What about ice?

sasundbyMay 28, 2012

We are in the early stages of planning a kitchen remodel and are thinking about the refrigerator and freezer options. We have considered having an all-fridge in the kitchen with an all-freezer in the walk-in pantry. One question that we have is what people do for ice. Do we get an under counter freezer drawer for ice, a dedicated ice machine under counter, or just walk to the freezer for our daily ice-fix.

Thanks for any input. Here is our very rough sketch:

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is there room in the pantry for the freezer to fit just inside the door on the right? That's only a few feet from the fridge so it's a short walk. It would bother me more to have to open 2 doors to get to it.

My kitchen is a good size (18x28) and my freezer is farther away from the food prep and island than yours and no one has ever complained that it's too far. It makes a ton of ice and we didn't need an uncounter ice drawer. If you have young children it might be handy to have an extra freezer drawer in the kitchen area. You don't have to have one with an ice maker since you can just keep a container of ice in it and refill as necessary.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 4:08PM
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If you use ice frequently, I'd invest in a real undercounter ice machine, the kind that needs a drain and makes perfectly clear, odorless ice. Much better than the cloudy, smelly ice crescents the refrigerator icemaker makes. You'll need 15" of undercounter width.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:34PM
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FWIW....I have two refs/freezers with ice makers connected to RO supply. The ice they make doesn't smell. It's partly-cloudy due to trapped air but otherwise it's quite pristine. I also carefully wrap whatever food items are stored in there.

If I put an unwrapped onion or other odiferous item in the freezer thereby allowing the water and ice to absorb that odor, the character of the ice would change....of course. If unused, the stored ice does, indeed, get "stale" and sublimated after a couple of weeks.

"Cloudy" ice is typically caused by trapped air. Many (most?) dedicated under-counter machines are designed to avoid that, thereby producing clear ice. However, if they get smelly water, they will certainly produce smelly ice. Quality water in the isolation provided by a dedicated machine certainly will produce quality ice. The ice they produce is also constantly melting away and draining so that what remains is in the bin is constantly fresh. If you can endure the noise and afford the expense, they will, indeed, provide superior ice.

Over on the plumbing forum using the search function and "ice" (and variations) you will encounter a number of previous posts on the topic.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Thank you for the replies.

Right now, we are leaning towards a freezer drawer (we do have young kids). We don't go through enough ice to justify an under counter ice machine. It really isn't that far from the prep area to the freezer and we like the thought of having a large freezer and refrigerator. Right now, we have our frozen items in 3 different locations. A full-size freezer should eliminate that.

BTW, the door immediately off the kitchen has been eliminated and there is room just to the right of the pantry door for a freezer.

Running an RO supply to the freezer for ice is a brilliant idea. That's one we will have to incorporate. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:00AM
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My wife and I are looking at Liebherr units and we are looking at separate refrigerator and freezer units, though we will use the kit to make them look like one SxS unit. They are each 24" wide and the freezer has a built in ice maker. Would this be a possible option for you?

Link for Liebherr:

Liebherr Link

Here is a link that might be useful: Libherr Home Page

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:15AM
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I like perfectly clear, odorless ice cubes. Clear icemakers are noisy, must be plumbed for drainage, and are not easy to match to built-in cabinetry. When I did my kitchen remodel a few years ago, I evaluated all the models, ran all the numbers, and came to this decision: I disconnected the stock icemaker on my SubZero, and every Friday afternoon I stop by my local supermarket, pick up a bag of designer mountain glacier ice, and restock the ice bin. Voila. If you're having a party, pick up an extra bag. At $1.95 a bag, you're spending $100 a year on ice. Buying, plumbing, installing and maintaining a clear ice maker will take 8-10 years to break even, and by then it will be time to buy a new one.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:26PM
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