Nugget ice or pellet ice maker is a genius innovation that has gained a lot of popularity. And, while most “hype” items fade away, we don’t believe chewable ice would. Nevertheless, ice is used in millions of homes worldwide, but it has one big flaw.
Nugget ice solves this issue while also providing all of the cooling benefits of regular ice.
Despite this, the technology is still in its early stages. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to locate a nugget ice machine that produces reliable chewable ice.
The ten best sonic and nugget ice makers of 2020 are listed below. We’ve arranged them in order of ice production, with 25 pounds of nugget ice per day being the lowest and 315 pounds being the highest.
(Best Overall opinion)
The GE Profile nugget ice maker V1 is one of the best-reviewed home nugget ice makers on the market, capable of producing up to 24 lbs of nugget ice per day.
This sonic ice maker has a 4.6 / 5 star ranking on Amazon (as of 02/06/2021) with over 6000 reviews.
Our Top Picks
- GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker V1 – Best Countertop Unit Overall (24 Lbs a day) Pellet Ice Maker.
- KBIce Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker – Best Countertop Self-Dispensing Pellet Ice Maker (24 Lbs a day).
- TaoTronics Nugget Ice Maker – 26 Lbs of Pellet Ice a Day.
- Frigidaire EFIC235-AMZ Countertop Nugget Ice Maker – 44 Lbs of Pellet Ice a Day.
- GE Built-in Freestanding Nugget Ice Maker – 56 Lbs or Pellet Ice a Day
- Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Freestanding Nugget Ice Maker – 85 Lbs of Pellet Ice a Day.
- Snooker Freestanding Nugget Ice Machine – 155 Lbs of Pellet Ice a Day.
- Scotsman UN1520A-1 Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker – 167 Lbs of Pellet Ice a Day.
Get a Clear Idea About Ice Machine
First and foremost, what’s all the fuss about? Why do people prefer nugget ice to conventional cubed ice so much? I mean, who doesn’t like the benefits of ice? It has a long-lasting cooling effect.
But what is it about cubed ice that makes it less desirable? First, chewing solid ice is unpleasant, not to mention harmful to your teeth unless you have steel teeth.
Nugget ice, on the other hand, has all of the benefits of ice without the drawbacks. It’s an easy but brilliant way to make ice more approachable.
How is it Made?
A very simple process is used to make regular, cubed ice. Water is dispensed in cubes, the water is chilled to freezing, and the resulting ice is deposited in a bin.
Nugget ice is made in a totally different way:
Step 1: Water is pumped into a cylinder-shaped structure and cooled to subzero temperatures. Thin sheets of ice begin to protrude from the cylinder as a result of this.
Step 2: The resulting sheets are shaved down to flaked ice using a drill. Flaked ice is made up of tiny ice fragments (think of how fresh fish is preserved when shipped). It’s not entirely shaved, but it’s undoubtedly not cubed.
Step 3: The flaked ice is then compressed into more giant, nugget-like cubes that keep their structure when cold but easily break down when heated in the mouth.
GE Opal Ice Maker 1.0 Vs. 2.0:
The GE Profile Nugget Ice Maker is the most common nugget ice maker at home. Most buyers would find it a convenient option because of its countertop versatility and “true to its name” nugget ice.
So, what exactly is the difference between the two models? Is it worthwhile to spend the extra money on the 2.0? What are the benefits?
- There is no Wifi, only Bluetooth.
- 9-pound increase in weight
- Smaller width and diameter (Dimensions: 16 1/2″ H x 10 1/2″ W x 15 1/2″ D)
- Only one stainless steel color option
- 1 Button without label Costs approximately $550
- Compatible with Wi-Fi (can control from anywhere)
- Larger width and diameter (Dimensions: 16 1/2″ H x 13 43/100″ W x 17 1/2″ D) Weighs 9 lbs less
- Options include stainless steel and black stainless steel.
- Buttons with inscriptions
- It costs about $600.
After comparing two versions, this is Our honest Opinion:
The latest 2.0 version has a few minor changes worth noting, but they are typically only needed by a few people.
- The new wifi capability allows you to make ice when you’re away from home. This is useful for those who are working and want to come home to some fresh nugget ice.
- The new buttons have easy-to-read names for those who are losing their vision or struggling with the latest tech. In addition, the latest black stainless steel option is a game-changer for long.
- For those looking for an alternative to traditional steamed-changer.
- Overall, both produce the same amount of pellet ice each day, have a water tank, and produce nugget ice of the same quality.
- Per day, it generates 24 pounds of ice.
- At a time, the bin will carry 3 lbs.
- The batch time is 20 minutes.
- Compatible with Bluetooth
- When the bin is full of ice, it detects this and does not overfill it.
- There is no need for a water connection.
- It creates perfect nugget ice in no time!
- I have to give this a 5 out of 5 despite the price.
- It comes in a sturdy shipping box with custom molded foam on the inside.
- Once you’ve set it up, it’s very easy to use.
- There have been a few isolated complaints about the amount (contact customer service if this happens)
- At any given time, the bin can only carry 3 lbs.
- Some people have issues with Bluetooth and apps.
Our best all-around nugget ice maker is the GE Opal Profile Nugget Ice Maker V1. This honor was bestowed upon it for one simple reason.
It has the highest number of reviews and the highest star rating on the internet. This model has maintained a 4.6 / 5-star ranking after over 6000 Amazon reviews (as of 02/05/2021).
Its compact, elegant size, measuring 7.5 x 13.43 x 16.5 inches, makes it ideal for use in the home. It’s also one of the few household ice makers that produce natural nugget ice.
It can produce up to 24 pounds of ice a day, and the ice bin can hold 3 pounds of nugget ice. Each cycle takes about 20 minutes to complete and can be started manually or via Bluetooth (with an installed app).
Despite the high scores, the Amazon and GE websites had a lot of contradictory feedback. “Loud noises” and “stopped running” were the most common complaints from 1-star reviewers. These complaints indicate that the computer isn’t running correctly (obviously) and should be returned.
This ice machine comes with a one-year warranty from GE. If you choose this route, make sure to register your product as soon as possible on the GE website. Then, you’ll be covered if anything goes wrong.
- The world’s first self-dispensing nugget ice machine is now available for your personal use.
- BPA-free components
- Water that has been distilled, bottled, or filtered is recommended.
- Turnaround time is 30 minutes.
- Produces a total of 24 lbs. every 24 hours of ice
- There is no need for a water connection.
- R600 is a form of refrigerant.
- The self-dispensing function is fantastic.
- There was no scoop, no paws, and no ice on the surface.”
- Setup is easy.
- It was well worth the money.
- Excellent customer service
- A little too loud
- There aren’t many ratings.
The KBIce Nugget Ice Maker is the first self-dispensing nugget ice machine, making it ideal for those who want accessible, on-the-go ice.
This is the most user-friendly ice maker on our list, with just three buttons:
- Press the Clean Button
- Button to Dispense Nuggets
- Create the Nuggets Button.
You won’t find a more straightforward ice machine anywhere. It’s also lightweight and doesn’t need a water connection. Fill the reservoir with distilled water and press the “make nuggets” button.
The ice bin is a little small (it only holds 1 pound of ice), but this was not mentioned as a flaw by any reviewers. On the contrary, customers were ecstatic to be able to get nugget ice on-demand, as shown by their ratings.
Another noteworthy feature is the positive feedback on customer service. And those who were dissatisfied with the product praised the organization and customer service.
This machine comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty and a 30-day no-hassle return policy—a one-year parts few advantages to help you relax.
- In just 18 minutes, you’ll have nugget ice to enjoy.
- The ice bin can hold 3.3 pounds of ice.
- Weight limit: 26 lbs. per day of ice
- It is possible to attach to a water source or manually add water.
- When the ice bin is finished, it stops producing ice.
- To start a 5-minute cleaning cycle to flush clean water through the machine, press the “CLEAN” button for 3 seconds.
- Produces ice quickly
- As compared to other models, this one is very quiet.
- It’s easy to use
- Has the choice of using a domestic water line
- Not inaudible
- Before using it for the first time, you must hold it upright for 24 hours.
For some reason, the Taotronics Pellet Ice Maker escaped our notice for quite some time. Nonetheless, we are pleased to inform you that this is the only model with both a manual and an auto-refill reservoir (to our knowledge).
What exactly does this imply? First, you can manually pour water into the reservoir and wait 20 minutes for the nugget ice to form.
Alternatively… You can connect the ice maker to a water source and fully automate the ice-making operation.
Even though having more moving parts makes machinery more prone to breakage, the reviews speak for themselves.
With over 300 Amazon reviews (as of 04/15/2021), the Taotronics ice maker has a 4.8/5 star rating. We’ll see if this model outperforms the GE Profile nugget ice maker as more feedback come in.
For the time being, it’s making a big splash.
- Per day, it can produce up to 44 pounds of nugget ice.
- In processes, there is an average of 15 minutes of downtime.
- At any given time, the bin will carry 3 lbs.
- There is no need for a water connection (has reservoir)
- It’s easy to ueasyightforward to set up.
- “It’s a little smaller than the GE brand, but it makes just as good ice.”
- Great price in comparison
- For the occasional drip or stray ice nugget, a shallow pan or mat beneath is needed.
- The only thing that could make it better is an optional water supply link.
Sonic ice machines are not cheap. Even the less expensive ones are expensive as compared to their “non-nugget ice” forerunners.
However, once the process is perfected, businesses will still find a way to market fairly fair prices. Frigidaire is the company to-go-to when it comes to sonic ice builders.
The Frigidaire ice maker is one of the most famous nugget ice makers, which retails for about $500. It not only sells at a much lower price, but it can also produce more ice in a single day.
This model will produce up to 44 pounds of nugget ice per day. While most of us will probably never need such a large amount of ice, it’s good to know what it can do if the need arises.
This Pellet Ice Maker has maintained a 4.5 / 5-star rating after just 9 Amazon reviews (as of 12/20/2020). Customers raved about the high quality of the nugget ice and how easy it was to use.
Unfortunately, while there were no widespread concerns, the number of reviews is still deficient.
12 x 17 x 19 inches in size (Dimension)
- Clean indicator lights
- Capability for both indoor and outdoor use
- Nugget ice up to 56 lbs a day in a 26 lb ice bin
- Capable of being freestanding
- Ice is made quicker than I can consume it.
- Quiet and easy to set up “Perfect sonic ice.
- It doesn’t have a door panel
The GE Built-in Freestanding Nugget Ice Maker is a significant improvement in terms of ice production and cost. People, on the other hand, were ecstatic with the results.
The only catch is that it does not have a front door panel. Unfortunately, you will have to pay an additional fee for this. The vast majority of one-star reviewers were dissatisfied with their ice maker’s lack of a door panel.
The rest of the reviews were mostly five stars because people liked how quickly the ice was made and how good it tasted.
With a 26-pound storage bin, this GE ice machine can produce up to 56 pounds of ice per day. This should be able to meet all of your ice needs at home.
In addition, it can be used both indoors and outdoors, giving you a variety of choices for placement. Here’s our take on the model, based on our analysis…
It’s a superior ice machine if you have the funds. Only keep in mind that the door panel will set you back an additional $300 or so.
Nevertheless, people were delighted with the outcome until the Pellet Ice Maker was finished (door panel and all).
Dimensions are mentioned above
- Ideal for cramped quarters
- Operation in Silence
- 115 Volt design is simple to mount.
- Not inaudible
- Makes a tonne of nugget ice in a short amount of time.
- “It’s the best home appliance I’ve ever bought.”
- Pump inclusion as an option
- Struggles with warranties and repairs
- Repairs are costly after the warranty period has expired.
- Packages that have been damaged
The Ice-O-Matic Pellet Ice Maker is a perfect choice for those who need a lot of nugget ice regularly. According to the company’s website, it can produce up to 85 pounds of nugget ice per day.
Its stainless steel construction makes it adaptable, as it will look good anywhere you put it (granted, it fits the space), unlike some of the eyesores mentioned below (which are best used in commercial or industrial settings).
Customers that were dissatisfied with the company’s maintenance costs or the scuffed box that arrived on their doorstep accounted for the bulk of the negative feedback.
In terms of company maintenance costs, this is a high-priced commodity that would necessitate a costly repair (if warranted) after the warranty period has expired (1 year).
This is the same risk you take when purchasing any large appliance (fridge, freezer, oven, etc.).
In terms of the scuffed boxes, it’s a risk you’re willing to take. I recommend purchasing the ice maker from the company’s website, or that is what other customers have suggested. This may result in a more pleasant shipping experience.
This ice machine is extremely popular. It’s an appealing piece because of its appearance, output, and high-quality nugget ice. Consider the advantages and disadvantages to see if this is the model for you.
- 106-pound weight
- External Dimensions: 22″ x 38″ x 20.5″
- Commercial Nuggets ice machine
- 50-pound ice bin
- Undercounter or stand-alone configuration for up to 155 lbs of ice per day
- Exterior made of stainless steel
- Ice scoop and water filter are included.
- It gives a lot of ice
- Positive feedback (albeit in small quantities)
- There are almost no ratings.
- Some say it produces granular ice rather than nuggets.
Snooker appears to be a relatively new business (for the US). This ice maker business, based in Shanghai, China, first opened its doors in 2008.
It’s difficult to tell how dependable these devices are based on the limited number of customer reviews.
The only reassuring quality I can offer you is that they’ve been in business for more than a decade, and the available customer reviews are mostly positive.
I recommend making a list of questions related to your requirements and emailing them.
- Just 20″ in width
- For flexible positioning, no side clearance is necessary.
- The ice bin is easily accessible thanks to the ergonomic slide back door.
- Legs that can be adjusted
- Bearings that are sealed and maintenance-free, resulting in less preventative maintenance.
- Exceptional nugget ice
- Works good (energy star certified)
- Only a one-year residential warranty is available.
- There aren’t many reviews
It should come as no surprise that Scotsman made our list as the creators of Nugget Ice. The name “Sonic ice” came from the fact that it was the first known location where nugget ice was sold in large quantities.
Sonic purchased Scotsman nugget ice machines since Scotsman is the oldest established nugget ice maker.
Scotsman, on the other hand, has had plenty of time to perfect their nugget ice. So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this ice machine.
The Scotsman nugget ice machine is 20″ tall and can be stored under the counter with minimal space investment. The front-breathing design also eliminates the need for side clearance.
With a 57-pound storage bin, it can generate a whopping 167 pounds of ice per day. Smaller restaurants, cafes, and bars will benefit from this.
In addition, it is energy-star approved, which means it will have no impact on your electric bill. It has a stainless steel evaporator and auger, aluminum side panels, maintenance-free sealed bearings, and 6″ leg adjustments.
A three-year commercial warranty and a one-year residential warranty are included. More details on the Scotsman warranty can be found here.
Ways of Installing an Ice Machine
Installing a nugget ice machine can be done in three ways; Countertop, Freestanding, and Undercounter. We’ll start with the easiest choices and work our way up to the more time-consuming ones.
Clearly, countertop versions are the simplest to install. The majority of them don’t even need a water connection. Keep the water tank complete, the plugin place, and nugget ice close at hand.
Countertop models are also the most compact and cost the least, varying between $400 and $800.
In addition to taking up valuable kitchen counter space, countertop ice makers can’t generate as much nugget ice as freestanding and under counter versions. As a result, they are extended usually only allowed to eat 25-40 pounds of nuggets a day (still a decent amount).
Freestanding versions have more nugget ice while staying relatively compact (you’ll need to be close to a water source). They’re a lot more expensive, but they can make a lot of nugget ice, anywhere from 50 to 300 pounds per day.
This is ideal for home bars as well as industrial applications. Some people think this style is unattractive, but it can work in the right environment.
For those that have a void space under the fridge, under-counter nugget ice makers are ideal. This is the best-looking choice for the kitchen since there are permanent (built-in) and impermanent (portable) options.
Ice-O-Matic makes a stainless steel portable option, and GE sells a built-in option where you can choose the cover material. These models will produce anywhere from 50 to 150 pounds of nugget ice.
Ice Machines Warranty
As is customary, we suggest looking for a model with a strong warranty. Since nugget ice machines (including the countertop models) are not inexpensive, the warranty becomes even more important.
If you buy something on Amazon, give the seller a message to confirm the warranty. This way, you’ll have proof that the warranty is legitimate.
Take a look at the warranty policy for big-name brands like GE, Whirlpool, and Scotsman to see what it protects. Many companies have long warranties on compressors, but not on the less important components.
Ice Cubes or Nuggets?
If you’ve ever worked with nugget ice, you’ll understand how absurd this issue is. People who have tried nugget ice realize that it is unquestionably superior to the rock-hard, teeth-cracking ice cubes we’re used to.
Shaving the ice down, compressing the shavings, and making smaller, less cube-like ice nuggets is how nugget ice is made. It has all of the freezing properties of ice without the ice’s overly rugged appearance.
How Much Ice Will it Produce
Any countertop nugget ice maker will quickly be extended, usually provide 1-3 people with chewable ice regularly. The storage bin would be the only stumbling block.
If you have a large family who enjoys chewing ice all day, you may want to consider one of the larger, under-counter versions.
Countertop models will produce between 25 and 40 pounds of nugget ice per day. Undercounter and freestanding models can produce 50-300 pounds of nugget ice per day.
Often round-up for more significant quickly extended events and consider how many people will be using the machine.
There’s no avoiding it. Ice makers with nuggets aren’t inexpensive. There are no budget options, just less costly ones, with prices ranging from $500 to $4000. Prices will undoubtedly fall as the process becomes more effective and more businesses join in.
In the meantime, keep in mind that a countertop model would most likely set you back at least $500. However, despite the high price, everyone raved about the nugget ice, and the majority said it was well worth the money.
Hurray! We got our winner GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker Versions 2.0. This is the best pellet ice maker, which produces perfect nugget ice in no time!
The first runner-up of this contest is KBIce Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget, Ice Maker. Its self-dispensing function is impressive.
The second runner of this contest is GE Built-In 56 Lbs Freestanding Nugget Ice Maker. Its ice is made quicker than one can consume it.
These are the best three pellet ice makers in your budget.