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Looking for the right under-counter ice maker?
You’ve come to the right place!
In the past few years, under-counter ice makers have become one of life’s necessities, particularly for cafes, milk-tea stores, restaurants, and hotels.
Commercial under-counter ice makers combine the need for ice production and the usefulness of storage bins into one unit.
They’re available in varying capacities to suit different requirements and operations, which means that there’s a model out there that perfectly suits your needs!
Who Should Buy an Undercounter Ice Maker?
Undercounter or built-in ice makers are ideal for individuals who want to make a large quantity of ice in a short amount of time.
While portable ice makers are smaller in size and ensure easy transportability, under-counter ice makers are heavier and difficult to move around.
However, the best models are still compact enough to seamlessly fit and integrate into the kitchen without crowding the available space.
Although their heavyweight makes them a bit difficult to install, they are the perfect option for individuals who want to make a large quantity of ice.
These machines are suitable for large area installations, such as a restaurant, company break-room, bar, college canteen, or cold drinks shop.
Furthermore, churches, offices, and other similar places where many people need ice will benefit from an under-counter ice maker.
If there is a continuous demand for ice, such as in hotels and restaurants, it would be better to choose a commercial ice machine capable of high-capacity production instead of an under-counter one.
What’s in This Buying Guide
- What’s in This Buying Guide
- Best Undercounter Ice Makers
- 1. Best Overall: Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker
- 2. Runner-Up: HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker
- 3. Best Value for Money: EdgeStar Built-In Ice Maker
- 4. Best for Gourmet Ice: Scotsman CU50GA-1A
- 5. Best Commercial Undercounter Ice Machine: VEVOR 110V/230W
- 6. Best Portable Undercounter Ice Machine: Manitowoc SM50A-161 SM50
- 7. Best Freestanding Automatic Under-Counter Ice Machine: Costway Commercial Ice Machine
- Undercounter Ice Maker Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict: Which is the Best Under-Counter Ice Maker and Why
With such a wide range of models available, it can be difficult to choose the right under-counter ice maker.
To help ensure you make the right decision, we’ve reviewed some of the best under-counter ice makers available today and the factors to consider before finalizing your purchase.
We’ve also included some tips on the cleaning and maintenance of these machines and answered some frequently asked questions, so you can make an informed decision.
Best Undercounter Ice Makers
- Best Overall: Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker
- Runner-Up: HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker
- Best Value forMoney: EdgeStar Built-In Ice Maker
- Best for Gourmet Ice: Scotsman CU50GA-1A
- Best Commercial Undercounter Ice Machine: VEVOR 110V/230W
- Best Portable Undercounter Ice Machine: Manitowoc SM50A-161 SM50
- Best Freestanding Automatic Undercounter Ice Machine: Costway Commercial Ice Machine
Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com
|Undercounter Ice Makers||Best for||Production Capacity||Storage Capacity||Installation Type||Weight|
|Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker||Best Overall||100lbs||33lbs||Built-in, Freestanding, Undercounter||67lbs|
|HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker||Runner-up||99lbs||29lbs||Freestanding, Countertop||62.4lbs|
|EdgeStar Built-In Ice Maker||Best value for money||12lbs||6lbs||Built-in, Freestanding||54lbs|
|Scotsman CU50GA-1A||Best for gourmet ice||65lbs||26lbs||Undercounter||100lbs|
|VEVOR 110V/230W||Best Commercial Undercounter Ice Machine||550lbs||350lbs||Freestanding||147lbs|
|Manitowoc SM50A-161 SM50||Best Portable Undercounter Ice Machine||53lbs||25lbs||Built-in, Freestanding||100lbs|
|Costway Commercial Ice Machine||Best freestanding automatic undercounter ice machine||88lbs||33lbs||Freestanding||40lbs|
1. Best Overall: Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker
If you want large quantities of ice in a short amount of time, and a portable unit seems a bit flimsy and lightweight for your needs; then a freestanding model is your best option.
You’ll need quite a bit of kitchen space to accommodate this ice machine, but you’ll certainly get more than your money’s worth if you’re able to find the space.
This unit is ETL-certified and durable enough to function as a commercial ice maker, but it also works perfectly for residential purposes.
Boasting a truly impressive output, this machine can produce up to 100 pounds of ice per day, while its supersized storage container can store a maximum of 33 pounds of ice at a time.
The machine is extremely easy to operate as well. Its smart LCD panel is a cinch to use, even if you’re not tech-savvy.
You can keep an eye on the surrounding environment’s temperature to ensure the quickest and most efficient ice production and even fine-tune the ice cubes’ size using the panel.
If you want to clean the machine, you just need to push a button and the unit’s automatic cycle will do all the maintenance work for you.
Since this is a gravity drainage model, you’re going to have to drain the water daily. To do this, you just need to pull out the hose situated on the right side of the water tank.
Despite its outstanding performance, the Euhomy boasts an extremely quiet operation and doesn’t consume a large amount of electricity either.
If you want to get rid of the hassle of constantly buying small packs of ice and just want large amounts of ice on demand, this heavy-weight Euhomy commercial ice maker is the one for you.
Featuring a modern classic design, this unit certainly deserves the first place on our list of top picks!
2. Runner-Up: HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker
Just like the Euhomy model mentioned above, this HomeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker is ideal for a commercial kitchen but works exceptionally well at home as well.
The machine produces up to 45 pieces of clear ice in just 20 minutes, and you can easily change the size of the ice cubes with the unit’s plus and minus buttons.
The runtime of the cycles depends on the thickness of the cubes you’re making and can range anywhere from 11 to 20 minutes.
The ice maker boasts a maximum output of 99 pounds of ice per day. This will be more than enough if you’re using the machine for residential purposes, but if you’re going to install it in a bar, make sure its production capacity meets your needs.
The large 1.2-liter water tank directly connects to a water line, eliminating the hassle of constantly filling up the ice maker.
The LCD clearly shows all water and ice-producing options, allowing you to easily operate the machine with the push of a single button. In fact, its operation is so simple that you just need to set it up and forget it.
This model also comes with a bunch of accessories, including an ice scoop and all the required connectors and hoses.
However, make sure you clean the machine and leave it standing for 24-hours before you use it for the first time.
3. Best Value for Money: EdgeStar Built-In Ice Maker
EdgeStar dominates the market of hard-hitting yet cost-effective appliances, offering everything from wine coolers and beer fridges to under-counter ice makers, and this product is no different.
The unit’s front vent design allows you to install the machine into an existing cupboard or cabinet without worrying about overheating or airflow.
Installation is also quick, easy, and cheap. However, you might need a plumber if you don’t have any practical expertise.
This model comes with a 25-foot-long water line connection and gives you the option of hanging the door on the right or left, so you can have a more streamlined operation.
Place the machine wherever you want, and feel free to configure it in a way that best suits your needs.
As an added benefit, this ice maker also functions as a freezer, so you can keep your ice frozen and always have ice cubes on demand.
Once the ice is produced, the auto shut-off function kicks in, which means you won’t have to worry about anything when you’re making delicious cocktails and drinks for your guests.
Furthermore, this unit boasts a stainless-steel finish, so it will be able to handle some serious action while complementing your kitchen counter at the same time.
However, this model is quite large, so make sure you have enough space for it in your kitchen before you make the purchase.
4. Best for Gourmet Ice: Scotsman CU50GA-1A
This Scotsman heavy-duty ice maker can make up to 65 pounds of gourmet ice in 24 hours. With its ability to store 26 pounds of ice at one time, it is the ideal appliance for all bar and under-counter applications.
While it’s not the most efficient model on our list, it still delivers consistent performance and stands out from the crowd because of its WaterSense technology.
Its water-quality sensor detects bacteria-laden water and hard water conditions effectively. This extends the number of days between routine maintenance and ensures that your beverage’s flavor remains uncontaminated for an extended period of time.
All in all, you won’t have to sacrifice quality for quantity with this ice maker.
Boasting an intuitive control panel, this machine is extremely easy to use as well. It immediately alerts you of any changes in its status during a freezing cycle.
Meanwhile, its accessible control panel enables you to closely monitor ice production and protect the appliance from any electrical problems.
This slow-melting unit doesn’t make a lot of noise when operating but it’s still not the quietest model available today. Since it produces large clear ice cubes, you can hear them falling into the storage bin from another room.
However, compared to other ice machines that have a powerful motor, the Scotsman’s noise level can be categorized as relatively average, so it’s not a big deal for most users.
Although this stainless-steel model is certified and suitable for outdoor use, it’s still advisable to keep it away from extreme natural elements, such as direct sunshine and rain.
In conclusion, this gravity drain ice machine produces high-quality and delicious gourmet ice that’s denser, harder, and melts far more slowly than other average ice cubes.
So, if you like and trust the Scotsman name and have enough money for a new kitchen appliance, make sure you give the CU50GA-1A ice maker a chance.
5. Best Commercial Undercounter Ice Machine: VEVOR 110V/230W
The main reason why we’ve included the VEVOR in our list is that it’s one of the few ice machines available today that can produce up to 500 to 550 pounds of ice per day. With this VEVOR model, you’ll no longer have to worry about keeping up with the demand.
One of the most powerful and fastest ice machines on the market, this model can produce 182 clear cubes in just 8-15 minutes. It also has a truly impressive storage capacity and can store 350 pounds of ice at one time.
As an added benefit, the unit boasts a thickened double-layer foam insulation layer that helps isolate external heat and provides better insulation.
This feature further prevents your ice cubes from melting for around 5 to 7 hours, which is certainly an excellent technological upgrade as compared to VEVOR’s competitors.
This versatile ice maker also lets you choose between three ice sizes (thick, middle, and thin), so you’ll certainly be able to find the ice cube that best suits your specific need.
The appliance is also incredibly convenient, as it allows you to set the time of ice production in advance.
It also automatically informs users once the storage bin is full, while its smart LCD panel shows any problems that the machine might be having.
Plus, it boasts numerous protection settings that make this wonderful unit much more durable and safer to use than other traditional models.
The control panel has a bit of a learning curve, but once you understand its various functions, you’ll have a lot of fun experimenting with different shapes and types of ice by yourself.
Along with ensuring an efficient and convenient ice production process, the VEVOR also helps in saving a lot of your effort and time.
With a stainless-steel design, this freestanding unit will deliver outstanding performance for an extended period of time, as long as you keep it regularly maintained.
All in all, the VEVOR is an affordable commercial ice machine that delivers a satisfying performance in all aspects.
It works great, quickly produces a lot of ice, and is extremely easy to set up once it gets outside support, making it truly deserving of the best commercial under-counter ice machine title.
6. Best Portable Undercounter Ice Machine: Manitowoc SM50A-161 SM50
Perfect for hosting grand parties at home, the Manitowoc SM50A-161 SM50 is another great under-counter ice machine that deserves a place on our list of top picks.
The appliance has revolutionized the ice maker world by consuming 10% less energy and 25% less water while producing a maximum of 53 pounds of ice per day.
It has made an outstanding breakthrough and has achieved a completely new level of performance and convenience.
Its self-contained bin has a standard storage capacity of 25 pounds, allowing you to produce a large amount of ice before your guests arrive or have it at your disposal for a hundred beverages per day.
The unit’s excellent performance and intelligent built-in system further ensure that you won’t have to worry about anything when you’re running a large and busy operation.
However, this model truly stands out because of its delay feature. This function enables the user to pause the ice production process for 24, 12, or 4 hours, so you can keep the appliance idle when it’s not in use.
The unit also comes with an illuminated power button, LED lights, and a full ice bin indicator that notifies you in advance of limited storage space during ice production.
Although all these features are small and simple, they still add to the overall ease and convenience of use.
Ideal for both business and residential purposes, you can use the Manitowoc SM50A-161 SM50 in every office break room, fast food chain, home kitchen, and moderate outdoor party.
Its sleek design and stainless-steel housing are perfect for those concerned about the appliance not fitting in with their kitchen’s interior décor.
7. Best Freestanding Automatic Under-Counter Ice Machine: Costway Commercial Ice Machine
This Costway model is strong, durable, unbreakable, and extremely easy to use. It has been ingeniously designed and is powerful enough to produce a sufficient amount of ice at any given point in time.
The unit has passed the stringent UL certification, protecting it from any unexpected failures and making it suitable for both residential and commercial purposes.
It can further produce up to 88 pounds of ice within 24-hours, so you can completely enjoy the party or any other event you’ve hosted.
Like the Vevor ice maker, this appliance also enables you to freely control and change the size and thickness of the ice and automatically shuts off production once the ice bin is full. This means that you won’t have to constantly stand near the ice maker to follow its operation.
In addition, the produced ice cubes are stored in a cold preservation stage, so you won’t have to worry about them melting too quickly.
Moreover, this unit boasts an impressive self-clean feature that activates with a single push of a button located on the control panel, making the ice maker extremely easy to set up and use.
It also includes a huge 33-pound storage capacity, an ice scoop for quick and easy ice cube transferring, a pipe for convenient water drainage, and a water line that directly connects the filter to the faucet.
The perfect example of a modern and effective ice machine, this Costway model has an affordable price, boasts sustainable construction and high-quality design, and comes with numerous exclusive features that provide users with a more flexible and easier way to achieve the best outcomes.
All in all, it is the perfect option for those who want a lower cost of operation and ease of installation at the same time.
Undercounter Ice Maker Buying Guide
What is an under-counter ice maker, and how does it work?
Undercounter ice makers have a unique design that enables you to seamlessly integrate the machine into your kitchen without overwhelming or using any of the floor space.
As the name suggests, this unit is placed under the counter but you can also fit it in between two cabinets or place it inside one.
Similar to a dishwasher and a cooking range, under-counter ice makers can be directly installed into your cabinetry.
These units are available in a wide range of sizes, produce various types of ice cubes, and boast a variety of ice production capacities.
Smaller models can produce 12 to 45 pounds of ice, while larger models can make over 80 pounds of ice per day.
A majority of under-counter ice makers make cubed ice, but some models also produce clear, gourmet, pearl, and nugget ice.
Some units measure as small as 15-inches, allowing users to install them in place of outdated trash compactors, while others are larger and have standard cabinetry widths.
Whether they’re freestanding, under-counter, or portable, the primary function of all ice makers is to convert water into ice. This process is much harder than it sounds and requires numerous parts working properly to pull off.
The compressor is the heart of every ice maker. This component pushes the refrigerant, which is in gas form, through a set of tubes collectively known as a condenser.
The condenser cools the refrigerant with either air or water, depending on whether the ice maker is air or water-cooled. If you have a water-cooled model, then it will remove the cooling water through a drain.
However, if it is an air-cooled model, it will push the warm air out from the vents present at the front or the back of the machine.
After cooling, the resultant liquid reaches a part known as the evaporator. Here, it absorbs heat from its surroundings and changes back into gas.
The evaporator has water continuously pouring over it, so it gradually loses heat, cools down, and changes into ice.
This ice is in the form of numerous cubes attached to a sheet. The ice maker pushes these cubes out by heating the area below them or by using a piston.
As they fall into the bucket, they break up and split into individual cubes. However, this is not always the case, and you might have to break them yourself.
The evaporator can further be designed to make different shapes of ice, such as half cubes, pebbles, bullets, or full cubes. Thus, the process and specifics differ from one model to another.
For instance, nugget ice makers have a cylindrical evaporator that enables water to freeze on the inside walls. The ice is then scraped out with an auger, converting it into soft chewable flakes.
Similarly, gourmet ice makers have a more complex process that ensures the ice is hard and clear. But, the overall idea of how ice makers convert water into ice is the same.
What to Look for in an Under-Counter Icemaker
Before you start looking for an ice maker, you should have a clear idea of what you need. To help ensure you make the right decision, we’ve listed some of the most important features you should consider before finalizing your purchase:
The first thing you need to consider is the amount of ice the machine can hold at one time. Primarily designed for commercial use, a quality under-counter ice machine should have enough storage space to meet all your ice demands.
A model that can store around five pounds of ice at a time is ideal for an outdoor party or a dinner gathering of about 7 to 10 people.
Before you make your purchase, make sure you determine the average amount of ice you need per day. If you’re going to use the ice machine for commercial purposes, it’s advisable to choose one that produces more than 26 pounds of ice per day.
On the other hand, if you’re going to use it for residential purposes, a unit with a production capacity of 12 to 20 pounds of ice per day is perfectly suitable.
Look and Style
Although most under-counter ice machines are not made to be aesthetically beautiful, some models focus on the look and style of the unit. These machines are available in a variety of different finishes and colors.
Most models are white, stainless steel, or black, but some ice makers are designed to match the style and look of your kitchen. A few of them are also available in fun and bright colors.
The overall look of the ice maker will ultimately depend on your personal preference and the current design and décor of the place in which you’re going to install it.
The majority of consumers purchase an under-counter ice machine that matches or complements the other appliances in the kitchen, so stainless steel and black are the most common choices.
Some models are designed with built-in water filters. These filtration systems help eliminate sediment and other contaminants before the water turns into ice.
Along with making your ice cubes safer and healthier to consume, the water filter improves the overall smell and taste of the ice. If your model doesn’t include a water filter, you can just purchase one as an add-on.
Type of Ice
Different under-counter ice makers freeze the water into different shapes. Bullet and dice ice are the most popular shapes, but some models are designed to produce cube; crescent, and nugget ice as well.
- Dice ice: This is the ideal option for soft and mixed drinks. This ice melts slowly, so it won’t significantly affect the flavor or taste of your drinks.
- Crescent ice: This type is perfect for mixed drinks, blended drinks, and soft drinks. However, it’s not suitable for sipping drinks, such as cocktails because it melts and dilutes your drink very quickly.
- Nugget ice: This ice is soft and small, making it perfect for fountain drinks and soft drinks. Due to its softer consistency, it melts and dilutes your drink quickly. The softness also makes it easier to chew, which is why ice chewers prefer nugget ice.
- Bullet-shaped ice: This ice melts and waters down your drink more quickly than crescent ice and dice ice. It is suitable for margaritas, blended beverages, soft drinks, and iced tea.
- Gourmet ice or top-hat ice: This type of ice is usually served with upscale drinks. It cools your drink quite well and is the slowest melting ice on the list.
Undercounter ice machines are roughly similar to mini-fridges. With a large size and a heavyweight of around 50 pounds, these units may look a bit big and bulky in your kitchen and might not be suitable for those with limited space.
Therefore, before you make your purchase, make sure you have enough room for the ice maker to stand steadily.
Once you determine the installation place of the ice machine, it will be easier for you to pick the right type and size as well. This way, you’ll certainly get a unit that satisfies your needs in terms of both ice storage and production.
Changing water into ice requires a large amount of energy, so if you don’t want a significant increase in your electricity bills or are concerned about the environment, it’s advisable to go for an ice maker that’s Energy Star certified.
Pros and Cons
Undercounter ice makers are ideal for individuals that need a large amount of ice and have the plumbing and space required for a water line. But while they have their benefits, they have their limitations, too.
Large Production Capacities
Undercounter ice machines have large production capacities, which enable them to make and store a lot of ice within a short period of time.
Some models can make up to 550 lbs. of ice per day, while their bin can hold 350 lbs. of ice at one time.
Make Your Life Easier
These machines help coffee shops, supermarkets, cold drink shops, restaurant kitchens, bakeries, and other food businesses operate smoothly by automatically producing and storing a large amount of ice.
With the help of an under-counter ice machine, you can make cocktails and beverages quickly and easily.
Only Require a Single Installation
Just like every other large kitchen appliance, this unit is also installed and set up as a permanent fixture. As the name suggests, it’s usually installed under the counter and makes a large amount of ice quickly and easily.
Easy to Use
Since these machines are highly automated, they’re incredibly easy to operate. They’ll continuously make ice until the bin is full, so you won’t have to scramble for water or worry about running out of ice. Simply pull a lever or push a button if you need more ice!
Beneficial for Your Health
Most under-counter ice makers are designed with built-in safety mechanisms, such as the water filter. This filter purifies the tap water and gets rid of any harmful chemicals, ensuring that the ice cubes are much healthier than those made with an ice tray.
Require a Drain and a Water Line
Undercounter ice machines need to be fitted in places with the right hookups in order for them to work. Their installation will require a drain, a water line, and the right plumber.
These machines take up a lot of space, so they could be more of a hassle than necessary if you don’t really need large quantities of ice.
Difficult to Move
While they’re not as big and bulky as industrial-sized refrigerators, these machines still aren’t considered portable.
Due to their permanent fixture, you won’t be able to move them once the installation is complete. You’ll need a large truck, a dolly, and a couple of people to help with the unloading and loading process, as well.
Cleaning and Maintenance
When you grab some ice from an icemaker, you rarely think about the last time the machine was cleaned. You might not even notice that the overall quality and flavor of your ice has started to degrade.
But, like every other kitchen appliance, regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure that your under-counter ice machine remains in excellent working condition.
Rust and dirt are the two major culprits that clog up and jam your appliance over time. Mold and limescale can also accumulate, making ice production slow and difficult.
If you don’t clean the machine, all this build-up will lead to unnecessary wear and significantly reduce the average life of the icemaker. Even if the model is equipped with a filter, you’ll still need to clean it at some point.
However, the good news is that proper cleaning and maintenance will help ensure peak ice production, prolong the unit’s overall life, and keep the ice tasting and looking great.
It’s important to remember that the cleaning process depends on the type of ice maker you have. Some models require manual cleaning, whereas others are designed with an automated system.
A built-in ice machine will be different from a portable one, so it’s vital that you go through the model’s instruction manual to figure out how to clean it properly.
Materials and Cleaning Supplies
Most under-counter ice machines only need a nickel-free ice maker cleaner and a soft cloth for wiping.
Machines with automatic cleaning systems also have an ice machine cleaner suggested in the owner’s manual, but a nickel-free cleaner usually works well with most machines.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you can follow the steps listed below to clean your ice maker:
- Switch off the appliance and make sure it’s unplugged.
- Switch off the ice machine’s water supply.
- Empty the ice maker and throw out all the water and ice.
- Consult the owner’s manual and remove the parts that need to be cleaned.
- Create a mixture using three parts water and one-part ice maker cleaner.
- Use this mixture to clean all parts of the machine thoroughly.
- Wash all the components with clean water.
- Assemble the machine again and wipe down its surfaces with a soft cloth.
- Leave it to dry.
- Plug in the machine and restart it.
- Discard the first batch of ice produced by the icemaker.
- Enjoy delicious ice for three to six months!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are water filters necessary for an under-counter ice machine?
Although you don’t necessarily need to use a water filter, it’s still highly recommended.
Water filters prolong the average life of your ice machine, improve the taste and quality of your ice, and increase the time needed between cleanings. Nearly every manufacturer suggests that you use some kind of water filter.
Do under-counter ice maker require a drain?
The majority of under-counter ice machines need a drain line, but some models do not. These units function as a freezer, keeping the ice frozen and eliminating the need for a drain line.
However, other models don’t have this function, so a drain line becomes necessary as the ice starts to melt. A drain is usually included with ice makers that require one.
What are ice maker’s average storage and production capacities?
The storage capacity in ice makers is usually significantly less than their production capacity. If the unit is kept in extreme ambient temperatures, its ice production capacity will decrease.
Almost all models stop making ice once the storage bin is full and resume making ice as soon as some ice is used.
A lot of people wonder how much ice is in one pound of ice. An easy way to figure out the exact production capacity of your ice maker is to consider the 10pound bags of ice available at grocery and convenience stores.
If your model has a production capacity of 50 pounds, this means that it can produce up to 5 traditional bags of ice.
Can bullet-shaped ice cubes be formed from under-counter ice makers?
The answer to this question depends on the machine. Different under-counter ice makers make different shapes of ice, which can include cubed ice; gourmet ice, crescent-shaped ice, clear ice, and nugget or pearl ice.
Final Verdict: Which is the Best Under-Counter Ice Maker and Why
Undercounter ice machines are extremely convenient when you want to produce a large amount of ice in a short period of time.
We found the Euhomy commercial ice maker to be the best model available because of its ease of use, short production time, and large storage and production capacity.
However, make sure you go through all the units mentioned above to find the one that best fits your specific requirements!