Ice Makers

The Best 13 Ice Makers To Buy In 2021

A consumer icemaker may be found in a home freezer, or it may be a device that makes ice for a business. It may be an individual appliance or an industrial machine used in large-scale ice production. A stand-alone ice machine is usually referred to as an “ice machine”. It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking — cocktails, sodas, spirits, or water — an ice maker is a perfect companion. It is a useful tool no matter where you are, but if you like to entertain, this is sure to become your best friend. You won’t have to fill and empty ice molds anymore, nor will you have to buy bags of ice.

Many parts of the world used to be hard to find ice only a century ago. If you lived in hotter climates, you had to buy your ice from local delivery companies, which imported heavy blocks from colder climates or from industrial refrigeration plants. It was relatively expensive to buy ice, but if you wanted to keep your food cold, you didn’t have much choice. Ice was a luxury in the hottest parts of the world. The early 20th century saw the advent of the ice age in equatorial countries, where it may be possible to live a whole lifetime without seeing the ice. Food preservation and ice production became possible in the home and corner store with the introduction of compact, affordable refrigerators. The introduction of automatic ice maker machines in the 1960s ameliorated life even more. Ice has become a part of life for most Americans, even on the hottest summer days.

Ice Making Principle

It works the same way for all ice machines. Among these parts are the evaporator, the condenser, the compressor, and the throttle. Compressing low-pressure refrigerant vapour into high-pressure vapour, then delivering it to the condenser, is what a compressor does. In this case, the high-pressure vapour is condensed into high-pressure liquid and the liquid is drained out of the throttle valve. This is how ice is created. Since the liquid is now conducted to the evaporator, heat is exchanged, creating ice. Using this cycle, we can cool the food completely.

Types of Ice Maker Machines

  • Built-in and freestanding icemakers – Freestanding icemakers are typically built into a kitchen counter or bar counter. However, built-in models can be used freestanding as well. It’s because the water freezes faster than it does in others which are clear cube icemakers, which is why the ice is opaque instead of clear. Tiny air bubbles are trapped in the process, which leads to the cloudy appearance of ice. On the other hand, the majority of under-counter ice makers are clear ice makers, which means that the ice is clear and melts at a much slower rate because of its lack of air bubbles.
  • Portable icemakers – Their fast speeds and small sizes set them apart from their competitors. When ice is produced by a portable ice maker, it is bullet-shaped and looks cloudy and opaque. In ten minutes after the machine is turned on and water is added, ice can be made for the first time. In its place is a tank filled with water with metal pegs submerged in it. It is necessary to manually fill the portable unit with water because it is portable. To freeze the food, water is pumped from the bottom of the reservoir. With the help of a heating and cooling system inside, pegs freeze the water around them and then heat up so that the ice slides right off and into a bin for storage. As ice forms, it gets thicker as a result of a longer freezing cycle. Ice cubes vary in size according to the freezing process. When the ice is full, the portable ice maker automatically shuts off. It has not been proven that portable icemakers will keep the ice from melting. The icemaker will recycle the water to produce more ice in the future.
  • Freezer icemakers – In a refrigerator, you can usually find them in the freezer section. Using a metal mold, they create ice cubes in the form of crescents. The water is then introduced to the mold with the help of an electromechanical or electronic timer that opens a solenoid valve for a brief amount of time. In about 30 minutes, the valve is closed and the ice is allowed to freeze. Depending on the timer, a low-power electric heating element within the mold is turned on for a few seconds in order to melt the ice cubes slightly, preventing them from sticking. Once all the ice cubes are out of the mold, it turns a rotating arm that takes them out and into an external bin, and the cycle continues. A wire arm in the bin pushes up when there is too much ice in the bin and shuts the ice maker until there is no ice in the bin. It is also possible to stop the production of ice at any time by lifting up the wire arm.

Things to Consider Before Buying Ice Makers

  • Size – In about seven minutes, an ice maker can produce approximately nine to twelve cubes per batch. Using one of these machines provides enough for 2-3 small drinks, and it’s twice as fast as a regular under-counter machine. Smaller machines may get the job done faster than heavy machines. As well as making smaller ice sizes and insuring that ice stays colder due to their reduced air circulation, they may also produce smaller ice cubes. A small, under-counter ice maker may be as tall as a mini refrigerator, and it may come with a large, oversized ice basket. In comparison with under-counter ice makers, the countertop ones are about half the height and usually about the same size as a toaster oven. Ensure that you know the size of the room in which the machine will be placed and whether you will operate the machine from a fixed position.
  • Shape of Ice
    1. Dice ice – Soft drinks and mixed drinks can be served with this ice. Because it has a smaller surface area, it melts slowly, making it less likely to change the taste of your beverage.
    2. Nugget ice – Suitable for use with soft drinks, fountain drinks, and blended cocktails, this small, soft ice is a perfect choice. You may enjoy chewing nugget ice if you enjoy chewing ice because it easily breaks down when broken down by the teeth.
    3. Top-Hat ice – As a result, this ice is usually found in high-end liquors and upscale drinks, due to its crystal clear appearance. Among the three, it cools your drinks quite well since it melts at a slower rate than the others.
    4. Pearl ice – Intended for use in soft drinks, margaritas, iced tea, and blended beverages, this ice is ideal. Approximately the size of a small bullet, it doesn’t stick out much from the shield. In contrast to dice ice or crescent ice, it will settle into your drink more quickly because it is hollow inside.
    5. Crescent ice – The best ice to serve soft drinks, mixed drinks, and blended drinks. Often, these pieces of ice are approximately half the size of dice ice. This means that they will melt and cool your drink more quickly than dice ice, making them less desirable for drinks like cocktails.

Benefits of an Ice Maker

Getting pure ice without sacrificing too much kitchen space is much easier with a portable ice maker if you live in an RV or motorhome that does not have a full-size fridge. You won’t have to worry about draining with a portable ice maker. In contrast to wasting water from melted ice cubes, portable ice makers make use of all the water. To create more ice, they recycle melted cubes, so they don’t need to drain the ice. The appliances also don’t require a permanent water line. You don’t need to hire a plumber or go through the hassle of installing them. It’s just a matter of plugging it in. It ensures that you will always have enough ice, which means that you won’t have to leave the party to run to the convenience store. It can also save time and effort, as you don’t have to run to the convenience store repeatedly. In many cases, stand-alone ice makers need to drain melted ice cubes or dispose of the excess water by some other means. In order for your home to have a drainage system, you would either need to install a floor drain, buy a drain pump, or find enough space for all the excess water to drain out.

We have compiled the best ice makers for every scenario, once you have laid out your priorities and needs.

1/13:

IKICH Electric Ice Maker CP173

All the features you'd expect in a high-quality package are available at a low price. In less than six minutes, it is capable of producing nine-cube batches of bullet-shaped ice, enough for two or three glasses of water. One pound of ice is produced per hour, making it a pretty effective process.

Price

$118.99

Pros
  • High Efficient
  • Compact, quiet and lightweight
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Made of plastic
2/13:

Euhomy Ice Maker Machine IM-F

This ice maker won't take up much room, and it can create 24 ice cubes every 12 to 18 minutes, 40 pounds of ice cubes every 24 hours. Just be sure to empty the removable basket, which can only hold 2.2 pounds of ice.

Price

$209.99

Pros
  • Can produce clear ice-cubes
  • Quick ice making
  • Quiet and lightweight
Cons
  • Manually add water
  • Doesn't prevent ice from melting (no freezing function)
3/13:

Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker B07W48P1HK

An ice maker capable of holding 33 pounds and producing batches of 45 cubes of diamond-shaped ice in about 13 to 20 minutes, resulting in an average of 100 pounds of ice per 24 hours. Undercounter models may not produce ice faster, and those that do may produce ice of lower quality.

Price

$479.99

Pros
  • Produce long lasting ice
  • designed for limited spaces
  • Stainless construction
Cons
  • Quite heavy
  • High price
4/13:

HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice HME030276N

Drink makers need an ice maker that is efficient, fast, and can keep up with their demands, and hOmeLabs commercial ice makers can do that. It takes between 11 to 20 minutes to produce only 45 squares of ice, and the total weight of 99 pounds can be accomplished within only 24 hours. Further still, you will never run out of ice because you are able to store 29 pounds of ice at a time.

Price

$491

Pros
  • Quick to make ice
  • Can be installed easily
  • Water source conection
Cons
  • Pricey
5/13:

GE Profile Opal OPAL01GEPKT

It seems the GE Profile Opal might be the only portable ice machine that produces nugget ice. Anyone who likes to chew ice will love nugget ice because it has a chewable texture. You should consider purchasing this unit if you have children. Using nugget ice in your child's drink will make it less likely for them to choke, so you can be sure they won't choke on it.

Price

$549

Pros
  • Produce long lasting ice
  • Design wise
  • Produce ice fast
Cons
  • Pricey
  • High maintenance
6/13:

NewAir Nugget Ice Maker NIM040SS00

Nugget ice maker from NewAir can generate its first batch of ice in just five minutes and is touted as one of the fastest machines on the market. In addition to the high-performance cooling, it has a compact enclosure that measures 16.5 x 10.6 x 16.3 inches - all in a countertop design that produces up to 40 pounds of ice per day.

Price

$689

Pros
  • Quick to produce ice
  • Self-cleaning technology
  • Free of BPA
Cons
  • Quite pricey for a portable ice-maker
7/13:

Frigidaire EFIC102

There is also the "Frigidaire", which has the same size and functions similarly, but is more expensive. Plastic is mostly used to make it, and it weighs 18.6 pounds, measures 15.3 by 11.7 inches, and has a footprint of 15.3 by 11.7 inches. Each batch makes about nine cubes of ice in less than six minutes; at 1.1 pounds per hour, about 2-3 small drinks can be produced. A few small and medium "bullet" cubes are available for purchase.

Price

$110.69

Pros
  • Easy to operate
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Pricing wise
  • Auto off
Cons
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly
  • Limited color option
8/13:

EdgeStar IB120SS

In a stainless steel and black finish, this EdgeStar built-in ice maker is a stylish addition to any home or office. The price point is also attractive for use at home or at work. This unit comes with a front-facing vent and a reversible handle on the door so you can use it as a freezer. It can hold up to 6 pounds of ice at a time and produce up to 12 pounds of ice in 24 hours' time.

Price

$379

Pros
  • Freezing function
  • Shut off automatically when full
  • Has a scooper
Cons
  • Can be nosiy at times
9/13:

Igloo ICEB26RR

If you're looking for an ice maker with a retro feel, Igloo's retro countertop ice maker is the perfect choice. The mini machine, which measures 9.6 x 14.7 x 12.4, produces nine small, medium, and large bullet cubes in seven minutes and produces up to 26 pounds of ice each day (the inner basket can also hold 2 pounds at a time).

Price

$136.99

Pros
  • With removable basket and a scooper
  • Less noise
Cons
  • No freezing function preventing ice from melting
10/13:

Magic Chef 27-Lb. B07JK758S2

With a height of 12.9 inches and a width of 9.5 inches, the Magic Chef ice maker is small enough to sit out of the way in your kitchen but is lightweight and portable enough to take with you - whether you're traveling in your RV or visiting a friend.

Price

$129.98

Pros
  • Includes ice scoop and the removable
  • Quick to make ice
Cons
  • Not recommended for parties
  • No freezing function
11/13:

NewAir Portable Ice Maker AI-215SS

This machine doesn't need much maintenance (it has a self-cleaning mode) and produces ice fast. It takes 2 hours to fill the ice bin in the small setting, which is the maximum allowed. The machine is portable, but it does weigh around 40 pounds. It is not something you'll want to move over and over again.

Price

$268.99

Pros
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Portable design
  • Can be connected to smartphone
Cons
  • Quit expensive
  • Much heavier than other portable ice maker
12/13:

Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO Dice Cube Ice Maker

Manitowoc Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine - if you're looking for loads of ice for entertaining or going on an adventure, this is your best option. A reputable brand offers a reputable machine with high output.

Price

$1908

Pros
  • Produce plenty of ice
  • Needs to be cleaned frequently
Cons
  • Pricey
  • A little bit noisy
13/13:

Luma Comfort IM200SS

It produces clear ice cubes that don't make carbonated drinks fizz or go flat the way cloudy ice does. It makes batches that are about three times as big as a small bullet-ice maker (but takes about three times longer).

Price

$229.97

Pros
  • Produces clear ice cubes
  • Full ice indicator
  • Sleek stainless steel finish
Cons
  • Quite pricey

Related Questions & Answers About Ice Makers

Ice maker life estimate would be from 4 to 5 years, or within the warranty of the machine but can last longer than 10 years when used everyday.
The average 24-hour period results in about 130 ice cubes being produced. Ice makers typically produce 3-7 pounds of ice. The typical tray for an ice maker holds 4-11 pounds of ice.
The energy consumption of an ice maker is approximately 350 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month. Based on a typical rate of $ 0.06 per kWh, this would result in a monthly cost of roughly $21.
Ice machine for small commercial use that produces approximately 200 lbs. of ice cost below $1,500 while large ice maker that produces approximately 1,900 pounds of ice each day go as high as $10,000.
Water is poured manually into the reservoir and then pumped to the water tank via a water pump. Metal prongs of the heat exchanger are lowered into the water, once the water is inside the container. R-134a, a more environmentally friendly refrigerant, travels as vapor into the coils or prongs of the refrigeration system. As a result, the temperature in the prongs drops, causing the water to freeze.
Fill a tray with water then stick it in the freezer. Wait 30 minutes or more and wait until the water freezes. Whether you do it manually or rely on the convenience of an automatic icemaker, the process is the same.
If you do have a crescent ice maker, you don't need a drain because these ice cubes create cold like a freezer and do not melt unless removed. For those other types of ice makers, in order for the water to drain you need either a gravity drain or a pump. It simply pumps the water from the ice maker to the sink drain.
Use a washcloth and warm soapy water. A couple of tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in a gallon of warm water to wipe and wash any of the dirty removed parts of the ice maker. Rinse the ice maker and wait until it dries.
Check the line of water supply for damages. Check if all the parts are aligned. If not, make a service call to the company and report any damage found.
Connect the ice maker to the clean water supply. Ask any authorized service technician to install the ice maker.