Saturday, July 29, 2017

Which ice cream maker to buy?

Ice cream is hands down my favourite food. At certain point in my life I decided that I needed a diet. I went on an ice cream diet for a few weeks one summer when I was in University.

I tried making ice cream at home without an ice cream maker when I was a kid. I put the milky custard in the freezer and took it out every hour or so to stir it. The product was decent but that was quite a lot of work.

Fast forward to when I first started working many many years ago, I saw an ice cream maker at an outlet for sale cheap. I didn't buy it then, thinking I'd see such deal again soon. But I didn't. Upon further research, I found that there are many types of ice cream makers. (1) the home budget style you need to put the ice cream maker in the freezer for 24 hours before you can start making ice cream. Not to mention you have to freeze the custard for hours before you can actually start making the ice cream. (2) the compressor style you can make ice cream any time you want, without pre-freezing - but it costs a fortune. It also takes up lots of space. It is a big investment.


That's a tough decision. So I ended up not making the decision until now!  After buying maybe my 100th tub of ice cream from stores, I decided it is time to buy an ice cream maker. I also gave myself excuses like making healthier ice cream/ gelato for my little one Mochi, ensure the ice cream is low in sugar and gluten free, and to try out funky new flavours.


Home pre-freeze style

Cuisinart ICE-21

This is one of the most budget model (around US$60 at regular price) with good review. If I were to buy a non-compressor stand alone ice cream maker, this would be my choice. However, I know I'd leave it in the kitchen storage collecting dust.


Kitchen aid
Who could resist the temptation of having a Kitchenaid sitting in your kitchen? It is the appliance that shows you are a professional. It is the appliance that shows you have good interior design taste. It is the appliance you see in staged houses for sale too!  I was very tempted too... before I realised it is an ice cream bowl attachment that require pre-freezing. Unless you have a KitchenAid already sitting at home and only plan to make ice cream occasionally. I'm not sure if it can meet the purpose.


Compressor ice cream makers

If I were to buy an ice-cream maker only after 10 years of waiting and pondering, I might as well buy a compressor ice cream maker so I don't have any excuse to abandon it.

Ice cream maker is not very popular where I live. After searching through the city, I found Cuisinart, Breville, Delonghi GM6000, and some other brands in Sogo and some smaller shops in Kowloon (Yau Ma Tei). They all have very good reviews but each with some drawbacks. If all equals, then ease of purchase and size helped me make the decision!

The Purchase - Cuisinart ICE-100
After waiting a month or two for the pre-summer sale, I went to the department store to find 2 models on sale. Given the Cuisinart ICE-100 width fits my previous kitchen counter-top perfectly, and it is ready for immediate pick up. I decided on Cuisinart over DeLonghi. 

Cuisinart ice cream maker review
My baby - Cuisinart ICE-100HK

In my research, I noticed some key concerns people have on Cuisinart ICE-100. I've added my comments after 1 year of using (and still going strong): 
  • Squeaky sound it makes after a few uses. (It is reasonable noise I can stand)
  • Potential dirt built up at the bottom of the ice cream bucket (See review from IcecreamScience). (I made sure I wash and dry the ice cream bucket immediately after every single use. I have included photos of the bucket for your easy reference) Some people recommended disassemble the parts and reassemble adding some food grade grease to avoid the squeaky sound. I will definitely do that in the future and provide update on that. 


bottom of ice cream maker bucketIce cream maker bucket bottom
Circled are the two small holes mentioned by Icecreamscience

inside ice cream maker bucket
Inside of the ice cream bucket

Are you also deciding on purchasing an ice cream maker? Which one you ended up buying? If you also have/had Cuisinart ICE-100, any tips you could share? 

See my other postings on the ice cream I made!

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