VonShef Ice Cream Maker Review

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This 1.5-quart freezer-bowl ice cream maker wins plaudits from users for its quiet operation and ability to quickly churn out delicious frozen treats.

Bearing a brand name better known in England, where the VonShef Ice Cream Maker has been named one of the top 10 in its class by expert reviewers, this model (starting at $40, Amazon) garners only slightly less enthusiasm on this side of the pond. Nearly three-quarters of the 130-plus reviews on Amazon award it 4 or 5 stars, for an overall average of just under 4 stars. Consumers say the 1.5-quart capacity is spot on and applaud the ease of use -- no rock salt and ice required here, and the machine is simple enough for older children to manage on their own. And unlike other ice cream makers that draw barbs for the noise level, this issue rarely surfaces in Von Shef Ice Cream Maker reviews. The company boasts that the rated noise level is 65 dBA, a specification that rarely shows up in the budget ice cream makers firmament.

One user writes that initial skepticism due to the budget price was swiftly overcome, but it’s important to follow the directions carefully. Doing so -- even tweaking ingredients here and there -- produces excellent results, satisfied users crow. One enjoys transforming protein shakes into healthy and delicious frozen treats and another produces several batches of frozen yogurt a week. Reviews say the bowl that holds the base mix must be completely frozen before starting the process, and the motor must be running and the paddle turning before pouring in the mix, which itself should be well chilled.

Dissatisfied users tell a different tale in reviews. They report winding up with soupy messes even after 30 minutes of churning and motors that overheat or die after only a handful of uses. The instructions say the bowl should be pre-frozen at -18 degrees Celsius (the equivalent of zero degrees Fahrenheit) for eight to 12 hours, but one reviewer complains that home refrigerators struggle to reach that low point. (Note: The recommended temperature for a home freezer is zero degrees.) A few users grumble that the lid is hard to line up.

The VonShef Ice Cream Maker features a clear top that lets users watch the action, a good-size funnel to accommodate add-ins near the end of the process, and rubber on the bottom of the machine to prevent skidding. Extra insulated bowls are available for $15 apiece (all the better for keeping one on hold in the freezer).

Users’ experience with this machine indicates that blips happen, but all in all the VonShef Ice Cream Maker is an above-average model that shouldn’t disappoint.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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