Solve 2 Problems with 1 Whirlpool Water Cooler


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What do you expect a water cooler to do? Give you cold water, right? This Whirlpool water cooler (model 8LIECH-SCSSFP5W) is self-cleaning and bottom-loading, but that doesn’t even get at its second main “trick”. This cooler also gives you hot water!

With the Whirlpool 8LIECH-SCSSFP5W, you can have hot drinks just as easily as cold water or other flavored cold beverages. Whirlpool really should call this a “water dispenser” instead of just a “water cooler”. Continue reading “Solve 2 Problems with 1 Whirlpool Water Cooler”

Best Ice Cream Maker: Cuisinart, Whynter, and Breville – Oh My!

Breville Smart Scoop
Breville Smart Scoop

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When looking at home ice cream makers, there are a few brands that always seem to rise to the top. Cuisinart, Whynter, and Breville are the big three that most people like. There is a fourth – Musso – that appears on many lists as well. (At least, I think Musso is the brand name. More on that later.)

This is not to say that ice cream makers from other manufacturers never make it into a top ten list, but they don’t usually hit the top five. So in the review of some of the best ice cream makers available today, I’ll concentrate on those four brands. For both Whynter and Cuisinart, there is more than one model worth your consideration, so I’ll compare them to each other for you.

If you’re in a hurry and just want to check the pricing and availability of these several models at Amazon now, you can click (tap) a link in the list below.

If you want to skip ahead to a specific section of this article, you can click (tap) a link in the box below. Otherwise, you can just keep scrolling (swiping) and reading as usual.

Whynter Ice Cream Makers Are Top Notch

Whynter ICM-15LS
Whynter ICM-15LS

Depending upon whom you ask, one of these three Whynter models is the best of the best in today’s market. The good folks at the Wirecutter think it’s the ICM-15LS because it makes some of the smoothest, but not the smoothest, ice cream of those they tested. They say it is also the quietest maker and the easiest to scoop from and to clean. All of those items are important factors when considering a personal ice cream machine. The question is: How important are they to you?

The Whynter ICM-15LS has been around for many years. Back in 2011, Fine Cooking Magazine rated it as the best self-freezing ice cream maker. House Beautiful Magazine featured it in 2014.

The ICM-200LS apparently has the same motor and compressor as the ICM-15LS. The main difference between the two is that the 200LS has a larger capacity. There is an accompanying rise in cost that you may or may not be willing to pay.

The ICM-201SB has a newer, sleeker design but is the same size as the ICM-200LS. It costs even more than that model though.

The table below shows you at a glance which specifications change from one Whynter model to the next.

Model ICM-15LS ICM-200LS ICM-201SB
Housing Stainless steel Stainless steel Stainless steel
Pre-feezing required? No No No
Removable bowl? Yes Yes Yes
Removable churn blade? Yes Yes Yes
Audible timer? Yes Yes Yes
Motor protection? Yes Yes Yes
Capacity (quarts) 1.6 2.1 2.1
Cooling Temperatur -0.4ºF to -31ºF -0.4ºF to -31ºF -0.4ºF to -31ºF
Dimensions WxLxH (inches) 18.5 x 11 x 10 16.75 x 11.25 x 10.25 12.5 x 10.75 x 14.25
Weight (pounds) 27 24.25 24.25

All Whynter models also come with a one-year limited warranty.

In addition to ice cream, you can also make sorbets, gelato, sherbets, yogurts, and similar treats each in about 30 to 40 minutes.

The video below shows you a brief overview of the ICM-200LS and the ICM-201SB.

The ICM-201SB has three operating modes: Ice Cream mode, Cooling only mode, and Mixing only mode. My guess is that you use less power in cooling only mode.

According to Whynter…

“If you need to add your favorite fruits for flavor, or check the consistency of your ice cream, you can simply use the Pause button to pause the cycle.”

That’s a nice feature that some other machines also have.

Breville Smart Scoop AKA BCI600XL

Breville Smart Scoop
Breville Smart Scoop

Breville has a very popular ice cream maker called the Smart Scoop. The actual model name is the BCI600XL – something which isn’t always made clear on other sites.

Breville says this is the “first ice cream maker to automatically sense the hardness of the mixture based on your selection.” It then can keep your mixture at the desired temperature for up to 3 hours. That sounds like a handy feature. You don’t have to put it in your freezer (which may be a different temperature…and may be full), so you can serve it as you like over time, say, at a party.

Speaking of hardness, you can set the Smart Scoop to any of 12 settings depending on whether you want to make regular ice cream, sorbet, gelato, yogurt, or other treats.

With the Smart Scoop ice cream maker, you can mix in the ingredients of your choice part of the way through the process, as you could with the Whynter machines above.

When you mixture is ready, the Smart Scoop will alert you with either a beep or a musical tone, if you like. You can alternatively turn this feature off.

The unit has a stainless steel housing that measures 15 ¾ by 11 by 11 inches. The capacity of the removable bowl is 1.5 quarts.

Breville gives you a one-year limited warranty.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers Offer Variety

Cuisinart ICE-21
Cuisinart ICE-21

The four Cuisinart ice cream makers described here are just a few of the several they make. These seem to be the more popular models.

The differences among them aren’t all that great. Considering that there are several models that all do basically the same thing, I wouldn’t expect there to be huge differences from one to the next.

Model ICE-21 ICE-30BC ICE-70 ICE-100
Capacity (quarts) 1.5 2 2 1.5
Size LxWxH (inches) 9.5 x 9 x 11.25 8.25 x 8 x 11.25 9.74 x 8.62 x 13.22 16.73 x 12 x 9.33
Warranty (years) 3 3 3 3
Paddles 1 1 1 2*

*One paddle is for making ice cream. Another is for making gelato. You only use 1 at a time.

In the Wirecutter’s tests, the Cuisinart ICE-100 took longer to make a batch of ice cream, was noisier than other machines, and resulted in an icy mixture.

I think the fact that it has a 60-minute countdown timer says something about how long it takes for this machine to make the dessert.

The ICE-21, ICE-30BC (brushed chrome), and ICE-70 are supposed to make batches in about 20 minutes, but the results here are probably more icy than you would prefer too.

I have seen at least the ICE-30 in different colors, such as red (ICE-30R).

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino

Lello 4080 Musso
Lello 4080 Musso

As I hinted at above, I’m not quite sure who the maker of this machine is. It seems to be Musso or maybe Musso Lussino, despite the order of the words in the model name. I could be wrong, but it really doesn’t make that much difference.

This Italian-made machine is large, measuring 10 ½ by 17 ½ by 12 inches. It’s also apparently a bit of a chore to clean.

If you can read Italian (or want to take the time to have Google translate for you), you can see the official specs of this machine here at the manufacturer’s site.

The Wirecutter’s testers thought this was the best ice cream maker available because it was fast and produced the smoothest and best-flavored desserts of all models tested.

The problem is that, unless you’re going to use this machine on a very, very regular basis, it’s simply much too expensive.

So Who’s the Ice Cream Maker Winner Here?

Unless you’re really strapped for cash, I think you have to go with either a Whynter model or the Breville Smart Scoop.

Personally, I would try the Smart Scoop first, if only because it seems to be so popular amongst several other reviewers.

Check out the Breville Smart Scoop at Amazon today.

Best Soda Maker: SodaStream Is Still the Champ

SodaStream Source
SodaStream Source

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Note: Much of the information in this review is based on tests done by the good folks at Wirecutter.

If you like fizzy, carbonated drinks, perhaps you often buy soda pop or similar beverages. If you have some unique tastes or want to pay less for these drinks over time, you should consider getting your own soda maker.

With a soda maker, you use regular tap water (filtered is good) and add (infuse, to use the jargon) as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as you like. Then, with most makers, you can add the flavor or flavors of your own choosing.

In this review, I’ll look at several soda makers with you. One, and only one, of them can handle more than plain water. Continue reading “Best Soda Maker: SodaStream Is Still the Champ”

Best Countertop Ice Maker: Igloo ICE108

Igloo ICE108 Ice Maker
Igloo ICE108 Ice Maker

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There really aren’t as many different countertop ice makers out there as you might at first think. Even the Igloo ICE108 has a clone in the Della Premium model. In fact, the pictures you’ll see here are technically the Della ice maker because Igloo doesn’t even acknowledge on their website that they make ice makers.

You can find some of the most popular countertop ice makers marketed under several brand names. (More on that below.) They all have their pros and cons, but the ICE108 seems to top them all, if only by a little in some cases.

In this review, I’ll look at the Igloo ICE108 with you to show you why it’s probably the model you should buy, if you need a small ice maker at all. Continue reading “Best Countertop Ice Maker: Igloo ICE108”

Brita Everyday 10-Cup Pitcher: The Best Pitcher Water Filter You Can Get

Brita Everyday
Brita Everyday

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I was going to compare several water pitcher filtration systems here, but then I came across the Brita Everyday (in combination with the Brita Longlast filter) and decided there was little to no reason to continue the search.

So let’s make this relatively short and sweet.

There’s really only one pitcher water filter I think you should consider. It’s the Brita Everyday. Continue reading “Brita Everyday 10-Cup Pitcher: The Best Pitcher Water Filter You Can Get”

5 Popular Countertop Water Filters: Can You Get By with One of These?

Travel Berkey water filter
Travel Berkey water filter

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A countertop water filter is generally a small affair, at least, compared to the multi-component undercounter systems that are also available. If you don’t mind – or even prefer – a tower-like gadget sitting on or near your sink, then a countertop model may be what you’ve been looking for.

How do you know which model is the best countertop water filter for you? That’s what this article may help you figure out. There are many from which to choose. This article reviews 5 of the more popular models so you can get some idea of what they are like and, even if you don’t like any of these, you’ll at least have an idea of what to look for elsewhere. Continue reading “5 Popular Countertop Water Filters: Can You Get By with One of These?”

3 Budget Water Filtration Systems Review: Cleaner Water from a Small Package

PUR PFM400 water filter
PUR PFM400 water filter

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There are so many water filtration systems available today that it’s almost impossible to know which one is the best. So where do you start? With the title of this review, I’m suggesting you’ve already started by looking at your money. Budget water filtration systems, by default, don’t cost a lot of money.

In a way, you may have also already decided that you don’t need a large number of contaminants removed from your water. Most of these budget systems simply don’t remove as much as some of the larger and more expensive setups. If you actually haven’t decided that this is what you want, don’t worry. I’ll have a few suggestions below to help you figure out which type of water filtration system you need. Continue reading “3 Budget Water Filtration Systems Review: Cleaner Water from a Small Package”

High End Water Filtration Systems Review: How Dirty Is Your Water?

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Does “dirty” water come out of your faucets? Do you know if “dirty” water is coming out of your faucets? Maybe you should find out and then check out these water filtration systems, if you find that there are too many undesirables lurking in your drinking water.

High end water filtration systems come in many different styles. In this review, I’ll take a look at several of the more popular models to see what they have to offer, so you can get some idea of which one might best work for your situation and current water quality. Continue reading “High End Water Filtration Systems Review: How Dirty Is Your Water?”

3 Best Iced Tea Machines: All from Mr. Coffee?

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It seems just a little strange that the top three iced tea machines at Amazon should all be made by Mr. Coffee.

Or does it?

Coffee isn’t that much different from tea when it comes to making a pot of it. You heat some water, add some coffee/tea, let it sit for a while as the two components mix together, and when you’re satisfied that it’s ready, you drink it.

Sure, the flavor and effects are vastly different, but that isn’t the point here. The point is that Mr. Coffee may have had a head start on this process with its coffee machines and was able to apply that knowledge to iced tea machines better than most of its competitors. Continue reading “3 Best Iced Tea Machines: All from Mr. Coffee?”

3 Best Selling Wine Chillers: Igloo or NutriChef?

NutriChef Wine Chiller
NutriChef Wine Chiller

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Products that are popular at Amazon tend to be pretty good quality items or they wouldn’t be classed as popular or best sellers. The three best selling wine chillers at Amazon are currently coolers made by Igloo and NutriChef. I’ll take a look at each of these and tell you how they compare to each other in the review below.

Igloo (which some spell “iGloo” for some reason) is a well-known brand. NutriChef, which is actually a Pyle Audio brand is generally lesser known. (Pyle Audio produces all kinds of products besides audio equipment.) Continue reading “3 Best Selling Wine Chillers: Igloo or NutriChef?”