There are few things more satisfying than watching a perfectly clear ice cube slowly melt into your favorite cocktail. Those who know good cocktails know that ice is a key influencer.
Different shapes and sizes influence the way the drink looks and tastes. Larger baseball-sized cubes keep your neat drinks cool without watering them down. Smaller crushed ice keeps long drinks ice cold.
A countertop ice maker might be just what you need if any of this rings true. Traditional ice production in a freezer is slow, low quality, and can be unclean.
Navigating the world of Countertop Ice Makers can be slippery, but we’ve created a guide to help you breeze through it.
Once you’ve read through these FAQs you’ll be prepared to make the right purchase for you and your family.
1) Who Is the Ideal Client for a Countertop Ice Machine?
A countertop ice machine is ideal for people who love the perfect cube of ice in a cocktail. They love the ease of use and the speed at which the ice freezes. Portable ice machines are fun for people who love gadgets too.
The holidays are just around the corner and will be a perfect gift for someone on your list.
2) What Makes It Portable?
Countertop ice makers DO NOT require a water line or drain line, unlike refrigerators. You simply fill the water reservoir and then plug the machine into a standard 110-120V outlet.
3) How Do They Work?
Countertop ice makers work in the same way as traditional freezers. They fill trays with the water supply and freeze it with a fan and compressor. The ice cubes are then released from the trays with a warm refrigerant.
4) How Long Does It Take the Ice to Freeze?
Unlike traditional freezers, countertop ice makers can freeze cubes much faster. Smaller machines have cycles as little as 6-12 minutes. Larger freezers can take several hours.
5) How Do You Get Perfectly Clear Cubes?
Look for a “clear ice maker”.
Did you know that clear ice melts five times slower than cloudy ice?
In addition to looking fantastic it keeps your drink less diluted, and cold longer.
For the researcher in you, check out a scientific explanation of clear ice production.The Countertop Ice Makers guide will make sure you have the knowledge to get the product you want.
6) How Do I Clean the Machine?
Countertop Ice Makers are easy to clean. Every part can be removed and washed thoroughly. Refrigerator water lines, trays, and drain lines are impossible to access. That leaves a lingering suspicion that the ice you consume might not be clean.
Typical cleaning steps:
- Turn off and unplug the machine
- Toss out any remaining ice and water
- Take out all the parts that have contact with the ice
- Clean and sterilize with 1 part ice machine cleaner and 3 parts water
- Run clean water through to rinse
- Wipe all surfaces and let air dry
- Reassemble the machine and then discard the 1st set of ice
Ice machines should be cleaned every 3 to 6 months to avoid issues. This keeps your ice tasting fresh and flavorless.
7) Do I Need to Be Using a Special Kind of Water?
Yes. Unfiltered tap water can be damaging to your machine. Tap water can cause a buildup of lime and scale, due to hard water. This accumulated substance can cause your machine to malfunction, decrease energy efficiency, and create unwanted repair costs.
It’s important to use filtered water. This helps to protect the functionality of the machine but also the taste of the ice. As the ice melts the water has an influence on the cocktail.
It would be a shame to ruin your favorite spirit with a foul-tasting cube.
For other mistakes that ruin homemade cocktails
8) What Are the Different Cube Sizes and Styles?
It seems that every person has a favorite ice style. There are those that like the small and crunchable nugget ice. As well there are many fans of the common bullet ice, which are cylinders with hollow centers.
Cocktail enthusiasts are more inclined to larger spheres of ice. Each machine has a different shape. This should be a point of consideration as you make your decision to purchase your machine.
There are several machines on the market where you switch between smaller and larger cubes size depending on your need.
9) How Much Do They Cost?
The price range for ice makers is vast. There are smaller machines that come in at less than $100 dollars. As the machines become more sophisticated the price goes up. The top-of-line industrial machines can easily cost more than $1000.
Like with anything, you just have to weigh the cost with the usage. If it seems more of a novel idea, then perhaps go for a more affordable machine. If you’ll be using a machine for your business, then a larger investment would be warranted.
10) Can I Use My Machine Outdoors?
Yes, it is portable and works wherever you have an outlet. However, a hot ambient temperature will influence the production time.
11) What’s the Difference Between Production Capacity and Storage Capacity?
Most ice makers list a daily production capacity. That’s the amount of ice it can make in a 24 hour period. The storage capacity is the amount of ice that can fit in the storage bin. Both amounts are described by weight, ex. “150 lbs. of ice production”.
Still wondering which machine is best for you? Breeze through this buying guide to help you make the right purchase.
Countertop Ice Makers to Suit Your Needs
It seems there is always another holiday around the corner. Once you’ve cleaned up after Thanksgiving, it’s already Christmas. One birthday party ends and another begins.
If you love to celebrate in style and cherish the details, a portable ice maker is exactly what you need. Your party will never run out of ice again and there’ll be no more runs to the gas station in the middle of an event.
We hope this Countertop Ice Makers guide is a valuable resource for you.
If you there are any remaining questions feel free to contact us anytime.