I’ve had a series of Cuisinart ice cream makers over the years, both the type that use a frozen canister and the kind that use an internal compressor. While the frozen canister models work well and I always recommend them as a first time ice cream maker purchase, the compressor models allow you to make multiple batches without any advance preparation. This is because the internal compressor both chills and churns the ice cream base at the same time, no need for a pre-frozen canister or to do much more than chill your ice cream base (and you can get away without doing that if it’s about room temperature, too).
I recently added a Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream Maker to my appliance collection, the newer model of another machine that I own. The ice cream maker can make batch after batch and has a 1 1/2 quart capacity. It can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to churn a batch of ice cream or frozen yogurt, depending on the thickness of the base and how cold it is when you put it in. In general, I find that most things I churn take from 20-35 minutes. This is longer than a big commercial machine might take (so you probably won’t see this sitting in the corner on Chopped), but it’s still very quick. The list price for the machine is $299, but I got mine for quite a bit less than that on Amazon and summer sales might mean good prices at other retailers, as well.
The machine weighs just over 30 pounds and is about the size of two average toasters placed side-by-side. It’s actually a bit smaller than the older model, since it isn’t as wide, and doesn’t take up as much counter space as I thought it would. Another big improvement over the older model is how much quieter this one is. While it does make noise the whole time the compressor is on, you can still hold a conversation without yelling or watch tv without cranking the volume way up. It seems to be about 70% quieter (in my unscientific estimation). It also has a “keep cool” feature that will keep your ice cream frozen after churning if you aren’t able to take it out of the machine right away.
Overall, I love the performance of this machine and am very happy I upgraded. The decrease in volume combined with the new cooling feature add up to a big improvement over the previous model, though the performance remains excellent. If you make ice cream at home a lot – or want to make it a lot more often than you currently do – it’s worth investing in a compressor ice cream maker like this one. I know that my freezer is currently full and I haven’t had any complaints about too much ice cream from those I’m sharing all those batches with yet!
What do you think?