In today’s time and day, everything is simply about the game of convenience and a matter of minimalization. Almost everything had been innovated and develop to be as compact and portable as possible, but in the same way still able to give out more than that is expected.
Imagine this, it is a warm summer day and you just want to drink an ice-cold lemonade or water, but the problem is there is no ice available, it is such a sad and stressful feeling.
A regular refrigerator’s freezer can accommodate a little amount of ice, and it is not practical for a simple home to purchase an ice machine or ice maker because it is simply huge and pricey. Now, refrigerators have a small section for making ice, but that is not usually enough.
Lucky for us, someone had thought of addressing this ice problem through under counter ice makers. This will give establishments an ice maker that will not really require a lot of space in their place, and something that a modern home can consider of including in their house.
Please note that we have a separate counter top ice maker page.
Ready to find the best under-counter ice maker for your needs? Let’s dive right in!
- 1 Factors to Consider
- 2 Is Your Ice Maker Energy Star Rated?
- 3 Understanding The Water Filtration Technology Of The Ice Maker
- 4 Ice Maker That Are Space Savvy
- 5 Drainage Capabilities
- 6 Which Cooling Systems Is Used For The Ice Makers
- 7 Types Of Ice
- 8 What is The Purpose Of Buying An Ice Maker
- 9 5 Top Rated Under Counter Ice Makers of 2017
- 10 Whynter UIM-155 Portable Under Counter Ice Maker – Stainless Steel Body
- 11 Sunpentown IM-150US Undercounter Ice Maker – built- in front ventilation
- 12 Edge Star Portable Under Counter Ice Maker – For Commercial Use
- 13 U-Line BI95B-00 14 Portable Undercounter Ice Maker
- 14 SPT IM-600US Under-Counter Portable Ice Maker – Best For Restaurants
- 15 What’s The Best Portable Under Counter Ice Maker?
- 16 A To-Do List For Maintaining Your Ice Maker
- 17 10 Tips for Cleaning Your Portable Ice Maker
- 18 Advantages Of Having an Ice Maker At Home
Factors to Consider
Knowing the different things that are considered or found in a “best” product is a good thing to be aware of. It is one way of an assuring that you are investing in a worthwhile product, and that you have a quality one that will not cost you any further spending.
Ice may be a simple thing that you often use, but what you are investing on is on the process on which it is made. Here are a couple of factors you may want to take into consideration to help you filter choices and finally find that ice maker for you.
Is Your Ice Maker Energy Star Rated?
Of course, the amount of energy you consume on a monthly basis is one of the major references you may look into. With an ice maker being run by electricity, you will want something that does not require too much or that may add a chunk amount of in your monthly electricity bills.
It is best and advised that you always check on how energy conserving your choices of ice makers are. One thing to keep in mind is that an ice maker that is ENERGY STAR rated may help you save 15% on electricity and about 23% on water.
Understanding The Water Filtration Technology Of The Ice Maker
Another thing to consider is the water filtration system that will be incorporated in your ice maker. I mean, come on, with water being the only and basic ingredient for ice, you want to assure safety as well. Remember that ice will melt in your drinks, and all that it is made of will be consumed by you.
Although water filter is not a necessity, it is highly recommended that you consider having it. First, for health reasons, you will want your ice be made of safe and clean water. Another is that, it may be a factor when it comes to your machine maintenance that can lead to an extension of product life span.
Ice Maker That Are Space Savvy
One of the things you consider before purchasing a home and kitchen appliance is the amount of space that it may take in your home. Another thing is, every home has a concept or design that it moves around on, and you would not want to have had spent a chunk of money on your interior designer or architect just to have everything ruined bya simple ice maker now, would you?
If you find an ice maker wherein you can have the door panel customized, or something that will fit to your décor then great! Otherwise, you may want to settle and consider a standard freestanding one that will blend easily with your furniture.
Let’s face it, ice makers will require water because it is the main composition of it. Although, most under counter ice makers cannot take on keeping ice frozen all the time, which is why they require a separate drain line.
If you can afford on buying a high- end and modern ice maker, then most probably you will not have to think of the drainage capacity of it as they can surely keep ice frozen all the time. For the standard ones, they will need a drain line as they already have a ventilation system that can take care of the rest.
Which Cooling Systems Is Used For The Ice Makers
There are two types of cooling systems for ice makers, first one is the air cooled. Units that are air cooled may be a bit cheaper but the con is that they can also tend to be noisier. Plus, these units are the ones that usually emit a warm exhaust air that can affect the room temperature.
The other type is the water cooled. These are the units are the ones considered to work efficiently and quietly, although it may be priced a bit higher that the other type. It may also affect your water bill as it requires water to effectively run.
Types Of Ice
Surprising as it may sound, but the type of ice a person needs or require is a common problem which is taken seriously by companies and customers.
However, it had become a major contributor in helping out buyers in filtering out the ice makers that they will be considering. Below is a list of the different types of ice that an ice maker may produce, which may help you too:
- Cube. This is the most common type of ice that you usually see in your beverage, and is used almost everywhere – even at the comfort of your homes. It is the one that an ice tray of your refrigerator is designed after.
- Flake. The ice that are flake shaped are the ones you commonly see in the market wherein seafood and health care products are usually bruised with. They are soft ice, that may seem semi- crushed, that are mostly used for preservation purposes.
- Crushed. Crushed ice are probably the ones that are easy and comfortable to chew, and are most commonly used on snow cones. They are opaque and varies in shapes and sizes.
- Nugget. This ice type comes in a variety of shape and sizes, and you may probably have saw this in convenience stores wherein it is used when they serve drinks. It is commonly included in the keg system of their beverages.
- Gourmet. Basically used in high end, or establishments to help beverages maintain its temperature for a longer time. It is harder than that of the other types, and it melts slower to keep drinks chilled.
- Crescent. Usually found in the food and beverage industry, this ice type is a great help in terms of keeping the drinks chilled and when the place is preserving food.
What is The Purpose Of Buying An Ice Maker
With the usage of ice depending on your place, it will be easier for you to narrow down the ice makers to consider.
Knowing why you need it, and where you need it is good question to ask yourself before dropping a huge amount of money for this almost any appliance.
- Cafeteria. With an almost predictable amount of traffic a cafeteria receives, you can bet on calculating about one pound of ice per person. So, for you to avoid any ice situations or problems, invest on a sturdy machine which you can rely on peak hours.
- Restaurants. Ice has a variety of use for establishments in the food industry. They can be used for drinks, a dish, and even for preservation. A calculate on or allotment of about one and a half pound of ice per meal may be a helpful reference.
- Health Care. The medicine and health industry is a good market for ice maker sellers, as they require a huge amount of seven pound of ice per patient. This is a good reference on how much the urgency for ice is at this sector.
- Lodging. With locals and tourists going away for a quick or long vacation, these lodging establishments’ ice requirement can go for about three pound of ice per person depending on the season.
5 Top Rated Under Counter Ice Makers of 2017
Finding the right ice maker to consider can be hard especially if you do not have an idea of what is or are the ones considered to be a good one in the market now.
To have an idea of the ice makers being considered on the top now is a helpful list to have, which is why I am listing five ice makers you may and should consider.
The capacity of this ice maker machine is quite okay for a storage capacity of about six pound of ice, and can produce about 12 pounds of crescent- shaped ices. It is designed to fit any home, and with its sleek stainless body, it will surely add sophistication to your modern kitchen design. This is undoubtedly the best undercounter ice maker for a lot of folks.
Generally, this product is okay. With it meeting almost all the criteria for a best ice maker machine, it is definitely a product you cannot take off your list without careful consideration. The only possible concern is the noise complaints it receives, make sure that it is water cooled to avoid such concerns, or if you can tolerate it then okay.
This ice machine will not require a separate drain line, so your budget is safe. It can as well store a good six pound of ice smoothly, which you can use as a built- in machine or a stand alone depending on your concept.
However, even if it does not require a complicated installation process, seeking assistance from experts may still be advisable.
Overall, some may say that this product is defective or performs only half of what it is expected to do, but if you take a good look at it the main concern arises with its water connector. This is a problem that can be instantly act upon by you, so choose a sturdier replacement to avoid further damage. The capability of the machine is far more than its flaws.
A commercial- grade stainless steel door, this ice maker machine by Edge Star is designed with computerized controls that can produce a good quality cube- shaped ice for different types of establishments and use.
It has a black and quite thinner built compared to a regular ice maker, which can help you easily have it incorporated or built- in under a counter or have it stand alone. It can produce a good 45 pounds of ice which is opted to be restaurant quality, but good for daily use too.
The concerns raised in this product are something that you can actively change and control. Upon installation, you may ask for your plumber’s advice on how you can effectively manage the noise it produces, but best to make sure with the seller whether or not it is air por water cooled and why some may have raised this concern. Another is, unless you are really going for a specific ice type, it should not be a major concern, as long as the product and its by- product does its job you are fine.
When compared to other ice maker machines, it may be priced a bit higher but it is simply because of its capacity and features.
With its all- black design, it will surely add style and sophistication to your kitchen. Plus, with its compact size and height, it will not require you to allot a huge amount of space for its placement.
Aside from that, its size is not going to be a concern when it comes to it capacity as an ice maker machine.
This is a great ice maker for home use, and even though it is priced a bit higher, you may want to consider the fact that it will not require too much when it comes to water and energy supply. It is a win- win situation for you, you will be provided with enough ice needed for home use and you do not pay too much for it. It is product that proves that sometimes, size is not a measurement of capabilities.
It is designed to meet the need of restaurants, and other establishments with the same ice needs whether it be shape, quantity and quality, this stainless steel under counter ice maker will fit into any décor.
This may be the least product to consider in this list, with it not an advisable ice maker for built- in designs, it might as well serve as a regular ice machine. Although, I have nothing against this product as I am sure that it is as reliable as any ice maker machines, but there are other products that can give you the same quality without some of its cons.
What’s The Best Portable Under Counter Ice Maker?
Choosing the right ice maker machine for you may be a challenging investment decision, better make sure that you know exactly where to use it and put it to avoid purchasing something that does not fit your décor and lifestyle.
Ice type is already a vain factor for consideration but if you are using it for business, it will be a good factor to help you set a tone for your establishment. This product is a helpful thing to have in your place just makes sure you really need it as it does not come cheap.
We hope this article helps you find the best undercounter ice maker for your needs.
A To-Do List For Maintaining Your Ice Maker
Ice makers have been gaining increasing popularity in the household kitchens and food establishments.
As the machine produces ice in just a few minutes and in unlimited quantity, it makes mixing refreshing juices and beverages possible in every occasion. That is why there is always a need to maintain your ice maker.
This will not only ensure a fresh and clean ice but also an efficient ice maker in the long run.
Set Reminders That Can Remind You When Your Ice Maker Needs Maintenance
Maintaining your ice maker includes daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures. But before doing those must-do procedures, here are some important reminders.
Always – ensure that the ice maker is protected from extreme temperatures. Avoid exposing your machine to temperatures less than 40F and higher than 90F. Make sure that the ice maker has an unrestricted air flow.
Weekly – clean the exterior of your ice maker to wipe off greasy residue and inhibit mold growth.
Frequently – rinse out ice machine air filters to remove grease, dust, and lint accumulation. Avoid hitting the air filters on anything to clean since it will damage the filters.
Never – use the ice machine for storing anything.
Cleaning Tips For Your Ice Maker
It is important to maintain the cleanliness of your ice maker. Make sure to clean your machine every 3-6 months with proper cleaning solutions and materials. This will remove lime, scale, and mineral deposits in your ice maker.
Taking time in cleaning your ice maker will result to scale buildup. This impedes heat transfer and results in freeze-ups, delayed harvest times, reduced ice production, and costly repairs.
Before cleaning, always read first the owner’s manual to avoid any damage to your machine that may be caused by improper cleaning or wrong choice of cleaning solutions.
Here are the steps in cleaning your ice maker:
- Unplug and turn off your ice maker. Avoid electric shock. Make sure that the water supply to the ice maker is turned off and remove all ice and water from the bin or dispenser.
- Remove parts for cleaning. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to properly disassemble the parts to avoid any damages in the machine.
- Mix the cleaning solution with water. Refer to your owner’s manual on the appropriate amount of solution needed. You may also use a vinegar solution as an alternative cleaner. Use this to thoroughly clean all the ice maker’s parts.
- Rinse all of the machine’s areas with clean lukewarm water. This will remove any traces of chemical.
How to Sanitize Your Ice Maker
The sanitizing procedure is important to disinfect the unit and remove algae and slime. Not doing this procedure will result in the formation of dangerous slime and algae which can cause food-related diseases.
- Mix the sanitizing solution with water. Refer to your owner’s manual on the appropriate amount of solution needed.
- Use a spray bottle to apply the solution to all surfaces of the removed parts. You may also soak the removed parts in the solution.
- Replace the parts. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to properly reassemble the machine’s parts.
- Wait for 20 minutes for the sanitizer to properly disinfect the machine.
- Restart the ice maker. Press “clean” or “wash” button.
- Wait until the water trough refills then add the proper amount of sanitizing chemical for the sanitizing cycle. This usually lasts for 20 minutes.
- After the sanitizing cycle is complete, set your machine to automatically start making ice.
- Discard the first batch of ice made after cleaning and sanitizing since it still has residues.
Cleaning Tips For Your Ice Maker’s Exterior
Overlooking this simple procedure, you may run the risk of contaminating not only the ice but also your drink. The dirt you get from touching a dirty exterior will be transferred to the ice. Cleaning this part of the machine needs a diluted bleach solution, and a damp cloth to wipe off dirt and residue.
- Clean the ice maker’s exterior as often as necessary, at least once a week. This will maintain machine’s cleanliness and efficient operation.
- Wipe the machine’s surface with a damp cloth rinsed with a diluted bleach solution to remove dust and dirt from the outside of the ice maker.
- See your owner’s manual for restrictions. Do not use chlorinated, citrus-based, or abrasive cleaners on exterior panels and plastic trim.
Ice makers, if maintained properly, will be a valuable tool for any home and food establishments. They can help quench thirst especially during the heat of summer. As with any appliances, ice maker needs daily cleaning and sanitizing to be always at its best.
There is a myriad of cleaning and sanitizing solutions available in the market. Make sure to choose what is best and safe for your machine.
Always read your owner’s manual for instructions and cautions. Follow the list outlined above and you will enjoy many years with your dependable ice maker!
10 Tips for Cleaning Your Portable Ice Maker
Ice is a staple in every food service setting. Its use ranges from cafeterias, restaurants, bars, cafes, to household kitchens.
With an ice maker, there will be no worry about running out of…err ice, since it can easily produce it in mere minutes.
Even with its constant use, the ice maker is easily one of the most easily neglected appliances. This eventually results in the poor quality of ice produced or an expensive trip to a service technician when the ice maker breaks down.
Either as a food establishment owner or a busy homemaker, you should always make sure that all food products are clean and of excellent quality. That is why it is important to regularly clean the ice maker. Any part of the unit that comes in contact with water can have a scale, slime, or mold built up. These contaminants will be combined in the ice produced by the unit and may harm anyone who uses the ice.
Cleaning the ice maker will not only ensure safe ice for consumption but also lengthen the life of the appliance.
What are mere minutes of cleaning the ice maker if it will avoid the hassle of buying another unit or worrying about any disease contracted from dirty ice?
Proper Cleaning Materials and Solutions
To have faster results in your cleaning endeavor, there are commercial grade cleaners available in the market.
Nickel-free cleaner and a soft rag for wiping are needed in the cleaning process. Vinegar solutions are also good choices to clean an ice maker.
It is proven to be food and machine safe and its acidity is good for sterilization. The only downside to using vinegar as a cleaner is its low acidity makes the cleaning time longer.
However, it is effective in removing hard-water deposits. Lemon or lemon water can also be used instead of vinegar.
10 To-Do Tips
- Make sure to clean the ice maker every 3-6 months.
- Clean the machine exterior every week. This will remove daily greasy residue.
- Ensure that the ice maker is protected against extreme temperatures. Avoid cleaning the machine at temperatures less than 40F or hotter than 90F.
- Always follow the proper instructions written out in the ice maker’s manual. There may be specific instructions and cleaner solutions to be used in cleaning the ice maker.
- All ice produced during the cleaning process must be thrown away. It is also highly advised to discard the first batch of ice made after cleaning.
- Observe safety precautions when handling chemicals. Wear rubber gloves and protective glasses when handling cleaner and sanitizer solutions.
- Do not mix cleaner and sanitizer solutions together.
- Make sure to read and follow the instructions stated on the cleaner and sanitizer solution bottles.
- Do not leave the control in ON switch for an extended period of time when the water tank is empty during cleaning. This will prevent damage to the water pump.
- Know your equipment. Be familiar with the ice maker’s material construction to avoid using chemicals that will harm it.
Clean Ice Makers = No Headache
Whether you are using ice for commercial or home purposes, it’s very important to always use a fresh, dirt-free ice. Keep in mind that a clean ice maker will always produce a clean and safe ready to use ice. Make it a habit to clean your ice maker every 3-6 months and always consult the owner’s manual before cleaning.
Advantages Of Having an Ice Maker At Home
A growing amount of household and business establishments are already realizing the need for a portable ice maker.
Why? Because it’s just damn too useful!
Although people are still using traditional coolers to get their beverages and food cold, it’s high-time you start investing in an ice maker! If you’re still on the fence about replacing your old cooler with a state-of-the-art ice maker, reading this article may help you decide. These are 4 advantages of having an ice maker.
Ice Makers Have Replaced Freezers And Coolers
Freezer and cooler have been around for a long time that they are now considered as necessities in producing ice for drinks and chilling food. But there are times that these appliances fall short from our expectations.
Most freezers and coolers do not only contain ice. They also contain other food articles.
This makes it difficult to make as many ice cubes as you like because there will be less room for storage.
Aside from that, there can be a possibility of contamination or unpleasant taste in your ice since some enzymes or juices from other food may accidentally mix with the ice.
The other thing to consider is accessibility. With many foods in the way, you may have to rummage first before getting those ice cubes that you prepared since last night.
What if there is an occasion going on or you are really thirsty? It will surely be a hassle.
Advantages Of Portable Ice Makers
So why choose an ice maker over other ice-producing machines? Well, there are 4 main reasons:
They Are Lightweight and Handy
A portable ice maker has an average of 20-31 lbs and dimensions not greater than 15 inches. This machine is a space saver whether sitting on a countertop or in a vehicle compartment with your other things.
From the name itself, a portable ice maker can be carried everywhere you want to enjoy a nice cold drink. All you need are tap or bottled water and a power outlet available for this machine to produce ice.
Since this machine is portable, there is no need for a trip to and from the house to just get ice cubes for chilling drinks and foods. This prevents unnecessary mess or accidents caused by water drippings on floors or any surface.
They Can Be Carried Easily
Because of its portability, this machine is a favorite during camping trips, parties, outdoor activities, and in every opportunity to enjoy a cool drink. Unlike in a non-portable ice maker, there is no need for drainage system.
You’ll just pour clean water in the machine’s water compartment to have your ice cubes in 10 minutes.
It is eco-friendly because it reuses the melted water you put in the compartment and turns it into ice again!
If the ice melts, the machine will just refreeze it. In terms of appearance, many portable ice makers are designed to look compact and come in neutral colors.
This makes the machine look sleek and adaptable in any place and event.
They are User-Friendly
Most portable appliances have minimal buttons and user-friendly setting – and a portable ice maker is not an exemption. Standard portable ice makers have only 3 buttons to operate. There is also a LED indicator to signal when there is a need for water refill.
Since portable ice makers are resistant to rust, maintaining and cleaning this machine is easy.
You will only need a cleaning solution or a homemade vinegar solution and a soft rag to get rid of dirt and any mineral deposits.
Just follow a set of simple steps in maintaining this machine and your ice maker will have a longer life.
They can Save Money
The average price of a freezer ranges from $200 upwards while a cooler costs from $200-900.
Although portable ice makers only cost upwards of $300 because they’re…portable. They’re small so they don’t cost much!
As for electricity consumption, ice makers actually consume a lot of electricity since freezing water needs a lot of energy, although newer models have improved in terms of efficiency since 2012.
Its maintenance is a lot cheaper since you just need a cleaning and sanitizing solution and a soft cloth for to wipe the inside dirt away.
Repair is relatively easier and cheaper as well and in most cases requires only simple steps to troubleshoot most common issues.
They Produce Ice In 10 Mins
A portable ice maker can produce ice in as fast as 10 minutes and an average of 35 lbs. of ice in 24 hours. Another unique feature of this machine is its nugget-shaped ice cubes.
As compared to their cube-shaped ice cubes from ice trays, nugget-shaped cubes produced by a portable ice maker only needs a simple tap for it to loosen from being stored in a freezer for future use.
Portable ice maker can also produce varying ice cube sizes for different drinks that you will prepare.
They Are Compact
You will notice that appliances are getting increasingly smaller and compact to adapt to the functionalist lifestyle that many people lead. Amid these throngs of appliances, the portable ice maker embodies the concept of simplistic but functional way to refresh oneself – whether by quenching your thirst or for chilling food.
So, it comes with no surprise that this machine will eventually be one of the must-haves in households and food establishments.