So, you enjoying the party at your home. Everything is going smoothly. Your guests are enjoying cocktails. Suddenly you saw- your refrigerator has no ice left.
It’s time to run with an ice bag to the nearest store…
Hate this, right?
Let’s assume another situation…
Suppose you’re enjoying a pool party with your friends and colleagues. Your crush/girlfriend just asked for a drink. You used the ice left in your refrigerator but forget that, last night your grandmother marinated meats in that freezer.
You served a cocktail to your crush, and suddenly she starts vomiting because of the taste…
The entire mood ruined… quite embarrassing, isn’t it?
You need a good ice maker to tackle such situations. The ice makers are known for producing perfect shaped ice cubes at much faster.
But, you should take care of a few things before purchasing a new ice maker.
In this ice maker guide, I’m going to explain a few things that you must consider before buying an ice machine.
It’s an ice maker buyer’s guide…
What is an ice maker?
An ice maker is a machine that decreases the temperature of water to its freezing point in a perfect shape. Ultimately, the cold water starts changing its properties and freezes into the ice.
Although every refrigerator has a freezer segment to make ice, it’s not enough if there’s a high requirement for ice.
The ice makers are specially designed for making perfect shaped soft and crunchy ice for cold drinks and beverages. You might have seen the beautifully shaped ice-cubes at the bars and restaurants. Those are made in ice maker machines.
Who needs an ice maker?
Anyone who loves partying or drinking should have an ice maker. Not only, the shape of ice made in an ice maker is beautiful but there is a lot of difference in taste if we compare with ice made in house refrigerator.
If you have a bar at home, you must have an ice maker to enjoy your drinks. Also, an ice maker performs well if there’s frequent demand for ice cubes.
In short, everyone who drinks Cocktails, Cold Coffee, Iced Tea, Lemonade, etc. should buy an ice maker to enjoy the summers.
How an ice maker work?
The functioning of an ice maker is just like a refrigerator. It works on the refrigeration cycle that includes- Compression, Condensation, Expansion, and Evaporation.
The ice make contains an electric compressor that increases the pressure of refrigerants. Later, this high pressure, high temperature refrigerant goes to a condensation unit where its temperature decreased with the heat exchanging unit.
Now, this high pressure, low temperature refrigerant goes to the expansion valve where its pressure and temperature dropped further. This low temperature liquid refrigerant takes out heat from the evaporation unit and a cooling effect takes place.
Wait… This is not a chemistry or physics class.
What are the types of ice makers?
There are various types of ice makers but we discuss the most common types here. Mainly, there are four types of ice makers- Countertop, Undercounter, Modular Ice Makers, and Ice Dispensers.
Countertop Ice Makers
The countertop ice makers are lightweight and portable. It can be kept on your home bar counter or even in the kitchen. This type of ice maker can be used for camping.
It mostly preferred for office or by the students who are living in hostels. These type of ice makers doesn’t require a water line. You need to fill the water manually.
Due to its compact and small size, there are limited features. But, that’s enough for enjoying together with your friends.
Undercounter Ice Makers
The under-counter ice makers are bigger in size and it has more features than the countertop. Like- shape of ice, size of ice, type of ice such as clear or cloudy, etc.
This type of ice machine can be kept beside any kitchen appliance or alongside a wine cooler. If there is more demand for ice, under-counter ice makers are the right fit.
Modular Ice Makers
Do you have a high requirement for ice each day? You need a modular ice maker that can produce more than 200 pounds of ice every day.
Modular ice makers are commonly used in commercial work such as beer bars, beverage stores, restaurants, ice stores, etc.
Don’t you serve manually? Do you run a self-service cafeteria? You need an ice dispenser machine.
It serves better in cafeterias, healthcare facilities, hospitals, hotels, lounge rooms, quick-service restaurants.
What type of ice maker do I need?
I have explained all the popular types of ice maker machines. Though, there are more types of ice makers that I’m listing below. Check all types then decided which type of ice maker is suitable for you…
1. Nugget Ice Maker
Nugget ice makers are more popular nowadays. You mostly saw the nugget ice at the fast-food stores or in nightclubs. It’s soft and chewable, hence also called as chewblet or sonic ice.
This type of ice is made by producing ice flakes, then scraped and further freeze. Finally cut down into small pieces and served.
It melts slowly and feels soft while chewing. It’s ideal for serving lots of smoothies, blended drinks, and cold beverages.
2. Flake Ice Maker
Flake ice is mostly used in the display cabinets of chilled meat, seafood, and salads. The first phase of nugget ice is flake ice. It’s softer than cube ice and easily chewable. It’s most suitable to use in grocery stores, markets, and buffets.
3. Clear Ice Maker
The clear ice is yet another attractive ice type. The process of production for clear ice is highly expensive. It mostly used by expensive nightclubs and restaurants.
The clear ice is harder than cube ice or nugget ice. It’s made by removing oxygen from the water particle. It looks beautiful when the glass is filled with cocktails. Everything looks so cool and transparent.
4. Shaved Ice Machine
Well, the shaved ice machine is not an ice maker. Rather, it is being used for providing a beautiful style and shape to the cube ice.
The ice shavers are generally used for making shaved ice, snow cones, slushies for kids and margaritas, ice drinks for small parties.
It doesn’t make ice cubes itself. Firstly, you need to make ice or buy ice cubes to put them inside the shaved ice machine. The shaved ice can be used in iced tea, beers, and cocktails. So, if you love the cloudy flavor and snow cones, the shaved ice machines are the right choice for you.
What size of ice maker do I need?
The size of the ice maker is described by the capacity of ice that the machine can produce in 24-hours. Most portable ice makers come with a capacity of 20-30 pounds in 24-hours. While modular ice makers can produce 200-500 pounds of ice in 24-hours.
Now, depending upon your need, you can choose the best ice maker type. I’ve explained the estimated requirements of ice-
- Restaurant– 1.5 pounds of ice per meal served.
- Cafeteria– 1.2 pounds of ice per person.
- Hotel Catering– 1.2 pounds of ice per customer.
- Beverage Service– 1 pound of ice per cup (depend on cup size).
- Salad Bar– 38 pounds of ice per cubic feet.
- Cocktail Bar– 3 pounds of ice per seat.
Note– These are just estimated calculations. Actual consumption may vary from person to person.
I hope you liked this ice maker guide. I tried to cover all the aspects as per my knowledge. If you think I have missed something, please comment below and I’ll try to cover that. Now, you can select the best ice maker from the various types of ice machines.