How to Choose A Best Undercounter Ice Maker 2017
There are different types of ice makers available on the market. Choosing one depends on how much ice you use. Today, in our undercounter ice maker reviews, we will introduce some top rated undercounter ice makers and compare them in detail.
Important: Ice production capacity is not the same as ice storage capacity
When looking at specifications of many of the ice makers, including standalone countertop models and models built into the refrigerators, you will often see a big number of pounds followed by the word “capacity,” for example “35 lbs daily ice production capacity.”
This means that the machine can produce this much ice in a day. It does not mean that the machine will produce all this ice during one cycle. Quite often the machines that can produce a lot of ice have 1 lbs or 2 lbs of ice storage capacity. A machine that can only store a pound of ice will not really be an option for you if you need a lot of ice at once.
This is why when choosing an ice maker you need to decide on how much ice you may need. If you have a large family, host large parties or serve large amounts of food that you need to keep cold, you probably can’t be running back and forth to your ice machine to get a bit more ice each time it prepares another batch. You need a device that will produce enough ice at a time for all the people that need it.
Undercounter Ice Makers and the Competition: Types of Ice Makers
As simple as it gets: ice trays
If you are looking for a solution for your home and you don’t use much ice, you may not need an ice maker at all. A few simple ice trays will do. You can fill them up with water, put them into the freezer and have a few dozen of ice cubes within several hours.
Refrigerators with ice makers
If you do not want to deal with refilling ice trays, you can get a refrigerator that has a built-in ice maker and possibly a water filter. Such a refrigerator will most likely require a water connection. High-end refrigerators can produce up to 4 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period. As mentioned earlier, “4 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period” is not the same as “4 pounds of ice at once”. Most refrigerators, even the high-end ones, are not capable of making this much ice at once. The number can be much smaller than 4 pounds of ice in 24 hours for cheaper refrigerators.
Refrigerators with built-in ice makers have several disadvantages.
First, they don’t produce ice quickly enough if you have a big family, a gathering of friends or a party.
Some people hate the look of refrigerators with built-in ice dispensers.
Finally, some dispensers have low quality, which results in leakage and water dripping on the floor.
Countertop ice makers
Countertop ice makers can be very convenient. Depending on the size, they can produce between 25 and 35 pounds of ice per day. Their storage capacity is typically much lower than that. It usually varies between 2 and 4 pounds of ice.
These ice makers do not require a water connection. Most of them have an indicator that shows the level of water or ice. You can start using a countertop ice maker right after you take it out of the box. All you have to do is plug it into an electric outlet and add water.
The biggest disadvantage of countertop ice makers is that they often eat up a lot of countertop space.
A typical countertop icemaker can be 17-20 inches tall, 15-20 inches wide and 15-17 inches deep. Since you have to add the water manually, this can be a hassle if you need a lot of ice. This would mean refilling the ice maker constantly. This model is one best undercounter ice maker for home use.
Undercounter ice makers
If you have a large family or host large parties and need more than 2 pounds of ice at once, you should take a look at undercounter ice makers. In this post, we will compare some best undercounter ice makers to help you choose the right one for you.
The Benefits of Undercounter Ice Makers
As their name suggests, undercounter ice makers go under the counter. As such, they do not eat up any of the precious counter space. You may also need an ice maker on a boat, in a garage or some other place where you simply need a lot of ice.
With undercounter ice makers, you can choose a model that has a sleek design and looks great in your kitchen, on your boat or it your RV, surrounded by the other appliances.
Most undercounter ice makers need a water line, meaning that you will not need to worry about adding water to your undercounter ice maker and keeping it producing ice. They also typically have an on/off switch that regulates the making of ice and turns on the freezer function to not let the ice melt.
Installation of an undercounter ice maker is not as hard as it may seem. All you need to do is connect the water line to the unit. Water filters are not necessary, but having one is definitely a good idea for high-quality ice.
Undercounter ice makers that have a freezer function typically do not need a drain connection and vice versa, those that do not have a freezer function do need a drain connection.
Important: types of ice the undercounter ice maker to make
An undercounter ice maker would typically be able to produce one or more of the following types of ice
Nugget ice is also known as sonic ice. This ice has soft and chewable texture. When mixed with a beverage, it completely retains the flavor. Sonic ice cools drinks quickly and for prolonged periods of time. This makes it a great choice for those who need a lot of ice for beverages or who like to chew ice. Many commercial fountain drink dispensers use this very kind of ice.
This type of ice is similar to the one that exists in snow cones. This ice is typically used in food displays and containers that keep beverages cold. This ice is great for preserving foods, produce, seafood and other perishable items.
Full cube ice
Full cubes cool beverages very quickly, yet melt very slowly. They are also great for bulk cooling and bagging. This type of ice is the most popular type of ice in food establishments such as bars and restaurants.
This ice is exactly what its name suggests. Half-cubes are half the size of full ice cubes. Half cubes are perfect for blended drinks and dispensers.
Crescent ice has a shape of a half-moon. Crescent ice moves freely in liquids without sticking together.
This ice has a unique shape, is of very high-quality and doesn’t dilute the flavor. It is ideal for whiskeys and high-end cocktails.
Undercounter Ice Maker Reviews 2017
In this part, we will introduce 5 top rated undercounter ice makers.
EdgeStar IB120SS is an undercounter or freestanding ice maker, which is why it has front ventilation. It has a stainless steel door and a black body. This combination will fit perfectly into most black/stainless steel decors.
EdgeStar IB120SS produces up to 12 pounds of crescent ice per day. It stores up to 6 pounds of ice at a time. It has an on/off power switch and an auto shut-off function for when the bin is full of ice.
This model includes a 25-foot long 0.25-inch water line connection and an ice scoop.
EdgeStar IB120SS has a reversible door for right- and left-hand swings.
The installation is easy and convenient. EdgeStar IB120SS does not require a drain line because it functions as a freezer to keep the ice frozen. You do want to make sure that you install the unit properly and do not enclose it completely to ensure that it works for a long time and doesn’t break.
The dimensions of this unit are 26 x 19 x 17 inches. EdgeStar IB120SS weighs 54 pounds. It is perfect for a wet bar, recreational vehicle, boat, kitchen or office.
The device is not frost-free, so you will need to shut it off periodically and defrost it, especially during the high-humidity season.
The unit meets ADA requirements and is fully ADA compliant.
Whynter UIM-155 is yet another undercounter or freestanding ice maker that has front ventilation, stainless steel door and sides and black ventilation cover.
It also makes up to 12 pounds of ice in 24 hours and can store up to 6 pounds of ice at a time.
Whynter UIM-155 comes with an internal ice bin and ice scoop. It also includes a 9-foot 0.25-inch water line connection.
Just like EdgeStar IB120SS, this model does not require a drain connection and has an auto shut off switch when the ice bin is full.
Unit dimensions are 18 x 15 x 25 inches. The weight is 60 pounds.
Whynter UIM-155 has a high-efficiency CFC-free compressor and easy one-button operation.
This model is not a heavy-duty commercial ice maker. It is great for a home bar or a big family. It starts slow, but once it gets going, it keeps making ice with an impressive speed. If you get a hose adaptor, you will be able to bring it out and use it on the patio when entertaining your friends and family.
Scotsman SCN60PA is a best rated undercounter ice maker that is bigger and more expensive than other ice makers in this review. It can produce up to 80 pounds of ice a day and it can store up to 26 pounds of ice.
The machine has an interior light and a self-closing door. It requires a custom panel and an undercounter drain connection. It does not have a freezer function. The insulated box inside the machine will keep the ice cold for about a week. The unit will automatically start making the ice again when the ice inside melts or is taken out.
If the drain opening in the ice maker is located higher than the connecting drain, you will need a pump to get the water out of the ice maker. One of the solutions could be to connect the unit to the floor drain if you have one.
The unit is outdoor-approved, so you could use in on a patio of your home.
The model has an outstanding finish, design, and performance.
The dimensions are 22.8 x 14.9 x 33.4 inches. The weight is 139 pounds.
Scotsman SCN60PA comes with 1-year parts and labor warranty for all the components of the device. I like this top rated undercounter ice maker.
SPT IM-600US is an undercounter ice maker that can produce up to 50 pounds of ice in a day and stores up to 25 pounds of ice. This model requires filtered water and an installation by a licensed plumber.
Similarly to other models in this guide, SPT IM-600US has a stainless steel door and a black front exhaust fan.
It comes with an automatic shut-off function and does require a drain connection. There is no freezer and the ice will eventually melt if you do not use it. You will need rear or side access for the drain. The unit doesn’t come with a pump. Its drain is a gravity drain. It is located in the lower right corner in the back of the unit.
The machine makes clear ice that comes in larger sheets. You can easily break the sheet with a scoop.
The unit weighs 84 pounds and is 23.6 x 14.6 x 32.8 inches. It is not approved for outdoor use.
SPT IM-150US is a undercounter ice maker that can produce up to 12 pounds of ice per day. It can store up to 6 pounds of ice.
SPT IM-150US has a built-in freezer, so it doesn’t require a drain connection.
The unit has a reversible door. Like most other undercounter ice makers, it has a stainless steel door and a black vent and cabinet.
SPT IM-150US has a shut-off/on switch that stops making the ice when the bin is full and starts making ice when the bin gets close to empty.
The ice that the machine makes has a shape of a quarter moon and is about 2 inches long.
The item weighs 55 pounds. Its dimensions are 18 x 15 x 25 inches.
This guide described most of the types of ice makers available on the market, including their pros and cons. It also suggested some top rated undercounter ice makers. Now you can choose an ice maker that right for you and enjoy having as much ice as you need.