Having crushed ice at home is truly convenient, especially if you frequently entertain guests. The ice crusher can sit on a countertop and provide all the crushed ice you may need for tasty drinks and flavored snow cones as a summer treat for the kids.
I did lots of research, checking out more than 50 machines, to find the most innovative technology used to create perfectly crushed ice at home. I selected seven as the best of all the ones I tried. These models are also good, although I think the products chosen for my full review list are better:
After reading this article, you will know how to understand the features of home ice machines, so you can choose the one that suits your needs, including these factors:
Sonja Overhiser is a cook, and she says that you can make a small batch of crushed ice at home by using a blender, ice, water, and a strainer. The tip she gives is to use a blender with a pulse setting. If you only need a small amount of crushed ice occasionally, this method works fine. You can compare the method with the ice-crushing machines that I reviewed if you need crushed ice regularly.
When you have a crushed ice machine at work and it is home time. You fill your 1.2L cup with crushed ice! Let’s hope it lasts the rest of the day! 🤞🏻🤞🏻 pic.twitter.com/svBGPCPFm2
— Amy (she/her) (@RealAmyD) October 2, 2021
You can solve this problem with the best electric ice crusher that makes professional-quality crushed ice for home use.
My Top Pick
- Compact design with dimensions (14x5x5.7 inches)
- Large capacity of 143 lbs. per hour
- Water resistant on/off switch
- Automatic safety shutoff when hopper is open
- When you need lots of crushed ice, such as throwing lots of parties at home or even commercial-grade use.
This unit processes a lot of ice very quickly with a design that makes all kinds of frozen drinks, which means it is very versatile.
- All stainless-steel construction
- On/off switch shielded by a waterproof cover
- 440 lbs. per hour capacity
- 250-watt motor
- Those who want to process a large volume of ice
If you can afford the investment in this unit, you will have a professional-grade piece of equipment that will likely last a long time and give you many years of service.
- Plastic and metal construction
- Easy to setup, use, and clean
- Makes enough shave ice for four to five snow cones each minute
- Vibrant red color looks good on a kitchen counter
- Those who want to entertain their kids with a simple home-made treat
I like this unit for the occasional home use. It is stronger than a blender and works better with ice than a blender, but not as strong as the professional-grade models.
The buyer’s guide contains the steps to help you choose the ice crusher for your needs.
Step 1: Purpose
The main purpose you want to decide is how much ice you need to make for the crowd size you are trying to please. There is a big difference between making a few snow cones for your kids and doing enough shaved ice for a large party. It is probably wise to have a slightly bigger machine than the maximum usage you can envision for it. This strategy may help you avoid failure if you work a weaker machine too much.
— Ben (@benniitar) December 2, 2021
Step 2: Budget
Decide how much you can afford to spend. The low-budget kitchen appliance types made mostly from plastic cost around $50. A professional-grade version made from all stainless steel may cost up to $250.
Step 3: Power
Be sure you have enough power if you are using a big ice-crushing machine. The strong motors of the professional-grade commercial-use types use considerable electrical power to operate. You can easily trip an electrical circuit breaker if you plug them in and turn them on when the circuit is not strong enough to handle the electrical load.
If you need to learn how to determine the electrical circuit for the amps you need, read my article about the electricity requirements of a gas range here and familiarize yourself with how to use a multimeter.
Step 4: Ice Capacity
Capacity is how much ice you can put in the machine and how fast it crushes it, which is described as either the volume of crushed ice that can be made or a crushing rate of speed that is expressed as the amount of pounds of ice that can be processed in one hour.
Though @mifcomv ice capacity has increased in recent years, shortage of ice remains a serious issue for fishermen.
We are spending lots of time, energy and fuel.
To get 2 tons of ice we burn min 2 barrels of fuel and spend whole day in the process. pic.twitter.com/ebbjBe9icm
— Maldives Fishermen (@DhiMasverin) October 19, 2018
A smaller unit may be able to do enough ice for a few snow cones each minute. A large industrial-grade version might be able to process up to 440 lbs. of ice per hour.
Step 5: Cleaning & Maintenance
To clean an ice-crushing machine, I use the same techniques to clean a food saver, which I describe here. You will need to disassemble the unit and take the removable parts apart and wipe them down occasionally.
For the larger ice crushers, you may have to use some machine grease for the rotor(s) spun by the motor if you use your machine heavily for a considerable period or leave it idle for a long time. Be sure to follow the cleaning and maintenance instructions from the manufacture of any device you buy.
If you think there is a lot of maintenance, you should see how they prepare shaved ice by hand in India.
This video, produced by To Know Everything, shows how they crush ice using a machine on the side of a road in India.
Not bad if you don’t mind a few rusty paint chips with your ice.
This quick list describes the killer feature and best uses for each ice crusher to narrow down your choices quickly, and then you can read the in-depth reviews of the ones you like.
When you need lots of crushed ice, such as throwing lots of parties at home or even commercial-grade use.
My Top Pick
For processing a large volume of ice.
For entertaining your kids with a simple home-made treat.
For making slushies, snow cones, milkshakes, yogurt freezes, and other delicious frozen drinks.
A very strong machine that has dual cutting blades.
For those on a tight budget that want a simple kitchen appliance for making shaved ice.
A level-three building kit, which is designed for ages 15 and up.
The VIVOHOME Electric Snow Cone Maker Machine is a commercial-grade piece of equipment also for home use for those needing lots of crushed ice. The operation is straightforward. You plug it in, put ice cubes in the hopper, and use a lever to push them into the spinning blade, with the shaved ice is collected by a bowl underneath.
- Built with food-grade, corrosion-proof, stainless steel
- Easy to clean
- Sturdy base
- Quiet operation
- Low vibrations
- Compact design with dimensions of 14 by 5 by 5.7 inches is a great choice if you’re an owner of a small kithcen. This ice shaver won’t take much place but will always be at hand when you’re in the mood for something icy.
- Attractive silver color is sure to match any kitchen design so this device will never be out of place.
- Large capacity of 143 lbs. per hour makes this unit indispensable if you’re a fan parties or large gatherings.
- Water resistant on/off switch is completely safe to use, even if you accidentally spill some water on it.
- You can safely use this ice crusher when the kids are in the kitchen because it has an automatic safety shutoff when hopper is open.
- Only makes one type of shaved ice.
- The bowl to catch the shaved ice fills up quickly.
- Some parts are made of ABS plastic.
This unit is good for those with situations where you need lots of crushed ice, such as throwing lots of parties at home or commercial-grade use.
This video, produced by Top Customer Reviews, shows the VIVOHOME Electric Snow Cone Maker Machine working.
I like to see this unit in operation because it has an amazing through-put of ice. If you are not careful, you will spill shaved ice all over the floor.
The ZENY shaver is a very strong contender for the best quality. It may have a bit too much capacity at 440 lbs. of ice per hour for most home-usage. However, if you are a bazillionaire who likes to throw large lavish parties in your luxury mansion, this is a good choice for you.
- For commercial and home use.
- All stainless-steel construction.
- 440 lbs. per hour capacity.
- On/off switch shielded by a waterproof cover.
- 250-watt motor.
- Dimensions are 16.1 inches length by 9.8 inches width by 16.9 inches height, so this model won’t take up the whole kitchen.
- The unit is super durable because of its stainless-steel construction.
- Produces shaved ice that is like snow which is ideal for superior drinks.
- Easy-to-clean, removable dual blades. There’s no need to spend half the night cleaning your ice crusher after the party.
- 440 lbs. of ice per hour for parties, celebrations, or commercial-grade use.
- Cost is just over $150.
- Might be too big for home use.
- Fairly loud operation.
Those who want to process a large volume of ice.
In this video, produced by Tiange Electric, you can see a worker in a commercial restaurant using a commercial grade ice crushing machine.
Is anyone besides me bothered when they see workers using their bare hands to do this kind of work and not wearing kitchen gloves?
3. Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker
The Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker is a kitchen appliance that is modestly priced at around $70. It is designed for home use to make small batches of snow cones.
- For home use.
- Plastic and metal construction.
- Easy to setup, use, and clean.
- Makes enough shave ice for four to five snow cones each minute.
- Vibrant red color looks good on a kitchen counter.
- Uses regular ice and simple syrup for flavorings.
- It’s easy to assemble. Let your kids join while anticipating their cones.
- The unit is completely safe for your health. All parts that come in contact with the ice are BPA-free.
- I’m sure you want to test your brand new device immediately after purchase, that’s why it comes with tasty recipes to try right away.
- If you want to throw a party for the kids, this snow cone maker is a must, because it makes four to five cones in under a minute to provide each and every kid (and adult!) with the treat as soon as possible.
- Mostly plastic construction.
- Have to scoop the ice out of a bin to use it.
- Only makes one kind of shaved ice.
Those who want to entertain their kids with a simple home-made treat.
This video, produced by decorebelle, shows the operation of the Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker.
The video also shows how to make a recipe for yummy cacao chocolate shaved ice.
4. VIVOHOME Snow Cone Maker
The VIVOHOME Electric Snow Cone Maker Machine is my favorite. It is a very well-built piece of equipment that can be used in a bar, restaurant, or home.
- For commercial and home use.
- Made from high-quality ABS material.
- Aluminum rotary blades.
- 265 lbs. per hour capacity.
- 250-watt, high-speed motor.
- Has a particle size adjustment to make different types of shaved ice that allows to produce crushed ice for different purposes.
- Ergonomic design does not require pressure on any hopper handle to crush the ice, so you can kick back and relax while the machine does its job.
- Processes up to 265 lbs. per hour, which allows the model to be a great choice for both home and commercial use.
- Drip tray to collect excessive water and spills to keep your kitchen nice and clean.
- Safety features include a current overprotection device.
- Partial construction out of ABS plastic.
- Spill tray fills up quickly.
- Needs to be taken apart to clean.
Those who wish to make slushies, snow cones, milkshakes, yogurt freezes, and other delicious frozen drinks.
This video, produced by RJTINNC, shows the VIVOHOME Electric Snow Cone Maker Machine and talks bout using it.
The video describes how to use this machine to teach children about business by supporting their efforts to set up a shaved ice stand.
The Yescom Snow Cone Machine Crusher is a commercial-grade ice crushing machine that comes in two sizes of 14 inches by 5 inches by 11 inches and 15 inches by 9 inches by 12 1/2 inches. The larger unit can process up to 440 lbs. of ice per hour.
- Restaurants with a seafood bar like to use this to make crushed ice for the food on display. Don’t be hesistant if you own a bar or a restaurant – this machine is a wonderful choice.
- Comes with two backup blades for easy replacement.
- Stainless steel machine and bowl for a long lifespan.
- Easy to clean using a wet cloth. It’s especially convenient if it works nonstop all day long.
- Power automatically shuts off if the unit overheats.
- Makes plenty of crushed ice quickly and easily.
- Commercial grade.
- 440 lbs. of ice per hour.
- Used by professional chefs.
- Easy assembly.
- A little more power than most homes need.
- Makes only one grade of shaved ice.
- Gets war to the touch with constant use.
Those who want a very strong machine that has dual cutting blades.
This video, produced by Home Experiments, shows using an ice crusher to shred apples.
It is not recommended that you try this at home, use a vegetable/fruit food processor instead.
6. Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A
The Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A and Snow Cone Machine is an elegant kitchen appliance that does not take much space on a countertop. It is modestly priced at around $45.
- Comes with two mold for making round ice that fits in the machine.
- Includes a non-slip mat to hold the unit in place.
- Offers a one-year manufacturer’s warranty in case something goes wrong.
- Compact size with the dimensions of 5.5 inches wide by 8 inches in diameters by 12 inches tall to fit the kithcen of any size.
- For those who prefer the aesthetic appearance – the unit looks nice and pretty.
- Easy to assemble.
- Stores easily under a kitchen counter when not in use
- Three-piece design.
- Fast cleaning.
- Made from plastic, except blade.
- Makes only a few (three to five) shaved treats at a time.
- Only one texture of ice.
Those on a tight budget that want a simple kitchen appliance that makes shaved ice.
In this video, produced by Beyond the Box, there is an opening of the box and a review of this machine.
It is the number-one-rated ice machine for its price category. The guy in the video uses the equipment incorrectly and uses ice cubes instead of the mold for circular ice. Of course, he does not read the instructions. The video does demonstrate how noisy these devices can be.
7. WeChef Electric Crusher
The WeChef 250W Electric Snow Cone Machine Maker is the top-of-the-line and most expensive one I reviewed. It cost about $250. This equipment is the kind of ice-shaving machine you regularly see in commercial spaces.
- Comes with two backup blades for easy replacement.
- Easy assembly.
- Can be connected to a drain pipe.
- Overheating protection.
- Water resistant on/off switch.
- Processes up to 440 lbs. of ice per hour which is ideal for when you need to serve many drinks.
- Holds 22 liters of ice at maximum capacity so you can make a lot of ice at once.
- Dual blades spin at 2,500 RPM.
- Clear acrylic shaved ice bin.
- Anti-slip pads for legs keep the machine from moving around. That way it will never fall off the counter.
- Pricey for home use.
- A bit bulkier than other choices.
- Very loud operation.
Those that want a very strong and higher-priced professional machine.
This video, produced by ImportFood, shows how they make shaved ice in Thailand and serve it with sweet bread and candied fruit.
The video makes me want to visit Thailand again. It would be fun to try to create this recipe at home. I would like to have my sweet bread toasted first to add some crunchiness to the dish. I can use my new cool-touch toaster that I chose here.
Here are some accessories that will help when using electric ice crushers
The SSC Controls S100-150 is an all-purpose foot switch that makes it easy to turn on and off your ice crusher or other appliance, when your hands are full.
Drain Assembly for Drip Tray
The KegWorks Drain Assembly turns your drip tray into a drain tray that can be connected to a plumbing drain to let the melted water run out.
Concession Express Snow Cone Cups and Straws will help you delight your family with the presentation.
Syrup With Accessories
This Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kit is a ten-pack of all your favorite snow cone flavors with 10 bottle pourers. It also includes 100 spoon straws and 100 snow cone cups.
- Ice and the density of water →
- How does dry ice work? →
- The reason why you’re always thirsty after you eat ice cream →
- Why is ice so slippery? →
The best electric ice crusher for home use depends on how frequently you need to make crushed ice and how much volume you need to make at one time. The kitchen appliance styles for budget prices are suitable for a small family with a few kids. However, it may be worth the extra investment to get one that can make enough crushed ice for a bigger crowd and will last longer.
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