Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
165 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Cuisinart ice cream makers

Last Updated November 2019

If you love frozen desserts, an ice cream maker is a solid investment. Supermarket ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets, and gelatos are usually packed with artificial ingredients and preservatives, which aren’t particularly healthy. Cuisinart, a leader in kitchen appliances, has been going strong since 1971, and like the rest of their appliance lineup, their ice cream makers have a reputation for being first rate.

Cuisinart ice cream makers all feature a vat and paddle design. The ingredients are churned slowly as the bowl or compressor does the job of freezing the ingredients. The process — which takes no more than 40 minutes — leaves you with a delicious frozen treat perfect for cooling off on hot summer nights. Cuisinart ice cream makers are also great fun for kids. Let your little ones pick their own mix-ins and flavorings and create their very own custom ice cream cone right at home.

To learn more, read our buying guide, which has all the information you’ll need to choose the best Cuisinart ice cream maker for your needs.

Use fresh ingredients for the best-tasting results.

Key considerations

How do Cuisinart ice cream makers work?

Before you buy, the first thing you’ll need to do is decide whether you want a frozen bowl ice cream maker or a compressor from the Cuisinart lineup. Here’s how they differ:

  • Frozen bowl model: The frozen bowl must be stored in the freezer to have it ready for ice cream making. It takes several hours for the bowl to freeze adequately. Once frozen, the bowl is placed into the Cuisinart machine (which is plugged into an outlet). Ingredients are typically mixed separately and then carefully poured into the frozen bowl. The machine is then turned on and churns the ice cream ingredients until you either stop it or it automatically shuts off. Cuisinart’s frozen bowl ice cream makers are easy to use and require no manual churning. The only drawback is that you need to remember to freeze the bowl. It’s also tough to churn out large quantities with this type of ice cream maker.

  • Compressor model: Cuisinart also sells a high-end compressor-type ice cream machine, which essentially includes a built-in freezer. All that’s required is to plug in the device, add the ingredients, and start it up. The premium ice cream maker delivers consistent results, but it has the highest price tag of all the Cuisinart ice cream machines. It’s also a reasonably bulky machine, and many may have trouble finding storage space for the unit.

Capacity

Most ice cream makers, including Cuisinart models, have a limited churning capacity and are only able to dole out about one to two quarts of ice cream at a time. Cuisinart models vary in terms of size, but most are capable of producing at least one-and-a-half quarts of frozen goodies at once.

Churning time

You’ll be enjoying ice cream in no time with a Cuisinart ice cream maker. Expect results in about 20 to 40 minutes. The cheaper models typically take longer to produce ice cream, while the compressor unit churns it out fastest thanks to its built-in freezer design.

Commercial quality at home

The Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker is the very best in the brand’s lineup. The auto-churning unit features a built-in freezer and churns out icy treats in no time. A handy keep-cool setting prevents your ice cream from melting after the fact.

Features

Paddles

A few Cuisinart models include separate paddles for making different types of frozen desserts, including separate paddles for ice cream and gelato. Using each type of paddle will help you achieve the different types of desired consistency.

Spout for mix-ins

Nearly all of Cuisinart’s frozen treat machines have a spot where you can drop in mix-ins, like chocolate chips, nuts, or cut-up candy bars, without having to remove the lid and upset the churning process.

Lid lock

A lid-lock mechanism is a safety feature that prevents those with an impatient sweet tooth from dipping a finger in while the machine is running. This is a must-have feature if you’re making ice cream while children are around. While the paddles included in an ice cream maker aren’t sharp, they can still maim and injure a person who sticks a finger in the machine while it’s churning.

Adjustable speed

A handful of Cuisinart ice cream makers allow you to adjust the speed of the mixer, which may be necessary depending on the consistency you want out of your frozen treat.

Timer

There’s no need to set a timer on your stove. Models with a countdown timer will sound an audible alert to let you know your ice cream is ready. Timer types may vary from a simple dial to a digital timer with a visual countdown clock.

Keep cool

Cuisinart’s compressor ice cream maker is capable of keeping your ice cream cool for up to 10 minutes after the churning process has ended.

Accessories

Here are a few related accessories you may want to purchase along with your brand-new ice cream maker:

  • Ice cream scoop: Easily scoop out your prepared frozen dessert and serve balled ice cream in a bowl or cone like it’s meant to be enjoyed.

  • Ice cream bowls: Grab a set of cute ice cream bowls to serve up your homemade frozen dessert.

  • Ice cream storage containers: Purchase airtight tubs for storing your ice cream once it’s finished churning. These thick-walled containers typically hold between one to three quarts of food and look just like the tubs you’d find in your supermarket’s frozen aisle.

  • Mixing bowls: You should mix your ingredients in a separate bowl before pouring the liquid into your ice cream machine tub. Buy a set of quality mixing bowls so you can thoroughly whisk your ingredients without making a mess.
EXPERT TIP

Never fill your ice cream maker’s bowl to the top. It may overflow during the churning process.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Wrap your Cuisinart freezer bowl in a tea towel before storing it in the freezer to avoid freezer burn.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Don’t bother using a freezer bowl that’s only half frozen. You’ll end up with a gloopy, watery mess.


Staff  | BestReviews

Cuisinart ice cream maker prices

Budget: Models for under $70 include the Cuisinart ice cream maker attachment, the ICE-21PK, the ICE-30BC, and replacement bowls. These are simple freezer bowl units with minimal controls and settings.

Moderate: Models for under $100 include Cuisinart’s soft-serve machine and the ICE-70. These models have a few extra bells and whistles like a digital timer and multiple-speed settings. Both are freezer bowl ice cream makers.

Premium: Spend over $100 and purchase Cuisinart’s top-of-the-line compressor-style ice cream maker, which is the fastest way to enjoy a frozen treat.

Tasty treats on a budget

The Cuisinart ICE-21PK Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker is an affordable machine that delivers quality frozen results. A transparent lid allows you to watch the churning process and sprinkle in mix-ins. A lid lock keeps curious hands away from the rotating interior paddle mechanism, too. Despite the budget price tag, the unit is quality made and has a generous warranty period.

Tips

  • Leave your frozen bowl in the freezer whether you plan to make ice cream or not. That way, it’ll always be ready for churning even if you have a random ice cream craving.

  • Use fresh and quality ingredients when making ice cream at home. Otherwise, why bother? You can easily purchase ice cream at the grocery store. When churning it at home, you can choose exactly which ingredients you use and know what you’re putting into your dessert.

  • Ice cream is high in fat, and we don’t recommend skimping on the fat content. Use fresh, high-quality cream. While there are indeed recipes out there for low-calorie frozen desserts, be aware that the more water an ice cream contains, the harder it will freeze. It’s also more likely to crystallize and won’t be as creamy.

  • Struggling to scoop out the ice cream you’ve stored in your freezer? Check the temperature settings on your appliance. Turn the dial down a bit if you prefer softer ice cream or dip your scooper in hot water before scooping.

  • Mix-ins are a delicious way to further customize your ice cream dessert. Be sure to add them in at the end of a churning session and follow the manufacturer guidelines. Most machines can handle about a cup of mix-ins. Any more and you may stress the motor.

  • Don’t overmix your ice cream. It won’t end up as creamy.

  • Store your ice cream right away — unless you plan to eat it all immediately — to prevent it from developing crystals.

Other products we considered

The Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix-It-In Soft-Serve Ice Cream Maker is a freezer-bowl style machine with a quaint retro restaurant-esque design. A push of the handle dispenses ice cream from the hidden 1.5-quart bowl. The device also features a handy trio of dispensers for toppings. It’s an excellent ice cream machine for kids’ parties and family gatherings. The Cuisinart ICE-50 Fresh Fruit and Ice Cream Maker Attachment is designed for use with the Cuisinart stand mixer. It has two separate paddles for making either ice cream or processing frozen fruit. If you own a stand mixer and don’t have the space for another appliance, this attachment is for you.

Cuisinart machines differ in speed. If you’re not too concerned about how fast an ice cream maker can churn out frozen goodness, you can spend a little less.

FAQ

Q. Can I make yogurt in my Cuisinart ice cream maker?

A. No. You cannot make yogurt in any ice cream maker. Making yogurt requires a process called lacto-fermentation. Ice cream makers are not designed for this process. You can, however, make frozen yogurt, if you have fresh yogurt on hand.

Q. Where can I find ice cream recipes to try in my Cuisinart ice cream maker?

A. Your Cuisinart ice cream maker should include an owner’s manual and a recipe booklet with a few recipes to get you started. If you’ve tried all the recipes, though, a quick Google search should reward you with a variety of fun new ice cream recipes to try.

Q. What’s the best way to store leftover ice cream?

A. A shallow tub is better than a tall tub, but opt for whatever fits in your freezer. Be sure to choose a container with an airtight seal and always check that the top is fully closed before sticking it in the freezer.

The team that worked on this review
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