Snow cones – crunchy ground ice desserts drizzled with flavored syrups, are a delicious treat that is fat free and full of flavor. They’re particularly enjoyable to cool down in the hot summer months and are popular at the amusement park, baseball games and ice cream restaurants and stands. If you love snow cones so much you want to enjoy them anytime at home, or you have a restaurant or café and want to serve snow cones to your customers, you’ll need to invest in a snow cone maker.
How to choose a snow cone maker
There are two types of machines to consider when you’re looking for a snow cone maker and you need to choose one that produces the texture of ice you prefer. Snow cone machines produce crunchy, granular ice, while shaved ice machines produce light and fluffy ice. These terms are often used interchangeably when people talk about snow cones, but most machines can only produce one type.
Manual snow cone makers
Manual snow cone makers use a hand crank to grind ice cubes into small granules. These machines are easy and safe for anyone to use (even children), though they can be hard work to grind enough ice for a serving. They don’t take up much space in the kitchen and tend to be less expensive than electric machines.
Electric snow cone and shaved ice machines make it much easier to make snow cones quickly as they grind the ice cubes with an electric motor at the touch of a button.
Electric snow machines
The best snow cone maker is designed for businesses and can produce a large number of shaved ice desserts very quickly, using bags or large blocks of ice. These commercial machines are typically more expensive and take up a lot more space than machines intended for domestic use.
You might also want to consider the type of ice each machine takes. Many machines use ice cubes, but some types of machines need them to be in a special shape other than the regular cubes. Some machines also use blocks of ice rather than cubes.
1. Hawaiian shaved ice machine S900A
Hawaiian Shaved Ice specializes in snow cone machines so you know you are buying a brand with the right knowledge and experience. This machine uses round blocks of ice and comes with two molds for freezing them in advance. Ice cubes can also be used for a coarser texture. It’s a small unit that looks unobtrusive on the countertop and can be dissembled quickly for easy cleaning. This machine is also available as a “party package” with three different syrups, snow cone cups, and spoon straws. This model is definitely one of the best snow cone makers. It produces two different textures of ice depending on if you use the blocks or ice cubes, it’s easy to use and it works well.
2. Nostalgia SCM502 vintage collector snow cone maker
This vintage-style snow cone maker looks great at parties and has a holder for two snow cones. It also comes with two reusable plastic cones and an ice scoop. The machine takes regular ice cubes and fills a large storage bin with the shaved ice. It can then be scooped out into cones or serving dishes ready for you to drizzle syrup on the top. It’s ideal for making a large number of snow cones quickly. The texture of the ice produced is fine and granular, but not as fluffy as shaved ice. A safety feature prevents the machine from running when the lid is off, so you need to make sure you add enough ice to start with.
3. Waring Pro SCM 100 professional snow cone maker
This machine is robust enough for commercial use but doesn’t take up too much space and would fit right into any kitchen. It takes normal ice cubes (up to 12 at a time) and produces enough ice for 4 cones within 30 seconds. It produces slightly crunchy ice with pieces that are not as uniform in size as some of the other machines – you may end up with some larger chunks. It’s better for those who prefer the texture of snow cones to shaved ice.