THE COMPLETE ICE MAKER BUYING GUIDE
If you're looking for a convenient way to make and enjoy cold drinks, an ice maker is a great solution — no more running out of cubes or having to wait hours for them to freeze. Simply pop the prepared ice into a glass of water, a refreshing iced coffee or use them to create beautifully handcrafted cocktails.
This guide will explain what you should look for when buying an ice maker, as well as the different types of ice makers available on the market. Learn more about how these helpful appliances work and why you might consider one for your space.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING AN ICE MAKER?
When shopping for an ice maker, there are a few important features to consider, including size, capacity, drainage system, location and style. Before you can begin experimenting with different iced beverages and other recipes, it's important to find an appliance that complements your needs.
The size of your ice maker is an important factor to consider, as it will determine how much ice it can produce and how much space it takes up. Ice makers can range from very small countertop units to large commercial units that can stand on the floor or be built into a wall. Consider how much ice you need and where you plan to put it before deciding on the size.
KitchenAid® ice makers feature 15" and 18" sizes designed for greater flexibility when deciding on the placement of your new appliance. This allows you to have refreshing ice on hand for making delicious smoothies and other blended drinks as often as you like.
The capacity of an ice maker is determined by how many cubes it can make in a day — larger units typically produce more than smaller ones. Think about the different recipes you'll need ice to create and consider how frequently you plan to use your machine. If you need your ice maker to fill coolers, you'll want an ice maker with a larger storage capacity.
KitchenAid® ice makers are available in 25 and 35 lb. capacities that can help you make plenty of ice before your next cocktail party or birthday toast.
3. DRAINAGE SYSTEM
A proper drainage system will allow any excess water from melted ice to flow away from the areas it can cause harm. Make sure you have a suitable drainage system in place before you purchase an ice maker, such a floor-level drain or a dedicated drain pipe.
Location is an important factor to consider when choosing an ice maker, as some models require a drain line or ventilation space in order to work correctly. Additionally, make sure you have enough room to accommodate your machine and any additional accessories before making your purchase. Consider whether your ice maker would be most convenient in an outdoor space for entertaining, as part of a wet bar in your rec room or integrated into your kitchen like undercounter ice makers from KitchenAid brand.
Where you decide to place your ice maker also depends on the water line location. Installation of the ice maker requires a cold water supply inlet, so make sure you have one in place before purchasing.
Ice makers come in a variety of styles and colors, so you can easily find one that fits the aesthetic of your home bar, kitchen and entertaining areas.
KitchenAid® ice makers are available in a variety of sleek and modern finishes to choose from, including stainless steel and black stainless options. Select KitchenAid® models are also available in panel-ready options designed to match your existing cabinetry for a seamless look
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ICE MAKERS?
When it comes to ice makers, there are a variety of models available on the market to suit your needs. From undercounter and freestanding models to countertop units, you can find an ice maker that perfectly complements your lifestyle and entertaining needs.
1. UNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKERS
Undercounter ice makers are designed to fit under a counter or installed alongside cabinetry and can help you save valuable countertop space. These models are also typically larger than countertop units and produce more ice, making them ideal for parties, large gatherings or everyday use.
Undercounter ice makers can also be a great addition to your rec room or three seasons room. Some models, like this one from KitchenAid brand are even equipped to be installed outdoors, so you can have ice within reach while you entertain guests at a cookout or pool party.
2. FREESTANDING ICE MAKERS
Freestanding ice makers are the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy large amounts of ice in a short amount of time. These models typically come with an integrated storage bin and can help you access large quantities of ice quickly. Place in a garage or outdoor kitchen for your next barbeque.
3. COUNTERTOP ICE MAKERS
Countertop ice makers are a great choice if you need the convenience of having ice on demand, but don’t have the space for an undercounter or freestanding unit. These models are easy to install and can be placed in a convenient location on your counter for access to quick and easy beverages like homemade lemonade or punch.
TYPES OF ICE
An ice maker can provide you with a variety of different types of ice, including nugget, cubed and crushed. Each type has its own unique uses and characteristics that make it ideal for different recipes and drinks. Whether you’re looking for something to add texture to your cocktails or ice that will blend smoothly for your morning protein shake, an ice maker can help you achieve your desired results.
Select KitchenAid® ice makers also feature Clear Ice Technology that provides cubes of uniform ¾" x ¾" x ½" size and shape that are ideal for daily use or a variety of entertaining needs. Clear Ice Technology also allows for attractive drink presentation and a slow melt rate so beverages won't water down quickly.
Nugget ice is soft and chewable, making it an adaptable option for a wide variety of blended recipes, like smoothies or frozen cocktails. Try nugget ice with this Caramel Apple Bourbon Slush Cocktail or this Butternut Squash Smoothie.
Cubed ice is the traditional type of ice found in most drinks and cocktails, making it a must-have for any home bar. Cubed ice also tends to last longer in drinks than other types of ice, which makes it ideal for larger gatherings.
Crushed ice is great for chilling beverages quickly and adding texture to recipes like snow cones or frozen treats. Crushed ice may also melt faster than cubed or nugget varieties, so you'll want to be sure to use it quickly after it's made.
CAN YOU INSTALL AN ICE MAKER YOURSELF?
Installing an ice maker can be a relatively simple process, but a technician may be helpful if you've never installed an ice maker before or are unfamiliar with installing ice maker components like drainage lines. Always consult the installation instructions for your model for specific details regarding installation.
Select KitchenAid® ice makers come with features like the Gravity Drain and Built-In Drain Pump Systems that help make installing your ice maker easy—simply install the line directly into a floor drainage system or under-sink drain pipe.
SHOULD YOU LEAVE YOUR ICE MAKER ON ALL THE TIME?
Most ice makers can be left on all the time in order to ensure that you always have a fresh supply of ice. Like refrigerator ice makers, these appliances are typically designed to run constantly.
DO ICE MAKERS USE A LOT OF ELECTRICITY?
Ice makers are a convenient way to produce ice quickly for use in a variety of recipes for your next big celebration without using too much electricity. Although the amount of electricity used will vary depending on the size and type of ice maker you have, many models are designed to be energy efficient and require little more than a standard outlet. Select models, such as this option from KitchenAid brand, are EnergyStar® qualified, as well.
SHOP KITCHENAID® ICE MAKERS
Whether you're looking for a way to craft creative cocktails and smoothies at home or you just want the convenience of having ice on demand, an ice maker is an ideal solution. With features like Clear Ice Technology on select models, KitchenAid® undercounter and freestanding ice makers help produce cubes of appealing clarity, size and shape ideal for everyday use.
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