Recommendations for ice machine

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WaffleCone
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Recommendations for ice machine

Post by WaffleCone » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:29 pm

We are a family of 6 and go through a lot of ice. My wife and I are unsweetened iced tea drinkers so it's easy for us to use an ice cube tray each, or more. The older kids load up their sports bottles with ice and water, and even the younger ones always want "ice water" instead of just plain water.

Previosuly we'd just freeze ice cube trays and store the cubes in a zip lock bag. We got a new fridge with an ice maker in the door but that can't keep up with the volume. Rather than going back to trays, I'm thinking of buying an ice maker. I don't recall the model but a few years ago we saw one at Macy's for $150ish but it was plastic junk. Are there any good countertop models, maybe in stainless instead of plastic? Will they make clear ice?

The non-BH part of me is willing to find a 15" cabinet for a built-in maker, but no way I can justify the machine cost let alone the waste of energy to be constantly freezing and melting ice. So I need something between my inadequate fridge dispenser and a Hoshizaki.

Thanks.

PFInterest
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by PFInterest » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:08 pm

WaffleCone wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:29 pm
We are a family of 6 and go through a lot of ice. My wife and I are unsweetened iced tea drinkers so it's easy for us to use an ice cube tray each, or more. The older kids load up their sports bottles with ice and water, and even the younger ones always want "ice water" instead of just plain water.

Previosuly we'd just freeze ice cube trays and store the cubes in a zip lock bag. We got a new fridge with an ice maker in the door but that can't keep up with the volume. Rather than going back to trays, I'm thinking of buying an ice maker. I don't recall the model but a few years ago we saw one at Macy's for $150ish but it was plastic junk. Are there any good countertop models, maybe in stainless instead of plastic? Will they make clear ice?

The non-BH part of me is willing to find a 15" cabinet for a built-in maker, but no way I can justify the machine cost let alone the waste of energy to be constantly freezing and melting ice. So I need something between my inadequate fridge dispenser and a Hoshizaki.

Thanks.
this seems weird. its like your whole family should be tested for anemia. i turn our ice maker off for weeeeeeeks. because we dont use that much ice.

Dottie57
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:11 pm

PFInterest wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:08 pm
WaffleCone wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:29 pm
We are a family of 6 and go through a lot of ice. My wife and I are unsweetened iced tea drinkers so it's easy for us to use an ice cube tray each, or more. The older kids load up their sports bottles with ice and water, and even the younger ones always want "ice water" instead of just plain water.

Previosuly we'd just freeze ice cube trays and store the cubes in a zip lock bag. We got a new fridge with an ice maker in the door but that can't keep up with the volume. Rather than going back to trays, I'm thinking of buying an ice maker. I don't recall the model but a few years ago we saw one at Macy's for $150ish but it was plastic junk. Are there any good countertop models, maybe in stainless instead of plastic? Will they make clear ice?

The non-BH part of me is willing to find a 15" cabinet for a built-in maker, but no way I can justify the machine cost let alone the waste of energy to be constantly freezing and melting ice. So I need something between my inadequate fridge dispenser and a Hoshizaki.

Thanks.
this seems weird. its like your whole family should be tested for anemia. i turn our ice maker off for weeeeeeeks. because we dont use that much ice.
What does ice have to do with anemia?

Update: Just google “ice anemia”. I can attest that earlier this year I was diagnosed with severely low hemoglobin. I had indeed been chowing down ice. Hemoglobin, is much better and The ice in freezer has been there for weeks. I no longer chomp on ice.

Update 2: it is chewing of large quantities of ice that is indicative of anemia.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

brennok
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by brennok » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:13 pm

It depends on his fridge. I have a Whirlpool and on the weekends by myself can go through all the ice. Some ice makers just struggle to make enough. Also if you like ice cold drinks it is easy to go through a ton if ice. I have also noticed the newer icemakers make smaller cubes which melt faster so everytime I fill my glass I need more ice.

Depending on your budget, you might look at one if portable or counter top units https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-ice-makers-4135105

123
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by 123 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:46 pm

Note to the OP, I share your passion for good ice. I make a lot of regular ice tea myself. When I was single and living in apartments my main indulgence was buying a big bag of ice from the 7-11 across the street from my apartment complex at least once a week, the puny ice trays in the standard apartment refrigerator just didn't keep up with me. When I married and bought a house we of course bought a double door refrigerator-freezer with an ice maker that can (usually) keep up with my requirements. Neither my spouse nor any of our kids has been interested in cold, cold drinks so I've been in (icy) hog heaven for awhile.

Whenever we stay at motels/hotels one of the first things I do is fill up the ice bucket in the room. I have always coveted those heavy duty ice machines used in commercial settings.

Based on your post I was finally able to research my hidden passion and learned the magic word "Hoshizaki".

In my book if you've got a whole family of ice lovers you can probably justify a Hoshizaki in my book, I would think the main issues would be space and plumbing/electric. Just thinking of one gives me the chills!

I'll be following this thread with interest.

Edited to add:

I just looked on Amazon and was surprised at the number of options they had. Some of the reviews suggested that even a number of models under $200 might be suitable. Who knew?
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Topic Author
WaffleCone
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by WaffleCone » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:02 am

PFInterest wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:08 pm
this seems weird. its like your whole family should be tested for anemia. i turn our ice maker off for weeeeeeeks. because we dont use that much ice.
One of the kids is a bit of an ice eater but he was tested normal. The others put it in their large water bottles and it melts throughout the day. Just this morning they used up all the ice and it took 2 hours for just a few cubes to become available.

For iced tea, we brew fresh and need it to ice down the near boiling water. Our tap water is also warmer in the summer so that may contribute to it. I don't think there is a medical issue, just a preference for colder water on hot days especially. Ice use tapers off for the kids in the winter but not for my tea.

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lthenderson
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:06 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:29 pm
The older kids load up their sports bottles with ice and water
Perhaps a way to limit ice consumption a bit is to fill the sports bottles about a third full in the evening and stick them in the freezer. Then in the morning they can top them off with tap water. Doing it this way makes them stay cold much longer than using ice cubes.

goodlifer
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by goodlifer » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:25 am

I was eyeballing the ice makers at costco.com. It seems that the low ratings are due to the noise and not so much the performance. Have you tried something like Whisky stones in your iced tea? Mine seem to stay cold longer than regular ice cubes. You could also buy molds for much larger ice cubes so you wouldn't need to refill so much, or just buy a cheap chest freezer and load up on bags of ice once a week. The bags don't solidify into a huge clump in my chest freezer because it doesn't have auto defrost. Our upright is awful with the auto defrost.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:39 am

I'm surprised that your refrigerator did not come with an additional full ice maker in the freezer. Every refrigerator I looked at with ice-in-the-door had a full ice maker.

If you don't have a second ice maker in the freezer, you should check to see if your fridge brand/model has an optional ice maker kit. They are typically $50 - $100.

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RustyShackleford
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by RustyShackleford » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:58 am

I'm a bit ice fan too (and recently gave blood and they said nothing about anemia). When we recently remodeled our kitchen, I was up for getting a "clear ice" maker, until I saw how expensive they were (and wife was not psyched about the space required). Main reason was experience with the ice from regular refrigerator ice makers not tasting that good, especially if left sitting for awhile. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the ice from our new KA fridge is. Probably something to do with fact it has a filter on the incoming water. I do empty out the ice bucket every week or two and let it fill with new ice.

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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by lazydavid » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:37 pm

We have the same problem and went the countertop route, not wanting to commit the space and money for a commercial one. It looks like all the low-end ones are made by a single manufacturer, and re-branded/re-styled to be sold under multiple brands.

Ours is an Igloo-branded version of this model, which replaced one of the smaller ones. I got it super-cheap when the local Sam's was closing. Unlike the smaller one, which is now at my office, this one makes enough ice to keep up with us. We use a lot, especially in the summer for mixed drinks by the pool, coolers and water jugs for sports, and chilling eggs after hard boiling.

It will make clear ice if you use distilled water, but I don't bother. The ice does weigh less and therefore melts faster than an equivalent volume of tray- or icemaker-made ice. This means it cools your drink faster, but you have to use more. Needs to be sanitized every month or two, which they recommend vinegar for. I homebrew, so use Star-San (a food-safe acidic sanitizer) since I have it around anyway.

Maybe one day I'll be willing to spend $2k on a "real" icemaker. But today is not that day, and this thing gets us by just fine in the meantime.

squirm
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by squirm » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:55 pm

just throw some reusable ice cubes in the freezer, don't fill the sports bottles full of ice, or just use a freezer sports bottles.

barnaclebob
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:10 pm

My brother had a cheap ice machine that just froze rings of ice onto these finger things and let it drop into a hopper. The ice came out barely frozen and would pretty much immediately melt in the drink.

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CABob
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by CABob » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:34 pm

I'm wondering if you use more ice than the ice maker makes or use more than can be stored. One of the units I looked at made 26 lbs. a day but would store only 1.5 lbs. Perhaps going back to plastic bags with your current in-refrigerator ice maker would solve the problem.
Bob

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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:53 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:10 pm
My brother had a cheap ice machine that just froze rings of ice onto these finger things and let it drop into a hopper. The ice came out barely frozen and would pretty much immediately melt in the drink.
This was my experience with the ice machine I bought. First of all, you have to manually fill it with water. It was a pain to clean (I didn't use it all the time and would start to smell mildewy). The ice was pathetic in terms of how long it lasted since the cubes were small and had a hole in them.

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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:56 pm

Your best option might be a cheap fridge with an ice maker in the basement or garage if you have space. Maybe even used or you can find someone giving one away. I have my old fridge in the garage and between the two Ice makers we have enough ice. For convenience you can put the ice from the 2nd fridge in the freezer of the first daily or whatever.

Real ice makers are expensive (and require a drain line).

Topic Author
WaffleCone
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by WaffleCone » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:14 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:39 am
I'm surprised that your refrigerator did not come with an additional full ice maker in the freezer. Every refrigerator I looked at with ice-in-the-door had a full ice maker.

If you don't have a second ice maker in the freezer, you should check to see if your fridge brand/model has an optional ice maker kit. They are typically $50 - $100.
Duh. Thank you for this. I should have read the manual. First thing, there's some kind of "feature" that determines how far to fill the container based on how much ice it detects is being used. I jostled the bucket around a bit and it is now filling the whole way. Secondly, there is an auxillary ice maker that can be added in the freezer. We really need the space for food but may consider this.

90 degree heat coming up. Let's see if it can keep us in our ice fix. Thanks everyone.

123
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by 123 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:40 pm

As my earliar post indicated I'm big fan of icy cold drinks. But it was only last summer that I discovered the double-insulted stainless steel tumbler. They typically come in a 30 - 32 oz size, the leading brand is Yeti for $30+ EACH. But I bought some at Walmart (house brand) for less than $10 each. They keep an iced drink cold for what seems like forever. There's a variation that will hold a 12 oz beverage can.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

gretah
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by gretah » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:35 am

OP - you have my sympathy. I LOVE ice! And I live near the Canadian border. An iced drink at 4pm helps keep me awake without caffeine.

An idea about your iced tea -
How about keeping a gallon or two of water in the frig (not freezer)? You could make very concentrated tea in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave (so as not to heat the house). Then add refrigerated water to make regular ice tea.

Party tip -
I read this tip many years ago and have used it several times.
Our freezers and refrigerators are usually full of party food before a party.
So when you need a large amount of ice for a party, buy bags of ice and store them in the clothes washer. It is clean and the insulation is good. You can poke holes in the bottoms of the bags of ice for the melted ice to drain into the bottom.
Storing white wine and beer in the washer with the ice is a good way to chill them before serving.

Cheers!

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:43 am

Not related to the ice maker, but I have been making cold-brewed iced tea lately, with good success. It takes some planning ahead.

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telemark
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by telemark » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:16 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:43 am
Not related to the ice maker, but I have been making cold-brewed iced tea lately, with good success. It takes some planning ahead.
I do this with green tea. Comes out very smooth and light, compared to brewing hot and then icing.

Freezing some water and heating some other water so you can mix them together just seems like a lot of extra work.
Last edited by telemark on Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TxAg
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by TxAg » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:22 pm

A cheap chest freezer with bagged ice could be an option. We decided on this in lieu of an ice maker at my buddy's ranch (lots of ice needed for deer/pig/turkey hunting)

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WaffleCone
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Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Post by WaffleCone » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:47 pm

telemark wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:16 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:43 am
Not related to the ice maker, but I have been making cold-brewed iced tea lately, with good success. It takes some planning ahead.
I do this with green tea. Comes out very smooth and light, compared to brewing hot and then icing.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try some cold brew Luzianne tea. It's been a while since I made it that way. I still like to load it load it up with ice, helps dilute the strong flavor and keeps it cold.

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