How to Choose an Ice Maker

An ice maker is an appliance that uses the same refrigeration process as your refrigerator or air conditioner to create ice. It works by vapor-compression refrigeration, which involves the transfer of heat during evaporation. As refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas, it absorbs surrounding heat, and then releases that heat as it returns to a liquid. This cycle produces a steady stream of fresh, clear and crisp ice that is ready for drinks or food.

The most important consideration when choosing an ice machine is how much it can produce and how fast. Listings for ice makers often mention how many pounds the device can make per day, which is a good indicator of a machine’s capacity. But most people don’t live or entertain in the same way as a professional bartender, and a high daily output isn’t necessarily needed.

Also important is a unit’s size and design. Generally speaking, bigger machines do produce more ice, but they’re also bulkier to store and use. Consider how much ice you typically need to chill drinks for a few family members and whether you’d prefer a larger or smaller machine.

This GE model is sleek and compact, which makes it easy to set up on countertops or tabletops. It’s also one of the quieter models we tested, and it can make a lot of ice in a short amount of time. However, it doesn’t have an alert function to tell you when the basket is full, so you’ll need to check on it frequently. The ice it makes is small bullet-shaped cubes, which don’t stick together or melt as quickly as other shapes. ice maker

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