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ice shavers


larrylee
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I've had a hankering to make some bing soo at home and started looking for ice shavers. You can get cheap models which are hand-cranks or what look to be very weak electric-powered machines, or you can spring for a 4-figure commercial model (http://www.1-800-shaved-ice.com/ine110vocuic.html).

Is there anything in the middle range? Is there some other device that can be used to achieve the same effect? I'm not looking for crushed ice, ice pebbles, etc. I'm hoping to find something that will create powdery ice flakes (or something close to it).

I think blenders are summarily disqualified because of their design, but I'm open to ideas. Conversely, if the hand-cranks or weak electric models are "good enough" for occasional use, I'd be happy to hear about that, too.

thanks!

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I've seen that as well... the challenge is getting a chunk of ice that large. Maybe freezing ice in a square juice carton, resting it on a pad of no-skid kitchen liner, and a paint scraper?

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Ice that large can easily be made in either a cleaned tetra-pack (like for juice) or by freezing water in big supperware containers. I'll third the reccomendation to go to a Latin American store and find a Raspador. This will produce the shaved flakes you're looking for. (So yes, the short answer is that a hand-cranked model is best for home use).

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I've had good luck with this machine. Hamilton Beach 68050 Icy Treats Ice Shaver

It'll make enough shaved ice from cubes in one go for two snow cones (or two mint juleps). I've had it for a couple of years and used it about 15 times. The finer setting might be powderey enough.

I see they also have a cheaper black one. Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver

Can't tell what the difference is.

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Here in the South, we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail.

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I own a number of shave ice machines, and have evaluated many others. (I'm not in the business, I just love shave ice.)

The gold standard for snow quality are those machines, either powered or hand-cranked, that turn a solid piece of ice over a blade. It's a minor pain to freeze the ice, you must keep the blade sharp, and they're slow compared to cube-based machines. Swan and Hatsuyuki both make quality machines for around $2000.

The most basic kind of cube machine is made by Gold Medal ("Sno King", though they have a bunch of equivalent models), and is found at most carnivals. They run about $700, and make poor quality, chunky ice. They have two blades which spin against a chamber of ice cubes. They're extremely fast, and are a great way to turn out ice for presentation.

Hand ice shavers are cheap ($30) and make ice identical to Gold Medal shavers. You can find them on ebay.

Hatsuyuki, Gold Medal, and Swan all make a new design of shaver that turns a spiral shaped chamber of cubes over a single blade. This produces ice that is significantly better than Sno Kone machines, but far from solid ice machines. They're slow and cost about $1500.

One company - "Snowie" - makes a unique design that turns a chamber of ice cubes across a circular band with many sharp slits. The quality isn't quite that of a properly maintained solid block machine, but it's close, and it holds the syrup well. The machines are really fast - the high-end model (Snowie 3000) can chew through a 7 pound bag of ice cubes in about a minute. It runs about $2500. I'm wild about this machine.

They make a model for home use called "Little Snowie" that uses the same technology, but in a smaller format. I haven't used one. They run about $300, and I've heard the ice quality isn't quite that of the Snowie 3000, but I'd expect it to be far better than the spiral chamber machines.

For the last few years I've given away alcoholic shave ice at Burning Man ("Shaven, Not Stirred".)

Snowie.jpg

Edited by Teppy (log)
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I've been using a Hawaiian Shaved Ice machine for 16 years now and have been very happy. My machine is still going strong, I just replace the blade every couple of years. The model I have is an older version of THIS Model and I have been very happy with it. It uses circular blocks you freeze. The only other accessory I have purchased for it was a lot of ice molds so that I could always have ice on hand for parties. (right now, the machine is on sale!)

I make my own syrups for snow cones, and find it useful for making slush style drinks.

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I think blenders are summarily disqualified because of their design, but I'm open to ideas.

For what it's worth, my blendtec turns ice into soft, fluffy snow very easily. I'm not sure on the exact texture you need - this might even be too fine.

I would never recommend buying a blendtec (or vitamix for that matter) just for ice crushing, but it would make a good multitasker if you also need a high end blender.

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Hi everyone, thanks for the quick responses, which are very informative and fascinating! I was a little concerned that there had not been a shaved ice topic before, leaving me wondering if I was the only one with a hankering for the stuff.

I thought about the raspado/hand crank method but I'm kinda lazy and impatient, so I'll pass on those for now.

The Little Snowie looks awesome - my eyes were round as saucers watching the video demo.

I'm glad to hear good things about the Hamilton Beech, but I have a small freezer and not many ice trays, so the sheer effort of getting enough ice could be troublesome.

I think the machine that Lisa Shock pointed out is in the sweet spot. The price is right, I don't mind using ice molds, and having a few extra molds will help as I will need to make at least 3 at a time. If we become a bunch of shaved ice junkies at the end of the summer, maybe I'll take a closer look at the Little Snowie. :-)

Thanks everyone!

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BTW Noodle - the vitamix/blendtec comment made me laugh when I realized I didn't even consider them to be blenders. Not because of function, but out of cost. I saw a Vitamix at Broadway Pandhandler and thought, "Oh hey, there's that nifty variable-speed blender I saw on Good Eats." Then I saw the $500-ish price tag and my jaw dropped. Way more blender than I need, but thanks for pointing it out! :smile:

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