When people think of classic ice cream makers, they tend to think of solid wooden buckets full of ice cream surrounded by curious relatives waiting for their favorite treat. The Aroma 4-Quart ice cream maker captures that nostalgic feeling while maintaining functionality and form. The cedar bucket is the most eye-catching feature of this ice cream maker. The beautiful wooden bucket comes in a light or dark finish.
The Aroma ice cream maker gives you the option to churn ice cream automatically or manually. The hand crank attaches to the bucket easily and adds to this ice cream maker’s nostalgic value. This is the only bucket model we encountered with an on-and-off switch. Most bucket motors require you to unplug the unit to stop the unit. The hand crank and electric motor are interchangeable, and you can use both on the same batch of ice cream. We suggest using the hand crank first, and then using the motor.
To get the most out of the Aroma old-fashioned ice cream maker, you’ll need old-fashioned patience. Without proper preparation, it takes at least an hour to make homemade ice cream. This ice cream maker is high maintenance because of its beautiful wooden bucket and metal parts.
Before you can make ice cream, there are several steps you must first follow. The manual strongly suggests that you wash all the parts in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly to avoid any packing materials ending up in your ice cream.
Then fill two-thirds of the bucket with water and let it sit for at least an hour and a half. This gives you time to pre-chill any ingredients or prepare other dishes if you’re taking ice cream to a gathering or event. The water soaks into the wood bucket, expanding the wood to prevent leaks later. These are great precautions, but may be annoying if you’re in a rush.
Like many bucket and freezer-bowl models, the Aroma 4 Quart requires a little foresight. The traditional rock salt-and-ice method means you don’t have to pre-freeze a bowl or rely on your freezer power to keep ice cream cold. However, it does mean you want to keep rock salt and ice handy at all times. We also recommend pre-chilling your ice cream mixture overnight; otherwise, the consistency of your ice cream stays liquid, like a milkshake.
We recommend the Aroma ice cream maker for big annual family gatherings and special occasions. It’s the most attractive ice cream maker we reviewed, and if you plan to make ice cream for a special event, and not every day, this may be a good option for you. However, this ice cream maker requires advance preparation to make the best ice cream. So if you want ice cream quick, you may be turned off by the long wait required.