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How to Choose the Best Residential Ice Maker

choosing a ice machine

If you don’t already own a residential ice maker, then you may be missing out on one of the best luxury kitchen appliances around. Sure, your refrigerator may produce enough standard (tap water) ice cubes to last throughout the week, but a residential ice machine will produce higher quality, more consistent ice that just tastes better. Depending on your needs, there are a few excellent choices for home ice machines that will blend seamlessly into your custom or luxury kitchen, bar, or even outdoor kitchen space! Here are a few of the best residential ice makers on the market.

The Scotsman Brilliance Nugget Ice Machine

If you’re looking for a stylish, under-counter ice machine, the Scotsman Brilliance Nugget is a great option. The soft and chewable Nugget ice cube absorbs the flavor of your beverage, making it one of the best residential ice machines available. The machine’s high quality design is the quietest ice machine on the market, and uses 40% less energy than other stand-alone ice machines. From a service perspective, the Nugget is a great machine. It is one of the easiest machines to clean, and its parts are easier to access and identify (when compared to similar machines).

  • Produces 60 lbs Of Ice In 24 Hours.
  • Stores Up To 26 lbs Of Ice.
  • Uses 40% Less Energy And 50% Less Water Than Stand-Alone Ice Machines
  • Produces Soft, Chewable Ice.
  • Produces Odorless, Clear Ice.
  • User-friendly control panel informs whether power is on, alerts a no-water condition, and a time to clean reminder.
  • Finish Options Include Stainless Steel, Black, or White Front Panels or the option to use a Custom Wood Front Panel.
  • Outdoor-Approved Models are Available for outdoor applications (think pool-side, outdoor kitchen, or patio bars!).

Best Residential Ice Maker

The Scotsman Brilliance Ice Machine

The Scotsman Brilliance ice machine is known for producing pure, restaurant quality ice, making it one of the leading machines on the market. The Brilliance produces crystal clean, odor-free ice. This means that the ice won’t change the flavor of your drink as it melts. If you use a lot of ice, the Brilliance is a fantastic option for residential applications, as the machine is capable of producing up to 50 pounds of ice in 24 hours.

  • Produces Up to 65 lbs of Gourmet Ice in 24 hours.
  • Stores Up to 26 lbs of Ice.
  • Uniquely-Shaped, Crystal-Clear, Slow-Melting, Taste-Free, Odorless Ice – Won’t Dilute The Flavor Of Drinks.
  • Water-Quality Sensor Detects Hard Water Conditions And Control System Purges Mineral Laden Water With Every Harvest Cycle, Which Helps Extend The Time Between Cleaning.
  • User-Friendly Control Panel Informs Whether Power Is On, Alerts A No-Water Condition, and A Time To Clean Reminder.
  • Lighted Bin and Self-Closing Door.

scotman clear cubes

U-Line Clear Ice Machines

If you’re looking for clear, restaurant quality ice in the convenience of your home, consider the U-Line Clear Ice model. This model produces crystal clear ice free from contaminants, air bubbles, gas, particulate, and chlorine. The U-Line will hold about 4 pounds more ice than the Scotsman model, but the production capacity is about the same.

  • Produces Clear Ice Cubes in Customized Densities
  • The Ice Cubes are 7/8″W X 7/8″H X 7/8″L
  • Produces 60lbs of Ice in a 24 Hour Period
  • Store 30 lbs Of Ice.
  • It Provides Crystal Clear, Gourmet Ice In The Shape Of A Short Shot Glass That So Elegantly Adds Sophistication To Your Served Beverages.
  • The Touch Glass Digital Controls Let You Turn The Unit On And Off
  • When You Are Not Going To Be Home.
  • Three Hour Temporary Shut Off Option.
  • uline ice maker


U-Line Vs. Scotsman Ice Machines

When you’re ready to purchase your ice machine, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration. First, do you care about texture? Do you want a more “cubed” shape or do you like ice you can chew? If you want chewable ice, go for the Scotsman Nugget, but if cubes are your preference, then the U-Line may be a better choice. Also, consider how you’ll use it. If you will be drinking a lot of neat cocktails, then a slow melting cube of the Scotsman Brilliance model will be perfect, but if you plan to make a lot of smoothies and kids drinks, then the chewable ice might suit your needs better.
No matter your final decision, you’ll definitely be happy with any of the three ice machines we mention above.

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