Making ice cream is a lot easier than it was 100 years ago when a common first date involved a woman sitting on top of a large freezing mechanism while her prospective beaux operated the mixer with a hand crank. Now we have ice cream makers that can fit on your counter top – no sitting required. Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart both make quality machines to manufacture your creamy treats, but which one of them is best suited for your needs?
We’ll look at the Hamilton Beach 68330N Ice Cream Maker and the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker to see how these models stack up against each other. These machines operate in different ways and include different sets of features, but both produce a variety of deliciously cold desserts that you’re sure to enjoy. We’ll look at capacity, usability, and size in our comparison, so that you’ll be able to make the best purchase for you.
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Hamilton Beach 68330N
With a maximum capacity of four quarts, this machine can crank out enough to ice cream to feed the entire guest list of your family reunion. Alternatively, pack it in re-usable containers and store it in your freezer so you don’t have to run to the gas station next time your sweet tooth starts tingling. The whole process only takes about 40 minutes, and then you’re left with up to a gallon of ice cream.
This model’s capacity is quite a bit smaller, producing up to 1.5 quarts at one time. You may not be able to feed a whole party at this level, but 1.5 quarts is probably sufficient for a family dinner. Additionally, you may not even want to have more than a quart and a half sitting in your freezer, smugly chilling while it tests your self-control minute by minute. This capacity is closer to the containers that you might buy at the grocery store.
Verdict: The right capacity for you is going to depend on what you plan on using your ice cream maker for. If you host a lot of parties, or if you’re someone who likes to get everything done well ahead of time, the 68330N may be your best bet. If you never really need more than a quart and a half of ice cream at a time, then the ICE-21 will be perfect for you. All that being said, options are important. You never know when you might need to host a get-together at the last minute. The 4-quart offering is going to be your best investment for preparation’s sake.
Hamilton Beach 68330N
Making ice cream with this model requires a couple components besides the actual ice cream ingredients. For every gallon of ice cream you produce, you’ll also need eight to twelve pounds of ice and three cups of rock salt. The ice and salt get placed in layers around the cylinder and function to freeze the ice cream as it gets churned. This process isn’t too complicated, but it does mean a couple extra steps and a couple extra purchases.
This model doesn’t require ice or rock salt. Instead, a double insulated freezer bowl is prepared in your freezer and does all that work for you. Eliminating ice and rock salt from the equation does make this a simpler process, but it also requires a lot more time – the freezer bowl usually needs 16 to 24 hours in order to reach its optimal temperature. On the plus side, the electric motor only takes 20 minutes or less to produce the ice cream once the ingredients are in the bowl.
Verdict: This is another situation in which your needs will certainly inform your decision. Ice and rock salt might be a pain, but as long as you have enough of them, you can continually make ice cream without having to refreeze any components. The ICE-21 will need 16 to 24 hours to freeze the bowl after every use, so 1.5 quarts is all you’ll get in one day, but you avoid the frustration of running out to the store for fresh ice and rock salt every time you want ice cream. The advantages and disadvantages are pretty evenly matched here, but the ICE-21 beats its competitor by a narrow margin; the freezer bowl may add time to the equation, but it removes cost and inconvenience.
Hamilton Beach 68330N
At 15.3 x 12.5 x 11, this is a handily-sized machine that could fit easily on a countertop or kitchen table. It weighs in at around five pounds, which means you can move it around quickly and simply while attending to other elements of the meal you’re preparing. With a gallon of ingredients and eight to twelve pounds of ice inside, however, this model will be a lot heavier.
This model has very similar dimensions to its competitor (10.8 x 10.8 x 15.8), but it weighs a remarkable four pounds more. Probably due to the double insulated freezer bowl, nine pounds makes this a heavier machine. On the other hand, you’ll be putting a lot less into this model while making ice cream – it doesn’t require ice or rock salt, and it only uses about a third of the ingredients.
Verdict: While at the outset, the Hamilton Beach model seems a lot lighter, the ICE-21’s elimination of rock salt and ice makes it featherweight in comparison during the actual ice cream making process. Remember also that you’ll have to dispose of the rock salt and ice water after your ice cream is complete. The ICE-21 takes the ribbon for size.
These are two very different ice cream makers in several ways. The Hamilton Beach 68330N is the best-suited for occasions that require a high yield and flexibility of use. It doesn’t need to be frozen over night and can continually churn out ice cream as long as you keep the ice and rock salt flowing.
While the Cuisinart ICE-21 doesn’t produce as much ice cream at a time and requires a long freezing preparation process, it is more convenient overall. It doesn’t require rock salt or ice, and it’s much lighter during production. Unless you think you need the four-quart capacity offered by Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart’s offering will stand you in good stead for your ice cream needs and will be cheaper in the long run. No extra purchase to make it work, and maybe making a little less ice cream isn’t such a bad thing.