Automatic and manual modes
Opening for adding ingredients
Heavy freezer bowl
24-hour freeze time for bowl
Cuisinart has all but locked down the U.S. market for ice-less, compressor-less ice cream machines, but many people might still balk at spending over $100 on a single-purpose appliance, like the Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker. We wanted to see if the product was worth the high price, so we tried it out by making a quart of vanilla ice cream.
Performance: Set it and forget it
We started by combining and chilling ingredients for a vanilla ice cream recipe and poured the mixture into the prepared freezer bowl. The mixing arm was wobbly until we put on the cover, which fit snugly and held the arm in place.
We selected the preset mode for Ice Cream (you can also choose Gelato or Sorbet), pressed Start, and the machine kicked on, initiating a 25-minute countdown. While this ice maker is somewhat noisy, we weren't too bothered by the volume; still, we were a bit startled by the beep signaling that the ice cream was ready. Luckily, a loud alert means that you'll definitely hear it, even if you're in another room.
Once the preset mode or manual timer finishes, the timer starts displaying negative numbers. The instructions say you can churn your mix in the machine for up to 30 minutes, and the appliance will alert you every five minutes. However, we found it beeped more frequently than that, so we set the timer for another 30 minutes. To avoid making frozen butter, we stop churning about halfway through.
The result was fluffy soft serve that hardened into lovely ice cream after a few hours in the freezer. The machine is supposed to turn off automatically if the mixture gets too thick, but we didn't let our ice cream overmix. Some online reviewers claim to have problems with this feature, but we didn't experience any.
Design: Show it off or tuck it away
The chrome finish of this ice cream maker would be right at home in any modern kitchen. It’s sleek and tall, but still narrow enough to tuck into a corner. The freezer bowl is the heaviest component, so if you leave that in the freezer, the actual appliance isn’t too heavy to store on a high shelf.
Unlike other ice cream machines, you don’t have to take the top off this model to add ingredients as it thickens—a definite plus. And the entire lid is transparent for quick check-ins.
Setup Process: Really easy
Setup was a breeze, but our biggest complaint is that you need to freeze the bowl for at least 24 hours in advance. The gel within the bowl's walls needs to solidify to keep the bowl cold for the duration of the churn time (and then some). Thankfully, the bowl for this ice maker isn’t much bigger than a large tub of ice cream, so it shouldn’t restrict your available freezer space too much.
Features: Choose your frozen dessert
The buttons and timers on a kitchen appliance can be your best friend or worst enemy. On this machine, Cuisinart keeps it simple with a Start/Pause button and modes for Sorbet, Gelato, and Ice Cream. The up and down arrows are for setting the timer and the pause option is helpful for adding ingredients without resetting your timer—a feature many other models don’t include.
Each dessert preset has its own pre-programmed timer, and the coolest feature is the slightly slower churn on the gelato setting. This process is one of the hallmarks of genuine gelato. To set your own timer, choose a setting based on the desired churn speed and simply adjust the time.
Price: Worth every penny
Unless you want to shell out hundreds of dollars for an ice cream maker with a compressor, this is a pretty good deal. At over $250 (MSRP), it costs more than other compressor-less options, but it delivers results to match.
Competition: Other Cuisinart models
While slightly noisy, the Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker was still quieter than one competitor we tested, the Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker. And yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but we thought its performance justified the price tag.
If you want to save money, your best bet is a lower-tier ice cream maker from Cuisinart. With the exception of a timer, the design of this previous model is similar to the current Cool Creations, and it costs less. Looking to spend even less? The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence is a solid choice that holds 2 quarts, while the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker and Cuisinart The Fruit Scoop both hold 1.5 quarts—and the latter has a special mixer for fruit-based desserts. Just know that other models from this brand lack the slower gelato setting.
If you can swing the high price, the Cuisinart ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker is definitely worthwhile for its convenient features, particularly the built-in timer and unique gelato setting. If you’re looking for a high-quality ice cream maker for your home, you won’t be disappointed in this unit.
- Product Name ICE-70 Ice Cream Maker
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- Price $250
- Weight 13.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 9.74 x 8.62 x 13.22 in.
- Color Brushed chrome
- Material Metal, plastic
- Capacity 2 quarts
- Warranty 3 years, limited