Is there anyone who doesn’t like ice cream? When I was in high school, I worked at Baskin-Robbins. It was harder work than most might think, and I quickly developed Popeye-like muscles on my right forearm. Customers were, for the most part, happy and friendly. Why wouldn’t they be? ICE CREAM, right?
I remember a LOT of ice cream being made when I was a little girl, and that meant ice and rock salt and a LOT of cranking. The men in the family — yes, I know — set up lawn chairs around the ice cream maker, smoking, drinking Coca-Cola, talking about work and life, and taking turns at the crank. Competing, in a way, to last longer at the crank than the other guys. I loved the whole process, and looked forward to it every summer.
For some reason, we always made vanilla. That’s cool, and I do have a crazy appreciation for a well-executed French Vanilla ice cream to this day. But what I wanted most was strawberry. I begged. I pleaded. I promised to do all the cranking myself, which was a promise I now know my pre-teen self could not keep. I’ll be adding some tried and true ice cream recipes to my blog soon, and I’ll link them here.
As a young stepmom at 21, I can remember making chocolate chip ice cream in our bathtub with my two step-kids. They thought it was awesome cool. I thought it was logical. I loved the ritual, and I loved being able to share it with them.
Fast forward to the new millennium. The Mr. and I were at a local farm mega store in 2000, and as we were walking around we saw a Cuisinart ICE-20 ice cream maker for sale, half off. We were broke as broke could be, but we plunked down our $50 having done zero research and having no knowledge about this unit. That was nearly 20 years ago, and we still use it to this day, and are still as pleased with it as the day we got it, if not more so. Turns out that we lucked out and bought, at a great price, what was consistently the top-rated home ice cream maker on the market.
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You can still get your hands on that model if you look hard enough, but it has been replaced by an equally highly-rated model, the Cuisinart ICE-21. Both the ICE-20 and ICE-21 are 1.5 quart machines. That’s plenty for the two of us.
They also offer a few 2 quart models:
Cuisinart ICE-30 This model is essentially the ICE-20/21 but 2 quarts instead of 1.5 quarts. Like the 20/21 its just one speed
Cuisinart ICE-60 This model is like the 30 (2 quarts), with the addition of three different settings: ice cream, gelato and sorbet
Cuisinart ICE-70 This one is like the ICE-60, but gives you control over the countdown timer
All of the above units utilize a bowl that you keep in the freezer until you want to make ice cream. Not a big deal, and not even a small hassle in my experience. If you will want to make multiple flavors of ice cream in rapid succession, then I would recommend getting an additional bowl, though we have never seen the need.
My little workhorse ice cream maker shows no sign of giving up the ghost, so I really can’t justify replacing it. Heck, I don’t really want to replace it, to be honest. It simply suits our needs. However, if I were going to get a new one, I would probably get their Cuisinart ICE-100, as it has a compressor. That means no bowl storage in the freezer so you can just turn it on and go.
If I’m totally honest though — and I am — I have to admit that deep, deep down inside I want their soft-serve ice cream maker. I mean look at this thing! I’m sorry, but this just looks like fun. I grew up thinking that soft serve was for kids, and that when you’re a Grown Up, you must eat “hard” ice cream. I much prefer soft serve, and confess to stirring up my “hard” ice cream in a bowl before nom-nomming it.
So there you have it. This household loves Cuisinart ice cream makers, and I’m sure you will too. Go for it, then let me know what you think!