Today we’re taking a look at a machine from Magimix; the Magimix Gelato Chef GEL22003. We weren’t overly impressed with Magimix’s budget ice cream machine, the Magimix Le Glacier, when we reviewed it so we’re going to give the Gelato Chef a good going over to make sure that it’s up to scratch! For the price, we’re expecting wonderful things from this machine, so let’s dive in and see if it can live up to expectations.
This is a fully automatic ice cream maker with a built-in freezer. There’s no need to freeze your bowl in advance with this machine, simply flip the freezer switch 5 minutes before adding your mixture, and the machine will chill the ice cream while it churns. This gives you more freedom to make ice cream on a whim, as an when an ice cream craving hits you! It should have your ice cream ready in 20 to 40 minutes.
The machine has two 1.6 litre bowls: one removable, and one fixed. This means you can magic up a 1.6 litre batch in the removable bowl, remove it, and then use the fixed bowl to conjure up another 1.6 litres. That’s over 3 litres of ice cream, which should satisfy even the hungriest of ice cream enthusiasts! Of course, this also means that you can make different flavours of ice cream at the same time.
Both the removable and fixed bowl are made from good quality stainless steel. If you want to use the removable bowl, you need to add a little alcohol into the fixed bowl so that they don’t freeze together. A little vodka, or a rubbing alcohol from your local pharmacist will do the trick. Just remember, the alcohol goes outside the removable bowl, not in the ice cream!
The machine is available in a choice of satin steel (the GEL22003 model), or white (the GEL22001 model).
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Magimix Gelato Chef GEL22003/GEL22001 Ice Cream Maker Features and Specifications
- Built-in freezer – No need to freeze the bowl – Ice Cream when you want it
- 1.6 litres Fixed and removable bowls – make up to 3 litres of ice cream
- Makes soft scoop ice cream in just 20 to 40 minutes
- Choice of stylish satin steel or white finish
Customer Reviews and Feedback
There weren’t a huge amount of customer reviews or opinions available, however there were enough to draw some worrying conclusions. The Magimix Le Glacier that we recently looked at seemed to have a design flaw with proved a problem for a lot of customers, and we’re sorry to say that this also appears to be the case with this model. Almost 40% of customers were not happy with the machine, leaving it a 1 or 2 star rating; not a good trend.
First of all we’ll take a look at the positive things that people said, after all 60% of customers didn’t experience any problems. All the reviews, even some of the negative ones, did say that they loved the ice cream that the machine produced. By all accounts, it is delicious, creamy and of a nice consistency. As with all ice cream machines, this one produces soft scoop ice cream, but it doesn’t require long in the freezer to harden up if you prefer a firmer texture.
Another point in the favour of the Magimix GEL22003 is that it seems to be quite quick. Other machines in its class generally take around 40 to 50 minutes to thicken the ice cream mixture, but this one seems to be able to churn ice cream to it’s maximum consistency in just 20 to 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, though, the negatives far outweigh the positives and a lot of customers feel that this is a poorly designed machine.
The most troubling problem, is that the machine has no timer and therefore does not automatically turn itself off. When the ice cream reaches a certain thickness, the motor reverses and the paddle begins to stir in the other direction. However, for some reason, this reversal often seems to cause the paddle to become stuck.
Since the motor continues to turn when the paddle gets stuck, this seems to frequently result in either the lid popping off and the paddle laying completely stationary in the mixture, or even worse the plastic grooves which hold the paddle in place snapping off. Several customers complained that this had occurred to them several times, and they’d therefore been forced to spend extra money on a replacement lid. In some cases, customers had been forced to order several replacements.
What this means, is that this ice cream maker is far from automatic. In fact, it seems that it needs to be nursed through the process; customers complained that they needed to babysit the device so that they could quickly turn it off when the motor changed direction.
This kind of fatal design flaw would be completely unacceptable in a budget device, let alone an expensive kitchen appliance like this. At over £280, it is more expensive than the Gaggia Gelatiera which, pound for pound, is almost certainly the best ice cream maker on the market.
As you might expect, we can’t recommend this machine, and having looked at two Magimix ice cream makers that have unacceptable design faults, we’re not particularly looking forward to assessing any more Magimix products!
Simply put, do not buy the Magimix Gelato Chef. If you’re willing to spend this much money on an ice cream maker, you’d be far better off opting for the Gaggia Gelatiera; a sturdy, dependable and reliable machine that happens to make delicious ice cream. You’d even be better off saving yourself some money and taking a look at the Andrew James Professional Fully Automatic Ice Cream Maker, which at over £100 cheaper is still far superior.
Another poor effort from Magimix, stay away.