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New Pacojet Competitor? The Ninja Creami


andrewk512
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I finally got around to making ice cream in my brand new Ninja.

I opted for strawberry because the berries looked quite nice and tasted very good.

My freezer is kept extra cold so I had to leave the container for a good 20 minutes on the counter to warm some as it was crumbly.  After the wait, I re-spun it and it turned out very good.  I scooped out half into one of these containers that I could take over to my neighbor.

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I was so impressed with the results from yesterday's strawberry ice cream I decided to try my hand at a coffee version today.

I used a  recipe similar to what @mgaretzhad posted earlier.

This one uses two egg yolks, half and half and cream, espresso powder, sugar & salt  and vanilla.  Since I was trying to copy Starbucks coffee ice cream, I added some cacao nibs to the mix.  It's in the freezer now and I'll spin it sometime tomorrow.

 

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I've not even received my box in the mail yet, and questions are forming from all the reading up I'm doing.  Has anybody figured out the absolute minimum Brix for the frozen stuff to be safe for the machine.  I read that a block of frozen water is too hard for machine to grind through... yet frozen pineapple bits in syrup work fine.  Everybody here working on the dairyless stuff must encounter similar issues.  Has anybody with a refractometer done any measurements and come to any conclusions?  Does the machine have any clutch-like safeguards built in, or is it a recipe for a hard fail/smoking motor if you go past the "too hard" threshold? 

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I haven't done good side by side comparisons but have been targeting 25 as a low end based on what I read here (see p 71):

Quote

On average, a dessert sorbet will read between 25° and 32° Brix in the refractometer (remember that the percentage of sugar is the same amount in Brix degrees). A savory sorbet should read 15° to 25° Brix. The use of a Pacojet is highly recommended for savory sorbets. Sugar helps the formation of minuscule ice crystals that trap minuscule air bubbles, which contrib- ute to the finished product’s smooth texture. The Pacojet will produce minuscule air bubbles through “drilling” no matter what the sugar con- tent is of the sorbet. However, be advised that a savory sorbet will have a shorter shelf life in the freezer because, even if you pacotized it, the lack of sugar will cause those air bubbles to collapse. The sorbet will slowly deflate and the product will eventually harden completely and become icy within an hour. Pacotize as you go.

 

 

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@blue_dolphin and others — forgive my ignorance of the nuances of Brix, but in practice does the distinction between fructose, glucose, and sucrose matter for something like sorbet texture?

 

I'm thinking here mostly in terms of using canned fruit and fruit purees, where the percentage of sugars is known — e.g., the can of unsweetened mango pulp I have has 17g of sugars per 130g serving, so about 13% sugar by weight. However, it doesn't break those down any further.

 

If I add 62g of a 100% sugar syrup to that, I'd end up with something right at 25% sugar (48g of sugar in 192g of total mixture). That also doesn't seem too far off from the recommendations in the CIA document @blue_dolphin linked (ideal concentration of 40-60% for "sweet" fruits).

 

Is that level of calculation sufficient for the lay person, or does one really need to delve into the composition of the sugars in the fruit in question?

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1 hour ago, dtremit said:

@blue_dolphin and others — forgive my ignorance of the nuances of Brix, but in practice does the distinction between fructose, glucose, and sucrose matter for something like sorbet texture?

 

I'm thinking here mostly in terms of using canned fruit and fruit purees, where the percentage of sugars is known — e.g., the can of unsweetened mango pulp I have has 17g of sugars per 130g serving, so about 13% sugar by weight. However, it doesn't break those down any further.

 

If I add 62g of a 100% sugar syrup to that, I'd end up with something right at 25% sugar (48g of sugar in 192g of total mixture). That also doesn't seem too far off from the recommendations in the CIA document @blue_dolphin linked (ideal concentration of 40-60% for "sweet" fruits).

 

Is that level of calculation sufficient for the lay person, or does one really need to delve into the composition of the sugars in the fruit in question?

 

I'm no expert here so take this with a grain of .... well....sugar 🙃 and I haven't used any canned fruits or purees to make sorbets.  I'd say that you are on the right track for starters and can decide whether to delve further into sugar mixtures depending on your initial results and goals.  From a taste perspective, fruits are going to vary depending on ripeness.  I think it's valuable to get your mix as cold as possible before giving it a final taste test because the temp will make a difference.

 

The sugars in frozen desserts are contributing to texture via freezing point depression and to sweetness (among other things) and different sugars vary in how much they impact those factors so if you need to add more sugar to get the texture you want, you should consider that.  @paulraphael has a nice article here: Sugars in Ice Cream that has a table detailing this.  His strawberry sorbet article also offers a lot of food for thought, even if you don't want to use such a complex recipe. 

 

Earlier in this thread, @weinoo shared a pdf from a CI article with guidelines for different fruit sorbets that may be helpful as a starting point  See this post:

 

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On 5/6/2022 at 2:33 PM, dtremit said:

@blue_dolphin and others — forgive my ignorance of the nuances of Brix, but in practice does the distinction between fructose, glucose, and sucrose matter for something like sorbet texture?

 

I'm thinking here mostly in terms of using canned fruit and fruit purees, where the percentage of sugars is known — e.g., the can of unsweetened mango pulp I have has 17g of sugars per 130g serving, so about 13% sugar by weight. However, it doesn't break those down any further.

 

If I add 62g of a 100% sugar syrup to that, I'd end up with something right at 25% sugar (48g of sugar in 192g of total mixture). That also doesn't seem too far off from the recommendations in the CIA document @blue_dolphin linked (ideal concentration of 40-60% for "sweet" fruits).

 

Is that level of calculation sufficient for the lay person, or does one really need to delve into the composition of the sugars in the fruit in question?

 

Yes it will, although I agree with blue dolphin that your calculations will give you a good starting point and I wouldn't bother assessing the composition of sugars

 

I actually used a can of kesar mango pulp to make a sorbet last week. The mixture is 14% sugar based on the nutritional info. I added 50g of sucrose to 500g of pulp to make a sorbet with 23.7% sugars and an estimated serving temp of -12C. However, it actually acted a bit softer. The week before I had used an additional 10g of dextrose as I thought the recipe could accommodate it and to increase the solids percent and it was much too soft. Both results were very delicious, I just wouldn't expect immediate perfect results

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Posted (edited)
On 5/5/2022 at 8:59 AM, cdh said:

I've not even received my box in the mail yet, and questions are forming from all the reading up I'm doing.  Has anybody figured out the absolute minimum Brix for the frozen stuff to be safe for the machine.  I read that a block of frozen water is too hard for machine to grind through... yet frozen pineapple bits in syrup work fine.  Everybody here working on the dairyless stuff must encounter similar issues.  Has anybody with a refractometer done any measurements and come to any conclusions?  Does the machine have any clutch-like safeguards built in, or is it a recipe for a hard fail/smoking motor if you go past the "too hard" threshold? 

 

Speculation: I think this is a non issue. I have done mixes with as low as 11% sugar (Per Se's white chocolate snow recipe; a lemon snow test) that had no issues whatsoever. These mixtures are 100% ice at temps as high as -8C. I think you are going to have palatability issues before you throw anything in there unsafe, unless you decided to make shaved ice. I think most of the issues people are having are from inappropriate textures, people are throwing crazy stuff in there on facebook and treating it almost like a blender

Edited by andrewk512 (log)
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Posted (edited)

I wanted to clarify my refractometer usage.  I don't believe I can rely on my little hand-held unit to measure sugar levels in the fruit/sugar sorbet mixtures with any sort of precision or accuracy.  I got it when I was playing around using lychees blended with lychee nectar and wanted to get a rough idea of what was going on when I combined them.  I'm trying to note readings when I made sorbets but I haven't revisited that particular project so I have no revelations to report. 

 

Here's my most recent Ninja Creami project:

5D14251D-3328-410B-8512-A5DD17337CC3_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.59bd05510ad63d997be4e92e6677b3d5.jpeg

Creamy mocha ice cream?  No!  It's silky smooth chicken liver pâté!  I shared more deets over in the Pâté & Terrine cook-off here:

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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My Ninja CREAMi traveled around with us in the Princessmobile for 6 months and wasn't used even once. I've learned something about what not to bring along on a winter trip, even to warmer climes.

 

Today I brought it back into the house, plugged it into an electrical outlet, and was greeted by a mid-frequency (multiple of 60 HZ?) hum accompanied by the power light flashing on and then off. Once. No amount of button-pushing would turn the power back on. I unplugged the unit and plugged it back in. Same result. I installed the pint of persimmon custard that's traveled all of the desert southwest with us, made sure everything was properly aligned and ready to go, and plugged the unit in again. Same result. It sounds a bit like a motor trying to turn, maybe? But nothing is moving. I tilted the unit, checked for broken parts, tried wiggling things and even tried minor shaking and slapping. No change.

 

Any ideas? Is it possible that jostling in the trailer moved something out of alignment? Am I missing a step? (I can find the recipe booklet but not the Quick Start Guide.) Does something need to be oiled? What would you recommend for troubleshooting?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Smithy said:

My Ninja CREAMi traveled around with us in the Princessmobile for 6 months and wasn't used even once. I've learned something about what not to bring along on a winter trip, even to warmer climes.

 

Today I brought it back into the house, plugged it into an electrical outlet, and was greeted by a mid-frequency (multiple of 60 HZ?) hum accompanied by the power light flashing on and then off. Once. No amount of button-pushing would turn the power back on. I unplugged the unit and plugged it back in. Same result. I installed the pint of persimmon custard that's traveled all of the desert southwest with us, made sure everything was properly aligned and ready to go, and plugged the unit in again. Same result. It sounds a bit like a motor trying to turn, maybe? But nothing is moving. I tilted the unit, checked for broken parts, tried wiggling things and even tried minor shaking and slapping. No change.

 

Any ideas? Is it possible that jostling in the trailer moved something out of alignment? Am I missing a step? (I can find the recipe booklet but not the Quick Start Guide.) Does something need to be oiled? What would you recommend for troubleshooting?

I'd try their customer service phone number.

If you don't have it I can get it for you (once I've had my coffee).

Edited by lindag (log)
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4 hours ago, lindag said:

I'd try their customer service phone number.

If you don't have it I can get it for you (once I've had my coffee).

 

Thanks. I already found it. Got routed to what sounded like a modem imitating sandpaper, but I'll try again later.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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16 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Thanks. I already found it. Got routed to what sounded like a modem imitating sandpaper, but I'll try again later.

You’ve probably done this already but poking around on their website, I found a few different phone #s

1- 855-427-5122

1- 800-365-0135

1-877-646-5288

Not sure if one is better than another.  A number of people on one of the Facebook groups have gotten replacement units though I don’t recall hearing this exact symptom described. 

 

 

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I polished off the remainder of the strawberry ice cream yesterday whilst my cleaning woman did her work.  I really enjoyed it though my friend with whom I shared it thought it was more like a sorbet.  Yes, it was very fruit-forward with no custard but I liked that.  I will definitely make more.  Meanwhile I have a bag of frozen peach slices that  will be showing up in an ice cream soon (can' quite wait for the fresh ones to appear.  

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46 minutes ago, lindag said:

I polished off the remainder of the strawberry ice cream yesterday whilst my cleaning woman did her work.  I really enjoyed it though my friend with whom I shared it thought it was more like a sorbet.  Yes, it was very fruit-forward with no custard but I liked that.  I will definitely make more.  Meanwhile I have a bag of frozen peach slices that  will be showing up in an ice cream soon (can' quite wait for the fresh ones to appear.  

 

Do you have a specific recipe in mind for the peach ice cream?

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3 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

You’ve probably done this already but poking around on their website, I found a few different phone #s

1- 855-427-5122

1- 800-365-0135

1-877-646-5288

Not sure if one is better than another.  A number of people on one of the Facebook groups have gotten replacement units though I don’t recall hearing this exact symptom described. 

 

 

 

I got through this time. It was an interesting process: she sent me a link to a video program so we could try live troubleshooting. The upshot is that they'll send me another one as soon as I drop this one off at FedEx with their label.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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3 hours ago, lindag said:

 

I see the recipe calls for fresh peaches but you are using frozen peaches.  I too have frozen peaches so I'll be looking forward to hearing how yours turn out.  

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What are people's thoughts on chamber vacuuming the ice cream after processing? Or maybe even drilling a hole to attach a food saver hose attachment to the pint container for use during processing? Am I asking for trouble? I want to get rid of the air holes that make the final product difficult to smoothly quenelle

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I thought a very HONEST comparison of the two machines. Their appraisal of the creami although they don't sell it was fair and unbiased. Obviously they admitted $6000 vs $200 was a huge selling point.

 

A well done review/video - Thanks Jo

 

p

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