If you’re an ice-cream junkie but can’t bear for the cashier at your local grocery store to see you buy yet another 4 tubs of ice cream in your shop, then you might want to consider getting yourself an ice cream maker.
Having an ice cream maker at home can save you a whole load of money and you can also treat any of your dinner guests to wonderful homemade ice-cream from your machine.
The Cuisinart ICE-21 is one of the most popular ice cream makers out there on the market right now and with its affordable price from such a leading cooking appliance brand, we thought it would be worth everyone’s while to give our thoughts and opinions on the small but mighty piece of equipment.
We’ve included the specifications and main features of the ICE-21 machine below so you can get a quick snapshot of what it’s all about. We’ll then go more in-depth and give you our thoughts on what we loved or didn’t love so much about this model.
- Width: 9”
- Height: 11.25”
- Depth: 9.25”
- Weight: 9.9lbs
- Paddle rpm: 32
- Warranty: 3 years
- Recipes: Included
- Mixing paddle makes frozen treats in up to 20 minutes
- Large capacity – makes up to 1½ quarts
- Freezer bowl means you won’t have to use ice
- Comes with an easy locking lid with a spout to add ingredients without creating a mess
- Comes with a limited 3-year warranty
- Comes with 28 recipes
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Cuisinart ICE-21 is it’s clean yet basic design. We chose the white model and whilst we don’t focus too much on aesthetics, we do find that this looks like more of a budget model compared to other models from the brand.
You have six colors to choose from in the range, all of which are bright and pleasing to the eye and would be great if you’re trying to achieve a mid-century modern vibe to your kitchen. The on/off button is featured centrally on the front of the machine along with the Cuisinart logo.
The machine is small and compact so it can be put away in any cupboards or nooks out of the way. If you did want to leave it out on the countertop all the time, then it won’t take up masses of space.
Due to its small design, it also means it has a small bowl built-in which you can easily fit in your freezer without having to rearrange it. The machine is built with non-slip rubber feet underneath to keep it stationary and secure whilst you’re using it.
Once you’ve finished using the ICE-21 you can push the electrical cord back into the base to keep it neat and safe, this is a great feature if you want to keep your ice cream maker in a cupboard with other electrical appliances as all the cords won’t get tangled.
The ICE-21 is super simple to use and you can start and finish the process within 5 easy steps. The manual included will give you a step-by-step guide on how to get a perfect batch of ice cream.
There’s a bit of science involved when it comes to ice cream making and with that comes the need to be prepared. If you want to make some homemade ice cream for dessert one evening that you’ll need to prepare to make it the night before.
You’ll need to put your bowl into the freezer for at least 6 hours, but we just put ours in overnight and you’ll also want to make sure that your ingredients mixture is cold, otherwise, it won’t produce the right consistency when it’s churning.
Once you’ve taken your bowl out of the freezer and everything is ready to be churned, it will only take about 20 minutes to be your batch of ice cream. You’ll just need to pop your finished ice cream into the freezer or you can eat it straight away if you wish.
The machine makes enough for 2-4 servings per batch depending on how much you have in each portion. It’s great for a couple’s night in or a nice little treat to finish off a small family dinner, but you won’t be able to make large quantities in one go with this machine.
The parts of the machine are rapid to clean up and will only require warm soapy water and a sponge to wipe it clean afterward. Luckily with the ICE-21, there aren't loads of tiny parts that you need to remove to clean then reassemble, so tidying up afterward will not take you long and you can concentrate on tucking into your homemade ice cream.
The parts are not dishwasher safe and can be prone to warping and damaging if put in there time and time again. Regardless, everything is easy enough to wash up by hand so there is no need for a dishwasher. The parts are also BPA-free so it’s safe to use and no nasty chemicals will be leaching into your ice cream whilst you make it.
One thing we really like about this ice cream maker is that it comes with a small recipe booklet with recipes for not only ice creams, but sorbets and frozen yogurt, so you’ve got a variety of recipes that should appeal to your taste.
It’ll help you get started quicker and let you know the exact measurements of ingredients that will fit right with the ICE-21. Other recipes online will not always be tailored for the size of the ICE-21 so you’ll need to do some math to figure out how much you need.
You can even try many frozen drinks in this ice cream maker, so perfect for kids' slushies on a hot summer’s day or even frozen margaritas for an adult’s only evening.
The ingredients spout at the top of the machine allows you to add ingredients like chocolate chips or nuts without interrupting the freezing cycle.
However, you should only put extra ingredients like these into the mixture once it has begun to chicken, we recommend putting them in 5 minutes before you plan on finishing. Don’t add large chunks of nuts, sweets, or chocolate to the mixture as it won’t let the machine work properly.
Cuisinart also sells the parts of the machine separately, so if you lose or break one then you don’t have to repurchase the whole machine, just a specific part. This is so handy, however, these parts don’t run cheap, so you’re better off just taking good care of your ice cream maker.
The Cuisinart ICE-21 comes with a 3-year warranty, so if something happens to it within that time then you can get in contact with the brand and they should be able to help you out.
If you’re new to making your own ice cream at home then this would be a great first ice cream machine for you to buy. It’s simple, easy to use, and you’ll also get the recipes included to help you start making your first batches of ice cream.
If you’re more advanced on the ice cream making front are looking for something high-tech and fancy then this isn’t the product for you. The machine would only be suitable for use in the home and we wouldn’t recommend it for business purposes or to be used in a restaurant due to its lower yield.
The machine is not the quietest piece of equipment out there, but it’s nothing that you will be getting complaints over. Besides, it only needs 20 minutes or so to run to make the ice cream so the noise won’t be on for ages.
The only downside to this product is something we have briefly touched on and it is that you’ll need to be prepared if you want to make ice cream. As you’ll need to freeze the bowl for the recommended 16-24 hours, you won’t be able to make a last-minute decision to make ice cream off the cuff.
This can be solved by just keeping your bowl in the freezer when it’s not in use, then at least you can start and finish making your ice cream within a few hours instead of a day.
- Large capacity
- Comes in a good choice of colors
- 3-year warranty
- BPA free
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean up afterward
- Quick preparation
- Does not require ice
- Small and compact
- Quick machine
- It’s loud whilst in use
- You do have to plan ahead
What we love most
Our favorite thing is the general ease of using this machine every time, it’s effortless and fuss-free. The manual will guide you through making your first batch when first using the machine and you quickly get to grips with it and soon enough you won’t have to think about what you’re doing.
It produces great quality ice cream every time (as long as you use the correct measurements) and has a decent yield for the compact size of the machine so you can share it out with friends or even enjoy it all yourself.
For the yield quantity and the quality of the ice cream produced by this machine, you’d expect it to be way more expensive than it is. There are cheaper alternatives out there, but none of them compare to the quality of the Cuisinart ICE-21.
You can get the white model that we have here for $69.95 or choose from the various other colors which differ in prices depending on your choice.