Make Your Own Ice Cream: Zoku Ice Cream Maker Review!

Zoku Ice Cream Maker

What Is It
If you want to make ice cream without the huge expensive of an entire electronic ice cream machine, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker is going to be your favorite summer appliance! BPA and phthalate-free for your health, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker allows you to make individual portions of ice cream, custard, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, or sherbert in as little as 10 minutes. Perfect as a way to make healthier ice cream without additives or as a fun way to teach children about chemistry and making their own food, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker is available in multiple color options.

The Zoku Ice Cream Maker includes the stainless steel bowl, the protective sleeve, and a spoon for stirring and making the ice cream. This is everything you need to make a bowl of ice cream; you’ll just need to provide the ingredients to make the ice cream itself.

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If you’re worried about being lost about what to do, don’t be. This personal size ice cream maker also comes with instructions that include illustrations. The instructions also include multiple recipes for different types of ice cream you could make. The instruction manual is also available online if you happen to lose your paper copy.

The Zoku Ice Cream Maker was designed to be super easy to use as well. Requiring absolutely no electricity (but it does require freezing the interior bowl), it can be done wherever you want. First, freeze the inner bowl overnight. After that, you’re going to want to fill the inner bowl with 5 ounces of your ice cream mixture. Once you’ve poured it, start immediately scraping the bowl with the spoon to frequently stir and scrap the bowl to regularly remove the ice cream from the sides of the bowl. This keeps the ice cream soft and creamy. If you’re working with kids, not scraping the sides won’t ruin the ice cream, but it will thicken the ice cream and make it harder to scrape. As the ice cream starts to solidify, you’ll add any toppings you want mixed into the ice cream. Soft serve ice cream will be done in about 10 minutes while harder ice cream will require placing the bowl back into the freezer for another 10 to 20 minutes.

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My Opinion
I’m surprised by how simple making ice cream with the Zoku Ice Cream Maker is. It’s definitely not-at-all difficult, and assuming you plan ahead of time by sticking the bowl in the freezer overnight, you’ll have ice cream within 15 minutes of starting. Start-to-finish, it takes about 15 minutes for delicious, soft-serve ice cream. (Not sure what one of you weirdos love hard, frozen ice cream, but soft serve is totally where it’s at)

Throwing all the ingredients into a bowl was super easy. You need to get the sugar to dissolve in the mixture, but it only takes a minute or so of hand-mixing. You don’t need to get out any other supplies.

Once you’ve thrown together all of your ingredients and dissolved the mix, it just pours into the frozen bowl (for optimal results, you’ll want to refridgerate your mixture up to 40 degrees F before using it, but it works fine as long as you mix your ingredients ASAP after taking them out of the fridge. You’ll end up with a soft, melty-er ice cream). As soon as you pour it, start scooping the ice cream. The included spoon has a firm, spatula-like feel to it, so it scoops the ice cream off of the edges of the metal bowl pretty well. Don’t be afraid to apply some force. You don’t need a ton of force, but you’ll need enough force to scoop off the sides that it might feel like you’ll scratch the bowl. As long as you’re using the included Zoku spoon, you shouldn’t have any issue.

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As you continue to mix the ice cream, make sure to mix around the visible areas as well. Scooping the ice off of the visible edges will help you understand how much force you need to use to get the ice cream off of the bottom and sides that you can’t see. It’s really a simple process. As an adult, it took less effort than making stir fry, and I can easily see this being something that kids can do without any issue – you just have to make sure they keep scooping the edges. The bowl is forgiving if you don’t scoop off of the edges regularly, but it will start to “build up” if you don’t do it semi-often.

I did this for about 8 minutes before I decided I was done. Do NOT try to eat the ice cream out of the bowl. You totally can try it, but the freezing will continue to freeze as you’re attempting to eat it, and you’ll find that you’ll start getting ice cream frozen to the sides of the bowl. It seems to work really well if you just pour your ice cream into a separate bowl – then it doesn’t continue to freeze.

The resulting ice cream is actually pretty good. It has a sweetness and creaminess to it that tastes a whole lot better than store-bought ice cream. It’s like a thicker and creamier version of most soft-serve ice creams you can get at places like Dairy Queen. It’s actually quite sweet and delicious – and that’s using the included recipe that only has about 5 ingredients you need to gather. Doing some digging online about good recipes should lead some tastier and healthier options for using your Zoku Ice Cream Maker.

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If you’re someone who is constantly concerned about what ingredients are in your ice cream or want to show your children how simple it can be to make “real” food on their own, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker can be a fantastic purchase. You can use any of the natural recipes you’d like to use, or any of the included Zoku recipes are made using standard, clean ingredients such as milk, sugar, vanilla extra, heavy cream, and Kosher salt. No premade mixes are required, and for the most part (I’m not sure most people keep Kosher salt in their homes), it only uses ingredients you already have in your home.

The recipes that the instruction manual offers work pretty well. They will make a tasty, sweet ice cream that’s smooth and creamy. At the same time, all of the recipes include enough of the mix to make multiple bowls of the ice cream. I halved one of their recipes, and it still made enough liquid to make 2.5 bowls of their ice cream. As you only have one bowl at a time, it seems like providing the base recipe – and instructions to multiply if you want to make multiple servings, would have been a better way to go about it. However, if you see yourself using the Zoku Ice Cream Maker multiple times in a short time period, it’s pretty easy to keep the liquid ice cream mixture good in the refridgerator until you’re ready for it.

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The Zoku Ice Cream Maker makes it so simple to make ice cream. There’s only a couple of pieces, it requires no electricity, and the included instructions are clear and offer great recipes. This is a fantastic, low space-footprint way to make single-servings of ice cream and enjoy some family time together.

The Zoku Ice Cream Maker only makes a single serving of ice cream. If you’re wanting to feed more than a couple people, it becomes unpractical to continue to use this little guy. However, if you just want something for your child or yourself, it’s absolutely perfect. My other complaint is that the Zoku Ice Cream Maker isn’t dishwasher-safe. I hate washing things by hand.

If you want to enjoy a single serving of delicious ice cream that’s made up of only what you want to put into your body, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker is perfect. It’s very simple and relatively effortless to make the ice cream, and you can easily use only the ingredients you want to use.

Buy It
You can pick up the Zoku Ice Cream Maker right from the Zoku website. You also can find it at local retailers – I know I’ve seen them at Target!

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