Rating: 5 Stars
Best Feature: It has a compressor! You can make ice cream until the cows run away.
The Low Down: I have an older model Cuisinart ice cream maker. It employs the double walled bucket filled with freezing fluid. You place the bucket in the freezer for a minimum of 24 hours prior to use. It worked well enough, but you could only use it once before you’d have to place it back into the freezer for the next use. If you wanted to make ice cream on a whim, you were out of luck. Also, if your ice cream didn’t freeze enough to your liking, you couldn’t do anything about it. After approximately ½ hours use, the freezing liquid contained in the bucket warms too much to freeze anymore. Also, most ice cream recipes require that you heat the milk or cream to incorporate the sugar. So, most recipes need to be refrigerated prior to being placed into the ice cream maker.
Then along came Cuisinart’s Ice-50 ice cream maker. This baby has a compressor! Although, not the first to use a compressor, it is far less expensive than its predecessors. There are no buckets to freeze! The auger that mixes your ice cream mixture also moves at a slower speed. This is important if you want a more dense and creamy dessert. I made a simple vanilla ice cream recipe and the finished product was similar to gelato. The ice cream this machine made was far superior to my old machine. The compressor is also of a heavy duty commercial quality. The timer can be set for 60 minutes, but I found it usually did the job in 35-40 minutes. That’s not bad for 1.5 quarts of ice cream. There aren’t many parts; the metal container, the auger contraption and the lid. The lid is see through so you can keep an eye on the ice cream’s consistency. You may also want to add ingredients towards the end of the process. There is a small ingredient spout just for that purpose.
Bottom Line: A compressor style ice cream maker at this price, it’s a steal! The quality is backed by a 3 year warranty too. The ice cream is definitely superior to other bucket style makers. When my current maker finally kicks off, I’m going to treat myself to this one.
Tip/Recipes: Although a recipe book does come with the Cuisinart Ice-50, do purchase another. There are several different ways to make ice cream; such as Philadelphia style, custard and gelato. Philly style uses cream and sometimes milk, but no egg. A custard style uses egg and becomes thicker and a little gummy for my taste. Gelato is traditionally slower churned and most often uses milk instead of cream. In some recipes corn starch is used as well. Don’t stop at ice cream though! I made an awesome 3-melon bomb last year for the 4th of July. It was very easy to make, although it took several days since I had to freeze each flavor separately. The recipe uses simple syrup and fruit puree. You spray a large bowl with non-stick coating then place plastic wrap over this so that it sticks to the bowl. Then, you would make one of the melon sorbets and fill the bottom of the bowl to level and freeze. Then, make the next sorbet and place it atop the first and level and freeze. Finish with the third sorbet and freeze until you are ready to use. Remove the sorbet bomb from the bowl and slice crosswise and serve. A watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon sorbet bomb made a really nice looking dessert.