook's Illustrated really likes one of the models that has built-in freezing capabilities, but I want to say that was well over $100.
posted by jroybal at 10:36 AM on July 18, 2011

I have the Cuisinart, too. No complaints, except that mine is a two-quart, and two quarts is a hell of a lot of ice cream. If too much ice cream is not a problem for you, then I highly recommend it.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:54 AM on July 18, 2011

I have this Cuisinart. My big caveat is that the bowl really needs to be rock solid, which requires the freezer to be turned down all the way low (much lower than required to freeze ice, for instance.) Other than that, it's easy to use, easy to clean, and makes ice cream.
posted by endless_forms at 11:16 AM on July 18, 2011

I have the same Cuisinart as endless_forms, and love it. It's my second (only because I gave the first away). Both lasted for years.

I find that the freezy bowl thing gets quite solidified enough in an averagely cold freezer, and works fine in the south, in an 80+degree house. Sometimes it needs to run a little longer in the summer, but it gets the job done. (The ice cream is done enough when it looks like soft-serve - your home freezer solidifies it the rest of the way.)

This runs about $40-$50 at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. It's the model David Lebovitz, ice cream guru recommends for home cooks on a budget.
posted by jessicapierce at 11:39 AM on July 18, 2011

I previously had a Cuisinart, but had little luck with it. The paddle would get stuck, leaving the frozen drum to thump around. It was also sort of inconvenient to make room in the freezer for a big tub to freeze it.

Now, I use this Rival maker. Yes, you need a bag of ice, and yes, you need rock salt, but it works like a charm and doesn't turn out cold milk slush every other try. I bought mine for about 20 bucks.
posted by Gilbert at 11:44 AM on July 18, 2011

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