Koldfront has a couple of affordable ice maker earns predominantly positive reviews for being efficient, quiet, and easy to use. Most customers are satisfied with their purchase, but like the other more affordable brands on the list, there are some unhappy reviewers in the mix who say their ice machine didn’t last very long. Other reviewers talk about using theirs for years without an issue. There’s a decent chance you’ll be satisfied with a Koldfront portable ice machine, but at least some chance that you’ll end up with one of the lemons that don’t work as well.
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.
For a top-rated nugget ice maker that has plenty of convenient features, we recommend the FirstBuild Opal Nugget Ice Maker. It produces 1 pound of ice nuggets per hour, and the bin can hold up to 3 pounds. The clear bin lets you see how much ice you have available and it’s easy to pull forward when scooping ice (ice scoop included). The bin is also insulated to keep the ice cold, but as it inevitably melts the ice maker will sense the lower level of ice and automatically make more.
The Hamilton Beach wasn’t the fastest ice maker we tested, depositing 10 ice capsules every 10 minutes, so if you need ice in a pinch, you’ll need to turn the machine on at least one hour in advance. At $169, it’s a bit expensive, and although it did a good job, we still prefer our top pick, the Della for its speed and the amount of ice it can produce.
In general, portable ice makers are pretty easy to use. Most of them have intuitive controls, basic instructions, and no real installation requirements (you just need an electrical outlet). Some may have slightly easier to use controls than others, and some include features that make it easier to tell when the ice machine is full. On the whole though, you shouldn’t be too worried about being able to figure out how to use a portable ice machine.
When choosing from our commercial ice makers, it’s important to know your environment. Air cooled units are cost-effective solutions for cooler spaces because they don’t require additional water costs to operate, whereas water cooled models are ideal for extremely hot establishments. We also carry remote machines that operate more quietly than other ice machine equipment because the condenser is stored outside. You’ll even find space-efficient undercounter units for use in bars as well as combination machines that dispense ice and water.
If size and weight aren’t particular concerns, then the main thing to think about is the capacity. You want a machine that can hold as much as ice as you need, unless you’re okay with bagging the ice to move it a freezer to store. An ice maker that’s too small won’t fully solve your problems, and one that’s too big will likely just waste energy and space. Carefully consider how much ice you think you will need before making your purchase, as this will help you narrow down which ice maker will be best for your unique situation.
Our runner-up, the Frigidaire – EFIC108 and NewAir – AI-100BK were both within a couple of pounds of reaching their manufacturers’ claimed production of 25.6 pounds and 26 pounds per day. NewAir’s white model is nearly twice the price of the Frigidaire, and although the ice it makes is cost-efficient, we recommend looking at other colors for this model, which are substantially less expensive.
Commercial ice makers are necessary for almost any foodservice or hospitality establishment. Our ice machine equipment ensures that clean, fresh, and frozen ice is consistently made throughout the day, so you can keep foods chilled during transport or make refreshing drinks. We also carry machines of various styles and configurations, making it easy to find the option best suited for your ice producing needs.
Bryan is our cooking and kitchen expert, with more than 15 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products. When outside of the kitchen, he enjoys woodworking, photography, videography and figuring out how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. He thoroughly enjoys discovering the best, whether it’s ingredients or equipment, and finding products that can stand the rigors of daily use.
Despite its high rating on Amazon, ThinkGizmos – TG22 suffered from inconsistency between its settings, both in how much the ice tray could hold and how quickly the ice was produced. Like the units we tested, the ThinkGizmos worked best when making small ice cubes even though it produced the least amount of ice (22.4 pounds per day). At the large setting, the ThinkGizmos performed the worst, producing a meager 11.2 pounds per day.
Based in Lancaster, PA, WebstaurantStore is the largest online restaurant supply store serving food service professionals and individual customers worldwide. With thousands of available products and over 5.5 million orders shipped, we have everything your business needs to function at its best. Over the years we have expanded our selection of wholesale supplies and commercial equipment to include healthcare, educational, and hotel supplies.
Ivation is another affordable brand that sells portable ice makers that earn mixed reviews. Most customers praise their ice machines for working fast, being easy to use, and making lots of ice. A number of reviewers complain about how quickly they stop working though – some saying they only got a few weeks or months out of the machine. As with Igloo, you can save some money upfront, but may end up looking for a new portable ice maker soon if you go with Ivation.
NewAir AI-100R Stainless Steel Portable Ice Maker Enjoy NewAir AI-100R Stainless Steel Portable Ice Maker Enjoy the benefits of fresh homemade ice anytime with the NewAir AI-100R portable ice maker. This easy to use ice machine is perfect for any setting. Whether you're relaxing at home or having a party you'll love this ice maker. Makes Lots of ... More + Product Details Close
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