Staying Cool – How To Buy A Freestanding Or Portable Ice Maker

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Even though we’re in the middle of winter, entertaining is a year-round tradition, and whether you’re throwing a spectacular cocktail party at home or enjoying an outdoor picnic on a brisk afternoon, an icemaker may be of the most important (and overlooked) appliances necessary to ensure that your drinks stay cold and your party stays hot. Icemakers, whether installed in your refrigerator or as freestanding or portable units, allow you to have plenty of ice on hand when you need it. While installing an ice maker into your refrigerator is one of the most convenient options and will provide ample ice for most of your needs, there are some situations when a freestanding or portable icemaker may be more efficient.

For example, if you occasionally need ice cubes for water or cold drinks, a refrigerator with an automatic icemaker may work just fine. However, if you have a large family or small business that requires a constant, consistent, and large supply of ice, a freestanding icemaker may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you like the convenience of having ice in minutes wherever you go, a portable icemaker may work best.

Of course, with so many choices, many consumers may find icemakers confusing. However, this icemaker guide will help you find the right icemaker to best fit your needs. Before purchasing an icemaker, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1.What advantages do freestanding or portable icemakers offer?

2.What features are most important to me?

Freestanding Icemakers

These units are an ideal solution for businesses or larger families where a standard ice maker can’t keep up with demand and some can even be installed underneath a counter. Freestanding commercial icemakers also have the ability to produce different types of ice cubes, such as crushed ice or ice nuggets. In fact, some models feature a large output of up to 260 pounds of ice cubes per day and are great for high-usage commercial applications. Here are some freestanding icemaker pros and cons:


o Ability to produce many hundreds of pounds of ice per day

o Produces multiple types of ice cubes – flaked ice, crushed ice, standard cubes, or ice nuggets


o May be somewhat noisy and bulky

Portable Icemakers

If you enjoy entertaining, are looking to fill up a cooler for a day of boating, or even just want to enjoy iced drinks in the convenience of your own home, a portable icemaker will ensure that you always have an ample supply of ice on hand. In fact, many portable icemakers even have the capability of making up to 50 pounds of ice in a day, making them ideal for outdoor kitchens or even bars. These units are also easy to install and maintain – simply add water, plug the ice maker in, and start enjoying fresh ice in just minutes. Also, like many commercial freestanding units, some portable icemakers also allow you to choose from three different ice cube sizes.


o Ideal for backyard barbecues or parties

o Simple to install

o Great for ice on the go

o Compact and unobtrusive


o May not be suitable for commercial applications

Other Features to Consider

Icemakers, whether freestanding or commercial, can come in the form of simple, no-frill models or advanced units with different features such as self-cleaning functions, filters, and stainless steel construction.

For commercial icemakers, a self-cleaning feature is extremely important, as this automatically empties the ice bin and cycles a cleaning solution through the unit so you don’t have to. In fact, even many portable icemakers will also include this convenient function. In terms of water, most icemaker manufacturers will recommend that you use purified or bottled water in order to avoid foul smelling or tasting ice, and some icemakers have built-in filters to ensure perfectly tasting ice cubes. Lastly, portable or freestanding icemakers constructed of all-steel housing will also provide long-lasting dependability.