What are the different types of ice?
Perfect for soft drinks, mixed drinks, dispensing, and bagged operations, cube ice is usually large and has a rhomboid shape. It melts slowly and cools drinks quickly. Half-cube ice, a smaller version of cube ice, can be used for similar applications, though it also works well with frozen cocktails. Because of its versatility, it is the most popular ice type.
Cube ice machine makes crescent ice, which is included in the half-cube category. Its curved side fits into glasses better than other ice types. Soft, chewable nugget ice is preferred among most customers. It absorbs drink flavors and blends into smoothies and frozen drinks. These small chunks pack tightly into glasses, saving money by reducing the amount of liquid needed to fill a glass.
Flake ice is most commonly used for seafood and produce displays, but it's also used in healthcare facilities since it poses little to no choking hazard. Gourmet ice is large with an octagonal or cylindrical shape, resembling a top hat. These ice machines are often used in bars, upscale restaurants, and event halls.
If you're looking to explore the options from cube ice to flakes, check out our extensive guide to ice machines for more information. Also, since some of the terminology around ice machines can be confusing for those unfamiliar with them, we have a glossary of ice machine terms that may come in handy.
What are the best commercial ice machines for sale?
The answer to this question will be dictated by your operation's requirements. While some of the brands and series of restaurant ice machines for sale we offer are considered premium options, no single unit will be the best fit for every application.
There are a few basic specs and features you may need to consider in order to get the best ice maker for your purposes:
Machine design (e.g. undercounter, head unit, head and bin, dispenser)
24-hour ice production capability
Ice storage capacity (if applicable)
Ice type (cube, half cube, flake, nugget, or gourmet ice)
Condenser type (air cooled, water cooled, or remote)
Drain type (certain undercounters only)
This list isn't exhaustive, but it should give you a place to start when sorting through all the ice machines we offer.
What is the most popular ice produced by ice machines?
Half-cube ice is used in more applications than any other because it cools drinks efficiently and fits together well in cups and glasses. Ice cube machines that produce it have large metal evaporator plates that are chilled from behind. Water runs over these plates to form the cubes, which are typically connected by small pieces of ice called bridges to help them fall off the plate together during harvest.
Cube ice, which is typically rectangular or square and measures just under an inch, has similar properties, and many restaurant ice machines that produce it provide high-volume output per 24 hours