Sage the Smart Scoop summary
There’s no denying it, this is the best-looking ice cream maker we’ve tested. It’s sleek and solidly built with attractive buttons and dials. It has a 1-litre bowl capacity and settings for sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream. There are 12 hardness settings available too, so you can fine tune the results. Alternatively, there’s a manual setting.
It’s a self-freezing model, so it’s not small. That being said, it’s not awkwardly shaped, so storing it should be possible if you have the space.
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How easy is the Sage the Smart Scoop to use?
This model comes ready assembled, but there are useful indicators and signals embossed on the body of the ice cream maker. The manual also includes clear diagrams, should you get stuck.
There are lots of settings to familiarise yourself with, but they’re all very intuitive. The dial is responsive and it’s easy to select the preferred setting. The display is large and clear too, and shows every stage of the churning process.
Sage claims that this ice cream maker automatically senses the hardness of the ice cream mix based on the selection made. Our ice cream and sorbet mixes varied in viscosity, from thin sorbet base to thicker frozen yogurt. But we consistently found that once the mixture had thickened, the paddle would loudly scrape along the inside of the bowl way before the display said we had reached the right thickness. To the eye, the ice cream had reached the desired thickness and was just spinning around the spindle, rather than being churned. On every test, we had to stop the ice cream maker ourselves.
We were a little surprised by the lack of recipes in the manual. A base recipe for all of the settings would have been useful for first timers.
Both the ice cream and gelato were super-soft, whipped and creamy. Both melted slowly in the mouth and there was no graininess to speak of. We set the ice cream maker to the highest firmness setting for both, and indeed they were firm, though still needed to be served straight away. Usefully, this model also has a ‘keep cool’ setting, which keeps your ice cream at the perfect temperature for up to three hours – ideal for entertaining!
Our sorbet was equally well made; it was firm, light and almost creamy in its smoothness.
We struggled a little when making our tropical frozen yogurt. It churned well, but when we went to decant it, we found a large, fully frozen block of yogurt at the bottom of the bowl. Overall, it was a little icy, but creamy and flavoursome nonetheless.
Particular praise should be given to the ice cream scoop provided. It’s nothing special to look at, just a small spatula, but it was a blessing when it came to getting all of the ice cream out of the bowl: the perfect balance of flex and firmness – every ice cream maker should come with one of these!
Great looking and equipped with a wealth of settings, this is a full rounded ice cream maker. Despite an initially complicated looking display, this model is very easy to use. A thorough cleaning routine is essential with ice cream makers, and whilst none of the parts are dishwasher-safe, they are easy to clean thanks to the cleaning equipment provided.
For the classics – ice cream, gelato and sorbet – this model performs very well. Whilst the automatic hardness detector didn’t work for us, the ice cream and sorbet produced was consistently high-quality.
If you take your ice cream making seriously and are looking for something to experiment with, this is the model for you.
Pre-freeze or self-freezing: self-freezing
Accessories: cleaning brush, ice cream scoop
Pre-set functions: sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, ice cream, plus 12 hardness settings
Dimensions (cm): H: 25.7 x W: 40.6 x D: 28.2
Bowl capacity: 1L
Ice cream recipes
This review was last updated in April 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org