Buying guide for an ice machine
Delicious cocktails and many mixed drinks only taste right with ice cubes - not just at a summer party, but at any time of year. Freezers often just don’t have enough space. Freezer compartments are often filled with food, so space shouldn’t be taken up by ice cubes. Filling plastic ice trays or ice cube bags and getting the cubes out can be very awkward and isn’t really that hygienic. And if you’re having a party or other celebration, the amount of ice in your freezer just won’t do. Pre-made ice cubes from the supermarket are relatively expensive and you still have to get them home. An ice machine can be an excellent and practical addition to your home kitchen. With a machine that produces identical ice cubes, you just have to press a button and you’ll have perfect ice cubes in no time at all. Your ice cubes don’t always have to be cubes; some machines offer other shapes.
How do ice machines work?
Ice machines are often compact, relatively small machines considering their highly efficient output. They have a water tank as well as cooling and heating elements. The machines are run by an electric motor. Some machines can be directly connected to the water supply. This can be very handy, especially if you regularly need large amounts of ice, e.g. to cool dishes on a buffet. Ice machines cool water from the inside out. The water flows over the cooling element, making the ice nice and clear. In contrast, ice from the freezer is cooled in a different way, which often results in cloudy and cracked ice. The machine’s heating element makes sure that the cubes are released and dispensed.
How long does an ice machine take?
How long it takes to make ice may vary greatly by manufacturer. Many machines can create ice in various sizes but the time it takes to make the ice varies even when using the same machine, as it depends on the amount and size of the ice cubes. So it can take anything from a few minutes, e.g. 10 minutes to make a few ice cubes, to around an hour, e.g. for 500g or 750g of ice or even more. Some machines even state how much ice they can make in 24 hours. This can be up to 12 kg. Many machines feature an auto-off function, a display for programme selection and more.
How often do you have to clean ice machines?
Ice machines have to be cleaned and descaled at certain intervals, just like any other kitchen gadget that works with water. Before making ice, the tank should be changed at least once a day for hygiene reasons. Before you use it for the very first time, the ice machine should be thoroughly cleaned so residue from the production process doesn’t end up in ice that is then consumed. Manufacturers often provide recommendations for how to clean their machines as well as how often. The tank and the dispensing area of the ice machine should be dried with a soft cloth after each use. It is important to use a soft cloth to avoid scratches where bacteria could settle.
How do you clean and descale an ice machine?
Ice machines can be constructed in very different ways, so you should always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. These are often included with the instruction booklet and may include recommendations for which cleaning products to use, e.g. certain descaling agents. If, depending on the manufacturer’s advice, certain descaling agents can be used to clean the machine, these are often used while the ice machine’s motor is running. If the manufacturer hasn’t included any instructions, ice machines can be cleaned with a vinegar solution or citric acid at regular intervals, generally every few weeks, just like coffee machines or other kitchen appliances that come into frequent contact with water. The hardness of the water supply will dictate how often cleaning is needed. If tap water is being used, you can check with your provider to find out the hardness. Many machines can also use still mineral water, for reasons of hygiene.
What kind of ice machines are there?
There is a large range of ice machines from various manufacturers. These machines can vary in quality, both in terms of function and workmanship. There can be major differences when it comes to operating and maintaining the machines. This is often reflected in different prices. Which ice machine is best for you depends on what your expectations are, why you need it and to what extent the machine will be used. We can only show a small selection of machines here. A comparison of the various machines for your intended uses, e.g. depending on the size and quantity of ice cubes the machine should make, is always a good idea. Some examples of machines: - Caso Germany Ice Master Pro - Unold 48946 Ice Cube Maker - Gino Gelati IC-150W - H.Koenig Ice Cube Maker KB15 and H.Koenig Ice Cube Maker KB12 - ProfiCook PC-EWB 1007 - tectake 400474 Ice Machine - Bartscher Compact Ice K - Rosenstein & Söhne EWS 2300 and many more.
To sum it up: an ice machine is a very practical and hygienic way to make ice cubes for various purposes.
Ice machines are the perfect kitchen appliances to make identical, clear ice cubes. Not just for drinks and cocktails but also for making various dishes, e.g. in combination with an ice crusher to make crushed ice for various sweet dishes or to cool dishes on a buffet. They are very practical and hygienic and able to make exactly the right amount of ice for your need. In any case, an ice machine is perfect if you want to serve large amounts of cold drinks to your guests all day at a party or celebration.