undercounter ice maker help

cayann26January 15, 2012

We are on the market for an undercounter ice maker. We want an icemaker that makes small soft ice. Unfortunaly when we go to stores you can't try the ice each ice maker makes, so I was hoping maybe somebody could suggest a good ice maker that makes great ice for cocktails and for chewing.

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I would like at add to cayann26's question. We are also in the market but we are also looking for something that will accept a custom panel and prefer clear ice (maybe that is same as soft ice).

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Ice machines that produce small soft ice are significantly more expensive that those that produce large hard ice.

IMO without question the best most reliable for small soft ice/nugget ice is Hoshizaki Hoshizaki C-100BAE-AD.


Almost all of these undercounter icemachines produce clear ice. The excpetions are the really inexpensive ones that are bascially freezers with ice-maker units from convetional Refrigerator/Freezer combo units.

Do you want soft or hard ice? Both are clear but IMO the harder ice is clearer. Softer ice has a bit of water in it and that is why it is soft.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Hoshizaki is the only ice maker manufacturer who makes a soft "rabbit pellet" ice maker - at least that I am aware of. It is expensive - I want to say 3000.00. Maybe more. It is a fairly new development. Before then, you had to get a commercial one to get that kind of ice. Friends have one in their huge pantry and it is noisy and wall mounted and about 3' x 4'. Not ideal.

If you need ice for drinks, the rabbit ice may not be the best selection. Although I love the ice for a soda or tea, mixed drinks need a harder cube so they don't water down. Also, ice buckets, coolers, beer tubs, etc. need bigger cubes or the ice turns into water too quickly.

Although we aren't huge liquor drinkers, we didn't want to buy or make ice to have on hand anytime a friend wanted a scotch and water . . .

Just some things to think about.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Just get regular $2K ice maker and buy an ice crusher to go with it on the 1.2K you save. But realize that ice makers are not ice keepers and while they will keep making all of the ice you want, the unused ice melts and will need either a gravity drain or pump to get rid of the melt. That also means that they are not at all energy efficient with either electricity or water. An average Energy Star refrigerator freezer will cost you $55 a year in annual energy costs with average energy rates. An icemaker will cost more than 10x that depending on size and whether it's drain is gravity or pump powered.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 1:36AM
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I got rid of our undercounter GE clear icemaker, over the objections of DW. She loved the ice. I hated 1) the noise--constantly whirring and whining, and all night long, hearing the cubes crash into the bin every 20 minutes 2) the ecological impact. As Green points out, these things just let the ice continuously melt, and thus you constantly have to make new ice. Especially in winter, the ice demand for us was low so 95% of the ice made just melted and went down the drain.

In an era where clean water is increasingly in short supply, and where electricity production is still predominantly coal-fueled, I find it awfully hard to justify this choice just so you can have "nice looking ice" for the once a day glass of scotch. It wastes copious water, and equally copious electricity.

We just buy clean ice at the grocery store and keep it in our freezer for guests.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 10:47AM
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PS: cayann, if you chew enough ice to contemplate a soft ice maker, you might check your hemoglobin and ferritin levels. Ice chewing (pagophagia) is a classic sign of iron deficiency anemia.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Thanks, I didn't really want to spend 3k on an ice machine, we were hoping to spend closer to 2k. Our water out here is awful so we will have to buy a filter or reverse osmosis to make the ice taste better. It would not have a gravity drain, as we asked the builder to put one in but it was overlooked until it was too late to correct. We use a lot of ice, we are constantly buying it at the store, I don't think it would go to waste. Thanks for all the advice.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 4:55PM
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In the link below the Hoshi is $2499 with free shipping.

It is the least noisy,energy inefficient and water ineffecient.

But it will still be noiser and use more water and electricity than opting for an ice maker in your freezer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoshizaki C-100BAE-AD

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 7:53PM
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I'm a water and ice snob. Like good-tasting water and actual-cube ice. Have high-end RO system and make my cubes manually.

I make my own cubes in plastic trays that I think have a superior shape and bag the product. From time-to-time, I refill my ref/freezer dispenser-bin with it. Disadvantage is the labor and freezer-space taken during freezing.

As an alternative, I once considered the product linked below. It is a countertop clear-ice maker. I don't have experience with this particular one but I do have with several other brands and types. $200-300.00 machines work wonderfully. Requires no drain. Just sits there and runs. Makes 28lbs a day. Choose your water, bag up the cubes, and freeze 'em. Don't like the noise? Put it in the garage or turn it off for a while. Breaks after a couple of years? For the price, who cares? You could buy ten of them for the price of one of the others.

I know this isn't what OP asked for but may represent a reasonable alternative. Just a thought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Counter-top clear-ice machine

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Seriously, asolo, thank you so much for introducing me to the countertop ice machine! I make our ice manually using trays and storing them in the freezer and this is perfect for us...we need a small amount of good ice for everyday and a larger amount for parties. Awesome!!! I love the internet...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Thanks for the kind words.

I first encountered these machines among RV-er's and travel-trailer folks about a decade ago. Never encountered anyone who had a moment's trouble with whichever of these machines they had, most purchased at RV stores or Wal-Mart, they told me.

Most of them make "bullet-shaped" cloudy cubes. The "clear-ice" /actual-cube machine I linked is especially appealing to me although I've never actually seen it. For a couple hundred bucks, I might just get one on a lark.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Clinresga--had to smile when I read your responses.

First, you made me re-think my yearning for a good icemaker. May skip it after all.

Second--I craved ice constantly with my second pregnancy, and was constantly fighting anemia. Few people other than those with a medical background know about this form of pica.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:43AM
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