Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker
Image source: Pixabay.com
Up until fairly recently, when people wanted ice cream, they had to make it themselves. People lucky enough to own the first ice cream makers back in the 1800s would pour in cream and sugar, pack their ice cream makers with ice and salt, and then laboriously turn the crank for at least an hour. Once ice cream was readily available in grocery stores, this labored effort of ice cream creation was left to the professionals. However, with automatic ice cream makers, such as the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker, now on the market now, many people are going back to making their own ice cream.
Making your own ice cream allows you to use only fresh ingredients, avoiding the preservatives that are used in typical grocery store ice cream. It also allows you to create any flavor of ice cream you like. An automatic ice cream maker can turn an ordinary afternoon into a special day.
What Is the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker?
The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker is a hybrid of a timeless classic and modern technology. It is based on the historic ice cream makers that were first invented in the 1800s. Users are required to use salt and ice to create their frozen treats. However, like most modern ice cream makers, this one has a motor. That means, instead of having to crank it, you can simply plug it in, push a button, and let the motor do all the churning for you.
The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker measures 15 x 17 x 16 inches and weighs just over six pounds. It comes with only 6 parts (the bucket, the aluminum canister, an electric motor, a lid, a lid cap, and the dasher) making it easy to assemble and disassemble between uses. Although the ice cream maker comes with a book of recipes, some reviewers have noted that the recipes did not come out as expected. Reviewers had better luck using their own ice cream recipes, or recipes they found online. The product description recommends using Nostalgia’s pre-made ice cream mixes, which are sold separately.
The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker has received 85% positive reviews, with reviewers noting that it worked just as well, and sometimes even better, than more expensive ice cream makers they had owned in the past. It is important to follow the directions to get the best results out of this ice cream maker. Reviewers recommend putting the canister into the freezer for a few hours before you use it to help the ice cream reach the better consistency in a short amount of time. The Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker is capable of making four quarts of ice cream.
This is one of the cheapest ice cream makers on the market. Similar models run for anywhere from $35 to $210.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- 1Hamilton Beach 68330N
- 2White Mountain Apalachian Bucket Ice Cream Maker
- 3Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker
Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker
Ease of Use 4-Star
With only 6 pieces, this ice cream maker is easy to put together and equally easy to disassemble, clean, and put away. Simply mix up an ice cream recipe, pour it into the canister, pack ice and salt into the space between the canister and the bucket, and turn it on. For users who would rather not have to create their own ice cream mixtures, you can also buy Nostalgia’s pre-made ice cream mixes.
Design Quality 4-Star
This ice cream maker has a bucket that is easy to clean and BPA-free, a see-through lid so you can watch your ice cream being made, and a motor that locks into place to prevent mishaps. The bucket also has a convenient handle for carrying. It is designed to resemble a classic, old-fashioned ice cream maker. The salt and ice design mean that you can continue making additional batches of ice cream, back to back, until you run out of salt and ice. The canister has a storage lid which allows you to place the caninster back into the freezer if you do not finish all of your ice cream in one sitting,
This product comes with a one-year warranty.
- BPA free
- Lock-in motor
- Fun, old-fashioned design
- Easy to clean
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Requires salt and ice
Hamilton Beach 68330N
The Hamilton Beach 68330N is another bucket-shaped ice cream maker with the same historic inspiration as the Nostalgia ice cream maker. This one also uses salt and ice for its cooling method. Reviewers recommend chilling your ice cream mixture first for the best results. This ice cream maker received 84% positive reviews and can make four quarts of ice cream at any time.
Ease of Use 4-Star
Reviewers recommend chilling your ice cream mixture first for the best results. Then, simply pour your mixture into the canister, add the dasher, and snap on the lid. The canister is placed into the bucket, and the motor is hooked onto the top. After turning the machine on, you will have to begin adding layers of ice and salt into the space between the bucket and the canister. This process needs to be continued the entire time the machine is running as the salt melts the ice little by little. Having to add the ice and salt continuously means a little extra work for the ice cream chef, but the results will be worth the effort.
Design Quality 4-Star
This ice cream machine has a simple but durable design, which includes an easy lock lid that snaps onto the motor and keeps the salt from getting into your ice cream. It is easy to disassemble and all the parts, other than the motor, can be washed on the top rack of a dishwasher. The canister also comes with a storage lid, allowing you to store your ice cream back in the freezer if you do not finish it all in one sitting. Some reviewers have complained that the cord is too short, meaning it has to be used right next to an outlet.
This product comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- Most parts can be washed in the dishwasher
- Motor stops running when ice cream is ready
- Easy lock lid
- Canister has a lid for storage
- Monitoring ice and salt levels requires you to stay near the ice cream maker
- Short cord
White Mountain Appalachian Bucket Ice Cream Maker
While the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker and the Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker are designed to resemble old-fashioned ice cream makers, this one actually looks like one with its wooden bucket. Although the appearance is quaint, the mechanics are all modern. It uses the salt and ice method, and can make six quarts of ice cream at a time.
It also makes ice cream far more quickly than other ice cream makers. While the canister is turning clockwise, the twin blades turn both clockwise and counterclockwise at 12,000 reps per minute. This makes it possible for the ice cream to be finished in less than half an hour.
Ease of Use 3-Star
To use this ice cream maker, simply chill your ice cream mixture, pour it into the canister, fill the space between the bucket and canister with layers of ice and salt, and turn it on. You will have to continuously add more layers of ice and salt in order to keep your ice cream cold. Its large size means that it may take more attention and work to keep it loaded with ice and salt.
Design Quality 4-Star
This is one of the most durable (and largest) ice cream makers on the market. The dasher is made of heavy duty cast iron, with wooden blades that self-adjust during the ice cream making process. This allows the ice cream to be churned evenly. It has a super strong, commercial grade motor that is able to churn ice cream more quickly than smaller models. The canister is made of strong stainless steel and has proven to be an ice cream maker built to last. However, its large size also makes it awkward to clean and store. Its weight (apporximately 20 pounds) makes it less portable than other ice cream makers.
This product comes with a five-year limited warranty.
- Very durable
- Makes ice cream quickly
- Yields more ice cream than most other ice cream makers
- Large and heavy
- Requires more work to keep filled with ice and salt
- Much more expensive than the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker and other similar models
There are plenty of positive points about the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker. When we compared it to the other ice cream makers described here, we found that it does pretty well, despite being the least expensive model on the list. It is easy to assemble and disassemble, with only six pieces. Using this ice cream maker is as simple as pouring the ice cream mixture into the canister, packing layers of ice and salt into the space between the bucket and canister, and pushing a button. Plus, it is easy to clean by hand with a washcloth and dish detergent.
It is also smaller and lighter than some of the other ice cream makers we have reviewed here, making it easier to bring along with you to parties and events. The only thing reviewers have complained about is that the ice cream does not always reach the right consistency. You have to be sure that the aluminum canister gets very cold in order to get the best results. The best way to do this is by putting the canister in the freezer for several hours before using it. Overall, we give this ice cream maker four out of five stars. With some trial and error, you can get delicious results from the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker.