Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker Review

Review Summary

(updated 6/14/13)

This is the best of the freezer canister style ice cream makers. As you will see it gets tons of great customer reviews but the negative reviews are telling. Still I would recommend buying it only if you can’t afford a real ice cream maker AND (this is important!) you have a room in your freezer to store the 2 quart freezer canister.


  • Clearly the best ice cream maker for under $100.
  • A supervised 6 year old can make amazing ice cream with this unit, it’s that simple to use. Which leads me to:
  • A wonderful “family gift”. Making homemade ice cream with your children is a lot of fun and who ever is lucky enough to eat the results will think you are a super chef!
  • A much higher quality unit than others under $100. Don’t save $30 and regret it.


  • 2 Quart Capacity
  • Removable bowl and paddle for easy cleaning.
  • Smart looking brushed metal finish.
  • Couldn’t be easier to operate and clean.
  • Easy-lock lid – Useful when storing the unit.
  • A heavy duty motor – A must have, read the review below.
  • Rubber nonslip feet – Don’t laugh, you don’t want your machine to vibrate off the counter.
  • Large opening to pour mix in and allow the addition of goodies while freezing.
  • Cord storage space at the bottom of the unit. In my book this is almost reason enough to buy it.
  • Dimensions: 8-1/4 by 8 by 11-1/4 inches; 27.4 lbs.
  • 3-year limited warranty

Full Review

This is probably going to be the only freezer canister ice cream maker I’m going to review. Never say never of course, but my experience with them has been problematic enough so that I strongly urge you to save your pennies and buy what I would call a “real” ice cream or gelato maker. That is, one that has its own built-in freezing unit. On the other hand if you choose not to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on what is clearly a luxury purchase, I’m certainly not going to argue with you.

In that case this Cuisinart ice cream maker is your best bet. I’m here to sell you on the joys of making your own ice cream so Id much rather have you learn to live with the quirks of a really good freezer bowl unit like this one, than depend on Dairy Queen. Not that I haven’t consumed a few DQ root beer floats in my day!

Some features that I think make this unit your best bet in under $100 ice cream machines.

This Cuisinart model has a powerful motor and a decent paddle. As ice cream freezes it gets hard to churn. This is pretty obvious right? You would think it would be a no brain-er that manufacturers would use motors that don’t overheat and paddles that don’t snap in their frozen dessert makers. Can you say $40 ice cream maker? You shouldn’t have either problem with this unit, though I wish the paddle was even stronger.

The ICE-30BC as a 2 quart capacity. This is useful for two reasons. The obvious one is that if you have a large family or like to throw parties, 2 quarts is a lot of ice cream or gelato. But even if you make 1 quart at a time the 2 quart capacity is very helpful. The most common complaint with freezer bowl units is that they often don’t stay cold long enough to make more than soft ice cream or at worst cold soup. Don’t be surprised to find that you can’t make more than a quart to a quart and half, without your ice cream never really getting very hard.

I would go further don’t make a quart at a time, make half a quart (1 pint). The thing you can’t realize until you own your own ice cream maker is just how easy and fast it is to make better ice cream at home than you can buy at the store. If you only make a pint at a time you not only minimize the chances of your ice cream not freezing, but it will freeze harder and faster. Most of all you can experiment with a lot more flavors, more quickly.

This has been my experience also. But if you make a quart of ice cream in a two quart bowl, that extra cold mass of the larger bowl really helps deal with this problem. Also keep in mind homemade ice cream is best eaten right after it is made or with just 2 – 4 hours of hardening in your freezer. After that it typically gets very hard. Not the end of the world as you can thaw it some before serving, but still you are best off making as small a quantity as possible.


  • Play it safe and buy the Pure Indulgence from a company with a no hassle return policy like Amazon. As soon as you receive the unit, open it carefully, keep all the packing material and assorted stuff that it ships with and put bowl in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 24 hours. Bowl doesn’t fit in your freezer? Return the whole thing. Don’t kid yourself that you will clean out your freezer and make room when you want to use it. You won’t and this will end up sitting on a shelf in your garage.
  • As soon as you can, make one of the simpler recipes that is in the included recipe book. If the ice cream doesn’t get hard enough, or too hard, or you have trouble with the unit turning itself off to early; clean it, pack it up and send it back. There seems to be considerable unit to unit variability with freezer bowl ice cream makers so if the first unit you get doesn’t work out, a replacement probably will. Note as you will see below the overwhelming number of people get units that work fine.
  • Try to store the freezer bowl in a back corner of your freezer where it is coldest.
  • When you make ice cream, use the unit in the coldest room in your house. If it is 85 degrees in your kitchen and you try to make ice cream don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work.
  • With freezer canister units like this you absolutely have to pre-chill your ice cream mix to between 27° F and 35° F before freezing. Not only with this ensure your ice cream actually freezes, it will freeze fast which is not only more convenient to you but actually results in better ice cream. Smooth ice cream comes from minimizing the size of ice crystals, fast freezing helps ensure this.Experiment with cooling down your mix first in the fridge and then for maybe 30 minutes in your freezer. A faster way to do this is the Jeni Bauer Ziploc bag method which you can read about towards the end of this post here. This is much less of an issue with ice cream makers that have built in freezer compressors like this one.
  • As suggested above make a quart or less at a time. Few ice cream recipes are fussy. Just divided the ingredient amounts as needed for half a quart.
  • Be aware though that even if you take all these precautions, every x number of times you go to make ice cream its just not going to freeze. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Unfortunately you cant expect a long life from these freezer bowl units. The freezing capacity of the bowl seems to lose its mojo within a few years. Also my unfortunate experience has been that if you use them a lot (once a week?) they often die even sooner that that. As this unit is the best of its type I would not expect that to happen. Often the auto turn off sensor tends to get touchy. Keep in mind however even it your unit lasts only two years and you paid $90 for it that’s still potentially a lot of ice cream for a pretty small investment.
  • Download and check out the manual before buying.


Customer Reviews

This is a very popular Cuisinart ice cream maker, probably one of the most heavily customer reviewed small appliances on the web.  I have found them to be overwhelmingly positive but with around 10% negative. On Amazon for example, at the time of this writing there were 1070 reviews


Negative Reviews

This is not the quietest dessert maker on the market. If you are someone who cannot stand to listen to loud kitchen appliances for very long, then you may want to plug it in somewhere out of hearing when you use it. But remember that this is a standard issue with many ice cream machines, not just the Cuisinart. Personally I think this is a small price to pay for the fun and reward of making your own frozen desserts.

One problem some people run into is that ice cream ingredients turns out to be more expensive than they expected. This is true and not true. If you use the same milk and sugar and eggs you would normally buy I don’t see why that should be the case. On the other hand, one of the things about simple foods like ice cream is that you will taste higher quality ingredients if you pay for them. This is particularly true of freshness, one of the big benefits of making ice cream at home.

Many of the negative reviews were about people having problems with their ice cream or gelato not freezing hard enough (or in one review freezing too hard!). I talk about this some above. Make sure you try your unit right away. Freeze it in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 24 hours and pre-chill your ice cream mixtures good and cold. If you think you were shipped a defective unit, take advantage of Amazon’s great return policy and return it within 30 days.

Positive Reviews

In a nutshell the vast majority of reviewers reported that the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence simply worked as advertised. It allows you to make homemade ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt etc.., in a simple and straightforward manner.

Its rectangular shape, cord storage and lid lock make it easy to store. The stainless steel finish looks great and is very easy to clean.

The custom recipes that are included are very good. You can read about them here. But of course the beauty of owning a frozen dessert maker (and visiting our site!) is that you can experiment endlessly. It’s fun to try and create your own recipes when it comes time to have dessert because you never know if you may stumble across a wonderful combination of ingredients. Anyone can become an ice cream making expert with this machine, and you should try coming up with some of your own ideas if you want to take full advantage of it.

Here is short video from Cuisinart that will show you how easy the ICE-30BC is to use.

Shameless Site Plug

If you are considering purchasing  the ICE-30 on Amazon we would appreciate that you do so by clicking on the below link. If you buy the Pure Indulgence using our link we receive a very small commission that helps pay for the website and does NOT increase the price you pay at all.

Click here for the current Amazon price and reviews

Thanks For Your Support!


If you love ice cream and have been thinking of trying it at home I strongly encourage you to do so. I have had so much more fun with it than I ever expected. This Cuisinart ice cream maker is the perfect machine to get if you have the freezer space, don’t want to spend over $100 and willing to put up with the quirks of this type of maker. Whether it’s just you and a friend with a craving for your favorite flavor or you are having a party with the entire neighborhood, the ICE-30BC will deliver a lot of delicious ice cream, eye rolls and satisfied smiles.

If you have any experience with the Pure Indulgence, please share it in a comment below.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker Review


Bob Clark
The best of freezer canister ice cream makers


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