1,903 of 2,004 people found the following review helpful
I'm not unreasonable, but this sucks.
, November 5, 2005
I'm not unreasonable, but I'm apparently the only one who thought this ice cream ball was crummy. I bought it for my three young children and I to make ice cream, and found it to be a pain. First, the capacity is only 2 cups, which is not a lot. Second, ice cubes from a standard ice cube tray are too large to fit into the opening for the ice and salt. You either have to have a crushed ice ice maker, purchase comercial ice or spend 15 minutes crushing the ice with a meat tenderizer mallet, like I did. I hoped that 5 ice trays of ice would be enough ice, but you need at least twice that much to keep the ball filled for the time required.
The instructions for the ball say that after ten minutes of mixing, to stir the ice cream. Sounds easy, but after you pry the lid off (with a special wrench they include with the ball so the ice cream mix can splatter everywhere) you have less than a 3 inch diameter to stir ice cream which is liquid on the inside core and frozen solid on the metal wall of the chamber six or seven inches deep. But wait, don't use anything metal to chip the rock hard stuff into the liqid stuff! I tried a silicon spatulta, a wooden spoon, and eventually took the silicone head off the first spatula and scraped the sides with the wooden handle wedge. (My neighbor and I both tried making ice cream and stiring every 5 minutes instead, didn't help to hard ice cream mixing very much.)
Of course, you get ice cream dripping down the sides, but the ball has little raised decorative ledges that catch the drips and funnel them into tight angled crevices that you need to use a mashed up paper towel corner, or a sharp knife tip with a dishcloth stretched over it to get out so you don't end up rolling sticky ice cream batter into what ever surface you are playing with the ball on. There are mini chocolate chips stuck in some of those grooves I haven't been able to get out after multiple washings, as well.
If you get this far, the end result is not very creamy or very smooth. We tried rolling, shaking, tossing, in many different combos and still couldn't get smooth textured ice cream. The recipes enclosed that I tried tasted cheap and not like any ice cream I'd pay for twice. I tried my own recipes, but the inability to mix adequately through the small opening into the deep canister made for hard crystal type lumps.
Overall, it may be a fun novelty for children, but it is a pain in the rump to use. You can do the same thing for a lot less with the same 2 cup capacity with a gallon and quart ziplock bag and just squishing it. I wish we had put the thirty bucks towards a hand crank or electric freezer, instead.
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