Why This $80 Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Is the Best Ice Cream Maker for Families

What's the best ice cream maker? Everyone has an opinion, but we're firmly on the side of this particular Cuisinart freezer-bowl model, especially for families! It's easy to use, inexpensive, compact, and makes the creamiest ice cream!

cuisinart ice-30bc ice cream maker
Cambria Bold

While discussing homemade ice cream a month ago with the other Simply Recipes editors, it came to light that my teammates all have the same ice cream maker: the Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-quart automatic ice cream maker, or an older model of the same basic machine.

"I've had it for a good 10 years," said Megan.

"I've had it for at least 7 years, maybe closer to 10," said Summer.

"'I've also had it almost a decade, maybe longer," said Emma.

I was convinced to get one myself (ok, it took almost no convincing) and am happy to report that, yes, this is one great little ice cream maker! Here's why we think it's the perfect ice cream maker for families especially.

It's Easy to Use

Like, really easy to use. All you do is this:

Once you've chilled the double-insulated freezer bowl (anywhere from 6-22 hours), simply place the bowl in the machine, insert the mixing arm, secure the lid, turn the knob to the "On" position, and then pour your ice cream ingredients through the spout.

Done. Thirty minutes later, you'll have ice cream.

It's Inexpensive

The ICE-30BC model averages around $80, a little more or less depending on the time of year and where you buy it. (It was $79.95 when we published this post.) Considering how many batches of ice cream it will make if you have it for a decade or more (as many on our team have), that's a total steal.

cuisinart ice cream maker
Cambria Bold

It's Good-Looking

Other Cuisinart ice cream models, like the ICE-21, don't come in stainless steel. And while it's definitely a personal preference, I love the more refined look of the stainless steel body on the ICE-30BC. It looks more expensive than it is, and would not be out of place sitting on your countertop.

It Fits Neatly Into Cabinets

Both Summer and Emma appreciate how easily this ice cream maker fits in their kitchen cabinet when they're not using it.

At 8" wide, 8.25" deep, and 11.25" high, it's a fairly compact machine, not some unwieldy beast that'll take up precious space in the ice cream off-season. (Is there such a thing?! Inquiring minds want to know.)

How to make Ice Cream - folding graham crackers into ice cream
S'mores ice cream. Cambria Bold

The 2-Quart Capacity Is Just Right

We love that we can make two quarts of ice cream right off the bat with this maker, as opposed to the 1.5-quart capacity of the Cuisinart ICE-21, another popular ice cream maker.

Because this ice cream maker is not a compressor machine (which would enable you to make batches of ice cream continuously) and instead uses a freezer bowl (which means you have to re-freeze the bowl between batches of ice cream), we want to get the most ice cream we can from that first batch! The little ice cream fiends in our families agree.

Strawberry Ice Cream. Cambria Bold

It Makes Fantastic, Creamy Ice Cream

Easy to use, inexpensive, good-looking, compact, makes two quarts... none of those things really matter if the ICE-30BC doesn't make delicious ice cream, because that's what we're here for, right? But don't worry: It absolutely delivers.

"It makes perfectly creamy ice cream every time." "It makes fantastic ice cream." These are just a couple of the quotes I gathered from my Simply Recipes teammates, and they're right. I recently made Summer's strawberry ice cream in this machine, and it came out amazingly rich and creamy. And don't forget my co-editors have all had their machines for almost 10 years, or more! So you know you've got a good thing when this little machine is still making great ice cream years later.

If the ICE-30BC is sold out, try the ICE-21. It's the same machine, except a smaller capacity (1.5 quart) and housed in plastic. Still makes great ice cream!

Have we convinced you? As Emma told me, "Sometimes the simplest appliances without all the bells and whistles are just the best!" So give it a go, and then try out one of these recipes to get you started: