How to Choose the Best Snow Cone Machine?
Table of Contents
Top Best Snow Cone Machines Based on Reviews and Price
How to Select a Snow Cone Machine?
If you are a fan of icy smoothies or ice creams, then the snow cone machine is for you. Whether electronic or manual, this device that can crush ice cubes into fine particles is essential for your apéritifs, digestifs, and cocktails. There is a multitude of models of snow cone machines on the market. This, therefore, does not make it easier for the potential buyer to choose the best device.
With this buying guide, we will try to facilitate your important task of choosing the best snow cone machine:
Top 9 Factors to Consider When Buying Snow Cone Machines
#1 The Type of Machine
First of all, you should know that there are two categories of these machines. You have the choice between the manual and the electric versions. The comparison should, therefore, be based on the following
The manual snow cone machines are often equipped with a crank and non-slip feet. They allow the user to grind the ice cubes easily. They are very useful when you go out camping in the woods, for example. This is because it does not need electricity to operate. Its main advantage is that it costs significantly less than the electric model. Of course, there are no risks of shocks or high electrical bills.
The purchase of this type of appliance will depend on its capacity. Some of them, including automatic models, can hold up to 10oz fluid. For manual appliances, the capacity will depend on the number of ice the reservoir can accommodate. You will find on the market capacities varying from 10 to 15 ice cubes for each round.
As for the electric model, it allows you to obtain pretty crushed ice very quickly. The strength of this device lies in its efficiency and practicality. For professional use, it is better to turn to the electric types. Its ability to produce ice independently will allow you to take care of something else.
In addition, its speed and production capacity is rather important. These will allow you to satisfy a large number of guests and customers without exhausting your energy. However, if you have to go for this type, ensure it has a safety switch.
#2 Snowcone With Ice Shaving Ability
Versatility is always a plus when choosing virtually any kitchen or bar appliance. Why spend top dollar buying a snow cone machine and an ice shaving machine? For half the price and size of these two combined, you can easily get a machine that combines these features.
In fact, these types of machines are easily discovered from the product names. Then, all you have to do is choose by weighing their quality against other purchase criteria. Examples of these models of machines are the Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine and Little Snowie 2 Ice Shaver.
#3 A High-performing Device
The role of this device is to break large blocks of ice to obtain finely ground ice that you can then put in your drinks. A good model will be able to crush a large number of ice blocks in a minimum of time. In fact, a high performing machine can crush up to 15 kg of ice cream in just one hour.
This criterion, however, only applies to electric types which are equipped with a rotating blade and motor. To get efficient results for commercial uses, choose a model with at least 400 watts and 1500 revolutions per minute (RPM). For household use, a 200 to 400-watt model will suffice.
#4 Sound Level
The level of noise – measured in decibels (dB) – of the appliance is also an important factor to consider while choosing this type of device. While manual types make lesser noise, you will have to take into account the noise your electric snow cone machine will possibly make. The only downside with the electric device, and to some extent, the manual models, is that it is quite noisy when it works.
However, the noise comes mainly from the pieces of crushed ice and not from the device itself. You shouldn’t be mistaken about this. But still, silent products remain the best, and there are types with special designs that silence the crushing sound.
However, you have to know that silent machines may not necessarily mean very powerful or high-performance machines. So, it’s up to you to prioritize based on what your needs are.
#5 Size and Tank Capacity
For occasional use, you need a machine with small tank of no more than 6 oz capacity. However, if you use the appliance regularly or if you need a large number of ice cubes, choose large machines that can take in more quantities. Some types can make more than 20 snow cones.
It should be noted that the general dimensions of the machine depend on the capacity of their tank. If you want to have a compact and silent machine, you will therefore only have a limited tank.
However, never purchase a professional snow cone machine for use at home. It will not only take up a lot of space; it will be costlier and noisier.
Even if the design of the device is not a strong determining factor in its choice, you still have to choose the model that best fits your interior decor. In this aspect, you have many options to decide on, whether in the shape of the machine (compact, bulky, rounded, angular, etc.), in its general finish (stainless steel, plastic), and especially in terms of color.
Like all well-designed products, you will find chic snow cone machines, as well as elegant, flashy, fun, discreet, vintage models.
In terms of design, it would be ideal to opt for a compact device. This will fit more easily into the decor of your living room or your kitchen. And as mentioned earlier, these types are ideal for use anywhere outside the home.
The models built of stainless steel are also a good choice not only due to their aesthetic side but also for their practicality. These are much easier to maintain and are also much more robust.
#7 Included Accessories/Preparation Items
Many machines come with a specific number of cones while others don’t at all. Although this may add up to the final price, it’s always good to have a machine fully packed for immediate use. Professional snow cone makers often come with these additional accessories. For example, the Waring Pro SCM100 and Cuisinart SCM machines come with 4 reusable snow cone cups and 12 paper cones each. Others may offer 2 or no snow cones while others can have up to 25 cones.
Asides the presence or the number of snow and paper cones, there are other items to watch out for in the pack. These include the snow spoons, bottle pourers, and ready-to-use syrups for snow cones.
#8 Functionality/Ease of Use
A functional device is a device that is easy to use without giving you a headache. So for an electric model, the use of a single button is enough. You don’t have to tire yourself to understand how the system works.
For manual versions, a metal crank, preferably stainless steel, guarantees easy use. In addition, devices with a serving shovel are much more useful for hygiene and ease of use reasons. Ideally, your device should not have rusty parts. Otherwise, it will not only be a short-lived model, but it is not at all hygienic.
The level of noise produced by the device is not to be overlooked, especially in the case of regular use.
Besides, for more functionality, choose a model that has excellent stability. These are types that have non-slip feet or a base provided with a suction cup. This is particularly relevant when it comes to a manual snow cone machine.
#9 No BPAs!
Safety is an important criterion in snow cone machines. The safety consideration has to be extended to both the machine construction and the supplied cones.
First, ensure that, if you have to choose an electric model, it is safe to use and include a safety switch for emergencies. Hence, ensure the machine is listed by ETL or other reputable global safety standards organizations.
Secondly, the dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA) has been widely documented ever since it began to be used to make resins and plastics since the 1960s. Research shows that when users are exposed to this chemical, they may develop fertility problems, heart diseases, male impotence, among other issues.
Therefore, ensure your preferred plastic model has no BPA materials on the parts that are in contact with the food and the supplied cups. Confirm that the model has the “BPA-free” tag. If you can’t find this on the model or in its review, ask the seller or just move on to the next product.
The snow cone maker has gradually established itself as an indispensable device in our homes. To help you have the model that fits your needs, we have listed some criteria to consider.
If your budget is limited and you just need a model for occasional use, choose a manual type.
If you need a professional machine, then the electric type is a no-brainer.
Look for a simple device that can also fulfill the function of crushing ice cubes. Remember that the ease of use, safety, versatility, and functionality are key considerations that can give value for your money.