Cuisinart ICE-21PKSLT Ice Cream Maker – Full Review

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Love the incomparable taste of homemade ice cream? The Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker is easy to operate, and it makes fantastic frozen desserts. Like some other top ice cream makers, this model uses a freezer bowl to chill ingredients, eliminating the need for messy ice and salt. Just put the mixing bowl into the freezer for 16 to 24 hours, then assemble the ice cream maker. Pour ingredients in through the handy spout, flip the switch, and enjoy a delectable frozen dessert about 20 minutes later.

This automatic ice cream maker features an innovative design. The ingredients spout lets you pour ingredients right into the freezer bowl without the risk of making a mess. The easy-lock lid slips into place on the motorized base, and features a transparent design that allows you to keep an eye on the freezing process. The large mixing paddle that blends ingredients while aerating, and rubber feet on the base help keep the unit stationary during use. A convenient cord storage feature helps keep the kitchen looking neat.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning and operating the Cuisinart ICE-21.



Compact Design

If you’re used to large old-fashioned ice cream makers that take up vast amounts of cupboard space, you’ll appreciate the Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker for its compact design. You can cut back on prep time by storing the mixing bowl in the freezer, and the rest of the parts nest together and fit on top of the base for easy storage in a cupboard or cabinet.


Quiet Operation

The Cuisinart ICE-21 is one of the quietest ice cream makers I’ve ever heard, perhaps because there’s no ice and salt moving around. The only sound you hear is the motor humming away, and you can easily carry on a conversation in close proximity to the appliance or watch TV in the next room without having to turn it up.


Makes Fantastic Ice Cream

Cuisinart has a great reputation for manufacturing appliances that work as advertised, and the ICE-21 ice cream maker is no exception. Simple vanilla ice cream made using the recipe in the accompanying instruction book turned out smooth, creamy, and absolutely delicious. As with most other ice cream makers, this one makes a finished product that has a fresh, pure taste that easily outshines even the most expensive store brands. The desserts are the consistency of soft serve when the machine finishes, and you can firm them up a bit in the freezer if you like harder ice cream. I enjoy it as-is and have to admit that I can barely wait to enjoy a bowl as soon as the ice cream maker finishes its task.


Attractive Design

The Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet maker features a sleek, modern design and is available in your choice of four colors to complement your kitchen’s existing décor. The appliance is made of smooth, shiny plastic and has a very solid presence.


Easy Clean Up

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With the Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker, cleanup is just as easy as making ice cream. Disassemble the unit, transfer ice cream to an airtight container for storage in the freezer, and give the moving parts a quick wash in hot, soapy water. The base is easy to wipe clean with just a all-purpose cleaner and a paper towel.


Premium Desserts and Drinks at a Reasonable Price

The Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker is an inexpensive appliance that delivers delicious fun and that pays for itself quickly if used frequently. You are in complete control of what goes into your frozen desserts, i.e. coconut milk, cashew milk, or other vegan options, premium chocolate, coconut, fruit, etc. To top it off, this unit makes more than just frozen desserts; it also delivers fantastic icy drinks such as margaritas and daquiries or fun non-alcoholic slushies. Like other appliances that let you make restaurant style favorites at home, this one saves you money even though you need to purchase ingredients.



qm  “Do you have to refrigerate the ingredients before putting them in the ice cream maker?”

It’s a good idea to combine your ingredients and refrigerate them for several hours before using the ice cream maker. You can even put them in the freezer for an hour or so before starting the ice-cream making process. You’ll get good results faster if you do it this way.

qm  “How long does the canister need to stay in the freezer before making ice cream?”

According to Cuisinart, the mixing bowl needs to stay in the freezer for 16 to 20 hours before making ice cream.

qm  “How does the freezer bowl work?”

The mixing bowl has a double insulated wall and contains a cooling liquid that takes the place of the ice and salt in a traditional ice cream maker. It’s important to store the freezer bowl flat and upright in the freezer so that the liquid inside freezes evenly. Also, it’s vital that you keep the freezer bowl inside the freezer until you are all ready to make ice cream.

qm  “Can you eat the ice cream right away or does it have to go into the freezer after the cycle finishes?”

Yes. The ice cream is a lot like soft serve when the cycle finishes, and it is delicious! If you like firmer ice cream, you can allow it to ripen in the freezer for about two hours.

qm  “Can you use whatever ice cream recipes you want to, or do you have to use the ones that come with the machine?”

Yes! You can use whatever recipes you want: Ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, etc. As long as the recipe makes 1 ½ quarts or less, it should work with this ice cream maker. If you happen to find a recipe you like but it makes too much, consider halving the recipe so that the machine can handle it adequately. Feel free to experiment!

qm  “Does the mixing paddle turn? It doesn’t seem to connect to the motor.”

The mixing paddle rests in a hollow in the bottom of the mixing bowl. The bowl itself turns, and the paddle will scrape the sides as the bowl turns. You do need to secure the top to the bottom correctly, and ensure that the paddle hooks into place so that it works right.

qm  “How big is the mixing bowl? I’m not sure I have room in the freezer.”

The mixing bowl is cylinder-shaped, and measures 7” in diameter. It is 5.5 inches high.

qm  “What types of fruit can I add to my ice cream?”

Just about any fruit will work. Bananas, cherries, peaches, apricots, and even pineapple are popular choices. Be sure to drain the fruit well as water will make icy streaks in the ice cream. Add it toward the end of the blending cycle for best results.

qm  “What is the freezer bowl made of?”

The freezer bowl has a hard plastic exterior and a stainless steel interior.

qm  “Is the mixing paddle BPA free?”

According to the manufacturer, plastic parts (including the mixing paddle) that come into contact with food are BPA free.



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The Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker is a simple appliance that’s almost ridiculously easy to use. If you can mix some ingredients together and follow a few simple instructions, you can make fantastic homemade treats that will have your friends and family begging for more. There’s no ice or salt needed, making this a convenient alternative to traditional ice cream makers, and operation is completely automatic so there is zero guesswork involved. The stowaway cord is a nice touch that makes storage easier, and the unit has an attractive appearance, no matter which of the four colors you choose. The amount of ice cream it makes isn’t overwhelming, and spare mixing bowls (sold separately) allow you to make more than one batch at a time if you really feel like it. It I give this innovative appliance an A+ for its value, convenience, and ease of use.

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One Response to “Cuisinart ICE-21PKSLT Ice Cream Maker – Full Review

  1. By: Christie Flanagan
    Date: September 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm
    Overall Rating

    Our family used to make homemade ice cream when I was a child and I’ve been longing to give it a go for years! Finally decided to make a minor investment in this ice cream maker, and chose the Cuisinart as I am happy with some other products of theirs. Aside from the need to exercise more to make up for the added calories these delicious desserts are adding to our diet, we are completely thrilled with the results. The process of making ice cream is intuitive and every batch we have made has been delicious. The stowaway cord is the icing on the cake. :)

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