Best Portable Ice Makers – 2020

Once the summer season rolls around, ice is a must-have. There’s no better way to cool down in the heat than some ice-cooled drinks or frozen treats. While most of us have freezers to produce ice throughout the year, sometimes you need something a bit more robust.

Portable ice makers are handy little appliances that can change the way you prepare for parties and outdoor events. Instead of having to make ice in large batches days in advance or running to your local convenience store for a bag of overpriced ice, you can use one of these devices to ensure that you always have the cold stuff on hand.

The appliances can be used anywhere you have access to a power outlet. They’re relatively compact, so you don’t have to worry about taking up too much space. Despite their small size, these ice makers can make a lot of ice to keep the drinks flowing. All you have to do is add some clean water.

An electric ice maker is a pretty unique investment. Even so, there are a number of products on the market. To ensure that you have a reliable ice maker that can make refreshing ice on command, we’ve rounded up a selection of some of the best options the market has to offer. Check out our ice maker reviews to see which product is right for you.

 

 

hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop

The hOmeLabs ice maker has a very sleek and modern design. It’s made out durable plastic that takes on a metallic gray color. Overall, the gadget is only about 13 inches tall by 9.5 inches wide, allowing it to fit in very small spaces. The top of the ice maker features simple buttons and indicator lights. A flip-top lid provides access to the removable ice bucket.

Despite its small footprint, the ice machine is capable of producing up to 26 pounds of ice a day. One and a half pounds is made for every batch, which only takes up to eight minutes. The water reservoir is located beneath the ice bin. Not only does this make it easier to fill, but it ensures that melted ice is captured and recycled.

 

Pros:

Makes up to 26 pounds of ice per day
2.2-liter water reservoir
Production cycle is only six to eight minutes
Compact design
Recycles melted ice
Relatively easy to clean
Comes with a storage bin and scoop

Cons:

Doesn’t have ice cube size options
Weighs almost 20 pounds

 

 

 

 

 

Hamilton Beach PIM-2-3A Portable Ice Maker

Hamilton Beach is a powerhouse in the kitchen gadget market. Their stainless steel ice maker is one of our top picks because its a solidly built appliance that looks great in any kitchen. The top of the unit doesn’t have any complicated dials or buttons. Just a simple light indicator and touch button that allows you to choose between two different ice sizes.

The ice maker does not produce traditional cubes, but rather tubes. The production cycles take approximately nine minutes. To prepare the machine, all you have to do is add water into the bin. You pour it where the finished ice is held. No complicated waterlines or small opening to worry about.

Pros:
Makes up to 26 pounds of ice per day
2.2-liter water reservoir
Production cycle is about nine minutes long
Makes two different sizes of ice tube
Very quiet operation
Simple touch button operation

Cons:
Does not recycle melted water, which could result in leaks

 

 

 

 

Igloo ICEB26RR Portable Automatic Ice Cube Maker

Like the previous option, this device from Igloo creates fun and blender-ready ice tubes. It makes two different sizes and can make up to two pounds of ice during a single cycle. From a design standpoint, this ice maker is beautiful. It’s compact and features a noticeably retro flair. Rounded corners and large Igloo branding provide a unique look. The ice maker also comes in five different colors to match your kitchen.

Taking control of this machine is very simple. There are a few buttons on top. LED lights are also used to let you know when a cycle is finished and when the water reservoir is full. Creating a batch of ice only takes about seven minutes. The included basket can hold up to two pounds of ice at one time.

Pros:
Can make 26 pounds of ice a day
Water reservoir can hold about 3 liters of water
Ice tray makes 9 small cubes and 7 small cubes in minutes
Seven-minute production cycle
Touch buttons and LED light indicators
Includes ice bucket and scoop
Available in many colors

Cons:
Does not recycle melted water
Weighs over 20 pounds

 

 

 

 

Iceplus Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop

This ice maker is fast and efficient. You can get your first batch of ice in only eight minutes. Like other products on this list, the machine can make up to 26 pounds of ice a day. It can also make two different sizes. The shape of the ice is quite unique. It’s not like a traditional cube or tube, but more like a rounded pellet.

Preparing the ice maker is very simple. Just pour water into the top opening. There’s an automatic sensor that detects when the bin has reached its storage capacity, ensuring that it doesn’t overfill. There’s also a handy clean function. With a press of a button, you can make sure that all supply lines are free of gunk or mold.

Pros:
Can make 26 pounds of ice a day
Only takes eight minutes to make a batch of ice
Makes two sizes of ice cubes
Built-in sensor
Simple control panel
Clean function
Only weighs approximately 17 pounds

Cons:
Not very attractive

 

 

 

 

AICOK Portable Ice Maker

The AICOK ice maker is a full-featured option that provides you with plenty of choices to get the ice just right. There’s a digital display on the side that gives you detailed information about how the unit is performing. Four buttons let you choose between three sizes of ice cubes, timer settings, and more. There’s also status indicators and an error alert to let you know how the machine is doing at all times.

The ice maker can create about 1.1 pounds of ice an hour, which equals to 26 pounds of ice a day. The great thing about this contraption is that it has automatic functionality. Sensors detect when the storage bin is full or empty. If the water reservoir has the supply, the machine will automatically make another batch when you empty the bin. As a result, you don’t have to babysit it.

Pros:
Cycle takes six to ten minutes
About 1.1 pounds of ice an hour
Built-in insulation for quiet operation
Three ice cube sizes
Automatic operation
Resistant to damage or corrosion
Only weighs approximately 17 pounds

Cons:
Weighs over 23 pounds

 

 

 

 

Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Maker Machine

The Arctic-Pro portable ice maker is a highly efficient tool. It only takes eight minutes to produce a batch of cool ice. The flip-up lid on top features a clear window so that you can keep track of the capacity. However, there’s also an automatic fill sensor. The device will automatically stop making ice to prevent any overfill issues.

A digital screen lets you take control with just a few button presses. The device can make two sizes of ice. You can keep track of the cycle through the status indicators. When you need to clean the machine, simply wash the removable parts, hit the “CLEAN” button, and let the device do all the work for you.

Pros:
Digital screen
Easy operation
Cycle takes only eight minutes
Can make 26 pounds of ice a day
Small footprint and lightweight
Makes two sizes
Automatic fill sensor
Clean function

Cons:
Design is the not the greatest in terms of style

 

 

 

 

NewAir Portable Countertop Ice Maker Machine

If you need a lot of ice, this NewAir portable maker may be for you. The NewAir AI-250W can make as much as 50 pounds in one single day. It makes bullet-shaped pellets in only one size. The trays are frozen in only seven minutes, though it does take a bit longer to fill the entire unit. The good news is that the storage area is insulated. This can slow down the melting process and keep your ice cool for much longer.

Overall the ice maker is sleek and simple. There’s only one button on top of the device to start the ice making cycle. A built-in LED indicator light keeps you in the know as the machine does its thing.

Pros:
Makes 50 pounds of ice a day
Starts freezing ice trays in only seven minutes
Insulated interior
One-button operation
LED indicator lights
Quiet
Fill sensor
Side drain

Cons:
Takes longer to fill
Only makes one size

 

 

 

 

Ice Maker Buying Guide

While portable countertop ice makers can do a lot to help you stay cool and refreshed, not all of them are going to be able to provide you with a high level of performance you need. These appliances are a considerable investment, so it’s important to take the time and choose something that works for your particular needs. Here are some things to consider on your search for that perfect compact ice maker.

Capacity

The capacity of an ice maker refers to the amount of ice the device can make in a single day. These appliances aren’t designed to hold onto a ton of ice in their storage bins. However, they can continually make multiple batches of ice throughout the day. The production capacity of ice makers varies quite a bit. On the lower end, you’ll find units that make around 25 pounds of ice a day. More powerful units can make as much as 50 pounds a day. Due to the portable nature of these machines, lower capacity of about 25 pounds should enough ice for most people.

Size, Weight, and Footprint

One of the biggest advantages of a portable ice maker is that they can be used virtually anywhere. They’re incredibly compact and take up very little room on your counters. With that being said, ice makers come in a number of sizes. Some take on a boxy shape, making it easy to fit into cramped boats or RV units. Other have a slimmer profile that’s ideal for bars and counters.

Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is weight. Despite their simple appearance, ice makers have a lot of complex equipment working behind the scenes. There’s a compressor pump, lines of refrigerant, and more. Unfortunately, all those electronics and cooling components add some significant weight. If you’re planning on hauling the ice maker around to different locations, it’s always better to stick with a lighter product. Something less than 20 pounds is ideal.

Ice Cube Quality

What type of ice do you like to consume? While all ice serves the same purpose, different types of ice provide unique benefits. For example, larger cubes are perfect for things like whiskey and other spirits. Meanwhile, small tubed ice is great for tossing into the blender and creating frozen drink concoctions.

Ice makers with options are not hard to find. There are many great appliances that offer different sizes of ice cubes. They utilize a traditional ice tray that can be set to make small, medium, or large pieces of ice. There are even devices that can be used to make ice pellets and tubes.

Production Cycle Time

The time it takes for your ice maker to finish a batch of cubes can make all the difference. Production cycles can last as long as 15 minutes. Though, there are devices that machines that can get the job done in as little as six. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing a product. If the ice maker is going to be used at parties and events, you may want to go with something that has a shorter production cycle to ensure that ice is always on hand.

Maintenance Requirements

Like any other household appliance, ice makers require maintenance from time to time. The complexity of the cleaning process can ultimately make or break the ownership experience. Who’s going to want to use it if it’s going to take several hours to clean up afterward?

Some notable maintenance features to look for include a convenient drain location and removable parts. Water is going to collect within the machine. Having a drain on the bottom makes it easy to empty out without having to awkwardly tilt it. The same goes for a removable ice basket and tray. You can take them out and wash them separately instead of wiping them down inside.

Some of the best portable ice makers also have an automatic cleaning function. They will run a unique cycle to get rid of any mold or grime that may have gotten stuck within the machine.

Design

Modern appliance design has come a long way in the last few decades. Ice makers are no different. They come in a wide range of styles, from plastic to stainless steel. This device will probably be on display in your home or at a party, so why not get something that looks good?

The controls are another design aspect you should look at closely. A simple control panel is always preferred because of its ease of use. They let you start the production cycle with a simple button press while also keeping track of how things are going. Some machines even have automatic timers to let you know when the next batch of ice will be done.

Water Usage

Ice makers use water a couple of different ways. Larger units have built-in supply lines that must be connected to a designated waterline. Because we’re looking at portable units, you need to make sure that the device has a larger water reservoir that’s easy to access. There should be a sizable opening for you to add water without having to worry about spills. It’s also good to have a water level indicator so that you always know when to add some more.

A water recycling mechanism is also good to have. Having a device that’s capable of recycling melted ice can prevent spills in the event that you let the finished product sit for a bit. As the ice melts, the water is collected at the bottom of the device and is transferred back to the reservoir for future use.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What type of water can be used in an ice maker?

The good news is that all ice makers can use standard tap water. You can get water from your sink and pour it into the reservoir to start the cycle. However, if you want clear ice, filtered or distilled water is best. These machines use quick-freeze technology to create ice in only a few minutes. As a result, any minerals and impurities are pushed to the center of the ice cube, producing a cloudy appearance.

 

Q: Can a portable ice maker be used outdoors or on boats and RVs?

Compact ice makers can be used pretty much anywhere. As long as you have access to power, they can be used on recreational vehicles or on your porch. Just make sure that you have ample room and a flat surface. Having the tool on an uneven table may result in damage. You should always bring the device back inside as well. The appliances are not made to live outdoors, so you need to keep it in a safe place when not in use.

 

Q: What type of power supply do ice makers use?

Most devices utilize standard power from your 120-volt outlet. Unlike large appliances, they don’t require a ton of voltage to perform well. Check with the specific product’s manufacturer recommendations to be safe.

 

Q: How do you clean an ice maker?

While the first batch of ice may be perfect, failing to clean the machine will result in a decline in quality. Supply lines and storage bins can quickly grow mold, which makes the ice unsafe. The ice maker should be cleaned and dried after every use. Simply remove all the pieces, wash them thoroughly, and let them dry before reassembling the unit. To clean the water lines you can’t access, you can use a descaling solution that’s designed for appliances. Alternatively, a mixture of water and vinegar will do the trick. Just add the mixture into the reservoir and run two standard freezing cycles. As the machine runs, the cleaning solution should get rid of any bacteria and grime that may have accumulated inside

.

Q: Do ice makers keep the ice cold?

Portable ice makers are not capable of keeping the ice frozen after it has been made. You must empty the storage bin into a cooler or ice bucket after a production cycle has been completed. Some units have walls that are slightly insulated. While they will keep the ice cool for longer, they can’t maintain the temperature as a freezer can.

(Visited 65 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment