Which is the best ice maker?
Ice is more than just water frozen into a solid state. You can get different types of shapes with ice for drinking, from the weather and it can even go off if left too long in your freezer at home or in your shops and restaurants. Find out more about ice machines in this blog!
WHAT AN ICE MACHINE IS
An icemaker, ice generator, or ice machine may refer to either a consumer device for making ice, found inside a home freezer; a stand-alone appliance for making ice, or an industrial machine for making ice on a large scale. The term “ice machine” usually refers to the stand-alone appliance.
While ice makers can vary from model to model, they operate on similar principles. In this blog we will address how an ice maker operates as well as potential problems you may encounter.
Three requirements for ice maker operation are incoming voltage, water supply and temperature. ice makers use 120 volts of alternating current to fill the tray and eject the ice cubes during the ice making process although the temperature may vary when the appropriate temperature is reached voltage is sent to the water inlet valve which opens and allows water to flow into the ice makers tray where the water begins to freeze.
When the ice maker detects that the cubes of water are sufficiently frozen the cubes are ejected into a storage bin and it is important that over days and weeks (especially after lockdown had ended) that the ice is replaced as it can go off.
The ice maker refills with water and the cycle continues until the storage bin is filled so do not forget to regularly check how it is running when more ice is needed in the upcoming future. common problems that can occur are the ice cubes being too small, hollow, or old and the ice maker can also not be making ice at all.
The best models:
- Best ice maker overall: Frigidaire EFIC108 Compact Ice Maker.
- Best stowable ice maker: Vremi Countertop Ice Maker.
- Best high-output countertop ice maker: NewAir Portable Ice Maker.
- Best portable nugget ice maker: FirstBuild Opal Nugget Countertop Ice Maker.
Safety for customers
Manufacturers of ice machines recognize the biofilm phenomenon and have engineered units that minimize its formation and facilitate its removal. Clean ice, clean ice storage bins and sanitary handling practices are the key to improving the product quality.
The regulatory community has become more aware of the potential for contamination and is now asking questions as part of the inspection process regarding frequency and methods of routine sanitation, and operations and maintenance in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations.
When ice machines are inspected, it is clear that many are not cleaned and sanitized very often, if ever. Mold and slime buildup inside them is quite visible. Numerous studies show that dirty, contaminated ice is more common than people think.
When heading back to work, you may notice an odd smell or flavour in your ice cubes. To help reduce this, try washing the ice bit to get rid of the odours that may be transferring to the ice. You can also pour a cleaning solution into the ice reservoir for a more thorough cleaning of the machine. Also follow your manufacturers guidelines consider installing a filter for the water twice every year and your ice maker should be running great for years to come!
The sanitary handling of ice. All workers who handle ice should be taught the following precautions:
• Wash hands before obtaining ice.
• Hold the ice scoop by the handle and do not touch other parts of the scoop.
• Do not handle the ice with hands.
• Do not return unused ice to ice storage chest or ice machine.
The sanitation of equipment. The following practices should be part of the facility’s operations:
• Keep the access doors to ice storage chests and ice machines closed except when removing ice.
• Ice scoops should be smooth and protected against contact with contaminated surfaces such as floors, access door handles, service carts and non-food contact surfaces, to cite a few examples. Scoops should be kept on an uncovered stainless steel, impervious plastic or fiberglass tray when not in use. The tray and scoop should be cleaned daily in the kitchen scullery dishwasher.
• Remove all extraneous equipment and items from around or in the ice storage chests and ice-making machines, and if possible, limit access to them.
• Clean the ice storage chests on preferably a weekly schedule, but no less than monthly.
• Consider routine microbiologic sampling of the ice and ice contact surfaces of the machine. Although this is not necessary, it can provide guidance on cleaning frequency and methods.