The Best Ice Makers

There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold drink on a hot day. If you’re tired of making trips to the store for ice, an ice maker could be a great addition to your home bar or kitchen. With an ice maker, you’ll always have ice on demand to offer to your guests and keep your drinks ice-cold.

The 5 Best Outdoor Ice Makers
The Best Ice Makers

The Best Ice Makers

Never buy bagged ice again with an at-home ice maker! Ice makers are a great way to have ice on hand at all times which comes in handy for hosting parties, BBQ cookouts, and other events where an ice-cold drink is imperative.

Ice makers come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find one that fits your needs and your budget. Whether you’re looking for a basic model or something with all the bells and whistles, there’s an ice maker out there for you. So why not give one a try? You might just be surprised at how much you love it!

In this guide, we have reviewed some of the best ice makers on the market. Plus, we’ll explore the most important factors to keep an eye out for while you shop.


Quick Overview


NewAir Portable Ice Maker [Editors Pick]

Newair Portable Ice Maker
Newair Portable Ice Maker
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The NewAir Portable Ice Maker is a compact and portable countertop ice maker that can make 50lbs. of ice cubes a day. Available in different colours to match your interior design and fits perfectly on your countertop without taking up too much space.

Choose from three sizes of bullet ice with the push of a button and have a new batch of 12 cubes created in under 7 minutes. The insulated storage space keeps your ice cold for longer, and the clear ice that it produces takes 5x longer to melt than typical cloudy ice. If you don’t use the ice in the removable ice bin before it melts, it will be recycled into the water reservoir to be used for the next batch, ensuring constant fresh cubes throughout the day.

The user-friendly LED display with push-button controls allows you to choose ice size, set an 18-hour timer, and will notify you when the water level is low or the ice bin is full. Plus, the self-cleaning function and convenient side drain make maintenance a breeze.

PROS

  • Compact ice maker
  • Each batch of ice made in 7 minutes
  • User-friendly LED display

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Noisy

Gevi Household Nugget Ice Maker [Best Overall]

Gevi Household Nugget Ice Maker
Gevi Household Nugget Ice Maker
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The Gevi Nugget Ice Maker is an easy-to-use, compact ice maker that can produce up to 28lbs. of ice per day. The large ice basket holds up to 4.8 lbs. of ice and the water dispenser holds 2.8L of water. This unit produces the ever-popular nugget ice or “crunchy ice” which consists of flaked ice fused together. This soft, chewable ice can fill every inch of your glass, keeping your beverage colder for longer.

The first batch of ice is ready in 15-30 minutes, and after 3-4 hours the ice basket will be full. With thick insulation, you will notice a 70% ice retention rate over 12 hours. This nugget ice maker can also be hooked up to your water line for a constant water supply, eliminating the need to manually refill. Plus, the user-friendly display is easy for just about anyone to use.

PROS

  • Sleek design
  • Nugget ice
  • Thick insulation

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Pricey

Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker [Best Small Budget]

Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker
Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker
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The Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker is one of the best countertop ice makers for a small budget. It can produce 26lbs. of clear, perfectly squared ice cubes per day and can hold 2.2 lbs. of ice at a time. The first batch of ice is produced in just 6 minutes, keeping your drinks cold and guests happy.

The sleek, heavy-duty stainless steel body is a great addition to your kitchen appliances and the large transparent top window allows you to keep an eye ice levels. The user-friendly digital control panel alerts you with flashing lights when the bin is full or when it’s time to add water.

The lightweight design also makes this a great portable ice maker, giving you the opportunity to bring it camping, boating, or wherever the adventure takes you. Impress your friends with automatic ice everywhere you go.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Fast ice production
  • Heavy duty stainless steel

CONS

  • Lacking insulation

KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker [ Best Luxury]

Kbice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Kbice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
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The KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is our top luxury ice machine because it is one of the only self-dispensing countertop ice makers on the market. Simply add water, wait 25 minutes then place your glass underneath the dispenser and have fresh ice delivered efficiently. This is a classy machine that will impress your guests and save you time otherwise spent with an ice scoop.

This luxury ice maker produces nugget ice just like you would find at your favourite restaurant. This ice maker can produce 1-2 lbs. of ice every hour and its compact size makes it the perfect addition to your home bar or kitchen. It features the latest ec0-friendly refrigerant and has a built-in self-cleaning function to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

PROS

  • Self-dispensing
  • Sleek design
  • Nugget ice
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant

CONS

  • No water line hook up

Igloo Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker [Best for Beginners]

Igloo Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker
Igloo Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker
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The Igloo Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker is a beginner-friendly ice maker available in a variety of attractive colours. Its compact size takes up minimal space on your countertop and the ice bucket can hold a sufficient 2 lbs of ice at once. The quick and efficient machine makes 9 small or large cylinder-shaped ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes.

The control panel is simple and easy to use. Simple press the power button, select your ice size and wait 7 minutes for your first batch to be produced. The LED lights will flash when it’s time to add water so that you can continue making ice all day. Plus, there’s a drain plug that allows you to drain leftover water when you’re finished.

PROS

  • Available in different colours
  • Easy to use
  • Quick ice production

CONS

  • Poor insulation

The Verdict

Here is a recap of our top picks for the best ice makers on the market.


Things to consider when buying an Ice Maker

Here are some important factors that you should consider before you invest in an ice maker.

Speed

When deciding on an ice maker, one of the most important factors to consider is speed. How fast does the ice maker produce ice? Will you have a batch of ice ready in under 10 minutes? How much ice does it produce in an hour?

Most ice makers will have the first batch of ice ready in under 10 minutes. A fast and efficient countertop ice maker will save you time while producing ice for a large group, having the first batch ready shortly after plugging it in.

Ice Type

Outdoor ice makers can produce different types of ice. Some will produce classic cube-shaped ice while others will produce bullet-shaped, crescent-shaped, and nugget ice. This factor simply comes down to preference and might not be important for some users.

Worth noting, however, is the growing popularity and demand for nugget ice, also known as pellet ice, or Sonic ice, named after the fast food restaurant chain that packs its drinks full of nugget ice. Nugget ice is popular because it is light and airy, chills drink quickly, and doesn’t melt as fast as other ice types. Nugget ice is also fairly satisfying to chew on because of the air pockets within.

Production Capacity and Storage Capacity

How much ice your ice maker is able to produce and store is also an imperative factor to consider. If you’re producing ice for regular daily use or to serve a small number of people, then any of the recommendations in this list will suffice, ranging from 20-50lbs. storage capacity. If, however, you are in the market for an ice machine that will serve large gatherings on a frequent basis, it might be wise to browse ice makers built for commercial use.

Commercial ice machines will have significantly higher ice production and storage capacity. Some commercial ice makers will also have a built-in freezer which will keep your ice intact for longer. A great commercial ice maker for home bars, offices, and restaurants is the Deco Chef Commercial Ice Maker which makes just under 100lbs. of ice every day.

Portability

Portable ice makers are great for those who enjoy camping with style, or those who move around a lot. Portable ice makers are also easier to store in your home, being light enough to transport to any storage shelf or cabinet. Keep in mind, that where you gain in portability, you lose in storage capacity.

BBQ Hero Tip: Turn your ice maker off when not in use to save electricity. Since ice makers don’t act as freezers, the ice inside will constantly melt and be remade into ice, a process that will waste power if constantly running.

Features to consider when choosing an Ice Maker

There are a few more features to consider while searching for the best ice maker for you.

Construction Material

You will typically find ice makers made of either plastic or stainless steel. We recommend spending the extra money on a stainless steel ice maker because of its durability and insulation. A stainless steel ice maker will keep your ice frozen for longer so you won’t waste ice b

Dimensions

Depending on where you will use your ice maker on a daily basis, the dimensions of the product should be considered. If you’re looking for a countertop ice maker, consider measuring your counter space and the height of overhead cabinets. Keep in mind that most ice machines open from a top lid, so allow for the extra room above the machine for clearance.

If a built-in or freestanding ice maker is what you’re searching for, dimensions are equally important. Measure your desired placement area carefully as these are larger, more permanent machines that shouldn’t be moved around after installation.

Mounting

Some ice makers are designed to be built into your home bar or counter space. Built-in ice makers are permanent additions to your home, usually hooked up to a water line, and become a staple in your kitchen. A built-in ice maker is also sometimes called a freestanding ice maker.

However, if you want a less permanent design that you can move around or bring to BBQ parties, a portable and compact countertop ice maker is probably best. Unlike large machines, a portable maker is also budget-friendly.

Warranty

Warranty is a nice bonus feature to keep in mind when choosing the right ice maker for you. Some brands will offer limited lifetime warranties, while others have none at all. Usually, more expensive ice makers will come with a warranty, while cheaper ones won’t, most likely due to less durable materials.

Remember to always buy from a reputable brand that you can trust and that has high-quality customer feedback. While we trust the brands in this recommendation list, there are also other brands like Magic Chef Ice Maker, that you can feel confident about investing in. You can browse the list of Magic Chef Ice Makers here.


Tips for Using Ice Makers

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your new ice machine.

Clean Regularly

Most ice makers have a cleaning feature that can easily be turned on with the push of a button. This feature should be engaged regularly to keep your machine working in tip-top shape. If you purchase an ice maker without this fear, try adding a small amount of vinegar and water into the liquid reservoir and running it through an ice cycle. Drain the water-vinegar mixture and run once more with filtered water before the next use.

Empty Storage Basket Into Freezer

Stockpiling ice for your next gathering is always a good way to be proactive. Since most ice makers aren’t built like a freezer, the ice in the storage basket will eventually melt. Once the ice bucket is full, empty it into a bowl that is kept in the freezer so that you always have a batch of ice on hand.

Large Sizes Last Longer

If your ice maker has an ice cube size choice, it’s best to choose the larger size. Larger ice cubes will last longer before melting in the storage bucket and also in your drink!

BBQ Hero Tip: Use filtered or distilled water in your ice maker to reduce calcium build up.

Ice Makers FAQs

Do ice machines have built-in water filters?

Most ice makers do not come with a built-in water filter. If you want to make clear, high-quality ice, it’s recommended to fill your ice maker with filtered water.


Are bullet ice makers worth it?

Bullet ice makers may be the most popular ice maker on the market, and for good reason. Bullet ice is typically made faster than regular ice cubes because of its nature. Though they may melt faster than larger cubes, they do a great job at keeping drinks chilled.


Where do I buy an ice machine?

Ice machines are available at most home hardware stores and small appliance stores. You will also find many ice machines online, some of which also offer free standard shipping.