The Good: It does what it's supposed to
The Bad: Utterly pointless without the ice cream maker, still a pain to clean
The Basics: The replacement freezer bowl becomes an asset to those making a lot of ice cream or suffering power outages.
The Cuisinart Freezer Bowl replacement . . . this is the functional core of the Cuisinart ICE-20 Ice Cream Maker (reviewed here!). Less a bowl and more a central mixing column, this is a necessity for anyone using the ICE-20. So, why would you need a replacement? Well, if one were to foolishly crack open the one that came with unit, that would be a good reason to get a new one. I have no idea how one would even do that as this is easily the most durable part of the ICE-20 and it's impressive how much it can handle when it is frozen.
This is basically a sturdy plastic shell surrounding a metal center that is designed to help make ice cream by freezing liquids that come in contact with it (presumably your milk and cream from your ice cream mix). The bowl is seven inches in diameter and a little over five inches tall, so it fits in most freezers without requiring one to move around too much frozen stuff. As far as a functional vessel, this is not; because the frozen elements (it's a liquid) are between the plastic exterior and the metal interior and it has to remain solid for the half hour in the open air while making ice cream in the ICE-20, the usable volume inside the bowl is only a column five inches in diameter and less than five inches high.
The bowl is notched on the bottom to make it a functional part of the ICE-20.
If you haven't broken yours, why would you need another freezer bowl? Well, I've found two good reasons for mine (I'm actually up to three in my freezer now). The first is mass production of ice cream. Sure, using the ICE-20 is not the cheapest way to create frozen confections, but it is one of the most satisfying and it gives the user complete control over their dessert destiny. If you have multiple people all wanting to make multiple flavors on the same day, the added freezer bowls can be real handy.
The freezer bowl needs to be frozen solid in order to use. I simply stick the freezer bowl in my deep freeze (reviewed here!) overnight when I first get one. It's solid by morning. After that, the freezer bowl may be used once every eight hours. So, in my case, I had a time when there were several people making ice cream in a row (it was like a day camp) and so, by having three freezer bowls available, I was able to get six people in each day - three staggered half an hour apart, then three more eight hours later staggered in the same way. So, while one person was using the ICE-20, the next would be mixing up their ingredients. Only the agitator had to be cleaned and the next person could use the ice cream maker with their own freezer bowl virtually the moment the first person was done.
So, this is great if you have a large number of people making a lot of ice cream (like for a wedding, etc.) and you don't want to keep shelling out for new ice cream makers, this can be an affordable and practical solution.
It's also nice to have the spares because every now and again, I get sick of cleaning up the freezer bowl. The freezer bowl is designed to freeze any liquid that comes in contact with it. So, if you're using hot water and trying to get any stray ice cream, chocolate, etc. off the metal surface, it can be real annoying. The metal surface resists being cleaned by freezing the water that comes in contact with it. Moreover, it needs to be completely dry when it is returned to the freezer. This means, if one is too slow with the towel, they end up with a hairy interior to the freezer bowl because the freezing action will tear apart the textured towel. As a result, every once in a while, I will throw up my hands in disgust, fill the freezer bowl with water and walk away from it. This allows the freezer bowl to thaw and become much easier to use, but worthless (until frozen again) for making ice cream.
There's a secondary benefit to the replacement bowls, though it's a rather expensive way to achieve the objective. Because the freezer bowl is designed to resist heat and remain frozen, this is an awesome product for keeping food in a freezer frozen when the power goes out. Live in a place with outages that usually last hours, but not more than a day? This is a great solution! I moved my freezer bowls into my mediocre freezer (reviewed here!) when I had an outage and nothing much left in the deep freeze. My food kept and after a day and a half, the freezer bowl was still frozen! Since then, I've kept at least one in the upstairs freezer and I've never lost food to outages. This secondary use it very handy and I've had this little bowl save my small freezer's contents for over eight hours in the summer and almost two days during the winter (my house is pretty cold anyway). This might not be what it was designed for, but it sure works!
That said, I can't imagine most people would need one of these, especially if one does not have the ICE-20. But if you do and want to double your productivity, this is a wonderful product, despite the pain it is to clean!
For other Cuisinart and other kitchen appliances, check out my reviews of:
Cuisinart Classic Round Waffle Maker
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Coffee Grinder
GE JES1142SJ Microwave
For other appliance reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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