Everyone loves ice. We use it in a thousand different ways: to make mixed drinks, to cool us down on a hot day, to bag it to cool a sore or swollen joint, or as a snack when we are homesick.
For many people, ice made from trays or built-in Best Residential Ice Maker is sufficient, but others consume far more ice than can be produced by these small machines and methods. By producing ice in large quantities, you can have the amount of ice you need when you need it and not have to buy a 10-pound bag from the neighborhood store when you are entertaining.
While many machines are very good, some are just not worth the money, and it can be difficult to tell the difference right from the start. That’s where this buying guide comes in. Here is a brief overview of what a good ice machine looks like and what makes a great under-counter ice machine.
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Best Residential Ice Maker
What is an under-counter ice maker?
An under-counter ice maker is a separate device from a refrigerator. They are installed under the counter in the same way as dishwashers and beverage coolers to produce fresh ice at all times.
Types of Undercounter Ice Machines
When purchasing an under-counter ice maker, you need to make a stylistic decision.
Built-in, freestanding, or portable
Built-in ice makers are installed directly into kitchen cabinets and fit snugly under the counter.
Stand-alone ice makers are self-contained ice makers that do not need to be built in. Stand-alone ice makers often have finished sides and vented fronts.
Portable ice machines are generally smaller. They can be placed anywhere near a power source, either on or under the counter. The disadvantage is that the water for this ice maker must be filled by hand, but the advantage is that there is no need to install new piping to supply water to the ice maker.
Tray, bin, and bucket types
Tray-type ice machines have a removable storage bin.
Bucket-type ice machines store ice in removable stainless steel buckets.
Tray-type ice machines are like small refrigerators with ice inside, some with dispensers.
Indoor or outdoor (some can do both!).
Outdoor ice machines are designed to withstand rain, wind, and snow. This means they can use more weather-resistant materials for components such as door panels, door hinges, and fan motors. It is also important that outdoor ice machines can make ice regardless of changes in outside temperature, so there is no need to worry about the machine shutting down during extreme heat or snowstorms. Some ice machines, like True Residential’s ice machines, can be installed indoors or outdoors.
Best Residential Ice Maker | Comparison Table 2023
5-Stars Pick | Great Prices | High Quality
|(Refurbished) GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker||GE Major Appliances||Check Price|
|Igloo ICEB26HNSS Automatic Self-Cleaning Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker Machine With Handle, 26 Pounds in 24 Hours, 9 Ice Cubes Ready in 7 minutes, With Ice Scoop and Basket, Stainless||Igloo||Check Price|
|EdgeStar IB120SS Built in Ice Maker, 12 lbs, Stainless Steel and Black||EdgeStar||Check Price|
|Frigidaire EFIC117-SS 26 Pound Ice Maker, 26 lbs per day, Silver||FRIGIDAIRE||Check Price|
|Newair 30 Lb. Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Slim, Space-Saving Design, A Self-Cleaning Function, Automatic Water Line and Refillable Water Tank||NewAir||Check Price|
|Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop, 40Lbs/24H Auto Self-Cleaning, 24 pcs Ice Cube in 13 Mins, Portable Compact Ice Cube Maker, with Ice Scoop & Basket, Perfect for Home/Kitchen/Office/Bar (Silver)||E EUHOMY||Check Price|
|hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine - Makes 99 Pounds Ice in 24 hrs with 29 Pounds Storage Capacity - Ideal for Restaurants, Bars, Homes and Offices - Includes Scoop and Connection Hose||hOmeLabs||Check Price|
|Magic Chef MCIM22ST 27 lb Ice Maker Stainless Steel||Magic Chef||Check Price|
|Frigidaire EFIC103-AMZ-SC Counter Top Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket, Stainless Steel, Self Cleaning Function, Heavy Duty, Stainless||FRIGIDAIRE||Check Price|
Best Residential Ice Maker | Reviews 2023
The GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is a stylish and powerful addition to any kitchen or home bar. Measuring at 15.5 x 14.25 x 17.2 inches, it is the perfect size for any countertop. With its elegant design, it will wow your guests before they even try the delicious ice it makes.
One of the most impressive features of the Opal is its speed. Within only 20 minutes, you’ll be enjoying soft, crunchy ice, just like the ice you love from your favorite restaurant. The Opal produces 24 lbs. of ice per day, and the bin holds 3 lbs. at a time, so you’ll always have a steady supply of ice on hand.
Another great feature of the Opal is its smart technology. It is Bluetooth equipped, so you can set up your ice making schedule from the convenience of your phone using the free GE Profile Opal app. It also senses when the bin is full of ice, so it won’t overfill, meaning you’ll never have to worry about running out of space for your ice.
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The Igloo ICEB26HNSS Automatic Self-Cleaning Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker Machine is a convenient and compact option for creating ice on-demand. Its sleek stainless steel design looks great on any countertop, and the carry handle makes it easy to move from room to room. With a 2 quart water tank capacity, this unit can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period, ensuring that you always have enough ice to keep your drinks cold.
One of the standout features of this ice maker is its automatic 5 cycle cleaning function, which makes clean up easy and effortless. This allows for cleaner ice every time, without the need for manual scrubbing or cleaning. The ice basket has a capacity of 1.25 pounds and can be easily removed to transfer ice cubes to your drinks. Additionally, the machine can make 9 small or large cylinder shaped ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes, so you never have to wait long for ice.
The EdgeStar IB120SS Built-in Ice Maker is a high-quality ice maker that is perfect for both built-in and freestanding installation. Its front venting design makes it compliant with ADA height requirements, making it accessible to everyone. The unit comes with a 25-foot long 1/4" water line connection, allowing for easy and convenient installation. It also has a reversible door that can be swung open from either the left or the right side, and an included ice scoop for easy ice retrieval.
This ice maker has an on/off power switch and an auto shut-off feature that activates when the ice bin is full, ensuring that you never run out of ice. It has the capability of producing up to 12 pounds of ice per day and can store up to 6 pounds of ice at a time.
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The Frigidaire EFIC117-SS is a portable ice maker that is perfect for those who want to enjoy a steady supply of ice without having to constantly purchase bags from the store. With a daily production of 26 lbs, this ice maker can keep up with even the highest demand. The ice maker has a sleek and stylish design, featuring a stainless steel exterior, silver lid and a see-through window that allows you to keep an eye on the ice production.
The ice maker comes with soft-touch electronic controls that are easy to use and have LED indicators to let you know when the ice is ready. The 2.3 quart reservoir ensures that you have plenty of ice on hand at all times, while the built-in air outlet fan helps to keep the ice from melting. The convenient, compact design of the Frigidaire EFIC117-SS makes it ideal for use in small kitchens, RVs, boats, dorm rooms, and other compact spaces.
The Newair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is a high-quality appliance that can produce up to 30lbs of ice per day, making it perfect for parties, events, or simply keeping your home or office well-stocked with ice. The ice maker can produce restaurant-quality, chewable nugget ice in just 10 minutes, so you'll never have to wait long for a cold drink.
One of the standout features of this ice maker is its self-cleaning function, which helps to keep impurities and impurities out of the ice, ensuring that it always has a great taste. Additionally, the ice maker offers two ways to refill the water tank: you can hook up the included water line or remove the basket and fill the reservoir manually. The large window on the top of the unit allows you to easily see the ice being made and when it is ready.
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The EUHOMY Ice Maker Machine Countertop is a compact and portable ice cube maker that can produce up to 40lbs of ice per day. It is perfect for use in homes, kitchens, offices, and bars. The machine has a silver finish and comes with an ice scoop and basket.
One of the standout features of this ice maker is its ability to produce quick, chewable, and crunchable nugget ice. Unlike traditional hard cubes, this ice is perfect for use in cocktails, sodas, and other beverages. The machine also has an easy-open water reservoir that allows you to simply pour water to fill it, and the reservoir is also easy to clean by yourself.
Another great feature of this ice maker is its professional pure copper nickel-plated ice tray that has anti-corrosion and anti-rust functions. This ensures that your ice cubes will be safe and hygienic to consume.
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The hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine is a powerful and efficient ice making machine designed for commercial and large household use. It is capable of producing 99 pounds of ice in 24 hours, and quickly makes 45 pieces of clear ice in one cycle within 11-20 minutes. This machine also features a 29 pound storage capacity, which holds enough ice to be enjoyed by all.
The freestanding design of this ice maker allows for easy installation anywhere inside your home, pantry or restaurant. It has a sleek, rust-resistant stainless steel interior and comes with a full set of accessories including an ice scoop, water supply hose, water supply connector and a water draining hose, making it easy to use and maintain.
The Magic Chef MCIM22ST portable countertop ice maker is a convenient and efficient way to ensure that you never run out of ice again. With the ability to make up to 27 pounds of ice per day, this compact and lightweight machine is perfect for entertaining guests or for use in your home kitchen.
One of the standout features of this ice maker is its speed. It can produce ice in as little as 7 minutes, making it ideal for those times when you need ice quickly. Additionally, it offers a choice of two ice cube sizes, allowing you to customize the size of your ice to suit your needs.
The Frigidaire EFIC103-AMZ-SC Counter Top Maker is a heavy-duty, stainless steel ice maker that comes with an oversized ice bucket. It has a large capacity, with a reservoir located beneath the ice basket that can produce up to 26 Lbs of clear ice cubes per day. The ice maker is also efficient and easy to use, taking less than 6 minutes to make bullet-shaped ice and storing up to 2.2 lbs in the basket. The user-friendly and straightforward electronic controls make it simple to operate.
One of the great features of this ice maker is its versatility, as you have the choice to make ice cubes in two different sizes. Its modern design, with a stainless steel exterior and large transparent window, allows you to see your ice being made. The user-friendly digital control panel also lets you know when the bin is full and when the water is empty, and when the ice is ready, it falls into the provided ice bucket and is ready to be served.
Another great feature of this ice maker is its automatic self-cleaning program. Simply plug the unit in, then press the "ON/OFF" button for more than 5 seconds to enter the self-clean program. The program takes about 30 minutes to complete.
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How To Pick The Best Residential Ice Maker | Ultimate Buyer's Guide 2023
Capacity is quite simple. Ice machines have the ability to constantly hold a certain amount of ice and produce a certain amount of ice per day.
Typically, the amount of ice that can be produced per day is approximate twice the amount of ice that can be stored at any one time. Thus, for example, an ice machine that produces 25 pounds of ice per day will generally be able to store 12 pounds of ice at a time.
Twenty-five pounds is a good baseline and the average I would expect, so most ice machines fall into this range.
Size is the external dimensions of the ice machine. It is usually intended to be placed under a counter or on a bar or island, so it should be fairly short. The size, width, and length will vary from cabinet to cabinet, but the average counter in a typical home is about 28 inches high and 14 to 15 inches wide, and the length can really be a fluke. Be sure to measure your workspace before purchasing.
Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $3,000, not including installation costs. A countertop ice machine is a substantial investment, and purchasing the best countertop ice machine can be costly. Carefully calculate how much you can spend on the machine itself and any necessary renovations before deciding if the purchase is worth it.
How fast does the ice need to be? The importance of speed depends on whether you want to make a large amount of ice in advance or if you want a constant flow rate. Some ice machines will provide the first supply of ice quickly enough to get the party started, but if you do not have enough ice storage space, it is wise to purchase an ice machine that can handle hourly demand.
Whether you have a large thirsty family or occasionally make your own drinks, you will want to choose an ice maker that meets your needs. Aside from the speed of ice making, the size of the ice machine will also affect the amount of ice it produces. A compact ice maker requires less ice to be emptied more frequently than a large ice maker because it holds less ice at one time.
Types and Sizes of Ice
Portable ice makers come in a variety of ice shapes, including balls, nuggets, crescents, and cubes, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Do you like tropical or blended drinks? You will need a machine that can produce nugget-shaped ice. If you like to stir your drinks, a machine that produces slow-melting ice is ideal. Also, not all ice machines have different sizes of ice cubes, but some can dispense up to three different sizes of ice cubes.
Types of Ice Machines
Where do you most often need ice? Outside on the patio, in the kitchen, in a restaurant? There are built-in ice makers that not only have high storage capacity, but also blend in with your decor or can be hidden under the counter. Countertop models are smaller, but are useful when extra or regular ice is needed.
Some ice makers have automatic timers that allow you to choose the size and thickness of ice as well as set the time it takes for the ice to be ready. Some models also have a self-cleaning feature if cleaning the ice maker on a regular basis is a hassle. If you only drink one glass, consider a machine that has both a water dispenser and an ice maker.
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Best Residential Ice Maker | Video Explanation
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a countertop ice maker work?
Although it varies from model to model, a typical ice maker first feeds water into a mold to make ice. The ice maker monitors the freezing progress, and when the ice in the mold has frozen, the mold is heated slightly to break up the ice easily and eject it into a storage bin. This process is repeated as long as there is water or space for ice.
Does the portable ice maker require plumbing for water?
Because they are designed for easy mobility, most portable ice machines have water tanks and do not require dedicated water piping. However, some commercial units that individuals can choose from require water piping and possibly drainage piping as well.
What is nugget ice?
The nugget ice cream looks like crushed ice, but it is quite different. Crushed ice starts as large cubes and is broken into smaller pieces. Nugget ice is made by compressing flakes of ice into a nugget shape. When you bite into a piece of crushed ice, it is hard and firm. The nugget ice breaks.
What is ball ice?
Ball ice is cylindrical in shape and has a rounded tip, making it look like a large ball. The cylinder is often hollow, which increases the surface area and cools the drink faster. Bullet ice is often cloudy white, making it unattractive for clear drinks.
Can countertop ice machines keep ice frozen?
Many countertop ice machines do not have a freezer compartment for storing ice. Even with insulation in the tray, the ice will eventually melt. The water then flows back into the tank and refreezes. Larger, more expensive ice machines may have a freezer to keep the ice frozen.
Do tabletop ice machines use a lot of electricity?
Depending on the model, ice makers generally do not consume much electricity. Power consumption varies depending on the operation of the ice maker (freezing, pumping, mold heating) and can vary considerably from 50 to 160 watts, but averages 100 watts per hour.
How do I clean the ice machine?
Start by unplugging the ice machine. Turn the unit upside down or open the drain plug (if present) to drain all liquid from the tank. Remove the ice maker and wipe it clean with a soft sponge soaked in a small amount of vinegar and warm water. Then wipe the inside with the same sponge and vinegar/water solution (the outside can simply be wiped with a damp cloth). Finish by wiping the entire area with a soft, dry cloth. Wait about an hour for the ice machine to dry completely before replacing the ice pan and plugging it in. If your ice machine has a wash cycle option, activate it now. If your ice machine does not have this option, let it make ice for a few cycles and then discard the ice or feed it to the plants.
How does the ice machine work?
Portable ice machines work differently than commercial machines. A typical consumer machine requires the water tank to be filled to the full line. The water is then pumped from the tank through a water filter to the ice-making pan. A compressor and fan freeze the water into ice, or pins are lowered into the water to make it very cold. The pins are then heated by the hot refrigerant and heat exchanger, and the ice slides down and into the ice basket. An ice machine can take several minutes to make ice, from 5 to 20 minutes per cycle.
How do I repair an ice machine?
If your ice maker is not making ice, troubleshoot before calling in a professional. First, check to see if the power cord is damaged or unplugged, then check to see if the water tank is empty. If the tank is shown as empty even though water has been added, look for a sensor and clean it to avoid a false indication. Another possibility is a clogged water line. This is usually caused by mineral deposits from hard water. Remove the water filter, clean it well, and check for clogged pipes or channels.
Undercounter ice makers are very practical tools for making large quantities of ice in a short time. Compared to portable ice makers, these machines have more powerful motors, larger capacities, and more solid construction. They are more efficient, but take up more space and are noisier. They are expensive but well worth it. If you want to buy a good one, our review of the Best Residential Ice Maker contains almost everything you need to make the most informed purchase.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here