Best Portable Ice Maker – Reviews & Comprehensive Buying Guide
Okay, who doesn’t like ice cubes with their drinks? Who doesn’t love snow cones with exotic flavours on them? Who wouldn’t love having ice cubes ready in the blink of an eye, without having to spend money for buying ice from grocery stores, every time they want to a party and need large amounts of ice? Well, the answer to all these queries is: portable ice maker. These handy little machines produce much quicker than refrigerators and standard size freezers and ice makers used for commercial purposes, are more convenient, great for health and also come with a bunch of other useful features.
Moreover, these appliances can be used wherever you happen to have electricity and also, they don’t require any kind of installation whatsoever. But, as is the case with everything out there in the market, there are lots of different ice makers from various brands, but not all are of equal qualities. So, below I have given a list of some of the best portable ice makers in the market.
Best Best Portable Ice Maker - Our Picks
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The Best Ice Makers in the Market
Ice trade has been there in existence since a very long period of time but it was mostly used for preserving food items. Even till as late as 1960’s, ice was a very rare commodity that only the very rich could afford. But with the invention and rapid popularity of refrigerators and freezers, it became easier to preserve all kinds of food items and ice, that was once a rare, became a favourite in households all around the world. But this ice was either made in refrigerators or bought from stores. In the next half of the century, with more advancement of technology, making ice has never been so easy. The portable ice makers are way more than just simple ice trays.
Why Do You Need an Ice Maker
- The convenient and compact design makes it easier to carry it around anywhere as long you have electricity, whether indoors or outdoors.
- On an average, it takes 10-15 minutes to produce one batch of ice, saving you the trouble of going to the store to buy or having to wait over an hour for the refrigerator to do its work.
- Very pocket friendly, considering the one time investment instead of spending for ice each time you want some.
- Shape, size, consistency as well as quality are maintained throughout.
- Size and amount to be produced is under control.
- Very efficient regarding electricity consumption when compared to the refrigerator.
- May seem like an unnecessary expense to those do not usually require much ice.
- Although most models are less noisy or even silent, but some are very loud.
- Usually require a running water systems, though now many models have been made which can use both tap as well as bottled water.
- There is not much difference in the ice block sizes.
How Does a Portable Ice Maker Work?
Although, different devices work in different ways, in general, a portable ice maker cools and freezes water by lowering the temperature of the metal chamber of the machine; or by lowering a metallic prong in the water, which, in turn, freezes the water. Since the machine is really compact, it is easier to remove the heat from the chamber and directly start the freezing process. This is why; these appliances take such a less time in producing ice than refrigerators and freezers.
Now, depending on the model, it is either an automatic machine that would take water only through attached hose with the tap or it is a manual type that you can pour water into by using any container, as per your need. Once, the water is up to the level marked in it, and you plug it in, the cooling process begins. The water is sucked up from the reservoir into a molding tray. Now, depending upon the size of the cube you opted for, the tray would change. An internal timer gets activate and alerts the machine once the ice blocks are frozen, which makes it pour the ice into the basin or the removable ice tray, as provided.
Generally, it is advised that, when using for the very first time, you should throw the first batch of ice out, since it may stink or have a metallic tang to its taste. But this is not compulsory; many devices are good to go from the first start. Being exclusively designed to do this job quicker; this appliance produces just one batch of ice within a time range of 6-15, and can produce 26-28 pounds of ice per day depending upon the device quality.
How to Choose the Best Portable Ice Maker
Just like everything else, these appliances too are manufactured by tons of companies and brands. But how will you select the one that suits you best? Here are some tips to help you narrow down your search.
There are a certain number of factors you have to consider before investing in a portable ice maker. First and foremost, you have to decide upon your budget, then the device’s design, efficiency, ease of operating, capacity of ice production, time taken for one single batch, the power consumption, water intake facility, the weight and size of the device that would fit in your kitchen, etc. Also, apart from these, you may have a particularly preferred brand or model.
Most of the choice depends first upon how much ice do you require per day. Next, you have to consider the storage. Portable ice makers are meant to produce, not store it. So if you want the process to run smoothly, either keep emptying the ice tray or let it melt there; in almost all the portable ice makers, this melted ice water is used up to produce the next batch of ice, thus it saves water wasting too, along with saving you electricity. The next to consider is whether you need different sized ice cubes or any one size would suffice.
Generally, portable ice makers offer two to three different sizes of ice cubes you could choose from. The last but not the least, you have to think about its maintenance. Well, good news is, these appliances need very little and very basic maintenance. Just remember to drain excess water after every use and swipe the inside once with a clean, damp towel.
Also you could you lemon or vinegar to wipe it once in a while to keep any bacteria or other stuff from growing inside due to the forever damp environment of the reservoir. In addition, while buying the product, you should check out the warranty offered and whether replacement parts are available in the market. Compare your choice to other good products to make your final purchase and you are good to go.
After an extensive research, I found that the five products I mentioned above are among the top lists of best portable ice makers in the market. These have been repeatedly reviewed and recommended by users. There are, of course, numerous other brands and models that you can choose from. Just keep in mind your preferences and requirements out of the product, its efficiency, durability and maintenance. And if you are buying it online, do not forget to check the specifications of the product you choose and compare it with others.