Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker – Full Review

Hamilton Beach 68880 Ice Cream Maker-6





Looking for a super-simple way to make homemade ice cream? The Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker is incredibly easy to use. There’s no need to pick up big bags of ice and huge boxes of rock salt. Just freeze the inner chamber, assemble the ice cream maker, add your ingredients, and flip a switch. About 15 minutes later, your dessert is ready to enjoy.

This innovative ice cream maker features a simple design. It’s easy to set up and use, and cleanup and storage is easy as well. Capable of making 1.5 quarts of ice cream, gelato, sherbert, custard, or frozen yogurt at once, the Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker doubles as a bucket for chilling a bottle of wine or serving ice cubes. Keep the inner container in the freezer even when it’s empty, and you’ll always be ready to make a frozen dessert or keep another item cold.

Unlike old-fashioned hand-crank ice cream makers, the Hamilton Beach 68881 and others with inner freeze chambers make soft serve ice cream. If you like your ice cream firm or plan to make ice cream cones, you’ll probably need to allow the ice cream to spend some time in the freezer firming up. I’ve read reviews in which the user says the ice cream was firm immediately after the initial blending process, however I did not experience this. If the room you’re working in is cool, it stands to reason that the ice cream maker’s inner chamber will stay cold longer and deliver a firmer end product.

If you’re used to a bigger ice cream maker or want to make dessert for a crowd, you might feel like the amount of ice cream this particular machine makes is small. It makes about six cups (1.5 quarts) of ice cream, which is supposed to be about 12 servings. If your friends and family members like to eat larger servings, don’t be surprised if there are no leftovers! The larger cream-colored Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker is this machine’s larger cousin, making an entire gallon of ice cream at once. It’s perhaps a better choice for anyone who needs to make large amounts of frozen dessert. The tradeoff for larger capacity is that the 68330N does require ice and rock salt. Like the 68881, it offers automatic operation, so you simply set it up and let it work its magic.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning and operating the Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker.



Space-Saving Design

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If you have a limited amount of space to work with, you’ll appreciate the Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker for its compact size and ease of storage. The base, protective plastic cover, and spatula fit neatly together while the inner chamber is chilling in the freezer. When not filled with ice cream, the inner chamber can hold other items so it takes up only a little actual space inside a crowded freezer. I use it to support a few small bags of frozen vegetables. The Hamilton Beach 68881 easily fits inside a cupboard and is a good choice for small living spaces. If you want the option of enjoying homemade ice cream while out on the road in your RV, this space-saving design is probably ideal!


Attractive Exterior and Easy Cleanup

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The Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker is available in your choice of red or white to match your kitchen décor. If neither of these colors suits you, consider the larger cream-colored Hamilton Beach 68330N. Both models have an attractive modern appearance and are easy to keep clean. The motor housing wipes clean with a soft cloth, and the rest of the parts are easy to wash by hand. Because the 68881 does not use salt or ice, it offers a very short cleanup time.


Makes More Than Just Frozen Desserts

Most people want an ice cream maker so they can enjoy the superior flavor and cost savings homemade ice cream offers. Some want to have the ability to customize their ice cream, make vegan treats with coconut, cashew, or almond milk, or make sugar-free ice cream in just about any flavor imaginable. Whether you love gelato, sherbert, custard, or ice cream, the Hamilton Beach 68881 delivers. It also happens to make delicious margaritas and other icy beverages, making it a great item to have on hand for your next party.


Easy to Use

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Not only is the Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker easy to assemble, it is also very easy to use. Just pour the ingredients in after setup, then flip the switch. The ice cream maker is fun to watch, but it works automatically so that you can do other kitchen tasks while waiting for dessert to be ready.


Reasonable Price

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The Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker is a fun and inexpensive appliance that pays for itself quickly. In fact, if you went out for premium frozen desserts just two or three times, you’d end up paying a little more than the price of this convenient ice cream maker. While it’s true that you do need to purchase ingredients to make ice cream, you end up paying pennies on the dollar for the finished product, which just happen to be superior to what you’ll find in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket.



qm  “It looks like this ice cream maker comes in three colors, but on closer inspection, It seems there are two different ice cream makers sharing the same Amazon page. What’s the deal?”

If you’re looking at the Hamilton Beach 68881 on Amazon.com, you’ll notice that it looks like the machine comes in three colors. At the time I’m writing this review, I can see that there are two different models – the smaller 68881 that operates without ice and salt, which comes in red or white, and the larger 68330 N, which does need salt and ice, and which comes in cream color only.

qm  “Do you have to refrigerate the ingredients before putting them in the ice cream maker?”

It’s a good idea to mix up your ingredients and refrigerate them for several hours before using the ice cream maker. You’ll get better results faster if you do it this way.

qm  “How long does the canister need to stay in the freezer before making ice cream?”

According to the manufacturer, the canister needs to stay in the freezer for at least 24 hours before making ice cream.

qm  “Can you eat the ice cream right away or does it have to go into the freezer after the cycle finishes?”

Yes. The ice cream is a lot like soft serve when the cycle finishes, and it is delicious! If you like firmer ice cream, you can allow it to ripen in the freezer for about two hours.



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The Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker is a fantastic entry-level appliance that makes delicious ice cream and other frozen treats without the need for ice and salt. It is easy to set up and clean, and it’s small enough to store in a cupboard when not in use. While this particular model makes less than half a gallon of ice cream, it’s ideal for small families who want to enjoy premium ice cream and other frozen desserts without paying a premium price. I give this appliance top marks for its value, convenience, and ease of use.

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One Response to “Hamilton Beach 68881 Ice Cream Maker – Full Review

  1. By: Nancy King
    Date: September 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I’m pretty happy with the Hamilton Beach ice cream maker so far, it does a good job for the price. We got the red one, which looks festive and is fun to use! Next time we will probably go for a larger ice cream maker but this works well for now.

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