From Nostalgia Electrics comes the ICMW400, in a vintage design reminiscent of a bygone era, but with a product of incomparable taste and the convenience of modern technology.
Nostalgia Electrics produces numerous kitchen appliances with retro aesthetics. And this model marries the heritages style of bucket ice cream makers with contemporary innovation, reflecting the old-fashioned values of simplicity and quality for a fun, at home ice cream making experience.
And with its large 1-gallon capacity, this ice cream maker is ideal for parties or family gatherings. Let’s have a closer look at the Nostalgia Electrics ICMW400 Ice Cream Maker, and see if those values really are present – or if they’re just trying to cash in on clever marketing.
The ICMW400 certainly does evoke nostalgia, with its exterior of handsome red cedar wood staves and brass-colored hoops. And the antique-looking label that reads “Ice Cream Maker” draws you back in time even before you’ve tasted the first batch.
But behind the quaint exterior is modern technology and innovation – no hand cranking necessary. The wooden slats are overlaid on a durable plastic bucket that’s strong enough to withstand the corrosive effects of the coarse salt, for leak-proof processing.
The strong electric motor drives the churning mechanism effortlessly without any loss of power or overheating issues, for trouble-free operation.
Operation itself is simple, and very user friendly. Put the aluminum mixing canister, loaded with the chilled mix, into the center of the bucket. Fill the gap between the canister and the bucket with ice and salt, then turn it on. Every 10 minutes or so, the ice and salt should be stirred and topped up as needed to ensure an even freeze.
When the mixture is ready, the machine will gear down to a stop. This will take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the quantities and ingredients used. The result will be a smooth and rich ice cream with the texture of soft serve – serve as is, or chill in the freezer for a few hours to firm and harden.
Ice and Rock Salt Models
This unit processes frozen desserts the way it was done back in the day – with ice and rock salt. A combination of ice and salt surrounds the mixing bowl, and brings the temperature of the mix to the sub-freezing temperatures necessary to thicken it.
This way, as heat is released from the ice cream mixture, it freezes and sets, forming a smooth texture that’s free of ice crystals.
As with other styles and models, the final texture will be similar to soft serve, and is ready to be enjoyed as is. However, if you prefer a firmer texture, a few hours in the freezer will harden it nicely.
Dimensions and Capacity
This model measures 15 x 13 x 16”, and will fit easily on the countertop for churning up a batch. And with a strong, metal handle, the 9 pounds of weight is easy to manage for carrying and storage.
It easily makes up to a full 4 quarts for a large gathering, or you can always store a variety of flavors in the freezer for when the mood strikes.
All components are easily cleaned with handwashing in warm soapy water, and the plastic housing for the motor can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
The following points are condensed from the verified customer reviews published on Amazon at the time of this writing.
- A majority of happy reviewers report that this unit produces a fine textured ice cream with a smooth, creamy consistency and an authentic homemade taste.
- Another selling point is the easy assembly, operation, and cleanup, with a well written and thorough instruction manual that gives clear directions and troubleshooting tips.
- Many feel that this product delivers good value for the asking price. Of note are the quality of craftsmanship in construction, and the robust mixing paddle and strong motor that easily handle large quantities of ice cream.
- The automatic shut-off is another feature users appreciate, as it takes the guesswork out of determining when the mix is ready.
- And everyone loves the large amount of frozen desserts it’s capable of producing, enough for family gatherings and parties.
- On the critical side, the main complaint is about the bucket itself. A lot of reviewers were disappointed that what they received wasn’t an “authentic” wooden bucket, but wooden slats glued onto a plastic recepticle.
- Some others complained about the finish on the slats being scratched and worn, with the appearance of a used, rather than new, item. And, there’s also several comments about the decorative staves and hoops popping off.
- The other main complaint is that this unit is too slow for some, taking a while to churn a batch to the proper consistency.
- And the mixing canister doesn’t have a measurement line, so overflowing is a possibility while churning. One review suggests filling it no more than 3/4 full, until you get a better feel for how the mix will expand with processing.
- Read and follow the instructions for best results.
- Use a small wood screw to secure the hoops if they come loose.
- Don’t fill the mixing canister to more than 3/4 full when first using, until you get a better feel for the best maximum fill without overflowing.
- Get a good recipe book for more advanced blends.
- Allow ice cream to firm up in the freezer for a few hours for a harder texture.
The Nostalgia Electrics ICMW400 ice cream machine performs very well, consistently producing a variety of nicely textured, smooth, and creamy frozen desserts.
- Included Accessories
- Build Quality
Preparation and monitoring are minimal, making this unit easy and enjoyable to use.
Nostalgia Electrics ICMW400 4-Quart Wooden Bucket Electric Ice Cream Maker available at Amazon
And while the decorative pieces on the exterior seem to be a bit on the flimsy side, the motor is strong and admirably performs the task at hand. All in all, this model does a good job of combining unique styling with modern convenience, to produce excellent frozen desserts for your pleasure this summer.
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.