Using the Smart Scoop is very easy. Simply turn it on and let the ice cream maker start pre-cooling, bringing the temperature down below zero with the ice cream bowl in place.
This process doesn’t take long — between five and ten minutes — and there’s not a lot of sound that comes out of the Smart Scoop as it happens, just a little more refrigeration sound, like you’ve extended some of the noise of your regular fridge.
If you’ve prepared your ice cream mixture already, you can use one of two modes to run the ice cream maker, with the automatic mode allowing you to select one of the four dessert consistencies — sorbet, frozen yoghurt, gelato, and ice cream — with three degrees in each for different levels of hardness in each of the program modes. The manual mode is more for the experienced ice cream maker that knows the time they want already, and wants to enter in the total required run time for the churn themselves.
We stuck with the automatic modes for our tests, testing out ice cream, gelato, and sorbet modes.
Once the pre-cooling is done, which doesn’t take long, simply select the mode you want using the control knob, and pour the ice cream mixture in the bowl, hitting start on the unit, and letting the stirring paddle whirr into action. From here, the plastic bowl cover needs to be put over the bowl, aligning it with the arrows to lock the part in place and keep the cold inside the unit.
With the ice cream mixture in the machine, it’s really just a matter of waiting. From our tests, ice cream seemed to take around 25 to 30 minutes, and Breville has even programmed an “Add Mix-Ins” feature (below) when ice cream is selected, that at about 5 minutes before completion rings the bell and tells you that now is the right time to add anything you want, like chocolate chips or biscuit crumbs, or anything else you might call a mix-in.
When the churn is over, and the mixture is good and solid and the stirring paddle is having problems churning it some more, the machine will call out with the sound of a few bells (if the sound is on), telling you that the ice cream is ready, and switching over to the “keep cool” mode.
You can, if you choose, come in when you want and stop the churn yourself, and you can also change the level of hardness as the churn is happening, too, making it possible to be experimental in the kitchen with the Smart Scoop rather than just relying on recipe.
To Breville’s credit, the manual includes several pages on tips for making ice cream better, as well as including several recipes, most of which use a warm custard way of making ice cream, though this ice cream maker will accommodate any style of ice cream or sorbet mixture, cold custard included, with sorbets possible from pulping fruit in a blender or taking juice from a bottle from the supermarket and adding a bit of sugar.
One of the better things about the Smart Scoop comes from how quickly you can reuse it. While pre-freeze bowls can only generally be used once in 24 hours (requiring re-freezing to be used next), the Smart Scoop can be used pretty much non-stop, making a churn of ice cream, emptying the bowl, cleaning it quickly, and running another churn.
We were able to repeat this, making ice cream three times in one sitting without any problem, and producing three individual flavours (and litres) of ice cream and sorbet without any problems.
It’s also not terribly loud, which surprised the hell out of us. There’s a whirr of the machine stirring, but the noise was little more than that whirring sound alongside the hum of a fridge keeping things cold.
One downside to that Smart Scoop is that it is quite big, which is one of the unfortunate realities of having a tiny freezer built into a unit. Putting this unit alongside our microwave, it’s easily two-thirds the size of that, at least, so make sure to clear some room in your kitchen.
Without a doubt, Breville’s Smart Scoop is the best ice cream maker I have ever come across, and I make a lot of ice cream.
It’s a little on the big side, but if you’re planning on making a batch of ice cream, the level of control offered here, as well as the fact that it’s not very noisy at all and built very well, makes this a superb unit, and one that we suspect will last a long time.
If you’ve dabbled in ice cream making before but want something to really let you spread your wings, we highly recommend the Breville Smart Scoop.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Very, very good at churning to the right consistency; Comes with a notification for when you're supposed to add mix-ins; Relatively quick, depending on the type of mixture you're making; Few parts to clean;