I recently got to play around with the Cuisinart ice-20 ice cream maker and I have to say that this is a pretty decent machine. It’s not as messy as my White Mountain hand-cranked ice cream freezer. So here’s what I thought about this machine.
What I like: If you’ve read my article on how to choose an ice cream machine, then you’ll recognize the Cuisinart ICE-20 as the second type of ice cream machine. That means that instead of adding rock salt and ice, there is a double-walled bowl insert that goes into your freezer. This is nice because it cuts down on the mess. It also means that you don’t have to buy ice (or rock salt for that matter). It’s also slightly smaller than my hand cranked ice cream maker so if space is a consideration, this might be a nice option for you. Overall it was very easy to use and clean and the ice cream tasted about the same as my hand cranked unit. Lastly, it’s very reasonable priced.
What I don’t like: Owning a six-quart ice cream maker, means having lots of ice cream and enough for guests as well. At 1 1/2 quarts the Cuisinart ICE-20 is about the right size for a family of three. Also the motor could be a little beefier. It seems fine for occasional ice cream making but if your making ice cream several times a week, you might look for something with a little more muscle.
How to get the most from the Cuisinart ICE-20: Your ingredients for making soft serve ice cream will be expanded in the final product. That means that you shouldn’t fill the mixing bowl with more than 1 quart of ingredients. You should also give the mixing bowl plenty of time in the freezer and your ingredients should also be thoroughly chilled as well. I personally wouldn’t take the bowl out of the freezer until I had all of the ingredients assembled. Always remember to hand the bowl with care. Plastics tend to get brittle when cold and so being careless could (I’m not 100% sure about that) result in a crack. Finally, use quality ingredients. I mean if your going to give yourself a coronary, do it with the good stuff.