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Best Shaved Ice Machine for Home [Snow Cone Maker]

Best Shaved Ice Machine for Home

I’m interested in getting a shaved ice machine for my home and want to know what the best machine is.

I did some analysis on the different options available and created a shortlist of the best-shaved ice machines for home based on a range of factors.

Here’s which one is the best.

As a whole, I would say the Nostalgia SCM525BL is the best shaved ice machine for home.

It has the highest number of reviews on Amazon, has the highest average review ratings, and is very reasonably priced.

There is one other shaved ice machine that is very similar to the Nostalgia, however, it has a slightly worse review rating and about 20% fewer reviews than the Nostalgia.

Shaved ice is finer than snow cone ice, and there are a few tricks to make it more fluffy.

In this article, I will provide the top 3 best shaved ice machines, how I chose them, the best ice to use for making shaved ice, how to make shaved ice more fluffy, how to smooth your shaved ice, and whether shaved ice is healthy.

How I Selected the Best Shaved Ice Machine for Home?

How I Selected the Best Shaved Ice Machine for Home

I based my recommendation for which shaved ice machine for home is best based on:

  • The number of reviews it has
  • The average review rating
  • The price

Here’s some tables showing the top 3 shaved ice machines for home based on the different criteria:

Shaved Ice Machine Average review rating
Nostalgia SCM525BL 4.6 out of 5
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine 4.5 out of 5
Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A 4.5 out of 5

As you can see based on the average review rating the Nostalgia wins.

However, it isn’t by much, only a 0.1 point difference.

As you can see though, they are all quite similar and have an average of around 4.5 out of 5, or 9 out of 10.

The number of people who purchased a particular shaved ice machine was also a key factor I used.

To work this out I looked at the number of reviews that people left, shown in the table below.

Shaved Ice Machine Number of reviews
Nostalgia SCM525BL 6300
Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A 5200
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine 1230

Amazon has stated (source: link), that about 10% to 20% of people who bought a product on Amazon will leave a review.

Based on that, here’s a table that shows how many people bought each shaved ice machine.

As a side note, as at the time of writing all of the shaved ice machines below have the highest number of reviews out of any of the shaved ice machines on Amazon.

Shaved Ice Machine Number of people who bought it on Amazon
Nostalgia SCM525BL 63,000 to 126,000
Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A 52,000 to 104,000
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine 2,460 to 4,920

Based on this info the Nostalgia SCM525BL is the best-selling shaved ice machine on Amazon.

But, the difference between the number one and number two shaved ice machines is only slight.

And the Nostalgia SCM525BL has sold roughly 10% more units than the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A.

Next, I looked at the average price of each shaved ice machine, shown in the table below:

Shaved Ice Machine Average Price
Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A $40
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine $40
Nostalgia SCM525BL $50

You can see that the shaved ice machine that I rated as the best is $10 more expensive than the other options.

Therefore, it is up to your personal preference whether you prefer the cheaper price of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A.

Since, the difference in the number of reviews, and review rating is quite small

Based on all of this data I concluded that the overall best-shaved ice machine for home is the Nostalgia SCM525BL because it has the highest review rating, the highest number of reviews, and is very reasonably priced.

If you’re interested in getting this shaved ice machine you can get it here on Amazon

However, if you like the look of the other models – which are also extremely good based on the number of reviews, price, and review rating:

Click here to check out the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A on Amazon, or here to see the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine. 

What Kind of Ice Do You Use for Shaved Ice?

What Kind of Ice Do You Use for Shaved Ice

Shaved ice is finer and more fluffy than snow cone ice, so you may be curious about what kind of ice works best for shaved ice. Here’s what I found.

As a whole, block ice is the preferred ice to use for a shaved ice business.

But, for home use, it’s typically more convenient to use ice cubes.

Block ice is sometimes difficult to buy, however, you can make it home by freezing water in a plastic storage container or similar.

Block ice is considered to make the finest grained and fluffiest shaved ice in a shaved ice machine.

However, if you’re using a blender instead, then cube ice is better because a blender can’t handle a solid block of ice.

Interestingly, using a different liquid other than water is known to create more fluffy shaved ice, however, it does change the flavor of the shaved ice.

Below is a recipe to make even more fluffy shaved ice.

How Do You Make Shaved Ice Fluffy?

How Do You Make Shaved Ice Fluffy

Shaved ice is supposed to be quite fluffy, and you may be wondering how to make it more fluffy.

Here’s a recipe to make very fluffy shaved ice compared to using regular ice made from water.

Freeze a mixture of milk and corn syrup, and use that instead of ice made from water.

The overall end result is a much fluffier shaved ice.

A good ratio is 10 parts milk to 1 part corn syrup.

You can use it directly in a shaved ice machine or you can grate it using a standard cheese grater.

The major difference is that the shaved ice has a milky and sweet taste to it.

Here’s a short video that shows the process of making it from start to finish.

Other than that, the main thing that controls how fluffy the ice is, is how finely it is shaved.

Therefore, if you have different settings on your shaved ice machine, use the finer setting.

And if you’re making it by using a cheese grater use one that has smaller holes.

Another tip is to press the ice more gently on the cheese grater.

That way it will shave off less ice each time, and the resulting ice will be finer-grained, and not as chunky.

How Do You Make Shaved Ice Smooth?

How Do You Make Shaved Ice Smooth

Shaved ice has a different consistency to a snow cone and is generally smoother and fluffier.

But, how do you improve how smooth shaved ice is?

Use a shaved ice machine, or use a fine grater to make smoother shaved ice.

How smooth shaved ice is, is controlled by how fine the ice is after it’s been shaved.

Therefore, you should use a shaved ice machine rather than a snow cone machine, and/or use a very fine cheese grater if you’re making it by hand.

Smooth shaved ice gives shaved ice a nicer appearance and texture.

Another thing you can do is smooth out the surface of your shave iced using what’s called a dome shaper.

A dome shaper is a suction cup shaped device that you press down onto the top of the shaved ice to get a smooth and round appearance.

You may have seen a person use one of these at a snow cone stand to shape the snow cone once they fill up a snow cone cup.

You can also buy a dome shaper that has a handle.

A dome shaper with a handle can be used to scoop up the shaved ice to put it in a cup or bowl, and smooth off the surface of the shaved ice at the same time.

Is Shaved Ice Healthy?

Is Shaved Ice Healthy

Shaved ice is delicious and refreshing on a hot summer’s day, but is it healthy for you?

As a general rule, shaved ice is healthy for you.

The main concern is that syrup contains a high amount of sugar. As long as you don’t eat more than one or two servings of shaved ice with syrup per day, every day, then it’s perfectly healthy to eat shaved ice.

As you may know, you can also use soda syrup used in machines like a SodaStream, and a Drinkmate.

I wrote about this in an article about using Sodastream syrup on a snow cone.

Read it [here, link: Can you use SodaStream syrup for snow cones?]. Sodas and soda syrup typically have about 10g of sugar per 3.4 fl oz (100 mL).

Medical professionals generally agree that the recommended daily intake of sugar for an adult male is 37g, and 25g for an adult female (source: link).

The amount of syrup you’ll use on shaved ice is about the same as that’s found in one 12 oz (355 mL) can of soda.

Which is about 30g of sugar.

Therefore, if you consume one serving of shaved ice you’ll have already consumed the recommended daily amount of sugar.

Also, you’ll generally consume sugar in other foods and drinks that you eat and drink on a regular day, such as cereal, candy, coffee/tea, and sodas.

Therefore, it isn’t recommended to eat more than one serving of shaved ice a day for an extended period of time.

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