How to Choose an Ice Maker to Fit Your Needs
Over the past few decades, ice producing machines have risen to the forefront of modern day kitchen appliances, and their rising popularity now threatens to knock the traditional store bought, or homemade freezer tray ice cubes into obscurity.
There have been many positive outcomes of this development, a few of which include the fast and efficient production speeds, the larger output and storage, the diverse shapes, sizes and textures of ice cubes, and consistent and top-quality output out of these amazing machines.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of machines out there, each built for a specific task and target group. Although the variety out there gives most people the peace of mind in knowing that it increases their chances of purchasing the perfect, tailor made machine, sometimes it just makes the decision all the more difficult. Hopefully, this article gives you a few pointers to aid and guide you through this process. This is because it is absolutely essential that you are fully aware of what’s out there before choosing a machine that best suits your own unique individual needs.
Things You Need to Take into Consideration
There are a few practical questions you need to be able to answer before going out in search of your perfect machine. Let’s try to do this in seven easy steps:
How Much Does it Need to Produce?
People’s need for ice depends on how many people they need to serve, how much and how often they need to produce it, and how much ice needs to be stored for later use. First figure out how much ice you need, because different machines have different storage and production levels, and that could really help you to narrow down your options.
Another fact you need to keep in mind is that need increases depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and type the season (i.e: during the nights, weekends and summers, the demand for ice is sure to increase). Is your ice maker able to meet this demand? This is why it is always better to buy an ice machine that fulfills the needs of a busy 24 hour period in a busy season because it’s possible for a machine to produce less than what it’s built for, but it cannot produce or store more ice than its capacity.
How Much Space Do You Have for This Machine?
Chances are that if you are an owner of a restaurant or pub, you would have enough space for most ice machines out there, but if it is for household use, kitchen space needs to be taken into consideration. There are many portable or countertop models out there if your needs are smaller, but if you are a regular entertainer, under the counter models are the best way to go.
There are many different cooling systems out there. While machines with air compressors are the cheapest options at present, they require more space, and sometimes heat up the surrounding area. Machines that depend on water cooling are more expensive, but require less space, and don’t create as much heat. Bigger units may require air cooled remote condensers (which usually function best up on roofs).
Type of Ice Desired
There are numerous types of ice that are produced by various machines including flaked, cubed, crescent, clear, bullet shaped, hard, or soft, and the list goes on and on… Some machines are capable of producing many different shapes and types depending on the need.
If you need the machine for your business, it would be best to choose one that satisfies even the pickiest of customers. Going with the gourmet clear ice cube machines will ensure great restaurant ratings and reviews! Some health facilities make it a point to offer people the choice of more chewable or flaked ice as well.
Location of Intended Use
Where do you want to use it? Are you getting an ice maker for commercial reasons, or do you want to use it primarily for personal hosting? If you said yes to the later, do you want to use it mostly outdoors or indoors?
Obviously, if you own a business, you would desire a greater production capacity from a machine. If you are planning to do your hosting mostly indoors, under counter ice makers suit a range of different needs, and are available in a variety of different styles. Counter-top ice machines are great additions to households that don’t have a lot of kitchen space and have a smaller demand for great, fresh ice.
Buying the best doesn’t always mean that it is the most expensive. Different brands have various specialized features they promote and you just might want to look into these before making your purchase.
Some brands require less maintenance and guarantee easy installation. Some brands are more energy efficient. Most ice machine brands have an excellent track record (Scotsman, EdgeStar, Ice-o-Matic, Manitowoc and NewAir ice machines are some reputed brands in this industry), and looking through reviews for different brands is a very good idea because you want the best product your money can buy you.
How much are you willing to spend on this appliance? Although it is an undoubtedly advantageous purchase, you obviously have to pay more for better features, energy efficient models, faster output, better storage and better quality cubes.
It is important not to stinge on these appliances because any machine will ultimately pay for itself. What a lot of time and energy you save yourself by not having to do frequent trips to the grocery store or make your own ice. It’s truly like having your own ice making robot not far away!
Before making any great purchase, it is critically important to first pinpoint your needs and find a machine that best satisfies them. Ice making machines are no different. The variety out there ensures that there is an ice machine perfect for you. We hope you take the time to consider all the options and wish you all the best on your search!