At Serious Eats we love kitchen tools that are effective, efficient, and that deliver amazing results—and we get even more excited when they’re affordable, too.
Our winning ice cream machine, the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, checks all of these boxes. In our testing, it made creamy, well-aerated ice cream—and fast, in a mere 20 minutes. For comparison, most ice cream makers with built-in cooling systems take around 40 minutes, minimum. The canister is dual-walled and has coolant inside it, so once it’s fully frozen (Cuisinart recommends 16 to 24 hours, depending on your freezer), all you have to do is attach it to the machine, add your ice cream base, and push a button to start spinning. It’s as easy as pie (including the slice of pie that desperately needs a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which is why you bought an ice cream maker in the first place). And it’s only $70, so you can scream (with glee) for ice cream.
To buy: Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, $70 at amazon.com
Good to Know
- Stated max capacity: 1.5 quarts
- Canister pre-freeze requirement: 16 to 24 hours
- Average churn time: About 20 minutes
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 9 x 11.25 inches
- Colors: White, pink, red
- Included components: Motor, lid, blade, bowl
- Warranty: 3-year limited
How long does it take to make ice cream in the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker?
This model relies on a fully-frozen canister to freeze your base, so it can vary depending on your freezer. In our testing, a fully-frozen canister whipped up ice cream in about 20 minutes.
Are ice cream makers worth it?
If you love ice cream and tinkering with your own flavors, then an ice cream machine might be a worthy addition to your kitchen. What's great about the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, in particular, is that it's quite affordable and doesn't take up too much space. So, if you're not churning ice cream every day, you can store it away easily.