Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker Review

cuisinart ice-100 compressor ice cream and gelato maker review

If your household consumes a lot of frozen desserts, investing in a good quality ice cream maker may be a very smart move. Is your home a popular hang-out for the teen crowd? Keeping up with those appetites can be quite a challenge. Are you trying to “eat healthy” but not deny yourself the pleasure of your favorite dessert? Making your own ice cream at home gives you total control over the ingredients. These are just a few reasons to give serious consideration to equipping your kitchen with a Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor ice cream and gelato maker. Read on to see if this would be a good idea for your household.


The ICE-100 machine makes 1½ quarts of finished frozen dessert. Remember that the churning and freezing process increases volume. To prevent overflow don’t put more than 4 cups of mix into the bucket. It is OK to make less than the maximum quantity. In fact, making a smaller quantity will allow you to have a finished product even faster.
This unit is intended for household use. Allow at least a 10 minute rest period before making another batch. Making 6 or 7 batches in a row risks overheating the motor. If you want to make frozen desserts for resale, it would be better to invest in a machine designed for that use.

Features and Functionality

How does it work?

The base contains a heavy-duty compressor and mixing motor. This means you do NOT need to add ice and rock salt to the outer bucket. Nor do you need to freeze the mixing bowl for several hours before you can start making the ice cream. You just prepare your recipe, pour it into the mixing bowl, set the timer, and you’re good to go.

The timer can be set for anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes in 1 minute increments. When you first push the button, the timer will default to 60 minutes, and you can then push the timer again to decrease slowly or rapidly 1 minute at a time.

Can I make sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, soft ice cream?

Yes. When the machine stops churning, your ice cream will be at the soft-serve stage. For harder ice cream, transfer it to a freezer storage container and freeze it for a couple of hours. The unit comes with two different paddles. You select the paddle to be used based on which type of frozen dessert you are making. These specialized paddles control the amount of air that is incorporated, and that impacts the quality of your finished dessert.

How quickly will I have finished ice cream ready to eat?

It is a good idea to chill the prepared ice cream mixture for 2 hours before churning. Once all the ingredients are cold, you will need about 30 to 45 minutes of churning to reach the soft-serve stage. Then you can serve it up, or put it in your freezer to harden it further.

A few features you will especially appreciate

Transparent lid – you can easily see the progress of the churning process. One side of the lid has a flap that can be lifted up for adding items like nuts or chocolate chips at the right moment without interrupting the churning process. Watch the video posted at the end of this section to see how this feature works.
Lift out handle – this feature makes it very easy to lift the mixing bowl quickly and begin transferring the dessert into freezer-safe lidded containers for further freezing or longer term storage.
Keep cool feature – The unit will keep your dessert cold for 10 minutes after the churning stops.
Controls – easy to operate control panel includes a power button, start/stop button, and a timer button. The red LED light on the timer screen makes it easy to read.
Short cord safety feature – long cords can be an annoyance and a safety hazard.

Ease of Use

Are the instructions clear?

Your unit comes with a very clearly written user’s manual. This manual includes: detailed, step-by-step instructions for making your frozen desserts; important safeguards; troubleshooting suggestions; and a recipe booklet.
Easy to clean?  A quick soap and water clean up is all that is needed. Don’t put the mixing bowl in the dishwasher. The special design of the paddles make them very easy to wash. Clean up is a breeze.

How easily/quickly can I transfer ice cream from the mixer bowl to the freezer storage bowl?

To maintain the quality of your ice cream, it is important to be able to transfer it from the machine’s mixer bowl to your freezer storage containers quickly. You want to avoid as much thawing and refreezing as possible to prevent ice crystals from forming. With the compressor-style ice cream maker this is easy.
Machines that require the use of freezer bowls can be troublesome in this area. The finished frozen dessert sticks to the inner wall of the freezer bowl, and scraping it off can be a challenge. With the Cuisinart ICE-100 compressor ice cream maker, there will be a thin layer of your dessert frozen to the inner wall of the mixing bowl because the paddles come to within 1/8” of that wall. Once you lift the canister out of the unit, the thin aluminum begins to thaw quickly. This makes it very easy to scoop the ice cream out.

Will it shut off automatically when finished?

You set the timer for the proper time frame for the type of dessert you are churning. When the time is up, the churning stops. The machine will beep 3 times to let you know the churning cycle is finished. The Keep Cool mode will then begin. This function keeps your dessert cold for another 10 minutes. At that point you will hear 5 more beeps letting you know this cycle is finished, and the unit will shut off. The beeps that alert you to the finished cycle are loud enough to be heard in other rooms of the house, so you don’t need to hover over the machine.

How noisy is it?

This unit is quieter than the machines that use ice and rock salt or the units that employ a freezer bowl. It isn’t silent, but the noise level is tolerable. You may find that during the first few months there is a squeaky sound. This goes away with use, and you can either just wait it out or use a dab of butter to “grease” the post.


What accessories come with the machine?

This unit is equipped with two paddles or “dashers” that mix and aerate your dessert. One is designed to be used for ice cream and the other is for gelato and sorbet. The paddle used for gelato and sorbet incorporates less air. This produces a richly textured and intensely flavored product. The ice cream paddle is specifically designed to produce a smooth, creamy result.

What additional accessories would be helpful but do not come with this machine?

Containers for storing finished ice cream – to preserve the quality of your frozen dessert, you will want to transfer it into air-tight freezer containers as soon as it is ready. These containers work well.
Ice cream scoop – These handy tools will get quite a workout once your household gets seriously into the ice cream making habit! Check out these well-constructed scoops.
Recipe books – There are a few basic recipes that come with your machine, but you will probably soon find that you want to try a few more varieties. Also, if you have dietary issues to deal with you may want specialized recipes books. Here are a few especially popular ice cream recipe books.

Dimensions and construction

amps = 2.4
maximum wattage = 160
110 volt
dimensions = 16 X 12 X 9 inches
materials: The canister is anodized aluminum. I wasn’t sure what “anodized aluminum” meant nor whether or not it was safe. So, I did a little research. I found this summary on a Canadian Consumer product safety site.
When aluminum is placed in an acid solution and exposed to an electric current, a layer of aluminum oxide is deposited on the surface of the aluminum. This process is called anodization.

Anodized aluminum cookware conducts heat as well as ordinary aluminum, but has a hard, non- stick surface which makes it scratch-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. Anodization also reduces leaching of aluminum from cookware into foods, particularly acidic foods like tomatoes and rhubarb.”
It is important that you not scratch the surface. Use a rubber spatula when you are transferring the frozen dessert from the canister to your storage containers.
Anodization also makes the bowl stronger, so it is not easily dented with normal use.
The paddles are made of plastic. All units manufactured since 2012 are BPA free.

weight = 32 pounds
Not eligible for international shipping except APO/FPO

Warranty and support

Where is it made?

Cuisinart is an American company founded in 1971. Since 1989 it has been under the management of Conair in Stamford, Connecticut. The manufacturing plant where the Cuisinart ice cream makers are made is located in China.

Manufacturer’s warranty

The machine is warranted to be free of defects for three years from the date of purchase under normal household use. Keep your original proof of purchase in a safe place.

Customer support

Although you may have to wait for several minutes to reach a company rep by phone, once a service agent is available to speak with you you will find them to be helpful, friendly, and pleasant to deal with.

Replacement parts?

All parts are replaceable: transparent lid; mixing bowl; paddles; and housing – which includes motor/compressor.


don’t need to devote freezer space to a lot of ice or freezer bowls
make one batch after another with minimal wait time
creamy, professional quality ice cream
no mess
keep cool feature
transparent lid
two paddle options for best result
easy to get the ice cream out of the container
attractive sitting on the counter
touchpad control panel
all parts replaceable
BPA free if manufactured since 2012


costs more than non-compressor models

Consumer Ratings for Cuisinart ICE-100

By far the biggest selling point for this unit is the smooth, creamy quality of the ice cream it produces. With the unique paddles specifically engineered for the type of dessert you are making, the ICE-100 will turn out products you will be proud of.

Cuisinart ICE-100 compressor ice cream and gelato maker Pricing

The compressor-type ice cream makers cost more than the ice/rock salt type or the freezer bowl machines, but they do still pay for themselves over time. I checked out the price of ingredients for basic vanilla ice cream at my local grocery store. Heavy cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. It would cost me $6.71 for the ingredients to make one batch [3 pints] of ice cream. To purchase 3 pints of premium quality ice cream at that same store would cost me $15.58. So I would save $8.87 each time I make a batch.
How long would it take to pay for itself? If I made only one batch of ice cream each week it would take less than six months for this machine to pay for itself.

But I think that saving money on the food budget is probably not the main reason families choose to invest in an ice cream maker. There is a huge advantage to being able to have complete control over all of the ingredients that go into these delectable desserts. This is especially true if any members of your family have food allergies or dietary restrictions. Do you need to avoid dairy? Cut out sugar? You can do that when you are making your own frozen desserts at home. Try it. You’ll love it!


Information for this post is taken from Cuisinart documents, commercial websites (Amazon and Cuisinart), and conversations with Cuisinart company reps.

cuisinart ice-100 compressor ice cream and gelato maker