Drinks are best when hot or cold, and ice makers come in handy when going for the latter. Whether inviting friends over for a party, or chilling out by yourself at home, having a cheap ice maker will help you cope by having your favorite drink chilled.
Today's market is flooded with numerous brands and ice maker models, and the countless options may make it challenging to pick the best appliance based on personal needs. Nonetheless, there are several factors one can take into thought when looking for a cheap, suitable nugget maker. We shall be looking at the factors to look into and detailed reviews of leading cheap nugget maker appliances you can check out.
3 Major Types of Ice Makers
Several ice makers' designs depend on functionality, efficiency, and production rate. However, there are three major types:
Under-Counter Ice Maker Machines
Under-counter ice maker machines are mostly used for commercial applications in restaurants, bars, and even mid-sized hotels. The appliances fit under conventional countertops. They have a high production capacity that ranges up to 140 lbs. in daily production, and this varies with the machine. However, you can find cheap under counter ice maker models with a lower production rate. The major downside is under-counter machines are not easily portable as they are somewhat bulky.
Freestanding/Countertop Ice Makers
Freestanding models often feature multiple functionalities and can be placed on surfaces such as counters and tables. Their cabinet design makes it possible for them to blend well with the surrounding. These machines' production capacity is considerably higher than that of portable models, with a single day's production ranging up to 80 lbs.
Light Portable Ice Makers
Portable nugget makers are the smallest in regards to the size. Their design makes for easy carrying yet are as efficient as their large counterparts, only that they have a lower production capacity. Nonetheless, they are easy to use and light to carry around when need be. Most of these cheap ice maker models are suitable for home use and light commercial applications. They are cheap, but don't let that lead you into underestimating their efficiency and reliability.
11 Best Affordable Ice Makers
While high-end ice maker brands are known for exceptional quality and efficiency, there are also cheap nugget makers designed for quality performance and reliability. Besides a reduced production capacity and a lower storage capacity, you can expect impressive performance from these pocket-friendly ice maker brands as you would high-priced units. Let's look at detailed reviews of each cheap ice maker machine in the following sections.
How Does an Ice Maker Machine Work?
An ice maker has various components, one being a pump that pumps water into a basin. The water in the collection basin is then gradually poured onto a frozen tray in bits, allowing the water to freeze in layers. The mechanism makes it possible to obtain a clear product for quality purposes; otherwise, freezing the water all at once would result in cloudy ice.
What's the Best Water for Use in Ice Makers?
The water used in an ice maker plays a vital role in determining the quality produced, the flavor of your beverage, and the machine's durability. Let's look at detailed expounds on this in the following sections.
Normal Tap Water
While any drinkable water is okay for nugget maker machines, tap water isn't the best option considering that it often has some impurities. These elements often result in a low-quality product that appears cloudy. Also, the long-term accumulation of these impurities in the nugget maker may cause mechanical issues, reducing the machine's durability.
Distilled Drinking Water
Distilled water is recommended for use when you need top-quality nuggets. During the distillation process, the deposition of minerals occurs, and therefore the nuggets produced are without any impurities.
Purified Drinking Water
Purified water is only made safe for drinking but may still contain traces of minerals. These might influence the taste of your beverage when you use the ice produced. Also, the small residues of minerals may accumulate on the machine's internal components over time, resulting in mechanical problems.
Production Rate and Capacity
The production rate of any ice maker is a top factor when buying. The specific needs should guide you on the unit to buy. For day to day home use, you can go for a portable machine with a production rate of about 20lbs in a day. However, commercial applications such as restaurants and bars require models with a higher production rate of about 100 lbs. in a day.
What Other Aspects Are Essential to Consider?
Another factor to consider that many people often forget is the provision of a warranty cover. If the manufacture does not have a warranty for their product, you can as well leave it. A manufacturer that is confident in their machine's quality and excellent functionality will issue a warranty policy.
The Bottom Line
Ice maker machines are undeniably handy appliances that offer a quick fix when making chilled drinks, especially during hot weather conditions. Even so, getting a cheap but good machine isn't the easiest of endeavors given the numerous options available. However, this review features the leading appliances on quality and affordability metrics.
When buying, be sure to check the machine's production rate, the storage capacity, the intuitiveness of the control interface, and the manufacturer's financial guarantees. For top-quality ice, you can preferably use distilled water. What type of nugget maker machine have you used before? What were the advantages and downsides you observed with your unit? You can share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.