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Cuisinart ICE40BCU Ice Cream Duo Review

Cuisinart often put a unique spin on their kitchen gadgets, solving some small problem in the process to make our lives just a little bit easier. The Cuisinart ICE40BCU Ice Cream Duo is no different; this is the only machine on the market that lets you make two different flavours of ice cream at the same time! It’s been names “Which? Best Ice Cream Maker” too, so we’re excited to be taking a look at it!

The first thing you’ll notice about the machine is that it has two 1 litre dasher bowls instead of just one. They work together in tandem, so while one of the bowls can be whipping up a nice strawberry ice cream, the other can be working away on some chocolate instead! This is a great way to satisfy the whole family; let’s face it while everyone loves ice cream, we do all have our own favourite flavour!

The machine works just fine with only one bowl too, so if you do only want to make one batch, you simply leave the second bowl off.

Speaking of flavours, the machine comes armed with quite a comprehensive manual. Rather than throw in a couple of basic recipes, Cuisinart have included over 15 starter recipes for you to try. You can get started with ice cream, frozen yoghurt, sorbet, gelato or even frozen drinks (cocktails anyone?)!

As with most home ice cream makers, this one requires that the bowls are left in the freezer before use. Inside them is a liquid coolant which, once frozen, is what helps to freeze your ice cream. The bowls in the Ice Cream Duo machine take between 6 and 22 hours to freeze; simply give them a shake and check there is no liquid sound to see if they’re ready. When they’re ready, turn on the machine, throw in the mixture and you’ll have delicious ice cream in 20 to 30 minutes.

As with other Cuisinart ice cream makers, this model has been provided with wide pouring spouts which make it easy to pour in the mixture and add ingredients, without making a mess. You’ll be thankful for this when it comes to cleaning up, and you’d be surprised how many ice cream makers get this seemingly common-sense feature completely wrong.

The bowls, stirring blades and lids are all completely detachable making the machine both easy to assemble, and simple to clean. Everything is easily washed under the tap with some soapy water. The machine itself is made from a metallic silver plastic, which is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth.

All Cuisinart appliances come with a superb 5 year guarantee; any problems with the machine within the first 5 years and you’ll be covered for a repair or replacement. It’s great to know that some manufacturers are still focussed on quality and durability, and you won’t get this type of guarantee with any other make of ice cream maker. Apart from the peace of mind, it really shows that Cuisinart are confident in the quality and reliable of the machine.

To top it off, this model was awarded the title of “Best Ice Cream Maker” by Which? in August 2010! A high recommendation indeed, and one that we’ll be putting to the test ourselves.

We found that most ice cream makers were cheapest at Amazon.co.uk, including the Cuisinart ICE40BCU which is currently available for 6% off.

Cuisinart ICE40BCU Ice Cream Maker Duo Features and Specifications

  • Make 2 flavours at the same time – make everybody’s favourite!
  • Delicious ice cream in 20 minutes
  • Wide pouring spouts – less mess to clean up
  • Detachable accessories – very easy to clean
  • Which? Best Ice Cream Maker
  • 5 Year Guarantee – full warranty for a whole 5 years!

Putting The ICE40 Through Its Paces

Cuisinart kitchen gadgets do tend to look nice, and this is a quality device too. Whilst it’s not quite as good looking as the ICE30 model, it’s certainly no monster either. The stainless steel finish is easy to keep clean, doesn’t seem to attract finger prints, and gives the machine a sleek modern look suitable for most kitchens. It’s a sturdy device too, and definitely feels like it will stand the test of time.

The ability to make 2 different flavours at once is definitely cool. It means you’ve got the flexibility to keep everyone happy with their favourite flavours. You can also make one larger 2 litre batch of one flavour, or simply one smaller batch. Another little bonus is that, as the bowls are small, they are probably the easiest ice cream maker bowls to fit into your freezer.

Of course, the most important thing is the ice cream, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was fantastic! The small bowls mean the ice cream thickens quite quickly, and I have to say that this was the thickest ice cream I’ve got out of a frozen-bowl type ice cream maker. The Cuisinart ICE30 also made really good ice cream, but the finished product from this model was slightly thicker than that too. Top marks for the ice cream, I can’t speak highly enough about it!

As with the ICE30, the bowls of this model revolve rather than the paddle, and this means it has extra leverage to stop the motor from sticking as the ice cream thickens. In our test, the motor didn’t seem to struggle at all. It is a little noisy (it gets noisier the thicker the ice cream gets), but it is by no means unbearable.

The one downside to this model is its size. It is a little big, and that perhaps means it won’t be a great gadget to have hanging around on the kitchen worktops all the time. That said, it’s nice and light so it won’t be a chore to keep it in a cupboard.

Customer Feedback and Reviews

The Cuisinart ICE30 model that we looked at previously had a very high rate of satisfaction amongst customers, so we expected to find similar reports with this model. It didn’t disappoint, with over 93% of customers rating it with 3 stars or higher. In actual fact, the majority of customers gave it 5 stars, with 68% giving it the highest possible award. So what did people like, and dislike about this ice cream maker?

Most importantly, it makes great ice cream! Almost all of the reviews mentioned this, and whilst the ingredients do of course play a big part in this, people were generally very impressed with the thick, smooth ice cream that it produced.

Another plus point that quite a few people liked was the “duo” functionality. However, they didn’t just appreciate the freedom to make two different flavours. An added benefit was that people with smaller freezers could easily fit the bowls in!

As with other Cuisinart models, this machine was also well received when it came to cleaning up; the bowl, blades, lid and outside of the machine are all easy enough to keep spotless. A warm running tap, some soapy water, and a damp cloth are all it takes, so no problems there.

homemade vanilla ice creamOn the negative side, there is nothing much of note to report. The machine is quite noisy (the same as the Cuisinart ICE30) and most customers did point this out. However, the majority of people didn’t penalise the machine for this, with most customers still awarding it 4 or 5 stars. Overall, we think that a noisy motor suggests power; and this can only be a good thing as other brands of ice cream maker do have a tendency to get stuck whilst mixing.

Finally, a couple of customers (and we mean just a couple) complained that they found it hard to scrape the ice cream from the stirring blades once finished. We think this is simply because they are smaller than the blades found in other machines. This isn’t exactly a deal breaker, a smaller spoon should do the trick!

We love the Cuisinart ICE40BCU, it just pips the ICE30 to the post! Delicious ice cream (the thickest we’ve got from any frozen-bowl ice cream maker), flexibility to make more than one flavour, and as an added bonus it’s suitable for those with smaller freezers. The excellent 5 year guarantee rounds off the package into what is a highly recommended ice cream maker. This is definitely our favourite frozen-bowl type ice cream maker and we’d recommend it to anyone.

  • Score: 4 stars

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