There is nothing like a drink that is meant to be cold having perfectly formed ice cubes within it.
Unfortunately, obtaining ice can sometimes be a challenge if you don’t have a refrigerator with an automatic ice maker. In addition, putting ice in a drink can be even more difficult if you’re tailgating, BBQing, or in a place where having a refrigerator and a cold drink in the same place isn’t possible.
What is The Best Home Ice Maker in 2019?
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Ice Cube Maker
Digital Ice Machine
LB Ice Maker
Counter Top Maker
After conducting a thorough review of the different home ice makers, the following are our top 6 picks with everything you need to know to make an educated choice.
1. Frigidaire EFIC108 Blue Portable Ice Maker – Compact and ConvenientThe Frigidaire EFIC108 Blue Portable Compact Maker makes up to 26 pounds of ice daily in two ice sizes. Up to 1.5 pounds of ice can be stored at a time. The water reservoir holds 2.3 quarts. Plus, the LED controls make operation a cinch.
The total weight is 19.8 pounds, making the unit one of the heavier portable machines. It’s made out of plastic, uses electricity, and comes in a beautiful blue. The see-through window makes it easy to see the ice basket so you know how much ice is left.
Whether you are having a family BBQ or need ice to go camping, the overall capacity is there. While it can take several runs to fill a cooler with ice, it is possible to make enough.
2. Igloo ICEB26RR 26-pound Portable Ice Cube Maker – Designed for ConvenienceThe IglooICEB26RR 26-pound Portable Ice Cube Maker was designed for convenience. Not only does it sit on the countertop, but it is also compact and portable. The 26-pound ice making capacity keeps ice coming all day long, which is made possible by the 3-quart water tank. Up to 2 pounds of ice can be stored at any time and it takes 7 minutes to make 9 ice cubes.
Lastly, the transparent lid on this retro ice maker allows you to see the ice cube capacity. When you need to remove large amounts of ice, the ice basket is removable. An ice scoop is included so small containers can be easily filled. If water needs to be drained, the drain plug is easy to remove.
3. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Machine – Ice in MinutesThe Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Maker Machine produces the first ice in just 8 minutes and will create up to 26 pounds daily. This unit can be used on the countertop, bars, tailgating parties, BBQs, and any occasion when ice is needed. There are two different ice cube sizes that can be produced all day or on a timer. The digital screen shows exactly what is going on with the machine and includes a self-cleaning button.
This ice maker is the editor’s choice because of its speed and the fact that it is very lightweight at 17.2 pounds. Batteries are not required, so an electrical outlet is needed to power the unit.
4. Yongtong 26 LB Ice Maker – Sleek, Fast, and QuietThe Yongtong 26lb ice maker is not only fast, but the compressor is quiet. Not much energy is needed to keep the ice cold. However, it is best to store the ice in the freezer if it isn’t being immediately used because it will melt. The unit is portable and doesn’t require a water hookup because of the water reservoir. The easy-to-use LED display lets you select from two different ice cube sizes.
The unit weight is 17.55 pounds for easy portability, so you can take it to the park, campground, or anywhere that has an electrical outlet. It’s made of stainless steel, putting durability on its side.
5. Isiler VD-22769GNEP Portable Counter Top Maker – Fast and QuietThe Isiler VD-22769GNEP makes a little more ice in 24 hours than the rest on the list at 26.4 pounds. It takes just 7 minutes to have 9 ice cubes ready, making it one of the fastest. However, it can take up to 13 minutes to create 9 bullet-shaped ice cubes depending on the size. In the end, the amount of ice produced in a day can fill 266 glasses.
Included with the unit is a detachable ice basket for when you need to extract a large amount of ice at once. If you simply need a glass of ice, the ice scoop is the perfect size. The design is stylish and the overall operation is simple.
Ice is nice to have on-hand. It doesn’t have to be a hot summer to enjoy a cold beverage. If your refrigerator doesn’t make ice and you’re tired of buying heavy bags at the store, it’s worth looking for a portable ice maker that meets your ice demands.
Before you jump on just any ice maker, though, it’s best to pay close attention to your options. No two ice makers are the same. One might have features that suit you better than the next one.
The following are some questions you want to ask yourself before you start the buying process:
- Do you need ice created continuously or just a little per day?
- Will large quantities of ice be needed at once?
- Do you need your ice maker to have water hookup along with the water reservoir?
- Will you be taking your ice maker places?
- Is simple operation important to you?
- Do you prefer durable plastic or stainless steel?
The answers to these questions will help you determine which portable ice maker is best for you.
What Is the Purpose of a Portable Ice Maker?
The primary purpose of a portable ice maker is to create ice when you have no other means to do so or you need ice on the go. Not every refrigerator has an ice maker and not everyone likes to buy and break up large bags of ice.
Because portable ice makers use electricity and not batteries, you will need to ensure that you have access to an electrical outlet. This means that you can use the unit when tailgating, camping, in the RV, BBQing, or in your kitchen.
Things to Consider When Shopping
There are some important considerations when shopping for a portable ice maker. The following is a breakdown of those factors to help you make an informed decision.
Most portable ice makers are rather small, which is why they are portable. You must consider the size because of how much space will be taken up on a countertop or other area. Most ice makers don’t hold more than 2 pounds of ice at a time with water reservoirs that can range between 1.5 and 3 quarts.
Because most portable ice makers sit on a kitchen countertop in a boat or RV, space must be measured. The manufacturers provide the dimensions so you know how much space the ice maker consumes.
However, if you plan on taking the ice maker from place-to-place or you want to use it only when having a party, the weight of the unit becomes more important. You should be comfortable carrying it when it’s empty.
Something else to keep in mind is that, while the ice makers will keep ice cool, they don’t usually keep it cold enough to hold the ice for long periods of time. Ice that is made now and needed later should be moved to a freezer. If the ice is allowed to melt, most units will recycle the water from melted ice.
While 26 pounds of ice in a day is enough for most occasions, the speed in which the ice is created is important. Some units can produce 9 cubes in as little as 7 or 8 minutes or as long as 10 to 20 minutes. If you need ice fast, this factor is important. When you’re having a party, the last thing you want is for your party guests to have to wait for the ice maker to refill.
If your ice maker will be sitting on your countertop, you want to consider the look. You’ll notice that portable ice makers come in many different colors and designs. If you want one that matches the décor in your kitchen or simply reflects your personality, then this is something that will be important while shopping.
Another crucial aspect of buying a portable ice maker is how easy it is to use. Most of them have intuitive LED displays and controls. The instructions are basic, there’s no installation unless you choose a unit that connects to a water line, and most come with sensors that tell you what to do.
If easy cleaning is something that concerns you, a unit with a plug and a cleaning button might be what you need. Most of the time, cleaning a portable ice maker is very simple with or without the cleaning button.
For some consumers, durability is a factor. Not only should a unit have ice making components that last, but the exterior construction needs to be tough. There are two materials that are primarily used in the construction of portable ice makers and they are plastic and stainless steel.
Extra Features to Consider
Extra features you might want to consider are:
- Timer – A timer allows you to set a specific time for the ice maker to produce ice.
- Ice size – Many ice makers have two ice sizes.
- Ice scoop – The ice scoop allows you to scoop only what you need for glass.
- Removable ice basket – A removable ice basket makes it easy to remove large amounts of ice to move to a freezer or dump into a cooler.
- Self-cleaning – Pull the plug to drain any water and let the self-cleaning function do the rest.
How is a portable ice maker cleaned?
Cleaning a portable ice maker is simple. Each one has specific cleaning instructions, but it’s usually as simple as unplugging the machine, emptying it, and pushing a button. If there is no self-clean option, then simply remove the interior pieces, clean with a towel, and run water and vinegar through the unit. The machine will have to dry before it is used again.
Is a dedicated water line needed?
Some portable ice makers can connect to a water line if you need a continuous flow of ice. However, not all have this function. Even if a unit has a water line hookup, there is still a water reservoir to fill when taking the unit on the go or when continuous ice production isn’t needed.
Can any type of water be used?
The quality of the ice depends on the quality of the water. The type of water can also affect how well ice is produced. For instance, it is best to avoid hard water because it will cause mineral buildup inside the ice maker. This is something that applies to all appliances that use water.
While distilled water contains fewer minerals, it can cause an issue with the ice maker’s ability to identify when more ice needs to be made. The sensors in many units rely on mineral content to determine when to make more ice.
Filtered or purified water produces fresher ice and the sensors are still able to detect the mineral content so that they can tell the icemaker to produce ice. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use tap water; it just can’t be hard water.
Can I use a standard wall outlet?
Yes, all ice makers work with the standard 120v wall outlet that you will find at home, in RVs, at campgrounds, in the office, etc.
Is there anything that needs to be done after unboxing the ice maker?
It’s best to make a few batches of ice to throw away so that any debris inside of the ice maker can be removed.
- What is The Best Home Ice Maker in 2019?
- 1. Frigidaire EFIC108 Blue Portable Ice Maker – Compact and Convenient
- 2. Igloo ICEB26RR 26-pound Portable Ice Cube Maker – Designed for Convenience
- 3. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Machine – Ice in Minutes
- 4. Yongtong 26 LB Ice Maker – Sleek, Fast, and Quiet
- 5. Isiler VD-22769GNEP Portable Counter Top Maker – Fast and Quiet
- Buyer’s Guide