July is National Ice Cream Month! Even with all of the prepackaged ice cream varieties sold in stores these days, homemade ice cream has not lost any of its appeal. Electric mixers make homemade ice cream a fun project for the whole family. The Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-quart Ice Cream Maker is a great appliance for making ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato.
Our family has a tradition of making homemade ice cream for birthday parties. The Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-quart Ice Cream Maker is the perfect size for our family of 5 plus several party guests, and it also leaves plenty of ice cream left over to enjoy later. But if you have a bigger family or a larger crowd, you may want to get the 6-quart model.
We’ve gone through a few different ice cream makers over the years because the motors eventually wear out after about 5 years. So these machines last considerably longer than the typical 1-Year Limited Warranty, but I’m sure it depends on how often you use them.
On our Rival machine(s), the motor started making weird sounds and slowing down before it finally conked off. But on our Hamilton Beach machine we were in the middle of making a batch of ice cream for a party that day when the motor stopped instantly so we needed something fast! The Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker was the only one available at a store near us. And we really lucked out because so far it’s the best one we’ve ever had!
For one thing, the Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker is super quiet! We always had to put our other ice cream makers in another room while they did their job because they were annoyingly loud. This one is so quiet, we can leave it right there on the kitchen counter. All these years I never knew an ice cream maker could be so quiet! That’s definitely an improvement over its competitors.
Secondly, the Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker has a wooden bucket. Our other ice cream makers had plastic buckets. I think the thick wooden sides help insulate the ice so it doesn’t melt as fast which makes the ice cream softer. Usually it’s hard as a rock after we freeze it, but with this ice cream maker it’s easier to scoop even after it hardens up. Must be something about the extra insulation provided by the wood. There is a hard plastic liner inside the wooden outer part so the bucket is still just as easy to clean, but you don’t really need to clean it other than wiping out any leftover ice and salt residue.
The only drawback to the wooden bucket is that the white salt residue is much more noticeable on the dark brown bucket as compared to white plastic buckets we’ve had in the past. It’s certainly not as important as the positives which is noise reduction and better ice cream texture. But if the salt residue would bother you, there is a Nostalgia Vintage Electric Ice Cream Maker with a light wood bucket where it may not be as obvious. It doesn’t have a handle, but none of our previous ice cream makers had handles either.
Which leads me to mention the third great thing about the Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker – the carrying handle! The handle isn’t necessary for the ice cream making procedure, but it comes in handy for dumping the water out later. When the ice cream is done, we always take the salty ice water outside to pour on weeds. Salt water is a great natural weed killer! Just don’t put it on good plants, grass, in your garden, or anyplace you want plants to grow. We used to empty out our previous ice cream buckets just fine without handles, but the handle is a nice touch that makes it easier to carry and also adds to the old-fashioned appearance. And when the motor finally wears out, you’ll still be able to use the bucket as a fancy wooden pail!
I only have one negative thing to say about the Nostalgia Vintage Electric 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker, and it’s about the aluminum ice cream canister. In the past we’ve always put the aluminum canisters in the dishwasher and they come out fine. But this one came out of the dishwasher the first time all mottled and marbled in appearance. I don’t think it hurt the metal can, though, and it didn’t affect the ice cream flavor at all. After the initial discoloration we’ve put it in the dishwasher again with no more major changes. Side note: our Hamilton Beach can fits the Nostalgia machine so we saved it. Now we can make two flavors if we ever want to!
The Nostalgia Electric 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker is a great buy for anyone who wants to make smooth creamy frozen desserts at home. The unit works with all Nostalgia ice cream mixes – Vanilla Crème (ICP825VAN), Chocolate (ICP825CHOC), Strawberry (ICP825STRAW), and No Sugar Added Vanilla (ICP825VANSF). But we use a simple recipe of our own:
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3 pints half and half
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
For birthdays we traditionally make this basic vanilla ice cream to go with our homemade chocolate cake, although on certain occasions we may add blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, or mint flavoring to the ice cream. You can make it however you want, so feel free to add your favorite mix-ins! And don’t forget the rock salt! Sprinkling some rock salt in with the ice cubes lowers the melting point, which allows the ice cream to freeze smoothly and consistently without forming ice crystals.
Hopefully this review covers everything you want to know, but leave a comment if you have any questions!
Disclaimer: This product was NOT provided at a discount in exchange for a review but was purchased by a homeschooling family at the full retail price. If you decide to buy one after reading this review, clicking thru the Amazon links on this page will give us a small commission for our efforts at no extra cost to you.
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