Chewing crushed ice on an empty mouth and slipping them into a glass of drink means the world for many people during the hot and dry summer months. Also, nothing can cool a drink better than a crushed ice cube and they are great for making crushed ice for fruit cocktails, juices, and even smoothies. But making crushed ice is not as easy as it sounds, after all, we are not breaking the bigger cubes into smaller ones to crush them.
Crushed ice should be formed by molding the ice shavings into small pellets in a defined shape. And a portable ice maker is the best option to form this crushed ice. We have listed here the best crushed ice makers that are highly efficient in forming crushed ice and we have tested them to be highly efficient in making high-quality crushed ice by saving water, time, and energy.
Quick Summary: Best Crushed Ice Makers of 2021
- Best Overall: GE Profile Opal Ice Maker
- Runner Up: HOmeLabs Chill Pill Ice Maker
- Editor’s Choice: ADT Countertop Chewable Ice Maker
- Unique Design: Dreamiracle Ice Maker
- Great For Soft and Chewable Ice: IKICH CP173 Ice Maker
We have also written a specific buying guide for nugget ice: Top 10 Nugget Ice Makers
Top 5 Best Crushed Ice Makers in 2021
If you are someone who munches on plain ice all through the day or have developed a new affinity for crushed ice, these are the top best-picked ice makers for you.
#1. GE Profile Opal Ice Maker – Best Overall
|Easy to use||9.4|
|Easy to clean||9.2|
|Value for money||9.5|
GE Profile Opal is perhaps the best nugget ice maker and is our first choice for crushed ice. Crushes ice has many benefits, it is soft and chewable and can be given to kids during their teething stage, can be used to make instant iced tea and beverages, and be applied over bleeding body parts as well. Irrespective of the reason, the Opal countertop nugget maker is a handy companion for kitchen countertops. The ice cubes as soft nuggets and can be mixed with sodas and cocktails instantly. It cools the drinks efficiently without melting the drinks and altering their flavors.
Generally, in countertop ice makers, the water reservoir will stay with the ice maker and there will be less room for ice storage. But with GE opal, there is a specially dedicated side compartment that stores water and thus, there is ample space to store about 3 lbs. of ice at a time. Still, this appliance is portable and works on a standard 120v grounded electrical outlet. When the ice melts in this appliance, the water will return to the reservoir and it will be used to make more batches of ice.
One ice-making cycle takes about 20 minutes for the first batch of ice and makes about 24 lbs. of ice in a day. When the ice storage goes down, the appliance will power up again and start making ice. Also, this is the first-ever built-in Bluetooth-enabled device that can be controlled with an app on the smartphone. This ice maker scraps the flakes of ice inside its stainless cylinder and extrudes them through a round hole, and thus is capable of making excellent ice nuggets.
What do we like about GE Profile Opal?
- Soft and crunchy nuggets float like delicate snowballs on the drinks
- The side tank helps in making three times more ice than other portable ice makers
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity is an add-on feature.
What do we don’t like about GE Profile Opal?
- Ice melts pretty quickly
- Loud appliance.
Check out: Top 10 Best Ice Makers in the Market
#2. HOmeLabs Chill Pill Ice Maker – Runner Up
|Easy to use||9.5|
|Easy to clean||9.1|
|Value for money||9.4|
Take a chill pill with the Homelabs countertop ice maker, it makes 26 pounds of ice in a day, which is an excellent production capacity for a countertop ice maker. The ice makers create chewable and refreshing pill-shaped ice cubes, too much on for the entire day, and also to keep the drinks icy cold. The capacity of its water reservoir is about 2.2 liters, which is great for two to three ice cycles. Its storage bin is capable of holding around 1.5 pounds of ice at a time which is great for making much glass of drinks and juices.
It has a very small footprint and doesn’t occupy much space on the countertop. The appliance features a compressor for instant cooling and is an energy-efficient appliance indeed. The ice maker is super quick and starts making ice within 6 to 8 minutes. This ice maker has intelligent controls, that intimates when the appliance runs out of water and when it is time to remove the ice cubes when the bin is full.
The ice maker does feature an auto-shutoff feature that stops making ice when the bin is full, helping to save time and energy. But when you leave the ice in the appliance, without picking it up on time, then the ice will melt, and the water will be used to make more ice cubes. This appliance has been built with efficiency and speed in mind and forms cylindrical ice cubes within minutes and this appliance also operates very quietly without disturbing the surroundings.
What do we like about HOmeLabs Chill Pill?
- The appliance is streamlined to prevent ice built-ups and over the freezing of ice
- Has auto-shutoff capability to prevent ice from overflowing
- A quiet appliance that forms ice pretty quickly.
What do we don’t like about HOmeLabs Chill Pill?
- The ice melts pretty quick and it is better we transfer them to the freezer in an ice bag.
Must check: Best Home Ice Makers 2021
#3. ADT Countertop Chewable Ice Maker – Editor’s Choice
|Easy to use||9.4|
|Easy to clean||9.2|
|Value for money||9.3|
This is perhaps the first-ever ice countertop ice maker with an ice-making capacity as that of commercial ice makers. The appliance makes very soft nuggets of ice that are easy on the mouth and are great to chew. We can either prefer to chew and swallow them on a dry summer morning or use them to chill the food, drinks, and beverages. Within 15 minutes, this ice maker makes these crunchy chewable ice and can keep making about 44 lbs. of ice in a day.
But we may have to keep filling up its reservoir with water as it doesn’t have any water hookup and to make 44 lbs. of ice, it might require many quarts of water. Its water reservoir however has a capacity of 1 gallon and opens up at the top. It works on any standard electric outlet and we only have to plug in the appliance, fill its reservoir with water, and start making ice instantly. The control panel alerts the user to take off the ice when it is ready. But if we fail to remove them, then the ice melts and the water returns to the reservoir to make more ice cubes.
The ice bin can store about 3.3 lbs. of ice and has a slide back door to draw the ice with the help of a scoop. It also comes with a water pan to prevent spills of ice and to handle water leakages when we attempt to refill the appliance. Its simple operation makes it an elegant addition for home countertops, offices, cafes, restaurants, etc.
What do we like about ADT countertop ice maker?
- Makes square crunchy ice nuggets that are chewable
- Makes about 44 lbs. of ice in a day and completes an ice cycle in 15 minutes
- Transparent ice basket with a large look through the window
- There is a drain pipe at the rear to drain wastewater while cleaning.
What do we don’t like about ADT countertop ice maker?
- It will not keep the ice frozen
- Very loud appliance.
#4. Dreamiracle Ice Maker – Unique Design
|Easy to use||9.5|
|Easy to clean||9.3|
|Value for money||9.4|
This is an advanced ice maker that makes pebble-shaped ice cubes that can be great for chewing and for chilling drinks. The appliance has a three-layer foaming technology that maintains the ice to stay frozen for a long time. Its smudge-proof metal plate makes it an excellent addition to the home kitchen and since the appliance is made of food-grade PP, the ice from this appliance is hygienic and is of food-grade quality. The capacity of this ice maker is about 33 lbs. and the appliance takes only 7 minutes to chunk out 9 pieces of chewable ice cubes.
The capacity of its water reservoir is about 2.8 liters and can help with 3 or 4 ice cycles and if you want to make more ice, then you must keep filling the water tank of this appliance with more water. This ice maker makes use of 26g R600a refrigerant and thus serves extremely energy efficient and helps in saving energy and money as well. We can make bullet ice cubes in two sizes by picking the options on the control panel. The small ice cubes can be great to chew, whereas the bigger ones can be of help in chilling the drinks.
The ice bullets this appliance makes, don’t seem to stick with each other as they are preserved in an ice basket lined with advanced foaming technology. There is an infrared sensor on the ice basket that stops making any further ice when the bin is full and we also check if the bin is full by viewing through the large transparent window of the appliance. Its four different vents help with efficient heat dissipation and an efficient cooling mechanism.
What do we like about Dreamiracle ice maker?
- The appliance is shipped with the complete set of accessories, ice basket, measuring cup, and ice scoop
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- The exteriors of the machine have a stainless steel metal shell that helps in its longevity.
What do we don’t like about Dreamiracle ice maker?
- The appliance is a little bit.
#5. IKICH CP173 Ice Maker – Great For Soft and Chewable Ice
|Easy to use||9.5|
|Easy to clean||9.6|
|Value for money||9.3|
Perfect countertop ice maker for those who require quick ice. This machine can give out 9 ice bullets in just 6 minutes, thanks to its revolutionary cooling technology. In a day, this ice maker can make about 26 pounds of ice with its two-liter water storage reservoir. However, when the appliance ran out of water, we substituted it with water so that its ice-making process is not hindered. The ice bullets are soft and chewable and when put on the drinks, they floated owing to their airy nature. They chilled the drinks thoroughly and didn’t dilute them.
The best feature of this ice maker that we liked the most is its quiet operation. It makes some noise while dropping ice, but this is fine. It sits very comfortably on the kitchen countertop and doesn’t occupy much space. And it doesn’t require any complex installation as well. We just have to plug in the device, add water and allow it to keep making ice. There is a drain plug at the bottom that can be used to drain excess water before storing the appliance when not in use.
Its easy-to-use control panel has diverse functions, it reminds us when the bin is full of ice, reminds us when the water level is low, and also allows us to choose the size of the ice cubes from small to large. The small ice cubes are just half-inch in length and have a diameter of that of the little finger. You can slip them directly into the small opening of the water bottle and chill the drinks directly.
What do we like about IKICH CP173?
- Makes high-quality ice bullets that are great for drinks
- Two-year warranty for the ice maker that is made of food-grade material.
- The appliance has a fast refrigeration process and features optimal insulation.
What do we don’t like about IKICH CP173?
- Works best with filtered water
- Melts ice quickly
How Should You Choose Your Crushed Ice Maker
There are many ways to make crushed ice, but depending on your ice requirement you can either choose to buy a portable or an under-counter ice maker. Although, the perfect crushed ice can be formed seamless in a portable appliance and it is also capable of giving more than 25 to 40 lbs. of ice a day and we prefer you go for a portable ice maker as it also saves space in the kitchen and doesn’t require any complex installation. These are the other points to look for in your portable crushed ice maker, to make sure that you have made the best out of your money spent.
1. Capacity of the ice maker
Check the capacity of the ice maker and make sure that it is on par with your ice needs. We have listed ice makers that are capable of making anywhere between 26 and 40 lbs. of ice in a day and you have to make a choice on your purchase, based on your requirements. Also, choose the appliance that is quick in forming ice, if you would require ice often. Our IKICH portable ice maker can give a batch of 9 ice cubes in only 6 minutes.
2. Size of the appliance
Portable appliances are small and are intended to occupy minimal space on the countertop. Some of them even have a handle to help with portability. Make sure that you are buying an appliance in the dimensions and the capacity that you would require and most of these portable ice makers are great for the boat, kitchen, RV, and even can accommodate seamlessly in office space as well. Also buying a portable and small size ice appliance has another advantage. You can dismantle them and store them during winter months and when they are not in use and retrieve them when required and start making ice after a brief cleaning cycle.
3. Ease of use
Generally, the portable ice makers have ease of use and they will have intuitive controls to manage the ice-making process. We only have to plug in the appliance, add water and start making ice. Some of them could use complex controls and could have a complex ice-making process. But it is better to choose appliances that are easy to use and have intelligent features such as reusing water from the melted ice to form fresh ice, intimating when the bin is full and the water tank is empty, etc.
This is perhaps the number of complaints of portable ice maker users. With a careful decision-making process, it could be possible to get a machine that lasts for many years. Spending a little higher on a high-end brand can make all the difference in the functioning and durability of the appliance. Choose brands with warranties to enjoy absolute peace of mind with the purchase.
Most of the portable ice makers are in a comfortable price range and their cost starts around $250 to $500 depending on their capacity and their unique features. Appliances that have a higher ice production capacity and are durable with metallic finishes can cost higher. But it is worth the spend as these machines also maintain ice frozen for a longer time and makes fuller nuggets that stay on without getting melted instantly. Ultimately it is your choice on how much you wish to spend on the appliance and try to strike the balance between cost and quality.
Check out: Best Ice Maker Under $500: Top 10 Picks
Of all the types of ice that are available with countertop ice makers, nugget ice or crushed ice pellets are superior. Though they tend to melt quickly, they are the perfect choice for making soft drinks and blended mocktails and cocktails. They are also great for chewing and satisfying your craving for ice. They break down easily while chewing and are also great on the gums and the mouth. All the best crushed ice makers listed here make chewable ice and are energy efficient and they consume less water as well to make ice. Hope you have all the information handy now to steadfast into buying your favorite portable ice appliance.