A portable ice maker is a compact appliance that makes ice fast in larger and consistent quantities.
Portable ice makers are also known as countertop ice machines as they fit in most spaces, making them great for small kitchens, countertops, and RV camping.
There are several designs of portable ice makers. This is a good thing. However, it can be a bit chaotic when you need to choose a unit.
This is why it’s important to understand what to consider before spending your money. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for when buying a portable ice maker.
Things to Look for When Buying a Countertop Portable Ice Maker
1. Type and Size of Ice Produced
You can get 7 types of ice from ice-making machines. The most common types from portable ice makers are bullet, nugget, diamond, and full cubes.
Not all ice maker machines produce all types of ice. You need to check the specifications of a given unit to establish the type it produces.
Some brands produce specific machines for different ice types. I’m sure you’ve seen nugget ice makers that are becoming very popular.
It’s safe to mention nugget ice makers are more expensive. You might find others going for up to $600!
Aside from the shape, you need to consider the size of ice produced. You can get large, small, and medium ice.
When it comes to size, most machines have an option to choose from. You can also make more than one size.
Another important consideration is the capacity of the appliance.
When it comes to the capacity of the machine there are two when things to consider production and storage capacity.
Production capacity is the quantity of ice the Machine makes every day. For most portable types, the production capacity is 26 pounds per day.
On the other hand, storage capacity is the quantity of ice the appliance can store at a given time when full.
The storage capacity is usually lower. Once the storage bin is full, ice production stops.
For example, the Euhomy Countertop Ice Maker has a production capacity of 26lbs daily. This is about 9 pieces of ice per cycle. The ice basket capacity of 1.1lbs.
To meet the production capacity, you might need to use the ice quickly or transfer it to the freezer.
The best way to narrow it down is to determine how much ice you’ll need at a time and in a day.
Design relates to the shape, color, and general appearance of the ice maker. It is mostly determined by your preference and aesthetics.
You may need to pay close attention to the design of the ice maker if it will be on display or on the countertop.
Find a unit that matches or easily blends in with your decor. There are several color options- grey, white, black, silver, red, blue, and pink.
Generally, portable ice makers feature a similar style. Most have a display window, screen panel, air outlet, and drain plug.
The diagram below shows the main parts of a portable ice maker.
When buying an ice maker, we’d recommend spending not less than $100. This increases the likelihood of purchasing a durable unit.
Compare features of the products within your budget range. Choose one that will meet most of your needs but won’t dent your pocket.
A unit with more features and a sturdy build is more expensive. Check on the quality of the material to further gauge if the price is warranted.
The basic features to look out for include a drain plug, decent storage, and production capacity, production time, great design, ease of use, and maintenance.
If you’re an ice eater and prefer nugget ice, you’ll need to dig deeper into your pocket. A quality nugget ice maker starts at $300+.
Like with many kitchen appliances, there are hundreds of brands that manufacture ice maker machines.
The brand you go for is a matter of preference. However, when it comes to these specific machines, there are top industry brands.
The best brands to consider include Fooing, Euhomy, Frigidaire, Ecozy, Gevi, and NewAir. They are available in most stores.
You’ll find that these brands offer a variety of ice-making machines, and you’ll get one that meets your needs.
Take your time and look through the catalogs, product specifications, prices, and customer reviews.
6. Special Features
There are portable ice machines that have innovative features that most lack. The features aid in automating the ice-making process.
You can set the time the unit starts or stops and size selection beforehand. There’s also a self-cleaning feature if you prefer to minimize manual cleaning.
Seek to find out whether the appliance produces clear or cloudy ice. The operating noise level should also be low, preferably less than 40 decibels.
Other benefits to look out for include a product warranty, a scoop, and any certification that makes using the appliance friendly.
Where Can I Use a Portable Ice Maker?
Now that you know what to think about before purchasing an ice maker machine, you need to know where to use it to fully enjoy the benefits of owning the appliance.
Places you can use a portable ice maker are:
- Home Bar
- Outdoor Spaces such as patios, pool area & balcony.
Portable ice makers are great inventions that come in handy in a variety of spaces. There are several factors to consider before purchasing this appliance.
You must identify your need to be able to choose what product or brand will work best.
Another key issue is your budget. The amount of money you have available can limit or open up your options.
Ensure to pay attention to special features such as self-cleaning, warranty, timers, and the ability to make clear ice instead of cloudy.
Irrespective of what unit you buy, portable ice-making machines can be used in and outdoor. Whether in the house, camping, or traveling, the machine’s versatility is something to appreciate.