DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker – Review

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker


The DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor is a domestic gelato machine that allows you to churn a 600g batch of gelato at a time. Although it makes smooth and creamy, albeit airy, gelato, it is sadly not a machine that I would recommend. Let’s have a look why.

This review will cover:

1. 600g maximum capacity bowl
2. amazon’s ice cream machines best sellers list
3. the formation of ice crystals
4. I should use alcohol?
5. the dasher
6. the in-built compressor
7. the noise level
8. extraction time
9. the static freezing stage
10. can I make ice cream in the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker?
11. quality of the gelato
12. final thoughts

1. 600g maximum capacity bowl

The DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker comes with a removable bowl, which has a 600g capacity. The 600g maximum capacity is the smallest of any ice cream or gelato machine I have tried and smaller than the Cuisinart ICE-100 or Breville BCI600XL, both of which have in-built compressors, a 1000g maximum capacity bowl, and are comparable in price to the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker.

I would have liked to have seen a bigger bowl on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker.

The first time I used this machine, I tried churning an 879g batch. Although the gelato brushed against the plastic lid as it increased in volume, the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker was still able to freeze it. I wouldn’t recommend making more than the stated 600g maximum capacity to avoid putting excess strain on the motor, which may cause it to eventually fail.

2. A best seller?

It doesn’t always follow that a best selling item is a good one but I think it’s useful to have a look at what other ice cream enthusiasts are up to when deciding which ice cream machine to invest in.

At the time of writing, the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker is 8th on amazon’s ice cream machines best sellers list.

Here is a list of the top 10 best selling ice cream machines on amazon.com:

  1. Cuisinart ICE 30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
  2. Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet Maker
  3. Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
  4. Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
  5. Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Whitev
  6. Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker, White
  7. MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart Old-Fashioned Pine-Bucket Electric/Manual Ice-Cream Maker
  8. DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor
  9. Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker
  10. Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker

3. The formation of ice crystals 

When making ice cream, the two salient points to consider are flavour and texture; the best ice creams in the world are bursting with flavour and have a smooth and creamy texture. Smooth and creamy texture is determined to a large extent by the size of the ice crystals that develop during the freezing stage.

Freezing is done in two stages : 1. dynamic freezing, where the ice cream or gelato mix is frozen in a machine to incorporate air and to limit the size of the ice crystals formed; and 2. static freezing where the ice cream or gelato is hardened in a freezer.

Both the dynamic and static freezing stages have a significant effect on ice crystal size: small ice crystals contribute significantly to smooth and creamy texture, whilst large ice crystals produce ice cream that is coarse (Goff and Hartel 2013).

We will be looking at how effective the features on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker are at promoting the formation of small ice crystals. These will include the freezer bowl, the dasher, the in-built compressor, and the extraction time.

4. I should use alcohol?

After flicking through the instruction manual, I was surprised to notice the recommended use of alcohol in the aluminium bottom of the machine where the bowl sits.

The instruction manual states ‘You are recommended to moisten the aluminium bottom of the appliance evenly with cotton wool dipped in alcohol… such as vodka… This prevents the formation of ice between the bowl and aluminium bottom of the appliance, making it easier to extract the bowl when preparation is complete’.

The theory behind this recommended use of alcohol is that the alcohol will prevent ice from forming between the bowl and the machine, which will not only make it easier to remove the bowl, but should also enhance heat conduction from the bowl to the compressor, thereby contributing to a reductio in the residence time.

Residence time is the time a mix spends in the machine and has a significant effect on ice crystal size. To obtain the smallest ice crystals it is necessary to have the shortest residence time possible (Goff and Hartel 2013). Anything that promotes faster freezing of the ice cream will reduce residence time and promote smaller ice crystals (Cook and Hartel 2010).

One factor that leads to an increase in residence time is the build up of ice in or around the bowl. This is because ice does not conduct heat as fast as steel, and so any ice that is permitted to build up either in or around the freezer bowl will act as an insulator, slowing the release of heat from the mix to the refrigerant. The slower the release of heat, the longer the residence time and the larger the ice crystals are likely to be (Marshall and others 2003).

So the use of alcohol should help prevent a build up of ice around the outside of the bowl, which enhances heat conduction and contributes to a reduction in the residence time.

For the first batch of gelato I made in the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker, I followed the recommended instructions and moistened the bottom of the machine with alcohol. This did indeed prevent ice from forming around the outside of the bowl. For the second batch I made, however, I didn’t use any alcohol and again didn’t find a build up of ice around the outside of the bowl.

I therefore don’t think it is necessary to use alcohol as long as you make sure that your bowl is completely dry before you place it in the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker5. The dasher

Another factor that contributes to the formation of small ice crystals is the dasher. The dasher sits inside the freezer bowl and is rotated by the motor. It has scraper blades attached that sit close to the side of the freezer bowl.

The dasher has two functions: to whip air into the gelato mix and to scrape off the layer of ice that freezes at the side of the bowl. This scraping of the freezer bowl prevents a layer of ice from forming, thus increasing the releasee of heat from the mix to the compressor.

Therefore, the closer the dasher gets to the side of the bowl, the shorter the residence time and the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be.

The DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker comes with a plastic dasher that has 2 plastic blades attached: one large and one small blade. When placed onto the central pin, both blades sit close to the side of the bowl and actually do a good job of scraping off the ice that forms there.

I haven’t had any issues with a build up of ice at the side of the bowl.

The small blade, however, does look quite flimsy and I did wonder whether it would be strong enough to cope with the stress as the mix started to harden. I have read several reviews on amazon where the common theme seems to be the small blade breaking after only a few uses. In one review, the user found that their blade broke after only 5 uses.

I haven’t had any problems with the small blade so far but will certainly be keeping an eye on it.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker6. The in-built compressor

So what you’re really paying for on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker is the in-built compressor. Unlike the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker where you have to freeze the bowl overnight before you can churn a batch of ice cream, the compressor on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker means that it is ready to churn a batch as soon as it is switched on.

It is, however, a good idea to switch the machine on and leave the compressor running for about 15 minutes before adding the mix. This ensures that the bowl is as cold as possible and contributes to a reduction in the residence time.

The more powerful the compressor, the colder it will get the freezer bowl and the quicker it will freeze the ice cream mix. The quicker a machine can freeze a mix, the shorter the residence time and the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be (Russell and others 1999).

Commercial machines usually take between 8-10 minutes to freeze a batch of ice cream or gelato. So how does the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker compare to commercial freezing times? Let’s have a look.

An 879g batch took me 35 minutes to churn on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker whilst a 600g batch took 30 minutes. For both these bathes, I switched the compressor on and left it running for 15 minutes before I added the mix.

Let’s see how these times compare to other machines I have tried. Remember that the greater the batch size, the longer the freezing time will be.

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
KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment – 1000g 30 minutes

Although residence time has a pronounced effect on ice crystal size, I can’t stress enough that a short residence time will not guarantee smooth and creamy texture and should only be one of the factors you consider when investing in a machine.

The quality of your gelato or ice cream is, in my view, 70% dependent on the recipe you use and only 30% dependent on the machine. You can make excellent ice cream or gelato with a good recipe and a mediocre machine, but you will not get smooth and creamy texture with a $10,000 commercial machine and a bad recipe.

Check out my Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe for an idea of what is needed to promote smooth and creamy texture. The recipe does take a bit of time but believe me the smooth and creamy texture is worth the work.

All machines will struggle to churn a batch as it freezes during the dynamic freezing stage and the dasher on some will simply stop rotating.

On some machines I’ve tried, the motor simply isn’t powerful enough and the dasher stops rotating way before a batch has been sufficiently frozen. This is a fundamental flaw because a machine that doesn’t have a motor powerful enough to continue rotating the dasher and ensure that sufficient air is incorporated and enough water frozen will likely make ice cream or gelato that is coarse.

Despite the flimsy plastic dasher, I haven’t had any issues on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Make with the dasher stopping before a batch is ready.

7. Noise level

The DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker does make a terrible squeaking sound that only gets worse as the gelato hardens. The squeaking noise sounds out of place, like there is something wrong or loose in the machine, and does unfortunately give me the impression of a cheap machine that is ready to break at any time.

Although important to some, I don’t think noise level should be an important factor you consider when buying an ice cream or gelato machine. I am happy to have a loud machine as long as it makes excellent ice cream or gelato.

Sadly, the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato doesn’t make the smoothest gelato I have tried and sounds like it is in serious need of a service.

8. Extraction time

So we know that ice crystal size is critical to the development of smooth and creamy texture: ice cream or gelato with many small ice crystals will likely have a smooth and creamy texture, whilst large ice crystals will impart a coarse texture.

The extraction time, that is the time it takes to empty the gelato from the freezer bowl and get into into your freezer to harden, is another factor that has a considerable effect on ice crystal size.

This is because as you empty your gelato from the bowl and into a plastic container, it spends time at room temperature. During this time at relatively warm room temperatures, some of the ice melts from the large ice crystals and those crystals that were initially small melt completely. This is known as ripening and occurs when ice cream or gelato is held at elevated temperatures (Goff and Hartel 2013).

When you then get your gelato into your freezer for the static freezing stage, the melted ice re-freezes onto the 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.

So, just holding your gelato at room temperature results in an increase in mean ice crystal size, which, in turn, contributes to coarse texture (Goff and Hartel 2013). It is therefore imperative that you empty the gelato from the freezer bowl and get it into your freezer as quickly as humanly possible.

I found emptying the freezer bowl on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker slightly tricky. Because of the small bowl, I found it difficult to manoeuvre my spoon to extract the gelato, which meant that it took a bit more time to empty.

I always find it easier to empty the bowl when I first remove the dasher. This gives me more room in the bowl and also means that I don’t constantly hit the blades when trying to scrape out the gelato. The dasher on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker is, however, near impossible to remove once the gelato has frozen: there is simply nothing to grip to pull the dasher out of the bowl.

The small bowl together with not being able to remove the dasher does make emptying the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker tricky, meaning that emptying the bowl takes a bit longer than it should.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato maker9. The static freezing stage

Ice cream and gelato are extracted from the freezer bowl at around -5°C. Once you place your gelato in the freezer to harden, significant changes to the ice crystals continue to take place until the temperature decreases to -18°C (Goff and Hartel 2013). Marshall and others (2003) noted that during hardening, ice crystals grow by about 30% to 40%.

The longer it takes for your gelato to reach -18°C, the larger the ice crystals will grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be. Donhowe (1993) showed that faster cooling of ice cream during hardening resulted in smaller mean ice crystal size.

So, to make sure that your gelato gets down to -18°C as quickly as possible, it is important to ensure that your freezer is set to its coldest temperature. If you have a super chill button, or something similar, on your freezer, it is a good idea to switch this on. Also, try and place your gelato in the back of your freezer where the temperature is coldest.

It is also a good idea to place your empty plastic container in the freezer for a couple of hours before you start churning a batch. This will remove any heat stored in the container and will help prevent ice crystals that come in contact with the relatively warm plastic from melting.

10. Can I make ice cream in the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato maker?

The title ‘Gelato maker’ is I think slightly misleading and more of a marketing ploy because you can indeed make ice cream using the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker.

Ice cream and gelato are made from the same base mix which usually consists of milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks. Where the two differ is in the fat and protein contents and the overrun.

Overrun is the  amount of air that is whipped into the mix by the dasher during the dynamic freezing stage. Overrun ranges from 20-100% in ice cream and 25-40% in gelato. Gelato also has a far lower fat content and a higher milk solids non-fat content (predominantly protein) than ice cream. Both these factors tend to make gelato denser, more gummy, and less airy.

So you can opt either for a gelato or an ice cream recipe and churn either in the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker. Overrun is a bit trickier to control on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker and so will be roughly the same for both an ice cream and gelato recipe.

Commercial ice cream manufacturers control overrun by altering the revolutions per minute (RPM) on their machines; higher RPMs will incorporate more air than lower. You don’t have the option to change the RPMs on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker. I’ve found that the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker incorporates quite a bit of air, producing gelato or ice cream that is light and airy.

So yes you can make both ice cream and gelato on the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker by using different recipes. You can’t easily control how much air is incorporated and so both will have a similar overrun.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker11. Quality of the gelato

So this brings me to the last and I think most important point to consider when investing in a gelato or ice cream machine: the quality of the ice cream or gelato it produces. So does the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker make good-quality gelato? The surprising answer is yes. It did make gelato that was smooth and creamy but was also quite airy and light.

Because of the high air content, the DeLonghi GM6000 makes gelato that is comparable in texture to economy ice cream and I would have liked a denser gelato with less air. It certainly wasn’t the smoothest gelato I have tried but it wasn’t bad.

I do think the smooth and creamy texture, however, had more to do with the quality of the recipe I used than the quality of the machine.

DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker12. Final thoughts

So would I recommend the DeLonghi GM6000? Sadly no. The flimsy plastic blade that breaks all too easily, the squeaking noise that sounds like the machine is in serious need of a service, and, most importantly of all in my view, the small freezer bowl, mean that this sadly isn’t a machine I would recommend.

Although the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker made gelato that was smooth and creamy, it was too airy and light and I would have preferred a denser gelato with less air. I also suspect that the smooth and creamy texture was more a result of the recipe I used than the quality of the machine.

If you are looking for a machine with an in-built compressor in the same price range, I would recommend either the Cuisinart ICE-100 Ice Cream and Gelato Maker, the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker. You could also have a look at the Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker or the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker, although both are considerably more expensive.

Although this isn’t a machine I would recommend, if you’re considering investing in the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker and would like to support the blog, you can use the link below to get your machine from the chaps at amazon. :)

Hope the review helps.

All the best,

Ruben

Pros

  • Built-in compressor.
  • Smooth and creamy texture.

Cons

  • Small 600g capacity.
  • Screeching noise.
  • Flimsy plastic scraper blade that is prone to breaking.
  • Makes airy gelato.
  • Difficult to quickly empty the bowl.

References

Cook, K. L. K & Hartel, R. W. (2010). Mechanisms of Ice Crystallization in Ice Cream Production. Comprehensive Reviews of in Food Science and Food Safety.

Donhowe, D. P. (1993) Ice Recrystallization in Ice Cream and Ice Milk. PhD thesis, University of Wisconsm-Madison.

Goff, H. D. & Hartel R. W. (2013). Ice Cream, Seventh Edition. New York: Springer.

Marshall, R. T., Goff H. D. & Hartel R.W. (2003). Ice cream, Sixth Edition. New York: Kluwer Aca-demic/Plenum Publishers.

Russell A. B., Cheney P.E., Wantling S.D., (1999). Influence of Freezing Conditions on Ice Crystallsation in Ice Cream. J Food Eng 39(2):179–9

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KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment – Review

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (9)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.

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment2. A best seller?

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:

  1. Cuisinart ICE 30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
  2. Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet Maker
  3. Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
  4. Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
  5. Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Whitev
  6. Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker, White
  7. MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart Old-Fashioned Pine-Bucket Electric/Manual Ice-Cream Maker
  8. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
  9. Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker
  10. 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.

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (6)
3.1 Jumping and Clicking noise

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.

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (2)KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (10)
3.2 The effect of the dasher on residence time

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.

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (7)4. The freezer bowl

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 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 therefore 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.

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (5)
4.2 Cleaning the freezer bowl

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.

KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment (3)8. Final Thoughts

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.

Pros

  • Large 2 quart capacity.
  • Smooth and creamy ice cream.

Cons

  • 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 :)

 

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Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker – Review

Lello 4080 Lussino Ice Cream Maker

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is a domestic batch ice cream maker with an in-built compressor. It has a somewhat small 1.5 quart capacity bowl and at $699.00 isn’t cheap. It does, however, make exceptionally smooth, creamy, and dense ice cream. Let’s give it a go. 

This review will cover:

1.   the stainless steel finish
2.   amazon’s ice cream machines best sellers list
3.   the formation of ice crystals
4.   the 1.5 quart freezer bowl
5.   the dasher
6.   the in-built compressor
7.   extraction time
8.   the static freezing stage
9.   the central pin issue
10. cleaning
11. the noise level
12. the quality of the ice cream
13. the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino or the Lello Musso Pola 5030?
14. final thoughts

1. The stainless steel finish

So the first thing you notice on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is the impressive all stainless steel finish, which does give it a nice commercial look. The only bits of plastic on the exterior of the machine are the freezer bowl lid, the timer knob, and the dasher and condenser buttons.

I’ve read a review on amazon.com where the user has stated that she has had her Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker for 8 years without having to get it repaired. She does note, however, that ‘it is taking slightly longer to freeze than when it was brand new’. 8 years without having to get the machine repaired is certainly good to hear, especially when you’re spending this much money on an ice cream machine. So far so good.

At 38 pounds, The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker isn’t as heavy as its big sister, the Lello Musso Pola 5030 Ice Cream Maker, but it still has a nice solid feel when you pick it up. It is 12 inches wide, 11 inches high, and 18 inches deep, and can be easily stored in the corner of your kitchen.

Overall, I am very impressed with the appearance of the Lello 4080 Lussino Ice Cream Maker.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream MakerLello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker2. A best seller?

It doesn’t always follow that a best selling item is a quality one but I do think it is useful to look at what other ice cream enthusiasts are up to when deciding which ice cream machine to invest in.

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker is currently the 10th 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:

  1. Cuisinart ICE 30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
  2. Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet Maker
  3. Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
  4. Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
  5. Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Whitev
  6. Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker, White
  7. MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart Old-Fashioned Pine-Bucket Electric/Manual Ice-Cream Maker
  8. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
  9. Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker
  10. Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker

3. The formation of ice crystals 

When making ice cream, the two salient points to consider are flavour and texture; the best ice creams in the world are bursting with flavour and have a smooth and creamy texture. Smooth and creamy texture is determined to a large extent by the size of the ice crystals that develop during the freezing stage.

Freezing is done in two stages : 1. dynamic freezing, where the ice cream mix is frozen in a machine to incorporate air and to limit the size of the ice crystals formed; and 2. static freezing where the ice cream is hardened in a freezer.

Both the dynamic and static freezing stages have a significant effect on ice crystal size: small ice crystals contribute significantly to smooth and creamy texture, whilst large ice crystals produce ice cream that is coarse (Goff and Hartel 2013).

We will be looking at how effective the features on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker are at promoting the formation of small ice crystals. These will include the freezer bowl, the dasher, the in-built compressor, and the extraction time.

4. The 1.5 quart freezer bowl.

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker has a 1.5 quart freezer bowl that allows you to churn a maximum of 750g of ice cream at a time. I do find this relatively small capacity on a $699.00 machine a bit disappointing and would have liked to have seen a bigger 1000g maximum capacity bowl, similar to the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker or the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker.

One of the benefits of the freezer bowl on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is that it is built into the stainless steel housing and cannot be removed. The theory is that having a bowl that is built into the machine enhances heat transfer from the bowl to the compressor, which means that the bowl should get colder faster. Lower freezer bowl temperatures should freeze the ice cream faster, reducing residence time and improving the ice crystal size distribution (Russell and others 1999).

Residence time is the time a mix spends in the machine and has a pronounced effect on ice crystal size. To obtain the smallest ice crystals it is necessary to have the shortest residence time possible (Goff and Hartel 2013).

Anything that promotes faster freezing of the ice cream will reduce residence time and promote smaller ice crystals (Cook and Hartel 2010).

So, the built in freezer bowl on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino should enhance heat transfer and contribute a reduction in the residence time. Anything that contributes to a reduction in residence time gets a big thumbs up from me. My only issue is that I would have liked to have seen a bigger bowl.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker
5. The dasher

Another factor that contributes to the formation of small ice crystals is the dasher. The dasher sits inside the freezer bowl and is rotated by the motor. It has scraper blades attached that sit close to the side of the freezer bowl.

The dasher has two functions: to whip air into the ice cream mix and to scrape off the layer of ice that freezes at the side of the bowl.

The scraping of the bowl prevents a layer of ice from forming. Because ice does not conduct heat as fast as steel, ice that is permitted to form a layer at the side of the bowl will act as an insulator, slowing the release of heat from the mix to the refrigerant, thereby increasing residence time (Marshall and others 2003).

So the scraping of the freezer bowl prevents a layer of ice from forming, which contributes to a reduction in the residence time. The closer the dasher gets to the side of the bowl, the less ice will form there, and the shorter the residence time and the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be.

Like its bigger sister the Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker, the dasher on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is made from stainless steel and has two blades attached, one bigger than the other, with both also being made from stainless steel. The dasher is fixed onto the central pin in the bowl using a stainless steel bolt. The dasher, scraper blades, and bolt all look well-built and durable.

When you place the dasher onto the central pin, however, it does leave a bit of a gap between the big blade and the side of the bowl, which allows a layer of ice to form. Although this is an issue that could certainly be improved on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino, I have found that it still manages to make ice cream that is extremely smooth and creamy.

For the price of the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino, I would have liked to have seen a spring loaded dasher similar to that found on more expensive commercial machines. The strong spring on these commercial dashers pushers the blades firmly against the side of the bowl and ensures that no ice is allowed to build up there. A spring loaded dasher would certainly be a welcomed improvement to a future Lello model.
Lello 4080 Lussino Ice Cream Maker
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker6. The in-built compressor

So what you’re really paying for on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is the in-built compressor. Unlike the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker where you have to freeze the bowl overnight before you can churn a batch of ice cream, the compressor on the 4080 means that it is good to go as soon as the compressor is switched on.

It is, however, a good idea to leave the compressor running for about 15 minutes before adding the mix. This ensures that the bowl is as cold as possible before the mix is added and contributes to a reduction in residence time.

The quality of the compressor is another factor that has a pronounced effect on ice crystal size. This is because the more powerful the compressor, the quicker it will freeze the ice cream mix. The quicker a machine can freeze a mix, the shorter the residence time and the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be (Russell and others 1999).

Commercial machines usually take between 8-10 minutes to freeze a batch of ice cream. So how does the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino compare to commercial freezing times? Let’s have a look.

In my first test, it took an impressive 16 minutes for the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker to churn a 693g batch of ice cream. This was achieved after first leaving the compressor running for 15 minutes before I added the mix.

In my second test, it took 20 minutes to churn a 738g batch again after leaving the compressor running for 15 minutes.

Below are the freezing times for the domestic machines that I have tried. Do bear in mind that the greater the batch size, the longer the freezing time will be.

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 Desert Maker: 1000g batch – 13 minutes
Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker : 886g batch – 42 minutes
KitchenAid KAICA Ice Cream Maker Attachment: 1000g batch – 30 minutes
DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor: 600g batch 30 minutes

Although residence time has a pronounced effect on ice crystal size, I can’t stress enough that a short residence time will not guarantee smooth and creamy texture. Freezing time should only be one of the factors you consider when choosing your machine.

The quality of your ice cream is, in my view, 70% dependent on the recipe you use and only 30% dependent on the machine. You can make excellent ice cream with a good recipe and a mediocre machine, but you will not get smooth and creamy texture with a $10,000 commercial machine and a bad recipe.

Check out my Roasted Pistachio Recipe for an idea of what is needed for the promotion of smooth and creamy texture. This recipe does take some time to prepare but believe me the smooth and creamy texture more than justifies the effort.

7. Extraction time

So we know that ice crystal size is critical to the development of smooth and creamy texture: ice cream with many small ice crystals will likely have a smooth and creamy texture, whilst large ice crystals will impart a coarse texture.

The extraction time, that is the time it takes to empty the ice cream from the machine and get into into your freezer to harden, is another factor that has a considerable effect on ice crystal size.

This is because as you empty your ice cream from the bowl and into a plastic container, it spends time at room temperature. During this time at relatively warm room temperatures, some of the ice melts from the large ice crystals and those crystals that were initially small melt completely. This is known as ripening and occurs when ice cream is held at elevated temperatures (Goff and Hartel 2013).

When you then get your ice cream into your freezer for the static freezing stage, the melted ice re-freezes onto the 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.

So, just holding your ice cream at room temperature results in an increase in mean ice crystal size, which, in turn, contributes to coarse texture (Goff and Hartel 2013).

It is therefore imperative that you empty the ice cream from the freezer bowl and get it into your freezer as quickly as humanly possible.

The large bowl on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino makes emptying relatively quick and easy. There is plenty of space to manoeuvre a large spoon and I find that removing the dasher makes emptying easier.

What is slightly trickier is the layer of ice cream that freezes to the bottom of the bowl whilst you are emptying. The powerful compressor will continue freezing the mix after you switch the machine off. Because the dasher is no longer agitating the mix, it freezes easily to the bottom of the bowl. This layer will take a bit more time and effort to scrape out and so I’d recommend putting the rest of the ice cream in the freezer to minimise ripening before coming back for this last layer.

In all, I have found emptying the freezer bowl on the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino very easy.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker
8. The static freezing stage

Ice cream is extracted from the freezer bowl at around -5°C. Once you place your ice cream in the freezer to harden, significant changes to the ice crystals continue to take place until the temperature decreases to -18°C (Goff and Hartel 2013). Marshall and others (2003) noted that during hardening, ice crystals grow by about 30% to 40%.

The longer it takes for your ice cream to reach -18°C, the larger the ice crystals will grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be. Donhowe (1993) showed that faster cooling of ice cream during hardening resulted in smaller mean ice crystal size.

So, to promote faster cooling to get your ice cream down to -18°C as quickly as possible during the static freezing stage, it is important to ensure that your freezer is set to its coldest temperature. If you have a super chill button, or something along those lines, on your freezer, it is a good idea to switch this on. Also, try and place your gelato in the back of your freezer where the temperature is coldest.

It is also a good idea to place your empty plastic container in the freezer for a couple of hours before you start churning a batch. This will remove any heat stored in the container and will help prevent ice crystals that come in contact with the relatively warm plastic from melting.

9. The central pin issue

So, we know that the best ice creams in the world have a smooth and creamy texture and that small ice crystals contribute significantly to its development. We’ve looked at the effect that the freezer bowl, the dasher, the compressor, and the emptying time all have on ice crystal size and how the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is very good in all four areas.

However, the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is by no means perfect. An issue I have had both with the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino and its big sister, the Lello Musso Pola 5030, is getting ice cream on the central pin as I empty the bowl.

This is an issue because there is a gap between the central pin and the solid plastic that surrounds it. If ice cream gets into this gap and hardens, it will add stress to the motor, which may cause it to eventually fail.

The instruction manual does say ‘not to get the central pin wet’ but I found this tricky when I first started off. I am now more careful when emptying the bowl but still manage occasionally to get some ice cream on the central pin.

I’ve read a review on amazon where the user stated that the hardened ice cream between the central pin and the hard plastic on their Lello Musso Pola 5030 caused the drive gear to fail, but this was after 10+ years of use.

To help prevent getting any ice cream on the central pin, it is a good idea to keep the bolt that holds the dasher in place screwed on. You can remove the dasher to make emptying easier, but then do screw the bolt back on. This will act as a protective layer and help keep ice cream off the central pin.

This will help but won’t guarantee that you won’t get any ice cream on the central pin. You still need to be very careful when emptying the bowl.

If some ice cream does get into the gap, it’s important to clean it off as quickly as possible. But even after extensive cleaning, I have found it impossible to clean off all the ice cream.

I do find the central pin issue a bit disappointing and something that you wouldn’t expect on a machine this expensive. However, it is also one that can be avoided.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker 10. Cleaning

I have read several reviews on amazon where users have complained that cleaning the built-in bowl is tricky, but I really haven’t found this to be the case. It takes me about 5 minutes to clean the bowl using a wet sponge and washing up liquid.

After you finish churning a batch, it is a good idea to wait about 20 minutes for the bowl to warm up before you start cleaning. This is to prevent any of the water on your sponge from freezing to the bowl.

The first time I cleaned the machine, I waited 10 minutes after I had emptied the ice cream and then started wiping it down with a wet sponge. This wasn’t quite long enough for the freezer bowl to warm up and the water on my sponge froze to the bowl. I then waited a further 10 minutes before continuing and had no further issues with water freezing the bowl.

All in all, I have found cleaning the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker surprisingly quick and easy.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker 11. The noise level

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is incredibly quiet when churning a batch of ice cream. Unlike the Cuisinart ICE-30 Ice Cream Maker that does make a fair bit of noise or the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker that sounds like it’s in desperate need of a service, the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is very quiet and you can easily sit in the same room whilst it churns without getting a headache.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are put off certain machines because of the noise they make. Although I appreciate that you might not want to be in the same room as a noisy ice cream machine, I do not think that the noise level should be an important factor to consider, especially if it makes excellent ice cream.

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is one of the quietest domestic ice cream machines I have tried and I haven’t had any issues with noise.

12. The quality of the ice cream

So this brings me to the last and I think most important point to consider when investing in an ice cream machine: the quality of the ice cream it produces. So does the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino make good ice cream? Yes, absolutely.

I found that it made excellent ice cream that had a very smooth and creamy texture. The dasher rotates at a relatively low 80 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) and so doesn’t incorporate a lot of air into the mix. This results in a nice dense ice cream with a low overrun.

Overrun is the  amount of air that is whipped into the mix by the dasher during the dynamic freezing stage. Overrun ranges from 20-100% in ice cream, with low overrun generally associated with premium ice creams.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream MakerLello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker13. The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino or the Lello Musso Pola 5030

I’ve had a few questions from people asking how the ice cream made using the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino compares to that made by its bigger sister the Lello Musso Pola 5030 and which of the two I think is best. 

The 4080 makes ice cream that is near identical to that made by the 5030 with both machines making exceptionally smooth and creamy ice cream that is dense.

The only advantage of the Lello Musso Pola 5030 over the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is the size of the freezer bowl: the 5030 can churn a maximum of about 1800g, although I recommend churning no more than 1500g, whilst the 4080 can only churn a maximum of 750g.

What you pay more for on the Lello Musso Pola 5030 is the larger capacity and I think it would probably be better suited to commercial kitchens, or to those simply wanting to make large batches of ice cream at home.

So, both Lello 4080 Musso Lussino and the Lello Musso Pola 5030 make exceptional ice cream that is smooth, dense, and creamy. The only significant difference is the size of the bowl and, I suspect, the compressor.

14. Final thoughts

So would I recommend the the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker? Yes, absolutely.

It makes exceptional ice cream that is smooth, dense, and creamy. The all stainless steel finish gives the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino a commercial look and the in-built freezer bowl, a feature usually found only on commercial machines, contributes to a reduction in the residence time.

It is extremely quiet when churning and one user’s comment that her Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is still going strong after 8 years does fill me with confidence.

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is, however, by no means perfect. The dasher could be improved to get closer to the freezer bowl and you do need to be extremely careful not to get any ice cream on the central pin whilst you empty the bowl. For the price of this machine, I would also have liked to have seen a bigger 2 quart bowl.

At $699.00, it certainly isn’t cheap. For the home cooks that don’t want to spend this amount on an ice cream maker, have a look at the more affordable Cuisinart ICE-30, the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker, or the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker, all of which make excellent ice cream that is comparable in texture to that made using the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get smooth and creamy texture.

Do remember that a good ice cream machine will help but won’t guarantee smooth and creamy texture; I can’t stress enough the importance of a good recipe. Have a look at my Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe for an idea of what is required for the promotion of smooth and creamy texture.

If you found this review helpful and would like to support the blog, you can use the link below to get your machine from the chaps at amazon :)

Hope that review helps.

All the best,

Ruben

Pros

• Powerful in-built compressor that can churn a 693g batch in about 16 minutes.
• All stainless steel finish.
• Stainless steel dasher, scraper blades, and bolt.
• Extremely quiet.
• Built-in freezer bowl enhances heat conduction.
• Easy to clean.

Cons

• Expensive.
• Small 750g maximum capacity per batch.
• The central pin issue.

References

Cook, K. L. K & Hartel, R. W. (2010). Mechanisms of Ice Crystallization in Ice Cream Production. Comprehensive Reviews of in Food Science and Food Safety.

Donhowe, D. P. (1993) Ice Recrystallization in Ice Cream and Ice Milk. PhD thesis, University of Wisconsm-Madison.

Goff, H. D. & Hartel R. W. (2013). Ice CreamSeventh Edition. New York: Springer.

Marshall, R. T., Goff H. D. & Hartel R.W. (2003). Ice cream, Sixth Edition. New York: Kluwer Aca-demic/Plenum Publishers.

Russell A. B., Cheney P.E., Wantling S.D., (1999). Influence of Freezing Conditions on Ice Crystallsation in Ice Cream. J Food Eng 39(2):179–9

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Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker is a 1 litre, or 1.5 quart, domestic ice cream maker with an in-built compressor. It makes exceptionally smooth ice cream that is both creamy and dense. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Let’s have a closer look and see how it compares to other machines.

This review will discuss: 1. appearance; 2. amazon’s best sellers list; 3. the ice cream churning blade; 4. the machine’s capacity; 5. 12 hardness settings; 6. freezing time; 7. noise level; 8. emptying the freezer bowl; 9. ice cream texture; and 10. my conclusion.

1. Appearance
The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker is constructed from stainless steel and is certainly aesthetically pleasing. The control buttons and knob are also constructed from stainless steel and look well made. The digital display on top of the machine that shows the temperature, time, and setting is another feature that looks well-made.

Overall, I am very impressed with the its appearance and construction. It weighs 15.4kg, or 32 pounds, and measures 16.2 x 10.5 x 10.2 inches. It isn’t a very bulky or heavy machine and I haven’t had any problems with storing it in the corner of my kitchen. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker2. A best seller?
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 Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker is currently the 8th 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:

  1. Cuisinart ICE 30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
  2. Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet Maker
  3. Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker
  4. Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
  5. Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Whitev
  6. Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker, White
  7. MaxiMatic EIM-506 Elite Gourmet 6-Quart Old-Fashioned Pine-Bucket Electric/Manual Ice-Cream Maker
  8. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
  9. Lello Musso Pola 5030 Desert Maker
  10. Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker

3. The ice cream churning blade
The churning blade that mixes the ice cream is made of plastic and sadly doesn’t match the machine’s quality exterior. When fitted in the freezer bowl using the central pin, there is a considerable gap between the blade and the side of the bowl. This is an issue because when the ice cream mix comes in contact with the bowl, it freezes to the side. The dasher scrapes this frozen mix and incorporates it into the rest of the mix. If there is a gap between the side of the bowl and the dasher, a layer of frozen mix starts to build up. This layer then acts as an insulator, slowing the transfer of heat from the rest of the mix to the bowl, which will, in turn, increase the time it takes for the ice cream to freeze.

Anything that lengthens the time a mix spends in a machine is detrimental to smooth and creamy texture because the longer the residence time (the time a batch spends in the freezer bowl), the larger the ice crystals are likely to grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be. Although the churning blade on the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker isn’t the best I have seen and could certainly be improved, it still managed to make exceptionally smooth and creamy ice cream and shouldn’t put you off this machine. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker4. Capacity
The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker comes with a stainless steel removable freezer bowl that has a 1.5 quart capacity. This means that you can make a maximum of a quart, or a litre, of ice cream at a time. During testing, I was able to easily churn a 886g batch of ice cream that filled a 1 litre plastic container. Although I would personally have liked to have seen a larger 3 quart, or 2 litre, bowl, similar to that on the Cuisinart ICE-30, I think the 1 litre capacity is perfect for the home cook.

If you do intend on making more than a litre of ice cream at a time, say for a large party, you can easily churn another batch straight after the first. It’s a good idea to give the freezer bowl and dasher a rinse between batches so that any ice cream that has melted doesn’t then get re-frozen in the second batch, which would more than likely make ice cream with a sandy texture. Also make sure that the freezer bowl and dasher are completely dry before making the second batch to prevent excess water being incorporated into your ice cream.

5. 12 hardness settings
The Breville BC1600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker comes with 12 hardness settings that automatically stop the machine when a certain consistency is reached. It also has a manual setting that allows you to stop the machine when you are happy that the mix has achieved the right consistency.

I tried the automatic setting to make gelato and found this a bit underwhelming. It switched itself off after 42 minutes of churning and produced a gelato that was very runny and didn’t have enough air incorporated. The automatic setting doesn’t increase or decrease the churning blade’s revolutions per minute, a feature that would have controlled the amount of air incorporated into a mix, but merely switches itself off when a pre-determined consistency is reached.

Although I found that the automatic gelato setting left a lot to be desired, I found the manual setting perfect to use because the machine kept churning until I was happy with the consistency and switched it off.

I have read some reviews on amazon where people have complained that the sensor on their machine fails to detect when the ice cream is ready. This causes their machine to keep churning until the texture becomes excessively hard and prevents the churning blade from rotating and the drive gear starts making a grinding noise. I would certainly recommend keeping to the manual setting and switching the machine off yourself when you judge that the perfect consistency has been reached. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker6. Freezing time
What you are really paying for on this machine is not the stainless-steel finish or the LCD display but the in-built compressor. Unlike the Cuisinart ICE30 which requires the removable bowl be placed in the freezer overnight before you can churn a batch of ice cream, the in-built compressor allows you to churn a batch as soon as the machine is switched on. It is a very good idea, however, to chill the freezer bowl for about 15 minutes before adding the ice cream mix. This insures that the freezer bowl gets as cold as possible before the mix is added, which, in theory, should reduce the time it takes to churn a batch of ice cream.

The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker comes with a handy pre-cool button that takes about 15 minutes to get the temperature of the bowl down to -31°C. You simply put the bowl and the dasher in the machine, press the pre-cool button, put the lid on, and leave the machine running. The machine then beeps when the temperature of the bowl reaches about -31°C to let you know it is ready.

Again, the point of chilling the bowl for about 15 minutes before adding the mix is to reduce the time it takes to churn a batch of ice cream. The longer a mix spends in a machine, the larger the ice crystals are likely to grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be. I always recommend that you pre-chilling the bowl before you add your mix.

So how long did the BCI600XL take to churn a batch of ice cream? After chilling the bowl for 15 minutes, it took 30 minutes to churn a 732g batch to a smooth, dense, and creamy consistency. In my second test, it took 15 minutes to chill the freezer bowl and then 42 minutes to churn a 886g batch. The second batch took 12 minutes longer than the first because greater quantities take longer to freeze. Let’s see how these churn times compare to other machines:

Cuisinart ICE-30 – 700g batch 25 minutes.
Cuisinart ICE-100 – 800g batch 40 minutes.
Lello Musso Pola 5030 – 1000g batch 13 minutes.
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino –  738g batch 20 minutes.
DeLonghi GM6000 – 600g batch 30 minutes

The time it takes to freeze a batch of ice cream should always be one of the most important factors to consider when buying a machine. This is because the less time it takes a machine to churn a batch of ice cream, the smaller the ice crystals are likely to grow and the smoother and creamier the texture is likely to be. It isn’t, however, the only factor to consider when buying a machine and a short churning time does not guarantee smooth and creamy texture. The quality of your ingredients, the recipe, and cooking method you use to prepare your mix are, in my opinion, the most important factors that determine texture.

7. Noise level
This machine is incredibly quiet during the churning process. I didn’t notice any grinding noises that are all too often made by domestic ice cream machines when the ice cream starts to harden. I didn’t have any issues with the noise level and was able to comfortably run this machine in my kitchen and have a conversation at the same time.

Again I have read reviews on amazon where users have complained of a loud grinding noise as the ice cream starts to harden. This is a common fault with ice cream makers that occurs when the drive gear struggles to cope with the stress placed on it by the hardened ice cream. I have encountered this issue on the Cuisinart ICE-50BC.

During testing, I found that the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker was able to churn a batch of ice cream to a firm consistency that did not put excessive strain on the drive gear. I did not encounter the grinding noise even after 42 minutes of churning.

Mixes that have a low total solids content (milkfat, non-fat milk solids, egg yolks, and sugar) and a high water content are likely to put more strain on the drive gear as more water will freeze during the churning process, which will, in turn, make harder ice cream. I would certainly recommend using a recipe with a high total solids content to try to minimise the strain on the drive gear and to promote a rich, smooth, and creamy texture. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker8. Emptying the freezer bowl
The only issue I have had with this machine is emptying the ice cream after it has been churned. Because the plastic pin that the churning blade fits onto in the freezer bowl is fixed in place and cannot be removed, I found it difficult to maneuver my spatula to quickly remove the ice cream. The machine does come with a small plastic spatula to empty the freezer bowl but I found that this was too small and didn’t make emptying the bowl any easier or quicker.

The time it takes to empty the freezer bowl is extremely important and should not be overlooked. The main goal during the churning process is to produce a large number of small ice crystals to promote smooth and creamy texture. When ice cream is removed from the freezer bowl at temperatures between -5 and -6°C, some of these ice crystals melt and then grow larger. Thus, just holding ice cream at room temperature will result in an increase in mean ice crystal size and a decrease in the number of ice crystals present, which is likely to lead to coarse and grainy texture.

Ice crystals will continue to melt until the temperature decreases sufficiently to about -18°C. So the longer it takes you to empty your freezer bowl, the longer the ice cream will be left at room temperature and the more ice crystals will melt and then grow larger when you do eventually put your ice cream in the freezer to harden. It is therefore imperative that you rush like a madman (or madwoman) to remove your ice cream from the bowl and get it into your freezer. Anything that slows this process down is a big disadvantage. Emptying the freezer bowl would be a lot easier and quicker if the plastic central pin in the freezer bowl could be removed. I would certainly like to see this feature on any future Breville upgrade. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker9. Ice cream texture
The most important question to ask about any ice cream machine should always be ‘Does it make exceptionally smooth and creamy ice cream?’. If the answer is no, then you should always keep looking, no matter how shiny or aesthetically pleasing the machine is. Despite the poor churning blade and the difficulty in emptying the freezer bowl, the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker made ice cream that was exceptionally smooth, creamy and dense.

The automatic gelato setting unfortunately did not match the quality made using the manual setting and should, in my opinion, be avoided. The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker made ice cream that is comparable in quality to the more expensive Lello Musso Pola 5030 commercial ice cream machine, the Cuisinart ICE-100, the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino, and my beloved Cuisinart ICE-30. Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker10. Conclusion
So would I recommend the Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker? Absolutely. It makes excellent ice cream that is exceptionally smooth, creamy, and dense. The churning blade rotates relatively slowly and incorporates somewhere between 30% and 40% air, making an ice cream that is incredibly dense and melts slowly in the mouth.

The in-built compressor means that you can switch the machine on and be ready to go, although I always recommend chilling the freezer bowl for about 15 minutes before adding the mix. The stainless steel finish and the digital display certainly make this machine very aesthetically pleasing.

However, this machine isn’t without it’s faults. The non-removable pin in the freezer bowl makes removing the ice cream extremely tricky. The ice cream dasher isn’t the best I have seen and could have been designed to sit closer to the side of the bowl. Although I haven’t encountered any problems with the drive gear, several users have complained of a loud grinding noise as the ice cream starts to harden.

I also don’t think that you need to spend a lot of money in order to make exceptionally smooth and creamy ice cream. Quality ice cream is, in my opinion, 90% dependent on ingredients and recipe and only 10% dependent on the machine. The Cuisinart ICE-30 was my first machine and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a first machine at a reasonable price.

What you are paying for on the BCI600XL is the in-built compressor that allows you to churn batch after batch. If having the ability to quickly churn a batch of ice cream isn’t a priority and if you don’t mind freezing the bowl overnight in your freezer, then I would recommend the cheaper Cuisinart ICE30. This machine makes ice cream that is as smooth, creamy, and dense as that made using the BCI600XL.

If you are set on a machine with an in-built compressor, then I would also recommend the Cuisinart ICE-100, or the more expensive Lello 4080 Musso Lussino or the even more expensive Lello Musso Pola 5030.

I hope this review helps. If you are considering buying the Breville BCI600XL and would like to support the blog, please use the link below to purchase your machine from the chaps at amazon.

All the best, Ruben

Pros

  • Nice stainless-steel finish.
  • Exceptional ice cream that is dense, smooth, and creamy.
  • Nice LCD display.

Cons

  • Can only make 1 litre , or 1.5 quarts, of ice cream at a time.
  • Emptying the ice cream can be a bit tricky.
  • The 12 automatic hardness settings didn’t produce the best ice cream and seem unnecessary; the manual setting is perfect though.
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