Whether you are looking for an ice machine for a new restaurant or upgrading from an old model, there are many different types on the market that will produce the ice that you want. However, there are many different models with a variety of options available and the decision can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming. Following the tips below will ensure that you purchase the commercial ice machine that meets your needs perfectly.
1. Type of machine you need
Granted all ice machines obviously product ice but there are nonetheless differences among types of machines and you want to make sure that you purchase the one that you need. When it comes to commercial ice machines there are two popular types. Self-contained machines produce the ice and also stores it. They are small and come in stand-alone, countertop, or under-counter options allowing you to purchase one based on the size of your establishment.
Modular ice machines only make the ice so if you purchase this type you will have to make arrangements for storing the ice once it is made. These types are ideal for bigger, busier businesses who need to always keep a lot of ice on hand and they do take up more space than a self-contained model.
2. Types of ice you need
Some people think that ice is ice and as long as it keeps drinks and certain types of food cool it does not matter the form it is in. However, offering a variety of different shapes and sizes will impress your customers and provide a great degree of uniqueness to your business. Most ice machines product it in cubed form which is by far the most popular, but consider purchasing a model that is able to make other types as well.
Half cubes can be more appropriate for smaller drinks as they will not take up as much of the glass as a full-sized cube will. Nugget ice is small chewable pieces and tends to be popular with children and the elderly who will not choke on them. Finally, flake ice looks elegant and is often used to keep buffet foods cool and in fancy cocktails.
How busy your establishment is during meal times will largely impact how much ice you need and influence the type of ice machine you should purchase. Self-contained ice machines do not product ice very quickly, but if your business is not overly busy or it is a smaller restaurant or café, this may still work for you. If you have a large, busy restaurant, a modular machine produces large amounts of ice quickly, guaranteeing that you will never run out.
Before you go shopping at a restaurant supply store for an ice machine, look for information on the machine that specifies how much the machine makes in a 24-hour period. This will ensure that you get the machine that is able to keep up with the demands of your business as being without ice during busy meal rushes can be embarrassing and frustrating.
The condenser is the component in an ice machine that produces the cool energy to make the ice and keep it cool and is therefore very important. There are three common types of condensers in a commercial ice machine: air cooled, water cooled, and remote. Air cooled condensers uses fans and vents to pull in surrounding air and expel warmer air.
Water cooled condensers use coils to transfer heat and a waterline separate from the one used to make the ice circulates through the system and removes any heat. Remote condensers are air-cooled but with longer refrigerant lines, allowing for the condenser to be placed farther away, usually outside, and therefore cutting down on heat and noise.