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Hotels, restaurants, cafes, and diners, as well as gyms, offices, and spas, are required to have ice machines because they provide a food or beverage service. With various configurations and designs of commercial ice-makers available on the market, you must comprehend the available ice-making equipment to choose the one that best meets your needs.
You may already be familiar with popular commercial ice machines such as Scotsman and Hoshizaki ice machines. Still, the best commercial ice machines to purchase meet your specific requirements. Before deciding on an ice maker, you must consider how much ice you need, the type of ice you need, and how much space you must house an ice machine. Our buying guide will hopefully make the ice vending machine selection process easier for you.
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What are commercial ice makers?
Commercial Ice Makers (also known as Commercial Ice Machines) enable establishments to maintain a constant ice supply for beverages and foods. There are full-cube and hollow-cube ice makers, ice flakes, mains-fill, manual-fill ice makers, and counter-top models for smaller kitchens.
How does a Commercial Ice Machine work?
Have you ever wondered how a commercial ice machine can quickly produce so much ice? We hold. This article will discuss the refrigeration process and the operation of commercial ice machines.
To comprehend how an ice machine operates, it is necessary to understand the refrigeration process. Except for commercial devices with more powerful compressors and a more efficient refrigeration process, the freezing water method has remained unchanged for many years.
All refrigerators employ a “refrigerant” or a gas with a highly efficient heat transfer when it changes state. When refrigerant passes through the compressor, pressure and temperature increase. The compressed gas is forced through a condenser made of thin tubes, transforming it into a liquid. This liquid is transferred to the expansion chamber (or an evaporator). The liquid evaporates and becomes a gas again. During evaporation, heat is absorbed; this is what causes the cooling effect.
The evaporator in commercial ice machines directly cools the water as it fills the ice trays.
Purchasing Advice for a Commercial Ice Maker Machine
For larger restaurants or establishments with indoor and outdoor seating, larger commercial ice machines may be required, or even more than one, but nowadays, even smaller ice machines can produce an impressive amount of ice daily.
Commercial Ice Makers: Factors to Consider
Before reviewing our recommended products list, please look at some factors to consider when selecting an ice maker.
Types of Ice makers
There are numerous types of ice-making machines available on the market, with the most common being:
Under-counter ice makers
These ice makers can fit neatly under the counter in a kitchen and resemble refrigerators that fit under the counter. They may be integrated, slide-in, or work between counter spaces.
Countertop ice makers
Countertop ice machines are compact machines that can fit in the corner of a bar or counter and are typically used to produce extra ice cubes quickly.
Built-in ice makers
In commercial kitchens, an integrated machine is an excellent choice. These machines are typically quite large and have a larger storage capacity, and they can also blend in well with restaurant decor.
Nugget and snowflake makers
Optional settings with various commercial ice machines include the ability to produce nuggets and snowflakes. These models have under-counter, countertop, and built in.
Ice and water dispensers
Many water dispensing machines also have ice-making capabilities, making them viable options if you need a device that can perform both functions. These are useful in the office or workplace, particularly in warmer climates.
Ice Shape Produced
Most commercial ice machines have programmable ice functions and can produce a variety of ice cubes, flakes, and chips. The ice-making process allows them to form the ice into various shapes suitable for water, coffee, cocktails, juices, or standard cubes for keeping food or items cold. Among the available options are crescent ice cubes, diced ice cubes, crushed ice, nugget-style ice, and solid ice blocks.
The amount of ice produced, and its rate vary from machine to machine. For instance, air-cooled condensers have cube ice more quickly, and those with a large storage bin can store ice for longer durations. In restaurants with salad bars, removable ice bins are convenient for transferring ice without contaminating it.
Maintenance of Commercial Ice Makers
Maintenance may be more difficult if your ice machine is of the built-in variety, as it will likely be more challenging to remove and repair than other ice makers. Auto clean functions on ice makers or even cleaning them manually regularly can make a difference and prevent costly repair issues; however, routine professional maintenance is recommended, as well as daily and weekly in-house cleaning to maintain the machine’s optimal condition and ensure its longevity. Regular cleaning of the ice machine heads and filters, whether built-in or removable, is also required.
Best Commercial Ice Maker Reviews
Whether you want to invest in an innovative home, improve the quality of beverages available at work, or upgrade the ice machine in your business, the commercial ice makers listed below can help.
1. Best Overall: VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Machine
VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Machine 440LBS/24H with 99LBS Bin, Full Cube, LED Panel, Stainless Steel, Air Cooling, ETL Approved, Professional Refrigeration Equipment, Include Scoop and Connection Hose
The Vevo ETL-approved ice machine holds up to 99 pounds of ice and has an 850W compressor that can produce 144 clear cubes in 10 minutes. It is equipped with a premium water filter that transforms tap water into the purest ice cubes possible, ensuring that the ice cubes measure 0.9 inches and are always challenging and cloudless.
This commercial ice machine is made from brushed high-quality stainless steel, making it both durable and aesthetically pleasing, ideal for restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels. A food-grade interior lining keeps ice cubes solid for up to seven hours.
This commercial ice machine also includes an auto-clean function that cleans all pipes and trays with the push of a button, ensuring that the ice cubes are always odorless. A customer wrote, “I have a drilling rig and service trucks, and my employees adore the ice.”
- 850 watts
- Outstanding Material
- Powerful Compressor
- Nano Blue Light
- Intelligent Panel
- Adjustable Ice Thickness
- Efficient Water Filter
2. Best Countertop Commercial Ice Maker—NewAir Portable Ice Maker
NewAir Portable Ice Maker 50 lb. Daily, 12 Cubes in Under 7 Minutes – Compact Countertop Design – 3 Size Bullet Shaped Ice – For Kitchen/Office/RV/Bar – Stainless Steel – AI-215SS
The NewAir portable ice machine is compact enough to fit on bar countertops for commercial, residential, and RV use. However, don’t let its small size fool you; this ice maker produces high-quality ice cubes quickly and in large quantities, up to 50 pounds daily in the first 10 minutes of use.
It has an ice thickness setting for small, medium, and large cubes. This superior ice maker has a stainless-steel exterior, a removable ice storage bin, and an ice scoop. It has a self-cleaning function and side-mounted water draining hose to make daily maintenance simple.
Customers have repeatedly remarked on how powerful and quiet this model is and how little energy it consumes compared to most commercial ice makers, making it a preferable option for countertops even near customers as it is virtually unnoticeable.
- 0.8 Cubic Feet
- Compact And Powerful
- 3 Ice Sizes
- 50 Pounds A Day
- User Friendly
3. Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Maker
Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Ice Maker, Gourmet Cube, Air Cooled, Gravity Drain with Cord, 115V/60/1-ph, 14.4 Amp (15 Amp Circuit Required), 14.9″ Width x 22″ Diameter x 34.4″ Height
Scotsman’s Cu50GA under-counter ice machine is a stainless-steel machine that produces 64 pounds of ice daily and has a storage bin that can hold up to 26 pounds.
Its small size allows it to fit underneath a bar or a standard 15-inch cabinet. The water quality sensor technology can identify challenging water conditions and purge minerals to maximize the time between professional descaling cleanings. Its user-friendly control panel displays the power levels, has a reminder light for cleaning, and sounds an alarm when there is no water input.
One satisfied Scotsman customer of half a century stated, “They were the best at the time, and I am pleased with the quality of the machine I purchased based on its fit and finish and performance to date.”
- PRODUCTION: Produces up to 64 lb. of gourmet ice in 24 hours and stores up to 26 lb. of ice.
- COMPACT: 15” cabinet width for placement in tight locations.
- QUALITY: Uniquely shaped, crystal-clear, slow-melting, taste-free, odorless ice – won’t dilute the flavor of drinks.
- TECHNOLOGY: Water-quality sensor detects hard water conditions and control system purges mineral laden water with every harvest cycle, which helps extend the time between cleanings.
- EASY-TO-USE: User-friendly control panel informs whether power is on, alerts a no-water condition, and a time to clean reminder.
4. Best Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker—Euhomy Air Cooled Commercial Ice Machine
Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine, 100lbs/24H Stainless Steel Under Counter ice Machine with 33lbs Ice Storage Capacity, Freestanding Ice Maker Freestanding Ice Maker Machine
Commercial ice machines, such as the Euhomy commercial ice maker, are ideal if you need a dependable machine that can produce a lot of ice. It can produce 100 pounds of ice daily and has a 33-pound storage bin.
The innovative ice bin has a sensor that detects when it is complete and halts production, ensuring that it never overflows or melts. Due to its air-cooled condensers, it will then “turn back on as needed to replace any melting ice and keep itself full,” according to a customer.
This commercial ice machine is ETL-certified for use in restaurants, bars, hotels, and supermarkets is one of the most energy-efficient commercial ice machines available and has a certificate for energy conservation. There is a self-cleaning button on the machine (though regular deep cleaning of the inside of the tank removing the water supply hose is recommended).
- 33lbs Ice Storage Capacity
- Multi-function Control Panel
- Commercial Use & Etl Certification
- Efficient & Quiet
5. Best Wi-Fi: VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Maker
VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Maker 300LBS/24H, Large Storage Bin 121LBS, Clear Cube, Upgraded LCD Panel w/WI-FI System, SECOP Compressor, Air-Cooled, Include 2 Water Filters, Water Drain Pump, 2 Scoops
The innovative Vevor Wi-Fi 10V commercial ice machine has a 5-inch touch screen and Wi-Fi remote operation, including start-up, stop, and cleaning functions. Fault prompts for tech nerds and gadget enthusiasts.
It is equipped with a 566W SECOP compressor and can produce 300 pounds of ice daily. This machine has a 0.9-inch cube of ice and is constructed from stainless steel with a double layer of thickened foam insulation that keeps the ice bin cool for up to 7 hours in warm climates.
Customers consistently remark that, as one of the best commercial ice makers with Wi-Fi, it is surprisingly simple to set up and operate, even from a mobile device.
- 566 watts
- Outstanding Material
- Advanced 5.0 inch Intelligent Panel
- SECOP Brand Compressor
- Water Filter & Drainage Pump
- Clear Ice Cube
- Large Storage Capacity
6. Best Nugget Commercial Ice Maker: Scotsman UN1520A-1 20-Inch
Scotsman UN1520A-1 20-Inch Air-Cooled Nugget Undercounter Ice Maker Machine with 57 lb. Storage Capacity, 167 lbs/Day, 115v, NSF
The Scotsman UN0815A-1 is one of the most efficient commercial nugget ice machines, producing up to 79 pounds of ice nuggets per day. This ice dispenser’s narrow dimensions allow it to fit in small spaces, as it releases air from the front and its ergonomic back door provides easy access to the ice-making tray.
Hospitals and health clubs commonly use these ice cubes because they melt slowly and are easier to chew than traditional cubes. However, restaurants and other food service establishments utilize them due to their unique shape and liquid displacement properties.
It is a compact ice machine that produces a large quantity of nugget ice in a short amount of time. It is energy-star certified and complies with the US Safe Drinking Act’s low-lead requirements. Customers have praised its durability, compact size, and sturdy nature.
- 57 lb. Storage Capacity
- 167 lbs/Day
- Space Saving Design
- Unit specific QR code
- Energy Star certified
7. VEVOR 110V Commercial Snowflake Ice Maker
VEVOR 110V Commercial Snowflake Ice Maker 132LBS/24H, ETL Approved, Food Grade Stainless Steel Construction, Automatic Operation, Freeatanding, Water Filter and Spoon, Perfect for Seafood Restaurant
Numerous aquatic product processing businesses and marine fisheries rely on Vevor 110V ice machines for their commercial needs. It can produce snowflakes and crunchy ice at a rate of 132 pounds per day and has a bucket capacity of 33 pounds.
The body of this machine is made of rust- and stain-resistant stainless steel, while the inner container is made of food-safe ABS plastic. It produces minimal noise and includes all necessary components, including scoops, water, and drainage tubes.
While standing four feet away, one customer measured the noise level to be 60 decibels. “Extremely serene,” they wrote. Compared to other ice machines I’ve owned; this one is the quietest.
- 450 watts
- ETL Unsurpassed Quality
- Efficient Snowflake Ice Maker
- Unsurpassed Construction
- User-Friendly Operation
- Attentive Parts & Accessories
- Versatile Applications
8. COSTWAY 2-in-1 Water Cooler Dispenser with Built-in Ice Maker
COSTWAY 2 in 1 Countertop Ice Maker with Built-in Water Dispenser, Produces 36 lbs Ice in 24 Hours, Ready in 6 Mins, with LCD Control Panel, Portable Ice Cube Machine for Home, Bar, Party (Black)
The Costway 2in1 is famous for the office’s commercial water and ice dispensers. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, it is also powerful, and when it comes to ice production, it produces as many as many stand-alone ice machines. With the capacity to store up to 40 pounds of ice at once and produce up to 27 pounds per day, this machine can keep the beverages of employees cold for hours.
This ice maker’s user-friendly control panel produces hot and cold water in addition to cube ice. A child safety lock and LED indicators to display the water and ice status. Water can be dispensed at cold, hot, or room temperature. The hot water faucet is equipped with a convenient safety lock to prevent accidental burns among adults.
As the ice melts, it collects in a separate area (so your ice isn’t sitting in a puddle of water). When the sensor detects the ice level has dropped below a certain level, it automatically begins making more ice by reusing the melted ice water (of course, it draws moisture from the tank if there isn’t enough ice to make ice).
- Elegant Sleek Design
- Built-In Ice Maker
- Control Panel & LED Indicators
- Tri-Temp Water Cooler
- Child Safety Lock
9. Best Undercounter: Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO 26″ Air Cooled Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine
Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO 26″ Air Cooled Undercounter Dice Cube Ice Machine with 90 lb. Bin – 115V, 135 lb
This under-counter Manitowoc UD-0140A produces a large quantity of ice while maintaining a small footprint. This product includes a scoop and holder with options for holder placement. This ice machine, the Manitowoc UD-0140A, has exterior panels that are resistant to fingerprints. This model has a slanted bin front and a door that glides easily.
This Manitowoc UD-0140A has a production capacity of 132 pounds. This unit’s forward-sliding bin facilitates maintenance without needing to move the machine. This Manitowoc UD-0140A belongs to the NEO series and is air-cooled. This product has a bin storage capacity of 90 pounds.
This ice maker, the Manitowoc UD-0140A, contains Alphasan, which inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and yeast. This unit offers full, half, and standard dice cubes. This Manitowoc UD-0140A has a production capacity of 132 pounds. This model features removable air filters. Central Restaurant Products offer this Manitowoc UD-0140A at a competitive price. A novel degree of per
- stainless steel cabinet
- Model Number: UD-0140A
- Item Package Dimension: 34.9999999643″ L x 31.99999996736″ W x 28.99999997042″ H
- Item Package Weight: 153.0 lb
10. Best Budget Commercial Ice Maker: Northair Commercial Ice Maker
Northair Commercial Ice Maker, Built-In Stainless Steel Ice Machine, 100LBS/24H, Free-Standing Design for Party Gathering, Restaurant, Bar, Coffee Shop (100LB-Pro)
Some excellent commercial ice makers are not exorbitantly priced, and one of them is Northair’s larger ice maker model, which produces as much ice as some much more expensive models for a fraction of the price.
This ice-making machine is equipped with a 300-watt compressor and produces 100 pounds of ice daily. In contrast to other ice makers in this category that produces a much smaller amount of ice, this machine has 45 cubes of ice every 12 minutes, making it a breeze to support a small or medium-sized food or beverage business.
Its ice bin can hold 33 pounds, which is less than most modular ice machines on the market but is ideal for busy food services that are constantly recycling ice and creating more ice supply, with little ice left in the bucket. Customers have been impressed by how much ice this machine can produce and how quickly and long it can reliably keep the ice cold in the storage bin.
- 300 watts
- Keep ice machine upright for at least 24 hours before first using it.
- Before using your ice maker, it is strongly recommended to clean it thoroughly.
- For your personal safety, this appliance must be properly grounded. This appliance is equipped with a power supply cord having a grounding plug.
- And suggest that you should discard the ice-cube made by the first ice making cycle after cleaning.
Best Commercial Ice Maker Reviews - FAQs
Choose an ice maker that produces approximately 20 percent more ice than your daily needs. Therefore, if your business requires 500 pounds of ice per day, purchase a 600-pound ice maker. If your daily requirements exceed one thousand pounds, a 10 percent increase in output should suffice.
A small commercial ice maker that produces approximately 200 pounds of ice per day can be purchased for as little as $1,500. A large ice machine, about 1,900 pounds per day, can cost up to $10,000.
Do not place new ice in the ice machine or ice bin. Keep the commercial ice machine’s doors closed unless removing ice. Ice scoops should be kept in a clean container outside the ice maker. Ice scoop and container should be regularly washed and sanitized.
Unless it is a vending machine (pay to get ice), ice machines are not on the 2017 NEC list of items requiring GFCI protection.
The ice-making process requires substantial water, and any excess water must be drained from your establishment. Ice makers can have between one and four drains depending on their design.
Typical commercial ice machines have an average lifespan of 4-5 years, but with regular cleaning and maintenance, your device can produce ice for 10+ years. Learn how to extend the life of your machine here.
Foster’s ice dispensers (US$3,145, Amazon) have a reputation for producing ice quickly and are preferred by businesses that require a high output rate. These dispensers feature an air-cooling system that keeps ice colder for longer. The Vevor ETL-approved ice machine (US$1,493.62, Amazon) is a highly recommended option for both home and commercial use, as it is a more versatile machine that can produce ice cubes of different thicknesses.
We hope that our review of the best commercial ice makers was helpful and that you were able to find the ideal ice-making machine for your business, whether it be a food service establishment, office, or even for home use. For additional suppliers of restaurant tables, restaurant chairs, commercial ovens, restaurant uniforms, and ice cream dispensers, please visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform or consult our additional guides.
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