Electric Ice Cream Maker
Buy now on Amazon.com

Affordable, old-fashioned 4-quart ice cream maker

The Nostalgia Electrics ICMP400BLUE 4-quart ice cream maker uses the old-fashioned method of salt and ice to freeze the ice cream, yogurt, gelato, or sherbet. For a very affordable price, you can make enough ice cream for a party and probably still have leftovers for your family.

Aluminum canister

The most important part of making ice cream is making sure the canister is cold enough. Using a combination of rock salt and ice, the aluminum canister gets cold very quickly so you can start the ice cream. The canister doesn’t need to put in the freezer beforehand, but you can choose to do this to speed up the whole process.

Electric motor

Though the ice cream maker uses an old-fashioned freezing method, it has an electric motor that does all the real work for you. When the canister is cold, just turn on the machine and your ingredients starts churning.

Hand-washable plastic bucket and plastic dasher

Eating ice cream is fun, but the cleaning part rarely is. The Nostalgia ICMP400BLUE is made from easy-wash plastic. The bucket and dasher easily separate for cleaning, so you can quickly just rinse out the ice cream remnants and you’re ready to make more ice cream.

Strengths

Lots of ice cream

With the Nostalgia, you get a lot of ice cream. In the real world, 4 quarts equals about 20 big scoops, so you can make more than enough ice cream for a big party (like a birthday or reunion) in about 30-35 minutes. That’s a lot more ice cream than you get with freezer-bowl machines.

Lightweight

For as much ice cream as it makes, the Nostalgia is pretty lightweight. At only 7 pounds, it is a good ice cream maker to take with you on summer vacations. It also comes apart so storage isn’t a problem.

Easy use and clean

Everything about the ICMP400BLUE is easy. It’s easy to put together, it’s easy to use (just pour in salt, ice, and ingredients and push a button), and easy to clean. It’s also easy on the bank account. If you want an ice cream maker and don’t want to exert a lot of effort (or cash), the Nostalgia should look pretty appealing to you.

Weaknesses

Need to buy salt and ice

If you’re looking for a machine that’s more modern, the salt-and-ice method isn’t for you. You need to have those ingredients on hand at all times if you want to make spontaneous ice cream, which is just one more thing to remember. However, salt and ice are cheap, and you make a lot of ice cream in one batch, so you have lots of time to remember to put ice and salt on your grocery list.

Plastic parts

Another problem with the Nostalgia is that its parts are not super durable. Most of it is made of plastic, including the paddle. That paddle has to work pretty hard to churn through ice cream, so after a while, it could break. This particular ice cream maker is not necessarily designed to last for years. To make sure the paddle doesn’t strain too much, try stopping the ice cream maker when the paddle still moves easily through the dessert, and then freeze it till it hardens more.

Overall Review

Overall, this is a great ice cream maker for the money. It’s on the lower end expense-wise and good for beginner ice cream makers who don’t want a lot of technological features, but do want a lot of ice cream. The Nostalgia Electrics ice cream maker is easy to clean and lightweight, and good to travel with so you can share your delicious homemade ice creams.