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I know what you’re thinking – a popsicle maker? Here on MakeUseOf? Since when have we become a food website? Don’t worry, we’re still a technology website, this is still Gaming Month, and the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker is not your ordinary pop maker. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll see that it’s really a gadget – one that doesn’t require batteries, maybe – but a gadget nonetheless. And if you think about it for a minute, isn’t an awesome, custom-made popsicle the perfect treat for a day of gaming?

No matter which console you like or what your favorite accessories are, you’re bound to like popsicles, especially on a hot summer day. The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker makes it possible to create and prepare any kind of popsicle you can dream of, and have it ready to eat in just several minutes. Or so the company claims. But how many times have you seen awesome food gadgets on TV, only to be disappointed after getting tempted to buy them? Is there any small print they don’t want you to see?

I took the Zoku Duo for a thorough test drive to see if there’s any truth to the promises. Can this gadget be beautiful, innovative, and actually work? Read on to find out! And as usual, there’s a sweet surprise at the end of this article — 5 Zoku Duo Quick Pop Makers which we’re giving away to 5 lucky readers!

What Is The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker?

zoku quick pop maker review

Don’t believe first impressions. The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker is not some fancy toy that lets you make popsicles the boring old way. Instead of pouring your juice and then freezing it, the Zoku does it the other way around – freeze first, then pour. This way, you get to enjoy a popsicle in minutes instead of having to wait a few hours.

So how does it work? The Zoku Duo is filled with what they call a “refrigerant liquid”, which can also be found in ice-cream makers. After placing the unit in your freezer for 24 hours (or less, depending on your freezer), the liquid inside the Zoku Duo freezes. You can now place it on your countertop, and pour almost anything that comes to mind into the molds. The metal surface transfers the “coldness” into your liquid, and freezes it in a matter of minutes.

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The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker comes in three different sizes: the single ($25), the double ($37), and the triple ($50); the official online store ships within the US only. Since the Zoku doesn’t thaw very quickly, you can usually make two, or even three batches of popsicles in one run, so if you own the double unit, like I do, you can theoretically make up to six popsicles in one run, before they stop freezing.

While there are many ice-cream makers and popsicle molds out there, the is nothing similar to the Zoku Duo that I could find. It’s time to see if there’s any truth to Zoku’s promise — can you really make popsicles that easily?

What’s In The Box?

When you buy a Zoku Quick Pop maker, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting. This is basically it:

zoku quick pop maker review

The Zoku’s box includes the Duo Quick Pop Maker itself, four Zoku sticks, and four drip guards for the sticks. The number of sticks and drip guards depends on the type of Zoku you have. If you go for the triple, for example, you get six sticks and drip guards. These items are made of plastic, but feel sturdy enough to withstand a fair amount of pressure without breaking. They don’t feel flimsy.

zoku quick pop maker review

The box also includes the Zoku Super Tool. This item is used to release the popsicles from the molds easily. You’ll see exactly how it works in the next section of this review.

zoku quick pop maker review

Zoku offers many different accessories, none of which are bundled with the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker kit. The Zoku Tools kit ($20), for example, includes three pouring cups with liquid indicators for one, two, and three pops; an angle tray to make zigzag pops; a siphon for making filled pops; a fruit wand for easily inserting fruit slices into the molds; and shaped stencils for making little stars and hearts out of fruit slices.

You can also get things like the Zoku Storage Case ($20), to store prepared popsicles in the freezer, the Zoku Chocolate Station ($20), to add chocolate shells and decorations to your pops, and even a Zoku Character Kit ($15), to make cute shapes on your popsicles.

All these extra tools could be fun, but they’re not necessary to the process of making popsicles. I managed to make filled pops and insert fruit slices without the specialized tools, as you will soon see.

Making Popsicles

In order to make popsicles, the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker needs to be completely frozen. Depending on your freezer, this can take up to 24 hours, but can also happen overnight. I found that if I store it in the freezer all the time, it’s always ready when I want to use it. Make sure you store it upright, though. If you don’t, the liquid inside won’t freeze in the right position around the molds.

It’s important to realize the the Zoku Duo is not a toy. It could be a great activity for kids, but the metal surface of the unit is very cold, and anything that touches it sticks to it immediately, This very much includes fingers, so be careful not to touch the metal part of the surface or let children touch it when it’s frozen. The plastic-covered parts are completely safe, so handling the unit and moving it around while frozen is not a problem.

zoku duo quick pop maker review

Your popsicles can be made of pretty much anything, as long as it contains a sugar of some kind. It doesn’t have to be added sugar — the natural sugar in fruit is enough — but don’t try to make pops out of diet drinks or with artificial sweeteners. These are very hard to release from the molds. You might also want to avoid pops with very high fat content, as these tend to be too soft and might get stuck too. You can find lots of recipes online, but after playing around with it for a while, you can easily come up with your own ideas.

After pouring your mixture into the molds, you will see it start to freeze around the edges right away. Each mold has a clearly marked fill line which you should not go over. Going over it could make the pops hard or even impossible to release from the mold.

zoku duo quick pop maker review

You can set a timer for 7-9 minutes, which is the recommended wait time, but my first batch always takes much less than that. You can gently poke the center with a straw to feel if it’s hard enough.

zoku duo quick pop maker review

This is where the Super Tool comes into action, and this is the part I was most skeptical about. Pouring liquids into molds is easy enough, but will my popsicles really come out? Will this thing actually freeze them? I swear, you could feel the tension in the air if you were here.

To release your pops, screw the Super Tool onto one of the sticks, and turn it clockwise. You do this until you feel some resistance, and then some. After several turns, you should see the pop starting to rise out from the mold. This is a good sign. When this happens, it’s time to remove the Super Tool from the stick by turning it counter-clockwise.

zoku duo quick pop maker review

Now it’s time to pray and pull your popsicle out. You can attach a drip guard to the stick at this point, if you want. Looking pretty good so far!

zoku quick pop maker review

Lo and behold, a real strawberry yogurt popsicle, completely homemade! The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker actually delivered on its promise, at least in this batch.

zoku quick pop maker review

No matter which popsicles I made, I always managed to make at least 4 of them. For the quicker kind (i.e., simple pops with only one layer), 6 wasn’t a problem either, but since the double Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker only comes with 4 sticks, we had to eat two before we could make more. As you can probably guess, devouring two of these wasn’t a huge problem. After all, what else are you supposed to do while waiting on the next batch?

How Hard Is It Really?

You may be thinking that I’m making this look easier than it is, or that I was only making very simple pops. You’d be partially right about the first point — there is definitely some mess to clean up which I did not include in my pictures — but it’s a pretty easy process other than that. Here are some more examples of pops I managed to make, without any extra tools.

In this batch, I was going for chocolate-filled strawberry yogurt pops. This was a bit ambitious for a first try, especially since I didn’t have Zoku’s siphon. After pouring in the strawberry base and waiting for a minute, I used a regular drinking straw to drink the middle part out.

zoku quick pop maker review

I then poured a chocolate mixture into the molds, to make a chocolate-filled strawberry pop.

zoku quick pop maker review

Those came out okay, but I waited too long before drinking out the middle so too much of the strawberry base was already frozen, and ended up with almost no chocolate filling at all. In the next batch, I made chocolate-filled mango pops, which came out much better, as you can see. The chocolate shell was made with Zoku’s Chocolate Station, which is not part of this giveaway, but you use any tall dish to dip your pops in chocolate.

zoku quick pop maker review

I also managed to insert fruit slices into the molds without the special fruit wand. This is trickier than advertised, because the fruit slices stick to the mold as soon as they touch it. I used the Zoku sticks to insert the fruit, but a pair of chopsticks would have been a better choice, probably.

zoku quick pop maker review

I also made two-colored pops by pouring in one mixture, waiting for it to freeze, and then filling the rest of the mold with a different one. This kind is very easy to make, but takes longer, so it may reduce the number of pops you get to make overall.

zoku quick pop maker review

All in all, I was surprised at how easy it was to make these pops. I’m not artistically inclined, and usually have a hard time creating anything this beautiful. While my results are not anywhere near as nice as the ones on the Zoku website, it’s easy enough to achieve respectable results with the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker.

I only ever managed to get one popsicle stuck in the mold, but it was due to a mistake I made, trying to be just a little too creative. Pops will get stuck every once in a while, and when that happens, there’s nothing much you can do but rinse the whole thing out with warm water and try again tomorrow. If only one of the pops gets stuck, you can continue working with the free mold to make several more before everything thaws.

Living With The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker

With the risk of sounding like a commercial, I must say that my life is slightly more fun since owning the Zoku. Once every couple of days we take the Pop Maker out of the freezer, where it now lives, and make a batch of 2-4 pops. I won’t go as far as to say they’re good for you, but they must be better than anything you can get in the store, and it’s nice to know exactly what goes into your popsicles.

zoku quick pop maker review

If you have kids, the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker can provide a somewhat healthier alternative for snacks, but it can also provide an hour of fun activity, and encourage creativity as you think up combinations for your next batch. If you don’t have kids, you’re going to enjoy this even more, because you’ll get to eat them all yourself!

I was skeptic about this gadget working as advertised, but I must say, I was positively surprised. As long as you follow the rules, and there aren’t many, there’s no reason you won’t be able to make awesome popsicles at home.

MakeUseOf recommends: Buy it! (if you like popsicles)

How do I win the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker?

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. MakeUseOf giveaways are open to readers worldwide.

The giveaway is over. Congratulations, LaDonna Marrero, Michael Cataro, Sue Bou, Rachel Lynch, and Jun Xiang! You would have received an email from jackson@makeuseof.com. Please respond before May 4 to claim your prize. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post!

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(Note: no points will be awarded.)

By participating in this giveaway, you agree to the giveaway rules Official Giveaway Rules Official Giveaway Rules Read More .

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, April 26th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

Send your products to be reviewed. Contact Jackson Chung for further details.
This review contains affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

  1. tajammulijaz
    April 27, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Awesome giveaway! Best so far

  2. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Sounds delicious. You eat all those batches alone?

    • Yaara Lancet
      April 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

      I wish! No, I had a partner to this crime. :)

  3. Humpster Sameasabove
    April 23, 2013 at 3:58 am

    sure would save me money on buying them all the time. come on no whammy no whammy no whammy lol

  4. Himanshu Kumar Pandey
    April 23, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Thanks for this giveaway! hope to win.

  5. Jack Giebel
    April 23, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Finally, a give away that caters to my second love besides technology!

  6. Ihtesham_tweets
    April 23, 2013 at 1:26 am

    unique giveaway for computer geeks...

  7. Stephen P
    April 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I know some kiddos that would love to share this with me!

  8. Bj Smith
    April 21, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Thanks for the awesome review and the chance to win one.

  9. Tonya B.
    April 20, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Bro
    April 19, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Two words and a smily face... Nutella Pops :D

  11. Keith S
    April 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Something to munch on while you surf the web!!

  12. Betty Mordecai
    April 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

    nice

  13. Stephanie Staker
    April 18, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Great review, Yaara! I would like to win this to give it away to my daughter for her kids. Sounds awesome although a bit pricey especially since you have to buy the tool kit. Still, would make healthy snacks.

    • Yaara Lancet
      April 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks Stephanie!

      Actually, you don't really need the tool kit, as I wrote in the review. I managed to do everything without it. It might not be as fancy, but it's definitely possible.

      I think the Duo is worth its price, especially for people who buy ice cream/popsicles from time to time anyway.

  14. null
    April 18, 2013 at 12:48 am

    I have some really cool popsicle recipes on a pinterest board that I can’t wait to use.

  15. Marianne Martin
    April 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Nice to see something the whole family can share! Thanks...you guys are my favorite site to look at daily.

  16. PLK
    April 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I love popsicles! I'm crossing my fingers...I want to win this. The makeuseof.com newsletter is interesting; many times I've come across a helpful article. Thank you.

  17. Beth Bailey
    April 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Trying to eat healthier (more fruits and veggies). This would be a great way to do something different with my fruits! :)

  18. LunaTicket
    April 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Looks like fun!

  19. Dmitriy Sukhanov
    April 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    nice stuff

  20. Nancy B
    April 17, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Interesting machine. We had the pour and freeze moulds as kids and made them all the time. But with this machine being able to make layers and put fruit in would be real fun for the kids.

    Definitely don't touch anything metal when frozen....living in Canada we know the problem with touching metal with skin when well below zero C or F and had some sibling or friend talk us into it when we were kids and found out the hard way it hurts and takes your skin off!

  21. Adil Farooq
    April 17, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Hope to be one of the lucky winner.

  22. Scott M
    April 17, 2013 at 10:40 am

    MM MMM Good!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Harry Lau
    April 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Amazing!
    Thanks.

  24. Harshit J
    April 17, 2013 at 10:08 am

    The popsicles are calling me. Here I come!

  25. Junil Maharjan
    April 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I wasn't sure at first if i really wanted to take part in this but when i saw the popsicle pictures, i was like "this is really cool, i would like to have one". Great one.

  26. Debkumar Bhadra
    April 17, 2013 at 5:06 am

    I want this to cool off this summer.

  27. MoHammad SHaan
    April 17, 2013 at 4:53 am

    It's a nice thing.

  28. tomboybc
    April 17, 2013 at 1:44 am

    really great love this and the code is on facebook good luck shared too

  29. Guy McDowell
    April 17, 2013 at 1:17 am

    That is one of the best product reviews I've read anywhere in quite awhile. I'm seriously considering buying one and kitchen gadgets are my mortal enemy. That and narrow shoes.

    • Yaara Lancet
      April 17, 2013 at 5:41 am

      Thanks Guy! It really is an awesome thing, it almost wrote its own review by itself. :)

  30. Va Du
    April 16, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I love to make my own treats. I'm just worry it doesn't make enough to satisfy my endless hunger and sweet tooth.

  31. Akira Michael Sato
    April 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    qpop is tha code :)

  32. Joanne Klipper
    April 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    YUM!

  33. CJ Queen
    April 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Looks great to have for summer.

  34. Alan C
    April 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I think our daughter would have fun helping make popsicles. Thank you for the article and giveaway! :)

  35. Marvin
    April 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Interesting giveaway.

  36. Judith
    April 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I would LOVE to have this to make my own pure fruit popscicles. This would be great since it gets so oppressively hot here in Louisiana for almost 10 months a year...lol.

  37. Ria
    April 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Nice. Exactly what I need for the kids. And won't take up any freezer space.

  38. Cathy C
    April 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Love these Been looking at these for a while Good Luck everyone and thanks for the giveaway

  39. rhondacallow
    April 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I have a Zoku and I love it - I think it'd make a great gift for any kid. I definitely recommend investing in the storage case, I use mine all the time.

    • Dee Wheat
      April 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      KID?????? I'm 64 years old and I want one!

      • rhondacallow
        April 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

        Good point! I'd still use mine even if I was childless!

  40. Dee Wheat
    April 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I can't find a code either! And it's HOT here in SE Texas....this would get used multiple times a day at my house!

  41. David Zack
    April 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    MMM.... Sardine Pops yum

  42. Jay Raahm
    April 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    This is a great giveaway and if I'm one of the lucky winners, would light up the faces of my grand kids for sure!

  43. Monali Parmar
    April 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I'm already imagining how much fun my little girl will have with this!

  44. Liz Petzak
    April 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I'm thinkin this would be "cool" to have at the office. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  45. Tanel Ramst
    April 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Mmmm Yummy

  46. Sonesh Lakhani
    April 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Nice and unique giveaway :)

  47. macwitty
    April 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I think the now trained maker should be included ;)

  48. Lloyd Partoza
    April 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Awesome giveaway! exactly what I need.. woohoo !

  49. Niccole West
    April 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you for the giveaway!!

  50. Randi
    April 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    This thing looks seriously cool!! Being that I tend to be the quickie babysitter for many parents in the summer since I work from home, that thing would be AMAZING to have!!

  51. Leo Bien
    April 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Awesome giveaway! Best so far, IMHO. :)

  52. Aleksandra H
    April 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    where is the code?

    • WJ Falls Jr.
      April 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      qpop

      • neeraj thakur
        April 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        hi

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