Top positive review
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The Queen of Ice Cream Machines!
on May 25, 2011
Living in Florida, ice cream is a treat we enjoy almost year round and having switched to healthy food alternatives several years ago, making our own delicious ice cream is something we enjoy especially when kids are visiting.
We've owned a large (6 quart) plastic version of an ice cream machine by a popular maker for years and it has done it's job "okay". My spouse (who is the one running the ice cream machine) always complained about the tendency of the old machine to run slow and cause more melting than necessary. Of course, having come from the old school version which was hand cranked, the motor itself seemed just fine to me.
Well, I was not only proven wrong but SO WRONG! This machine puts the old one to shame. First, the quality of parts and materials is simply not even in the same ball park. Although both are 6 quarts in size, this is a wooden barrel/bucket versus plastic on the other, the insert is stainless versus aluminum/tin and the paddles are a hefty metal versus plastic. The motor - well they are not even a little comparable. This one makes at least three full rotations versus one on the former...literally, we measured it! It's also substantially more powerful and louder which is a bit of a negative but to be expected. Notice, this unit has over 12,000 RPM versus around 4,000 on the old unit...it REALLY makes a difference in speed and strength!
As for the wooden bucket, it is suggested that you add a bit of water a few minutes before using the machine so it absorbs/expands and doesn't leak during use since it is real wood rather than plastic. Don't worry - the part that holds the ice cream is fully stainless steel and very simple to clean.
Despite the immense difference in materials and overall quality, this unit does have a few negatives. First, the motor just sits on top of the spindle but alignment seems a bit tricky since it doesn't "lock" in place tightly. The motor slides into a slot and is easy to install once you stop "over-thinking it". However, even after installing it seems to have a lot of wiggle room remaining...more than I anticipated for sure. Try as I might, there was no way to secure it in a way that felt more stable...apparently that is just the way it's made. Next, it is loud. Of course, that is in proportion to the power of the machine but the noise level combined with the wiggle is a bit disconcerting. Finally, this will require a slight bit more maintenance than a plastic unit but of course, that is also to be expected and more than fair trade-off for the lack of bph and other health hazards associated with plastic.
Bottom line - an impressive unit that FAR exceeds most any other on the market. Strong motor that outperforms others by at least 3x's, wonderful quality materials. Negatives include a disconcerting "wiggle" and fairly high noise level. This would make a beautiful gift idea and/or perfect item for those that really enjoy ice cream and want an ice cream maker that will last a lifetime while reminding of old-fashioned churns.