Ice makers are found in virtually every commercial foodservice establishment. From keeping seafood fresh to ensuring that guests enjoy cold drinks, ice machines are a worthwhile investment for every restaurant.
The decision to buy an ice machine is easy but finding the right unit can be a challenge. We're going to share some of the most important things to look for and our top-rated ice machine units.
Commercial Ice Machines Buying Guide
When searching for commercial ice makers, there are a few things that you need to consider.
The Types of Ice Machines
Which type of ice machine do you need? The right one for your restaurant will depend on how much space you have, how much ice you need, and your budget. The most popular types of ice machines include:
- Modular: These units produce large amounts of ice and must be attached to an ice storage bin (sold separately).
- Undercounter: These units are more compact and convenient for undercounter use. They're a popular choice for bars.
These are the two most popular types of machines for restaurant kitchen use.
How much ice do you need? Smaller establishments may only need a unit that produces 50-100 pounds of ice per day. But if you run a busy bar, serve a high volume of cold drinks, or need lots of ice to keep seafood fresh, then you may need a higher capacity. Some units can produce more than 500 pounds of ice per day.
As a general rule of thumb, restaurants should plan to have 2lbs. of ice per person.
Commercial Ice Makers Reviews - Our Best Ice Makers
Planning to add a new ice machine to your commercial kitchen? We have an ice makers review for every restaurant's needs. Some of our most popular units include:
The Eurodib CB425 is one of our top-rated under-counter ice makers. It produces clear ice cubes that are 1.2" x 1" x 1.2," which can create up to 102 pounds of ice in a day. The thermostat bin allows for convenient control over the unit's production speed.
The self-contained unit has a mounted compressor that uses R404A refrigerant.
The interior and exterior of the unit are made of stainless steel for durability and easy cleaning. Because the unit vents through the front, no additional clearance is required in the back or side. The legs are also adjustable to ensure that the unit is level.
The Eurodib CB425 is ideal for restaurants that need high volumes of ice, but don't want a unit that takes up too much space in the kitchen.
If you have a little extra space in your kitchen and require a large volume of ice each day, the Ice-O-Matic ICEU150HW is a great option. This model is slightly larger than the previous one, but it can produce up to 20 lbs. more ice per day for a maximum of 180 lbs. per day.
The ICEU150HW is an Energy Star appliance, so it's energy-efficient. For every 100 pounds of ice created, the machine uses 8.7 kWh power and 32.2 gallons of water.
The unit offers some additional features that make ice-making more convenient for staff, including antimicrobial protection and an evaporator cleaning system.
Although slightly larger than the previous model we reviewed, the ICEU150HW still has a compact footprint and fits nicely underneath counters. It also features stainless steel construction for durability and easy cleaning.
One of our high-powered restaurant ice machines, the Ice-O-Matic CIM0430FA can produce an impressive 500 pounds of ice per day. However, it requires additional equipment to operate properly, including:
- Ice storage bin
- 115V electrical connection
The unit produces full-size cubes and features a space-saving design. The stainless steel design adds durability and is easy to clean.
The CIM0430FA has a Plastic Food Zone, which allows for quick and easy cleaning. All you have to do is wipe down the unit. There are no hard-to-reach corners and crevices. The machine also has built-in Agion, which provides antimicrobial protection.
A smart LED light lets you know the machine's status and alerts you when it's time to clean the unit. One-touch controls make it easy to use, and snap-in/out parts are both BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
If your restaurant needs a workhorse of an ice maker, the CIM0430FA is a great option.
The Atosa YR450-AP-161 can produce an impressive 283 pounds of ice per day, but its undercounter design makes it one of our most popular restaurant equipment ice machines for smaller commercial kitchens.
The self-contained unit comes with a storage bin that can hold up to 88 pounds of ice and produces half-diced cubes. Air-cooled with a removable air filter, the YR450-AP-161 produces great-tasting ice cubes and offers a stainless steel design that's highly durable.
This unit uses R290 refrigerant and includes an ice scooper for your convenience.
A user-friendly design makes it easy to add this unit to your kitchen. This unit is ideal for restaurants that need a lot of ice, but don't want a unit with a large footprint.
Maxx Ice MIM250
Maxx Ice MIM250 produces up to 250 pounds of bullet ice cubes per day and features a 75-pound storage bin. The unit uses a mounted compressor with R404A refrigerant to produces ice.
The MIM250 has several great features, including:
- Overfill protection, so the unit doesn't produce more ice than it can store.
- Front-breathing design to eliminate the need for extra back and side clearance.
- Insulation that is foamed in place.
- A stainless steel exterior for added durability and easy maintenance.
The unit was designed with reliability and convenience in mind. Its compact footprint makes it a great option for undercounter storage in smaller commercial kitchens.
Maxx Ice MIM50
If your kitchen is short on space and you only need an icemaker for a few select items on your menu, the Maxx Ice MIM50 is a great option. This self-contained unit can produce up to 50 pounds of slab cube ice per day and is Energy Star rated for energy efficiency.
The unit has a 25-pound storage bin, allowing you to store half the day's ice capacity in a convenient built-in bin.
Other standout features include a reversible door, which allows you to switch between opening from the right or left side. With a weight of just 93 pounds, this unit makes it easy to add an ice machine to your restaurant kitchen.
Every restaurant can benefit from an ice machine. We've shared some of our most popular units and some of the most important things to consider when choosing a unit. Weigh the pros and cons of each model to determine which one would be the best fit for your restaurant.