If you’re having trouble picking out an ice cream maker to replace your old unit, or are looking for the first time one, checking out online ice cream maker reviews is definitely the first and foremost thing you should be doing – but, in the end, you’re almost always still left with a difficult choice between two or more products.
In my and my family’s case, this was between the Cuisinart ICE-45 and Cuisinart ICE-30BC. Chances are, if you’re in the market for an ice cream maker, you’ll stumble upon these two – they’re practically superstars online, and for different reasons.
When I first got the ICE-45, I was definitely a bit anxious. I’ll admit that I’ve never had a soft serve-type machine before – at least not one designed solely to make soft serve ice cream, so it was a definite first. On the other hand, I’ve had regular pre-freeze machines like the ICE-30BC for a while, so I’ve got a good amount of experience in them.
- I’ll tackle the ICE-30BC first. We’ve had a Cuisinart ICE-21 in the past, but this is on a completely different. Firstly, it’s solid, and relatively quiet. The noise levels on the maker range to levels nearing a blender, but never get quite that far – it runs for about half an hour, and makes a deep humming noise. Vibrations aren’t bad at all, either, because of its rubber base – which is good, because I wouldn’t like having to work with a vibrating counter-top every time I’m making ice cream. It has a decent amount of volume for the family, as well – sure, 2 quarts isn’t going to be enough for a party, but it does make for a nice treat at the end of the day, or for dessert, while potentially leaving left-overs.
- As for mix-ins, I keep an eye on the watch and try to pour in my extras about 5 minutes before the cycle is done.
- Another tip I got from ice cream maker reviews is to keep in mind is that you should cool your cream base – but don’t freeze it. Waiting for it to cool before putting it in the maker works, although generally I like to put it in the back-bottom of the fridge for a while, to cool it even further. If you’re being impatient, you can stick it in the freezer before putting it in the maker – but be careful about how long you do so, because you really don’t want the mixture to freeze prematurely.
- The Cuisinart ICE-45 is a unique machine in and of itself, because it functions solely in producing soft serve ice cream and dispensing it through the signature swirl nozzle. I’ll admit, it’s a cool little thing, but ultimately limits you to a single kind of ice cream. You can leave the motor running and have the ice cream cool to a denser level, but it comes with an automatic shutting down that’ll keep the motor from overheating – so don’t use this to make thicker ice cream.
- Time is a sensitive issue with this machine – there’s a margin of, say, 3-5 minutes where it’s got the perfect consistency. A minute longer, and it’ll get too hard, a minute earlier and it would’ve been an overly soft mess. Some ice cream maker reviews suggest 18 minutes of waiting, while I’ve had luck at 20, so it’s up to you. Thankfully you’re not going to need much more than one or two attempts before you get the hang of it. To test, use a plate on the first serving rather than a cone – if it’s not yet ready, re-add it to the maker. If it’s good to go, lick that plate and grab a cone!
- At 1 and a half quarts volume, you might be left wanting some more, but unless you have a pretty big appetite for ice cream, you should be fine.
Although they both come from the same family, you’re not going to find any sibling rivalry between these two ice cream makers – however, both have a comparable learning curve, and both make absolutely fantastic ice cream if you’re using them right.
That’s the key – using them right. After that, the only real difference in quality is checking up on some ice cream maker reviews and choosing which of the two kinds of ice cream you prefer. Do you like a nice, rich scoop in a bowl, or do you like the fact that you can lever a swirl of soft serve onto your cone? Personally, I’ll take the scoop – but we’re all entitled to our own tastes. Finally, remember to read this amazing article about “best ice cream machine” to discover more about the greatest current models on the market.