See an electric ice cream maker in a blog photo and – 10 to 1 – it’s a Cuisinart ice cream maker. Why? What’s so great about a Cuisinart ice cream maker?
Cuisinart is best known for the appliance that bears its name – the Cuisinart. OK, so it’s technically a food processor, but most people seem to refer to it by name, even if their appliance is a Kenwood or Hamilton Beach. Who says “Chop your parsley in your Hamilton Beach?”
No one, that’s who. But “Knead your dough in your Cuisinart”?
You see my point?
The company, made famous by this iconic appliance, only began branching out into other small kitchen appliances in the 1990s. By then, however, its name had become synonymous with top of the line quality.
Does this carry over to its ice cream makers? Yes.
Cuisinart makes over half-a-dozen different ice cream machines, but except for one, they are all variations on the same kind of machine – electric gel canister models. (Learn more about the many different kinds of ice cream makers, and how to choose the right one for you.)
As long as you have a well designed gel canister – which Cuisinart does – there’s really little that can go wrong with an electric ice cream maker. These models work by freezing the canister in your freezer overnight before you make ice cream. You then set the canister in or on the motorized part of the machine, insert a paddle attachment, cover the machine and turn it on. Then pour in your ingredients through the spout in the cover. Twenty to thirty minutes later, you’ve got ice cream.
Electric ice cream makers are simple to use, simple to clean and for the most part, pretty affordable. They also churn out good ice cream in 1 to 2 quart quantities, depending on your ice cream maker model.
So why does Cuisinart make so many different machines? A one quart and a two quart model should be sufficient, no?
Not according to Cuisinart! There are 1-quart, 1.5-quart and 2 quart models. Some are sleek, stainless steel models, some come in flaming red and one – of course – comes in support-breast-cancer-research pink. Some are styled to look like old-fashioned freezer buckets, even though they aren’t. One is a soft-serve ice cream maker – it makes exactly the same thing as the other machines, but has a tap to dispense it through, so you can pretend you work at the Dairy Queen.
What all these models have in common, in addition to the type of machine they are, is that they are solidly built. They provide quality at a reasonable price – which is why you’ll see them on every food blog out there.
And then, there’s the top of the line Cuisinart ice cream maker, a self-cooling compressor ice cream maker that’s aimed for gourmet cooks who don’t like to plan ahead (and have a little extra money to spend.) This kind of machine takes away the need for pre-freezing a canister. It has a built in refrigeration unit, so you can just toss everything in, turn it on and walk away. The really cool thing about this one is that it’s one third the price of the next cheapest compressor ice cream maker on the market and nearly as good.
Even this far removed from food processors, there is a reason for the brand’s dominance among foodies, even when it comes to ice cream. In fact, in 2009 The Ice Cream Maker, which provides online ice cream maker reviews, voted the ICE-20 Cuisinart ice cream maker one of the top 3 ice cream makers.