The KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment lets you attach a freezer bowl and dasher to your KitchenAid to make delicious homemade ice cream. Although it makes smooth and creamy ice cream, the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment is sadly not one that I would recommend. Let’s have a look why.
1. The Drive Assembly Adaptor
The KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment comes with an ice cream drive assembly adaptor that connects the ice cream dasher to the beater shaft on your KitchenAid. I used this drive assembly adaptor on my U.K KitchenAid K45SS Classic Stand Mixer.
The drive assembly adaptor should slide easily onto the beater shaft and hold itself in place with its rubber pads. However, I found this a little tricky to slide onto the beater shaft and get it to stay in place. It didn’t have the feel or look of a well designed piece of equipment and looked somewhat out of place on my KitchenAid. I also found that it kept sliding straight back off with the gentlest of touches. It is a shame that KitchenAid didn’t design an adaptor that you can click sturdily into place without fear of it falling off.
Sadly, I do get the impression that the drive assembly adaptor is ready to break at any moment under the strain of the dasher.
It doesn’t always follow that a best selling item is a quality one but I do think that it is useful to look at what other ice cream enthusiasts are up to when deciding which ice cream machine to invest in.
The KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment is currently the 76th best-selling ice cream machine in amazon’s ice cream machines best sellers list. Here is a list of the top 10 best selling ice cream machines on amazon.com:
- Cuisinart ICE 30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
- Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet Maker
- Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
- Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
- Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Whitev
- Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker, White
- MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart Old-Fashioned Pine-Bucket Electric/Manual Ice-Cream Maker
- Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
- Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker
- Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker
3. The Ice Cream Dasher
The KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment comes with a plastic dasher that connects to the drive assembly adaptor; this connection is my biggest concern with the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment.
On an ice cream maker, the dasher has two roles. The first is to agitate the mix to incorporate air during the dynamic freezing stage and the second is to scrape off any ice that freezes to the side of the bowl and incorporate it into the rest of the mix.
After you attach the 2 quart freezer bowl to the KitchenAid, you then place the dasher inside the bowl and lower the motor head to engage the drive assembly with the dasher. The drive assembly adaptor engages the dasher using a kind of cog system, which you can see in the picture below.
Let’s have a look at why the adaptor/dasher connection doesn’t fill me with confidence.
During the churning process, I found that the adaptor/dasher connection failed after only 9 minutes as the ice cream mix started to harden: the adapter kept slipping and jumping where it met the dasher, which meant that it was unable to turn the dasher. It made a very loud and annoying clicking noise every time it jumped that made me think it was ready to snap at any time.
I found myself having to switch off my KitchenAid, giving the ice cream in the bowl a quick stir, and then trying again to connect the dasher to the adapter. After 29 minutes of churning, the ice cream got to a consistency that meant the adapter would not stop jumping and I could not continue churning the mix.
I have run batches on my Cuisinart ICE-30 for 45 minutes and haven’t had any issues with the motor stopping when the mix gets too hard. I think it is a shame that you are forced to switch the KitchenAid off when the adaptor starts jumping because mixes with high water contents need relatively longer to churn to get a smooth consistency. An ice cream machine should only be switched off when you the cook feel that the mix is ready, not when poorly designed equipment forces you to.
In the instructions manual, KitchenAid try to address this issue by stating ‘NOTE: if the dasher begins to slip and make a clicking noise, this is an audible indicator that the ice cream is done’. After only 9 minutes of churning, 9 minutes!, the consistency of the ice cream was certainly not done and I think the connection between the adaptor and the dasher is a fundamental flaw that KitchenAid need to address.
When making ice cream, one of the most important goals should always be the promotion of many small ice crystals. Small ice crystals contribute significantly to smooth and creamy texture, whilst large ice crystals produce ice cream that is coarse.
Residence time, that is the time a mix spends in the machine, has a pronounced effect on ice crystal size. To obtain the smallest ice crystals it is necessary to have the shortest residence time possible.
The quality of the dasher has a significant effect on residence time. Because ice does not conduct heat as fast as steel, ice that is permitted to form a layer inside the bowl will act as an insulator slowing the release of heat from the mix to the refrigerant, thereby increasing residence time.
A dasher that does not reach the side of the bowl will permit a build up of ice, whereas one that touches the side will likely scrape off any ice that freezes there. The closer the dasher gets to the side of the bowl, the less ice will freeze there, and the shorter the residence time is likely to be.
When you place the dasher into the freezer bowl on the KitchenAid KAICA, it leaves a relatively large gap between the dasher and the side of the bowl, which allows a layer of ice to build up. I have the same problem on my Cuisinart ICE-30 but I have found that an easy way to address this is simply by using my thumb to push the dasher against the side of the bowl. Because the dasher rotates around the bowl on the KitchenAid KAICA, the thumb trick cannot be applied to the KitchenAid.
So, the thin layer of ice that builds up in the KitchenAid KAICA freezer bowl will contribute to a relatively longer residence time.
The KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment also comes with a large freezer bowl that allows you to make a maximum of 2 quarts of ice cream at a time, which I think is great.
Before you can start making a batch of ice cream, you need to freeze the gel inside the bowl that acts as the refrigerant. KitchenAid recommend that the bowl be stored in your freezer for a minimum of 15 hours to ensure that the gel is adequately frozen.
It is a good idea to get your freezer as cold as possible when storing your bowl. I have found that the temperature at which you store your bowl has a profound effect on residence time: a bowl that is stored overnight at around -25°C takes around 6 minutes less to freeze a 800g batch of ice cream compared to one stored at around-18°C.
A good way of checking whether the freezer bowl is ready for use is by shaking it. If you can hear a gushing noise, it means that the gel isn’t sufficiently frozen. If this is the case, put the bowl back in the freezer for a few more hours until you can no longer hear the gushing noise.
When storing your bowl, it is also a good idea to cover the top with cling film and then place it in a plastic bag. This will help prevent any water from freezing to the inside of the bowl whilst in the freezer. Any water that freezes to the inside of the bowl will melt into your mix and increase the water content, which may result in a coarse texture.
The KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment bowl is fairly large and you do need to make sure that your freezer is big enough to accommodate it before you invest in one: the bowl is 17cm high, and 29cm across with the handles and weighs about 2.6 kg.
4.1 Emptying the freezer the bowl
Again, ice crystal size has a profound effect on texture. Ice cream with many small ice crystals will likely have a smooth texture whilst large ice crystals will impart a coarse texture.
Let’s now have a quick look at the effect of extraction time, that is the time it takes to remove the ice cream from the bowl and into your freezer, on ice cream texture.
During the extraction process, ice cream spends time at room temperature whilst you use a wooden spoon or spatula to scoop it out of the freezer bowl and into a plastic container. You take your time because you don’t want to get ice cream all over the kitchen table and you want to make sure that every last bit of precious ice cream is remove from the bowl; you might even take a minute or two to lick the spoon once you’ve finished. After you’ve scooped out the last morsel of ice cream, you then walk over to your freezer and place your ice cream inside. The whole process can, and all too often does, take a while. I am always astounded when I watch recipe videos on youtube and tv and watch as the chef takes their time emptying the freezer bowl whilst talking to the camera.
Let’s have a look at why it is imperative that you get your ice cream out of the freezer bowl and into your freezer as quickly as humanly possible.
During the time that ice cream spends at relatively warm room temperatures, some of the ice melts from the large ice crystals and those crystals that were initially small melt completely. When you finally get the ice cream in the freezer, the melted ice re-freezes onto those large ice crystals that survived. The result is that the total number of ice crystals is reduced and their size increases, the perfect formula for coarse texture (remember, the aim is for many small ice crystals to promote smooth texture). Thus, just holding ice cream at room temperature results in an increase in mean ice crystal size, which, in turn, contributes to coarse texture.
It is imperative that you empty the ice cream from the freezer bowl and get it in the freezer as quickly as possible. To help minimise ripening, it is also a good idea to place your plastic container in the freezer for a couple of hours before you empty the freezer bowl. This will remove any heat stored in the container and will help prevent ice that comes in contact with the plastic from melting.
One of the few things I do like about the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment is that the large freezer bowl means that it easy to get a large wooden spoon in there to quickly remove the ice cream.
I have found large bowl on the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment extremely easy to clean. There is plenty of room to get a wet sponge in the bowl after it has finished churning a batch.
After churning, I usually wait for the bowl to warm up before I give it a clean with some warm soapy water. It’s important not to put the bowl in the dish washer or use hot water when cleaning it as both of these may damage the bowl and cause the freezing gel to spill out.
5. Freezing time
Again, residence time has a profound effect on texture. The shorter the residence time, the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother the texture is likely to be.
So how long did the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment take to churn a batch of ice cream? Well, a 1000g batch took me 30 minutes to churn. I wanted to continue churning for a further 5 minutes as the consistency was still runny but the jumping drive assembly adapter had had enough and could not continue.
Let’s see how this compares to other ice cream machines I have tried:
Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker: 800g batch – 20 minutes
Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker: 800g batch – 40 minutes
Lello Musso Pola 5030 Commercial Ice Cream Maker: 1000g batch – 13 minutes
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker: 738g batch – 20 minutes
Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker : 886g batch – 42 minutes.
DeLonghi GM6000: 600g batch – 30 minutes.
Of course, residence time isn’t the only factor that determines ice cream quality and a relatively short residence time will not guarantee smooth texture. Residence time is, however, an important factor to consider when deciding which ice cream machine to invest your hard-earned cash in.
6. Noise level
The KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment isn’t the quietest machine I have tried. Besides the very annoying jumping and clicking noise, the machine is quite loud when it churns.
Although important to some, I don’t think noise level should be an important factor to consider when buying an ice cream machine. I am more than happy to have a loud machine running for 30 minutes as long as it makes excellent ice cream, which brings me to the point.
7. The quality of the ice cream
The most important factor to consider when buying an ice cream machine should undoubtedly be the quality of the ice cream it produces. Does the KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment make good quality ice cream? Well, despite all its shortcomings, the surprising answer is yes, yes it does.
In the first batch I made, the ice cream looked very runny after 30 minutes of churning. I wanted to continue churning for another 5 minutes to get a firmer consistency but the adapter kept jumping and was having no more. I therefore wasn’t expecting smooth texture but was pleasantly surprised that the ice cream turned out smooth and creamy after I had hardened it overnight in the freezer. It did feel quite airy probably because of the relatively fast rotating dasher.
I do think, however, that the quality of the finished ice cream had more to do with the recipe and preparation method than with the quality of the machine. I do not think that the KitchenAid KAICA will produce the same smooth consistency using a different recipe.
So, would I recommend the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment? Sadly no. The poor design of the drive assembly adaptor, the cheap-looking dasher, and, most important of all, the poor connection between the drive assembly adaptor and the dasher means that the KitchenAid KAICA struggles to churn a batch after only 9 minutes. This is not only frustrating, but also means that you cannot continue churning your batch until you are satisfied with the consistency of the ice cream. I do get the sense that the drive assembly adaptor and dasher are ready to break at any moment.
The KAICA attachment did make ice cream that was, surprisingly, smooth and creamy but I think that had more to do with the recipe and preparation method than the quality of the machine. I struggle to see how this same consistency will be repeated using a different recipe and preparation method.
Therefore, this is sadly not a machine that I would recommend.
If you are looking for an ice cream machine with a removable freezer bowl at a comparable price range, I would recommend the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker. If you are looking for a more expensive machine with an in-built compressor, then I would recommend the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker, the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker, the Lello Musso Lussion 4080, or the Lello musso Polla 5030 Commercial Ice Cream Maker.
- Large 2 quart capacity.
- Smooth and creamy ice cream.
- Cheap-looking dasher that doesn’t touch the side of the bowl.
- Poorly designed drive assembly adapter that slips off too easily.
- Jumping and clicking issue after 9 minutes of churning.
- Relatively loud during churning.
If you found this review helpful and are thinking of buying the KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment, you can support my blog by using the link below to buy your machine from the chaps at amazon. It doesn’t cost you any extra and helps me make more ice cream.
I hope this review helps.
All the best, Ruben