I love ice cream. A lot. I also love frozen yogurt. A lot. And our krups freezer canister ice cream maker required a more than 24 hour freezing time to churn out ice cream or frozen yogurt. I wanted something more - so here comes the self-freezing machines. After much searching we decided to put two models to a side by side test on different types of ice creams.
Cuisinart 50-BC vs. Lussino Lello
We tried 7 different types of ice cream. Made up bases, chilled and churned side by side. We did a classic French custard style, a cornstarch thickened ice cream, a dairy free chocolate-nut sorbet, a fruit sorbet, a few batches of frozen yogurt (non-fat with fruit), one sweetened condensed milk/dry milk stabilized and one philly style (no eggs).
Cons: Noisy machine, cheap feeling plastic arm. Some strange design features that require 2 hands to put the assembly together and to take the ice cream out or you can crack the lid (depending on how hard the ice cream churns). We have had two of these machines, and one is louder than the other and doesn't freeze quite as firm. but both worked well.
Pros: Removable bowl easy to clean and comes with a nice rigid spatula that it perfectly shaped for removing ice cream. Very easy to get the ice cream out of the machine, and little sticking to the sides. Churns to a medium firm, depending on the ice cream, and runs between 5-10% overrun I estimate again depending on the ice cream. Few ice crystals (again depends on the ice cream). firms up nicely in the freezer.
Cons: Bowl isn't removable, so it is a bit of a pain to clean. A lot of sticking to the side, even when you turn off the cooling mechanism and let the blade run for a bit. Some ice crystal formation. Very expensive and a bit larger to store.
Pros: Very sturdy feeling machine and oh so pretty. As it is churning it just looks so nice. My husband liked the results better right out of the machine, but he couldn't tell which was which in a blind taste test. i think he was suckered by the prettiness of it. It feels like it would last longer, and did a better job on sorbet. Has a separate cooling and churning switch which can be nice for some recipes. Easy to work one handed (good with small baby in hand!) Nice and quiet relative to the other machines.
The ice cream was indistinguishable after a hard freeze for all but the fruit sorbet, which was slightly better in the Lello. But I don't know that I would bet anything in a blind taste test. For frozen yogurt we all thought right out of the machine, the Cuisinart was softer but had fewer ice crystals and was therefore more flavorful.
Which one did we keep? The Cuisinart. I still hate the awful noise it makes, but it churns out a good product - better than our Krups and in some cases better than the Lello (less icy). We figured we could buy 2 Cuisinarts with the money we would have spent on the Lello. But we do miss the prettiness and the "I own an import gelato maker : )" aspect of the Lello....