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Michael M

NY Times recommended ice cream makers

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In this weeks Dining section in the NYT, ice cream makers with self-contained freezer units were reviewed here. I'm looking to get away from my Krups freeze-the-container-first maker and move on to something like this, and the article (and current fruit season) has inspired me.

Can anyone comment on these or others?

The ideal machine would be easy to clean, quiet and...I'm not sure what else. Can you control the amount of overrun in these? That would be a plus.

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In this weeks Dining section in the NYT, ice cream makers with self-contained freezer units were reviewed here.  I'm looking to get away from my Krups freeze-the-container-first maker and move on to something like this, and the article (and current fruit season) has inspired me.

Can anyone comment on these or others? 

The ideal machine would be easy to clean, quiet and...I'm not sure what else.  Can you control the amount of overrun in these?  That would be a plus.

I can't get to the reviews because I'm not registered, but I bought a Cuisinart last week and made my first batch of frozen yogurt last weekend. It was not from their recipe book, that needs to be said - if it makes a difference, I don't know, but the stuff would not freeze. It got to the point where there were a few ice crystals but then it went the other way as the container started to defrost. I put it in the freezer and it did get harder, but it was not at all what I expected. I'm going to try again this weekend with their recipe, using real cream and milk and see if that makes a difference. I expected more of a slushy firmer consistency, what I got was quite liquid. What does the article say about Cuisinart, which was the only model to be had at Bed & Bath?

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In this weeks Dining section in the NYT, ice cream makers with self-contained freezer units were reviewed here.  I'm looking to get away from my Krups freeze-the-container-first maker and move on to something like this, and the article (and current fruit season) has inspired me.

Can anyone comment on these or others? 

The ideal machine would be easy to clean, quiet and...I'm not sure what else.  Can you control the amount of overrun in these?  That would be a plus.

I can't get to the reviews because I'm not registered, but I bought a Cuisinart last week and made my first batch of frozen yogurt last weekend. It was not from their recipe book, that needs to be said - if it makes a difference, I don't know, but the stuff would not freeze. It got to the point where there were a few ice crystals but then it went the other way as the container started to defrost. I put it in the freezer and it did get harder, but it was not at all what I expected. I'm going to try again this weekend with their recipe, using real cream and milk and see if that makes a difference. I expected more of a slushy firmer consistency, what I got was quite liquid. What does the article say about Cuisinart, which was the only model to be had at Bed & Bath?

I'm not registered with NYT but I wonder if we are talking about the same thing. My Cuisinart is like the Krups: a double walled aluminum canister with some sort of slushy liquid between the walls; the whole container has to be well frozen before use.

I rarely use it, as it has minimal freezing power. If I want to make real ice cream, I resort to the old Rival machine, which spins the can in a mixture of ice chips and sidewalk grade salt chips. That combo has real freezing power, but clean-up is a chore.

Well, what are these new units like? How do they work? Are they specified to be as good as the old salt and ice units?

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I'm not registered with NYT but I wonder if we are talking about the same thing.  My Cuisinart is like the Krups: a double walled aluminum canister with some sort of slushy liquid between the walls; the whole container has to be well frozen before use. 

That's the Cuisinart I have - and I just found the review on line, the one they used was a "Professional" model, not the common home one that I bought. Dern.

I rarely use it, as it has minimal freezing power. 

If the recipe fails this weekend, the Cuisinart is going back.

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I've had the double cannister Cuisinart for about two years - never made a bad ice cream, never had a problem with freezing. It's great.

By the way - whatever ice cream recipe you use, eliminate the eggs. There's no reason for them and the ice cream isn't as smooth. Eggs in ice cream is like cream soda in wine - yecch!

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With those units that have a canister you must chill first, here are my tips. Make sure the liquid has had at least 6 hours in the fridge to chill. Make sure the bowl has had at least 24 hours in the coldest part of your freezers. Yes, 24 hours. In addition, I chill the liquid in the freezer in 15 minute increments to get it close to the freezing point, stirring it each 15 minute interval.

It also helps to put your freezer on its coldest setting for those 24 hours.

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In this weeks Dining section in the NYT, ice cream makers with self-contained freezer units were reviewed here.  I'm looking to get away from my Krups freeze-the-container-first maker and move on to something like this, and the article (and current fruit season) has inspired me.

Can anyone comment on these or others? 

The ideal machine would be easy to clean, quiet and...I'm not sure what else.  Can you control the amount of overrun in these?  That would be a plus.

I can't get to the reviews because I'm not registered, but I bought a Cuisinart last week and made my first batch of frozen yogurt last weekend. It was not from their recipe book, that needs to be said - if it makes a difference, I don't know, but the stuff would not freeze. It got to the point where there were a few ice crystals but then it went the other way as the container started to defrost. I put it in the freezer and it did get harder, but it was not at all what I expected. I'm going to try again this weekend with their recipe, using real cream and milk and see if that makes a difference. I expected more of a slushy firmer consistency, what I got was quite liquid. What does the article say about Cuisinart, which was the only model to be had at Bed & Bath?

Mu Cuisinart works really well, but I learned the hard way (my first experience sounds an awful lot like yours) that you really have to chill the custard overnight before putting it in the machine...

ETA: The ice cream makers reviewed in the Times are the other, fancier breed of ice cream makers. They don't require you to chill the canister in the freezer - instead, they have components that help the ice cream stay cold throughout the freezing process.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

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My Cuisinart ICE-50 works pretty well, and my mother's Krups works brilliantly. Both have the canisters you have to freeze first. I really think Cook's Illustrated has the right of it in this case: your freezer must be very, very cold (very close to 0* F) to get that canister cold enough. I'm not sure my freezer is quite cold enough. They also recommend, as Megan does, chilling the batter well before putting it into the ice cream maker.

I still prefer the results I get with my ice-and-salt ice cream maker, but I haven't given up yet on the Cuisinart. My major problem is getting the recipe adjusted to the smaller size machine, with getting the stuff frozen being a secondary problem.

For those who haven't been able to read the article yet, I'll augment what Megan said: the article only reviews home ice cream makers with built-in compressors. The article notes that all the makers are heavy, noisy and expensive. I wonder about the refrigerant used and how well those compressors will work over the years.

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Right about the coldness issue (both canister and liquid ice cream). But...anyone have experience with the ones reviewed, or any kind of machine with a freezer component?

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Right about the coldness issue (both canister and liquid ice cream).  But...anyone have experience with the ones reviewed, or any kind of machine with a freezer component?

I have an older Gaggia millegelati. Weighs about 75 lbs, makes about a quart of ice cream at a time. Nice thing about it is you can make 1 quart, put the canister back in (even better if you have 2 canisters) and make another quart in another 20 minutes. You use alcohol between the inner and outer container to transmit the cold.

It is still necessary to cool the mixture properly before freezing in the ice cream maker, it gives better texture.

I just bought a smaller self contained unit on e-bay. I bought a similar one, but it arrived smashed to rat shit due to poor packaging, so now I will have a second bowl when this ones arrives. Nice thing about this one is that it only weighs about 35 lbs and doesn't take up the whole counter like my old one.

c1_1.JPG

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With those units that have a canister you must chill first, here are my tips.  Make sure the liquid has had at least 6 hours in the fridge to chill.  Make sure the bowl has had at least 24 hours in the coldest part of your freezers.  Yes, 24 hours.  In addition, I chill the liquid in the freezer in 15 minute increments to get it close to the freezing point, stirring it each 15 minute interval.

It also helps to put your freezer on its coldest setting for those 24 hours.

Alrighty then thanks for the tips - my bowl has been in the freezer for a week, but I just turned the freezer up anyway. I just made a custard base for pistachio, with eggs, (now you tell me, down there!) and it's going to be in the fridge for about 12 hours. I have to say, the base is smooth and delicious, with a hint of almond extract. Can't wait to see if this batch turns out any better.

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So, Kerry, you obviously like this brand. Can you comment on its ease of cleaning and noise factor? I'm also confused: is there a bowl that you need to chill, or is there an internal cooler+

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So, Kerry, you obviously like this brand.  Can you comment on its ease of cleaning and noise factor?  I'm also confused:  is there a bowl that you need to chill, or is there an internal cooler+

It has a built in compressor so it does all it's own cooling. It is a snap to clean. You undo the nut that holds the blades in place and lift out the stainless bowl containing the ice cream with a little handle that is on the side of the bowl. You fish the blades out of the bowl and scoop out your ice cream. The bowl goes in the dishwasher, blades get washed by hand.

I haven't heard the noise this one makes yet, but my millegelati has a fridge like compressor noise and a hum when the motor turning the blades is on. I do not find it horribly disturbing.

This brand is not one you are going to find at stores. They were made in Italy for places like Bloomingdales some years ago. So the ones you will find are going to be used (or in thus case older, but never used, like so many kitchen gadgets).

I think it was cooks illustrated that did a review of ice cream machines with compressors a few years back so you might want to check that out for the units you would now find used on e-bay.

My one suggestion is to be sure it has a removable bowl. I used a friends stainless unit (I think it was a white mountain) a few years back that did not have a removable bowl. You had to scoop stuff directly out, then wait for it to warm up and flood it with water, then find a way to scoop the water back up to clean it. Lovely stainless thing, never looked clean again.

I was looking at the cuisinart units with the built in compressor at the gift show the other day. I was struck by how plasticy they are compared to the italian units like the simac or gaggia. Of course new they are considerably less expensive.

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I have the Gelato by lello (simac machine). I think the biggest problem is that it's best to have a permanent space for it because you can't use it for 24 hours after it is moved -- and it IS very heavy. It's easy to use, easy to clean with the removable bowl and makes a nice product. (My favorite was some leftover sweetened strawberries when they were in season with a pint of heavy cream). I don't think the machine is especially noisy -- but you haven't heard my washing machine.

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for those few of us who are Luddites salt and ice in a $2 garage sale item will make a quart of ice cream in 20 minutes :laugh:

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An update on the home Cuisinart model. I made pistachio ice cream using a custard base, and it froze beautifully this time. Tastes divine, despite the fact that I effed up the nuts totally, I ended up shelling my own while the ice cream was freezing and it worked out fine. Not sure what the difference was, whether it was yogurt that didn't work or the canister wasn't frozen enough, but this time I was pleased.

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An update on the home Cuisinart model. I made pistachio ice cream using a custard base, and it froze beautifully this time.  Tastes divine, despite the fact that I effed up the nuts totally, I ended up shelling my own while the ice cream was freezing and it worked out fine.  Not sure what the difference was, whether it was yogurt that didn't work or the canister wasn't frozen enough, but this time I was pleased.

Yay! I was thinking about you earlier today, Heidi, and wondering how it would turn out...great news. :wink:

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My wife and I have the Cuisinart pictured in the article (the ICE-50BC).

You don't have to freeze anything in advance. All you have to do is walk over to the machine, plug it in, add the custard, and set the timer. It takes about 45 minutes to do 1.5 quarts of most kinds of ice cream; sorbets can go a little longer, and I'm still working on getting a rum ice cream that will solidify but still have enough alcohol to be interesting (yeah, I know about freezing point depression). What you get is relatively soft, but we put it in the freezer to harden, and we get traditional ice cream. Ask the people who were at the eGullet Heartland Gathering; they tried the peanut butter kind:

peanutbuttericecream.jpg

It IS loud. He isn't kidding. We have a long house, and we keep it at the far end of the kitchen.

But it also produces a good product, and you can turn out about a batch every hour and ten minutes, including time to clean the stuff for the next cycle. We did an ice cream buffet with six or seven different kinds for a party once. We're very happy with it.

You can see some recipes and photos here (scroll down past the fruit with balsamic vinegar, which makes a great ice cream topping but isn't actually ice cream). The blueberry sorbet is still in the mixing container; the others got to sit overnight to cure.

One comment: despite what the article implies, after the dasher stops turning, as long as the timer's still going, the coolant keeps going. So you actually can chill the ice cream further in the machine. The only problem is, you wind up freezing the dasher into the ice cream that way.


Edited by jmsaul (log)

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I'm still working on getting a rum ice cream that will solidify but still have enough alcohol to be interesting (yeah, I know about freezing point depression).  What you get is relatively soft, but we put it in the freezer to harden, and we get traditional ice cream.

Try taking some dark rum and cooking it down to concentrate (yeah I know you'll lose a percentage of the booze) then add some uncooked rum for the alchohol to keep the ice cream from getting ice crystals. That's how I get nice rum flavour for my banana rum ice cream.

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Try taking some dark rum and cooking it down to concentrate (yeah I know you'll lose a percentage of the booze) then add some uncooked rum for the alchohol to keep the ice cream from getting ice crystals. That's how I get nice rum flavour for my banana rum ice cream.

Yep, I'm going to try that next. Thanks!

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I purchased a Kitchenaid, not cheap but basically a commercial unit with a design that you will see in a Hobart or other commercial make in a restaurant. Two large handles are rotated and the whole unit pulls out of the compressor area for easy cleaning. They cost about $1200 but if you are serious about frozen desserts for home use, this is the model to purchase. Just make your mix, pour it in and turn on the refrigeration unit. A handled outlet allows for soft serve and for hard pack, you need to then freeze the product. Vary the amount of liquid for different overruns and there you have it. And its made in the USA!-Dick

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