Ice maker machines have come a long way in the last few decades. In the past, an ice maker would cost quite a fair sum of money to purchase, and only restaurants and business establishments could afford to have one. However, the problem of organizing parties at home remained, where people could never seem to produce enough ice for the drinks!
Thankfully, modern ice maker technology has improved by leaps and bounds. There are now many types of ice makers that you could purchase for your home. However with the myriad choices, it is likely that many of us would be confused at which model would be the most suitable for us! Here’s a look at the top 5 home ice makers for 2016:
|Model No.||Price Range ($)||Output (lbs per day)||Form||Storage (lbs)||Overflow Protection|
|Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Ice Maker||100-199||26||Portable||0||Yes|
|Ivation IVAICECLEARTOPS Ice Maker||100-199||26.5||Portable||0||Yes|
|iGloo ICE102 Ice Maker||100-199||26||Portable||0||No|
|Knox KN-IM27SS Ice Maker||200-299||27||Portable||2.5||Yes|
|Andrew James AJ000221 Ice Maker||£99 or less||33 (15kg)||Portable||0||Yes|
In a hurry?
Before the ice maker existed, homeowners used an ice tray to get ice. This was just a plastic tray a person poured water into and then waited for the water to freeze into the mold of the tray. An ice maker is more or less the same idea. The only difference is the process is automated. This saves time and gives a homeowner and endless supply of ice.
In the picture: Whynter IMC-270MS Compact Ice Maker
Why Purchase An Ice Maker?
Naturally, an ice maker is a must have for anyone who is in the business involving the food industry. The question is – how does a regular homeowner benefit from having an ice maker? Why should a homeowner purchase an ice maker?
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The first, and largest, benefit to having an ice maker in a home is the amount of space it will save in a freezer. There is nothing wrong with stashing a few ice trays in a freezer, but they are a massive inconvenience. They take up space that could be used to store food and homeowners have to be careful when moving an ice tray if the water hasn’t had time to freeze yet. This is because the water could dump out of the ice tray and get water all over the freezer.
An ice maker is also much more sanitary than an ice tray. Fill the tray up and sit it in the freezer, but every time someone opens the freezer the ice and the water is completely exposed. There is nothing on top of the ice tray to keep stuff from falling into the water and freezing into the ice. This isn’t a problem with an automatic ice maker.
Another huge benefit to an ice maker is the fact that there is always ice. Everyone on the planet has at least one person in the household who cannot seem to remember to fill the ice tray back up with water. It can be incredibly frustrating to want and/or need ice only to open up the freezer and find an empty ice tray that hasn’t been refilled. This isn’t a problem a person has to deal with when he/she has an ice machine.
In the picture: Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker
Top 5 Ice Makers of 2016
Purchasing an ice maker offers the opportunity to stop buying ice (or dealing with the hassle of ice trays) and making it instead. The question is – which ice maker should a person buy? Here are five great options to consider and a little about each one.
Despite being small in size, the Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Ice Maker has an incredible output of 26-pounds of ice per day. This ice maker is also readily available in three different colors and comes with an automatic overflow protection. One of the more unique features of this particular ice maker is the fact that unused ice will melt back into the maker’s reservoir and be recycled into fresh water that can be cycled back through the machine again. The setting options also give the user control of the size of the ice and the speed of the output.
The Ivation IVAICECLEARTOPS is perfect for personal use with a decent output of ice and two different ice sizes to choose from. It also comes equipped with a recycling system to prevent overflowing or wasting water. The maker is capable of making roughly 26.5 pounds of ice a day which makes it great for personal use or to take to a party. The control buttons are easy to use and the machine will alert the user when the water is low or the ice is at maximum capacity. The biggest downside to the Ivation IVAICECLEARTOPS is the lack of ice storage space. The user will need to remove the ice and use it or place it elsewhere for storage.
The iGloo ICE102 Ice Maker is the perfect portable ice maker for at-home and in-office use. It has an exceptional output of 26-pounds of ice per day and a fast operation of 6 minutes for every batch of ice. The iGloo ICE102 Ice Maker comes equipped with LED controls that make it easy for the user to adjust the settings. It even features a 2.3 Quart reservoir for you to add water to make the ice. The biggest downside to this machine is the lack of ice, ice will need to be removed from the machine manually and stored somewhere else to prevent it from melting. This particular ice machine is available in five gorgeous colors. While it is portable and compact, it does not feature any type of overflow protection.
The Knox KN-IM27SS Ice Maker offers an impressive 27-pounds of ice output per day. It is available in one color and comes equipped with a 2.8 L reservoir. The ice maker features three different cube sizes for the user to choose from as well as an indicator for low water and when the ice as reached maximum capacity. It takes roughly 6 minutes for this machine to make a single batch of ice. The easy-to-use backlit LCD control panel makes it easy to control the ice maker to fit any ice making needs. A timer can even be set to have ice on demand when it is needed post. The indicators guarantee the user is made aware of any problems such as being full of ice or being out of water. The reservoir guarantees no water is wasted as melted ice cubes will cycle back through the system so the water can be reused a second time.
The Andrew James AJ000221 Ice Maker weighs 20 pounds and has an output of 33 pounds of ice per day. This is a portable ice maker that is only available in the color red. It comes with a 2.4L reservoir and an electronic panel. It is perfect for personal use and great to take to a party and use to make ice for the party. As an added bonus, the ice maker comes with a convenient scoop to avoid chilly fingers by not having to remove the ice by hand.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying an Ice Maker
Before purchasing any of the ice makers from this list, there are a number of things buyers should consider including types of ice, how much ice is required, and what the ice is being used for. By taking this factors into consideration, you have a greater chance of purchasing the perfect ice maker.
Type of Ice
There are a number of different types of ice an ice maker is capable of making. Some shapes of ice are ideal for going in a beverage, some are ideal for cold storage, and some are ideal for use within a health care or medical facility. Each and every different type of ice shape melts at a different speed. Knowing what ice is needed for will make it easier to make sure a person gets an ice machine that makes ice that will meet his/her needs. For example, cube and crushed ice can both offer maximum cooling. However, cubed ice is going to last longer.
The Amount of Ice Needed
For a person who doesn’t use a lot of ice or a person who only needs one cube in their drink, purchasing an ice maker may not be a practical choice as an ice tray would easily meet this need. However, it is pretty rare for any household to only have a single person who needs a few ice cubes. This makes an ice maker the better choice in most cases. A portable ice maker is easy to use, doesn’t take up much space, and a person can even remove the ice from the portable maker and store it in a bowl or bin in the freezer of he/she just wants the maker so ice is readily available to the family. A portable ice maker that makes less than 25 pounds of ice in a day is ideal for personal or family use. For parties, however, something with a higher output is going to be more ideal.
What Will The Ice Maker Be Used For?
Whether an ice maker is being used for personal use, business use, or entertainment use has an impact on what type of ice maker a buyer needs to purchase. It is also not uncommon for a person to use ice for medical or healthcare reasons. This is because ice is perfect for reducing swelling, minimizing bruising, and easing aches and pains. In some cases, what type of ice the ice maker should produce is also largely a matter of personal preference.
It is also important to consider water filters (or the source of the water) the ice maker uses. For portable ice makers, plumbing is not required for them to operate. It is, however, important for water to be clean and clear in order for the ice to taste good. This means a person either needs to buy jugs of drinking water or make sure the water source is properly filtered.
An ice maker can be an ideal asset for any home, office, or place of business. It is perfect for hosting parties, great for using in addition to a home bar, and perfect for providing a supply of ice for bumps, bruises, and scrapes. There is nothing wrong with using ice trays, but ice makers are significantly more sanitary and convenient. For a family of more than one person who likes putting ice in his/her drinks, an ice maker is much more convenient than a few awkward space consuming trays in the freezer.
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While ice makers do vary in price, quality, and output of ice, they are great for producing a batch of ice in a few minutes. The variation from one ice maker to the next also guarantees there is a perfect ice maker on the market for every consumer who needs one. From commercial grade to portable, there is a perfect ice maker for anyone who needs one. Once an ice maker has been purchased, the frustration of opening a freezer to find an empty ice tray when a cold beverage is craved never becomes a problem again as most ice makers product a batch of ice in six minutes or less.