Nelson's Guide to Ice Makers: Choosing the Correct Machine

Posted by Sara Malcom on

It’s worth spending a little time and effort choosing your new commercial ice machine as getting it right will eliminate a multitude of problems further down the line.

Ensuring you have the correct size is important as, if it’s too small you’ll run out of ice (and consequently customers!) and if it’s too large, you’ll be paying to produce ice which has, inevitably, got to be dumped because it’s no longer fresh.

Calculate the output you need

Method 1

Randomly pick several different days when takings were at their highest, or when you hosted a busy event or function, and use these to estimate the number of drinks you sold that used ice. Also consider ice that was used in ice buckets, for food display or in the kitchen. 

Method 2

As a rough average, in a reasonably busy restaurant or a bar that’s open all day, you can estimate approximately 1 kg of ice per cover or, alternatively, around 200-300gs per iced drink or cocktail.

Method 3

Call in a reputable icemaker company. Experience comes into its own here and a knowledgeable icemaker specialist, can be indispensable in helping to ascertain the perfect ice making capacity for your individual operation’s requirements.

Choosing a brand

Choose a reputable brand because a well specified commercial ice maker can give many years of reliable service and won’t let you down during your busiest periods.  

Think about energy. Hydrocarbon refrigerated ice makers are now readily available and these units will make a big difference to energy usage as well as being environmentally friendly.

Ice quality is key. Presentation is more important than ever so try to choose a machine that produces crystal-clear, long-lasting ice cubes. The appearance of the cube and the length of time it will hold is directly related to its manufacturing temperature and how much (or little) air is trapped within the ice cube.

You’ll also need a well-designed ice storage bin. These should be easy to clean and very well insulated to slow down the ice melting.

Also, look out for removable air filters. Because a dirt-free air filter helps keep a commercial icemaker performing at maximum yield, it’s worth looking for a machine that offers a detachable, condenser air filter that can be easily removed for cleaning.

To sum up, a little extra effort before buying will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on running your business rather than having to resolve ice-related problems.

Ice Maker Guide

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