There are a lot of painful, labor-intensive ways to make homemade ice cream, and I think I’ve tried them all.
I experimented with a ball that you’re supposed to pour your ingredients into and roll around until you give up and drink the batter. I’ve evaluated a crank churner, which is mainly designed for people who want a second helping of “arm day.” And I’ve even tested an attachment for my stand mixer that requires significant freezer space.
None of these options are as quick and effortless as the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.
For nearly half a century, Connecticut-based Cuisinart has produced cookware, ovenware, kitchen tools, and kitchen accessories. I tested the company’s top-of-the-line ice cream maker and was impressed with its versatility and minimal pre-planning.
Setting up the Cuisinart ice cream maker was simple. After removing all of the packaging, I washed the mixing bowl, paddle, and lid with soap and warm water. This only took a few minutes.
Then I put the mixing bowl in the machine. For the system to work correctly, the bowl must be positioned just right. This can be a little tricky but gets easier with practice. To operate the ice cream maker, the lid also needs to be locked in place.
As with an appliance that uses a compressor, the Cuisinart ICE-100 has to sit upright for at least 24 hours before each use. I wasn’t sure if it remained upright during transport so I waited 24 hours just to be safe.
The recipe called for running the maker for 40 to 50 minutes before adding marshmallow cream. So, I set an alarm on my phone and worked on other projects. After 30 minutes, my sous chef yelled, “It stopped!” The ice cream was too thick for the churning to continue. I wasn’t able to mix in the marshmallow cream, graham cracker, and chocolate. Fortunately, my teenager wasn’t excited about s’mores ice cream in the first place and preferred the plain chocolate. And, my kindergartener was happy with the mix-in ingredients served on top.
We’re a big ice cream family so we mainly make ice cream with the machine, though we did branch out into gelato a bit with delicious results. Our favorite ice creams are vanilla, chocolate, and fresh strawberry. My wife and teenage son say the chocolate is the best they’ve ever had. I like fresh strawberry most. The vanilla gelato was also a big hit.
The Cuisinart is the best I’ve used. You don’t have to remember to freeze any of the components before using it. You just pour the batter in, press a few buttons, and the ice cream is ready in about 40 minutes. Plus, it’s versatile enough to handle a broad range of frozen treats.