The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker, available from amazon, 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.
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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 Desert 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
4. 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.
5. 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 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 it 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.
Lello Musso Pola 5030: 1000g batch – 13 minutes
Cuisinart ICE 30BC: 1000g batch – 35 minutes
Cuisinart ICE-100: 800g batch – 32 minutes
Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker: 800g batch – 32 minutes
KitchenAid K45SS Classic Stand Mixer: 1000g batch – 30 minutes
DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker: 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 Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 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.
6. 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.
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 ice cream 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.
8. 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 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.
10. The noise level
The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino is incredibly quiet when churning a batch of ice cream. Unlike the Cuisinart ICE 30BC 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Final thoughts
The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino makes exceptional ice cream that is smooth, dense, and creamy. The all stainless steel finish gives it 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 30BC, the Cuisinart ICE-100 for my review), 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.
I hope this review helps. If you’re considering buying the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino and would like to support the blog, you can do so by clicking here to order your 4080 from the chaps at amazon.
I’d be happy to answer any questions so do get in touch.
All the best,
• 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.
• Small 750g maximum capacity per batch.
• The central pin issue.
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. and 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