The Bottom Line
- Easy to use
- Makes ice cream quickly, in about 20 to 30 minutes
- No need for salt and ice
- Freezer bowl must be frozen for about 24 hours before making the ice cream
- Only makes 1 1/2 quarts (about 3 pints or 6 cups)
- Motor is loud
- Freezer bowl containing cooling liquid must be frozen before use
- Transparent lid allows you to watch monitor ice cream's progress
- Ingredient spout for adding candy fruit and other mix-ins
- Can make ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and frozen drinks
- Safety feature stops motor if it overheats
- Product manual includes recipes for ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbets, sherbets and frozen drinks
- Available in red and white
- Three-year limited warranty
Guide Review - Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker (Model ICE-20)
There's nothing like the taste of homemade ice cream, and Cuisinart's most basic ice cream maker, the ICE-20, is one of the easiest ways to enjoy this summertime pleasure. The machine is basic: simply a motorized base, a bowl filled with cooling liquid that freezes the ice cream base, a paddle and a transparent cover. Making ice cream is a snap: simply assemble the machine, pour your ice cream or sorbet base or custard into the frozen bowl, turn it on, and 20-some minutes later, you've got your frozen dessert.
Having to freeze the bowl beforehand can take some of the spontaneity out of making ice cream, but the manufacturer recommends keeping the bowl in the back of your freezer when not in use, so it's always ready. Another drawback is that you can't make several batches back-to-back, but if you know you'll often be wanting to make several batches at a time, additional bowls can be purchased from the manufacturer for $25 apiece. But since ice cream makers with built-in compressor freezers cost hundreds of dollars more than this unit, the inconvenience of having to pre-freeze the bowl is worthwhile.
The consistency of ice cream made in this machine, as with many, is much softer than that of store-bought ice cream when it first comes out of the machine, and after it's been been stored in the freezer, it might need to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or more so that it can soften enough to be scooped.
Priced at less than $50 from most retailers, this ice cream maker is a good investment even if you only use it a few times a year. But, it's so easy to use, that chances are, you'll be making homemade ice cream with much more frequency.