Best Ice Cream Maker for Home Use? – The Birch Cottage

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Best ice cream maker for home use that’s affordable and super easy to use? The Cuisinart ICE-P121 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker!

When I was a little girl, I can remember these big, awkward ice cream makers. We all took turns cranking the ice cream maker. And then there was the chore of constantly adding rock salt to the maker. It was quite a messy job!

Then fast forward to my adulthood. Ice cream makers were made easier to use (no more hand cranking), but they were still pretty messy. Not to mention cumbersome to use and store.

I had pretty much given up on homemade ice cream and ice cream makers until recently.

Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker

My Experience

A few weeks ago, we received a delivery. My husband opened the box and said, “I bought you something that I knew you wouldn’t buy yourself.” That could have been any number of things, right?

To be honest, I was a little skeptical when I saw the box and realized it was an ice cream maker.

Then my husband said he thought it would be a fun way to enjoy ice cream when our kids visit. Okay, I’ll give it a try.

I opened the box. Read through the manual. Washed all the ice cream maker parts. And put the ice cream maker bowl (after thoroughly drying it) in the freezer. Where everything sat for two weeks.

My First Batch of Vanilla Ice Cream

I figured the simplest recipe was the place to start with my new Cuisinart ice cream maker. I used the recipe that came in the booklet from Cuisinart.

You do have to mix the ingredients together and then chill them for a couple of hours or over night before making ice cream. I let my mix chill overnight.

The next afternoon, I got out the ice cream maker, pulled the bowl out of the freezer, set the bowl on the stand along with the paddle and cover and turned on the maker. The paddle began to turn and I then poured in my chilled vanilla ice cream mix.

I set a timer for 20 minutes, checked my ice cream (it tasted delicious, by the way), and decided to let it churn for another 5 minutes.

I then removed the ice cream from the freezer bowl and scooped it into my ice cream storage container. But, not before scooping out a small bowl for my husband and I to try. I placed the lid on the container and placed it in the freezer.

OH MY GOODNESS! It was creamy and full of vanilla flavor. I was stunned!

This really could not have been easier. Admittedly, you have to be prepared and plan ahead, but even the preparation is simple.

Is Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice cream, and Sorbet Maker the Best Ice Cream Maker for Home Use?

My husband read a lot of reviews about ice cream makers for home use before purchasing the Cuisinart ICE-21P1 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker. I read the reviews after the fact. Reviews from sources like:

  • NY Times
  • Forbes
  • Food Network
  • Jeni Bauer (from Jeni’s Ice Cream)

Are you familiar with Jeni’s Ice Cream? She started Jeni’s in Ohio (of all places) and it is the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Now, I can make Jeni’s ice cream at home. No lie!

Features of Cuisinart ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker

  • 1.5 quart capacity
  • makes frozen treats in 20 minutes
  • double insulated freezer bowl eliminates the need for ice
  • easy to use
  • all electric (no hand cranking)
  • large spout for adding ingredients
  • easy to clean
  • mixing paddle mixes and aerates ingredients
  • non-slip rubber feet
  • cord storage
  • makes ice cream, frozen yogurt, Philadelphia style ice cream, and sorbet

Tips for Using Cuisinart ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker

  • The freezer bowl will start to defrost quickly so don’t remove it from the freezer until you’re ready to use it.
  • Remove the freezer bowl from the freezer and place on the center of the base before adding ingredients.
  • Place the mixing paddle in freezer bowl. It rests in the center of the bowl, with the circle side facing up.
  • Place lid on the base and rotate clockwise until tabs on lid lock in place on base.
  • Press the On/Off switch to the ON position. The freezer bowl will then begin to turn.
  • Pour ingredients through ingredient spout opening. According to Cuisinart, it is important to turn the unit on before adding ingredients to the freezer bowl.
  • Most frozen desserts or drinks will be done in less than 20 minutes. The time will depend on the recipe and volume you are making. When the mixture has thickened to your liking, it is done.
  • If you desire a firmer consistency, transfer the dessert to an airtight container and store in the freezer for two or more hours.

Adding Ingredients

Ingredients such as chips, nuts, or candies should be added about 5 minutes before the recipe is complete. Once the dessert has began to thicken, add the ingredients through the ingredient spout. Nuts and other ingredients should be no larger than a chocolate chip.

You can add 1-2 cups of add-ins like the following. Just remember to chop everything first so that it is no larger than a chocolate chip.

  • chips
  • chocolate covered pretzels
  • cashews, pecans, almonds, or nuts
  • candy bars, like: peanut butter cups, Snickers, Butterfinger, or Rolos (or your favorite)
  • coconut
  • fresh or frozen fruit
  • sugar-free candy

My Opinion

So far, I really like this ice cream maker. It couldn’t be easier to use. And the results are truly amazing. And no artificial ingredients.

It has a great price point and you can often find it on sale (like we did). Did I mention it’s really easy to use?

My Tips

  • I do recommend you wash and dry the freezer bowl after use. Allow it to completely dry (use paper towels) and return it to your freezer so that it’s always ready. Otherwise, you need to freeze the freezer bowl for 24 hours prior to use.
  • Mix up your ice cream base and let it chill the day before, if possible, or maybe the morning before you make your ice cream. Although it really only needs to chill for a couple of hours.
  • Buy ice cream storage containers like these SUMO 1.5 Quart Containers for Homemade Ice Cream. We bought these and they are the perfect shape for fitting in the door of your freezer and for scooping.
  • Press a piece of parchment paper against the ice cream and then put on the airtight lid. This will help to prevent ice from forming on the top of the ice cream.

Recommended Products

  • Cuisinart ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker
  • SUMO 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Container (You’ll probably want at least two!)
  • Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop
  • 2 Quart Measuring Cup Bowl with Lid
  • Whisk
  • Hand Held Mixer
  • ice cream bowls

And don’t forget that the microwave safe reversible bowl cozies are also perfect for cold dishes, too – like ice cream!

More Ideas from The Birch Cottage

If you enjoyed reading my product review and recommendation for the best ice cream maker that is easy to use and affordable for home use, then you might also like these ideas from The Birch Cottage:

  • Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
  • What’s an Instant Pot?
  • A Few of My Favorite Things for the Kitchen

And stay tuned for ice cream recipes for the Cuisinart ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker!

I highly recommend the Cuisinart ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker

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