The Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Qt. Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker (Est. $70) and the Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet Maker (*Est. $50) both churn out delicious ice cream and get high marks from professional testers and individual owners. The biggest difference between the two machines is the size. The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence has a slightly larger capacity at 2 quarts, while the Cuisinart ICE-21 is a 1.5 quart machine. The Pure Indulgence's larger size may make it a noisier machine, but owners say the noise isn't too obnoxious. In addition, a larger canister means it takes up slightly more space when stowed in the freezer.
The two machines have a number of similarities. Both are simple to use and require no programming, as they only have an On/Off button. Both have an open top to easily add ingredients at any point in the cycle. They both require monitoring, but for different reasons. The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence's paddle is not wide enough to scrap the sides of the freezable bowl, which causes ice cream to build up on the bowl's sides. The Cuisinart ICE-21 works fast. Some testers made ice cream within 15 minutes. But its efficiency of quickly whipping air into the mix has a downside: If left for too long, the ice cream may overflow. Still, because the ICE-21 works so rapidly, several users say they are able to make a second batch of ice cream immediately after the first.
For both machines, planning is key, as the freezer bowl needs to be frozen for about 24 hours before making the ice cream. The process doesn't stop once the machine stops churning. At the end of churning, the consistency of the ice cream is very firm soft serve. For optimum results, transfer the ice cream into airtight containers and put them in the freezer for a while. Also note that ice cream in a smaller container will harden faster than in a larger container.
The decision between these two Cuisinart models essentially comes down to whether the additional capacity is needed, whether some extra noise in the house, however temporary, can be tolerated, and whether the ICE-21's 2-foot cord is too short to meet your needs.