Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70

Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70

The ICE-30BC and ICE-70 are two of the best Cuisinart ice cream makers with removable, freezable bowls. If you're trying to choose between them, then this hands-on comparison should help you decide.

At first glance, there's not a great deal of difference between them. But if we look at them working side by side, we'll see big differences in the way they perform.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2 quart ice cream maker
Cuisinart ICE-70 2 quart ice cream maker

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Specs

Width:

8.5"

Height:

11.5"

Depth:

8.5"

Weight:

13.5 lb

Capacity:

2 quarts

Loudness:

80-82 Db

Paddle Rpm:

21

Overrun:

27%

Warranty:

3/5 year

Manual:

Cuisinart ICE-70 Specs

Width:

8.5"

Height:

13"

Depth:

9.5"

Weight:

14 lb

Capacity:

2 quarts

Loudness:

79-80 Db

Paddle Rpm:

56/48

Overrun:

19-35%

Warranty:

3/5 year

Manual:

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Ratings

Build Quality

Usability

Ice Cream Quality

Value for money

Overall

Cuisinart ICE-70 Ratings

Build Quality

Usability

Ice Cream Quality

Value for money

Overall

In this review I'll quickly cover how they work (in case you're not sure). Then I'll look at the capacity, size, weight, construction quality, warranties, noise level and finally how the ice cream they make compares.

How do they work?

Since I've already covered this in great detail in my guide to choosing the best ice cream maker, my Cuisinart ICE-30BC review and my Cuisinart ICE-70 review, I'm not going to go over it again much here.

But basically, both of these machines use a removable, freezable bowl to make ice cream. Each bowl is lined with a special liquid gel that freezes solid when it's placed in the freezer (for at least 6 hours).

Once it's removed from the freezer, the gel maintains it's temperature extremely well. This means that when you've added your liquid ice cream mixture, the bowl stays cold enough, for long enough to freeze it into more solid ice cream!

​It's worth mentioning that both these model have an advantage over other ice cream makers, because they rotate the bowl from below, rather than the mixing paddle (also known as the dasher) from above. Why is this an advantage? I'll explain further down...

How much ice cream can they make?​

Both the ICE-30BC and the ICE-70 can make up to 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of ice cream, sorbet and other frozen treats. This is because the bowls are the same size!

Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70 bowls

In fact, the bowls are identical in everything but color and each one can be swapped​ around and used perfectly happily with the other ice cream maker!

One thing worth mentioning here is that 2 quart bowls are quite big. Both bowls measure 6.4" high (16.3 cm) and 7.8" (19.7 cm) across.

Why is this important? Well, don't forget that these bowls need to fit into your freezer. If they won't fit, you can't make ice cream!

And you need to put the bowl in your freezer every time you want to make ice cream. So even if it does fit, you need to be happy that it doesn't take up too much room. Because if it does, it will become inconvenient and you'll stop using it.

So please check your freezer can accommodate this size bowl before ​you buy either ice cream maker. If it can't, don't worry: there are fantastic machines with smaller bowls.

​How big are they?

Since they both have the same capacity, you'd probably expect the ICE-30BC and the ICE-70 to be more or less the same size. And you'd be right!

Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70 underneath

The ICE-30 is 8.5" wide and 8.5" deep. And with the lid on, the it's 11.5" high. While the ICE-​70 is just a little bigger at 8.5" wide, 9.5" deep and 13" high with the lid on.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70 size

This is because they pretty much share the same construction, with the ​ICE-70 just being a little bit deeper to accommodate an electronic control panel (more on this later).

How much do they weigh?​

Again, since they have the same capacity and are more or less the same size, it's no surprise that the ICE-30BC and the ICE-70 are almost the same weight. The ICE-30BC weighs 13.5 lbs. While the ICE-70 is a little heaver at 14 lbs.

​Neither are especially heavy. But they have enough weight to convey a feeling of quality and to also keep the base steady when they're in use.

What's the construction quality like?

Both the ICE-30BC and the ICE-70 look fantastic. They feature the same attractive, brushed steel housing. And this gives both machines a high quality finish.

While the controls on the ICE-30BC are very simple, being limited to a manual on/off switch, they feel solid and responsive. The ICE-70 features a more sophisticated electronic control panel with 4 buttons and a timer display. The buttons are very responsive and light up when pressed. And the timer display is clear and easy to read.

Cuisinart ICE-70 controls

The most important part of these type of ice cream makers is the motor. Because it's pretty much the only thing that can go wrong. ​I'm not entirely sure, but I'd imagine that they share the same motor. It certainly drives the same gear that turns the same bowl. So why change it?

Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70 bases

Whatever, the motor on both machines is strong and durable. I've owned my ICE-30BC for a good few years, (using it every week) and the motor has never caused me any concern with whichever ice cream mix or anything else I throw at it!​

And this is where the Cuisinart ice cream makers have a distinct advantage over most other machines. Since they ​rotate the bowl from below rather than the dasher from above (like the other ice cream makers), they are much more efficient. Unlike these other machines, the gears don't slip, causing horrible clunking and screeching noises. And they never grind to a halt! 

How long are the warranties?

Both machines come with a standard 3 year warranty. However, the best thing about these types of ice cream maker is that they're so simple, very little can go wrong. So your actually very unlikely to ever need the warranty!

How noisy are they?

There's no denying that ice cream makers are noisy! These two aren't any noisier than any others I've tested. But you won't be able to watch television in the same room as either of these machines.

I tested them both with a decibel reader and found the ICE-30BC to churn at 80-82 Db while the ICE-70 is slightly quieter at 79-80 Db. So not much difference, but the ICE-30BC makes a deeper, grinding noise that actually sounds much louder than the ICE-70, even if it isn't! 

​What's the ice cream like?

As always, this is the most important question!​ And there's no doubt at all: both machines make fantastic ice cream, gelato, sorbet and other frozen goodies.

But to get a better idea, it's worth looking at the two biggest differences between these machines: the control panels and the dashers.

The Control Panel

The control panel on the ICE-70 allows you to select from 3 different pre-set programs: ice cream, gelato and sorbet. The idea is that the machine will churn the mixture slightly differently for each one to best suit their characteristics.

In practice, this means that the bowl is rotated at a different speed for different lengths of time before the beeper goes off.

So if you choose the ice cream setting, the bowl will spin for 25 minutes at 56 rpm. If you choose gelato, it will spin at slightly slower 48 rpm for a slightly longer 30 minutes. And if you select sorbet, it will spin at the same 56 rpm as ice cream but for a much longer 40 minutes.

Gelato is more dense than ice cream because it contains less air. So the idea here is that if it's churned slower, less air will be added to the mixture. 

​Sorbet contains a much higher proportion of water than ice cream or gelato. This means it takes longer to freeze. Which is why the pre-set timer is longer for sorbet.

Different recipes, different household freezer temperatures, and even different room temperatures will have a massive influence on how long any machine actually takes to finish the ice cream. So these times can only ever be guidelines. However, as guidelines, they are useful.

And more importantly the different settings do produce different end results. So while you'll get ice cream with 35% air on the ice cream setting, you'll get a denser (more gelato like) 19% air from the same mix on the gelato setting.

In contrast, the ICE-30BC spins the bowl at a very slow 21 rpm. And this means the ice cream generally has less air, averaging around 27%. You can vary this by taking the ice cream out earlier or leaving it in longer. But not to the extent that you can with the different settings on the ICE-70.

Varying the amount of air in your ice cream will have a huge impact on the texture. Ice creams with more air are light and fluffy. While ice creams with less air are dense and creamy.

So the ice creams from the ICE-30BC will always be thick, heavy and dense. While you can use the different settings on the ICE-70 to produce ice creams that are like (or even denser than) those from the ICE-30BC or much softer and lighter.

The dashers

The dashers are just the plastic paddles that churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl. And at first glance the dasher of the ICE-70 might seem almost identical to the dasher of the ICE-30BC.

But in fact, small differences in the dasher design can make a big difference in the way the ice cream is churned. And Cuisinart have significantly improved the design of the dasher between the older ICE-30BC and the newer ICE-70.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC vs ICE-70 dashers

And these improvements means the ice cream freezes much faster in the ICE-70 than the ICE-30BC. Why? Well, on the ICE-70 there's an extra blade scraping frozen mixture from the side of the bowl and the gap between the blades and the sides of the bowl is smaller.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC insulating ice layer

The blades of the ICE-30BC leave a layer of insulating ice that slows down freezing.

This means more frozen mixture is scraper from the sides of the bowl and moved into the center of the bowl, much quicker in the ICE-70. So the ice cream freezes faster.

Cuisinart ICE-70 insulating ice layer

The blades of the ICE-70 leave almost no ice on the sides of the bowl, meaning faster freezing.

You can see this if we compare their progress in a side by side video. After 20 minutes, the ice cream in the ICE-30BC is still very wet. While in the ICE-70 it's dry, firm and pretty much ready to come out...

So in summary, both of these machines make really great ice cream (and gelato, sorbet etc). But the settings on the ICE-70 allow you to vary the amount of air in your ice cream in a way that you just can't do with the ICE-30BC. More importantly, the ICE-70 freezes the mixture faster which means it produces ice cream that's slightly smoother.

What's the difference in price?

The ICE-70 is generally more expensive than the ICE-30BC. That's because it has those extra settings. 

However, compared to other ice cream makers, they're both still incredibly good value. So much cheaper than compressor machines. And much more sturdy and durable than other freezable bowl machines.

Wrapping up

So they're both well made and durable. They both look great. And they'll both make the same amount of fantastic tasting ice cream.

So how do you choose between them? Well, there are a number of reasons to chose one over the other...

2 reasons to choose the ICE-70 over ​the ICE-30BC

1. It's faster

The ICE-70 is at least 5 minutes faster than the ICE-30BC. Not only does this mean that you'll be eating ice cream sooner! It also means that you'll be eating smoother ice cream sooner! Because faster freezing times mean...

2. It makes smoother ice cream

Not by much, it's true. But if you compare it side by side, the ICE-70 makes slightly smoother ice cream than the ICE-30BC. And for many people, (including me) that's really important.

3. You can vary the air in your ice cream

The different ice cream and gelato settings cause the the bowl to spin at different speeds and this incorporates different amounts of air into the final product. If you want something thick, dense and creamy. choose the gelato setting. If you want something soft, light and fluffy, choose the ice cream setting. With the ICE-30BC, no settings means no variation and you get the same ice cream every time.

4. The timer makes it easier to go and do something else

As I've said, the pre-set times are for guidance only. However, the beeper at the end of the cycle allows you to set a rough time when you think it will be ready (you can adjust the pre-set times) and then go and do something else, safe in the knowledge that the beeping will bring you back to check on it.

2 reasons to choose the ICE-30BC over the ICE-70​

1. It's cheaper!​

The Cuisinart ICE-30BC makes ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt almost as well as the ICE-70. But it's much cheaper. Sometimes, less than half the price!

2. The pre-set functions on the ICE-70 can mislead you​

If you start using the ICE-70 thinking that sorbet always needs to be churned for 40 minutes or ice cream for 25, because that's what the pre-set functions are telling you, then you're making a mistake! The time it actually takes varies a lot. And it's only by using your eyes and your experience (or a thermometer) that ultimately you'll know.

Final thoughts​

Have no doubt, both of these ice cream makers are great! But for me at least, the ability to vary the amount of air in my ice creams and more importantly the slightly smoother final texture, mean the ICE-70 is worth the extra money.

But let me re-assure you: whichever one you chose it will still be great value for money and will produce amazing frozen treats for many years to come!

Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2 quart ice cream maker
Cuisinart ICE-70 2 quart ice cream maker

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Specs

Width:

8.5"

Height:

11.5"

Depth:

8.5"

Weight:

13.5 lb

Capacity:

2 quarts

Loudness:

80-82 Db

Paddle Rpm:

21

Overrun:

27%

Warranty:

3/5 year

Manual:

Cuisinart ICE-70 Specs

Width:

8.5"

Height:

13"

Depth:

9.5"

Weight:

14 lb

Capacity:

2 quarts

Loudness:

79-80 Db

Paddle Rpm:

56/48

Overrun:

19-35%

Warranty:

3/5 year

Manual:

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Ratings

Build Quality

Usability

Ice Cream Quality

Value for money

Overall

Cuisinart ICE-70 Ratings

Build Quality

Usability

Ice Cream Quality

Value for money

Overall

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