Colorful little guys aren’t they?
The Model number varies by color so:
- Raspberry – Model 5202
- Lime – Model 5203
- Blueberry – Model 5201
- Platinum – Model 5204
- White – Model 5205
This Deni ice cream maker is freezer canister based and comes with hand cranked compartment for grinding candies or nuts, etc to add to your churning ice cream while it freezes. It has a 1.5 quart capacity. Like all freezer canister models you have to store the main canister (that white cylinder behind the plastic in the middle of the units as can be seen above) in your freezer for 8 hours at least to freeze it. 24 hours is probably more like it. Then when you make your ice cream mixture you have to pre-chill it so that its very cold if not close to freezing. (Tip: If you have consistent problems with freezing it sometimes helps to stick the mixture in your freezer for 20 minutes or so right before you make it.) When everything is absolutely ready to go and not before you take the canister out of the freezer pour in the ice cream mixture and wait and pray for 30 minutes or so until your ice cream freezes.
The Deni is a simple machine both to use and clean. After using it once or twice you will probably be able to do so in your sleep though that’s not recommended :). You can check out the manual here for the whole story plus it has some recipes in it.
The nicest thing about this ice cream maker is that it is one of the least expensive you can purchase. At time of writing the prices vary on Amazon between $45 – $60 depending on the color. It has been my experience that the mojo in the freezer canisters that causes them to actually freeze ice cream goes back to heaven (or hell) after a year or two, so regardless of manufacturer, a colorful, inexpensive model that matches your retro 1960’s Plastic Space Pod decor and works for for a few years would be a nice thing.
Since I have been burned too many times and no longer have the patience to actually go out and buy one of these freezer canister units and use it for a year, let me summarize the Amazon customer reviews written by those intrepid purchasers who have gone into the breach for us.
At time of writing there were 36 reviews.
- 5 Stars – 18 – (50%)
- 4 Stars – 5 – (14%)
- 3 Stars – 3 – (1%)
- 2 Stars – 1 – (.3%)
- 1 Star – 9 – (25%)
64% of the reviews are positive. 1% neutral and 25.3% (a quarter) negative. This is not a good sign but let’s see what people actually said.
A few of the five star folks said the machine worked flawlessly. For example:
I bought this so I could replicate more exotic ice cream flavors that aren’t readily available in my new small town. This machine really is fantastic. It’s cute and it works well. The deserts turn out great. The included recipes are helpful. Not a single complaint.
Many people complained of never getting past “cold soup” in the freezing process. This is the classic problem with freezer canister based makers. You can sometimes get around this by making a smaller quantity of mix, say a pint rather than a quart and by making sure your mix is right around freezing before adding it to the machine.
When commented on, the candy crusher was described as a disappointment, people instead hand chopped or used their food processors, both of which make a lot more sense to me.
A complaint brought up a few times was that the mixing blade doesn’t fit well against the bottom and sides of the canister. This can cause a layer of rock hard frozen ice cream on the canister walls that in turn acts like an insulator, preventing the bulk of the ice cream mixture to freeze.
One person said that if you turn the unit off in the middle of churning it doesn’t turn back on.
Unfortunately these reviews are very typical of all freezer canister ice cream makers. For some people they consistently work, for most others they sometimes produce “cold soup”. This particular unit seems to have a problem with how snugly the paddle fits in the canister, which can exacerbate the freezing problems for some people. Though in this price range (under $100) it’s typical for a quarter of customers to have some kind of problem with their units. The good news is that they look great and are very inexpensive. If you are willing to work with its idiosyncrasies, and buying one gets you into making ice cream you wouldn’t otherwise then go for it!
Here is a link to an Amazon page where you can purchase the Deni and/or read the customer reviews directly.
Read the review of my current favorite ice cream maker.
Here is a list of Ice Cream Making Tools We Recommend.
Or a review of an alternative freezer canister maker click here.
For some tips on getting the most out your ice cream maker click here.
Bob ClarkJan 1.
Very inexpensive way to start making ice cream at home.