When I first saw the Panasonic BH-941P Ice Cream Maker, my initial thought was that there’s no way I’d be able to make anything, much less ice cream in this. I mean, it looks like an average-sized milk pan without the handle.
After a few runs with it, I’ve changed my mind. It wont be everything to everyone, but I can think of a few people who would be thrilled to have this no-frills gadget.
This is a freezer bowl model, but unlike other freezer models, this one doesn’t have a bowl that you actually place in the freezer for hours. The whole machine goes in the freezer! Yes, that’s right; bowl, lid, motor, EVERYTHING, can placed in the freezer.
You may be baffled as to how it will be powered, but have no fear. This gizmo runs on batteries, lithium CR123A batteries. These are commonly found in flashlights and cameras. I am sure you have a few of these lying around the house. They are widely available in hardware stores and on Amazon. Folks, battery powered means no cords or power outlets to worry about. #win.
This is a cordless, thus portable stainless steel and plastic kitchen gizmo that gives a whole new meaning to the term no-frills. It is made up of only 4 parts; a lid, the cover which attaches to a twin fin spatula and the 6-inch stainless steel ice cream bowl. A in-built micro-processor senses when the dessert is getting thicker and adjusts itself. You literally just bung the ingredients in and go.
The package comes with 2 CR123A batteries included in the pack, so you can start mixing as soon as your ice cream maker is delivered. These batteries last for about 20 cycles, so you wont be buying any fresh ones soon.
Ease of Use
The Panasonic BH-941 is a breeze to piece together and use. Simply:
- Pop in the batteries in the space in the cover.
- Pour your ice cream mix in the container.
- Turn the cover over and fit in the rotating shaft. Fix the paddle on the tip of the rotating shaft that remains poking out.
- Now place the lid and paddle on the container itself while ensuring that the position marks align and clip on the side locks on both sides.
- Push the one button switch to start it and you are good to go.
Chuck in the freezer and wait for your awesome dessert.
Now, this is the one thing that I personally do not like. You have to wait 3 hours to get 0.5 quarts of dessert. I just cant wait that long. One way you can use this though, is to start preparing the ice cream, before you start making dinner. By the time you are done cooking and have freshened up for your guests, the ice cream will be ready.
Folks, you know with most ice cream makers, the consistency of the finished product is like soft serve, so you have to place the dessert in the freezer for about an hour for it to firm up. Not with this one though, as it is all made in the freezer, it is perfect after the allotted time. CHOW DOWN!!
Ease of Cleaning
Being made up of only 4 parts that fit together easily, it is just as easy to clean. Disassemble by pressing the release buttons and pulling the top part off of the main bowl and cover. As this contains the motor, you cannot immerse this in water. Wipe it down with a damp cloth to clean it.
The cover, the paddle and the bowl should be washed in lukewarm water, with a soft sponge.
The 0.5 quart – 0.75 quart capacity may throw you off, but think about these situations; what if you are trying out a new recipe, and don’t want to waste ingredients on something you are not sure of? What if you have just a few bits in the fridge that you want to whip together for a refreshing sorbet or margaritas?
The small size can come in handy when you run into these everyday situations. Having a small size also ensures that you have no leftovers to contend with when you are done.
The design is pretty minimalist, with the gadget having only a few parts; its’ light weight, and size (a mere 6 inches in diameter and 5.25 inches height), all make this an appealing appliance to have. You know you will have no stress with storing it and moving it around, it only weighs 2 pounds (about as heavy as a blender). Maybe its the design, with few moving parts, the Panasonic feels very well built, and it comes with a one year warranty.
The Panasonic is extremely quiet. It runs on batteries and its whole production takes place while it is stuck in a freezer. all this equals absolutely no annoying clanging and jangling of the motor.
Recipe books / Manual
An instruction booklet and recipe book come with this, so that you set up your device and prepare your dessert correctly. Please, follow the recipes suggested, at least for your first few batches. As soon as you are confident that you can make this work, feel free to experiment.
- Compact size, space saving and 100% portable – perfect for dorm rooms and apartment dwellers. – saves freezer space as it fits both ice boxes and chest freezers.
- Pre-freezing bowl, ice and rock salt not needed
- Freezer does the work
The quantity of dessert produced by this device will put some people off. I mean, how am I suppose to be satisfied with only 0.25 quarts of my favorite rum and raisin dessert? I just have to have so much more.
Another point that people were skeptical about is due to the use of batteries to power it. If you use rechargeable RCR123A batteries that only cost about 4 dollars more, you will get much more bang for your buck.
I know the Panasonic BH-941P is so small that some people initially think it is a childrens’ toy, but let me assure you that this device will gladden the hearts of a young, newly wed couple or a student who has to scrimp to survive. Your kids can have fun with this too, as it has no sharp bits that can harm them. Using it can also teach them the basics of ice cream making.
It isn’t for me as I love my ice cream with minimum fuss, but this is perfect for getting your feet wet when starting out on eating healthier; also perfect for people living in small spaces, small families. I know a few newly-weds that will be getting this from me for Christmas.
You can take advantage of Amazon’s great deal on this cute but powerful appliance by clicking here now.
Photo Credit: vanilla goodness