Skip to main content

Choosing the Perfect Ice Machine In 4 Easy Steps!

Choosing the Perfect Ice Machine In 4 Easy Steps!

close up ice cubes and stainless ice scoop

Step 1 – Decide what type of ice you will need your commercial ice machine to make. When most think of ice machine needs they only think of the ice applied to drink service, but there are other uses also.  In the restaurant space, ice is also used for salad bars, chilling bottled beer and wine, or for other food-related display purposes. Yet, other commercial establishments use ice including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, office buildings and much more.  Be sure to think of your needs as well as your customer or employee needs when making this decision.

Step 2 – Decide how much ice you will need daily and pick the appropriate sized machine. This is probably the most important decision you will make when choosing your commercial ice machine.  You will need to be sure your machine is sized so that it can produce enough ice for your daily needs and can also keep up with any increase in demand for the near future.  The O’Fallon area refrigeration and ice machine experts at American Services are always eager to help with this part of the decision making process.

Step 3 – Decide between an air-cooled versus water-cooled condenser.  The biggest difference between these two styles of machine is this: Water-Cooled units cut down on noise and can be more reliable in hotter climates; Air-cooled units save on water costs.  Talk to your dealer about the advantages and disadvantages to both before making a final decision.

Step 4 – Decide on what options and accessories you will need for your machine. These add-on’s are important because they will allow you to get the most out of your machine on a daily basis.  Just a few of your choices include: Remote Condensing Unit (for air-cooled machines), storage or ice bins, dispensers, bin adapters, water filtration, scoops, and ice totes or carts.  These can usually be ordered upon the initial installation of your machine or even after you have your machine and find a need for them.

Restaurant Equipment Installation of Commercial Ice Makers

Restaurant Equipment Installation of Commercial Ice Makers

restaurant equipment service in MOAmerican Service restaurant equipment installation near Fenton knows that from classic cubes to specialized nugget ice, there is a commercial ice machine for any operation. When shopping for a commercial ice maker, take the time to consider what type of ice cube machine would best suit your operation. Restaurants, bars, hotels and even medical clinics and hospitals all have different requirements.

Besides ice types and sizes, there are other factors to consider as well when selecting the right ice machine. Yield, storage capacity and filtration factor into the decision-making process as well. Cubed ice, flake ice and nugget ice are all possibilities here. Flake ice is often used for food display applications. Cubed ice makers are further broken down into full-cube producing and half-cube making versions. Nugget ice is pellet-sized and perfect for frozen drinks or for carbonated beverages.

Ice is something that establishments can’t afford to be short on, so calculating maximum daily usage and making sure to buy a machine or machines that can out-produce demand is vital. It is estimated that 1 and ½ pounds of ice per person in a restaurant setting. Hospitals, on the other hand need to produce around 10 pounds of ice per bed, while hotels need to have machines that can whip up 5 pounds per day, per room.

As for the types of machines, there are under-counter, cube ice, combination ice, flake ice, and nugget machines to choose from. Undercounter ice machines are convenient because they make and store ice in the same unit. Cube ice-makers create ice with a larder surface area for slower melting. Combination machines make store and dispense ice and flake ice-makers are good for keeping food temperatures low and are more visually appealing when on display. Finally, nugget ice machines produce a more chewable type ice, otherwise known as pellet ice or pearl ice.