If you are a fan of icy beverages, why not add an ice maker to your home? Countertop ice makers are a great kitchen appliance to have and they’re easy to use, too. Just plug it in, fill it with water and watch the magic happen. Home ice makers really come in handy for entertaining too! No more lugging home bags of ice from the store before a party, to cool down those cocktails. The best ice makers work seamlessly for every need, from chilling beverages to filling an ice pack.
Speaking of drinks, you may want to hold the ice the next time you order a whiskey. A recent study finds anything more than 20 percent water can dilute its flavor to the point the whiskey’s taste will change. Adding a splash of water to your whiskey has been an old trick to “open up” the flavor of whiskey. According to the study, however, adding too much water or ice can ruin the drink altogether.
Whiskey on or off the rocks aside, convenience plays a significant role in using ice makers as people no longer have to manually fill and freeze ice trays, saving time and effort. With just a touch of a button, ice is readily available, whether for a refreshing drink or cooling down perishable items. Secondly, ice makers allow users to choose from various ice types like cubed, crushed, or even specialty shapes, enhancing the overall beverage experience.
If you’re ready to add an ice maker to your kitchen, StudyFinds is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the five best ice makers from ten expert websites to find the the right model for your home. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!
The List: Best Ice Makers, According to Consumer Reviews
1. GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker
This ice maker from GE gets high praise for its fast output. “The machine yields ice in as little as 20 minutes and can produce a total of 24 pounds in one day, holding up to 3 pounds at once. The Opal is also equipped with Bluetooth controls, so if you’re nearby you can manage its production from your mobile device with the free GE Profile Opal app,” notes Liquor.com.
If you are a pebble ice fan, this is the machine for you. “In case you’re unfamiliar, pebble ice (which is sometimes called nugget ice) has a much softer, more chewable consistency. This pellet-shaped ice is frequently found at Chick-fil-A or Sonic fast food restaurants, and the GE Profile Opal is the only home ice maker that makes this type of ice,” according to Good Housekeeping.
“The clear, illuminated bin lets you see how much ice you have available and is easy to pull forward when scooping ice (a scoop is included). You can open the bin while ice is still being made, and while the bin is open, any ice that is made just falls into the water reservoir,” adds The Spruce Eats.
The GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker comes in two varieties, with or without a side tank. However, this ice maker is definitely more expensive than some of its competitors.
2. Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Countertop Ice Maker
Igloo is known for making quality coolers. Now, the brand is helping you make the ice to fill them with. Food Network crowns this one ‘Best Overall’, noting, “roughly every 7 minutes, it makes 9 cylinder-shaped cubes in your choice of large or small cylinders until the bin is filled with 2 pounds of ice. Once the bin reaches capacity, the Igloo pauses ice making.”
About the size of a coffee maker, it has a handle, making it easily portable. Food & Wine points out, “the self-cleaning factor, in which the Igloo offers one of the more sophisticated functionalities we saw in ice makers. A removable drain plug makes draining water a mess-free process, while a five-cycle automatic cleaning function effortlessly keeps the inside fresh for new, clear ice.”
Travel+Leisure highlights the machine’s options, adding, “the control panel also makes it easy to choose between the two different sizes of ice cubes.” One potential drawback? Reviewers say this ice maker can be a bit noisy.
3. Luma Comfort Countertop Clear Ice Maker
If you want ice specifically for mixed drinks, this is a solid option. “This dense ice is ideal for cocktails, because the slower melting time prevents excessive drink dilution. This model featured a convenient side spout for drainage, so there’s no need to lift a heavy machine over your sink when it’s time for cleanup,” according to Serious Eats.
The Spruce Eats gave this one its ‘Best Overall’ title, noting “it produces very clear, restaurant-quality ice. The machine has a 10-cup water capacity, which yielded the highest output per hour out of all the ice makers we tested, and the noise level was silent.”
“Big and bulky, the Luma isn’t the most attractive countertop kitchen tool. It also doesn’t include a clear window to view the ice,” points out Food & Wine, who still gave this one ‘Best Overall’ accolades.
4. Frigidaire EFIC189 Compact Nugget Ice Maker
Another trusted kitchen appliance brand that earns a spot on our list, is Frigidaire. Popular Mechanics notes, “this high-powered ice maker from Frigidaire is our top pick, thanks to its thoughtful design, high output, and easy-to-use interface. You can choose from two sizes of bullet ice cubes—which are cylindrical with a rounded tip and hollow center—and the ice maker produces its first cubes in less than six minutes.”
“If you just need a basic ice machine for countertop use, this is it. It makes a little over 25 lbs of ice per day, but it’s ideal for someone that just likes to have ice regularly but doesn’t have an ice maker in their fridge,” according to USA Today.
Travel+Leisure points out, it’s “impressively insulated to help prevent the ice cubes from melting even if you leave them in the ice maker for long periods of time or overnight. If the ice is left long enough to melt, the runoff is recycled to make new cubes in your next batch.” However, some reviewers did mention the drain plug is a bit tough to reach.
5. Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker
Rounding out our top five, is this ice maker from Magic Chef. Good Housekeeping calls it, “one of the most affordable and reliable ice makers on the market. It produces fresh ice in 7 to 10 minutes, depending what size cubes you want to make.”
“The reservoir holds enough water to make ice continuously for a few hours at a time, so you won’t have to watch it too closely (though the bullets will melt if left in the unrefrigerated storage basket). Although the cloudy bullets aren’t exactly gourmet ice, they’ll get your drinks cold, and that’s good enough for most of us,” according to The New York Times.
Liquor.com adds, “The included ice scoop and the removable storage bin make it easy to either fill up your pitcher or your ice chest.”
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.