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New Pacojet Competitor? The Ninja Creami


andrewk512
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Has anyone heard of this or had experience with it? It was mentioned briefly on Cooking Issues this week and I was immediately intrigued but sadly there is a complete lack of information from any reviewer that is also a serious cook.

 

https://www.ninjakitchen.com/exclusive-offer/NC301WBKT/Ninja-CREAMi-Ice-Cream-Maker/ - it looks to function in a similar way to a pacojet but at the much more affordable price of $200. If it remotely approximates a pacojet in quality of product then it's going to be a game changer. Maybe not for a restaurant kitchen where the reliability of the Ninja brand may be in question but certainly for home use. The only thing stopping me from jumping the gun on it is that it ships from the US to Canada so I will probably be out a small bit of cash due to shipping/restocking if I return it.

 

Honestly, I find it plausible that it would approximate a Pacojet considering the age of the Pacojet technology, the presumed cost savings of converting towards digital components as opposed to primarily mechanical, and marketing towards consumers meaning durability is less of a necessity

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That's a fantastic price. i'd have to see some good reviews though from people i trust. not a big fan of the ninja blender but who knows i've always been surprised that there have never been home versions of the pacojet

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I read the review linked to above and wonder if it might better be called a frozen dessert maker. If you need cream cheese to make ice cream as shown in the recipe used in the review……. We definitely need more information before making any sort of judgement. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I checked the recipe book and it doesn't appear cream cheese is a requirement. Lots of non-diary and low sugar recipes which is a good thing for me. It sure looks like it works the same as a PacoJet.  I decided to give it a try.  Everyone has it for $199, but I got it at Kohls with 20% off with a friends and family code of FAMILYSHOP and also included $30 of "Kohl's Cash" which I will likely never use.  The discount code is good through 4-29.

 

I will report back on how it works, of course.  Supposed to arrive in a week or so.

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32 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

I checked the recipe book and it doesn't appear cream cheese is a requirement. Lots of non-diary and low sugar recipes which is a good thing for me. It sure looks like it works the same as a PacoJet.  I decided to give it a try.  Everyone has it for $199, but I got it at Kohls with 20% off with a friends and family code of FAMILYSHOP and also included $30 of "Kohl's Cash" which I will likely never use.  The discount code is good through 4-29.

 

I will report back on how it works, of course.  Supposed to arrive in a week or so.

 

I knew that sooner or later someone would take one for the team!  😉

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59 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

I checked the recipe book and it doesn't appear cream cheese is a requirement.

I had watched a YouTube video and the presenter claimed to be using recipes from the book and it called for cream cheese. I am happy to know that that’s an error.

I don’t know how a oaco jet works but watching the video it just seemed to be a blender blade that bored into the frozen mixture, blended it for a while and then was slowly withdrawn upwards out of the mixture. I was reminded of the way we make mayonnaise with the stick blender. 

I think of ice cream as frequently beginning with a custard but since there does not appear to be any cooking involved then the use of eggs is probably inappropriate. 

We will all be watching closely as you check out your new unit once it arrives.  
Edited to add

 

I just watched a video showing how the Pacojet works and it seems very similar. 

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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11 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I had watched a YouTube video and the presenter claimed to be using recipes from the book and it called for cream cheese. I am happy to know that that’s an error.

I don’t know how a oaco jet works but watching the video it just seemed to be a blender blade that bored into the frozen mixture, blended it for a while and then was slowly withdrawn upwards out of the mixture. I was reminded of the way we make mayonnaise with the stick blender. 

I think of ice cream as frequently beginning with a custard but since there does not appear to be any cooking involved then the use of eggs is probably inappropriate. 

We will all be watching closely as you check out your new unit once it arrives.  
Edited to add

 

I just watched a video showing how the Pacojet works and it seems very similar. 

 

Cream cheese is a popular stabilizer in simplified ice cream recipes, some of their recipes do call for it but it does not look like it is necessary for all the recipes.

 

The pacojet functions in the same way as described and the Ninja blade looks near identical from inspecting images. Pacojet runs at 2000 rpm and has a processing time almost double that of the Ninja Creami, which could possibly mean a smoother product although I am sure there are various other factors at play. I am not sure how many RPM the Ninja is. The Ninja also allows re-processing to further smoothen the product. I have never actually used a Pacojet but I believe it also has a button that can vary the amount of overrun.

 

I agree I would really like to see how a professional quality recipe like a custard base, even a Philidelphia base or a properly ratio'd sorbet recipe would turn out in this thing. Some of the photographed recipes look a bit icy but I think it might be just due to the recipes that the company supplies and them promoting low sugar/low fat recipes, or the temperature at which it is processed.

 

I am also looking forward to your review of the unit!

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

I had watched a YouTube video and the presenter claimed to be using recipes from the book and it called for cream cheese. I am happy to know that that’s an error.

 

It's not an error - the basic recipes in the book do call for cream cheese (just a tablespoon) but a lot of them don't.  I certainly won't be using it so we will see if something needs to be substituted or not.  I will likely get some non-dairy cream cheese if leaving it out doesn't give satisfactory results.

 

Jeni's ice cream recipes usually call for cream cheese and I seem to remember a discussion somewhere here about what the effect was.  Possibly that can shed some light on a substitute or two.

Edited by mgaretz (log)
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But does it come in orange?

 

Seriously, the Ninja manual speaks of different colors and different models, with different extra stuff.  My concern is that the range of working temperatures is 9/-7F.  Unlike PacoJet, Ninja says not to freeze ice cream to cold temperatures.  They say not to use a chest freezer because chest freezers may be too cold.  I worry about the resulting ice cream texture.  Then again, Ninja is manufactured to a different price point.  The end result could still be pretty good.  They offer a 60 day return window.

 

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45 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

 

It's not an error - the basic recipes in the book do call for cream cheese (just a tablespoon) but a lot of them don't.  I certainly won't be using it so we will see if something needs to be substituted or not.  I will likely get some non-dairy cream cheese if leaving it out doesn't give satisfactory results.

 

Jeni's ice cream recipes usually call for cream cheese and I seem to remember a discussion somewhere here about what the effect was.  Possibly that can shed some light on a substitute or two.

 

The effect is I do not buy Jeni's.

 

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1 minute ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Take one for the team and see.

 

I can't think of an application that's not sweet.

 

Q. What's frozen and savory?

 

A. No frigging idea.

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That's funny, I was concerned that home freezers wouldn't be cold enough.  The pacoJet gets a better texture when things are super solid.

 

As for savory, you can make savory shave ices, say frozen mignonette for your oysters.  Or make sorbets without sugar.

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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3 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Seriously, the Ninja manual speaks of different colors and different models, with different extra stuff.

 

My guess is that they will make slightly different packages for different markets.  There seems to be a model with less programs (no smoothie bowl is the example I saw in the manual), and also less or more pint containers and lids.  The model I am getting seems to have all the programs.

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3 hours ago, btbyrd said:

Cream cheese is for children. Use stabilizers/hydrocolloids like an adult.

 

Cream cheese is available in any market.  Stabilizers/hydrocolloids, not so much.  Do you have any recommendations?  Keep in mind that all of their recipes are cold preparations - no heating, just mixing.  I do have some Cremodan, but that requires heating to 186F.  I'll likely try my standard addition of vegetable glycerin, but open o suggestions.

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Nothing wrong with the few recipes I've made from Jeni's, though the ice cream tends to be a little "chewy."

 

Dana Cree's methods are fine by me. Tapioca starch, nonfat dry milk powder, glucose are all as adult as I want to be.

 

When I start getting complaints that I'm not using enough hydrocolloids in my pints of ice cream, I'll start to worry, and I'll have Dave come over to help!

 

Ninja sounds as if it's become the new Ron Popeil - I only wish Dan Akyroyd was still making commercials on SNL.

 

 

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11 hours ago, gfweb said:

I can't think of an application that's not sweet.

 

Q. What's frozen and savory?

 

A. No frigging idea.

I had a friend who had a pacojet in his home.  He would use it for pureed soups. Yes, he also had a vitamix for the same task, but he liked to play.  If you wanted to make a squash soup, for example, you could just cook chunks of squash in the stock, then deep freeze just like that.  Then you pacotize the portions you want and just heat.

 

His biggest complaint about the pacojet was the time it takes to get something cold enough to pacotize which is hard to do in a standard household freezer.  But, @Kerry Beal and @JoNorvelleWalker, it would be great for people who have blast freezers!

 

@Anna NThe pacojet my friend had wasn't like a blender blade, it was more like a microplane disk that would continually scrape the top layer off of the frozen container - it made very fine shavings.  That's why the liquid had to be frozen to a ridiculously cold temperature because if it was any warmer, it would gum up the blade.

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