ice cubes from counter top ice maker

On the Counter Ice Maker Recommendations

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An on the counter ice maker (also called a counter top ice maker) is a nice addition to your kitchen if you want a steady supply of ice in your kitchen. If your refrigerator doesn’t have an ice maker or if it can’t keep up with your household use, getting an ice machine will be a game-changer. These are popular for RVs as well.

In hot climates you can easily overtax your refrigerator’s ice-making capabilities. Family and friends coming into the kitchen all day for cold drinks can deplete your ice supply pretty quickly.

These units are also great to have on hand for entertaining. Running out of ice can be a party killer.

In this article we’re going to take a look at the best on the counter ice makers and the pros and cons of each. For the price, these machines make a nice upgrade to your kitchen.

The convenience factor is a benefit and of course so having an abundance of ice. And if you’re a fan of certain types of ice, you can find an ice machine to suit your preference.

We’ll be looking at these countertop ice machines in detail in just a second:

On the Counter Ice Maker Factors to Consider

When deciding on a countertop ice machine, you’ll need to determine which factors are most important to you and what kind of specs the unit must have so that it meets your needs. Some of these considerations include the following:

Daily Capacity

Many machines can produce 26 pounds of ice per day, but there are some units with output of up to 48 pounds.

Ice Making Time

How much time is acceptable for making ice? Machines range from six to eight minutes in most cases.

Ice Per Cycle

Units typically produce 9 ice cubes per cycle.

Ice Options

Many machines offer you a choice of ice sizes so you can use small or large cubes. This comes in handy if you need small cubes to fit into a water bottle, plus it’s nice just to be able to choose what you want.

Ice Shape

Different machines produce shapes such as bullets or cubes, with most of them making cylinders/bullets.

Most make bullet-shaped iced so if you want cubes, this is the best machine: Sentern Portable Electric Clear Ice Maker

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity

None of these machines will keep ice frozen for long, so you’ll have to move ice to a freezer for long-term storage. There are storage baskets included for accumulating and moving ice that you’ve made.

READ  Freestanding Ice Maker Reviews

Machine Size

Counter space is precious in most kitchens so be sure to check the machine’s dimensions.

Smallest machine: Northair 26-pound per day

Top 6 On the Counter Ice Makers

Let’s look at five of the best rated models available that cover a range of options and price points to suit your preference.

Igloo ICEB26RR 26-Pound Automatic Portable Countertop Ice Maker Machine – Retro Red

Igloo ICEB26RR Automatic Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker Machine, 26 Pounds in 24 Hours, 9 Ice Cubes Ready in 7 minutes, With Ice Scoop and Basket, Perfect for Water Bottles, Mixed Drinks
  • DESIGNED FOR CONVENIENCE Portable, convenient and compACt in size, this retro metallic red ice maker looks good on a countertop while producing ice for whenever or wherever you need it
  • Large ice making capACity keep the water tank filled and this unit will produce 26 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period enough to keep drinks cold all day long
  • Water tank capACity 3 quarts. Ice production per day (pounds.) - 26
  • Ice basket capACity stores up to 2 pounds of ice at a time
  • Quick freezing ice makes 9 small or large cylinder shaped ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This machine has two things going for it right off the bat: very attractive retro-style appearance that will look good on your counter (other colors available including stainless steel) and a trusted brand name.

The unit has a window so you can easily check out what your ice supply is looking like. It also has a convenient handle for when you want to carry it to another room or to a function or party. If you want a good portable machine this may be the most convenient due to the ease of carrying it.

This machine makes the softer kind of ice that’s good if you like ice for chewing. The ice comes out kind of wet, which means it will stick together if you were to store batches of it in your freezer. You’d have to break it apart into smaller chunks for most uses.

Daily Capacity: The Igloo can make 26 pounds of ice per day

Ice Making Time: 7 minute cycle for small ice bullets

Ice Per Cycle: Makes 9 ice bullets (cylinders) per cycle, small or large

Ice Options: You have the choice of making small or large-sized ice cylinders

Ice Shape: Cylinder, round-ish in shape with a hole in the center also known as bullets

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity: 1 1/4 pounds of ice can be stored in the Igloo ICEB26RR

Machine Size: 9.6 x 14.7 x 12.4 inches

Weight: 20.5 pounds

Water Capacity: 2.8 L

Northair Countertop Ice Maker Machine Up to 26lbs/Day with LCD Display, Compact Electric Portable Ice Machine

Northair Countertop Ice Maker Machine Up to 26lbs/Day with LCD Display, Compact Electric Portable Ice Machine - 9 Ice Cube Making in 6 Minutes for Parties, RV, Camping Vacations
  • 【QUICK MAKE & PERFECT ICE】Make up to 26 lbs of Small or Large bullet-shaped ice cubes per day and efficiently make 9 ice in as little as 6 minutes. With a ice cube basket of 1.5lbs capacity
  • 【PORTABLE and COMPACT ICE MAKERS 】Size: 8.8x12.3x12.6 inch, Weight: 17.6 pounds. Easy to move, perfect for home parties, RVs, camping vacations and boat trips.
  • 【SMART INDICATOR】LCD Display Digital Panel with Indicator warning light lets you know when the ice basket is full and when you need to add more water. Large Windows can provide a clear picture of the ice-making process and the amount of ice-making.
  • 【ENERGY SAVING and LESS NOISE】Any unused ice will melt back into the reservoir and be recycled into fresh water with waste-free. R600a Refrigerant with non-toxic and non-destructive to ozone layer protects the environment and Silent provides safety, healthy ice cubes
  • 【2-YEAR WARRANTY】Northair offers 2-year warranty and 30-day return policy. If you have any problem for this Automatic Smart Ice Making Machine , please feel free to contact with us

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

READ  Freestanding Ice Maker Reviews

The Northair 26-pound capacity unit is another stainless machine that produces bullet-shaped ice. Ratings currently stand at 4.7 stars, making this one of the highest-rated ice makers on the market. Like most ice makers, it will recycle the melted ice that’s left in the machine and make more ice. There is also a helpful LCD display that keeps you informed.

Daily Capacity: 26 pounds per day

Ice Making Time: 6 minutes for small ice bullets

Ice Per Cycle: 9 cubes

Ice Options: Small or large

Ice Shape: Bullet

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity: 1 1/2 pounds

Machine Size: 8.8 x 12.3 x 12.6 inches

Weight: 17.6 pounds

Water Capacity: 2 L

Vremi Countertop Ice Maker – Portable Stainless Steel Ice Maker with Ice Scoop and Basket

Sale
Vremi Countertop Ice Maker - Ice Cubes Ready in 9 Mins - Perfect for Water Bottles, Mixed Drinks - Portable Small Stainless Steel Ice Maker with Ice Scoop and Basket - Silver and Black
  • DESIGNED TO MAKE PERFECT ICE FAST - Our ice maker works quickly making 9 chewable delicious bullet-shaped ice-cubes in one cycle in just 8 to 10 minutes—and up to 26 lbs of ice in 24 hrs Each ice cube weighs 8 grams making it perfect for mixed drinks or small water bottle openings
  • COMPACT, PORTABLE ICE MACHINE - Good things come in small packages. Measuring at 9. 5 x 12 x 13. 5 inches, this ice maker can go anywhere. Since it doesn’t need a water hookup, it’s an ideal choice for barbeques, outdoor parties, or basement bars. Get fresh ice in your ice adventures as this ice-maker comes with a 1. 5 lb removable ice bucket and a plastic scoop
  • INTELLIGENT FEATURES - You do enough thinking let us help out Our ice maker prevents overflowing with warning lights and an automatic shut-off feature for when the ice basket is full or if water needs to be refilled It doesn’t need any complex installation either just set it upright and leave it for 24 hours to settle its coolant before use
  • QUIET and ENERGY EFFICIENT - Electric ice maker is made to be chill it runs at a mellow and efficient 120 watts with a quiet cooling function Its 2 2-liter water reservoir sits below the ice basket letting your ice maker reuse water from melted ice to make new ice— giving you best-in-class ease-of-use and energy efficient
  • YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR PRIORITY - Vremi offers a 1-year and free return or exchange within 30 days of order receipt. We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. If you experience any issues, please contact us or any of our authorized sellers directly, and we will do everything we can to make things right!

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Vremi kind of has the sleek stainless look of a small version of a restaurant ice machine. It should blend in with most kitchens, especially of course if you have other stainless appliances. Like most of the competition, it makes nine bullet-shaped pieces of ice in about nine minutes.

It has a removable ice bucket and it comes with a scoop. There is no carrying handle on this unit. It only makes one size of ice. There is a window so you can see how much ice you have ready.

In addition, it’s basically designed to make ice and that’s it — it won’t keep the ice cool, which means you’ll have to move it to your freezer pretty quickly if you want to store some.

READ  Freestanding Ice Maker Reviews

One user noted that the machine doesn’t keep the ice cold enough to stay frozen for very long, so the ice melts and then the machine repeats the ice making cycle with the melted water. This isn’t an unusual trait for an on the counter ice maker in this price range, but it does seem to be more of an issue with this particular unit.

Daily Capacity: 26 pounds per day

Ice Making Time: 9 minute cycle

Ice Per Cycle: Makes 9 cubes per cycle

Ice Options: One size, small

Ice Shape: Bullet/cylindrical

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity: 1 1/2 pounds of ice can fit into the storage bucket

Machine Size: 9.5 x 12 x 13.5 inches

Weight: 23.6 pounds

Water Capacity: 2.2 L

Sentern Portable Electric Clear Ice Maker Machine Stainless Steel Countertop Ice Making Machine

Sentern Portable Electric Clear Ice Maker Machine Stainless Steel Countertop Ice Making Machine 48 lbs Per Day, Real Clear Ice Cubes, Actual Ice, Crystal Clear Ice
  • Better Quality Clear Ice - Sentern produces clear ice cubes that are harder and denser, Real Clear Ice Cubes, Actual Ice, Crystal clear ice, NOT Bullet Cubes ,which melt much more slowly than other forms of ice, and chill your drink without diluting its taste or quality.
  • Efficient Production and High Storage Capacity - Enjoy a batch of solid and crystal-clear ice cubes in just 15 minutes.
  • Compact and Portable Design - Chic and compact design with stainless steel body ensures good looks and durability
  • Keep a Steady Supply Going - 2.2 L water tank with easy-to-use digital control panel
  • Ice maker measures 11.2” x 14.4” x 13.8”. Ready to use out of the box. No installation needed.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sentern on the counter ice maker is at the high end of the price spectrum, and it stands out because it makes small sheets of cubes that look like what you’d get from a commercial ice maker.

The company says the ice this unit makes is clear, unlike most of the bullet-style ice makers that produce cloudy, white-ish ice. However, some users had trouble with achieving a perfectly clear result so it does seem to be tied to what kind of water you’re using.

These cubes are harder and last longer in your drink than the bullet-style ice. And you can get a lot more ice at a time with this machine but the cycle time is longer. You can select small, medium, or large cubes. Cube dimensions are the same for all three, the difference is in the amount of hollow area inside the cube. Small cubes have more hollow space.

Like other machines, this one doesn’t keep the ice frozen so you will have to move it to a freezer for storage. A viewing window allows you to easily check on your ice supply.

This machine is several pounds heavier than most others and has a larger counter footprint. There is no carrying handle on the Sentern. It has a hefty, commercial look to its stainless steel body.

Daily Capacity: 48 pounds per day

Ice Making Time: 15 minutes to 25 minutes depending on the cube size that you select

Ice Per Cycle: Up to 24 cubes

Ice Options: Small, medium, large cubes

Ice Shape: Cube

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity: Stores 2.4 pounds of ice

Machine Size: 11.2 x 14.4 x 13.8 inches

Weight: 27 pounds

Water Capacity: 2.2 L

Aicok 26lb Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop, Stainless Steel

Aicok 26lb Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop, Stainless Steel, Ice Cubes ready in 6 Minutes, 26lb Ice per 24 Hrs, Self-clean Function, LCD Display, Ice Scoop&Basket, Perfect for Cocktail Party
  • ❄ 【Fast and portable: ice cubes ready in 6 minutes】Makes 9 ice cubes within 6-10 minutes, the maximum production capability: 26 lb/12kg ice per 24 hrs. A large water tank (2.3qt/2.2L), a large ice basket (1.8lb) and a BPA-free ice scoop. Small-sized but achieves low noise level, fast cooling effect and low consumption with a powerful and noiseless compressor, high-quality copper aluminum fin condenser and 0.1lb R134a refrigerant. The thick foam layer insulates the heat effectively. Quiet DC fan
  • ❄ 【Self-clean function: for healthy pure ice cubes】 In areas with hard water, minerals can stick to ice maker internal during the ice making cycle, eventually forming hard, scaly deposits in the ice maker, which can lead to stinky and impure ice cubes. With the self-clean function, cleaning ice maker could be no longer messy. Sponge or rag? No need. Just add some water and vinegar, and click on a few buttons.
  • ❄ 【3 Size options S/M/L: caters to all kinds of needs】 3 ice sizes optional. Bullet-shaped ice, not easily melt or stick together, great for chilling drinks or small water bottle openings, iced food, and first aid. BONUS-removable ice basket and ice scoop, convenient for you to transfer ice cubes to your drink or ice bucket. This ice maker can go anywhere which doesn’t need a water hookup.
  • ❄ 【Multi-functional ice maker: designed to be user-centered】 Simple control panel and large LCD display, just add water, plug it in, press the power button, select the ice size and forget it. The timer makes it unnecessary to monitor. The indicator lights up when the ice is full or you need more water. No plumbing required, easy to fill and clean. With an outlet and drain plug at the back, easy to empty the water. Doesn't need any complex installation. Transparent viewing window.
  • ❄ 【Modern, food-grade & convenient】 Made of food-grade material just for your health and safety, no odor. Modern stainless steel shell, smooth and easy to clean. It takes up less space at home or in the office, barbeques, outdoor parties, or basement bars. If you have any problems, please feel free to contact us. Technical advice is provided for a lifetime.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Aicok is another sleek-looking stainless steel unit that will look right at home in your kitchen. Like most others, it makes bullet-shaped ice that’s on the soft side. It has a window like the others so you can check on your ice supply easily. It has a self-cleaning function and infrared sensing technology that alerts you when the ice storage basket is full or when the machine has run out of water. There’s also a LCD information display.

Daily Capacity: 26 pounds per day

Ice Making Time: Cycle time is 6 minutes for small ice bullets

Ice Per Cycle: 9 bullets of ice per cycle

Ice Options: Small, medium, large

Ice Shape: Bullets

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity: 1 3/4 pounds

Machine Size: 15.9 x 11.6 x 15 inches

Weight: 23.3 pounds

Water Capacity: 2.2 L

Northair Ice Maker Countertop with 40lbs/Day

Aicok 26lb Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop, Stainless Steel, Ice Cubes ready in 6 Minutes, 26lb Ice per 24 Hrs, Self-clean Function, LCD Display, Ice Scoop&Basket, Perfect for Cocktail Party
  • ❄ 【Fast and portable: ice cubes ready in 6 minutes】Makes 9 ice cubes within 6-10 minutes, the maximum production capability: 26 lb/12kg ice per 24 hrs. A large water tank (2.3qt/2.2L), a large ice basket (1.8lb) and a BPA-free ice scoop. Small-sized but achieves low noise level, fast cooling effect and low consumption with a powerful and noiseless compressor, high-quality copper aluminum fin condenser and 0.1lb R134a refrigerant. The thick foam layer insulates the heat effectively. Quiet DC fan
  • ❄ 【Self-clean function: for healthy pure ice cubes】 In areas with hard water, minerals can stick to ice maker internal during the ice making cycle, eventually forming hard, scaly deposits in the ice maker, which can lead to stinky and impure ice cubes. With the self-clean function, cleaning ice maker could be no longer messy. Sponge or rag? No need. Just add some water and vinegar, and click on a few buttons.
  • ❄ 【3 Size options S/M/L: caters to all kinds of needs】 3 ice sizes optional. Bullet-shaped ice, not easily melt or stick together, great for chilling drinks or small water bottle openings, iced food, and first aid. BONUS-removable ice basket and ice scoop, convenient for you to transfer ice cubes to your drink or ice bucket. This ice maker can go anywhere which doesn’t need a water hookup.
  • ❄ 【Multi-functional ice maker: designed to be user-centered】 Simple control panel and large LCD display, just add water, plug it in, press the power button, select the ice size and forget it. The timer makes it unnecessary to monitor. The indicator lights up when the ice is full or you need more water. No plumbing required, easy to fill and clean. With an outlet and drain plug at the back, easy to empty the water. Doesn't need any complex installation. Transparent viewing window.
  • ❄ 【Modern, food-grade & convenient】 Made of food-grade material just for your health and safety, no odor. Modern stainless steel shell, smooth and easy to clean. It takes up less space at home or in the office, barbeques, outdoor parties, or basement bars. If you have any problems, please feel free to contact us. Technical advice is provided for a lifetime.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s an on the counter machine that’s slightly more expensive, but if you want clear, cube-shaped ice from one of these machines this is one of your only options. It also makes a lot more ice at a time than most of the other units on our list, although with a cycle time that’s about twice as long. As with the others, it has a larger viewing window for monitoring your ice.

This clear, cubed ice lasts longer in drinks than the bullets do, and is a bit harder in consistency. The ice storage basket is removable and it comes with a scoop. You can select the ice size although the actual cube dimensions stay the same — what changes is the thickness. So large cubes are the thickest and naturally small cubes are the thinnest.

The unit’s appearance is similar to the others (except for the retro Igloo) with a sleek stainless look. It’s also got a LCD display.

Daily Capacity: 40 pounds per day

Ice Making Time: 15 minutes

Ice Per Cycle: 24 cubes

Ice Options: Small, medium, large

Ice Shape: Cubes

Ice Basket/Storage Capacity: 2.4 pounds

Machine Size: 11.3 x 14.7 x 14.1 inches

Weight: 26.9 pounds

Water Capacity:  2.2 L

Final Thoughts

An on the counter ice maker is a useful addition to your kitchen. If you have a large family, like to entertain, or simply prefer the ice that comes from one of these ice machines over ice tray ice or your freezer’s ice maker ice. These counter top machines are great for setting up on your patio area for days out by the pool, and some are also very easy to take with you if you’re going to a party.

Keep in mind that these units don’t have built-in refrigeration, which means you’ll have to move the ice to a freezer if you want to store it. Typically what happens is the ice is made and stored in the unit; then when it melts, the water is cycled back into the ice making stage so you get a fresh new batch of ice.

Also, these machines don’t make a lot of ice per cycle (up to 24 cubes), but the cycle times are pretty short — ice can be made in just 6 minutes on some of these. But if you need more ice output per cycle then you may want to check out these larger freestanding ice machines.

A freestanding (also referred to as an under counter ice maker) machine may be better suited to keep up with your needs if you expect to need more than 9 to 24 cubes per cycle. Like the counter top machines, the freestanding ones don’t keep the ice frozen for you but they can produce upwards of about 90 pounds of ice per day.

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