A nugget ice maker can make perfect chewy nugget ice for cooling your drinks and adding to your freshly-made cocktails. Perfect for offering a cool treat on hot summer days and nights, a nugget ice maker can be a valuable addition to your home bar or kitchen.
What Is A Nugget Ice Maker?
A nugget ice maker is a product that makes small ice nuggets as opposed to cubed or crushed. They are unique in their shape, and they have become increasingly popular over the last few years.
Nugget ice makers have many advantages over other types of ice machines because of its shape. The taste of the nugget ice is much better than cubed or crushed ice because it absorbs the flavor of whatever liquid you put it in. It is also chewable and very easy on your teeth – this is why many dentists love nugget ice machines.
A nugget ice machine can produce a lot of ice – up to 125 pounds a day. Most models can store up to 25 pounds of ice at a time, which will usually be enough for most people’s needs. They don’t require very much maintenance, and you won’t need professional help for installation or repairs.
What Are The Benefits Of Nugget Ice?
Nugget ice is a popular choice for many restaurants, convenience stores and homes. Nugget ice is made from compressed flakes of ice that are soft, very chewable and absorb the flavor of your beverage.
If you’re in the market for a new ice machine, but aren’t sure what type of ice will best suit your business or home, here are some benefits of nugget ice to consider:
- It’s chewable: With most types of ice cubes, you could potentially break or chip a tooth if you bite down too hard. This isn’t an issue with nugget ice. Because nugget ice is made from soft flakes, you can bite down without fear of injury. This makes it the perfect choice if you have children or elderly customers who may be more likely to end up with an injury because they bit down too hard on a piece of ice.
- It’s easy to eat: Because nugget ice has already been crushed and compressed into small pieces, it’s easy to eat. In fact, this is one reason why it’s such a good choice for cocktails — even if the bartender doesn’t crush the ice further, there won’t be any large chunks in your drink that could be difficult to swallow. Nugget ice also makes a great addition to any soda fountain that serves mixed drinks, as it can be mixed into drinks without freezing itself into a block of ice.
- It’s made with less air: When you use nugget ice, you will notice that the ice has a much more even density than the typical cube or chipped ice made from regular water. This means the quantity of air in your drink will be much reduced — and this is good news for both your customers and your beverage supplier.
- It melts slower than other types of ice: Because of the even density, nugget ice melts much slower than most other types of ice, which will help the flavor and consistency of your beverages. The consistent density also means that the nuggets won’t fall apart as quickly as other types of ice can, which helps reduce any extra mess created by melting ice on tables and floors.
- It’s environmentally friendly: Nugget ice is made from filtered water that’s compressed into small pieces to help give it its unique consistency. Because it doesn’t use any air to expand, this means that it also contains no air bubbles. At the same time, it’s made from crushed flakes of pure water. This means that after you make nugget ice, you aren’t left with a mess of leftover pieces that can potentially be disposed of in a landfill.
- Nugget ice is quick and easy to make: You can begin packing your machine with ice as soon as the ice vendor arrives at your location. Just place the nuggets one by one into the hopper, and then run them through the machine. If you have a double walled hopper, you can even add ice directly to the nugget maker. There’s no need to freeze or defrost the ice first, unless you want to.
The 7 Best Nugget Ice Maker Reviewed
#1 Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine
The Frigidaire EFIC103 is a portable ice maker designed to be used in your kitchen, home bar, dorm room or office break room. It’s also great for RVs, boats and other small spaces where there isn’t an ice maker. It can make ice in as little as seven minutes, and it can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
It has a sleek stainless steel finish that will match almost any décor, and it has a convenient 2.3-quart water reservoir that makes clean-up quick and easy. You don’t have to worry about connecting this model to a water line; just pour water into the reservoir and push the start button. The unit is also equipped with a self-cleaning function to help keep it clean between uses. The basket can hold up to 2.2 pounds of ice at one time, and when it gets full, a warning light will let you know.
This nugget ice maker is compact enough that it won’t take up too much of your valuable countertop space, it just weighs 19 pounds. Once you have this unit set up and ready to go, you never have to wait for ice again. When you need ice for entertaining guests or for keeping drinks cold while you’re on the go, you can grab a bag of ice from your freezer and simply refill this unit anytime.
If you love having an unlimited supply of ice at your fingertips, be sure to check out the Frigidaire EFIC103 portable ice maker. It’s got a sleek look and convenient features that will make your life easier.
#2 GE Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
This is the best nugget ice maker in the market right now. It is an excellent choice for you if you are looking for a portable nugget ice maker. I highly recommend this model because it’s easy to use, portable, and very efficient. The Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is small and compact, which makes it perfect for countertops. It can produce up to 24 pounds of ice per day, so it’s perfect for parties or other big events. You can add water to this machine using its built-in tank, but you will have to fill it manually.
The GE Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker has a sleek and modern design that will perfectly fit in any kitchen. This unit has a stainless steel finish and weighs about 55 pounds, so it’s quite heavy.
The Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker has an easy-to-use LCD screen that lets you make on-the-go changes easily. This nugget ice maker comes with an automatic shut off feature that switches the machine off when the water level gets low or the bin gets full. This unit also comes with a one-year warranty that protects it against manufacturer defects.
#3 Della Portable Electric Ice Maker Machine
This is another best nugget ice maker you want if you need to make a lot of ice fast. Its capacity is 26 pounds per day, which is actually more than some full-size machines. It also has a bucket that can hold 2.2 pounds at a time. So you’re unlikely to run out of ice, even when hosting a big party.
The Della Portable Electric Ice Maker Machine is rated for 300 lbs. per day, but it usually doesn’t take that long for the first batch to be ready. The company says it will produce a batch of 12 cubes in as little as 6 minutes, and after that, your new cubes are about 10 minutes away all the time (the company notes that the actual production time depends on how cold the water is).
#4 Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker
The Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S portable ice maker is a powerful little machine that produces a large amount of ice within minutes. You can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours, and the unit will store up to 2 pounds at once so you always have some on hand.
The unit produces ice in three different sizes and has a clear-view window so you can see when it’s time to empty the water container. A convenient control panel makes operation simple, and the machine is compact enough to fit in your kitchen, RV or boat.
This nugget ice maker includes a scoop and removable tray for easy transfer of the ice, and there is even an indicator light that tells you when the water reservoir needs filling. It’s also very quiet, making it ideal for countertop use or wherever noise is a consideration.
The Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S is a little bit different from the other portable ice makers on this list. It uses a compressor cooling system, which means it’s going to be more like a standalone freezer than the other models. The advantage of this is that it’ll be able to make ice faster and more consistently than the others on this list.
#5 Scottsman Brilliance Nugget Ice Machine
When you want the best commercial nugget ice maker, the Scotsman SCN60PA1SS is the machine for you. It has a capacity of 26 lbs (12 kg) and produces up to 80 lbs (32 kg) per day. This makes it perfect for use in bars and restaurants, as well as office break rooms.
The Scotsman also has a self-monitoring IceSense technology that tells you when it needs to be cleaned or serviced. This helps you avoid unexpected downtime and lost sales due to equipment failure.
The Scotsman comes with a stainless steel finish, which is resistant to fingerprints and smudges, making it easy to clean and maintain. It’s ENERGY STAR qualified and comes with an ADA compliant height, which means this nugget ice maker is ideal for use in most applications.
The machine is also equipped with a cleaning system that automatically cleans off any buildup on the evaporator plate so that your ice remains fresh at all times.
#6 Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker
The Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket is the ultimate product for people who love to chew on ice. It is a portable machine that produces a lot of ice cubes and keeps them in an over-sized bucket so you don’t have to keep refilling it every time you want nugget ice.
It can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours and can store up to 2.2 pounds of ice at a time. It’s easy to use and has a simple push button control panel. It comes with a handy scoop, so you don’t have to touch the ice. The machine will automatically shut off when the bucket is full or when the water level is low.
This ice maker has an elegant display panel that lets you pick what size of cube you want it to make. You can select from small, medium or large cubes, depending on how much space you need your cubes to take up in your glass. It takes about 7 minutes for this ice maker to create a batch of nugget ice, which is quite fast compared to other machines like it.
It’s not as quiet as some other machines, but it’s not as loud as some others either. It’s also very affordable, so if you’re looking for something that will give you plenty of nuggets at an affordable price, this is a great option. If you want something quieter or more expensive, there are other options out there too.
Overall, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use nugget ice maker that won’t break your budget, then the Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker is an excellent choice!
#7 Vremi Countertop Ice Maker
The Vremi Countertop Ice Maker is one of the best nugget ice maker on our list.
It has a compact size and can be used for home use or for commercial use. It can produce up to 26 pounds of ice a day using just regular water from your sink faucet, which is enough to keep you in your favorite cocktails and soft drinks all day long.
You can choose between 3 different sizes of ice cubes, small, medium and large. The stainless steel design makes this ice machine look great as well as being durable and rust resistant.
This model comes with an easy-to-use control panel that allows you to adjust the settings, so you can get the right size of ice cube every time.
The digital display shows when the ice bucket needs emptying or when more water is needed.
This unit is quiet in operation and will only produce noise when the compressor is running. This is usually only for a short period of time when it first starts up or after it has been making lots of ice cubes.
How To Choose The Best Nugget Ice Maker
If you love that perfect, soft, chewable ice that was once only available to restaurants, you can now bring it home via nugget ice makers. These innovative appliances produce nugget ice that is an ideal size for drinking, dispensing and chilling food.
Types of Nugget Ice Makers
There are two different types of nugget ice makers: built-in and freestanding. A built-in nugget ice maker is a great option for someone who wants to eliminate the need for bagged ice by installing a unit under the counter near the kitchen or bar area. This type of unit comes in compact sizes to fit in small spaces but can also be used in a larger area as well.
A freestanding nugget ice maker is ideal for someone who doesn’t have space for a built-in unit but still would like access to this fun ice style. It’s also a great choice if you want the option to move it from room to room or take it with you on trips so you can enjoy your favorite chewy ice wherever you go.
Size and Capacity
Nugget ice is easy to chew and easy to swallow, making it a popular choice among people who have difficulty chewing or swallowing larger pieces of harder ice. However, a variety of shapes and sizes are available, so finding one that best fits your needs is easier than you might think.
Some nugget ice makers can produce upwards of 40 pounds per day; others are smaller, more compact models that produce up to 15 pounds daily. While the capacity is listed as a measurement of nugget ice produced, it’s important to also keep in mind the size of the unit and its footprint when shopping for one that will fit your space and needs.
Ease of Use
Nugget ice makers are designed to be easy to use, operate and clean. The most common pieces used in the models are top-rack dishwasher safe, so cleanup is simple. All you have to do is fill the provided reservoir with water, connect the water line and power cord, program your ice size and wait for your tasty nuggets to start falling out! Some models come with an auto shut-off feature as well.
If you’re having trouble deciding between two models, consider the ease of use a nugget ice maker offers. With one that is simple to program and easy to use, you can spend your time enjoying your favorite food instead of worrying about functionality.
Features and Options
The size and capacity range available in nugget ice makers is vast but they each come with a few common features. A standard option is the capacity that’s listed on the unit. With larger models and higher daily capacities, this is the least-common feature and is usually offered as a separate option from the model.
Some other features are available with some precision models designed to handle large quantities of nugget ice all day long. For example, some nugget ice makers have a “deep freeze” mode for longer-term storage of nugget ice or quick thawing when you need it right away. Also, some models are designed for continuous ice production to help reduce noise and allow you to use the unit in an area where it’s loud.
For the most part, nugget ice makers offer a variety of options that can help you customize your unit. For instance, some come with a beverage dispenser, allowing you to produce your favorite iced drink in a squat handle or a large cup. Also, some offer a special accessory to make use of the ice in unique ways, such as using ice molds to create fun shapes. Additionally, there are some models that feature an anti-stick textured grid to help prevent the nuggets from sticking together.
Some nugget ice makers are designed for compact spaces such as a dorm room or apartment, while others will take up more room under your counter. Keep in mind the storage space you have and whether you need to move your new nugget ice maker around a lot or if it will stay in one place under the counter.
It’s also important to think about how much space you have for storing both your nuggets and the ice that’s produced from it. Some models offer a soda stream feature, which allows you to convert them into a fully functioning soda stream system as well as an impressive nugget ice maker. These models are larger, but they can store the ice and soda you make so you don’t need to use your freezer or pantry for additional space.
If a built-in model is what you’re looking for, it’s easy to find one with a compact design that fits easily in most spaces with countertops up to 48 inches wide. These built-in nugget ice makers are ideal for small spaces because the compact size is quick and easy to install.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is nugget ice?
A: Nugget ice is a fun and chewable option for enjoying your favorite snack or beverage. This variety of ice is made from water that’s frozen in a very small size, with each nugget ranging from .33 to .5 inches in diameter. It can’t be found at most grocery stores but can easily be made at home with a nugget ice maker.
How does nugget ice differ from flake ice?
A: Flake ice is a traditional form of ice that’s long and flat, but nugget ice is round and bumps into one another when they’re stuck together. This is because flake ice tends to be a smaller size, while nuggets are much smaller. Because the pieces are different sizes, they can’t be used interchangeably.
How do I use a nugget ice maker?
A: Simply fill the provided reservoir with water and connect the power cord, then you’re ready to go. If you need to find out more information about the nugget ice maker, simply choose a model with more options, such as storage space or a beverage dispenser. After making your selection, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to install and use the nugget ice maker.
What’s the difference between manual nugget ice makers and automatic units?
A: While both types of nugget ice makers have their advantages and disadvantages, the range of options available in an automatic unit is much greater. With this type of nugget ice maker, the dispenser is built right in and you don’t ever have to worry about making a mess. The automatic models also produce much faster and use less energy.
Is it easy to clean my nugget ice maker?
A: Yes, these units are incredibly easy to clean because all the pieces that come into contact with your food or beverages are dishwasher safe. The potential for mess is also limited if you’re using a model with a water reservoir and the unit has an automatic shut-off feature.
How much nugget ice can I make?
A: One of the best things about nugget ice is that you can produce as many or as few nuggets as you want. The capacity of the dispenser will determine how many nuggets you can store, but this is just one option. All nugget ice makers will produce ice in a variety of quantities and you can choose how fast you need it to be produced.
As a nugget ice maker, it does what is says it does quite well. Additionally, the price for this machine seems to be about average for ice makers with similar functions. It also has a nice compact design that looks very modern and is relatively easy to use.
Considering that last detail, saving space may be more important than having the newest technology, but with its capacity to make over 24 lbs of ice per day, the Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker does far better than any other product in its class.