Hello, y’all. I recently came across a really cute ice cream maker, while out at a friends’ barbecue, and I just had to try it out. It was small enough to fit on one side of the picnic table, just like a blender.
Read about my experience with the Hamilton Beach 68320B 1.5 Qt. Capacity Ice Cream Maker.
The Hamilton Beach 68320B 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker is a plastic-bodied ice cream machine that is one of the freezer bowl range, you know, the ones where you freeze a bowl at 0oF for 24 hours. It comes with a 1.5 quart freezer bowl lined with the gel that cools the preferred mix, into your frozen dessert of choice. This is usually a turn off for me as it requires planning and thinking about what flavors I would like to make, 24 hours before. I prefer being totally spontaneous. I guess its better than having to contend with layering rock salt and crushed ice for some other models.
Anyway, the Hamilton Beach 68320B 1.5 quart Ice Cream Maker makes any frozen dessert in between 20 – 40 minutes. Bear in mind, that this is the run time needed for the machine to produce frozen treats. This doesn’t include the pre-freezing time and the time needed to prepare an ice cream base if you are using one that requires you to cook some custard. This appliance produces ice cream with a very creamy soft serve consistency. Personally, I don’t mind ice cream like this, but if you want it much firmer, scoop it out and place in a bowl in the freezer for a few more hours.
A large tapered ingredient funnel, lets you add candies, fruits, nuts into the mix while it is churning. You can get different extra-yummy flavors by adding your favourite treats to your ice cream. beats having to pay extra at the ice cream parlor.
I would advise that you add these about 16 minutes into the cycle, when the ice cream base has started to thicken.
Assembling and Cleanup
The gadget is easy to set up. Its component parts:- the paddle, the motor in the lid, the freezer bowl, all fit together in an easy way to assemble this machine. The ease of set up is also mimicked in the breaking down when you want to clean.
You simply unplug the machine and separate the paddle from the lid by pulling them in opposite directions. Next, un-clip the motor from the lid by squeeze the locking tabs and separating them. wipe the motor housing with a damp, not WET cloth. Wash the lid, base, paddle and freezer bowl in the sink, not the dishwasher.
At 10.2 x 9.4 x 11.8 inches; the Hamilton Beach 68320 will not take up much space on your counter-top. Weighing only 7.9 pounds , it wont be a hassle to move out of the way when you have to. This beauty comes in 2 cool colors; white and black. This means that you can always choose a color that will match your kitchen.
That’s the good stuff out of the way. Now to the things that tick me of about this appliance.
IT IS LOUD! Folks, using this Hamilton, ensure you are not going to be in the same room as the machine when you are using it. There is an intense clanging and jangling while the machine is running. It makes you wonder what the heck is going on in there and keep checking if the machine isn’t spilling its guts all over your counter-top.
While I love the soft serve consistency this machine produces, that jangling doesn’t do it for me. AT ALL!
Another ‘unique’ feature of this is that when the ice cream begins to thicken , and the machine can’t churn as strongly, the motor starts to stall. Not only that, it stalls , then goes in reverse, then stalls, then goes in reverse, then stalls….over and over. This worries me as I fear its going to burn out the motor.
One time, I left it for too long, and the ice cream base was frozen solid to the sides and bottom of the freezer bowl, and the paddle had been doing its little back and forth dance.
Being a freezer bowl model, you can’t make ice cream in back to back batches except you have extra freezer bowls. If you have only one bowl, stopping the machine will require you to re freeze the freezer bowl for another 24 hrs. The 13.5 watt motor that is in this kitchen appliance is strong enough, considering the size of the machine.
The included recipe book is really plain and basic. It contains recipes for 2 types of ice cream, gelato and sorbet. I recommend you learn from the masters, using this book.
I’m undecided about this one folks. On one hand, its really affordable and will give you a chance to practice your ice cream making skills with small batches. On the flip side, you cant be really sure of how long the motor will hold out, with all that clanking and clanging.
Photo Credit: vanilla ice cream