Choosing The Best Portable Ice Maker For Your Home

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Shopping for an ice maker made easy.

NewAir 50 lb Ice Maker (Stainless Steel)Whether you’re throwing a holiday party or a summer BBQ bash, few things are worse than running out of ice. Of course, for a larger party – or even a mid-sized one – those tiny little ice trays that you keep in your freezer won’t cut it. You might also consider buying bags of ice at the grocery store or local gas station, but that’s precious time you could spend preparing for your party, and you never quite know what you’re getting when you buy bagged ice.

Then again, what about the ice machine that’s built into your refrigerator. That has to be the best option, right? Well, not quite. You don’t have a lot of room to collect your ice, and the ice maker that’s built into your refrigerator isn’t really designed to handle larger parties or events. Plus, it’s hardly portable, meaning it’s useless if you’re camping or outdoors.

If any of these problems sound familiar to you, it may be time to buy an ice maker. Ice makers can keep a great party going for hours, which is why choosing the best portable ice maker for your home is an important decision to make. Here are some of the features and considerations you should have when buying an ice maker.

How much ice do I need to make?

NewAir AI-100 Ice Maker (Stainless Steel)Deciding how much ice to buy can be a problem, especially if you’re not 100% certain who will show up. Fortunately, with an ice maker, you’re making ice and storing ice continuously.

If you typically host larger gatherings with a lot of friends and family members, spring for a 50-lb capacity ice maker such as the NewAir AI-215 series. If you’re hosting small to mid-sized events, the NewAir AI-100 series should meet your needs.

Of course, as they say, it never hurts to be prepared, so if it’s in your budget, it may be worth springing for the AI-215 right from the get go.

How quickly do I need ice made?

NewAir Orange Ice Maker (28 lb)Another important question to ask yourself is how much ice you need to make.

For larger events, such as holiday parties, graduation parties, and outdoor events, you may find that a little extra ice doesn’t hurt. In this case, you’ll want more ice more quickly, which means you might want to go with one of the larger-capacity ice makers, such as the NewAir AI-215 series which can produce 12 pieces of ice in seven-minute cycles.

If your needs are a little less urgent, the NewAir AI-100 series is able to make nine pieces of ice in six-minute cycles. While not quite as quick as the NewAir AI-215 ice maker, this is still far better than you’ll ever get with a plastic ice tray.

How much space do I have for an ice maker?

Space is a serious consideration when buying any ice maker. The good news is that NewAir portable ice makers are compact and highly portable. The AI-100 series, for example, looks and fits naturally on nearly any countertop. The AI-215 portable ice maker is only slightly larger, so it fits on a countertop just as easily.

Which color matches my other appliances?

Blue Ice Maker From NewAirFor some of us, aesthetics are an important part of the appliance buying process. If it’s not going to look good, then it doesn’t matter how great it is.

Fortunately, you’re not limited to a single color scheme with NewAir ice makers. The NewAir AI-100 series of ice makers comes in a variety of colors, including red, orange, blue, stainless steel, and black. This means that you should be able to find something to match your kitchen no matter what your existing appliances look like.

That said, one of the best things about a portable ice maker is how easy it is to move around. This means you can pick and enjoy the color you want without having to worry whether it will clash with the rest of your appliances. When you’re done with it, just stow it away in a cabinet for later use. This also means that it’s very easy to take with you on camping trips and family outings (so long as you have a place to plug it in).

What other features should I consider?

Stainless Steel Ice Maker (NewAir)When shopping for an ice maker, it’s important that you consider its features. Some of the more popular features include an add water indicator and a full ice basket indicator so you can easily check the status of your ice maker. Removable ice bins are great for convenience, such as cleaning the ice maker and moving ice to a cooler.

Other must-have features include automatic overflow protection, which prevents the ice maker from making more ice after it’s reached capacity. A side-mounted drain makes clean-up a snap once the party is over, and it never hurts to have an included ice scoop.

The AI-100 and AI215 boast all of these features and more, making them easy picks when choosing the best portable ice maker for your home. While you’re here, be sure to check out some of the best-selling ice makers.

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