Depending on your individual needs, there are several different kinds of ice makers which are used to make your favorite drinks. A classic example is a freestanding or under-the-sink ice maker. Other examples include under-the-ceiling air-cooled ice machines and built-in / under-the-ceiling ice machines. Regardless of which kind you prefer, you'll need to consider your budget, your specific needs and your desired ice flavor / consistency when you are shopping around for a new ice maker.
Commercial ice makers are very common in restaurants and bars. Because they are used often, they often come with sturdy construction and good reviews from consumers. Commercial ice machines can range from inexpensive to fairly pricey, depending on the features they have and the size of their production. When you are looking at commercial ice makers, it's important to understand how they work and what their specific features are, along with their overall price.
Under-the-Sink models are probably your best choice for your basic ice maker requirements. The machine includes a water reservoir and an ice bin. The water reservoir holds a constant supply of water, while the ice bin contains ice cubes. Once the ice cubes have melted, you pour them into your glass carafe and enjoy your drink immediately.
Standalone models are great if you only plan on using the machine one or two times a week or if you are using the machine part-time. These machines are more compact and do not have the refrigeration feature that the commercial models do. Generally they have less advanced features than the commercial models, but some models do allow a higher temperature setting and some ice production capabilities.
Stand-alone ice machines generally come in two varieties, the remote condenser and the blade stand. The remote condenser is located just below the bowl of the machine. This type of machine is ideal for individuals who want to produce small amounts of ice each day. The blades that are included with most stand alone ice machines are small and can be easily moved around. Some blades also have a safety shut-off features that ensure the machine is safe when the blades are in use.
Blade stands, ice makers are perfect for larger areas. They are also perfect for commercial purposes, as they are capable of producing larger quantities of ice cubes. Typically, blade stand ice makers will have at least three blades, which increase the amount of ice that can be produced. Some models can even come with a dispenser, which will allow the consumer to pour out extra ice as needed.
One of the best types of ice makers is a portable ice maker. These machines are designed to be used quickly and easily in the home or office. There are generally two types of portable ice makers, the refrigerated and the gravity freeze. A refrigerator-type machine is capable of storing a handful of cubes and will have a separate container in which to store the cubes. The Gravity freezer type will require that ice cubes are placed into the freezer before use.
When looking for the right ice size, consider what you plan on serving in the machine. Generally, the smaller the ice size, the less expensive it will be. However, the quality of the ice may be affected. Therefore, if you need to serve a high quality beverage, it may be better to purchase a larger capacity portable ice makers.
One of the biggest concerns for using a portable ice maker is safety. Most of these devices are made to be safe for use around children and other household pets. These products typically feature a child-safety lock and a door that can be locked when the machine is not in use. The ice maker also features a safety switch that allows you to shut off the machine if a person should become injured. The temperature setting on these machines is typically low enough to prevent damage to frozen drinks.
When buying a portable ice maker, keep in mind that you will likely be placing the product into a storage bin. You should buy machines that offer at least five-quart storage bins. Many machines will allow you to place the container upside down so that ice can easily drip from the bottom. Most devices will also feature a lid that features an opening on one side.
When buying a portable ice maker, you should consider the type of ice that you plan to use with it. If you plan to make soft drinks, then you will probably need a larger capacity machine. Some of the best brands for this purpose include the Zojirushi Kenko Drink-In-Away Machine and the Whirlpool Tumbler. If you are buying a nugget ice maker, make sure that you choose one that features a stainless-steel design. This type of device is highly recommended by professionals, as it can withstand high temperatures.