Ice cream maker

Last year, we bought a Deni ice cream maker. We've used it several times, and it never seems to freeze the ice cream properly. It gets the mixture to a semi-slushy consistency, and it's all downhill from there. Is there a home ice cream maker that any of you would highly recommend? It is, after all, ice cream season.



lloreen June 11, 2012
Can an ice cream maker do frozen yoghurt as well?
ChefOno June 11, 2012
ChefOno June 2, 2012

I just checked the batch of watermelon sorbet I'm making; with an ounce of clear rum in the mix, it started to freeze at 28F.

ChefOno June 2, 2012

Two suggestions that should solve your problem:

Freeze the bowl for 24 hours minimum. Mine lives in the bottom of my freezer (covered with ClingWrap to keep it clean) so it's always ready to rock.

Chill your mix to *at least* 40F before churning. If you've got room, put it in the freezer until it begins to freeze. Two reasons: The colder it is when you start, the quicker it will freeze, the smaller the crystals will be and thus the better the finished texture. Plus there's only so much thermal energy those bowls can absorb so the colder the mix, the harder it will freeze.

And a trick I've been playing with: Right after I start the machine, I put a wide, flat glass storage container in the freezer (mine are made by Pyrex and have plastic lids). The combination of the thermal capacity of the heavy glass plus the large surface area help bring the temperature down relatively quickly which seems to do good things for the finished product.

petitbleu June 3, 2012
Very sound advice--exactly what I was looking for. I'm still thinking about getting a better ice cream maker. For entertaining purposes, mine is just too small to make enough ice cream for very many people. Thank you, ChefOno.
Greenstuff May 31, 2012
I've had the ancient ones--both crank and electric. They worked well, but in truth, the put ice cream back it the 19th century--we only had it on special occasions. Now I have two Cuisinarts, and I can decide at the last minute that ice cream is part of the party.
Hilarybee May 31, 2012
I have the Lello Gelato Junior. Highly recommended. Very smooth results. I really recommend the technique of using cream cheese to make a smooth ice cream, found in Jeni's
You might be able to use this cream cheese technique to get a smoother result with the ice cream maker you have. Jeni's is designed to work with a Cuisinart. I really like the Lello, it was a wedding gift from my Italian grandmother, who had one and swore by it. It is expensive, but I think worth it.
petitbleu May 31, 2012
I have used the Jeni's trick several times and am completely smitten. Actually, what promoted my post in the first place was making her Sweet Corn and Blackberry Ice Cream and having my ice cream maker, once again, lose steam before the ice cream was even partially frozen.
flgal May 31, 2012
Amazon has one.
pierino May 31, 2012
I'm quite happy with the Cuisinart, athough its 1 1/2 quart capacity means you can't make large batches. I contacted them to try to buy a second bowl (you have to freeze them overnight), but got nowhere. But it does make good ice cream and sorbet in a short amount of time.
amysarah May 31, 2012
My old Krups (and I mean OLD) works great. It just needs to go in the freezer to harden up a bit before eating - I usually make it in the morning to serve that evening.

However, by the next day it's too hard, unless you use the aforementioned vodka trick. Just wanted to mention, you can also play with other alcohol you might have around - for instance, a small amount of Kahlua in coffee or chocolate ice cream, Grand Marnier in fruit flavors, Amaretto or rum is nice with coconut, etc.

Quinciferous May 31, 2012
We have the Cuisinart one, and it does a pretty nice job for what it is -- though the results definitely need to be hardened in the freezer unless you want soft-serve consistency. It's great for its inexpensive price point. Ah, for a KitchenAid...
Sam1148 May 31, 2012
/Geek on.
In Star Wars Empire Strikes back when cloud city was evacuated.
One of the extras is seen rescuing his ice cream maker.
petitbleu May 31, 2012
Amazing. I would do the same.
Christine May 30, 2012
I had a Krups that was awesome until it got broken in a move. It made the best texture i've ever had in homemade ice cream and sorbets. Unfortunately that maker has been discontinued, but I've been told that the Cuisinart maker is very similar in result.
Melusine May 30, 2012
If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, the attachment that goes with that does a lovely job, and I know lots of people who adore their countertop CuisinArt model. Not disagreeing with the time-honored method of rock salt and ice, but the machines turn a laborious process into a much simpler and more spontaneous fun one. A tablespoon or two of vodka (unless there's a healthy dose of vanilla or other alcohol-based flavoring) helps a lot with the consistency.
petitbleu May 30, 2012
Thanks for the advice. I do have a KitchenAid and will do some research accordingly. The vodka tip is very helpful.

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefJune May 31, 2012
I have and love my Cuisinart ice cream freezer. (I'm on my second one, having worn the first one out!) It freezes the custard (or whatever the mixture) to a soft freeze, then you "cure" it in your deep freeze for a couple of hours. It does a great job on ice cream, sherbets and sorbets. and it makes 1 1/2 quarts -- which is generally plenty, even for guests. These days, they come with two bowls so it's feasible to make a double batch, if need be.

For me, the old fashioned crank freezer makes waaaaaaaay too much for anything other than a large gathering, and the crank is not for old hands... When I was a little girl my aunt had one, and on "Special" occasions my uncle would take the time to make ice cream for us. Maybe twice a summer. I have ice cream in my freezer almost all the time, year round. The modern way is much more practical, imho.
Sam1148 May 30, 2012
I've never found the 'gel pack' ice cream makers to do a good job.
You might not like the answer but the big ones that use rock salt and ice are the only way to go for good home ice cream. Look for 'old fashion' models, with a metal container and get the electric motor unless you have slave labo----ahh kids, to turn the crank.
petitbleu May 30, 2012
Sam, thanks for the reply. I assumed as much. I remember my grandparents' ice cream maker--I think it was a Rival. I'll definitely be looking into a motorized one, as I'm not yet in a position to demand small children to do the work. Someday...
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