The Hamilton Beach 68330R/6880N: a Low Cost Machine to Get You Started Making Delicious Frozen Treats at Home

Are you a bit of a traditionalist? Does the taste of homemade ice cream take you back along memory lane to lazy summers as a kid? You know, the kind that came from the old fashioned, hand cranked ice cream makers that used rock salt and ice, and spun out icy delights on a sunlit veranda…

That distinctive flavor can’t be found in commercially produced ice cream. But it can be found if you make your own frozen desserts at home, with an automatic ice cream maker like the Hamilton Beach 68330R.

Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker available on Amazon

You can make your own signature ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet in your kitchen and have a supply waiting whenever the urge to indulge strikes. Personalize recipes with your own flavor favorites and enjoy the taste, convenience, and economy of creating homemade ice cream.

Without a doubt, the appearance of the 68330R is a throwback to simpler times. But, with all the convenience and innovation of full automation – no hand-cranking necessary! Let’s have a closer look at the details, and see if this model is going to deliver the goods that will satisfy the ice cream purists who prefer this old-time method.

Ice and Rock Salt Models

Ice cream makers that use rock salt and ice are pure simplicity.

A chilled mixture is poured into a metal canister that is then set in a bucket. The motor, with the dasher attached, is latched on top, and ice and rock salt are layered in the space between the bucket and canister. Turn it on, and the electric crank churns out delicious frozen treats in 20-40 minutes.

How does it work? When salt comes into contact with ice, its freezing temperature is lowered. Water will freeze at 32°F, but a 10% salt/ice solution won’t freeze above 20°F.

And, as ice cream needs to be frozen below the freezing point of 32°F, rock salt mixed with ice is the perfect solution. Other types of salt can be used, but rock salt has undergone less refinement and costs less than table salt.

If you do use table or pickling salt, reduce the amount your user manual calls for by about half – refining makes the crystals finer, so it’s more dense with less air space than rock salt.

These models definitely provide the most hands on and fun way to make ice cream, and they’re perfect for an outdoor party or barbecue – just grab an extension cord and take the fun outside.

Operation

This model has a minimalist exterior design, with a durable plastic housing unit and motor cover. And the mixing bowl is constructed of seamless, anodized aluminum for fast temperature transfer and holding the freeze longer.

To produce the finest frozen goodies, chill the base mix first. The chilled ice cream mixture is then poured into the metal canister, and the dasher is inserted into the canister. Cover with the lid and snap securely into place, then place the canister in the plastic bucket.

Assemble the motor over the canister, with the dasher shaft hooked into the bottom of the motor.

Start the machine, then pack the space between canister and bucket with a layer of ice, then add rock salt and repeat to the top until the canister is covered – See the User’s Guide for exact instructions and salt measurements.

The machine should be running while you’re doing this, and you’ll need to continue to add ice and salt as it melts, until the churning slows when the cream is set – every 10 to 15 minutes, check and tend the salt and ice.

The texture will be that of soft serve, and it’s best to allow it to sit for a few minutes before removing the dasher. Remove the canister from the surrounding ice and salt. Cover the ice cream, and freeze for a few hours to harden.

Features and Benefits

At 4 quarts, the Hamilton Beach 68330R has a large capacity for an at-home unit. It may be old fashioned in design, but this equipment is incomparable when it comes to the volume of ice cream it produces. You can make enough for yourself and the entire family all in one batch.

This machine has an easy-lock lid that attaches to the aluminum canister, and holds the motor in place. It also protects the mixture from coming into contact with the ice and rock salt – ensuring your dessert is delicious and adequately frozen.

The anodized aluminum mixing bowl will conduct the freezing temperatures to the ice cream mix quickly and efficiently, for an even freeze while churning.

Despite the simplicity of its design, the 68330R has a heavy duty motor that draws on 80 watts of power to effortlessly make several batches of frozen desserts consecutively. Fully automatic, this model can churn out multiple servings without any loss of power or overheating. Just rinse out the metal canister, pour in another layer of rock salt and ice, and another batch will be ready in just half an hour.

A handy feature that’s surprisingly absent in other brands is the automatic shut-off feature. This model will automatically turn itself off once your ice cream is ready. The motor will stop rotating the dasher as soon as the right consistency has been reached – a great idea that saves energy and prevents overrun from excessive aeration.

You won’t have to stop the motor to check on progress, and then restart it if your mixture isn’t ready – the 68330R does it for you.

A well written and easy to follow User’s Manual is part of the kit, and it includes 20 recipes to get you started.

And, it also comes with the Hamilton Beach 1-year warranty on parts and labor.

Dimensions and Capacity

The Hamilton Beach 68330R measures 15 x 12.5 x 11” and weighs only 6.5 pounds, making it easy to move and store. The mixing canister holds a full 4 quarts of ice cream, so you can enjoy some of your batch fresh and freeze the rest for later.

Cleaning

Cleanup is easy and fast – the bowl and paddle separate, and all parts are removable. Hand wash in warm soapy water, or on the top rack of the dishwasher. Wipe the motor unit clean with a damp cloth.

Performance

The following points are a summary of the most common favorable and critical reviews from verified purchases of the 6833oN/6833oR on Amazon.

  • By far the most common praise about this model is the great ice cream it serves, with a smooth and creamy texture that comes out as soft serve, then hardens up to a perfect consistency after a day or two in the freezer.
  • Happy customers like the simplicity of operating the 68330R, and its well thought out design for efficient operation. Hooking up the dasher in the mixing canister and attaching it to the motor base is fast and secure, and the automatic turn-off feature when the ice cream is ready rates positively.
  • The locking lid is also a favored aspect, sliding into place with a twist and holding the entire freezer secure so there’s no “bucking” action during churning.
  • On the critical side, there are numerous complaints of the machine quitting after just a handful of uses, and not having the necessary power to finish batches. And there were many other complaints about gears stripping in the motor and the dasher insert that fits into the motor, which renders it inoperable.
  • The power cord is very short, so you have to work close to an outlet, or get an extension cord.
  • There have been a few complaints about noise as well, although many of these were related to the screeching of gears splitting and stripping. Others who enjoyed normal operation found the noise levels to be reasonable.
    Tips

  • Chill your ice cream base thoroughly before churning to produce a fine-textured product, free of ice crystals.
  • Don’t fill past the Fill Line on the mixing canister, as you’ll have overflow problems when the base mixture expands with aeration.
  • Get a good recipe book, as the ones included in the manual are good to start, but pretty basic.
  • Have plenty of ice and salt on hand before beginning the process.

Conclusion

The Hamilton Beach 68330R is a very affordable unit and has many fine features, enabling it to produce a good quality ice cream with a lot of satisfied fans.

Foodal's Rating
  • Performance
  • Included Accessories
  • Build Quality
  • Warranty
  • Value

Summary

This machine works well when it works. It's history of stripping gears gives us pause and keeps us from recommending this model unless you need lots of volume or want a low, low cost product that may be cheap in more ways than one.

3.2

However, there are some questions regarding its durability under “normal” operation, with too many customers disappointed at the failure of flimsy components.

Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker available on Amazon

More time and attention should be invested in designing a sturdier gear system that will stand up under average use.

As it is, this model has too many mechanical issues to receive a top value rating. If you want an old fashioned rock and salt model, we’d suggest taking a hard look at the Nostalgia Electrics ICMW400.

Want to see more options? Check out all of Foodal’s Ice Cream Maker Reviews as well as our Ice Cream Maker Buyer’s Guide.

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About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

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