It’s easy to take cold drinks for granted, but if you’re on the lookout for the best ice makers available, chances are you’ve had more than your fair share of room-temperature beverages. Use this guide to help you shop for the best ice machine out there.
How to Determine if You Need a Standalone Ice Maker
Here are the most common reasons people shop for portable ice machines:
- Your freezer doesn’t have an ice maker: Dealing with ice trays is a pain, but having a built-in ice maker isn’t worth the cost of a new freezer. An affordable standalone machine gives you ice automatically without the need to shell out thousands of dollars on a new freezer.
- Your freezer’s ice maker can’t keep up: If you run out of ice during a party, you can’t wait for your freezer’s slow ice maker to refill the bin. Avoid the dilemma of serving warm drinks with a standalone unit that churns out ice quickly.
- Your office break room could use an ice machine: Give your employees an easy way to chill their drinks with an ice maker in the break room.
- You want ice on-the-go: Standalone ice machines aren’t just convenient in the kitchen – they’re also portable, so you can take them camping, tailgating, boating, or on RV trips.
How to Choose the Best Ice Maker for Your Needs
Keep these considerations in mind as you shop for the best ice machine:
- Size: How much ice do you need? Most countertop units are on the small side – that’s what makes them portable. If you want a higher ice production and storage capacity, consider under-counter and commercial-grade machines.
- Installation considerations: Think about how much room you have in your kitchen for a standalone ice maker and where you plan to put it. Can you easily run water to that location? If not, you may need a countertop ice machine without a dedicated water line. Of course, this means you’ll need to fill the unit manually to keep the ice coming.
- Speed: If you go through ice quickly, you need a unit with high production capacity. This is usually expressed in pounds of ice per day. Most manufacturers also disclose how long it takes to deliver the first batch of ice after plugging in the machine and adding water. Expect countertop units to take 10 or 20 minutes.
- Ice shape preference: Do you care what style of ice the machine produces? Your options include cubes, half-cubes, flakes, nuggets, crescents, and some unique shapes patented by individual manufacturers.
Types of Ice Machines
- Countertop units: If portability and ease of installation are your most important considerations, opt for a countertop unit. These are small and affordable, and they can travel with you anywhere. They come in different capacities, sizes, and finishes to match your kitchen.
- Under-counter models: If you’re looking for something more permanent, an under-counter ice machine is best. This requires professional installation and the addition of a water line. Once it’s in place, an under-counter unit is just as convenient as having a freezer with a built-in ice maker.
- Commercial-grade machines: Maximize your ice-making capacity with a commercial-grade machine. Keep in mind that the cost will be higher and the size larger.
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For more information about choosing the best ice machine or appliance repairs, please contact Mr. Appliance® today.