If you're a fan of ice in your beverages, you may have heard of nugget ice. These icy pieces are smaller and less compacted than regular ice, making them more chewable and pleasant feeling in the mouth. According to Scotsman Ice, nugget ice also melts more slowly thanks to its looser structure, meaning it's slower to dilute any drink you're sipping on.
Sounds pretty perfect, right? But making this delicious nugget ice at home can be tricky. You may wish to go with a specific nugget ice maker or perhaps a refrigerator with a built-in nugget ice maker.
Refrigerator that Makes Small Ice Cubes
If you're purchasing a new refrigerator, it could be worth considering one with a built-in nugget ice maker. This saves space in your kitchen as you don't need an entirely separate ice machine for all your nugget needs. They can produce ice at a fast and consistent rate and will offer you a steady supply of nugget ice. However, if you already have a refrigerator you're happy with, it can be unnecessary to purchase a whole new one just for a better quality of ice. Specific nugget ice machines can offer the quality of ice you need without having to splash out on a new refrigerator.
Nugget Ice Makers
Nugget ice machines can be freestanding or sit on your countertop. You can choose the size that best suits you, with most models making between 30 and 1,000 pounds of ice per day. They can be matched in color to your other kitchen appliances, too, so they don't look too obtrusive or out of place on your counter. By far the most prevalent at-home nugget ice maker brand on the market is Opal. However, if you want a nugget ice maker for commercial use, you may be better off splurging for a bigger and more productive option, like the UNC15NJII GE 15" Nugget Ice Maker from GE Appliances.
Installing a Nugget Ice Maker
You can buy these appliances at most large home stores. You can even buy a nugget ice maker from Walmart. They require an electrical source, access to air for a fan, a water input and a suitable drain to work properly. A consistent air supply is needed to maintain the ideal temperature range of between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so making sure the vents remain unblocked and unobstructed is essential. These machines also need a constant supply of safe and drinkable water with a good amount of water pressure. They must also be plugged into an appropriate outlet, with a recommended voltage of 115.
Nugget ice makers must drain excess water. They have a built-in drain pump to ensure they can maintain a continuous supply of fresh ice and should be connected to a drain tube to the nearest sink.
Nugget Ice Maker Problems
The main issue that nugget ice makers face is due to a lack of proper cleaning. They require a full clean at least every six months with a product recommended by the manufacturer. Any scale should be removed with a scrubber pad. The bin should also be sanitized to prevent any potential impurities from building up.
Luckily, the majority of other Opal nugget ice maker problems (or, indeed, those faced by any other brand) can be solved by ensuring the machine is properly installed. This means checking the fans, drain and outlet are all in good working order. Maintaining a steady supply of at-home nugget ice has never been so easy!