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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Residential Ice Maker



ice bucket scoop
Forget the days of paying for giant ice bags and carrying them around to your party – invest in an ice maker instead!

Ice is the most basic need for almost any drink that you enjoy.

It takes your drink from moderately cold to frigid temperatures almost immediately, and it keeps your beverage cooler for longer.

My choice? Sunpentown ice maker at Amazon.

Unfortunately, the only times that we realize how important ice is to our drinking experience is when we don’t have the luxury of using it.

Do you make a lot of smoothies or protein drinks with ice? Check out these blenders that can easily handle that job.

You will never (or, should never) be at a party or barbecue where there isn’t a need for ice. And because of that, we will often stop at the gas station and grab several 10 or 20-pound bags so we can keep the drinks flowing.

But there is a better option than having to carry all those ice bags around. Portable ice makers are convenient, relatively inexpensive, and can give you all the ice you need without having to make extra trips to the store.

Today we are going to look at a couple of portable ice makers, and figure out which one is best for you.

If you have a home bar, check out ice makers made specifically to fit your needs.

Midea HS-36I Compact Ice Maker

The Midea HS-36I a single door ice maker that stands nearly 18 inches high. It is a free standing machine with a capacity to hold 1 cubic foot of ice. The ice maker door is reversible and made of stainless steel.

It can make up to 10 pounds of ice per day. It makes ice relatively quickly and can fill itself up in less than 12 hours. It has vents located on the bottom, ensuring it does not overheat even if you use it often or even constantly.

Midea will offer a full 1-year warranty on the freezer and a 2 year warranty on the compressor itself. Because it runs off of only 120 volts, this machine draws very little power, and it will keep your electricity usage to a minimum.

If you’re wondering how to pack a cooler with ice to take on the go with you, check out these tips.

Should you buy this ice maker?

If you are looking for a very inexpensive option to get large amounts of ice, then this Midea HS-36I is a good purchase to start with. It looks nice, runs quietly, and does not draw a lot of power.

See the Midea ice maker at Amazon.

The downside to this machine is that it makes, at best, 10 pounds of ice in a day. There aren’t many times that I’ve hosted a party and only needed ten pounds of ice. I guess, if you wanted, you could make the ice in advance and bag it for later.

Ice makers can keep the party going with as many drinks as you want!
Ice makers can keep the party going with as many drinks as you want!

Sunpentown IM-150US Stainless Steel Under Counter Ice Maker


The Sunpentown uses even less power than the Media at only 115 volts. allowing you to conserve even more power. It has a stainless steel door with a black cabinet and will look great underneath the counter.

The ice maker itself weighs 55 pounds and stands at 25 inches high, 15 inches wide, and 18 inches deep, and has a reversible door. This ice maker is capable of making up to 12 pounds of ice per day and can hold 6 pounds of ice at a time.

This is a good piece of equipment for a home or office that does not have the plumbing that is required to have a refrigerator/ice maker combination.

Looking for a great ice cube tray for baby purposes? Check out a few great options.

Should you get this ice maker?

The Sunpentown ice maker makes ice very quickly and can give you the equivalent of a full bag of ice in only a short time span. Plus, it is durable enough to be a permanent outdoor ice maker and makes an excellent addition to a built in barbecue center.

This holds a bit more ice the previous ice maker we looked at, but it also runs a little louder than the first. The ability to make 12 pounds of ice daily is suitable for smaller gatherings, but if you are hosting a party, then this won’t do you much good.

Does this seem like a good option for you? Find it at Amazon.

Thinkgizmos Portable Counter Top Ice Maker TG22

This Thinkgizmos device is rated as a the top residential ice maker machine. It is made of high-quality stainless steel and looks absolutely amazing because of it.

The TG22 can make a batch of ice in roughly 6 minutes and produces up to 26 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period, and the ice bucket in the machine can hold up to 2.2 lbs of ice. It gives you the option to select from 3 different sizes of ice cubes by using the font selection panel as a plus.

It is incredibly easy to use and setup, it does not require any plumbing, and all that is needed for setup is to plug it into the outlet and add water to the reservoir. It also comes with a 1-year warranty, in case the machine stops working.

See this ice maker at Amazon.

Should you get this ice maker?

If you need something that doesn’t require you to have connected to a water line, then this ice maker is a perfect solution for you. It makes a lot of ice in only a short time span, and the option to choose between small, medium or large ice cubes is appreciated. Plus, it looks stunning.

This does take up quite a bit of counter space, so if you lack in that area, you may have trouble finding a place for it in the kitchen. But since it is portable you can put it anywhere you need it.

Wrap – Up

Having a separate ice maker can be a lifesaver in many situations. If you have an outdoor kitchen set up, these things are godsends. If you host parties, then I would suggest getting one of these.

What is best for you will largely depend on what you need it for. Because I already have an ice maker in my freezer I don’t need a huge one, so the think gizmo counter top machine is what I like best.

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Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

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