Nothing beats sitting down in the middle of a hot summer evening and enjoying a bowl of ice cream. However, as I have found out not all ice cream is created equal and some of the ice cream has a lot higher quality than others. Well, one thing I know for certain is the homemade ice cream is the best you can find anywhere. With that being said, you may be like me and need an ice cream maker to get the ice cream made and know it was homemade for sure. Normally, I would opt for more of a harder type of ice cream, but with kids I have found the soft serve type to be a great option which is why I decided it was time to launch our in depth review of the Cuisinart ICE-45P1 ice cream maker. If you are a frequent reader of our page then you know the Cuisinart ice cream maker is popular and the ICE-45P1 actually made our list of the 5 best ice cream makers.
Features Of The Cuisinart ICE-45P1 Ice Cream Maker
- Easy lock lid with a viewing window which makes it easy to add ingredients.
- Mixing arm that keeps the ice cream properly stirred to keep it soft.
- Dispensing handle makes it easy to get ice cream out and into your bowl.
- Three condiment holders with chute to mix it into your ice cream.
- Double insulated freezer bowl to keep the ice cream cold.
- Cone holder makes it easier to keep the ice cream cones by the maker.
Why Do I Need A Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker
Well, the simple answer is you do not really need to have a soft serve ice cream maker, but if you like ice cream that you can use within minutes of making, with the frozen bowl, then you need this ice cream maker. Now, that I have said that you do not really need the ice cream maker, let me tell you why I think you should get one and how it will benefit you.
The soft serve ice cream maker here is by Cuisinart, which from my past experiences with other kitchen and food making appliances in my home from Cuisinart is they tend to be very reliable. Yes, I know some people have bad experiences, but some have a horrible experience with KitchenAid or GE appliances or mixers even. So I have to say, the reliability of the soft serve ice cream maker definitely makes it easier to know the ice cream maker works each time you go to use it.
So what is the other reason that you need the Cuisinart ICE-45P1 ice cream maker? Well, I found that it makes it quite a bit easier to get the soft serve ice cream made in your home. This makes it easier for you to get the soft serve ice cream without having to go to Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, or any of the other places serving the soft serve you enjoy on the hot summer day.
Does The Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker Work Good
I think the answer really depends on what your definition of good is. If you are like me and just want to get the ice cream ready to eat, then yes it works good. However, if you are also like me and want to get some extra features then the Cuisinart maker here works amazing. Now, if you are looking to see what I mean by extra features then here is how well those work and what I found interesting.
The condiment holder and dispenser is definitely a major plus for the Cuisinart ice cream maker. Yes, I know the condiment holder makes it sound more like a hot dog machine, but that is not the case. In fact, found this works great for several reasons. The first is I have 3 different options and I tend to gravitate towards chocolate chips, M&Ms, and I hate to admit my guilty pleasure of Reese Pieces. Well, with the holder and the chute it makes it easier to get the soft serve ice cream prepared with what I want to have in the ice cream.
What else I really enjoy is the recipes for the most part are very easy to follow and prepare. The soft serve recipe that is included with the maker is your basic vanilla recipe. However, a simple search online makes it easier to find the recipes for additional ice cream recipes. At the same time, though, you can find recipe books online as well and those make it very easy to make a wide range of soft serve ice creams.
What Purpose Does The Double Insulated Bowl Serve
Now, one common problem that I have seen with any of the home ice cream makers is you still have to use a frozen bowl to make the ice cream. Yes, I know that it probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is true and definitely a drawback to making your own ice cream because it is not nearly as easy as what you think. So what purpose does the double insulated bowl serve when you are making ice cream?
The bowl is what will hold the ingredients when you are mixing them up. Well, the bowl and the double insulation means it will stay colder longer. The double insulation typically has an outer wall and then a void that has a liquid inside of it, then another wall that your ice cream is touching. This insulation factor will stay colder longer and keeps the ice cream from melting almost right away in the bowl.
Now, one factor that you may notice with the bowl is you have to put it in your freezer before you make ice cream. Typically the colder you get the bowl the better so I would recommend putting the bowl in the freezer the night before you plan on making ice cream. The downside is just like your meat when you take it out of the freezer it will start to thaw almost right away. What else is telling is you have to scoop the ice cream out of the bowl and put into the freezer before it starts to separate. The entire time for that process is typically 30 minutes to an hour.
After I Start The Process How Long Until I Get Ice Cream
The entire process of ice cream making, for soft serve, is one that is more along the lines of trial and error. The good news is if you over mix the ice cream and it starts to get too thick to come out of the chute, you only have to wait a few minutes before it is going to melt and be ready to use again. Now, that brings up what many consider to be the ideal time to mix in the Cuisinart ICE-45P1 soft serve maker.
Well, I know that sounds counterintuitive to make ice cream for soft serve and then have to wait for it to melt. Well, to help out in avoiding the trial and error on your part to get the ice cream done you should know the ideal time. I know for some people with the ingredients and the bowl temperature this will vary, but in general here is the ideal time, 15 minutes of stirring.
Yes, 15 minutes tends to be the sweet spot for the soft serve ice cream. This is what I found and what I have seen others mention as the sweet spot online. Now, this applies with the Cuisinart ice cream maker for sure, but it will be about the same for most ice creams. You just have to make sure you are around the time. If you do not mix the soft serve long enough it will be watery and runny. If you go over the time too long the ice cream will become a hard serve and more like the traditional ice cream.
Which Is Better The Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker Or Regular Ice Cream Maker
To answer this I have to say it is more along the lines of which type of ice cream do you enjoy more? Also you need to think about which one you want to have when it comes to the ease of getting the ice cream out of the bowl once you have finished making it. So who would like the traditional ice cream and who would like the soft serve ice cream makers?
The harder or traditional type of ice cream makers would be those that you get if you buy a half gallon of ice cream from the store. I know that is what you may be used to getting for ice cream. However, I found that this type of ice cream is nice and definitely worth it, but takes more time. Not to mention when you do make the traditional type of ice cream you have to scoop the ice cream out and have to add in the extras during a set time period in the recipe. We did a review of the Cuisinart ICE-30BCP1 that you can read.
The softer serve ice cream is more along the lines of what you find at restaurants. Not an ice cream specific store, but more long like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and even Dairy Queen. With the soft serve ice cream, if the bowls are properly prepared, then it is less time to get the ice cream ready, but also it tends to be easier to prepare and get out in the bowls or cones, which is a personal favorite of mine.
Do I Need A Special Mixture For The Cuisinart ICE-45P1 Ice Cream Maker
The need for a specialized ice cream making material is a common theme that I see people asking about. However, with the Cuisinart maker here, you do not really need to get anything extra to get the ice cream ready. In fact, the simple recipe is so basic the only thing you may have to go out for is some of the cream that you need to get.
Now, as you reach some more advanced recipes for the ice cream maker then you could end up encountering a recipe that you do need to get some of the extra ingredients. For example, if you are looking at the recipes that will use more of the specialized flavors or if you want to make chocolate instead of vanilla, then you may notice that the recipe can require specialized items.
One thing that you do need to keep in mind is the more specialized the ice cream you make the more likely it will take longer to make, but also the harder cleanup will be. This makes the choice on the ice creams you make easier and also makes it easier to understand more about the cleanup and timing process, which as mentioned earlier will take you back to the trial and error aspect of the time to get the ice cream prepared.
Why Does The Cuisinart ICE-45P1 Come With Condiment Chutes
Now, as I mentioned and as you can see in the main image is the fact this is one ice cream maker that comes with its own condiment holder or in some terms a topping holder. Well, I have to say that it is definitely a major positive as it makes it easier to get the ice cream made and get the condiments or toppings right away. So outside of being a holder for the toppings, you have a chute that makes it easier for you to get the toppings moved to the ice cream.
What the chute does is allow you to put the toppings into the ice cream while you are dispensing it with the pull handle. This allows you to get the toppings down into the middle of the ice cream, the bottom or you could even end up waiting until you are done and put the toppings on at the traditional method and all the way at the top of the ice cream.
A drawback that I did find with the topping chute is the fact that it does have a limited amount of size it can handle for the toppings. This means that I have to consider the size of the toppings when I am making my ice cream and loading up the topping reservoir and even if the toppings will fit in the chute. Now, for chocolate chips if you are inclined to use them, you have to make sure you use the smaller or the mini chips, but they do fit in perfect.
Is Cleanup Of The Cuisinart ICE-45P1 Easy To Do
Face it for everything that you get that is good, food wise that is, is definitely going to lead to you having to clean up a mess. I mean you cannot really make homemade soup anymore without having to clean up a mess. Well, the same holds true here with the ice cream maker, except you are using milk based products here and if you are not careful and cleaning these up right it can lead to spoilage in the system.
The good news is the ice cream maker overall is fairly easy to clean. You can find the instructions on how to clean the handle and the dispenser part out quite a bit easier than what you thought. The drip tray is another easier part that you can clean. It is important to make sure you do find and clean the drip tray after each use as it makes it easier to keep down on bacteria, but also keeps the ice cream maker from smelling.
What else is great about the cleaning process is it means you can start on the next batch of ice cream. When you start on the next batch you know it is only a matter of time until you get to enjoy the great tasting ice cream again and know it was homemade by your own hands, instead of picked up at the store.
My Final Thoughts On The Cuisinart ICE-45P1 Ice Cream Maker
Nothing, not even the top quality store bought ice cream is able to beat the quality and taste of the homemade ice cream. However, if you are like me, finding the best ice cream maker is a challenge and then when you decide you want a soft serve maker it tends to become even harder to find the best ice cream maker. In my final thoughts, if you are looking for a decent soft serve ice cream maker that will not break your budget, then the Cuisinart ICE-45P1 ice cream maker is not that bad and definitely makes it easier to enjoy ice cream in a timely manner.