34 MINUTE READ
The Cuisinart ICE-100, available from amazon*, is a domestic ice cream and gelato maker with an in-built freezing system. After more than 2 months of testing, I’ve found that it produces excellent ice cream that is extremely smooth, dense, and creamy. It has an optimum capacity of 800 ml (0.85 quart) of ice cream mix, producing about 1000 ml (1.06 quart) of ice cream with about 25% air in 25 minutes. In a taste test, I found that it produced ice cream that was perceived to be slightly smoother and creamier than that produced by both the Whynter ICM-200LS* and the Breville BCI600XL*. My only complaint is the two small holes in the gear located in the underside of the bowl. These can let in diluted ice cream mix during cleaning, which can then solidify over time and give off a mouldy smell if not thoroughly cleaned. As I am yet to develop a good gelato recipe, this review will focus primarily on the ICE-100’s use for ice cream production.
You can view the top selling ice cream machines on amazon by clicking here*.
You might also like to read:
Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker – A Comprehensive Review
Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker – A Comprehensive Review
How To Calculate An Ice Cream Mix
Locust Bean Gum in Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream – Recipe
Table of Contents
- 1. My Review Method
- 2. Ice Crystals in Ice Cream
- 3. Factors Affecting Nucleation, Growth, and Recrystallisation
- 3.1. The Scraper Blades
- 3.2. Air In Ice Cream
- 3.3. The Freezer Barrel Wall Temperature
- 3.4. Draw Temperature
- 3.5. Residence Time
- 4. Does the ICE-100 Make Good Ice Cream?
- 5. General Questions
- 6. My only Complaint
- 7. Summary
- 8. What The * Means
- 9. References
1. My Review Method
I’ve used a slightly unconventional method of review. Let me explain. The best ice creams in the world have a smooth and creamy texture. This texture, primarily associated with a high milk fat content, is also determined by the average size of the ice crystals: smooth and creamy ice cream requires the majority of ice crystals to be small. If many crystals are large, the ice cream will be perceived as being coarse or icy. Because ice crystal size is a critical factor in the development of smooth texture, I’ve discussed the key principles that underpin ice crystal formation and growth, and how these principles are affected by the features of the Cuisinart ICE-100. By having an understanding of these key principles, I hope that you’ll be in a better position to evaluate this machine.
If you’re short on time, you can skip to the Summary of this review. If you’d like a nice long read, then sit back, grab yourself a hot cup of cocoa, and enjoy this comprehensive review; it will take about 34 minutes to read. 🙂
2. Ice Crystals in Ice Cream
Ice crystals range in size from about 1 to over 150 μm in diameter, with an average size of about 25 μm in commercial ice cream (Donhowe & Hartel, 1996; Hagiwara & Hartel, 1996; Hartel, 1996; Koxholt et al., 2000; Marshall et al, 2003; Sofjan & Hartel, 2004). Small ice crystals, around 10 to 20 µm in size, give ice cream its smooth and creamy texture, whereas larger ice crystals, greater than 50 μm, impart a grainy texture (Marshall et al., 2003; Eisner et al, 2005; Drewett & Hartel, 2007). To produce ice cream with the smallest possible ice crystals, it’s important to develop an understanding of ice formation (known as crystallisation) during the freezing of ice cream.
Ice cream is frozen in two stages, the first being a dynamic process where the mix is frozen in a scraped-surface freezer (SSF) (an ice cream machine) whilst being agitated by the rotating dasher, a mixing device with sharp scraper blades attached, to incorporate air, destabilise the fat, and form ice crystals. Upon exiting the SSF, the ice cream, at about -5°C to -6°C (23°F to 21.2°F) and with a consistency similar to soft-serve ice cream, undergoes static freezing where it is hardened in a freezer without agitation until the core reaches a specified temperature, usually -18°C (-0.4°F). Cook & Hartel (2010) argue that the dynamic freezing stage is arguably the most important step in creating ice cream because this is the only stage in which ice crystals are formed.
During dynamic freezing, the ice cream mix is added to the SSF at between 0°C and 4°C (32°F and 39.2°F). As the refrigerant absorbs the heat in the mix, a layer of water freezes to the cold barrel wall (the freezer bowl wall in the case of ICE-100) causing rapid nucleation (the birth of small ice crystals) (Hartel, 2001). For smooth and creamy ice cream, it’s important to have a high rate of nucleation so as to form as many small ice crystals as possible (Hartel, 1996). The more ice crystals that are formed during dynamic freezing, the more will be preserved during static freezing, resulting in a smaller average crystal size and smoother texture (Cook & Hartel, 2010).
2.2. Growth and Recrystallisation
The crystals that form at the cold barrel wall are then scraped off by the rotating scraper blades and dispersed into the centre of the barrel, where warmer mix temperatures cause some crystals to melt and others to grow and undergo recrystallisation. Recrystallisation is defined as “any change in number, size, shape… of crystals” (Fennema, 1973) and basically involves small crystals disappearing, large crystals growing, and crystals fusing together. The greater the extent of growth and recrystallisation in the centre of the barrel, the larger the ice crystals will be. Russell et al. (1999) found that crystallisation during the freezing of ice cream is dominated by recrystallisation and growth and that these mechanisms appear to be more important than nucleation in determining the final crystal population.
3. Factors Affecting Nucleation, Growth, and Recrystallisation
3.1. The Scraper Blades
Nucleation is affected by the rate of heat transfer from the mix to the cold freezer barrel, with a high rate of heat transfer promoting a high rate of nucleation (Hartel, 1996; Goff & Hartel, 2013). Because heat travels more slowly through ice than stainless steel, ice build up on the freezer barrel wall acts as an insulator and lowers the rate of heat transfer.
Keeping the scraper blades sharp and close to the barrel wall helps promote a high rate of heat transfer by scraping off any ice that forms at the barrel wall (Goff & Hartel, 2013). Ben Lakhdar et al. (2005) found that a large gap between the scraper blades and the barrel wall slowed heat transfer. This was attributed to a permanent ice layer, which forms between the blades and the wall only when the gap is high enough (3mm). When the gap is 1mm, the ice layer is not strong enough and is periodically removed from the wall.
Does the Cuisinart ICE-100 leave a gap between the scraper blades and the bowl wall?
The ICE-100 comes with two plastic dashers, one for ice cream and the other for gelato. Both dashers have two vertical plastic scraper arms that scrape the ice that forms at the freezer bowl wall. When fitted onto the central pin inside the bowl, both dashers leave a gap of 1 mm between the scraper arms and the bowl wall. This results in a 1 mm layer of ice that freezes to the bowl wall during dynamic freezing, which isn’t thick enough to lower the rate of heat transfer.
The amount of air incorporated into a mix during dynamic freezing (referred to as the overrun) affects the size of the ice crystals, with slightly larger ice crystals observed at a lower overrun (Arbuckle, 1977; Flores & Goff, 1999b). Flores and Goff (1999a) suggested that overrun below 50% does not influence ice crystal size, but the amount of air cells at 70% overrun is just enough to prevent collisions among ice crystals, which can result in an increase in crystal size. Sofjan & Hartel (2004) found that increasing the overrun in ice cream (from 80% to 100% or 120%) led to the formation of smaller ice crystals, although the effect was relatively small.
How much air does the ICE-100 whip into ice cream?
Goff & Hartel (2013) note that standard ice cream has between 100 and 120% air (yes, 120% air!), premium between 60 and 90%, and superpremium 25 to 50%. The ice cream dasher in the ICE-100 rotates at a relatively low 26 revolutions per minute (rpm), compared to typical speeds of 100-200 rpm in commercial machines, producing ‘superpremium’ ice cream with about 25% air. This low air content produces nice, dense, or ‘fudgy’ as one of the carpenters in my shared workspace described it, ice cream that I personally prefer to lighter, airier, ice cream with a higher air content.
How much air does the ICE-100 whip into gelato?
Compared to regular ice cream, gelato is typically lower in milk fat (4-8% in gelato, 10-18% in ice cream), total solids (36-43% in gelato, 36->40% in ice cream), and air (20-40% in gelato, 25-120% in ice cream) but higher in sugar (up to 25% in gelato, 14-22% in ice cream) (Goff & Hartel, 2013). Gelato also tends to be softer, more pliable and stickier than ice cream, and is served at warmer temperatures.
I used the gelato recipe that came in the instruction manual, which you can read here, to test the gelato dasher. This recipe produced just over 1000 ml (1.06 quart) of gelato mix, which took 41 minutes to freeze, producing just over 1200ml (1.27 quart) of extremely coarse and icey gelato with about 20% air. The recipe yielded too much mix, resulting in a lot of gelato being pushed against the lid as it froze. Unless you like coarse and icey gelato, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe.
3.3. The Freezer Barrel Wall Temperature
Decreasing the temperature at the freezer barrel wall causes higher ice crystal nucleation rates and reduces recrystallisation in the centre of the barrel, which helps ice crystals remain small. (Drewett & Hartel, 2007; Russell et al.,1999). Cook & Hartel (2011) simulated ice cream freezing in an ice cream machine by freezing ice cream mix in a thin layer on a microscope cold stage. The temperature at which the ice cream mix was frozen on the cold stage varied from -7°C, -10°C, -15°C, and -20°C (19°F, 14°F, 5°F, and -4°F). The researchers found that warmer freezing temperatures gave more elongated and slightly larger crystals with a wider size distribution.
To promote the formation of smaller ice crystals, the temperature of the refrigerant should fall within the range of -23°C to -29°C (-10°F to -20°F) (Goff & Hartel, 2013), with the freezer barrel wall temperature estimated to be a few degrees warmer.
How cold does the bowl get?
The R134A refrigerant in the ICE-100 is able to get the 1.4 litre (1.5 quart) anodised aluminium bowl wall temperature down to between -29°C and -34°C (-20.2°F and -29.2°F) when empty.
Do you need to pre-freeze the bowl?
No, the ICE-100 has an in-built freezing system, which means that you don’t need to pre-freeze the bowl for 24 hours, as you do with the Cuisinart ICE-70*, before you can freeze your mix. It’s good to go as soon as you switch it on.
How much ice cream does the ICE-100 make?
The instruction manual states that ‘Gelato and Sorbet bases should be no more than 1 quart (946 ml)’ and ‘Ice Cream bases should be no more than 5 cups (1183 ml or 1.25 quart)’. I’ve found, however, the maximum capacity for ice cream to be lower than that stated by Cuisinart.
When using the ice cream dasher, I’ve found the optimum capacity to be 800 ml (0.85 quart) of ice cream mix, producing about 1000 ml (1.06 quart) of extremely smooth and creamy ice cream with about 25% air. Although it’s capable of freezing 900 ml (0.95 quart) of ice cream mix, producing about 1100 ml (1.16 quart) of ice cream with about 22% air, ice cream just starts to brush against the lid as it freezes and the texture isn’t quite as smooth and creamy as the smaller 800 ml (0.85 quart) batch size. When 1000 ml (1.96 quart) of ice cream mix is frozen, a considerable amount of ice cream is pushed against the lid and, again, the texture isn’t quite as smooth and creamy as the smaller 800 ml (0.85 quart) batch size.
Can I make 1 quart or less?
Yes the ICE-100 can freeze 500 ml (0.53 quart) of ice cream mix in 14 minutes, producing ice cream with the same extremely smooth and creamy texture as the larger 800ml (0.85 quart) batch size.
3.4. Draw Temperature
The draw temperature is the temperature at which ice cream is removed from the barrel once dynamic freezing is complete. In commercial machines, this is usually -5°C to -6°C (23°F to 21.2°F) (Goff & Hartel, 2013). Draw temperature significantly influences mean ice crystal size because it determines how much water is frozen during dynamic freezing and, consequently, how many ice crystals are formed. Decreasing the draw temperature results in more water being frozen and increased ice crystal content (Caillet et al., 2003). The more ice crystals that are formed during dynamic freezing, the more will be preserved during static freezing, resulting in a smaller average crystal size and smoother texture (Cook & Hartel, 2010).
Drewett & Hartel (2007) showed that ice crystals were larger at draw temperatures from -3°C to -6°C (26.6°F to 21.2°F). When the draw temperatures were colder than -6°C (21.2°F), the mean ice crystal size decreased.
Low Temperature Extrusion
Bolliger (1996) and Windhab et al. (2001) investigated the influence of Low Temperature Extrusion (LTE) freezing of ice cream, where ice cream exiting the SSF at -5°C to -6°C (23°F to 21.2°F) is frozen further to about -13°C to -15°C (8.6°F to 5°F) in an extruder with slowly rotating screws, on the ice crystal size in comparison to conventional draw temperatures. It was shown that the mean ice crystal size was reduced by a factor of 2 by means of the LTE process compared to conventional freezing. Sensorial properties like consistency, melting behaviour, coldness, and scoopability also showed clearly improved values (Windhab, 2001).
Besides the ice crystal size, the size and distribution of air cells and fat globules are of primary importance, especially on the sensorial aspect of creaminess. To obtain creamier ice cream, it’s important to generate ice crystals, air cells, and fat globule aggregates as small as possible (Wildmoser et al., 2004). LTE helps to prevent air bubbles from coming together, thereby retaining the smallest size distribution (Eisner et al., 2005). Air Bubbles in the 10-15 μm range have been reported in LTE frozen ice cream, compared to conventionally frozen ice cream samples with bubbles in the 40-70 μm range (Bolliger et al., 2000b). LTE also helps to reduce the size of agglomerated fat globules compared to conventionally frozen ice cream (Windhab & Bolliger, 1998a, b).
LTE generally promotes enhanced fat destabilisation, which is partially responsible for slow melting and good shape retention (Bolliger et al., 2000b). Fat destabilisation in LTE treated ice cream can be twice that achieved during the conventional freezing process (Soukoulis & Fisk, 2016). Because of smaller air bubbles and fat globule aggregates, as well as a higher degree of fat destabilisation, LTE ice cream is evaluated creamier than conventionally produced ice cream (Wildmoser et al., 2004).
How do you know when your ice cream is done?
In line with the beneficial effects of LTE freezing on ice cream texture reported above, I’ve found that ice cream extracted from the ICE-100 at draw temperatures of -10°C (14°F) or lower is perceived smoother and creamier than that extracted at draw temperatures of -8°C and -9°C (17.6 and 15.8°F). To measure draw temperature, I use a cheap infra-red thermometer*.
It’s worth commenting here on the drive motor in the ICE-100 because it’s able to produce sufficient torque to continue rotating the dasher as the mix hardens to -10°C (14°F). On some domestic machines I’ve tried, the drive motor simply isn’t powerful enough to produce sufficient torque to continue rotating the dasher until the mix reaches -10°C (14°F). This means that ice cream has to be extracted at higher draw temperatures, resulting in slurry-like ice cream with less frozen water, reduced ice crystal content, and icy texture.
Because lower draw temperatures promote the formation of smaller ice crystals and smoother texture, I’d recommend extracting your ice cream at -10°C (14°F) or lower. You can use a cheap infra-red thermometer to check when your ice cream is done.
During extraction, it’s important to balance trying to minimise wastage with minimising the extraction time. The longer it takes to extract your ice cream from the bowl and get it into your freezer for static hardening, the longer it spends at relatively warm room temperatures where recrystallisation and growth occur very rapidly. The greater the extent of recrystallisation and growth, the larger the ice crystals are likely to be.
3.5. Residence Time
Residence time, which refers to the length of time ice cream spends in the barrel and takes to reach its draw temperature, has a significant effect on the final ice crystal size distribution, with shorter residence times producing ice creams with smaller ice crystals due to a decline in recrystallisation (Russell et al., 1999; Koxholt et al., 2000; Goff & Hartel, 2013; Drewett & Hartel, 2007; Cook & Hartel, 2010). Longer residence times mean that ice cream spends more time in the bulk zone of the barrel where warmer temperatures cause rapid recrystallisation. Donhowe & Hartel (1996) measured a recrystallisation rate at -5°C (23°F) of 42 μm/day. At this rate, a size increase of around 8 μm would be expected over a 10 minute period. This matches almost exactly the increase in crystal size observed by Russell et al. (1999) at a slightly different temperature of -4°C (24.8°F).
A high rate of heat transfer and colder barrel wall temperatures contribute significantly to shorter residence times. Lower barrel wall temperatures lower the bulk temperature of the ice cream faster, reducing residence time and improving the ice crystal size distribution (Russell et al., 1999; Drewett & Hartel, 2007). Investigating the effect of draw temperature, dasher speed, and residence time on ice crystal size, Drewett & Hartel (2007) concluded that residence time had the greatest impact on final crystal size distribution, followed by drawing temperature and dasher speed.
How long does it take to freeze a batch of ice cream?
I’ve found that it takes 25 minutes to freeze 800 ml (0.85 quart) of ice cream mix to an optimum draw temperature of about -10°C (14°F). Residence time increases to 35 minutes for 900 ml (0.95 quart) of ice cream mix, and 37 minutes for 1000 ml (1.06 quart) of ice cream mix, both being frozen to a draw temperature of -10°C (14°F). Because a shorter residence time promotes the formation of smaller ice crystals and, consequently, smoother texture, I’d recommend freezing an optimum 800 ml (0.85 quart) of ice cream mix at a time.
Switch the compressor on and leave it running for 15-20 minutes before you add your mix. This will ensure that the bowl is as cold as possible when the mix is added, which will promote higher rates of nucleation, reduce recrystallisation, and reduce the residence time: I’ve found that the residence time increases by about 1 minute and 45 seconds when I don’t pre-freeze the bowl for 20 minutes.
4. Does the ICE-100 Make Good Ice Cream?
Yes I’ve found that the ICE-100 consistently produces extremely smooth, dense, and creamy ice cream that is comparable to ‘superpremium’ ice cream or artisan gelato. Because of the low 25% air content, it produces dense, or ‘fudgy’ as one of the carpenters in my shared workspace described it, ice cream that I personally prefer to lighter, airier, ice cream with a higher air content. I get consistently smooth and creamy results with my own recipe, an example of which you can see in my Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe, but found that it produced really coarse and icey texture when I tried the gelato recipe in the instruction manual.
In a taste test, I found that the ICE-100 produced ice cream that was slightly smoother and creamier than that produced by both the Whynter ICM-200LS* and the Breville BCI600XL*, with the ICM-200LS a close second, and the BCI600XL third for overall texture. The BCI600XL incorporated more air during freezing, about 30%, resulting in ice cream that was slightly lighter and airer. The ICM-200LS incorporated the least amount of air of the three machines, about 8%, producing ice cream that was judged the thickest.
How Does the ICE-100 Compare to the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino?
In a taste test to compare the texture of ice cream produced by the ICE-100 to that produced by the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino*, I, along with three other tasters, found it difficult to find any noticeable difference between the two when a high butterfat recipe (23% butterfat) was frozen; both made ice cream that was extremely smooth and creamy. The only noticeable difference was that the 4080 produced ice cream that was perceived to be slightly lighter than the denser ice cream produced by the ICE-100.
When I lowered the butterfat content in my mix to 18%, however, I found that the 4080 produced ice cream that was substantially smoother and creamier than that produced by the ICE-100, albeit not as smooth and creamy as the 23% butterfat recipe. The ICE-100 produced noticeably coarse ice cream with large icey chunks that were detectable in the mouth. Butterfat masks large ice crystals, which is why they are not detected in the mouth in a high butterfat mix, but then become pronounced once the butterfat content is reduced. These findings show that the 4080 produces ice cream with smaller ice crystals and, consequently, smoother texture, which is more pronounced in recipes with a lower butterfat content.
5. General Questions
What are the dimensions, Weight, and Voltage?
The Cuisinart ICE-100 comes in a nice stainless steel and plastic finish: the top and front of the machine are made from stainless steel, whilst the sides and back are made from plastic. When I first unboxed it, I was surprised by just how small and light it actually is: it measures 41.9 cm (16.5″) in length, 30.5 cm (12″) in width, and 25.4 cm (10″) in height, and weighs 10 kg (22 pounds). It’s very easy to move and stores easily in my kitchen. In the U.K, it runs on 230v 50Hz and draws 150 watts. In the U.S it’s 110/120v 60Hz.
No, I’ve found it pretty quiet during freezing and haven’t had any problems sitting in the same room with it on. It produces 79 dB of noise, measured from about 15 cm (5.9″) from the front of the machine, when the bowl is empty, and 85 dB during freezing. I have noticed a very slight squeaking noise coming from the drive gear under the bowl that comes and goes during freezing, but I haven’t found this an issue.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes it’s very easy to clean. Once dynamic freezing is complete, I always take the bowl out of the machine before extracting my ice cream to stop any falling onto the unit itself. Cleaning the bowl, lid, and dashers with warm soapy water is extremely easy. Only the dashers and lid are dishwasher safe, the bowl isn’t. The stainless steel parts of the machine do pick up fingerprint marks quite easily and so need to be regularly wiped down.
How reliable is it?
After 2 months of use, I haven’t had any reliability issues. It’s still freezing my ice cream in the same amount of time as it took when I first got it.
Can you use the ICE-100 to start a business?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get about this machine. I think that yes it could be used to start and run a small business (it could certainly be used to trial a few flavours at food markets), as long as you accept that production will realistically be limited to about 10 litres (10.6 quart) of frozen ice cream per day, which will take you a good 6 hours to freeze.
To test the ICE-100 under continuous use, I froze 10 batches of ice cream each measuring about 900 ml (0.95 quart) of mix one after another. It was in near continuous use for 6 hours and 5 minutes with just a 3 and-a-half-minute break in between batches to extract the ice cream and clean the bowl. I found that the compressor didn’t overheat, and that the freezing time remained fairly constant for all 10 batches.
What is the warranty?
Here in the U.K, it comes with an impressive 5 year warranty, which is the longest I’ve seen for a domestic ice cream machine. You guys in the U.S only seem to get a 3 year warranty though.
6. My only Complaint
An issue that’s been raised by several users in their reviews on amazon, which you can read here, is the build up of residue on the drive gear located in the underside of the bowl. Users have noted that when the bowl is soaked in soapy water, some of the diluted ice cream mix gets in through the plastic seal in the underside of the bowl and through two small holes that have been drilled into the gear. Over time, this diluted ice cream mix hardens and causes a bad smell.
Another user has noted that the dasher on his machine stopped rotating. When he investigated, he found that a little piece of ‘crap’ that had gotten into the drive train and gears in the machin appeared to be a piece of dry, hardened ice cream. Once he fiddled around with the gears, this hardened ice cream came loose and everything turned freely again. He noted that he could not find any way that this piece of hardened ice cream could have gotten into the drive train and gears. My guess is that some diluted ice cream mix that had gotten in either through the plastic seal or the two holes in the gear on the underside of the bowl then seeped into the drive train and gears after the bowl was washed, dried, and placed back in the machine.
After reading these reviews, I decided to investigate whether I too had fallen victim to hardened ice cream in the underside of my bowl. I churned a batch of ice cream and cleaned my bowl just as I normally had done in my sink with warm soapy water. After leaving the bowl on my drying rack overnight, I unscrewed the three screws that hold in place the plastic seal around the gear in the underside of the bowl. I noticed that there was some water that had gotten in through either the seal or the two holes the previous night and hadn’t dried. This didn’t, however, get into the bowl itself, nor did it smell of dairy, but I can see how this can result in a build up of diluted ice cream mix over time.
I don’t think this issue is a show stopper, but I’ve now changed the way I clean my bowl: I now use running hot water and a soapy sponge to rinse my bowl instead of soaking it in a sink full of warm soapy water. I also regularly unscrew the plastic seal on the underside of the bowl and pour boiling water over the seal and gear to sterilise them both. I then make sure that both are dry before I screw the seal back on.
UPDATE ON 23RD JUNE 2017
Another user posted some helpful feedback in the comments section of this post, which I’ve added below. Thanks for sharing Marc. 🙂
Great to have a review on the ICE100 & to have you give it the thumbs up. I purchased one of these machines 3 years ago & along with your recipe advice, we’ve been churning out some amazing KETO ice cream.
I noted in your article, that you spoke about a squeak and you also dismantled the seal housing in the bottom of the tub in order to clean it, something I had not done until you mentioned it. I did this to explore the possibility of residue being stuck in there. As I have never soaked the tub, always washed & rinsed immediately after use, I found no sign of residue in the seal housing. What I did find is a complex set up of metal & plastic interlocking components that were both dry & a little rusty. This is not an ideal situation for either a seal or a moving part. All of a sudden it dawned on me, this is where the squeak during operation comes from.
So, I recommend the following as part of a regular cleaning & maintenance routine. Disassemble the seal housing, clean with a toothbrush & warm water, dry all the components. Upon reassembling, using a bamboo skewer, apply a small amount of food grade silicone grease to all of the moving parts of the seal assembly. When reassembling do not over tighten the screws, place a small amount of grease on the bottom flange where it comes into contact with the dog gear on the bottom of the shaft, as this too is a friction point. The annoying squeak is now gone & your machine will run beautifully for at least a few more years. As for the frequency of this type of maintenance? I’d say every 30 to 50 batches would be a good idea.
In the 2 months that I’ve been testing this machine, I’ve found that the Cuisinart ICE-100* produces extremely smooth and creamy ice cream that is comparable to ‘superpremium’ ice cream or artisan gelato. It has an optimum capacity of 800 ml (0.85 quart) of ice cream mix, producing about 1000 ml (1.06 quart) of ice cream with about 25% air in 25 minutes. Because of the low air content, it produces dense, or ‘fudgy’ as one of the carpenters in my shared workspace described it, ice cream I personally prefer to lighter, airier, ice cream with a higher air content. I get consistently smooth and creamy results with my own recipe, an example of which you can see in my Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe, but found that it produced really coarse and icey texture when I tried the gelato recipe in the instruction manual.
In a test taste, I found that the ICE-100 produced ice cream that was slightly smoother than that produced by both the Whynter ICM-200LS* and the Breville BCI600XL*, and, when using a high butterfat (23%) recipe, produced ice cream that was indistinguishable from that produced by the more expensive Lello 4080 Musso Lussino*. When the butterfat content was reduced to 18%, however, I did find that the 4080 produced ice cream that was substantially smoother and creamier than that produced by the ICE-100, with the latter producing noticeably coarse ice cream with large icey chunks that were detectable in the mouth.
My only complaint is the two small holes on the gear in the underside of the bowl, which let in diluted ice cream mix during cleaning. This diluted mix can then solidify over time and impart a mouldy smell if not thoroughly cleaned and dried. Diluted mix may also seep into the drive train and gears when the bowl is placed back in the machine after cleaning, which, over time, may cause the gears to seize up. I don’t think this is a show stopper, although I now clean the underside of the bowl more thoroughly after having read other users’ reviews.
8. What The * Means
Transparency is key. On that note, I haven’t been paid to write this review, nor was I given this machine for free. I paid for this bad boy with my own money and have written this review in my own time. If you find joy or value in my work and would like to support the blog, this is how you can help. If there is a * after a link, it means that I will earn a payment if you go through it and make a purchase on amazon. This doesn’t increase the cost of what you purchase, nor do these links influence what I write. 🙏
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