Cuisinart ICE100 Compressor Ice Cream Machine Review

Straight to the Point

The Cuisinart ICE100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker is a speedy, durable ice cream machine that churns out perfect results without needing to pre-freeze a canister.

My wedding and reception were heaven. The preparation? Not so much. When you decide you don’t want to pay a home down payment-sized amount of money for your big day, it means you’ll be doing a lot of the prep work yourself. While this gives you creative control, it also means you could end up like me, popping out butter pats from shell-shaped silicone molds and churning pint after pint of mascarpone ice cream as a wedding favor for 50 lucky guests.

Now, I am an efficient person, but this ambitious undertaking wouldn’t have come to fruition without an ice cream maker with a built-in chiller. (Imagine having to freeze the canister a dozen times…it would take forever!)

Luckily, my now-husband gifted me the Cuisinart ICE100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker a few Christmases before we got engaged (perhaps thinking he would be the beneficiary of such a present). So, I made my ice cream base, pressed start, and got churning. 

How Does This Compressor-Style Ice Cream Machine Work?

The Cuisinart ICE100 Ice Cream Maker is a beast. As the compressor runs it chills the ice cream bowl insert while the paddle spins, aerating the base and keeping it from freezing solid (the machine comes with gelato and ice cream paddles, which create different textures). It can churn out a pint of ice cream in about 30 to 40 minutes. While a canister-style machine can also produce good ice cream quickly, it requires the forethought of freezing the coolant-filled canister for about 24 hours before churning. 

It’s an Easy-to-Use, Durable Workhorse 

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

I pushed this ice cream maker to the limit by making two-and-a-half gallons of ice cream—no small feat. I poured my base into the canister fitted with the gelato paddle, switched it on, and ran it until the ice cream was thick and luscious like gooey, melted marshmallows. Then I did it again and again, and the machine delivered without a hitch. 

The handle on the canister also made it easy to remove each batch, letting me quickly scrape the ice cream into half-pint containers before it started melting. And if I had to skipper off for a moment, the machine keeps chilling for 10 minutes after it finishes churning ice cream—no sticky, melted puddles to be found. 

It Churns Beautiful Ice Cream and Gelato

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

The result of my ice cream maker’s labor was a resounding success. The Cuisinart churned a silky, gently aerated mascarpone ice cream base that I slicked with ripples of wild Concord grape compote and craggy pieces of homemade peanut brittle. My guests savored their wedding favors (they still reminisce about it), and I snuck a half-pint for myself. 

While I have yet to undertake such an ambitious project again, I still turn to my compressor ice cream machine when my sweet tooth hits and I’m feeling inspired. The best part? I don’t have to remember to chill the container beforehand. It’s a win-win, and my husband sure is getting the bang for his buck, too. 


Can you make sorbet and gelato in an ice cream maker?

Yes! Many ice cream makers come with different paddles that churn the proper texture of sorbet, gelato, and good old-fashioned ice cream. Even if the machine only has one paddle, you can still make sorbet and gelato. The texture might not be quite right, but it’ll probably taste great anyway. 

What’s the best ice cream machine?

We recommend the canister-style machine from Cuisinart, which combines affordability with efficiency. That said, I do love my Cuisinart compressor ice cream machine, which skips the step of having to freeze the canister before churning. 

Why We’re the Experts

  • Grace Kelly is a commerce editor at Serious Eats. 
  • She’s been testing and reviewing kitchen gear for three years. 
  • Grace has worked in various local restaurants and was also a bartender. 
  • She’s had the Cuisinart ICE100 for around five years and it’s still running merrily along. 

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