Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Review – Why We Think It’s The Best!

We finally decided to get an ice cream maker because of a combination of our favorite Breyers turning into un-natural ice cream and the high cost of premium all-natural ice cream brands. We now make our own ice cream exactly the way we want it and know each and every single ingredient that goes into it. No more carrageenan, guar gum, polysorbate-80, diglycerides, benzyl acetate etc..cuisinart ice cream maker review

We decided to get the Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker because it has a lot of positive reviews and is  lower-priced compared to some other fancy ice cream makers. Years ago I had a hand-crank ice cream maker and this time I wanted to try an automatic one. I liked the idea of manual labor and burning calories when making ice cream, but I think I like automation even better. 🙂

Features we like about the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker:

  • Simple to use – Just press the button to “On” and pour your ice cream base into the freezer bowl.
  • Fast – You can have soft-serve ice cream in just 15-20 minutes.
  • Easy clean up – The bowl, paddle and lid are all easy to clean.
  • Versatile – You can make ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt or sorbets and even comes with a recipe booklet to get you started
cuisinart ICE 21 ice cream maker recipe booklet

Everything that comes with the Cuisinart ICE-21. Few parts that are easy to clean.

Any Drawbacks to Making Your Own Ice Cream?

These don’t really bother me so much because I still think the benefits far outweigh any “cons” of making your own ice cream:

  • Instant Gratification –  Personally, I see this more of a health benefit than anything else. It goes along with our philosophy that if we want to indulge, we have to make it from scratch. If you don’t have either the ingredients to make ice cream and/or the freezer bowl frozen and ready to go, you can’t have ice cream right now. But good ice cream comes to those who wait, my friend.
  • Hard Ice Cream Fans – If you absolutely don’t like soft serve, then you will have to wait a couple of hours for the ice cream to get hard in the freezer. Really it’s not that bad. You can do it.
  • Carrageenan Lovers – If you like that unnatural foamy-like texture of ice cream thickeners, emulsifiers, fillers, etc.. then perhaps you won’t like homemade ice cream. Like I said on our post before, when the cats won’t lick it, that should tell you something.

Using the Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker

We Haven’t Been Disappointed

homemade mocha ice cream

Our homemade mocha ice cream made with chocolate and coffee is one of our favorites.

We have used the Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker to make many flavors of ice cream, custard-style ice cream made with egg yolks, frozen yogurt and sorbets. We haven’t been disappointed yet with any of our creations, not even one where I made ice milk because we didn’t have any cream in the house. Really, the only thing that can mess up or make bad ice cream is the government and/or greedy corporations.

I’ll admit, every now and then if one of the better all-natural ice cream brands are on sale and I’m at the store with a undeniable ice cream craving that needs to be taken care of immediately, then yes, I will buy some but this is a rare occasion.  But we are absolutely happy we made the switch to making our own homemade ice cream and really do enjoy it so much more than store-bought.

In the next post, we have shared some of our favorite homemade ice cream recipes we have made using the Cuisinart, including frozen Greek yogurt and strawberry lemon-basil sorbet.

Have you made the switch yet to making your own ice cream?


  1. Carol F Metzger says

    My husband is lactose-intolerant. Can we make “ice cream” at home with lactose-free milk? I read the ingredients to Lactaid brand vanilla ice cream. All they do is add lactase to the recipe. If I could quantify molecules of lactase and molecules of lactose in my recipes I could do this! The Lactase pill packages never say how much is enough for what foods.

    • @Carol: You can add 56 Lactase Drops to a gallon of milk to make it lactose-free. I’m assuming you could add it to cream (if using in your recipe) as well. You have to wait 24-hours before it is completely lactose-free milk, but then you could use it for your ice cream. As an alternative, I know some have also used coconut milk as a substitute for milk and cream for making lactose-free ice cream.

  2. Beth Wilson says

    ALL NATURAL – making your own from home, is the way to go. REMEMBER though, unless you use ORGANIC sugar, ORGANIC butter, ORGANIC Milk and ORGANIC heavy cream, you will be using GMO based products. Everyone is different however; and some people are fine with that. I choose not to consume GMOS (they’ve been banned in over 60 countries), so FOR ME, I use only organic, when necessary. Great review of this ice cream maker. I’m going to Amazon and price them. Thank you for the delicious recipes too!


    • Beth – Yes, I too would prefer eating organic & non-GMO foods whenever possible, although I would prefer that an entity other than the government to be certifying organic foods. They are not as reliable as one would think, but for now that’s the best we can do without growing it ourselves.
      Glad you like our ice cream recipes. We make ice cream at least once a week with our Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker during the summer. Makes a perfect batch every time. I feel it is one of our essential kitchen appliances.

  3. I agree with you about our government. The only thing that is a turn off for me, regarding this ice cream maker is the fact that it’s Made in China. I know that so many things are nowadays, but then again, it does have great reviews on Amazon and it is BPA free. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

  4. andrew kotlarz says

    I absolutely agree with you and share your experience with Breyers. I also stopped buying when they decided to add gum. I don’t like the texture nor the flavor of gum or pectin in my ice cream. After contacting customer service at Breyers the informed me that their customers requested this change, yeah OK, I’m an idiot. This summer I discovered Turkey Hill Purely Vanilla Gelato and was in ecstasy until today. I picked up a container and knew immediately something was wrong. They also started adding a emulsifier – pectin. I knew this was coming but I was still distraught. This was the ice cream of my childhood in Europe, locally made from 3 simple ingredients. I’ve lost hope until reading your article. I give up on big producers and will start making my own.

    • Beth Wilson says

      It is really depressing when we look at some labels and see so much frankenfood ingredients listed. I also remember when Breyer’s (which I use to LOVE) started adding that nasty gum stuff to their ice cream. And I also contacted them as well. Isn’t that funny?! I’m sure a lot of folks did and the funniest part is, they “claim” it’s “what the customers wanted.” Of course when they replied, I replied back thanking them for responding and also letting them know I would never buy their ice cream again. 🙂

  5. Thank you for the great article on ice cream . I too was suspicious when my kitty cats refused a taste of the stuff !
    I think I may just try making my own .

    All the best ,


  6. I used to make organic ice cream some years ago, with a Cuisinart. I loved the flavor, but the ice cream got rock hard and you’d have to wait until you could even dig it out. I, too, have got fed up with the crap they put in ice cream and switched to Alden’s, an organic brand, that used to be all I wanted from an ice cream.

    Then they changed their recipes to make the ice cream easier to scoop right away form the carton and added some of the lesser evil “gums” (not carrageenan). I did not care for it and ate less, but still bought it, as per cost and time, it was the best alternative. I was happy that they recently changed their recipe again, this time to a more “natural” version with less gums, as I can taste the difference.

    Even better, I’ve discovered another organic brand that just became available in my area — Humbolt. It has much better flavor and texture, so bye-bye Alden’s.

    Why don’t I bother making organic ice cream anymore? Until recently, I couldn’t get good organic cream at a decent price. Even the “organics” were adding in carrageenan, so I was buying non-organic, local heavy cream and rarely. With all of the public protest, including my multiple phone calls to Organic Valley, they finally dumped carrageenan from their cream. Only now they have “gellan gum.” So give me a good, clean, affordable source of cream, preferably organic, and I will return to making my own ice cream.

  7. I’ve had many discussions with people who say they can’t eat ice cream anymore due to it causing digestive problems. I have been educating anyone who will listen about how emulsifiers and stabilizers can cause this. I hate the texture of commercial I cream now. I need to start making my own! Thanks!

  8. Donna Smith says

    This “poisoning ” of our bodies Has To Stop”! Money is the Only thing that concerns them. Dont Buy Their Poison!!! and maybe one day They Will Get It.

  9. Mike Jenkins says

    Luckily, I live in East Lansing, MI, home 🏠 of the Michigan State University Dairy Store where I can buy real, fresh, delicious ice cream!

    Back in 2013, I even worked with the head of the ice cream production to create a new flavor in honor of the 50th anniversary of the College of arts& Letters (CAL). It was CAL Golden Apple ice cream.

    Apple flavor profile for the ice cream with cinnamon-encrusted bits of pie dough and sugar-encrusted bits of short bread mixed in. It was delicious and tasted like apple pie a la mode. It was the #1 flavor out some 12 flavors in the MSU Dairy Store for nearly s year.

  10. Cheryl Ross says

    Beware! I notice a huge difference tonight in my Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream, will not purchase any of it again. Thanks for the information- I found a small magnet inside my mouth tonight from the ice cream! Disgusting! Glad it wasn’t in my blender, or swallowed/choked!

Comments, Opinions, Questions?