What Is an Ice Maker
An ice maker, simply put, is a refrigeration device that is specialized to cool the air within the refrigeration chamber sufficiently so as to produce ice. Ice makers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and forms, and even though they’re conceptually easy to understand, it can take a little bit of reading to understand what kinds of machines are intended for what functions, and which is best for your needs. Here, we’ll take a look at the different kinds of ice makers available, what they each do, and what the advantages are to each of them.
Freezer Ice Makers
Freezer ice makers are ice makers located in the freezers of refrigerators. These are the most common kinds of ice makers. They’re not dedicated (i.e., they are a part of a multifunction device, and not designed to be standalone machines dedicated to making ice), but often do quite a good job at generating a good amount of ice for personal use. Freezer ice makers are nice because you don’t have to buy anything special, as they’re just a part of your standard refrigeration unit. On the downside, they’re not usually able to produce enough ice for, say, a party or large dinner.
Portable Ice Makers
A portable ice maker is one that is designed to fit on the counter-top, and is dedicated to the task of making ice. Portable ice makers are great for making enough ice to provide for a family at dinner or at a small soirée, which is nice. They can’t produce enough to provide for a large-scale party, though. Portable ice makers are quick to produce ice, and can usually make their first batch in just around ten minutes. This makes them very efficient for personal ice production and for light production for small gatherings.
Freestanding ice makers are dedicated machines that produce large amounts of ice, sometimes sufficient to provide for an entire medium to large-scale gathering. Freestanding units are sometimes advertised as attached units that can be built into a bar counter or kitchen island, but they don’t have to be attached to anything to function. Freestanding units are great for people who entertain large numbers of people with reasonable frequency, or those who need a lot of ice for miscellaneous purposes, such as filling the ice receptacle in a fountain drink machine, providing ice for a large cooler, etc.
At the end of the day, what ice maker is right for you isn’t always an easy, clear-cut issue. We’ll try to provide you with the best reviews and comparisons to make the choice a little easier. But before you get to looking at specifics, it’s important to keep in mind the general information outlined here: Freestanding units are best for those who need a lot of ice for events, portable ice makers are best for those who need dedicated ice makers for smaller gatherings, and freezer ice makers are good for people who just need personal ice production.