Nothing can satisfy your requirement for ice for the entire day like an ice maker. And if it forms beautiful crescent-shaped ice cubes that are frozen until you remove them, then you are experiencing the pleasure of paradise at home. We have listed the top 5 best built-in ice makers that can help you with your daily ice requirement professionally and seamlessly.
Quick Summary: Best Built-in Ice Makers of 2021
- Best Rated Built-in Ice Maker: EdgeStar IB250SS
- Best Compact Built-in Ice Maker: Smad HS-26BI-3
- Editor’s Choice: Edgestar IB120SS
- Great Residential Built-in Ice Maker: Whynter UIM-155
- Good Alternative: SMETA SZB-26B
Top 5 Best Built-in Ice Makers
#1. EdgeStar IB250SS – Best Rated Built-in Ice Maker
|Easy to use||9.2|
|Easy to clean||8.9|
|Value for money||9.1|
This is an efficient built-in ice maker that forms beautiful crescent-shaped ice cubes. It is capable of producing about 25 lbs. of ice in a day, which can easily meet your family’s ice needs and if you are hosting special parties at home. You don’t even have to transfer the crescent-shaped ice cubes to the freezer to use for later use, as it behaves as a freezer and will keep the ice cubes frozen until they are removed from the unit.
Being a built-in appliance, it can be easily tucked under tight kitchen counter spaces and as it doesn’t require a drain, then it can be comfortably tucked under the counter. The appliance features a front ventilation feature that helps it to breathe easily when it is tucked under the counter. And its reversible door helps in its under-counter installation and we can easily open it in either direction with its left and right hinge opening options. The appliance comes with a water line, an ice scoop, and also a removable ice bin.
This under-counter appliance is simply perfect for any kitchen space and helps us to enjoy iced tea and drinks on the go, as we prefer. Also, the long and crescent-shaped ice cubes are soft and airy and will cool the drink efficiently and seamlessly, without altering its taste and flavor. The appliance comes with a complete set of accessories such as the water hook, ice scoop, and also a removable ice bin. This built-in ice maker from Edgestar was able to produce about 25 lbs. of ice in a day and is capable of storing about 20 lbs. of ice at a time.
What do we like about EdgeStar IB250SS?
- The front venting system adapts it to under counter installation
- Doesn’t require a drain as it works as a freezer
- Reversible door helps with easy operation
What do we don’t like about EdgeStar IB250SS?
- The steel body of the ice maker is not smudge-proof.
- The ice crescent is quite small.
Also Check: Best Outdoor Ice Makers
#2. Smad HS-26BI-3 – Best Compact Built-in Ice Maker
|Easy to use||9.3|
|Easy to clean||8.7|
|Value for money||9.1|
This is perhaps the first-ever ice maker that made ice on par with the commercial ice makers but still comes in a portable design. Such a combination is quite rare and this appliance qualifies for built-in installation as well, as it features a front ventilating unit. Its reversible doors with right and left hinges help in easy opening of the door in either direction and as the ice maker also behaves as a freezer, it is will keep the ice frozen until they are removed for use, and thus you don’t have to worry about its drain line as well.
It forms a beautiful ice crescent and we only have to connect the water hose supplied with the ice maker to the source of cold water and start enjoying beautiful ice crescents in no time. The appliance is very small and compact and tucks in tight under counter spaces seamlessly. But we recommend you choose the fastening that you would require at the water inlet point, as the plumbing fixtures at this installation point could differ. The installation can be done by yourself, but you should call a plumber for assistance, as the faucets at the water inlet area are special.
The ice maker has a removable ice tray and is shipped with the water hose and the ice scoop. It is capable of producing about 12 pounds of ice in a day and it is capable of storing about 6 pounds of ice at a time. Its highly advanced infrared sensor technology stops the ice-making process when the bin is full and thus prevents overflow prevention.
What do we like about Smad HS-26BI-3?
- Auto shut-off feature when the ice bin is full.
- Super smooth finishing with black finishing
- Forms clear crescent ice.
- Ideal for freestanding and built-in installation and is portable as well.
What do we don’t like about Smad HS-26BI-3?
- Ice production and storage capacity is quite less
- Requires manual defrosting.
Check out: Best Portable Ice Makers 2021
#3. Edgestar IB120SS Built-in Ice Maker – Editor’s Choice
|Easy to use||9.1|
|Easy to clean||8.8|
|Value for money||9.1|
This ice maker has an excellent design and a front venting system for easy installation. We will not have any problem in fixing the waterline of this ice maker as it has a ¼” water line connection and it is about 25-foot long. The ice maker has a reversible door for both left and right-hand swing and its front ventilation system helps with the seamless under-counter installation.
The unit also comes with an ice scoop to remove the ice that is been made. This ice maker is convenient, easy, and can be installed easily without much cost. It features a one and off power switch and its effective infrared sensor technology and auto shut off feature helps in overflow prevention in the ice maker.
This ice maker is capable of producing up to 12 pounds of ice a day and it is capable of storing up to 6 pounds of ice for instant use. This can be great in meeting the ice needs of a small family. The best part of these ice maker is that it also works as a freezer and thus you can store the ice in them indefinitely, so it will not melt even if we forget to remove the cubes immediately. For the same reason, this ice maker does not require a drain line as well.
This is the best ice maker for under-counter installation as it can store ice in its frozen form for hours. Its true stainless steel door on a black body ensures that it fits the décor of most kitchens. It is just about 25 inches tall and thus a small space is enough to fit in this ice maker. This ice maker is small and simple and does not require any drain.
What do we like about Edgestar IB120SS?
- Makes about 12 pounds of crescent-shaped ice per day and can fit most spaces.
- Includes a refrigerated freezer compartment.
- Noiseless operation.
What do we don’t like about Edgestar IB120SS?
- It needs to be installed by a licensed plumber.
Check out: Best Ice Makers For Garage
#4. Whynter UIM-155 – Great Residential Built-in Ice Maker
|Easy to use||9.1|
|Easy to clean||8.7|
|Value for money||8.5|
Though this is a commercial-grade ice maker, it has a compact structure and can get into tight spaces under the counter. A small space in the kitchen under counter, about 15” is all that takes to install the appliance expertly. The measurements of the appliance given by the manufacturer are 18 x 15 x 25 inches, but we recommend an additional 2” clearance at the left and right sides and the back as well.
This appliance has a front-breathing ventilation system and a reversible door, so you can have it under any kitchen countertop or the dining unit as well. It also behaves as a freezer and doesn’t require a drain, so we don’t have to worry much about its plumbing requirements as well.
We cannot expect large ice production in this appliance and it is of making only about 12 lbs. of crescent ice cubes in 24 hours. So if you have a huge requirement of ice on the day of your house party, we recommend you store ice beforehand in the freezer.
The bin of this ice maker is capable of storing about 6 lbs. of ice and the ice will stay frozen until it is removed for future use. Its sensor technology makes sure that if the bin is full, its auto-shut-off feature will stop the ice-making process. But one good feature of this appliance is that you can scoop out that 6lbs. of ice anytime, as the ice formed will not melt. The appliance has the best layers of insulation, that maintains the ice in their frozen state until you scoop them out.
What do we like about Whynter UIM-155?
- The appliance comes with a 25 foot ¼ inch food-grade water line connection.
- An insulated ice maker that maintains the ice frozen
- Stylish stainless steel door with sleek black cabinet.
What do we don’t like about Whynter UIM-155?
- The appliance forms only 12 lbs. of crescent-shaped ice in 24 hours.
Must Check: Best Home Ice Makers 2021
#5. SMETA SZB-26B Built-in Ice Maker – Good Alternative
|Easy to use||9.3|
|Easy to clean||8.6|
|Value for money||8.8|
This is an excellent built-in ice maker, that is capable of forming about 12 lbs. of ice cubes in a day and this appliance can also store about 6 pounds of ice at a time. Its stainless steel construction and smudge-proof design make it an ideal addition for all households, that have a constant need for ice all through the day. Its front ventilation system qualifies this appliance as an efficient under-counter ice maker and its dimensions are about 15.2 x 17.72 x 25.1 inches, mandating that it requires minimal space for operations under the counter.
It is capable of making about 12 pounds of ice in a day, and its ice cycle lasts anywhere between 40 and 50 minutes. The appliance forms a nice crescent-shaped ice cube and qualifies for both built-in and freestanding installation. It also behaves as a freezer and will keep the ice frozen until it is removed. There is no point in ice melting or the water leaking, and thus you don’t have to establish a drain line for this appliance. Its reversible door helps with both side opening and its removable ice basket helps in transferring the ice cubes from the basket to the drinks easily.
This ice maker is extremely easy to install and is shipped with a water line, ice scoop, and a removable ice bin. It can store about 6 pounds of ice in its ice bin and beyond this point, its infrared sensors will shut down the ice-making process and the appliance will stop making ice until the bin is emptied.
What do we like about SMETA SZB-26B?
- Compact size built-in ice maker that fits in most of the counters
- Its front-ventilation system helps with a thorough built-in application
- The built-in freezer keeps ice frozen until retrieval
- Easy installation
What do we don’t like about SMETA SZB-26B?
- Long ice-making process and each cycle consume about 40 to 50 minutes.
- The appliance is slightly loud.
You may also like: Best Countertop Ice Makers 2021
What to Consider Before Buying the Built-in Ice Maker
Now that you have decided to buy a built-in ice maker for your home, here is our guide to check the important parameters before investing in your appliance.
1. Capacity of the appliance
Choose your appliance based on your need, will you require it for your personal or your commercial use? If you are looking for your personal use, you can go with any of the under-counter ice machines, but if it is for commercial use, you have to look for a powerful machine that chunks out a huge volume of ice at a given point in time. All the ice makers that we have listed here are capable of chunking out about 12 pounds of ice in a day and can store about 6 pounds of ice at a time.
2. Ease of installation
Some ice makers can be self-installed while others require help from a trained technician demanding additional cost. Also, some machine gives access to the waterline but does not offer a tank to fill water. To install such appliances, it is required to have access to a water source. Also, if there is no access to a drain in your kitchen counter, then you have to look for an appliance that does not require a drain and is capable of recycling the melted ice. Most of the time, you need assistance from a plumber to install your high-end under-counter ice machine.
3. Maintaining ice in its frozen form
It is always beneficial to choose an under-counter ice machine that also doubles up as a freezer. This helps in keeping the ice cubes frozen indefinitely without melting. Such appliances also take up less water and save on electricity bills, as they don’t recycle ice.
4. Quality of ice
The under-counter ice-making machines can help you with different shapes of ice. Machines from Edgestar help you with clear gourmet-shaped ice cubes, that you can use to chill your cocktails for a long time, keeping the taste and flavor intact. On the other hand, if you want soft and chewable ice, you can choose your appliance accordingly.
5. Storage capacity
Look for an appliance with a large storage capacity, which is at least half the ice production capacity of the appliance. All the ice makers that we have listed here are capable of storing 6 pounds of ice at a time until they are retrieved for use. It is important to check for insulation in the storage bin so that it can maintain the ice in the solid form for the maximum time possible. The refrigerated storage bin is the best, as ice remains in them for days without getting melted.
6. Reversible door and drain
If you are planning to install the under-counter ice maker against the walls of the cabins, look for appliances with reversible doors so that there is no hindrance in opening the door properly. Also, the appliance should have front-side ventilation to qualify for under-counter installation. The appliances we have listed do not require drains, as they maintain ice in their frozen form.
Built-in Ice Maker Maintenance Guide
The built-in ice makers are built for the existing layout and cabinetry of the home and they are capable of fitting in the design of the kitchen seamlessly. But maintaining these appliances, to ensure that the ice that is formed in them is safe and hygienic is a hassle.
The first important step in the maintenance of the built-in ice maker is that it should be offered enough space clearance at its back and its sides so that it operates efficiently, though they are meant for tucking in tight spaces under the counter. It is also equally important to check the water inlet hose for any build-up of slime and minerals, to ensure that the inlet water is safe and hygienic and forms great ice.
The next important step in the maintenance of the built-in ice maker is cleaning it frequently. Before initiating the cleaning function, it is important to unplug the appliance and the cleaning should never be attempted when the appliance is plugged in. The next step is to empty the ice bin and clean it with a mild detergent or use the product recommended by the manufacturer.
Turn the water supply off, and check the hose for the buildup of slime, as there is no drain pipe in these appliances, half the hurdle is reduced. Replace the water filter if required and replace the ice bin. Plug in the appliance and run it through the entire cleaning cycle. Dump the ice in the first cycle and start making ice as usual. It may also be required to schedule professional visits with the ice machine as required.
If you are planning to have your built-in ice maker as a stand-alone freestanding device, then you don’t have much to worry about. But if you are planning to have them built under the counter, then make sure they have some room to breathe, even if your appliance has a front ventilation system. All of the best built-in ice makers that we have recommended here can be expert ice-making machines that form beautiful crescent-shaped ice. We hope our guide helps you in picking the right ice maker for your home.