Chewing so much ice it is time to start making ice like the stuff you get at Sonic, Chick-fil-A or Zaxby's at home?
Nugget ice, pellet ice, Sonic ice, chewy ice, the good ice. Whatever you want to call it, chewable ice cubes are undeniably delicious! Nugget ice has come a long way since it was invented by ice maker manufacturer Scotsman in the early 1980s and now has what can only be described as a cult following.
If you are hooked on the good ice, and spending a lot of your time going to and from restaurants and stores that sell nugget ice, it might be time to consider investing in your very own nugget ice maker (or maybe just because you want to)!
Just a quick heads up. Nugget ice makers are relatively complicated machines vs. normal hard ice makers and subsequently are quite a bit more expensive. Nugget ice makers start at about $300 with models like the GE Profile Opal 2.0 coming in at over $500. Are they worth it? I don't know anyone that has ever regretted buying one.
I have reviewed the best nugget ice makers out there at the moment to help you out if you are considering buying. Happy shopping!
There are six things you want to consider when choosing a nugget ice maker:
Nugget ice makers don't come cheap and start at about $300. This is mainly due to the relative complexity of the devices (you can read my full article on how nugget ice makers work here.
Here are my top 5 nugget ice makers for your home. These are just my opinions. I'm not an engineer, or scientist - I'm just a guy who likes chewing on nugget ice, enough to spend a lot of my free time writing about it, reviewing it and of course eating it!
In addition to eating a lot of ice, I have trawled through review sites, forums and spoken with fellow nugget ice lovers. I hope it will help make your decision making process easier!
If you are short on time, here is how I see it.
Happy to spend about $500? Get the GE Profile 2.0. Looking to spend closer to the $300 mark (this is about as cheap as nugget ice makers get at the moment). I would go for the Newair. I have reviewed it in full here.
If you need to make a quick decision, this is probably the safest bet. Widely regarded as the best value on nugget ice maker that isn't a commercial machine...the GE Profile Opal 2.0.
It’s no secret that the second generation GE Profile Opal nugget ice maker made by General Electronics (GE) is one of the most popular countertop nugget ice makers currently available. The GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a countertop ice machine that produces soft, chewable nugget ice. It is perfect for those who love the taste and texture of sonic ice but don’t want to spend the money on a full-sized ice maker.
The NewAir nugget ice is smaller than a sugar cube, and very nice and soft when chewed fresh. The front light looks great and given its competitive price point, it has a relatively premium finish. The ice will melt if left in the bin so be prepared you will need freezer space.
There are very few nugget ice makers within this price bracket that also produce restaurant-level Sonic-style nugget ice but the KBice does a great job. With a production capacity of 30lbs a day, it is more than enough for most homes. This machine is pretty wide but is also much shorter than other options in this price bracket like the Frigidaire.
At only 17 inches wide, this little nugget ice maker produces over 40lbs of ice a day and comes in at a lower price point that most competitors, there is a lot to like about the Frigidaire EFIC235-AMZ.
It is relatively loud and the finish doesn't feel quite as premium as some stainless steel competitors, we have seen this ice machine produce enough nugget ice to support a medium sized restaurant (we literally got served up nugget ice made by this machine in Mexico at this great little restaurant)!
It is worth noting that there are a fairly significant number of reviews on Amazon that mention leaks. I have not had this experience and quite like it, despite the plastic. It is simple to use and has a great production capacity.
The Northair nugget ice maker is a very solid ice machine that creates ice incredibly fast (while keeping noise production low). With its moderate price, it’s definitely an interesting nugget ice maker worth considering if you’re on a budget.
However, it is basically the same as the Frigidaire, but