Sunbeam Slice + Ice review

Does this 2-in-1 frozen dessert maker and slicer deserve a place on your kitchen bench?

A cool kitchen device

The Sunbeam Slice + Ice doubles as a frozen dessert maker and food slicer. It's a lightweight appliance with easy-to-assemble attachments including interchangeable blades for slicing and grating, and a screw rod for squeezing small ice cubes and frozen fruit.

Slice or ice? This machine does both

Fiona Mair, home economist from CHOICE's test kitchen, found the Slice + Ice easy to operate, although it's quite noisy and could move around on the bench if bumped. To use the frozen dessert attachment, simply place a bowl under the fluted dispenser then feed your slightly thawed ingredients through the chute. The instruction booklet has a few recipes to get you started. You'll get best results and a creamy consistency using frozen bananas as a dessert base, and you can also use coconut cream or yoghurt that's been frozen in small ice cube trays for added taste and texture.

The main downside is the preparation time: you need to peel and freeze your fruit at least four hours in advance, then wait 10 minutes for the ingredients to thaw sufficiently before feeding them through. The Slice + Ice is also unsuitable for feeding large crowds, because it shouldn't run continuously for more than a minute at a time, and it can only take 500g of frozen fruit for each use (which melts fast). Fiona also found that ingredients can build up in the chute as you go, causing the pusher to jam.

The food slicing element is handy for making salads using vegetables like carrot, onions and cabbage. There are three sets of blades to choose from that snap into the blade cone: a coarse grater/shredder, a thin-slicing blade and a thick-slicing blade. Food is fed through a narrow chute and into the blade cone using the food pusher (which doubles as the blades' storage box). It's very good at grating carrot and cucumber, but some pressure was needed to push carrots through the chute and we found that some cucumber jammed there too. There's also a bit preparation to do – you'll need to chop ingredients first so they'll fit through the chute, and hard skins like apple peel will need to be removed before grating. It's not designed to grate hard cheese or chocolate.

The CHOICE verdict

Overall, the Slice + Ice is good for small families who want to prepare healthy desserts and salads. However, it's not a must-have for the kitchen. Its lack of horsepower and inability to grate a wider range of ingredients means it's not a complete replacement for people who already own a decent blender and food processor. You'll have to consider whether the Slice + Ice is worth the extra cost and bench space.

Cost: $129

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