Written by Diana Oliva
Okay so: by the end of May of this year, my husband and I realised we were consuming one to two pints of ice cream/gelato/sorbet a week. Every time we went to the supermarket, each of us would see a flavour we wanted, and we always wanted different flavours (Shaun prefers fruity sorbets, I prefer savoury gelatos). And every night, as soon as dinner was finished, we’d reach for our frozen pints. This was starting to cost us a pretty penny, and the warm temperatures this summer were just getting started. So we decided to invest in an ice-cream maker, so that finally we could stop paying $2-$4 per pint (there are fancy gelatos and ice creams out there, trust me) and just starting making our own. After doing some research, we decided on the Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet Maker (that is a very long, all-encompassing name, and they also forgot to add gelato – you can make gelato with it).
This Cuisinart ice cream maker only cost us $50, which is very inexpensive when it comes to ice cream makers that do the work for you. Old-fashioned ice cream buckets need a pound of rock salt mixed with water in order to cool your ice cream for you. You also have have to blend the ingredients by hand for an extended period of time to make sure it cools properly. Although that does sound like a good workout, I was just interested in getting to the ice cream eating part. Like most modern ice cream makers, the Cuisinart comes with a detachable canister that you stick in the freezer for 24 hours before using. Once it’s good and frozen, it’ll work for one batch of ice cream (that usually produces two pints) but you’ll need to stick that canister back in the freezer for another day before you can use it again.
Compared to other Cuisinart ice cream makers, this is much cheaper – they sell models that go up to $300, but generally those are self-cooling (no need to freeze the canister before hand, makes more than one batch at a time) and produce a lot more ice cream. Personally, I don’t need all that. If you’ve got a big family or want to make epic amounts of ice cream, those might be better choices, but for the average small household, the Cuisinart ICE-21 model seems to do just fine. It produces more ice cream than its similarly priced competitors and is easier to clean (dishwasher safe), and most importantly works a lot quicker. It only takes 15-20 minutes to make a batch of ice cream. You can eat right then, soft-serve style, or stick your frozen creation into the freezer (in a sealed container) for a while to get a gummier, more store-bought taste.
And to boot, this ice cream maker was voted one of the four best ice-cream makers on ConsumerSearch.com, a consumer based review site. So far, I’ve learned to make all sorts of new flavours of ice cream in it and love it’s quick timing. I’m off to go eat the raspberry sorbet we made last night.