Cool drinks are always welcome in the summer – and an ice maker comes in handy to make sure this happens. In order to be able to include ratings for weight, ice cube size, water tank and much more for our best list, our team of experts consulted countless comparisons and tests on the Internet.
Frigidaire EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker
- LARGE SEE-THROUGH WINDOW ALLOWS FOR PROCESS MONITORING & ICE…
- COMPRESSOR COOLING
- ICE IN LESS THAN 6 MINUTES
- 26LBS PER 24 HOURS, NOISE: LESS THAN 38 DB, POWER: 200W, ICE…
- CHOICE OF 2 ICE SIZES
IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop
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GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- NUGGET ICE: Enjoy chewable ice made from compacted ice…
- PORTABLE: Easily move your ice maker as needed. No water…
- QUICK & POWERFUL: Within only 20 minutes, you’ll be…
- SMART – Built-In Bluetooth Connectivity: Schedule fresh ice,…
- No water hookup required, just plug it into any 120v…
Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop
- HIGH-QUALITY ICE CUBES – Euhomy’s countertop ice maker…
- LCD & DIGITAL DISPLAY – Electronic controls for ease of use….
- WATER RECYCLING SYSTEM – Counter ice maker machine holds up…
- EFFICIENT & QUIET COOLING – Portable ice maker countertop…
- USER-FRIENDLY – Free standing design stainless steel…
Frigidaire EFIC108-B-Black Portable Compact Maker
- Convenient, compact design is ideal for use in small…
- Produces 26 pounds of ice a day – never run to the store for…
- Offers an easy-to-use LED control panel that allows you to…
- Portable ice maker requires no installation – just plug in…
- Flawless design boasts a excellent reputation, offering…
hOmeLabs Chill Pill Countertop Ice Maker
- Take a Chill Pill: Our powerful ice maker creates…
- 26 Pounds Per Day: Fill the 2.2 liter water reservoir, which…
- Sits Pretty On Your Countertop: At just 9.5 x 12.9 x 14…
- Super Fast Ice Production: Makes small or medium sized ice…
Igloo ICEB26WH Automatic Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker
- DESIGNED FOR CONVENIENCE: Portable, convenient and compact…
- LARGE ICE MAKING CAPACITY: Keep the water tank filled and…
- WATER TANK CAPACITY: 3 quarts
- ICE BASKET CAPACITY: Stores up to 2 pounds of ice at a time
- QUICK FREEZING ICE: Makes 9 small or large cylinder shaped…
Ice Maker, NOVETE Portable Ice Maker Machine
- 【FAST ICE-MAKING】This Ice Maker produces up to 9 ice…
- 【ENERGY-SAVING & NOISE-FREE】Featuring an R600a/0.8 oz…
- 【SMART REAL-TIME MONITORING】Equipped with an infrared…
- 【USER-FRIENDLY INTERFACE】Just add water, turn on the…
- 【COMPACT, SLEEK & SIMPLE DESIGN】Made with a premium…
NewAir Portable Ice Maker 28 lb. Daily - Countertop
- Choose from 3 bullet ice cube sizes
- Makes up to 28 pounds of ice per day
- Side mounted drain makes it easy to empty unused water
- 2 Indicator lights: Ice basket full indicator and empty…
- Compact, portable size is perfect for RVs and apartments
Frequently Asked Questions: Ice Makers
What is an ice maker?
As the name suggests, an ice maker produces ice cubes. Available on the market are machines that are connected directly to a water pipe, but also compact models that have a separate water tank. Good ice cube makers can produce their first ice cubes within as little as 15 minutes. Depending on the model, the size and quantity of ice cubes can be selected individually.
In the process we get, for example
- ice nuggets,
- hollow ice cubes,
- ice cones or
- small ice slices.
For the privately used ice cube machines, which are also presented in an ice cube machine test, we usually only differentiate according to the size of the cubes produced. The quantity varies from machine to machine. The size of the storage container also plays an important role here. As a rule, ice cubes should be prepared fresh and consumed immediately for hygienic reasons.
Ice cube makers are small kitchen appliances that find their place in the kitchen on the countertop. They consist of a plastic housing with a water tank. This can usually be removed for easy filling.
Inside, a high-powered compressor works with a pump system, similar to a small freezer. A CFC-free refrigerant is needed for cooling operation. Finally, a separate heating element is included in the machines so that the icicles can be released from the mold later.
Many ice cube makers are equipped with a level indicator on the water tank. In addition, user-friendly controls and an LED display ensure easy handling. Depending on the model, there is also a collection container for the ice cubes in the scope of delivery or a drop-out opening under which a separate container for the ice cubes can be placed.
Visually, most ice cube makers remind us more of a bread maker or a special form of fully automatic coffee maker. Many manufacturers rely on fashionable colors here, while others prefer a metallic aluminum surface. But glossy piano lacquer finishes are not uncommon in this area either. In any case, most ice machines are also an interesting eye-catcher.
How does an ice maker work?
Ice cube machines work according to different methods. The tested ice cube makers mainly use the so-called cone method for ice cube production.
The water from the reservoir is fed through a pump system and frozen with the help of a compressor. In the process, the water reaches an evaporating element via a distribution pipe. This produces several small icicles.
A thermostat detects when the water is frozen. After these cones have frozen hard, heat is emitted via a heating coil so that the cones fall out of the mold in the desired size.
There are also models where a complete thin sheet of ice is formed.
After the heat surge, this automatically falls into a storage container, where it shatters into many small ice cubes.
This process is repeated until the desired amount of ice is reached. Either the ice storage container fills up during this process or we can place a glass under a funnel opening. In the first case, the ice is taken with a small ice scoop and can be filled into the desired glasses.
What are the advantages & use cases of an ice maker?
Ice cube machines are an interesting solution when a few ice cubes are needed at short notice for delicious drinks. In most cases, we are not prepared for the use of ice cubes. In the warm season, it may well happen to create a cool drink or cocktail. Besides the necessary ingredients, ice is usually missing.
Not everyone has prepared an ice tray with ice cubes in the refrigerator. It usually takes quite a long time for the newly filled water in such a portitioner to freeze. Others sometimes drive to the nearest gas station, where clear bags with ready-made ice cubes are stored in the freezers. All of this, of course, is far too inconvenient for quick enjoyment.
An ice cube machine can produce the first ice cubes within a few minutes. The preparation time of the ice cube machine comparison test winners starts at just 5 minutes. Simply pour in water and turn on the machine.
Those who want to give a cocktail party or prepare cool drinks for a family celebration should prefer an ice cube machine with a capacity of at least 2 liters. Those who want to enjoy the evening alone or in pairs can also resort to a small model with a capacity of one liter.
Advantageous are such ice cube machines with 2 different ice cube sizes. In addition, it has been shown that the devices with removable water tank are much more convenient in cleaning.
The advantages of using an ice maker
- inexpensive ice cube production,
- almost silent operation,
- fast preparation time,
- easy handling and
- easy cleaning.
What types of ice makers are available?
From an ice cube maker test, we would like to give you a little more information about the differences between the various models.
In general, we can distinguish between water-cooled and air-cooled ice cube makers.
Water cooled ice maker
Water-cooled ice cube machines are the ideal solution when ice cubes need to be produced in a higher temperature environment.
These machines can be easily operated in the home kitchen, but also on the counter of catering establishments or integrated into system furniture. High humidity and heat do not bother these devices.
For example, with these ice cube machines we can produce ice cubes even in kitchen heat during the cooking and frying process. It is therefore not surprising that these devices can also be found in commercial kitchens.
The advantages of water-cooled ice makers
- fast production of ice cubes,
- devices work even at high ambient temperatures,
- low noise level,
- easy cleaning,
- and easy handling.
The disadvantages of water-cooled ice makers
- Power consumption.
Air cooled ice maker
In air-cooled ice cube makers, cooling is ensured by sufficient air supply. These machines can be recognized by the integrated fans on the sides. These ice cube makers should be installed wherever there is sufficient air circulation from all sides. The advantage is that a very cost-effective production of ice cubes is achieved.
Air-cooled models should not be placed in rooms where the ambient temperature exceeds 32 degrees Celsius. For production, heat accumulation and a higher melting effect should be avoided. Therefore, the technology is designed a little more complex.
The advantages of air-cooled ice makers
- cost-effective production with the help of ambient air,
- ideal for gastronomy and private use
- low noise level,
- easy cleaning,
- and easy handling.
The disadvantages of air-cooled ice makers
- Room temperature should not be higher than 32 degrees Celsius,
- devices should have a distance from other devices, walls and objects.
How are ice makers tested?
In our ice maker comparison, it is particularly important to show you how these devices have been tested in external tests. This information will make your purchase decision a little easier.
Packing & Scope of delivery
As with most household appliances, high-quality and appealing packaging is also important in the practical test, among other things. Most devices are delivered in colorfully printed cardboard packaging with corresponding Styrofoam inserts. The protective wrappings ensure damage-free transport. The scope of delivery usually includes:
- the actual ice cube maker,
- a water tank,
- an ice cube tray,
- an ice cube scoop and
- a detailed instruction manual.
Size & Capacity
In a test, testers assume that you want to buy a compact model for home use. The professional devices for the gastronomy sector are usually equipped with a fixed water connection and reach very large dimensions. The ice maker comparison test winners are usually not much larger than 25 x 35 x 35 cm (W x D x H) and weigh an average of 10 kg.
The capacity is very important for ice cube production. Here we are talking about the size of the water container. Ideally, this should have about 2 liters of content. This is enough to produce up to 12 kg of ice a day. In addition, there are also smaller machines that manage with one liter.
Duration of the preparation
If we are going to buy an ice maker, the biggest benefit is to produce ice cubes as quickly as possible. With a conventional freezer, we have to wait about half an hour before we can take our cubes from the ice tray. The test winners manage the production within 5 to 15 minutes. Thus, we get our iced drink much faster.
Handling and cleaning
Ice cube makers were relatively easy to operate in tests. Here they do not require complex settings and control mechanisms. A coffee machine is more difficult to operate.
Many devices have a control panel with an optical LED display in the upper area. This tells us,
- when the water tank is empty
- when the ice reservoir has become too full,
- the status display, whether the device is switched on, as well as
- the display, which ice cube supply is currently being produced.
Mostly, only a power on/off switch and a select switch come into consideration as operating elements.
What should I look for when buying an ice maker?
As we discussed above, it is not unimportant to find a suitable place for an ice maker. If you want to operate this device near the electric stove or other sources of heat, then you should immediately resort to a water-cooled ice maker.
Otherwise, a sufficient distance from walls and other obstacles is essential for an air-cooled model.
In all cases, it’s important to give your ice maker a permanent place in the kitchen or in your bar. Make sure that the water reservoir remains easily accessible.
Also, the drawer or the collection container for the ice cubes should be accessible as quickly as possible.
Ice cube makers are offered in several sizes and designs. Think carefully beforehand how many ice cubes you need. Ask yourself how many guests would like to get an iced drink from you and how often. As mentioned earlier, an average size water tank of 2 liters is perfectly adequate in most cases.
Different ice cube sizes
Very inexpensive ice cube machines can only provide you with one type of ice cubes. However, the comparison test winners are also able to offer you at least 3 different sizes. Advantageously, smaller ice cubes can also be made much faster. Very expensive ice cube makers can offer you a wide range of ice cubes and ice chips. In some cases, these are even capable of producing crushed ice, which is ideal for cocktails. Large, full ice cubes take the longest to produce.
As is well known, water is needed for the production of ice. Ice machines are therefore equipped with a water tank. We have to distinguish between those devices where we can fill a removable water tank with water or those machines where the water tank is permanently installed.
In the latter models, we have to fill the water from a jug via an openable flap, similar to a coffee maker.
Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, with ice cube makers with a separate water tank being easier to clean. Ultimately, however, this is a matter of taste and does not affect the quality of the ice cubes produced.
Ice Maker Accessories
In our ice cube maker comparison, we would also like to introduce you to one or the other accessory for these devices in more detail.
A small ice scoop or ice tongs
For hygienic reasons, we should not touch the finished ice from the ice cube machine, which is in the storage container, with our fingers. Instead, there is a handy ice scoop either included with the machine or as an optional accessory.
These scoops are sized so that we can use them to conveniently remove our desired number of ice cubes for our drink from the storage bin. Instead of a scoop, there is also a small, serrated ice tongs for individual ice cubes.
The ice crusher
To all those who prefer crushed ice in their drink instead of ice cubes, an ice crusher comes in handy. An ice crusher is similar in design to a small stand mixer. At the top, we can pour in the finished ice cubes.
By pressing a switch, the ice cubes are crushed in the maker. At the bottom of the filling opening, we then get our crushed ice. Many long drinks taste much better with crushed ice.
Ice Maker Alternatives
Finally, we would like to list possible alternatives to the ice maker. However, these should only be considered if you really only need fresh ice cubes very rarely.
The freezing process in the freezer
Every freezer comes with at least one or two freezer trays. These are filled with regular tap water and then go into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. When we fill these bowls to the brim, it often becomes not easy to put them in the freezer without spilling anything.
Depending on the size of such freezer trays, we will get enough ice cubes for our cold drinks. However, in order to get enough ice cubes for more drinks, we need to repeat the process after each emptying and keep the necessary freezing time. With an ice cube maker, this goes much faster.
Buying ready-made ice cubes
At many gas stations there are freezers in the entrance area. Here we can find packaged and frozen ice cubes in plastic bags in different sizes. Larger quantities can also be conveniently purchased there. However, we should always keep an eye on the shelf life, because for a longer cocktail evening the ice will melt away quickly.
Last product update on 2021-09-23 | Source: Amazon Affiliate