Collects up to 29 lbs of ice at once. Free-standing design helps large families who have a hard time keeping up with ice demand. Several delay and pause features for overnight shutdown and breaks.
Less powerful than more expensive products. Setup can be complicated.
Makes 45 ice cubes in 12-18 minutes. Can make up to 100 lbs of ice in a day. Storage bin holds 33 lbs of ice at any given time. Makes true ice "cubes" 0.9 inches per side, good for water bottles and multiple cubes per drink. Powered by 350-watt compressor. Can stand alone or be built-in. Self-cleaning.
Needs to be set upright for 24 hours before use. Does not hold ice indefinitely.
Produces 99 lbs of ice every day, making it an excellent choice for businesses. Requires no complicated tools or equipment to install. Self-cleaning mechanism only takes 20 minutes. All controls are clearly labelled on the LED screen.
Does not freeze the ice once it comes out, so users will have to pick it up straight away.
LCD screen with custom settings. Stainless steel design for a long lifespan. Fast 8- to 15-minute cycles produce 110 pounds of ice per day. Included scoops and water hose. Nano light keeps ice clean. Holds up to 39 lbs of ice.
Some feel it wouldn't produce enough ice for true commercial use.
Makes 65 ice cubes in a 15-20 minute cycle. Produces up to 150 lbs of ice per day. Can store 33 lbs of ice in its bin. Offers controls to make ice at a preset time. Built-in button-activated cleaning function. Offers 3 "sizes" of ice with different amounts of hollowness.
Cubes are all the same dimension regardless of how much ice they contain. Needs to be set upright for at least 24 hours before use.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Taking a sip from an ice-cold beverage is refreshing and satisfying. Whether it’s sweet tea, soda, or a mixed drink, one ingredient stays constant: ice. Time is of the essence, though, when it comes to the cooling agent of our favorite beverages. It takes time to drive to the store for a bag of ice or wait for tap water to freeze in little ice trays.
Thanks to commercial ice makers, the wait for an ice-cold drink is no more. These efficient appliances are for genuine beverage aficionados who refuse to compromise on beverage temperature. They’re also gaining traction as one of the hottest home appliances due to their affordability and convenience. Commercial ice makers make ice quickly, with some churning out the first cubes in about 10 minutes. We reviewed some of the coolest ones on the market today to help you get the cubes you deserve.
Commercial ice makers take up considerable space, though they’re designed to be neatly tucked away. Depth-wise, they don’t stick out much farther than a kitchen counter. Many are made to be installed into cabinets or walls, just like dishwashers or ovens. If you don’t plan to put it in either of those places, make sure it’s against a wall with an available water line and power outlet.
Output speed drives purchase decisions for one simple reason: when you want ice, you don’t want to wait for it. Commercial ice makers with smaller outputs make about three pounds per hour, whereas larger-output models can make four or more pounds per hour. Regardless of hourly output, each model varies when it comes to the speed of the first churn, or how quickly the first ice cubes are produced. Some take as little as ten minutes, but some take closer to 30 minutes.
When shopping for an ice maker, output speed is expressed in three ways: how long it takes for the first cubes to produce, how much it produces in an hour, and how much it can produce in 24 hours. Mathematically speaking, these time periods are relative, but if you can compare them side-by-side with the same unit of measurement, it could help you isolate your selection.
The bin capacity of a commercial ice maker measures how many ice cubes it can hold at maximum capacity. Keep in mind it doesn’t refer to a frozen compartment that stores ice after it’s made. The ice will eventually melt, but luckily, ice makers are efficient enough to pull the water through the reservoir again to make a new batch of ice. If the ice maker keeps running, it will maintain maximum capacity as the freezing and melting cycle continues. On average, the commercial ice makers in this category have bin capacities between 80 and 150 pounds.
What do you intend to do with your ice maker? If you’re using it to have ice for a few drinks a day, a smaller ice maker is ideal. If you expect to host guests on a regular basis at your home, investing in a larger one is a better choice. Small business or office use could go either way, depending on staff size. At the restaurant level, you’ll definitely want a larger model.
When it comes to commercial ice makers, a substantial warranty can provide peace of mind. Every warranty is different, though, so do your homework to find out the details about what’s covered as far as parts and repairs go. Some manufacturers directly ship components for you to replace on your own, and others have partnerships with preferred vendors for more complicated repairs and service. For service-driven warranties, it’s important to see who the manufacturers choose as vendors. If they’re not in your immediate service area, it could take an extended amount of time before someone can come to your home or office.
Basic commercial ice makers simply produce ice, and they stop producing when they reach capacity. More advanced models have custom settings, including timers, energy-efficient modes, and desired output volume. Some models also feature dedicated timers to initiate self-cleaning cycles.
Because a commercial ice maker is an appliance — and a sizable investment — regular maintenance and cleaning are required. Some commercial ice makers are outfitted with self-cleaning cycles, and certain manufacturers sell compatible cleaning products. It’s important to have a maintenance schedule for your ice maker, as some manufacturer warranties could be negated due to cleaning and repair negligence.
Commercial ice makers range from $450 to $2,000. Price really depends on the level of custom settings and quality of internal components.
Models at the low end of the range, between $450 and $600, usually have limited timer or cleaning settings but are decent performers.
These units, between $600 and $900, are constructed with better materials and tend to have more custom settings options. These models are ideal for those who entertain in their homes, and businesses that want to boost their break room appliance offerings.
Pushing the $1,000 to $2,000 range are the highest-output commercial ice makers. These upscale models are more efficient and can produce ice for prolonged periods of time. They’re geared toward restaurants and large cafeterias.
A. It’s not necessary, but some people say they notice a difference in the ice’s taste and clarity when using filtered water. Certain models come with a rudimentary internal filter as well, which needs to be changed periodically to maintain optimal ice and water quality.
A. Technically you could but check to see the preferred conditions for the model you have. Some commercial ice makers are well-suited for outdoor use, as they’re not affected by ambient temperature, whereas others are most efficient indoors in climate-controlled spaces.
A. Probably not, considering it’s an easy way to contaminate the rest of the ice around it. It’s also hard to know whether you’ve added too much weight to the bin with ice already in it, so it’s best to simply use your unit for ice to serve with your beer and wine.
A. Provided it was not included with the sale of your house, yes. All you have to do is disconnect the water and power. Make sure it is properly packed and secured in the moving truck, especially since it’s stainless steel and could be dented if it’s not wrapped in some way.