Now You Don’t Have An Excuse to Run Out of Ice For Those Delicious Cocktails!
A party is not a party without a bucket of ice, and if you are one of those people constantly having to travel to the local liquor shop to stock up on another bag of ice, then you need to invest in a portable ice maker. You can keep using those small inefficient ice trays in your freezer and make 12 cubes of ice at a time, or you can simply set up your automatic ice maker to constantly make a barrage of quality and large ice cubes for you. Not all ice makers are the same, so see below for an overview of 9 of the best portable ice makers on the market.
Best Portable Ice Makers
|Picture||Model||Capacity Per Day||Price||Our Rating|
|NewAir AI-100R 28-Pound Portable Icemaker||28 pounds||$$||4.96|
|Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker||26 Pounds||$$$||4.96|
|Ivation IVA-ICEM25WH Portable Ice Maker with LCD Display||25.5 Pounds||$$||4.95|
|RCA RIC102-Silver Compact Ice Maker||26 pounds||$$||4.95|
|Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket||26 Pounds||$$||4.94|
|Edgestar IP210TI Titanium Portable Ice Maker||28 pounds||$$||4.94|
|Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker||28 Pounds||$$$||4.94|
|NewAir AI-100SS 28-Pound Portable Ice Maker||28 pounds||$$||4.93|
|Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker||26.5 Pounds||$$||4.92|
Portable Ice Makers Buying Guide
If you love having plenty of ice cubes at your disposal but are sick of the inconvenience of manual ice cube trays in the freezer, then chances are that you will benefit greatly from a portable, at-home ice cube maker. There are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind when thinking of the perfect portable ice maker for you, and these are highlighted below.
Capacity and size: Most of the portable ice makers on the market will have a similar capacity, maybe varying by a pound or two. The main difference will be in the physical size of the maker itself. If you have a smaller kitchen or plan on taking the maker with you when you travel (such as camping or on a boat), then the smaller capacity makers might be better. Although they may make less ice overall than their larger counterparts, they will still make enough to meet your needs.
The larger capacity ice makers have a benefit that you do not need to add water as often, or clear out the ice tray as often. So this can save time and effort, especially if you do not want to be sitting and watching the maker at all times. The ice needs to be transferred to a freezer in order to stay frozen otherwise it will melt and need to be refrozen. You will also want to find an ice maker with an alert letting you know when the ice is full so that you can start using that ice and start a new batch straight away.
Ice cube size and style: If you thought an ice cube was simply an ice cube, then you are mistaken. There are various sizes of cubes that can be made, and these will have different purposes depending on your needs. Smaller ice cubes may be preferred for things like smoothies and to fill ice buckets to cool beverages. While larger ice cubes tend to be used in drinks such as whiskey or even to cool water. Kids also tend to find larger ice cubes fun and can make a healthy drink more appealing for them! Most good portable ice makers will have the option to choose between two or three different ice cube sizes, so if you want a particular range of sizes, then make sure you choose a maker that has more options.
Not only is an ice cube not just an ice cube, but it turns out that the color of the ice actually matters. There will be some ice cube makers that specifically create clear ice, which is actually not only more aesthetically appealing, but also melts at a slower rate. So if you want to have the highest quality ice possible, then you will want to search for a higher end maker that makes the clear ice.
Additional features: Ice making has gone beyond simply freezing water into a particular shape – portable ice makers these days often come with other features and uses, depending on how much you are willing to pay. You can get some ice makers that ill also crush ice, which can be great if you have kids who like snow cones. And many good ice makers have a feature where any unused and melted ice cubes simply melt into the water reservoir and will be re-frozen when the maker is turned on again. This will save water and make for less cleaning. There are also some makers that allow for different shaped cubes – gone are the days when an ice cube had to be a square or rectangle shape. Common shapes include bullets and donuts, and can add a bit of fun and style to the ice making process.
What accessories will I need for portable ice makers?
The main accessory that you would be needing with your portable ice makers is a scoop. While its not completely necessary as it does not affect the functionality of the maker, it definitely helps to be able to scoop out the ice easily. Many brands will have their own scoops designed for their particular maker, however a scoop is a scoop and so you will be able to use any brand or style that suits you. Some of the better portable ice makers will come with a small plastic scoop, so check the specifications when purchasing. Some people prefer to use a metal scoop, and will find the ones included with purchase either too small or flimsy. It can also be useful to have more than one scoop, especially if you plan on having more than one bucket filled with ice at your party or get together.
A specially designed ice bag is always a good idea when you have an ice maker as it helps in transporting the ice from one location to another. It basically has the same idea as one of the bags when you buy ice from the liquor store and is perfect if you want to make the ice at home and transport it somewhere else (such as a party or camping). The specially designed ice bags generally have a pull string and will be disposable and are sold in bulk. They are specially designed so as to not melt, and actually insulate the ice to prevent melting en-route. They can also double as storage bags for the freezer – so you can make a large batch of ice, fill up a few bags and keep them in your freezer at home for when you need them.
One important thing to realize is that once the ice is made, if it is left in the ice cube maker, it will eventually melt – they do not double as a freezer. So unless you plan on using the ice cubes immediately, you will want to invest in some sort of ice bin or tray for storing the ice in your freezer. All portable ice makers will come with one ice tray that the completed ice cubes will fall into. These trays are removable from the maker for easy storage, however if you want to make more than one batch of ice at a time, then you will be needing more than one. Many people also find that the ice is too soft when it is first made, so prefer to leave it in an actual freezer for an hour or two to harden up. Without an ice bin or tray then you will have nowhere to store your ice in the freezer, and they can also be removed from the freezer for convenient ice access when required.
How long does it take to make ice?
Depending on the maker, on average a portable ice maker will start producing usable ice cubes after only 5 or 6 minutes. It can take 24 hours to fill capacity which is usually around the 25 to 30-pound mark, however you will have a constant stream of ice cubes which can be used throughout the process. So even if you forget to have the ice maker going before a party or event, you can rest assured knowing that you will start having ice available after only 6 minutes – which is likely to be even quicker than driving to the shops and buying ice. Not to mention cheaper! The time it takes to create a batch of ice cubes also depends on the size of the cubes, so if you need more ice quicker, then opt for a smaller size cube.
The ice will come out of the maker slowly, one cube at a time, rather than a whole pound or two getting dumped at once. So if you are out of ice, then you will only need to wait a maximum of a few minutes for a few fresh cubes to appear. They are deceptively efficient, and a lot of the good reviews are based around just how quickly and effortless it is to produce a large amount of ice at home without the need for an expensive or complicated contraption.
Does it require plumbing?
Portable ice makers are designed and marketed for use in the average home and are made to be portable, so do not require any plumbing. They are smaller in capacity than the industrial ice makers so would not suit a commercial kitchen – deeming it completely unnecessary to connect to the plumbing. The makers are all portable, meaning they can easily be unplugged and transported anywhere – perfect for use not only in the home, but when out in the boat, caravan or even camping (as long as there is electricity available). All it requires is a power port to work. The water is poured directly into a reservoir so will need to be toped up after a certain amount of ice is produced (how much varies from brand to brand so check the specifications).
There are larger more industrial style ice makers that can be plumbed in, however these would not be under the portable ice maker category. We have carried out an extensive research and ranked these portable ice makers based on the amount of ice that you can make at a go, the speed with which you can make the ice for your cocktail or ice parties, the amount of space it occupies, user-friendliness and general reliability. These portable ice makers that we have reviewed are simply the best in the market. You can use these to make as much ice as you want for those ice parties wherever you need it.
If you like this article, please rate it.