The Della – 048-GM-48186 is the best overall portable ice maker simply because it made the most ice the quickest and with the most consistency. The Della outperformed its competitors on both the large (26 pounds/day) and small (19 pounds/day) settings. Though the Frigidaire was a close second, averaging about a third of a pound less per day on both settings, the Della flat out won.
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Igloo sells a few portable ice makers that all garner mixed reviews. The majority of their units are still on the positive side, with many customers saying their ice machine is fast, quiet, and easy to use. However, other customers describe machines that stop working within a couple of months, along with with frustrating experiences getting the run-around from the company when they try to claim the warranty. The cost is low with Igloo, but you’re risking ending up with a product with a short life. If you decide to go with an Igloo ice maker, be sure to take a close look at what customers are saying about the model you are considering.
Durability is going to be the main reason why you should consider going with a unit that cost a bit more. If you plan on using it frequently or keeping it plugged in at all times, then you will want to consider spending a bit more to ensure you get an ice maker that is designed to last. However, if you only plan on using it for special events or when you have guests over, then a lower priced ice maker will likely fit your needs.
We spent over 50 hours measuring pounds of ice, including production and melting times, capacity and taste, and selected the Della – 048-GM-48186 as the best portable ice maker. The Della was the most efficient and user-friendly and lived up to its manufacturer’s claim of making a batch of ice in seven minutes. The Frigidaire – EFIC108 earned our runner-up title for its ice-production speed and clear LED display.
Since countertop ice makers don’t keep the ice frozen, without this feature your risk wasting water that just gets thrown out if you don’t either transfer the ice to a freezer or use it quickly enough. And you’ll have more of a mess to deal with in between uses. Intelligent water use saves on water, saves you the trouble of having to refill the machine, and ensures you can use the product without running out and having to add new water as often.
Portable ice makers are a fantastic countertop appliance for those that need supplemental ice in their home kitchen or bar but don’t want the hassle of installing a new refrigerator/freezer or clunky ice machine. Like their name suggests, these ice machines are completely portable. They require no installation. You simply pour in water, select your settings, and just like that, you’ll have fresh ice in minutes. You’ll never have to deal with those pesky ice trays permanently installed machines again.
Small enough to move on and off the counter, this impressive unit can make up to 48 pounds of ice per day, and it holds nearly 2.4 pounds for easy retrieval. Unlike other machines on this list, the Sentern Ice Maker only produces cubes—not bullet shaped ice. You can choose from small, medium, or large cubes by adjusting the cooling time, and depending on the size you choose the first batch of ice will be done in about 15 minutes. The clear, dense cubes melt slowly, keeping your cocktails cold without diluting them. Other handy features include a digital control panel for easy programming, a see-through window so you can monitor ice production, and a stain resistant exterior.
If you're not familiar with nugget ice, it's a soft and chewable type of ice that's best used for blended drinks like smoothies and frozen margaritas (if you're looking for an easy margarita recipe, try one of these margarita mixes). Nugget ice is also great for blended cocktails as it will keep your mixture cooler for a longer period of time and won't dilute the flavors.