Here's My ReviewsCast of my Andrew James Fully Automatic Ice Cream Maker.
In the video I'll quickly tell you
1. A bit about the machine
2. What I like about it
3. What I don't like
Then I'll show you
4. How to set it up
5. What the ice cream is like
6. How to clean it
7. What the body of the machine is like
Lovely Ice Cream
Easy to Use
Easy to Clean
Body prone to marks and scratches
Lid and churn arm feel a bit plasticky
For the money, the Andrew James Fully Automatic Ice cream maker is a great little buy. It makes lovely ice cream, it's quieter than any other fully automatic ice cream maker, and it's very easy to use once you've got the hang of setting it up. It's also easy to clean.
Because it is a budget fully automatic, I feel this is reflected in the body and the churn arm. Although the machine is solid and well made, the body has a brushed steel finish which can be a bit more prone to marks. And the lid and churn arm do feel a bit plasticky.
However, having owned this machine for about 6 months now, I would say that the positives for me far outweigh these slight negatives. You won't find a quieter ice cream maker, and the ice cream is on a par with other more expensive machines. Plus If you have a place for it to live permanently, then you shouldn't mark the body like I have. (Because I have a small kitchen I often put the machine in it's box when not in use, so this may account for the marks).
The Ice Cream
The bowl is 1.5L, the maximum amount of ingredients you can add is 1L because you need to leave room for the ice cream to expand and for the churn arm to move (this is the same for all ice cream makers). This will make just over 800g of ice cream. How much it costs depends on your ingredients, but I make 826g of Ben and Jerry's Maltesers ice cream for £3.09.
For best results run the machine for 10 minutes with no ingredients. This will bring down the temperature of the ice cream maker from about 22oc (depending on the room temperature) to about -34oc. This will result in smoother ice cream, and the ice cream will generally be thicker straight from the machine. Please remember that ice cream straight from any churn will only ever be half frozen, so expect to see Mr Whippy style . If you want firmer ice cream you will need to freeze it for at least 2 hours (again this is the same for all ice cream makers).
I also own another ice cream maker, the Cuisinart ICE30 ice cream maker
. Out of the 2 I would give the Andrew James 4/5 for the ice cream, and I would give the Cuisinart 5/5. This is because the Cuisinart ice cream is fluffier and thicker straight from the churn. I think this is due to the larger bowl, the way the mixing arm churns, and the big opening in the lid which allows more air to get into the mixture. This superior design makes it different to any other ice cream maker, however it has its faults. It's a freezer bowl ice cream maker so its not as convenient as the Andrew James, plus it takes up precious freezer space. And it's very noisy. The Andrew James on the other hand is quiet, and it's always ready to use.
Setting up the machine
The first time I set up this machine it completely did my head in. But then once I'd done it a few times I wondered what I had found so difficult. As long as you have the bowl in the right place, the lid should go on, and then everything else should slot into place (see this in the video).
Small Ingredients Hole
Yes it is small, but as long as I use a jug I don't have any problems pouring in the ice cream recipe, or adding extras like chopped nuts etc.
If your recipe is too thick to pour through the hole, you can always just add the recipe straight into the bowl. It doesn't actually say this in the manual, but I contacted Andrew James and they confirmed that you can add the ingredients either way.
Mixing Arm Freezes
This can happen if you use the Extended Cooling Function, which is basically just the ice cream maker continuing to freeze the ice cream once the timer has finished. According to the manual "When the count-down ends, the operation automatically stops and it hears 10 times of Di Di Di sound....If no one seems to serve the ice cream or turn off the machine in 10 minutes, it automatically extends into a Extended Cooling Function to keep the ice cream not defrosted".
Personally, I'd just say take it out as soon as the timer goes, otherwise you can end up playing tug of war with the churn arm and bucket.
It's very easy to clean, easier than the freezer bowl type because you don't have to wait for the bowl to defrost, or spend time scrapping off the ice cream from the sides.
I hope this covers everything, but if you want to know anything else please let me know.