The Definitive Guide to Buying Ice Machines

You want to buy an ice machine because your business needs it – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this page. This is a serious investment, you want to get something absolutely right, and a process that you want to go through smoothly. So what do you need to consider?


First, of course, you should definitely go for the SNOWMAN. We have extensive expertise in ice machines and put customer service at the forefront of what we do. We don’t just sell you a machine, deposit your cash and forget about you. We care – we want to make sure you are completely satisfied with every aspect of the sale and most importantly, that you are happy that the machine itself is fit for purpose.


There are a few things you should carefully consider about the ice maker itself. In this blog, we’ll cover them in detail so you’re already informed when you ask us. We would be happy to discuss these aspects in more detail.


Types of Ice

It’s important to get a machine which will produce the right kind of ice to meet your purpose.


  1. cube ice

This is a general purpose ice most commonly used for beverages in the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries (restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars and pubs). Ice cubes last longer in glass than other types of ice because it is hard and melts more slowly. Great for “on the rocks” drinks because it doesn’t water it down too much.


  1. Flake ice

It is common in the food sector and is ideal for freezer displays and protects foods such as fish and meat from freezer burn. This type of ice is made from compressed sheets and is often used as a cooling bed on which food boxes, containers and trays can be placed. Flake ice can also be used in cocktails and smoothies as it is more friendly to the blades of blenders (hence potential applications in the hospitality, entertainment and leisure sectors), and it is also ideal for bakeries.


Flake ice frozen together is sometimes called “nugget ice” and sometimes “chewy ice” because it is softer and easier to mix than nugget ice. Block ice is also ideal for the pharmaceutical industry.


Ice maker location, size and shape

It’s simple logic really, but the location of your ice machine in relation to the tasks for which you need ice is crucial. Once the ice is removed from storage, its temperature begins to change, so the machine must be placed in an easily accessible and task-convenient location to save time when moving the ice from the machine to the task area.


It is also important to determine where the machine will go due to its shape and size and the availability of electricity, water and drainage systems. There are a range of different types of ice machines (in terms of size and shape) that can have a certain location – undercounter, freestanding or countertop. It is important to make sure you get a machine that is suitable for the purpose itself and the space you have.


Other things to consider

  1. Energy costs

No doubt this is very important to you! In the current economic climate, every business must incorporate the variable costs of energy and water into their cost calculations and forecasts. This can be a relatively thankless task, but there are a few things you can do to have more control over your spending: Use a high-efficiency ice machine. Some models have advanced insulation properties and can even be programmed to only make ice when needed or can be stored for longer periods of time.


  1. Cleaning

Whether in hospitality or retail, one simple task is crucial – cleaning. Ice is a food product and must therefore be handled in a careful and hygienic manner in accordance with professional standards and legal requirements. Therefore, the cleanliness of the ice machine is very important.

Some ice machines have automatic cleaning cycles, which can save you labor and time, but you should also consider the time and effort required to clean the outside of the machine and any removable parts. How easy is it to clean the ice machine? This also ties into what we mentioned in the previous section about the size of the machine and its location within your business.


  1. Water quality

Check the quality of water pumped into the machine. Your premises may be in an area with varying “hardness” or “softness” and you may find whether it is necessary to filter limescale.