Cuisinart Ice cream maker review

I was sent the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker to review but I’m already a pro with this machine. I bought my own a few years ago, and my kids and I have made everything from Dole Whip to Blue Smurf gelato with it. We’ve never made a bad batch of ice cream with this great ice cream maker but I haven’t made any yet this summer so I wanted the kids to test out and help me kick off my first batch of the summer. Here’s a look at the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, how it works, and how you can make your own ice cream with it this summer.

Features of Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Ice cream maker review three

The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker (model number: ICE-21C-1PKC) is a very simple appliance. It includes the ice cream bowl, the base with a motor, plastic paddle, and a lid to hold the paddle in place. It’s not a huge appliance, measuring only 28 cm (11 in) when put together. You can take it apart and store the pieces in a cupboard when you’re not using it.

  • Makes ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet in 20 minutes or less
  • Easy-lock lid holds the plastic paddle in place and lets you add ingredients or check the consistency
  • Makes up to 1.5 quarts of ice cream or sorbet
  • Double-insulated freezer bowl makes ice cream without needing ice and salt
  • BPA-free materials
  • Easy to clean by handwashing in the sink

Making ice cream with Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart ice cream maker review Best Buy

When I was looking for my own ice cream maker, my main goal was to find one that was easy-to-use, would make ice cream quickly, and wouldn’t make a huge mess in my kitchen. I didn’t want the extra stress of having an ice cream maker that used ice and salt, and the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker fit the bill perfectly. It’s simple to use, easy to store, and it makes great ice cream.

The plastic paddle used in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is very durable. It locks in place when you put the lid on. The only motorized part of the appliance is the base, so the bowl spins around the paddle. The appliance has a simple on-and-off switch, so once you put your ice cream mixture in the freezer bowl, all you have to do is put the paddle in the bowl, lock on the lid, and turn the machine on.

A plus is that this ice cream maker isn’t a loud appliance. I used my phone to record the decibel level and it was 56db when I was standing in front of it. It’s loud enough that you can hear it running, but not so loud as to be annoying.

Make every type of frozen treat

You’ll need to do a little planning before you begin making ice cream with the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. The first thing you’ll need to do is place the double-insulated freezer bowl in your freezer. It will need to remain there for around 24 hours before you make ice cream with it. I’ve made ice cream after only freezing the bowl for 12 hours and it still worked, but the ice cream took a bit longer to make and it wasn’t as thick as it is when the bowl is completely frozen. I don’t leave my freezer bowl in the freezer permanently, but you can if you want to always be ready to make ice cream.

There are three main types of frozen treats you can make with the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker—ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. The sky is the limit for flavours, mix-ins, and recipes you can try. You’ll see recipes in the instruction manual but you can also search for some online. I have found the most delicious recipes for ice cream are those you cook on the stove first, so anything with egg yolks and heavy cream. I’ve found this ice cream maker to be great for experimenting

I made chocolate ice cream with the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and I used cocoa, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, whole milk, heavy cream, and a splash of vanilla. I boiled the egg yolks and cocoa with the sweetened condensed milk, added the other dairy products and vanilla, and then let it cool in the fridge for five hours. If you’d like to make a recipe that’s faster, sorbet is easy to make and requires no cooking or real prep.

Ice cream ready in 20 minutes

Cuisinart Ice cream maker review

If you have a well-chilled ice cream mixture it will take about 20 minutes to make ice cream in this ice cream maker. The paddle turns as the mixture freezes, and you can hear the machine’s motor slow down a bit when the mixture is really thick. The top of the lid is open so you can always add in extra ingredients like bits of chocolate bars, sprinkles, cookie chunks, or fruit. I recommend adding in any mix-ins at the 20-minute mark and letting the ice cream maker run a few extra minutes so they are thoroughly mixed in.

My chocolate ice cream was quite thick at the 20-minute mark, and it was easily scoopable after I pulled the paddle out of the mixture. I always like to put my ice cream in the freezer for half an hour to really firm it up before I scoop it into cones because I’ve found it melts quite quickly, but you can serve it straight from the freezer bowl if you’d like to. When storing left overs in the freezer, I always use a plastic container or a freezer safe glass bowl.

I think the bowl size of 1.5 quarts makes more than enough ice cream for my family of six. I’ve never had to adjust a recipe for the bowl as all of the recipes I choose fit perfectly, and we each get a scoop of delicious ice cream for dessert. The chocolate ice cream I just made was delicious. The ice cream flavour reminded me of a Fudgesicle, and it was very thick and creamy, like old-fashioned ice cream.

Simple clean up

There are only a few simple parts to this ice cream maker so cleaning it up is easy. The freezer bowl will rinse clean in the sink, and once it’s dry you can put it back in the freezer to use again, or store it away. The lid and the paddle are also hand wash only, and I recommend you hand dry the lid instead of air dry so you don’t get a lot of spots on the clear plastic.

Should you choose the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker?

If you want a simple ice cream maker that doesn’t require you to use chunks of ice and salt, the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker will be a great choice. As long as you’ve frozen your double insulated bowl for a day or so, any ice cream you make will be ready in under a half hour. It’s a versatile machine that lets you make any frozen treat, and the parts of the appliance are very durable. I’ve had my own Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for around four years and I’ve never had a crack in the lid or paddle. It also has a simple on-off switch, so it’s very easy for anyone to use.

The only downside to this type of ice cream maker is that you do have to plan when you’ll make ice cream. If you have your bowl in the freezer 24/7 you won’t have to plan as much, but if you don’t keep your bowl in the freezer you’ll have to remember to put it in there a day before you’re going to whip up some frozen treats. It’s not a huge issue for me as I usually buy the supplies at the grocery store a few days before I’m going to make ice cream, and that’s when I put the bowl in the freezer too.

Summer is here, and if you’ve never made ice cream at home, now is the time to try it out. You can find the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker at Best Buy right now.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag