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Cuisinart ice cream machine review

If you like tech and you like ice cream, I think this is gonna be the article for you. 

We’re going to go through the best features of the ICE 100 Cuisinart ice cream machine, I’m gonna tell you how it’s held up over the past six months of use, and whether or not I recommend getting the device. 

Now this article is a little bit different than what we typically do here because we’re reviewing an ice cream machine, so I can’t really get away with doing a review and not talking about how to make one of my favorite all-time ice cream recipes with this machine, so we’re gonna do that as well. 

Let’s dive in. Last year I wanted to save on how much we were spending getting ice cream at the grocery store and going out to the local creameries and custard shops, plus I really just wanted to learn and understand how to actually make ice cream for myself. So I went out on the search for the perfect ice cream machine for my set of circumstances. 

Now going in, I knew I would probably only consider two different types of machines. Either the ones with bowls you need to freeze or the ones with built-in compressors. The machines that require rock salt and ice were just non-starters for me because of the slow churn time, with ice cream you want to churn that mixture as quickly as possible. So I’ve also tried the Cuisinart freezer bowl ice cream machines as well and they work fine. 

My issue with those is that they take so much room in your freezer and I don’t have a ton of room in my freezer for one of those freezer bowls so I just wasn’t gonna go that route. So I ended up going with the Cuisinart ice cream machine. 

The Cuisinart ICE 100 is a large machine at 13 inches long and 17 inches wide it’s also a bit heavy weighing 32 pounds. Because it has a compressor you’ll need to keep it upright 24 hours before using it and the same rule applies if you don’t store it upright. Now, what’s the big deal with this compressor? What the compressor does is chill the area around the removable bowl in the machine to between -29 C Celsius and -34 Celsius or -20.2 Fahrenheit and -29.2 Fahrenheit. 

With these temperatures the ice cream mixture will freeze faster, resulting in smaller ice crystal formation, which equals a smoother texture. In my experience, this machine makes incredibly smooth ice cream. However, to make smooth ice cream, you don’t just need the right machine, you also need the right recipe with the right fat ratio and ingredients. 

How to make an ice-cream

You’ve probably guessed we’ve now come to the part in the article where I’m going to tell you how to make my favorite ice cream recipe with this machine, cherry chocolate chip, very similar to Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. If you want to skip to the rest of the review of the machine skip below. 

For my ice cream, I like to use a custard base that uses eggs as a stabilizer, the eggs help keep down the ice crystal formation within the mix. In terms of fat, I like to use a two-to-one ratio for the cream to milk. Typically an ice cream I try to get as much fat into the mix as possible one because it’ll cause you to eat less of the ice cream. After all, the fat will fill you up quicker and two, fat also contributes to the smoother texture and keeps down that ice crystal formation. Now fat in general just gets a bad rap especially here in the United States and I’m not going to get on a soapbox and talk about my feelings of fat and the food industry. 

Personally, within my eating habits, I typically go for higher fat content foods while trying to reduce my total sugar consumption in my diet and the same goes for ice cream, generally. Although ice cream unlike a lot of other desserts out there that you can try to do more sugar-free stuff with, sugar is actually a really vital component in ice cream because it depresses the freezing point of your ice cream. 

So when you pull it out of the freezer, your ice cream is actually scoop-able thanks to the sugar versus being hard as a brick. So typically in my ice cream recipes, I try to keep the sugar down as much as possible without sacrificing on texture, if I taste my ice cream mix and feel that it needs to be sweeter instead of adding more sugar I’ll add powdered erythritol, which is just a naturally occurring sugar alcohol. The full list of ingredients you can find here

  • First, we’ll start off with our five egg yolks, half a cup of sugar, 1/4 of a cup of powdered erythritol and a pinch of salt, whisk together, or use a stand mixer, until the color turns a slightly pale yellow. 
  • While whisking I slowly tap in 1/4 of a teaspoon of xanthan gum, which I use is another stabilizer and it helps give your ice cream a bit more chew. 
  • Next combine 1 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 and a half teaspoons of vanilla paste, if you don’t have the vanilla paste, just use two and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract. 
  • Whisk together so the vanilla specks are evenly distributed in the milk, heat this mixture over medium heat until you see it start to steam and the vanilla specks float to the top. 
  • Make sure it gets hot but not hot enough to boil and occasionally stir the mixture to break any film that forms at the top. 
  • Next slowly incorporate the hot milk mixture into your egg mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time. You don’t want to bring the egg mixture up to temperature too quickly or it will curdle. 
  • Next, add the heavy cream into the pan that the milk mixture was in to absorb any leftover vanilla and then combine with the egg and milk mixture. 
  • Once you’ve done that, strain the mixture into a bowl that you can put into the fridge overnight or for a few hours giving it enough time to chill. 
  • For the cherries, I use one bag of frozen cherries but you can also use fresh if they’re in season. We’ll also use 1/4 a cup of sugar and one freshly squeezed lemon and a pinch of salt. 
  • Heat cherries over medium heat, adding the salt and pouring half of the sugar as well as half of your lemon juice into the pan to start. 
  • Once hot enough, start to break the cherries to your desired size for the ice cream. I’d suggest at least breaking them in half. 
  • Reduce until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and not drip off. 
  • Taste a cherry and see if more lemon juice or sugar is needed, then remove from heat and freeze the cherries along with some chocolate chips.


All right, now let’s make some ice cream. The Cuisinart ice cream machine has a 1.5-quart capacity so keep that in mind with your recipe. One thing that helps freeze your mixture as quickly as possible is to turn the machine on and run it for 15 minutes before you pour in your mixture. The machine didn’t surprise me in terms of the noise it makes. I can keep it running in the kitchen and still watch videos in the next room without a ton of disruption. 

Design

Cuisinart’s design is pretty simple in terms of operation. There’s a power button to turn it on and off a timer button which when pressed will start the timer from 60 minutes and will count down to zero. There’s also a start/stop button. When you stop the machine, it’ll keep the compressor running for about 10 minutes, allowing you to keep your mixture cool while you scoop it into a container. 

Once the machine has cooled you can pour in your mixture, make sure you don’t pour above the second Dasher, otherwise the machine will overflow. In my experience over the last 6 months with this machine, it’ll take around 20 minutes to churn the mixture. So I typically wait about 15 minutes before adding in my mix-ins. Now note when shooting this footage though, I waited a bit too long to add in the cherries so I had to take the lid off. Once everything’s mixed in you can stop the machine. 

The mixture’s texture should look kind of like soft-serve ice cream. It’s not supposed to look like hardened ice cream at this point. When you stop the machine it’ll keep your ice cream cold for up to 10 minutes while you scoop it into a container. I like to use a double insulated container that has been frozen already. You want to keep your mixture as frozen as possible so I also freeze the spoon I use for scooping a few hours before as well. 

If you’re having trouble scraping the remaining ice cream from the sides of the container, take it out. The removable container comes out pretty easy or turns the Machine off allowing the temperature of the container to rise. I’ll let my ice cream in the freezer for about 24 hours and then it’s ready to eat, although if you can’t wait that long it does taste pretty good right out of the machine as well. 

The Cuisinart ICE 100 compressor ice cream maker is an easy machine to clean. The dasher, lid, and container can be rinsed with water and dried with a paper towel. I let all that stuff completely dry out before putting it back in the machine. If you don’t and there’s water on the exterior of that bowl especially in the bottom, the next time you use the machine it’s likely going to freeze the bowl to the Machine and you will not be able to remove it until it thaws. The Cuisinart ICE 100 compressor ice cream and gelato maker has been one of my favorite kitchen gadgets over the past couple of years and it’s one I’ve used way more than I thought I would because the ice cream I could make with it is just that good. It’s simple to use, easy to maintain and produces good quality ice cream that can rival your premium ice cream brands and local shops. 
Over the past six months, I can’t say I’ve run into any issues at all using this machine. The only thing about the design I find somewhat annoying is getting the bowl back into the machine. You have to fidget with it slightly to get it back into the right place. Other than that, I don’t have any complaints and I highly recommend this machine for anyone looking to make a ton of ice cream at home. Well, that’s it for our 6 Months Later review of the ICE 100 Cuisinart – one of the best compressor ice cream makers.

ICE CREAM RECIPE INGREDIENTS

• 1 cup  (8 oz) (236.5 ml) milk

• 5 egg yolks 

• 16 oz (473 ml) of heavy cream (also called heavy whipping cream)

• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract 

• 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) vanilla paste

• 1/2 cup (75 g) sugar  

• 1/4 cup (38 g) erythritol 

• 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) xanthan gum 

• Pinch of salt 

For the cherries: 

• 1 bag of cherries 

• 1/4 cup (38 g) sugar 

• 1 lemon (squeezed) 

• Pinch of salt

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