An ice machine takes the guesswork out of making sure your bar stays well-stocked. But it’s important to choose the best unit for your needs—including the size and type of ice you want to produce and how much ice you anticipate using daily. You’ll also need to consider your space. Ideally, you’ll find an ice maker that fits comfortably into your countertop area and doesn’t take up too much of your top cabinet space.
Some ice machines are designed to produce a specific shape or type of ice, while others are more versatile and can produce all shapes and sizes of cubes. In our ratings, the GE Profile Opal 2.0 (from $579) is the clear winner for producing “the good ice,” which is nugget-shaped and has a texture that slows down the melting process. This ice maker is easy to use, too. Simply add water, select the desired amount of ice and enjoy the results.
Another option is the Frigidaire Compact Nugget Ice Maker, which makes up to 27 pounds of nugget ice a day and can fill your glass within minutes. The LED-illuminated control panel is straightforward to operate, and it’ll alert you when the bin is full or the water tank is low.
If you’re looking for a larger block of ice, you’ll like the Klaris Craft Cube Ice Maker (from $2,900). This patent-pending design is inspired by Clinebell machines that create large blocks of ice for commercial use. It uses the same technology but produces ice in three different shapes, including two-inch cubes and 2.5-inch spheres. The result is ice that looks great and melts slower than traditional cubes. ice machine