In this review, we’re going to take a look at a device from a small family-owned British company; the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker Machine. The Andrew James company was founded by 2 cousins in 2005.
Whilst they might not be as big a name in the kitchen as companies such as Philips, they’ve grown quickly in size and reputation. Their 1.45 litre Ice Cream Maker Machine has been riding high as one of the best sellers on Amazon.co.uk for some time, so we thought it was about time to take a look and put it through its paces.
The first thing we noticed about this ice cream maker, is that a free ice cream recipe book is included! Considering most manufacturers seem content to throw 3 or 4 recipes into the instruction manual, the inclusion of this book is something of a god send. There’s surely nothing worse than unpacking your brand new ice cream maker, practically tasting the creamy ice cream in anticipation, and then realising you have no idea how to actually make it! That’s not going to be a problem with this machine; this 128 page book, “Ice Cream Made Easy” by Annette Yates, should help you to your first batch quickly.
As with most home ice cream makers, this one comes with an insulated bowl with a coolant liquid inside. Pop the bowl into the freezer before use in order to freeze the coolant, and then its ready to help you whip up a batch of your favourite flavour of ice cream. The manual recommends freezing the bowl for 8 hours before use, which is actually a fair bit faster than comparably priced machines (the Kenwood IM200 for example requires 24 hours). Your homemade ice cream should be ready in around 20 to 30 minutes.
The bowl is 1.45 litres, which is more than enough for a family of 4, and would probably feed 5 or 6 if need be. Despite holding quite a large amount of ice cream, the bowl isn’t too tall. It measures in at 15cm high, so it should fit into most freezers without any trouble.
Also included is an extra large funnel, for pouring the ingredients into the machine without making a mess. The accessories are all detachable too, so even the bits that do get messy should be easy to clean. It’s a cheap enough addition to your kitchen too; being available online for around £30.
We found that most ice cream makers were cheapest at Amazon.co.uk, including the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker Machine which is currently available for 71% off.
Andrew James Ice Cream Maker Machine Features and Specifications
- Free 128 Page Ice Cream Recipe Book – “Ice Cream Made Easy” by Annette Yates
- 1.45 Litre capacity – enough for 5 or even 6 people
- Homemade ice cream in 20 to 30 minutes
- Convenient sized bowl, should be easy to fit into most freezers
- Detachable accessories for easy cleaning
Putting The Machine Through Its Paces
Pulling everything out of the box, we were pleasantly surprised at the size of the included recipe book. There are plenty of recipes to get you going (which is usually not the case with other ice cream makers) so this was a very welcome freebie.
The machine itself consists of a plastic outer bowl, a 1.45 litre inner bowl (which goes in the freezer), the lid, and of course the paddle. The pieces are simple to fit together, and the machine actually looks quite stylish for a budget machine. If you make a lot of ice cream, you certainly won’t be ashamed to leave this gadget out on the side; it does look quite nice.
Whilst the build quality is good, the device doesn’t quite feel as sturdy as the Kenwood IM200. However, it certainly didn’t feel poorly made either. It’s of a good build quality, particularly for the price.
One of the things that we liked about it, is that you can hear the liquid coolant inside the bowl when you shake it. This means you can easily tell if it’s ready to take out of the freezer and use. If you hear a liquid sound when you shake it then it needs more time in the freezer, but if you don’t then you’re good to go. It takes the guesswork out of preparing the bowl.
The bowl is also a very good capacity for such a cheap machine. The 1.45 litres of ice cream it provides should be plenty for 6 people, which for a budget machine is very good.
We had no problems using the machine, it’s easy to fit together and use. Simply drop the inner bowl into the outer bowl, fix on the lid, flip the switch and pour in the mixture. The feeding hole is a good size and, using a jug for pouring, we had no mess or mishaps at all.
The results were pleasing too. We actually gave this machine a bit of a tough test; a low-fat ice cream mixture made with semi-skimmed milk and no cream. This kind of mixture can end up with a lot of ice crystals in it, but this machine dealt with it very well. After 30 minutes the ice cream had thickened up nicely, and the result was nice and smooth.
Customer Feedback and Reviews
No review would be complete without a serious look at what you, the customer, thinks. Well, the vast majority of people, around 87%, scored the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker Machine 3 stars of higher. In actual fact, some 75% of customers gave the machine the full score of 5 stars, so as you can see most of the people who bought this machine were very happy. We’re going to dive into the customer opinions now, and find out specifically what people have been saying.
As mentioned, most people were really happy with this machine; several people mentioned that despite being cheap and affordable, it’s a well made device, and at the same time quite lightweight. It’s also not too bulky, and a lot of customers mentioned that they had no trouble fitting the bowl into their freezer (which can present a problem with other insulated ice cream makers).
The free recipe book was well received by quite a few customers. Whilst this is just a bonus, it was definitely seen as a good start to ice cream making. Once you’ve got a start, ice cream is easy enough to make that you can begin to tweak the recipes or come up with your own concoctions easy enough!
Overall, nobody had anything bad to say about the build-quality of the machine, it’s size or anything like that. Bonus points go to the machine for getting through the customer test on these issues; most people can be very hard on any device that either looks ugly or takes up too much room in their kitchen. Nobody, however, had anything harsh to say about this machine.
There weren’t very many negative comments about this Ice Cream Maker. One that a couple of people mentioned was the size of the hole which you need to pour the liquid through; they felt it was a bit small. Unfortunately this is a common complaint in most ice cream machines, however, the opening must be small so as to maintain the right temperature. Luckily, a pouring funnel has been included, so you shouldn’t have any trouble pouring your mixture in without causing a mess!
A couple of people also mentioned that they felt the ice cream, while edible and delicious straight from the machine, did require a little bit more time in freezer to reach the right consistency. There is a way to avoid this though, which I think perhaps these people missed. You’ll get the best results if you refrigerate your mixture, so that it is nice and cool before you add it to the machine. If you follow this simple tip, you shouldn’t have any difficulties.
We like the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker a lot. We like the capacity, we like the free recipe book, we liked the ice cream and we like the price! It’s not quite as sturdy and solid feeling as the Kenwood IM200, but it’s got a larger capacity (and a free recipe book) which could be handy if you make a lot of ice cream. Overall, a nice little ice cream maker.