There are many party goers and hosts convinced that you can never have too much ice. As long as the drinks flow and the long summer days continue, all guests will want adequate refreshment and a refreshing treat. There is nothing worse than running out and having to send someone to the store for an expensive bag. In an ideal world, there would be an unlimited supply to remove this hassle.
The good news for homeowners is that there are now many different ways to make ice at home in a convenient manner. The question is, which method is best for the situation? This guide will look at the benefits of ice makers in different situations, the different types that are available and the best features to look out for.
Unfortunately, ice isn’t always as readily available as host might like when it comes to throwing a party.
There are some homes that are already equipped an ice dispenser – that is if they have a modern refrigerator. These machines are great for small amounts of ice in a drink now and then. The trouble is that this is more for personal use and topping up drinks. They aren’t so helpful when it comes to parties. Then there are the problems and inconvenience of making ice at home when there isn’t a dispenser on the refrigerator or ice machine at all.
There are two options for homeowners and hosts here. The first is to rely on ice cube trays. This is not at all practical for large numbers of guests and high quantities of drinks. This is because of the small volume of the tray and time spend filling and freezing the water. The alternative is the inconvenience of buying bags of ice from the store. This allows for ice in high quantities but does lead to issues with cost and ice melting between the store and the freezer.
This is when it does pay to invest in an ice maker for the home.
The best approach here for many homeowners is to bypass the refrigerator dispenser and ice tray entirely and opt for a more substantial ice maker. Ice makers are specialized machines that can create large quantities of ice, in different styles, at the optimal temperature. This means a more reliable supply of iced drinks whenever required. Summer parties need crushed ice for iced alcoholic beverages or nugget ice for carbonated alternatives.
It is also helpful to know that there are rocks for scotch on demand. These machines can make a big difference when buyers chose the right machine for the situation. However, there are lots of different devices with different styles, features, and capacities. Here are some of the most important considerations for anyone looking for the best ice maker.
The first consideration for homeowners is the size and style of these ice makers. Where is it going and what is the required capacity?
All new consumers need to ask themselves where is the ice maker is going. Is this out of sight in a kitchen unit, or proudly on display? There are plenty of compacts, freestanding models between 25 to 45’ high as well as some small, portable ones that hosts can move around with ease as required. The issue here is a smaller capacity. It can be challenging to keep enough ice frozen in these cheaper models. Ideally, buyers will find the ideal mid-point in capacity and size requirements. This means a model that is large enough to handle the demands of all the guests, but small enough to carry to the right location.
The other option here is an ice maker built into the kitchen. Built-in models are efficient, robust alternatives with all the right ventilation and temperature controls for reliable ice production. However, guests will have to go inside to the kitchen to replenish the ice in their drinks on an indoor model. There are outdoor ice makers that may be more convenient here.
These machines are fully enclosed with weatherproofing and safety measures. Many over automatic overfill protection and an accessible, removable bin. The mid-ground option is the more significant, free standing ice maker. They have more versatility in their location but not as much as the portable model. They are better equipped to keep ice frozen and more likely to be durable.
Then there are the built-in options for boats and RVs. Not all ice makers need to be indoors in the kitchen. Some models are suitable for boats and RVs too. This is ideal for those that want to take the summer party to the campsite or make a boat trip a little more lavish. The right model, with the proper capacity and features, should fit as nicely in the kitchen of these mobile homes as the “real” one.
The Next Issue is the type of Ice Cubes Made.
Those used to crushed ice in a bag, and traditional cubes from the freezer tray, may not realize that there is such a broad choice of “styles” of ice cubes available. The most common and familiar are the typical cube. These are the more significant, traditional blocks that are most common and take a longer time to melt. Then there are the gourmet cubes in fancy designs that look good sitting in a sophisticated alcoholic drink on the rocks. There are also crescent-shaped cubes that are a conversation starter at a party but have little additional benefit to users.
The alternative here is to look for a nugget ice maker – also known as a sonic ice maker. As the name suggests, this provides users with smaller nuggets of ice that are often preferable. Many feel that they are much more convenient for quick carbonated drinks and more refreshing. This is because it is easier to suck and crunch on them to cool down. The downside here is that they also tend to melt a little faster due to this smaller size. The name sonic ice maker comes from the links to the ice used in Sonic drinks.
On the subject of the look of the ice, it is also worth considering the color of the cubes made.
The color of the ice might not be something that hosts had considered before unless they were keen to put food colorant in the water. However, there is a difference in the quality depending upon how transparent or opaque, is it? Transparent ice is a must for any host where possible. It looks nicer in a drink and highlights a better water quality.
This means it is a healthier cube of ice that guests won’t mind melting into their glass at a party. Also, there is the concern that the impurities in the opaque ice cubes will tarnish the taste of the drink. These ice makers can only do so much here in areas with poor water quality. It all depends upon the direct supply of water to the machine and any filtration.
The choice between a built-in sonic ice maker and a simple portable ice maker may also come down to the cost.
Budget is always going to play an essential role with these investment ice makers. A small portable model is sure to cost a lot less than a fancy built-in one. This means that it could suit those on a lower budget. It would be great for occasional parties where hosts take it out to replenish drinks and store it away until next time.
However, those that like iced drinks more regularly, a scotch in the evening, for example, should stretch the budget a little further. These more expensive built-in machines can be quite a good investment in households with high requirements. This is especially true in hotter climates. Buyers should also remember that a higher price should mean a more extensive feature list and more convenient elements.
Other important considerations for anyone buying a new ice maker for the home.
In addition to the cost, size, and style, there are smaller factors that come into play with these machines. First of all, it helps to look at the other features that may be a little lower of the features list. Some of these smaller details could prove to be pretty helpful in the long run.
Some models come with timers that highlight when the ice is ready, and other vital issues worthy of urgent attention. The data comes through on LCD panels, and some are sure to be bigger and easier to read than other. Then there are the built-in models with reversible doors for ease of access.
With the small features to one side, buyers can then look a little deeper at the additional accessories and energy efficiency. Accessories may not come with the ice maker at all. However, there will be compatible models of ice crushers, snow cane makers, and other gadgets.
These tools could help to increase the worth of this investment. As for the energy efficiency, there are some energy star models of portable and sonic ice makers for a greener home. This is important for those that worry about energy usage, especially with the machine that runs for a long time. Some brands will also offer an automatic shut-off feature to avoid overproduction of ice or too much energy usage.
(Source: Ezvid Wiki)
Then there is the issue of cleaning.
The worst part of owning any machine is the cleaning and maintenance. These are products designed for convenience in the home, but severe cleaning processes can limit that. That is why it helps to learn more about the ease of cleaning these machines before buying.
The portable models shouldn’t be too much trouble with the right materials and a proper drainage system. In-built models can be a little more fiddly to get into, depending on their placement. Those with a more significant budget could consider trying a self-cleaning model for a more hands-off experience.
Buyers must take the time to compare and contrast models for the best choice.
Once buyers have a good idea of the type of machine needed, the budget and capacity, they can compare models. It is vital that all buyers look at the specifications strictly on all portable, built-in or nugget ice makers. This allows them to see key features and omissions in the design and functions.
One compact model can end up looking much like another on the surface, with similar shapes and materials. However, it pays to learn more about the durability and temperature maintenance of these materials. These specifications also provide greater detail on the information offered on those LCDs specific programs and any compatible accessories that may be on offer.
Then there is the value of consumer feedback.
It always helps to check the feedback on these machines before buying. The specifications and feature lists provide a great idea of the aims of the designers. This may not reflect the user experience. Consumer reviews give a great idea of the effectiveness of the product, true portability, and ease of use.
For example, there could be some brands that talk about the quick results and consistent temperature, while users state that the ice melts too quickly. The only aspect to ignore here is any complaint on color and quality. This may have a lot more to do with the local water supply than the maker.
Choosing the best type of Ice Maker for the Job
There is a lot to consider here when choosing the best possible ice maker for your kitchen or party. The most important aspect here is the purpose. Buyers must work out whether this ice maker would work best as a permanent fixture in a home, outdoor area or boat. If so, a built-in, well-made option at the higher end of the scale would be best.
The alternative is a portable model for special occasions, which could be smaller and cheaper with fewer features. From there, consumers have the choice between great models with different capacities, features, and user-friendly elements. It is essential that buyers take the time to research their needs and options. The right machine, with the right capabilities and approach, could end up saving the party, and perhaps the entire summer.