Soft, fluffy shaved ice
Includes six syrup flavors
Uses regular ice cubes
Minimal cleaning necessary
Extremely loud and aggressive
Only two syrup bottles and no cups
We purchased the Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine so our reviewer could test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Who doesn’t love a snow cone? If you’re a sucker for these icy treats, you’ll be happy to know that products like the Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine allow you to make your very own snow cones at home. It’s the perfect summertime activity for pool parties and family birthdays, and you can use the machine to make icy adult beverages, too!
However, the Little Snowie is no small investment, so I wanted to see if it was really worth the splurge. I used the machine to make all sorts of icy treats, and here’s what I thought.
Setup: Ready to go
There’s virtually no setup required for the Little Snowie Max. The machine itself comes ready to go—all I had to do was plug it into an outlet and fill it with ice from the freezer, something I definitely appreciated. Some snow cone makers require you to use special ice forms, which require several hours of prep time, but the Little Snowie can be used at a moment’s notice as long as you have ice cubes.
The only thing that really requires preparation is the syrup. The kit includes six powdered syrup flavors—pineapple, root beer, cherry, black cherry, grape, and lemon lime—and two reusable bottles with pouring spouts. This combo of flavors seemed a bit random, particularly because cherry and black cherry are essentially the same. However, you can always buy a 12-pack of the Snowie Originals Flavor Powders for about $28.
To make the syrup, I poured the flavor packet into the bottle, then dissolved it in a little bit of warm water. From here, the instructions told me to pour 1 cup of granulated sugar (yes, that’s a lot) into the jar and fill it the rest of the way with water. This wasn’t the easiest task because I didn’t have a funnel handy, but I made it work.
The 'snow' created by the Little Snowie Max is unbelievably soft and fluffy—it truly reminded me of freshly fallen snow!
However, I was a little disappointed that I could only make two flavors at a time—given the high price of the kit, it would have been nice to have six bottles to be able to use all six flavors. You could probably use an empty water or soda bottle in a pinch, but you’re not going to have the pouring spouts.
Performance: Cover your ears
The way the Little Snowie Max creates shaved ice is actually quite simple. There’s a small piece of stainless steel with vertical slits in it, and when you turn the machine on, the metal moves back and forth very quickly, shaving the ice cubes in the machine’s bucket, which can hold around 64 ounces of ice at a time. (It should go without saying that you should never, ever put your fingers in there.) The fluffy shaved ice then falls out the machine’s chute into your cup—easy, right?
The process is easy enough, but the first time I used the Little Snowie, it genuinely scared me with both its noise level and aggression, for lack of a better word. In lieu of an On/Off button, you simply hold down the unit’s lid to operate it, and the machine starts up with a roar, shaking quite a bit as it tosses the ice cubes around. It’s louder than a blender during operation, and if you have to make several snow cones, your hand is probably going to get tired from holding the lid down. The good news is that the machine works quickly, and it only took around 30 seconds to fill up a small bowl.
The end result is worth all the effort, too. The “snow” created by the Little Snowie Max is unbelievably soft and fluffy—it truly reminded me of freshly fallen snow. The snow cones of my childhood were icy and hard (probably because they were from the ice cream truck), but this machine totally elevates the experience, giving you wonderful melt-in-your-mouth ice shavings.
The first time I used the machine, I flavored my ice with the included pineapple syrup, which was actually really delicious. The syrup was room temperature, so it did melt the ice a little bit, and the flavoring was on the sweet side—because, you know, there’s a full cup of sugar in it—but you could always dial it back a bit by cutting out some of the sugar. Overall, the fruity snow cone (or in my case, a snow cup) was a refreshing post-dinner treat.
A few days later, I was feeling a little adventurous, so I found a recipe for piña colada snow cone syrup. It used pureed pineapple, sugar, and coconut milk, and holy cow—it is phenomenal. I tried the syrup in a snow cone by itself, as well as with rum added in, and you can’t go wrong either way. (Adding rum does melt the ice a bit more.) It’s a delicious, sugary adult dessert that I'm definitely going to serve up at future parties.
The process is easy enough, but the first time I used the Little Snowie, it genuinely scared me with both its noise level and aggression, for lack of a better word.
Design: Heavy and bulky
Overall, the design of this snow cone maker is minimalistic. The Little Snowie Max measures 16 x 8 x 14 inches, and it’s quite heavy for its size, weighing around 11 pounds. The good news is that there’s a large handle incorporated onto the back of the unit, making it easier to carry around. There are no control buttons on the machine because it’s operated by holding down the clear plastic lid, and the whole thing is plain white with the brand’s logo on the front.
One interesting feature is the built-in dome shaper, which is designed to help you achieve that perfectly round snow cone top. In theory, it’s a nice idea, but since the machine didn’t include the brand’s matching cups, I was forced to use small bowls in which to serve my “snow cones.” The shape of my bowl wasn’t narrow enough to fit inside the plastic dome, so I ended up with misshapen piles of ice—it still tasted good, though.
Price: Oh so expensive
Despite the machine’s heavy-duty design, it’s incredibly hard to understand why the Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine costs more than $200. Sure, it works well for snow cones and other icy treats, but it’s a novelty item that you probably won’t use regularly.
Plus, the kit doesn’t include enough syrup bottles for all the flavors or any of the brand’s cups. With such a steep price tag, they could at least give you everything you need to use the machine to its full potential.
Competition: Save some money
Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker: For that classic crunchy snow cone texture from your youth, the Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker is a great choice, and it’s significantly more affordable at just around $70. Instead of dispensing single servings of ice, this machine fills up a large pull-out ice bin, making it ideal for serving a crowd, and it comes with a handy scoop, as well as reusable and disposable cones.
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine Party Package: If you love the texture of Hawaiian shaved ice, you’ll love the affordable Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine, which is smaller and more compact than the Snowie Max. It retails around $54 to $64, depending on where you find it. This machine does require you to make special ice blocks, but it delivers flakey shaved ice for a slushy treat. Plus, the Party Package includes three syrups and pouring spouts, as well as disposable cones and spoon-straws.
Save your money.
The Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine delivers delicious shaved ice that’s perfect for snow cones and iced drinks, but its loud operation and bulky form just aren’t worth the high price.
- Product Name Max Snow Cone Machine
- Product Brand Little Snowie
- SKU SHLISNTWO02
- Price $209.00
- Weight 11 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 16 x 8 x 14 in.
- Color White
- Warranty 1 year
- Material Plastic
- What’s Included Little Snowie Max, 6 assorted flavor powder sticks, 2 mixing bottles and pour spouts, and 8 Snowie shovels