I remember, growing up, making homemade ice cream at my grandparents. I thought that homemade vanilla ice cream tasted better than anything I could get at the store. I was happy to see this ice cream maker from the Pioneer Woman, two of my favorite things in one! Plus, this ice cream maker solves the two primary issues with older-style ice cream makers — the hard-to-turn crank and the too-small container.

First, the motor runs smoothly, more consistently, and with more strength than us kids ever could crank. The motor means the ice cream is also smoother and more whipped. Second, with that extra power, the container is larger, so there can be more blended ice cream when it’s finished, and that’s always a good thing. Another benefit is that, because the motor churns quickly, we need less ice and salt than I expected. I also like that the lid is see-through, so we don’t have to stop and disassemble it to see when it’s done (helpful if you don’t like saltwater ice cream). Because we can easily add more ice, when needed, we can keep it chilled, when it just isn’t cold enough to really make it all the way.

This entire unit is made very sturdily and looks to last for years of use. It’s even easy to clean. We’ve been having fun making ice cream this summer, and I especially like that I can add natural sweeteners, like agave and stevia to sweeten it.