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What is a Milkshake Maker?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 16, 2024
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A milkshake maker is a household appliance usually found in the kitchen. An alternative to a blender, the milkshake maker is far less versatile but is generally regarded as a better option for making milkshakes. This kitchen gadget is looked at as a popular throwback appliance in many kitchens and is known for its ability to quickly make the various flavors of milkshake that are so well-loved around the world.

A small kitchen appliance that usually plugs into the wall, the milkshake maker can often be found in cupboards or on countertops next to margarita makers or blenders. It is simpler to use than either of those similar products and often takes up less space when making milkshakes. The milkshake makers most often consist of a stainless steel milkshake glass, a base to place the glass into to keep it in place and an electronic handle with a circular blade the stirs the ingredients of the milkshake.

A milkshake can be made with the milkshake maker by pouring milk, ice cream, flavored sauce and fruit, such as strawberries, into the glass and placing the glass on the base of the milkshake maker. The top blade can then be lowered into the glass so that it is in the middle of the ingredients in the cup. A setting can then be selected and usually a small tab turns the device on and begins the blade spinning. The blade will then start to break down the ice cream and combine it into one substance with the sugary syrup and the milk. The glass can also be removed from the base to be manually moved up and down on the blade so that it is mixed better.

With the right amount of ingredients, the milkshakes will take on a thick milk-like consistency that can be drunk with a straw or a thin ice cream consistency that can be eaten with a spoon. The device can then be cleaning by washing out the glass and wiping down the blade, and will be immediately ready for use with the next milkshake.

Milkshake machines are popular as throwback items in kitchens, harking back to the days of 1950s lunch diners, where milkshakes were an ever-popular item. These old-style milkshake makers can still be found in food service kitchens, fast food restaurants and diners around the world as well, making the kind of milkshakes that are still a popular item on fast food menus.

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Discussion Comments
By animegal — On Oct 18, 2011

There are so many cute milkshake makers available today that if you want this specialized appliance you can really let your personality shine. I actually have a Hello Kitty milkshake maker for my apartment and it is a really cute addition to my decor.

The decorative milkshake makers aren't really for heavy duty work though. I use my Hello Kitty milkshake maker sparingly because I am worried I might break off something. It is mostly made out of heavy plastic, not the metal you see most milkshake makers made out of.

I usually only treat myself to an at home milkshake once a month or so. I figure at that rate my cute milkshake maker should last for quite some time.

By popcorn — On Oct 17, 2011

My grandparents have an old Hamilton Beach milkshake maker in their cupboard and I have always loved it. My grandma can whip up the most amazing strawberry shakes, and if she is feeling really enthusiastic, she will even make some fantastic mixed fruit shakes.

I have actually used my grandparent's milkshake maker to make some great back to basics smoothies. I find that the milkshake maker works just as well with things like water and juice, as it does milk. I could use the big blender they have for everything, but I find it makes way too much of a mess to clean up.

By Tomislav — On Oct 17, 2011

That sounds like a dangerous thing to have in my cupboard! I have a sweet tooth and if a milkshake maker is as easy to use as it sounds, I think they would probably be made on a regular basis.

Sure I could make them healthier when making them on my own, but then really... what's the point.

I grew up with the ice cream treat that was part milkshake part large chunks of candy (and lots of chunks), and I think this would be another great reason to have a milk shake maker as you could create and experiment by mixing different types of ice cream with different types of candy.

Can we say French vanilla ice cream with Almond Joy candy bars mixed in?!

By aaaCookie — On Oct 16, 2011

I don't know if I would get a milkshake maker. I am thinking about buying a blender, and I am one of those people who follows the line of thinking that you shouldn't have a lot of things in your kitchen that only do one thing. Alton Brown, the host of Good Eats, calls them "uni-taskers" and thinks they waste space and time, and I tend to agree. I know you can make other things with them, though, so I might consider one instead of a blender, rather than in addition to one.

By Oceana — On Oct 16, 2011

During the fall, I love to make milkshakes that contain the same spices found in pumpkin pie. Drinking one truly sets the mood of autumn for me. It’s wonderful to sit outside among the falling leaves while enjoying the taste of fall.

I use frozen vanilla yogurt as a base. I add a little bit of applesauce. Then, I sprinkle in cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves.

I put some whipped topping on top, and I sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on it. I usually dip through the top part and down into the shake with a spoon so that I can get the flavor combination of the first few bites. Once the topping is gone, I drink the rest through a straw.

By OeKc05 — On Oct 15, 2011

I love the taste of coffee and chocolate combined, so I use my milkshake maker to make frozen mocha. Cafes will charge around $4 for a drink that tastes the same as mine, so I prefer making them at home. The coffee and chocolate both have caffeine, so I drink one to help me wake up each morning in the summer, when it’s nice to have a frozen beverage.

I brew some strong coffee in the coffeepot first. Then, I pour it in the milkshake maker, along with low fat chocolate ice cream and a big dollop of whipped topping. The result is a frothy, silky shake that doubles as an energy drink.

By kylee07drg — On Oct 15, 2011

@orangey03 - I only use mine with soft ingredients, like ice cream and flavored powder. I have a feeling it might not be as efficient as a blender at chopping up hard produce. Then again, I have never tried.

As a child, I had bad experiences when making smoothies in blenders. It seemed that the blenders always ended up smelling like burnt rubber. So today, I hesitate to put anything in my milkshake maker that could potentially cause it to burn out and smell that same way.

I guess the best thing to do would be to contact the manufacturer and ask them. Tell them you already own one, so they will be more likely to give you an honest answer.

By orangey03 — On Oct 14, 2011

I am so addicted to strawberry milkshakes that I bought my own milkshake maker to save money. I was going to fast food places just about every day only to get a strawberry shake. I knew that, over time, buying my own would turn out to be a better financial option.

I buy a container of frozen strawberries, but I let them thaw out so that the milkshake maker will not have to work too hard to cut them up. They are mushy once they thaw, so it takes a lot less power to cut them up than it would fresh ones.

I’ve heard some people say milkshake makers are strong enough to blend raw fruit and veggies, but I don’t want to damage it. Does anyone here ever put chunks of fresh produce in your milkshake maker?

By SarahSon — On Oct 14, 2011

You can make more than just milkshakes with a milkshake maker. One of my favorite items in my kitchen is my Waring milkshake maker.

I have one in a cool retro green color that reminds me of an old fashioned soda fountain shop. What I like best about it is that it is so easy to clean.

It has a stainless steel cup where you mix your drink in and pour into your glass. Cleaning this cup is an absolute breeze.

Not only do I enjoy milkshakes, but will also make smoothies and protein drinks with this machine.

Because I love the look of it, it stays out on my counter all the time. If I had it tucked away on a shelf or cupboard, it probably wouldn't get used nearly as often.

By golf07 — On Oct 13, 2011

I have never had a specific milkshake maker machine but have always used a blender to make my milk shakes and smoothies.

There is nothing better than a really thick milkshake, but I don't think you need to invest in a machine just for this purpose.

The best milkshakes are made with malt powder and will not begin to drip out of the glass when turned upside down. I always try this right after I make a milkshake.

If it is too thin and begins to drip, I know it needs to be thicker. A thick milkshake like this is filling and can sometimes be a meal for me.

By strawCake — On Oct 12, 2011

I think the whole idea of a milkshake maker is just another sign of the consumerist culture we live in. People, you do not need that many useless gadgets for your kitchen!

You can make a milkshake just fine in your blender. I do it all the time. There is no need to buy one, specialized gadget just to make milkshakes. I don't know of anyone who drinks milkshakes enough to actually justify this purchase. And if you do, you should probably take a long hard look at your dietary habits!

By KaBoom — On Oct 11, 2011

@SZapper - A friend of mine actually has a milkshake maker she got very cheaply from a classified ad. She loves it!

I did a little bit of research online, because I'm considering getting one of my own. Milkshake makers range in price from $25 to $100, depending on what kind you get. It also seems like you can use them to make smoothies also. So a milkshake maker can actually be used for more than milkshakes! This made me feel a little bit more likely to buy it!

By SZapper — On Oct 11, 2011

I had no idea anything like this even existed! Wow. I would love something like this for my apartment.

When I was in high school, I waitressed in a diner (bought my first car all by myself, too). We served a lot of deserts, including milkshakes. Milkshakes are one of my favorite things, and I love making them for myself. I feel like it's just not the same when someone else does it. Anyway, it's been quite a few years since I've had access to a milkshake maker.

And from the description of this at-home milkshake maker, it sounds a lot like the one we had in the diner. Although probably a lot smaller.

By rugbygirl — On Oct 10, 2011

@ElizaBennett - It kind of depends on your purpose. Do you make them only for yourself, or do you like to entertain? A chrome milkshake maker looks so nice sitting on your counter and it adds a fun touch to a party, especially if you invest in proper milkshake glasses and extra frappe cans so that you can serve them the old-fashioned way, with the glass and then the rest of the milkshake (that wouldn't fit in the glass) in the frappe can.

If you have kids old enough to use them, another nice thing about the milkshake make is that it helps make your house one of the "cool houses," and for a lot lower price than putting in a swimming pool or flat screen!

By ElizaBennett — On Oct 10, 2011

Is a milkshake mixer really worth it? I just love my milkshakes but I've always been happy with the ones I can make in the blender. On the other hand, my blender is getting old and I'm thinking of replacing it with a milkshake maker instead.

I don't really use my blender for anything but drinks, but somehow it still seems kind of silly to have a "unitasker" just for making milkshakes.

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