How bad is the Kitchenaid ice cream maker
August 13, 2019 10:07 AM   Subscribe

My second dessert question this week! The Kitchenaid ice cream maker gets 3.5/5 online which is an internet F, but how bad is it? I don’t want to buy a separate appliance if I can help it.

If you have another ice cream maker that you can’t live without please let me know!
posted by St. Peepsburg to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I liked mine. Until it cracked for some reason and started leaking out freezer gel goo.
posted by Karaage at 10:12 AM on August 13, 2019

There are YouTube reviews that show you various ones in competition with each other - I'd check those out. I seem to recall the KitchenAid one was not the best in the videos I saw a while ago.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2019

I just inherited one that uses ice and rock salt and it is VASTLY SUPERIOR to the ones where you freeze the bowl in your freezer. It's a now-extinct 1.5-quart Hamilton Beach model.
posted by BrashTech at 10:23 AM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kitchenaid is fine. It lasted us a long time and the kitchen aid has a super strong motor. I LIKED variable speed which let you make adjustments for different textures. Ours also broke and leaked goo. We never replaced it for some reason and then recently bought one on amazon (standard go by the reviews shopping) and its nice. Honestly the kitchenaid was was fine and is probably fine....
posted by chasles at 10:24 AM on August 13, 2019

The Wirecutter actually likes it.
posted by General Malaise at 10:24 AM on August 13, 2019

I got a brand-new Cuisinart at a rummage sale and I looooove it. I don't mind the frozen bowl- I store mine in the freezer.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:24 AM on August 13, 2019

I've used the Kitchenaid ice cream maker a bunch. It's fine. There's a lot of ways to go wrong with it, which basically all result in the bowl warming up while churning before the ice cream has sufficiently frozen.

You have to freeze the bowl for a really long time before hand. Like 18 hours. If you don't, you'll get bad results.
You have to do a lot less ice cream that looks like can fit in the bowl. A pint and a half is about the limit. If you do more, you get bad results.
If your kitchen is really hot because it's a really hot day which is why you want ice cream, it will really help to wrap the bowl in a towel to keep it from warming up too quickly and giving you bad results.

It's not so bad that I'm getting rid of it and replacing it, but it's not so good that I would buy it instead of a different, better reviewed ice cream maker if I didn't already own it.
posted by aubilenon at 10:28 AM on August 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

My nephew has been making us ice cream all summer in the Kitchen Aid (he made his first few batches with the rock salt/coffee can method) and it's been quite delicious through a variety of flavors. The ice cream has a nice texture and stays scoopable, even when freshly-removed from the freezer.
posted by crush at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've heard mixed reviews of their standalone ice cream makers, but we have the KitchenAid mixer attachment and freezer bowl in that Wirecutter review, and (while seconding all aubilenon's caveats) it does a decent job.
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2019

I've been using mine for about two years, and I enjoy it. One thing I've learned to do is to turn the temperature down on my freezer to as low as it will go when I put the bowl in to freeze. That has made my ice cream harden faster and makes the batches more consistent.

My biggest fault with it is that it is pretty small. If I want to make enough to serve at a party, I end up making a double batch. It hasn't bothered me enough to go buy another ice cream maker, though.
posted by Quonab at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

We have the KitchenAid ice cream attachment for the stand mixer. Yes, turn the temp down on your freezer! We've used ours for a couple years and llke it. I will say: when they remind you in all caps to turn the dasher on before pouring in your batter, heed that warning. I broke the thingy that attaches to the thingy (sorry) and had to order a new one, but it was 100% my fault.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:07 AM on August 13, 2019

It’s ok. I had one warrantied because it leaked. Works a lot better if you store it in a deep (chest) freezer. I found it could *almost* do two batches, and I would get a quart out of mine. Worked better with custard recipes; the eggs improve the texture when the bowl doesn’t quite freeze enough to provide small enough ice crystals.

I eventually got rid of it and started using pulverized dry ice (or liquid nitrogen when I can get it) with the normal bowl and paddle attachment instead. Dry ice bonus: carbonated, pop-rocks-ish ice cream!
posted by supercres at 11:38 AM on August 13, 2019

> supercres:
"I eventually got rid of it and started using pulverized dry ice (or liquid nitrogen when I can get it) with the normal bowl and paddle attachment instead."

do you have more info on this method?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:51 AM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

VASTLY SUPERIOR to the ones where you freeze the bowl in your freezer.

Agree, these did not work for us. We now own a vintage hand crank version that I got off shopgoodwill or ebay or something (new ones available but are quite expensive) and it makes great ice cream that leaves you feeling vested and all the more satisfied afterwards.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:13 PM on August 13, 2019

Dry ice snow ice cream: I... can’t remember if I read about it somewhere or if it was just an experiment that turned out pleasantly well. I basically did what one would do for liquid nitrogen ice cream (custard in bowl, high speed with paddle or whip, pour in cold stuff slowly) but with dry ice that I turned to snow in a food processor or vitamix.
posted by supercres at 12:14 PM on August 13, 2019

Basically this, but i don’t think that’s what it was based on since I’m pretty sure my doing this predates ChefSteps ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by supercres at 12:17 PM on August 13, 2019

Worked better with custard recipes

The chocolate ice cream from Smitten Kitchen's Hot Fudge Sundae Cake is what really convinced me to give up on Philadelphia style ice creams (eggless), and just make the dang custards. Which if you don't chill before putting in the Kitchenaid ice cream maker, it warms up before freezing the ice cream and you get bad results. *sigh*
posted by aubilenon at 12:43 PM on August 13, 2019

Yes, I've had better luck with custards also, either chilling them overnight or adding half the milk/cream at the end ice cold.
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:47 PM on August 13, 2019

I use the Cuisinart countertop machines (I have several, I make a fuckton of ice cream) and they've always been fine--but with the limitations mentioned upthread. Mainly, you have to think ahead and freeze the canister well in advance. I try to keep a canister in the freezer at all times in case the mood strikes.

Honestly, I've always felt the Cuisinart and the KitchenAid machines are practically interchangeable in most respects. Reasonably cheap, and "good enough." But my one big takeaway from this thread is that apparently the KitchenAid canisters are prone to breaking and leaking freezergoo, which has never happened to me in nearly a decade of making ice cream with my tired old Cuisinart machines.
posted by sugar and confetti at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

The only problem we had with ours is that it needs to be hand-washed and air-dried. If you put a wet bowl back in the freezer to reuse later on, it will come out with a layer of ice on the inside. Otherwise, it makes great ice cream.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:02 PM on August 13, 2019

It works fine?? Like, I think my dad's stand alone cuisanart works a little better, the ice cream is a little firmer at the end and doesn't need to firm up in the freezer at all. But the kitchenaid isn't bad. It gets the job done, and the bowl doesn't take up as much space as a whole new machine. If you're comparing multiple models it's probably not the top performer, but it's perfectly functional and makes good ice cream.
posted by Caravantea at 4:45 PM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you aren't getting a separate appliance I doubt there is any competition. When it works, it can make really good ice cream. The things that help it work well for me:
  • Turn your freezer all the way to its coldest setting.
  • Ensure your base is cold before mixing. I turn the refrigerator down one notch colder from medium when I have a base chilling. Sometimes I even put it in the freezer for a few minutes right before churning. Chill all the things you're adding to your base too.
  • Work fast!
I also have had poor luck with a Philadelphia-style base. Custard bases are more forgiving. But I have switched to the base from the Salt and Straw cookbook which uses xanthan gum instead. So you don't have to deal with separating eggs, it is far more forgiving, and doesn't taste custardy. It's so much easier.
posted by grouse at 7:41 PM on August 13, 2019

Thanks everyone! Good advice. I realize my question was unclear, I meant the Kitchenaid bowl attachment not the standalone. I think I’ll give it a go and upgrade if I turn into an ice cream connoisseur (connoisseuse?)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:07 PM on August 13, 2019

Sometimes I even put [the custard] in the freezer for a few minutes right before churning

Who's got time for that, I want [to make] ice cream now! I get pretty good and very fast results by cooling my custard in a metal bowl, floating in a big ice bath. Stir it every few minutes.
posted by aubilenon at 8:13 PM on August 13, 2019

I have not used the Kitchenaid, but I used to own the Cuisinart and I'll never get another one that uses the freezing bowl method. Somehow mine got an off-taste or freezer burn or something, and it didn't matter how I washed it, the bitter taste made it unusable. I bought a Wynter ice cream maker that freezes it with a compressor and I'm pleased with it, I don't have to plan ahead and can just throw my ice cream base in and have a soft ice cream an hour later.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 8:39 PM on August 13, 2019

I have the Cuisinart ICE-100 and am super happy with it. It has a compressor. It comes with a surprisingly good recipe book.

The frozen-bowl types seem like a pain. Making ice cream is time- and labor-intensive enough without the extra steps to get the equipment ready.
posted by Syllepsis at 10:38 PM on August 13, 2019

So I ended up splurging and have the Cuisinart ICE-100. I love it!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:54 AM on August 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

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