We read through the online description & thought this would be a nice replacement for the ice cream maker we previously used. When it arrived, we read the instructions that came with it. The printed instructions said some things completely different than that which we read online. Having said that, though, we measured our ingredients & put them in the container. I did the ice & salt layering all the way up the container. However, that would not allow the container to spin to create the ice cream. I had to add about 3 cups of water to get the ice & salt to "unstick" from the container so it could move. The instructions did not say that it was the container that spun around, instead of the paddle inside. It still worked and made a very nice ice cream, however. It was more firm that soft serve ice cream, but not hard like store bought ice cream. I really think this ice cream maker was worth the price. We've used it about 10 times and nearly every time, it takes the same amount of time, regardless of what "flavor" we are making. We just wash all parts except for the electrical part with soap and water & allow it to air dry.