U-Select Buying Guides: Ice Machines

By Phil Scoble

If you need an ice machine, it can sometimes be bewilderingly difficult to make the right choice for your business – so many seemingly identical options without any idea what is right for you. 

So we’re here to help with a simple buying guide that helps you understand what features and figures you need to look for when reviewing different machines. 

1: How Much Ice Do you Need? 

If you’ve been in need of a new ice machine, or have never owned one, chances are you’ve been buying in bags of ice, and this can really help you visualise what output the machine has. Most bags of ice are 1kg in size, so how many bags of ice are you using a day? We reckon machines that produce 20kg a day are best for most busy medium sized businesses. 

2: How much space do you have for an ice machine? 

Although the amount of ice you need is an important consideration, the amount of space is pretty vital too! 

Be careful to measure not only the space the machine is going to fit into, but also the route the machine will take to its final home. If you can, take a tape measure and check the doorways, stairwells and other obstacles between the delivery point and where the machine will end up.

3: What kind of ice do you need? 

Ice is not just ice – there are four different types of  ice that are used for different applications: 

Crushed

This is used in food displays of all kinds, and can also be used in wine ice buckets 

Flaked

Flaked is larger than crushed, but is often used for food  displays, often for fresh fish.

Cubed and Shot

These are both used in drinks, and essentially are interchangeable, but it simply comes down to personal taste. 

4: How much do you want to pay for your ice machine?

If you are after a premium / high quality brand, go for a Hoshizaki or Foster, if you are after a budget/value brand, the Ice-O-Matic.

Our advice 

Think about the amount of ice you want and make your first pick of potential models from that, then look at the style of ice and price to make your final decision. 

Merrychef Eikon e2s
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