Compact and lightweight
Creates flakey shaved ice
Fairly quiet during operation
Includes three syrups and pour spouts
Must use special ice blocks
Cones are too tall
We purchased the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine Party Package so our reviewer could test and assess. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Hawaii, you may have seen—or better yet, tasted!—the shaved ice that’s sold at roadside stands. As its name suggests, this treat is made by shaving flakes off a block of ice, and the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine Party Package allows you to recreate this process in your own home, making your very own icy desserts.
To see if the Party Package is as fun as it sounds, I put it to the test, making a variety of treats with the machine and its accessories. Here’s what I discovered.
Setup: Start by freezing blocks of ice
The Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine Party Package comes with several items. First, there’s the actual shaved ice machine, which is surprisingly compact and weighs less than 3 pounds. The package also contains three 1-pint plastic bottles of ready-made syrup, including blue raspberry, cherry, and grape flavors, as well as pourers to go in each bottle. Finally, there were 25 disposable paper cones and 25 multicolored straw-spoons.
Unlike many other snow cone machines that simply use ice cubes, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine requires you to freeze special blocks of ice that fit perfectly inside the unit. It’s not a hard task, but obviously, it requires a bit of advanced planning, as the ice takes several hours to freeze. When I unboxed the machine, I found two plastic forms that I filled up with water and put in the freezer. The forms don’t have lids, so you’ll need to place them in a spot where they won’t accidentally be knocked over before they’re frozen.
Beyond freezing the ice blocks, there’s really no setup needed for this machine. All I had to do was peel the seals off the bottles of syrup and put the pourers into place, and I was ready to make shaved ice.
Performance: Tasty results
The Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine has a simple design that’s extremely easy to use. The machine is made up of two pieces: First, there’s the base, which has a round compartment for your ice block. There’s a small blade at the bottom of the compartment that ice is dragged across for shaving, so use caution when handling and cleaning this piece.
Second, there’s the top of the unit, which contains the motor. It plugs into an electrical outlet, and there’s a large button on top that you hold down to operate the machine. This upper portion of the machine has metal spikes that grab into the ice block, and all it does is spin the ice in a circle, scraping the block over the blade. The shaved ice then falls down into your waiting cup or cone. Easy peasy!
One of the best things about this particular unit is that it’s small and lightweight enough to tuck away into a cupboard.
While testing other products, I found some snow cone machines to be extremely loud, so I was excited to find that the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine isn’t nearly as noisy during operation. When the button is pushed, it makes a dull droning noise similar to what a small ice cream maker makes, but it’s not really that loud or disturbing.
It did take me a little bit of finagling to figure out how much pressure to place on the top of the unit during operation. In addition to pressing the button, you also have to push down so the ice is scraped across the blade—not enough pressure and it will barely flake any ice off, but too much and you risk damaging the machine. However, after a bit of trial and error, I was able to find the “sweet spot” that provided a steady stream of flakey ice into my cup, which was on the non-slip mat below.
The first time I used the machine, I simply dispensed the ice into a small bowl. It was the perfect size, and the bowl was filled with ice in about a minute. I used the included blue raspberry syrup to flavor my treat, and while it was very sweet, it was a great mid-afternoon snack—but it did leave my tongue bright blue! The shaved ice was quite soft and turned slushy when mixed with syrup, so if you’re looking for a traditional crunchy snow cone, this isn’t the machine for you.
The next time I used the machine, I decided to employ one of the disposable cones that came with the Party Package. Unfortunately, there was very little clearance between the top of the cone and the ice scraper, and while I could fill the cone up to its rim, I wasn't able to create a dome on top. Plus, when I poured the cherry syrup on, it compacted the shaved ice down into the cone, forcing me to top it off with ice and more syrup. Overall, I found it significantly easier to just enjoy my shaved ice from a bowl.
This is a steal as far as shaved ice and snow cone makers go, and given its impressive performance, I’d have no problem investing in one.
I was only able to get three servings from each block of ice, which is why I think this machine is best-suited for everyday use. If you’re planning to use it for a party, you’re going to need to make several blocks of ice in advance.
Design: Compact and easy to use
Despite being a budget-friendly model, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine has several thoughtful features that I appreciated. One of the best things about this particular unit is that it’s small and lightweight enough to tuck away into a cupboard. Many snow cone machines are large and cumbersome, so the compact design of this model makes it appealing for those of us who just want a cup of shaved ice once in a while—but don’t want to dedicate too much storage space to a monster-sized unit.
I also appreciated that the bottles of syrup can be resealed with their caps, which allows for much easier storage. There’s even a drip tray with a non-slip silicone mat built into the machine, helping to minimize mess during operation. It really is a great little appliance to have around the house.
Price: A bargain
The Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine Party Package is priced at around $60, and the machine itself retails for about $50 (but is often on sale for less). This is a steal as far as shaved ice and snow cone makers go—many units cost well over $100—and given its impressive performance, I'd have no problem investing in one.
Competition: Different types of ice
Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine: The Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine creates super-fine, soft ice flakes, but it’s cost-prohibitive at over $200. This heavy-duty machine uses regular ice cubes and churns out icy treats quickly, but it’s probably overkill for occasional home use.
Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker: If you prefer the crunchy texture of a classic snow cone, the Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker is the way to go. Retailing at around $80, this cute red unit delivers crunchy crushed ice, and it’s designed to serve a crowd, thanks to its large pull-out ice bin. Plus, it costs roughly the same as the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine.
A must-have for shaved ice lovers.
The Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine Party Package is a great value, and it makes it incredibly easy to create delicious shaved ice desserts at home—just don’t expect your treats to taste like a traditional snow cone.
- Product Name Machine Party Package
- Product Brand Hawaiian Shaved Ice
- Price $60
- Weight 2.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6.5 x 8 x 12 in.
- Color White
- Material Plastic
- What’s Included Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A electric home ice shaver; 1-pint bottles of cherry, blue raspberry and grape syrups; 25 spoon straws; 25 snow cone cups; 3 bottle pourers