Everyone loves the summer but, at the same time, most people complain about the high heat. It is a love-hate relationship. Temperatures did not change significantly over the past few decades but our habits did. People have a harder time dealing with high heat due to the fact that we are used to work in offices with ACs, we have ACs in our cars, at home and pretty much everywhere. Most of the times we are exposed to temperatures much lower than what is normal for the summer.
Due to all these habits it is no wonder why during the summer, everyone loves cold drinks. A cold drink is always complemented by ice. Be it at home or at a bar or restaurant, ice is always on the menu during the summer. Making ice in the fridge is not very lucrative since we are talking about small quantities at a time. A decent ice maker will always be more useful and time saving. Even a portable model will yield more ice than a refrigerator. The good news is that they are not that expensive. A portable ice maker is no more expensive than a premium set of headphones which is why they have become increasingly popular.
Best Portable Ice Makers in 2019
Surely, they take some counter space into the kitchen but if the summer heat is too much to deal with, an ice maker should definitely be on the shopping list. Below we have listed the 10 most popular portable ice makers that offer great bang for the buck and have been selling like hot cakes. Here are the top 10 best portable ice makers in 2019.
10. NutriChef Portable Digital Ice Maker Machine
NutriChef portable ice maker is a great pick for the ones that cannot survive the summer without ice. It can make around 33 lbs. of ice per day which is enough even for a small house party. The unit comes with a large digital display that is self-explanatory and just 3 buttons to set the machine. At the top it has a large lid and features a removable ice tray. The machine uses a 2.2 liter water reservoir to make ice which needs to be refilled several times per day.
- Large 33 lbs. per day production capacity
- Easy to setup up and get it running
- Easy to clean
- A bit expensive
The ice maker is surely worth the money especially due to its ability to yield a large quantity of ice. What puts it behind is the higher price tag. There are plenty more affordable ice makers that cost less but also have a lower efficiency. For the ones that need large quantities of ice at home for small parties and events, the NutriChef will be worth spending the money.
9. Magic Chef MCIM22ST 27 lb Ice Maker Stainless Steel
Magic Chef MCIM22ST is a mid-range model that offers decent performance. It can make ice in about 7 minutes. A single cycle will make about 9 cubes and it offers the option to select one out of the two cube sizes available. The production capacity of the model is about 27 lbs. of ice in 24 hours which is quite decent. The top lid of the unit hosts the control buttons and has a small see-thru window. Cleaning is fairly easy as the unit comes with a drain.
- Can make 27 lbs. of ice in 24 hours
- Makes 9 cubes per cycle
- 2 cube sizes to choose from
- Sometimes the ice cubes get jammed inside and freeze into large chunks
For most part, the machine works quite well. It does need to be checked from time to time as ice cubes can get jammed inside and freeze up into large blocks of ice. It does not happen too often but it is important to check the machine occasionally. Production is quite decent and the cycles are fairly short, making it possible to get ice in just a few minutes.
8. Mr. Freeze MIM-18SI Maxi-Matic Portable Automatic Ice Maker
Mr. Freeze MIM-18SI is one of the more compact models that barely takes any counter space. It also means it has a smaller tank but large enough. It can hold 1.7 liters of water and makes about 22 lbs. pounds of ice per day. The ice maker comes with its own ice bucket and a small shovel. Like all other ice makers it has a small window on the lid that makes it easy to see the ice level inside. It has two ice cube size settings and all the controls are placed on a small touch pad on the top.
- Can make between 22 and 26 lbs. of ice per day
- 7 liter water tank
- Compact form factor
- Modest build quality
The ice maker is fairly fast. A cycle takes between 6 to 10 minutes and yields 9 ice cubes. Having a small capacity water tank can be considered a con but 1.7 liters is more of a standard. What will be mostly noticeable is the quality. The construction is sturdy but the silver coating and the plastic lid make it look cheap.
7. MRP US Portable Ice Maker Stainless Steel Ice Machine
MRP portable ice maker offers a great bang for the buck. The model has a very sturdy construction with a stainless steel enclosure and lid. It makes about 27 pounds of ice in 24 hours and once cycle takes about 9 to 10 minutes. The controls and settings are placed on the front with a small LCD panel that makes it easy to check the status of the machine. The top lid has a small see through window and sides features vents for the compressor.
- LCD screen and touch controls
- Makes 27 lbs. of ice in 24 hours
- Premium stainless steel construction
- Some issues with the temperature
The temperature inside the machine is below freezing point but not that many degrees. When transferring the ice to a freezer, it is possible to have the ice cube stuck into a big pile of ice. It is better to avoid transferring it and just leave the ice in the machine. The machine can maintain a proper temperature inside to have the ice not stick.
6. Della Portable Ice Maker
Della portable ice maker is a simple device. It is quite similar to some of the other models in our list. The machine has a sturdy enclosure with a top lid. The top lid has a see through window and controls placed right above it. Performance-wise, the machine can yield about 26 lbs. of ice per day. The machine is also quite inexpensive and decently made. It includes a small ice scoop and very simple instructions to get it running in a couple of minutes.
- Can make 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours
- Compact form factor
- Very sensitive sensors
The sensor on the ice basket is a bit too sensitive. Sometimes the machine thinks it is full when it is actually not. This means that making 26 pounds of ice in a day is a bit difficult. The ice maker needs to be checked from time to time to avoid having it stop for no reason. Cleaning the sensor area with a piece of dry cloth usually fixes it.
5. Hamilton Beach Portable Ice Maker
Hamilton Beach is a well known and trusted brand. Their portable ice maker is an affordable alternative for the ones that do not trust smaller brands. It has a stainless steel enclosure and a very simple menu. The model can make about 25 lbs. of ice per day and has a water tank of about 2.5 liters. The interior ice basket is fairly large and comes with a small sensor that will detect when it is full.
- Very simple controls
- Low price tag
- 25 lbs. of ice per day
- No see thru window on the lid
The see through window on the lid of more of a standard which makes it rather unusual to see an ice maker without one. The Hamilton Beach ice maker does not have one which makes it rather inconvenient to check how much ice there is inside the basket. Unfortunately, the only way to check the ice inside is to just open the lid.
4. Gourmia GI120 Compact Portable Electric Ice Maker
Gourmania GI120 is a great pick for the ones that need to make ice at home. It has a very simple design and compact form factor. The top of the lid has a small window that allows the user to check how much ice there is inside while the controls and LCD screen make it very easy to set up. In terms of production, the machine can make 26 lbs. of ice per day and uses a 3 quart water tank. The ice bucket inside is removable and comes with its own scoop.
- Very inexpensive
- Can make 26 lbs. of ice per day
- Removable ice bucket
- Mediocre build quality
Even if the enclosure of the ice maker is made out stainless steel, it looks as if it is made out of plastic. The build quality is mediocre. It is a sturdy machine but the attention to detail is simply not there. Still the machine compensates with great performance and simplicity. Getting it to run is very simple and the large water tank can save some time especially when making large quantities of ice.
3. Newair AI-215R Red Portable Ice Maker
Newair offers a great portable ice maker. It can be considered a premium model as it is a bit more expensive but it also offers superior performance. It is one of the few portable ice makers that can make 50 lbs. of ice in a day. That is more than enough even for a large family. The machine has very simple controls and a large see thru window at the top. A great feature is the self-cleaning function that reduces maintenance significantly.
- Very easy to use
- Makes 50 lbs. of ice per day
- Large water tank
- Significantly more expensive than your average ice maker
The machine will prove to be rather expensive for most people. It is also one of the largest in our list with a very impressive production capacity. The machine shuts off automatically when the water levels are low or when the basket is full. During an entire day, the basket will get filled multiple times.
2. Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker
Igloo is one of the best-selling brands when it comes to portable ice makers. Their ICE103 model offers a great bang for the buck. The machine is quite compact and can make about 26 lbs. of ice per day. It can make ice in as little as 6 minutes and comes with a 2.2 lbs. ice bucket. The model has a stainless steel enclosure and a plastic lid with a see thru window. It only has two control buttons and it is quite easy to clean.
- Very easy to operate
- Can make 26 lbs. of ice per day
- A bit loud
Compared with other ice maker machines in our list, this one is a bit loud. All ice makers produce some noise but the Igloo is louder than usual. It is not too disturbing but it is something that most people will notice. As long as it is placed in the kitchen, it should not bother anyone.
1. Ivation Portable Ice Maker
Ivation portable ice maker is one of the best choices available in our list. It has a decent price tag and a premium construction. The size and form factor makes it easy to blend in a kitchen along with other appliances. According to the manufacturers the machine can make 26 lbs. of ice in a day. The ice bucket can be removed, making it easy to clean while the controls are placed right above the transparent lid.
- Premium stainless steel construction
- Large transparent lid
- Makes 26 lbs. of ice per day
- Sensors for water levels and ice bucket capacity
- Small water tank
Having a small water tank means that it will need to be refilled quite often. The cycles are fairly short which means that it can make ice quite fast. It will need to be refilled several times per day which means that it will be difficult to reach the advertised 26 lbs. of ice per day production capacity.
Picking A Decent Ice Maker Machine
It is important to understand that portable ice makers are not as portable as some would think. A person that never owned one before would be tempted to think that they can take a portable ice maker to a barbecue but that is not the case. They are called portable because they are compact when compared to commercial grade ones. All ice makers that are destined for domestic use are called portable. Here are some of the things that are worth looking at when searching for an ice maker.
- Production capacity. Manufacturers calculate how much ice a machine can make in a period of 24 hours. During that time, the ice bucket will need to be emptied several times and the water tank needs to be refilled constantly.
- Water tank capacity. A lot of people do not look at water tank capacity but this can be important. A larger capacity tank will need to be refilled less often.
- Ice bucket size. Ice bucket size is also important. In most cases, people end up not transferring the ice to a freezer and use it directly from the machine. The ice bucket needs to be large enough to hold a good amount of ice.