A big improvement on the ICE-50
I wrote a blog post a while ago discussing the shortcomings of the Cuisinart ICE-50. It looks like the chaps at Cuisinart have acted on customer feedback and launched an upgrade; the ICE-100.
The first improvement is the noise level. Whereas the grinding and squeaking of the ICE-50 could be heard for miles and miles, the ICE-100 is much quitter and you can easily sit in the same room with the machine churning away. I still don’t think noise level in an ice cream machine is really that important and shouldn’t be taken into consideration when buying a machine; I am more interested in the quality of the ice cream. However, this was an issue many customers had with the ICE-50 and one that Cuisinart has, in my opinion, addressed.
The motor arm has also been moved underneath the bowl. This gives the machine more power to drive the dasher and I didn’t have the problem of the dasher sticking when the mix began to freeze that I had with the ICE-50.
During testing, I found that the gelato paddle made excellent ice cream with creamy, dense texture, which I preferred to the lighter ice cream made using the ice cream paddle. Both the ice cream and the gelato paddle made batches that were extremely smooth and creamy.
The 1.5 litre removable bowl
My only complaint about this machine is that I would have liked to have seen the same 2-litre bowl found in the ICE-30 in the ICE-100. The 1.5 litre removable bowl allows you to make no more than a litre of ice cream in one batch. The advantage of having a machine with an in-built compressor is that you can make batch-after-batch of ice cream without the need to freeze the bowl overnight. You will have to prepare each batch individually though, which will take more time.
This remains the only issue I have with the machine. I would still like to see a 2 litre removable bowl on a future machine with an in-built compressor.
It took about 40 minutes for the machine to churn a batch of ice cream and get the temperature down to around -5°C. You can serve the ice cream directly after the machine finished churning but the consistency will resemble something similar to soft-serve ice cream and will melt relatively quickly. Commercial ice cream is served at around -15°C and I would recommend placing your ice cream in the freezer for about 4 hours after it has been churned. This will give the ice cream a firmer and more scoopable texture.
The 40 minute freezing time isn’t bad and is one of the fastest for a machine with an in-built compressor, although not as good as the 20-22 minutes it takes the ICE-30 to freeze a 1 litre batch (a commercial Emery Thompson ice cream machine takes about 8 minutes to churn a batch of ice cream).
The time it takes for a machine to churn a batch is very important as the longer a batch spends in a machine, the bigger the ice crystals are likely to grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be.
I would strongly recommend switching the machine on and leaving it running with the bowl in place for about 15 minutes before you add the mix. This will freeze the bowl and help to increase heat transfer from the mix to the bowl, which will in turn mean that the mix is frozen quicker. The quicker you can freeze your batch of ice cream, the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be and the creamier the texture.
The machine comes in a nice stainless steel finish and isn’t an eye sore in the kitchen. It is a fairly large machine so you will need some room in your kitchen to store it. Cleaning the machine is very easy as the bowl and dasher are the only things that come in contact with the machine and are both easily removed.
Ice cream quality
As with any ice cream machine, the most important characteristic should always be the quality of the finished ice cream. The ICE-100 is the only machine with an in-built compressor that I have tried that makes excellent ice cream with a smooth, creamy, and dense texture.
The ICE-100 is also the only machine I have tried that makes ice cream comparable in quality to that made in my beloved ICE-30.
I didn’t try any of the recipes that came with the machine so I can’t say that it will always make excellent ice cream. A good ice cream mix is just as important as a good machine. You can use the best machine in the world but if you don’t have a good ice cream mix, the texture is still likely to be sandy and grainy.
I used my Roasted Almond Ice Cream recipe when I tested this machine. The recipe does involve a lot of work but the smooth and creamy results are, I think, makes the sweat and tears worth it.
So, would I recommend this machine? Absolutely. I still think that machines with an in-built compressor simply aren’t worth the extra money because you can make excellent ice cream in the cheaper ICE-30 model that doesn’t have an in-built compressor.
I appreciate that compressor machines are more convenient to use and allow you to make batch after batch but I still don’t think these machines are worth the extra money. The ICE-30 still remains my number 1 machine and I recommend it every time someone asks me for a recommendation. However, if you are set on buying a machine with an in-built compressor, the ICE-100 is the only compressor machine that I have tried that makes ice cream comparable in quality to that made using the ICE-30.
If you don’t mind freezing your bowl overnight before making your ice cream and are interested in making only one batch at a time, definitely go for the ICE-30 at more than half the price of the ICE-100. If money is not an issue and if you are looking for a convenient machine with an in-built compressor that will make batch-after-batch, I would certainly recommend the ICE-100.
If you found this review helpful and are thinking about buying the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker, you can support the blog by purchasing your machine from the chaps at amazon.com using the link below. All orders are processed and delivered by those chaps at amazon.
- Excellent smooth and creamy ice cream texture.
- 2 paddles; a gelato paddle that incorporates less air and makes a denser ice cream and an ice cream paddle that incorporates more air and makes a slightly lighter ice cream.
- In-built compressor means that you don’t have to freeze your bowl overnight before making your ice cream. This is also good if you intend on making a lot of ice cream for a party or large group. I recommend switching the machine on and leaving it to chill the bowl for 15 minutes before you add your mix.
- Nice stainless steel finish.
- Quieter than the ICE-50.
- Still no 2 litre bowl. The 1.5 litre bowl allows you to make no more than 1 litre at a time.
- More than twice the price of the ICE-30.