Best Undercounter Ice Makers 2022

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If you frequently host parties, enjoy making your cocktails, or enjoy having ice-cold drinks on demand, an undercounter ice maker is a helpful kitchen appliance. These appliances, also known as built-in ice makers, are plumbed and installed under your counter to produce and store ice. 

The best built-in ice maker for your kitchen efficiently produces enough clear, flavorful ice cubes. Please continue reading to learn more about the features to look for in the best undercounter ice makers and to discover our top recommendations for keeping your drinks ice cold. 

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Last updated on August 6, 2022 10:43 am
 

What Is An Undercounter Ice Maker? 

An undercounter ice maker is a type of ice maker designed for installation beneath the kitchen counter. Typically, they are built-in, which includes their storage bin for cubes that fall off during production. These cubes collect at the bottom of the bin and are then pushed through a small tube into your waiting glass. 

Undercounter ice makers offer more installation options than other types of ice makers, giving you greater freedom. They are less intrusive because they sit beneath the countertop, freeing up valuable kitchen space. 

How Does Undercounter Ice Maker Work? 

Countertop ice makers are a good option for those who desire the convenience of on-demand ice but do not have a full-size ice maker in their kitchen. They are also a good option for those who live in warmer climates where full-size units may be susceptible to breakdown due to high temperatures and those with tiny kitchens or storage spaces. 

The method is simple. You pour water into an internal container and wait for the machine’s internal compressor to turn it into ice cubes. A dispenser dispenses these cubes, so they are easy to grab with your hands or an implement. When the bin is complete, it is emptied into the freezer, and the process is repeated. 

Benefits of Undercounter Ice Makers 

There are numerous advantages to selecting an undercounter ice maker. Here are the three primary advantages: 

  • The large capacity permits abundant ice production and storage

Whether you frequently entertain at home, have a large family, or use the ice maker for your business, you may require a steady supply of ice. An unreliable ice source can be detrimental to your business or event. Undercounter ice makers are constructed to be dependable and meet the needs of households and companies. 

  • You will only need to install this fixture permanently once.

As with many other home appliances, undercounter ice makers only require a one-time installation and minimal maintenance throughout their lifetimes. 

  • Undercounter ice makers enable you always to have as much ice as you require.

Most undercounter ice makers are highly automated and operate continuously and automatically until the ice bin is full. Others can produce instant ice by pressing a button or pulling a lever. Both ice makers guarantee that the user will never run out of ice. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Undercounter Ice Makers 

An undercounter ice machine is a helpful kitchen appliance if you frequently run out of ice. These devices produce and store ice for on-demand use (and without taking up extra space in the fridge freezer or standalone freezer). Since they are concealed within the cabinetry, undercounter ice makers do not require an additional counter or floor space. 

Despite the apparent benefits of an undercounter ice maker, not all ice makers are identical. Consider the following criteria when selecting the best undercounter ice maker for your kitchen: ice maker type, ice quality, machine capacity, cooling system type, installation requirements, and other features. 

Type 

There are several types of undercounter ice makers, each with aesthetic and practical advantages. Look for a machine that is both practical and fashionable for home use. 

The most popular style of a built-in ice maker for residential use has a swinging door made of stainless steel and resembles a small refrigerator. Other options feature a hinged plastic front lid that allows users to scoop out ice. 

Typically, ice is stored inside a plastic or stainless-steel bin or bucket, sometimes detachable to facilitate cleaning. Instead of a deep bin, pan-style ice makers keep ice in a removable stainless-steel pan. 

Type and Quality of Ice 

Ice machines can produce various ice types, including the most common: cube, nugget, crescent, and gourmet ice. 

The best under-counter ice machines produce transparent, odorless, and uniform ice cubes that can cool a beverage without leaving a foul odor or aftertaste. The ice is only as good as the water that feeds the machine. Filters improve the clarity and quality of ice by removing contaminants, unpleasant odors, and flavors. Filters are an excellent option, particularly in regions with hard or foul-tasting water. 

For the highest possible ice quality (often considered essential for cocktails), look for an ice machine that can produce clear ice. These machines use a specialized ice-making method to enhance ice clarity. 

Production and Storage Capacity 

Since ice makers produce and store ice cubes, these two characteristics are among the most important. Consider the machine’s production rate, which is the maximum amount of ice it can produce within 24 hours. 

In addition to production rate, storage capacity is an essential factor. The size of the storage bin determines the amount of ice that can be retrieved after the machine has had a few hours to fill it. 

Numerous residential under-counter ice machines can produce 20 to 100 pounds of ice daily and store 12 to 50 pounds in their bin. 

Cooling System 

Ice makers are equipped with an internal cooling system to regulate the heat generated during production. Most larger ice makers can be classified as either air-cooled or water-cooled. 

Air-cooled ice machines cool themselves by cycling air through internal fans and vents. In contrast, water-cooled ice machines use water to cool the machine’s interior. 

Most home-built ice makers are air-cooled, but because the cooling system is typically irrelevant to residential customers, it is not usually displayed. Instead, consumers should ensure that the ice maker can be installed as a built-in unit with the appropriate cooling and venting system for cabinetry. 

Installation 

Before purchasing a built-in ice maker, you should consider its likely location in the kitchen. A home’s water supply must be plumbed into an under-counter ice maker, so it must be close to a water supply line. Most under-counter ice makers are 15 inches in width, 25 to 35 inches in height, and 20 to 25 inches in depth. In addition to size, other considerations include the machine’s electrical requirements, water supply, drainage, and ventilation needs. 

Some ice machines also necessitate a drainage line to remove any remaining water. Typically, these appliances utilize gravity or a drain pump to move water, which is more convenient. Internally processing ice machines do not drain water. 

Other Features 

Additional features, such as maintenance requirements, energy efficiency, level of operation noise, and interior lighting, may make an under-counter ice maker more affordable and pleasant to use. 

Ice makers should be kept clean to prevent the growth of bacteria and the accumulation of mineral scale. A self-cleaning cycle that cleans the machine’s interior (often with a chemical cleaner) simplifies machine maintenance and cleaning. 

Due to their size, under-counter ice makers require more electricity to operate. To reduce the impact, consider a more efficient Energy Star-rated model. 

Consider the machine’s noise level, especially in heavily trafficked areas. While most manufacturers do not specify the decibel level, third-party and consumer reviews can provide an estimate. 

Interior LED lighting makes it easier to see ice levels and scoop ice, particularly in dim environments such as a basement or home bar. 

How To Clean Countertop Ice Maker 

One of the most irritating aspects of any appliance is when it suddenly begins to make noise for no apparent reason. Some models are typically louder than others based on their construction and design. If your ice machine is continuously making noise even when it’s not producing ice, it may be time to thoroughly clean! It is easier than you might think and only takes about 5 minutes every two weeks. Water, baking soda, vinegar, and an old toothbrush are all you’ll need; here’s how to use them: 

  • In a bowl, combine two tablespoons of baking soda with half a cup of water until thick paste forms.
  • Add a half cup of vinegar to the paste and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Use an old toothbrush to clean the surface that is making noise, then rinse with water and wipe away all traces, so they do not interfere with the motor or other components.
  • To expedite the drying process, dry it with a towel and wait 20 minutes before plugging it back in, and voila! You are now aware of how to maintain your countertop ice maker. 

Best Undercounter Ice Makers 2022 – FAQs

Infrequently, however, will a daily-used ice machine last longer than ten years. A conservative estimate would be four to five years or the length of the machine’s warranty. Beyond the warranty, however, there is no guarantee. Ensure that your ice machine undergoes routine maintenance and cleaning to extend its lifespan. 

There are exceptions, such as the EdgeStar IB120SS, to the general rule that undercounter ice makers require a drain line. These models function as a freezer and keep the ice frozen, so a drain line is unnecessary. Other ice makers cannot control the ice, so it must be drained as it melts. 

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. 

Portable ice makers are worthwhile because you can select the unit that best meets your requirements. Everyone has different needs when it comes to ice production. Some individuals desire a portable, compact device. 

IceMachinesPlus.com carries the leading American brands of Commercial Ice Makers, including Follett, Ice-O-Matic, Hoshizaki, and Manitowoc. Some American Ice Maker manufacturers produce Undercounter and Ice Makers with Water Dispensers. In Easton, Pennsylvania, Follett Ice Machines are made. 

A dirty fan and a clogged ice maker produce rattling and grinding sounds. Cleaning the interior and exterior of your refrigerator can help reduce this noise. To safely clean these components of your refrigerator, you must first unplug it. 

The considerable amount of engineering that goes into nugget ice machines is the primary reason for their high cost. Producing these frozen pellets is more complicated than simply freezing water into solid cubes. 

Only acquire portable ice machines if you intend to move them from one location to another. If you choose to do this, be sure to drain all the water from your machine before transporting it to prevent any damage. 

These are not intended for people who want a quick fix and don’t want to find permanent placement for their undercounter ice maker. This is a common problem that many companies have encountered; consequently, they decided to develop smaller countertop models, which are less expensive and easier to fit in any space. New companies took advantage of the fact that people have endured this annoyance for centuries when designing their products. This increases their customer base because everyone will immediately purchase these new products without hesitation. 

If you’ve recently purchased an undercounter ice maker machine, you’ll want to know why its production capacity has decreased relative to the number of cubes it previously produced. 

This question has two possible responses. The first possibility is that your water supply line has developed a leak, given that these machines require constant use and can develop leaks over time. Your best option would be to replace the hose with another flexible rubber hose that is not susceptible to leaking! The second possible explanation is that one of your ice storage bins was recently emptied, so it is still catching up on producing ice cubes while the other is at capacity. If this is the case, keep an eye on them to see how much they’re making, and if you notice that one is always full and the other is always empty, try rearranging them so that they’re both filled at the same rate! 

Conclusion

Under-the-counter ice makers are a very convenient tool when you need to produce a large quantity of ice in a short time. They have a more powerful motor, a larger capacity, and a much sturdier build than portable ice makers. They operate more efficiently but require more space and are relatively noisier. Although expensive, it is well worth the cost. Our reviews of the best under-counter ice makers contain nearly all the information necessary to make the most informed purchase. 

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