The Cuisinart ICE-21 is a super-simple electric machine that churns out fantastic ice cream within 20 minutes after the inner bowl has frozen for 24 hours and the starting mix is chilled. Because the machine makes ice cream rapidly, some users report making two batches back-to-back. Owners say that the open top and a thorough manual make the machine a great value. The one gripe: The cord is too short at only 2 feet long.
Ice cream in 20 minutes or less. Owners are enthusiastic about the fantastic results they achieve with the Cuisinart ICE-21, which was updated by the manufacturer in 2010. The updated model makes ice cream faster -- in 20 minutes or less -- as long as the starting mix is pre-chilled. Cambria Bold, design and lifestyle editor at TheKitchn.com, was able to make two back-to-back batches, with the second batch taking 20 minutes and coming out a bit softer. Owner feedback supports this test result. However, Bold adds that this swiftness can be a drawback. If the maker churns too long, the ice cream will creep up and spill from the sides of the machine.
No frills. The machine has a plain exterior and only one button -- an On/Off button. But it's easy to use. If owners follow a few simple directions: pre-chill their mix, freeze the inner bowl for 24 hours and transfer the mix into air-tight containers for further hardening, the dessert will come out great. However, the parts must be hand-washed, and the freezer bowl cannot be used to store ice cream. Some users find cleaning the bowl a little difficult. Additionally, one Amazon.com owner cautions not to use metal to scoop the ice cream off the sides or the freezer bowl will get scratched.
Good buy. The Cuisinart ICE-21 is Amazon's No. 2 best seller, and reviewers say it's a good buy. For convenience, many owners elect to buy a second 1.5 quart freezable bowl. Editors at Good Housekeeping report that this machine produces ice cream that ranks higher in taste tests than more expensive models. Averaging about $50, the ICE-21 comes with a three-year limited warranty. The machine also includes a thorough manual, complete with recipes that owners praise as creamy and delicious.
1. Good Housekeeping
The Cuisinart ICE-21 garnered an A- grade from Good Housekeeping for its ability to churn out excellent ice cream and sorbets. Good Housekeeping gives the machine high marks for its ease of assembly, its thorough manual with tasty recipes and good customer service.
Review: Ice Cream Maker Reviews, Editors of the Good Housekeeping, May 2012
Cambria Bold, Design and Lifestyle editor at TheKitchn.com, reviews the Cuisinart ICE-21, along with four other machines. While she favors her deluxe refrigeration unit, she says Cuisinart improved the ICE-21 from its older model and is a good value. Her reviews cover the pros and cons of each model as well as troubleshooting tips.
Review: Shopping for Ice Cream Makers: 5 Models We've Reviewed, Cambria Bold, May 23, 2012
Nikki Goldstein compares the newer Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker ICE-21 with extra freezer bowl to the old model. She writes that the improvements are significant but not life-changing. She likes the mix-in panel at the top, but finds the short cord cumbersome.
Review: Gadgets: Cuisinart's Latest Ice Cream Maker, Nikki Goldstein, July 15, 2010
The Cuisinart ICE-21 is Amazon.com's No. 2 best seller and gets an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. About 1,075 customers review the unit for the website, and about 77 percent give it a perfect score. The reviews are generally enthusiastic, and owners who initially had problems making ice cream fixed them in subsequent tries.
Review: Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2013
The Cuisinart ICE-21 earns an overall rating of 91 out of 100 from owners reviewing the unit on the site. The machine receives the top score, a 5, for performance, durability, ease of use, cleaning and design. Owners give the machine, which makes 1.5 quarts, a 4 out of 5 for capacity.
Review: Ice Cream Maker Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of August 2013
About 290 owners give the Cuisinart ICE-21 an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, citing its ease of use, assembly, cleaning and speed. One user's advice: Fill the freezer bowl only two-thirds of the way so that the ice cream doesn't overflow.
Review: Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker with Extra Freezer Bowl, Contributors to Williams-Sonoma.com, As of August 2013
While most of BedBathandBeyond.com's frozen dessert-related products have fewer than 10 reviews or none at all, the Cuisinart ICE-21 has about 40 reviews. Owners give the unit an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, citing its simplicity and delicious ice cream.
Review: Cuisinart Ice Cream/Yogurt Maker, Contributors to BedBathandBeyond.com, As of July 2013
The Cuisinart ICE-21 is one of Cooking.com's five Top Rated items. It has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 20 reviewers. One owner writes that the ice cream is soft and melts quickly right out of the machine, but it also hardens nicely in the freezer.
Review: 1.5 qt. 3-in-1 Ice Cream Maker by Cuisinart, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of August 2013