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How to Make Shaved Ice

The summer of 2021 in the contiguous U.S. was the hottest on record for the last 126 years.

When it’s hot outside and you want something cool and refreshing, nothing beats the cold and satisfying taste of shaved ice. Ice cream is too thick and soupy. Popsicles become drippy and flavorless.

The combination of sweet, flavored syrup and icy flakes melting on your tongue, running down the back of your throat. There’s nothing like it. Especially when you’re on vacation.

But just how do you make this tasty treat on your own? With this helpful guide on how to make shaved ice, you too can be on your way to making yummy shaved ice. So, let’s get to it!

How to Make Shaved Ice
How to Make Shaved Ice


Shaved ice is a popular Hawaiian delicacy, but it has since gained popularity all across the U.S., even though it has only been around in its Hawaiian form for about 100 years.

While Hawaiians may prefer to serve theirs with condensed milk on top or ice cream below, most prefer just the flavored syrup and finely powdered ice. Not to be confused with snow cones, which are made from chunks of crushed ice. The best shaved ice is loosely packed, not firmly pressed, into the cup so that it is airy.

Hawaiian shaved ice shares similarities to the Korean Patbingsu, a layered shaved ice parfait with dense milk in the center. Patbingsu also has cut fruit on the edges and is topped with mochi.

But shaved ice is most believed to have its origins in Japan, and their version called Kakigori. It came about in the 1800s when the Japanese migrated to Hawaii to work on the sugarcane plantations. Kakigori has a lighter, more delicate texture.

How to Make Shaved Ice: Directions

Now that you know some history, we’re going to talk about 4 different shaved ice machines and how to make your own shaved ice at home or on vacation. These handy devices are sure to make your next gathering a huge hit:

1. Dash Shaved Ice Maker

The Dash Shaved Ice Maker (Model DSIM100GBAQ02) retails on Amazon.com for $34.99. (originally priced at $39.99)

It currently has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars from 2,830 ratings. It ranks #5 on Amazon for Best Seller in the Shaved Ice Machine category.

It’s lightweight and compact, weighing less than a pound. It’s perfect for small spaces and RV travel. Equipped with an 85-watt motor.

The Dash Shaved Ice Maker also serves as a slushie machine, with stainless steel blades for margaritas and frozen blended cocktails, snow cones, and other healthy snacks.

How to Use

The Dash Shaved Ice Maker is incredibly easy to use. Simply plug it in, add regular ice cubes, twist the lid closed, and it does all the work for you.

2. Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine

The Hawaiian Shaved Ice Kid-Friendly Snow Cone Machine (Model S700) sells for $44.99 on Amazon.com.

It is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 1,677 ratings. It ranks at #7 in the Best Seller category of Shaved Ice Machine.

Easy to assemble. Easy to clean. Easy to use.

55-watt motor. Compact for travel or under countertops. Only 6.5 inches wide and 10.12 inches tall.

Use it to make snow cones, frozen cocktails, snowballs, slushies, and shaved ice. Stainless steel blade. A safety feature prevents the motor from running when the lid is not in place, so it’s safe for children.

How to Use

It is a fairly simple home shaved ice machine. Plug it in, place the ice cubes in the top, and lock the lid in place. It is recommended that the ice cubes are allowed to thaw for 3-5 minutes before use in order to provide the best shaved ice consistency.

3. Nostalgia Countertop Snow Cone Maker

The Nostalgia Countertop Snow Cone Maker (Model RSM602) Currently sells for $49.84 for the red-colored model (originally $59.99) on Amazon.com.

It boasts an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars from 7,191 ratings. It ranks #4 in Best Seller in Shaved Ice Machines category.

This unit’s capacity can hold approximately 20 (8 ounce) snow cones at one time. Great for parties and bigger events. It even has a side shelf that can hold and prepare two cones.

How to Use

This portable unit rivals that of a bulkier professional shaved ice machine. It uses regular ice cubes, so there’s no prep work. Plug it in, load the ice cubes into the top chamber, then place and lock the lid to start.

A safety mechanism prevents operation without the lid being locked.

4. Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine

The Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine (Model S900A) sells for $44.99 (originally priced for $59.99) on Amazon.com.

It has a 4.3 out of 5 stars from 10,052 ratings. It ranks at #2 overall in Amazon’s Best Seller category for Shaved Ice Machine.

It is only 5.5 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Use it to make shaved ice at home, slushies, snowballs, snow cones, margaritas, and more. Perfect for small gatherings.

Includes two cylindrical ice block molds. Adjustable blade height with Phillips-head screwdriver for varying texture levels of ice.

How to Use

This powerful, compact unit is a clear fan favorite on Amazon, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a breeze to use. Allow the ice blocks to thaw for 5-7 minutes prior to use for best consistency.

Then, you take off the top of the unit, position the ice block into the machine and put the top back on. Plug in the shaved ice machine and press the large gray button, pushing on the top with medium pressure. Too much pressure can cause the ice to become too coarse.

A Cool Treat for a Cool Retreat

Now that you know how to make shaved ice at home, you can create cool treats for family vacations. Speaking of cool treats, how about a spacious cabin rental in Northern California?

If that sounds like fun, then check out Fun Cabin Rentals.

Their cabins sleep up to 10 people. Each cabin comes with wood fireplaces and central heating, a large HD/LCD Cable TV/DVD player, free high-speed wireless internet, and a well-equipped kitchen for DIY shaved ice at home, away from home. Private lake access included.

Head on over to Fun Cabin Rentals and book your vacation today!