Don't be fooled by the compact size of a countertop ice machine. These tiny powerhouses can produce up to 400 pounds of ice per day! Great for front of house and back of house alike, countertop ice machines work well in any self-serve beverage stations or high-traffic back line areas. With a countertop ice maker you'll get the efficiency and output you love of a traditional commercial ice machine while also salving your precious floor space. At Tundra Restaurant Supply you can shop countertop ice machines from the industry's leading manufacturers like Ice-O-Matic, Scotsman and more. For more information about commercial ice machines, check out our Ice Machine Buying Guide.
Commercial Ice Machine Ice Types
You won't get far in the ice machine buying process without knowing how much ice you need and what kind of ice you want. Countertop ice machines typically dispense nugget-style ice, which is also referred to as pearl, cubelet, chewblet, gem or even Pearl Ice®. Nugget ice is softer than cubed ice but denser than flaked ice, making it a great option for beverages. Customers also like that it's "chewable" and easy to dispense at self-service stations. In addition to nugget ice, you may encounter other ice types like full cube, half cube, flaked, gourmet and more. For a quick, easy way to learn about different ice types check out our handy infographic.
Commercial Ice Machine Maintenance
Like most restaurant equipment, your commercial ice machine would benefit from regular cleaning and maintenance. Due to the nature of ice production, it's easy for scale, slime and even mold to build up within the tubing of your machine or within the ice bin itself. Regularly cleaning your ice machine with an ice machine cleaner like this one from Scotsman can help. But the best way to keep your ice machine running smoothly is to utilize a water filter and change it regularly (timing depends on the water quality in your specific area). Water filters help remove contaminants and minerals that will slowly build up in the tubing and around the heating elements of your ice machine. The scale inhibiter in your water filter will also aid in protecting working elements in the machine as well. Water filters also make your ice look, smell and taste betters, so why wouldn't you invest in one?
Lastly, don't forget an ice scoop! There are plenty of reasons why you don't want someone's hands to be in contact with the ice (the poor marks from a health inspector is certainly one of them). Simple scoops like this one from San Jamar make it easy (and safe!) to dispense ice. You'd be surprised how many of those in the industry still use pint glasses as ice scoops. Apart from being a safety hazard (Do you realize how easily glass breaks?), pint glasses will earn you poor marks at your next inspection.