A flake ice machine turns water into chunks of ice that resemble the texture of shaved snow. It can be used for a variety of applications, including cooling fresh-caught seafood to preserve it, refrigerating food to slow spoilage and providing a steady supply of high-quality, clear ice for drinks, bars and restaurants. These machines are available in a wide range of sizes, with some models suitable for commercial use while others are more compact for home usage. Some are also designed to connect to an existing home water line and can be mounted on a countertop or freestanding in a corner.
There are two types of ice makers, air-cooled and water-cooled. Air-cooled units vent heat into the surrounding air, while water-cooled units cool the ice using a separate refrigeration system. The latter tend to cost more to operate than their air-cooled counterparts, but they’re the preferred choice for some applications.
When selecting a flake ice machine, it’s important to consider how much ice you need per day. Larger machines produce more ice and can be ideal for restaurants or hotels that serve a lot of guests. Smaller machines may be better suited for home use, but it’s critical to choose the right model for your needs so you don’t end up with a machine that produces more than you need or one that doesn’t produce enough ice.
Some of the best flake ice machines are designed with durable stainless steel for long-lasting durability and easy cleaning. They have a clean-looking exterior and are built to match other kitchen appliances, making them a good choice for a bar or as part of an integrated home appliance suite. Some also offer convenient features like LED indicators and remote control operation.
Most of these ice machines can be hooked up to a home water line and can run on either hot or cold tap water. Typically, the ice maker has a reservoir that holds a portion of the water it uses for ice production. It’s important to regularly clean this reservoir and remove any debris that can build up inside, such as sand or dirt from the ice machine. This will help to reduce the likelihood of clogs and improve the efficiency of the ice machine.
The Opal makes up to 24 pounds of ice a day and has a clear see-thru bin that allows you to easily monitor the amount of ice in the container. It’s also equipped with a drip tray and basic ice scoop. It’s Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to schedule new batches of ice and control it remotely from an app on your phone. It can even be voice activated to allow you to add ice while you’re at work or on the go. It’s a great option for those who want to make a lot of snow cones or iced cocktails in the comfort of their own homes.