Best Undercounter Ice Makers For Powerful Production

Gary Johnson
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If you are looking for a portable ice maker or a built-it ice maker, but would prefer not to have to shell out a lot of money for it, the choices are not readily apparent.

But with a little bit of digging and a lot of perusing, it is possible to find some excellent undercounter ice makers that will be able to serve you well for years to come.

With the best undercounter ice maker, you can have a completely self-sufficient way of keeping ice handy for your patrons and to supply your bar with plenty of ice for chilling drinks.

Best of all, you can do it all very easily without breaking the bank.

Below are a few of the top recommendations for under the counter ice makers for your home bar.

NameCategoryProduct
Manitowoc UYF-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Cube Ice MachineBest OverallManitowoc UYF-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Cube Ice Machine
UNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER STAINLESS STEEL DOORBudget PickUNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER STAINLESS STEEL DOOR
Manitowoc UYF0190A-161B UYF0190A NEO U-190 Undercounter Ice Cube MachineUpgrade PickManitowoc UYF0190A-161B UYF0190A NEO U-190 Undercounter Ice Cube Machine

1. Manitowoc UYF-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Cube Ice Machine

Our rating: 9 / 10

Manitowoc UYF-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Cube Ice Machine

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Pros:

  • Large ice production
  • Powerful motor
  • Energy efficient
  • Relatively cheap

Cons:

  • No version of this machine with a drain or bucket and scoop
  • May not be compatible with standard air conditioner PVC connections

Per Day, Model UYF-0140A-NEO

Manitowoc makes some of the most talked-about undercounter ice makers, and our top pick is the Manitowoc UYF-0140A-NEO ice maker. It packs 90 lb. of ice into a storage tub in 24 hours, which is incredible for such a small machine.

This ice machine is able to keep things extra cool with its 26" air cooled condenser. It can freeze up to 138 lb. of water in 24 hours with its powerful Glacier Series compressor. It also has a 2.5" thick door for better insulation.

2. Hoshizaki KM-81BAH Undercounter Ice Maker Produces Up To 86 Lbs Per 24 Hours

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hoshizaki KM-81BAH Undercounter Ice Maker Produces Up To 86 Lbs Per 24 Hours

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Pros:

  • Costs less than comparable brands
  • Big enough to produce lots of ice fast
  • Quiet operation
  • Faster production than comparable brands
  • Nice appearance, matches other appliances
  • Self-cleaning function
  • Can remove ice cube tray without opening the door
  • Convenient touch controls
  • Inexpensive ice tray replacement
  • Can alter ice size without removing the tray

Cons:

  • Condensation on the front of the appliance
  • Ice maker can freeze up, resulting in less ice being made
  • Ice made in this machine is not clear
  • Self-cleaning function requires more time than making ice
  • Smaller than other top-rated models

Hoshizaki KM-81BAH is an undercounter ice maker that many people love. It makes enough ice for a big family or a small bar. It’s also compared to other ice makers, especially those popular on the market like Purity Plus, which makes 100 pounds of ice a day in comparison to the KM-81BAH’s 86 pounds.

3. Manitowoc UYF0190A-161B UYF0190A NEO U-190 Undercounter Ice Cube Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

Manitowoc UYF0190A-161B UYF0190A NEO U-190 Undercounter Ice Cube Machine

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Pros:

  • Small, Compact Design
  • Inexhaustible Ice Production
  • Has a Quality Look and Feel
  • Has a Built-in Drain to Avoid Slippery Floors
  • Connects to your water line so you don’t use your entire H2O supply
  • Energy Efficient
  • One Year Warranty (but really lasts forever)
  • Easy to Clean
  • Easy Maintenance

Cons:

  • Be prepared for a little bit of hard work
  • Some have had issues with the customer service from the company
  • Requires a small space

For those of us who are really busy, one of the best things you can do to make your life easier is to invest in an undercounter ice maker. These make the world of difference when it comes to keeping your bar accessories stocked with ice. Professional bartenders rely on ice-making equipment, so it’s a luxury that we should all afford ourselves.

With these ice makers, you can get back to enjoying your bar accessories without having to worry about ordering ice constantly, which in itself can be a hassle if you wait until you’re running low. Investing in an ice maker can save you a lot of time, energy, and money over time, especially if you entertain a lot of guests.

4. Scotsman CU50PA-1A Undercounter Ice Maker

Our rating: 8 / 10

Scotsman CU50PA-1A Undercounter Ice Maker

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Pros:

  • Great production of 80 pound ice cubes per 24 hours
  • Proven brand
  • Easy to use with convenient controls
  • Ice is frozen in a cube shape that allows it to fit in narrow spaces
  • Includes a self-contained condenser drain pump for easy drainage
  • Refrigerator comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Ice mold could be designed better
  • Water can leak if the insulation is not installed properly

If you’re looking for a high-quality undercounter ice maker, one option that can be considered is the SCOTSMAN CU50PA-1A Undercounter Ice Maker. This ice maker comes with a variety of convenient features that allow it to be one of the best choices for your kitchen and outdoor parties.

Thanks to the cube shape, the ice will fit in narrow spaces without taking up much room. The SCOTSMAN CU50PA-1A is ideally suited for smaller bars, banquet halls, or patios. The 25 lb per day capacity is enough to handle a busy restaurant or restaurant kitchen. The SCOTSMAN CU50PA-1A Undercounter Ice Maker also comes with a self-contained condenser drain pump and a drain holder for easy drainage.

5. UNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER STAINLESS STEEL DOOR

Our rating: 7 / 10

UNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER STAINLESS STEEL DOOR

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Pros:

  • Ice production is pretty good
  • Easy to install
  • Automatic ice dispenser
  • Note: The unit must be hooked up to a water line for the ice maker to work
  • Approved by the NSF

Cons:

  • The dispenser is a little loud
  • You need a space between 30-39" Deep
  • It's a bit expensive than other ice makers
  • The noise isn't loud, just keep in mind that you may hear a little sound while it's dispensing ice

CONTRACTS: UNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER, STAINLESS STEEL, DOOR

Do not let the "contracts" word in the product title turn you off. The name simply indicates that this ice machine will work best as part of a commercial application where there will be contracts with business and companies.

The EIM-18SS-1 is made of stainless steel, has a Dispenser and a automatic overflow shut off and a convenient control panel. It is approved by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) and it's all the ice you will ever need whether it's for a commercial website or for a shop, etc.

6. EdgeStar IB450SS 50 Lb. 15 Inch Wide Undercounter Clear Ice Maker

Our rating: 6 / 10

EdgeStar IB450SS 50 Lb. 15 Inch Wide Undercounter Clear Ice Maker

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Pros:

  • Produces up to 450 pounds of ice per day
  • Quick install with easy to read control panel and ice level indicator
  • Control panel lights turn red for low water drain, and can be manually reset
  • Anti-condensation technology for optimal ice cube quality
  • Comes with ice scoop and can be operated manually

When you’re searching for best bang for the buck, look no further than the EdgeStar 50 lbs. ice maker. Producing up to 450 pounds of ice every 24 hours, it’s perfect for small bars, offices, catering events, and other small functions. This monster machine will keep up with soda, juice, and water ice demands for a small establishment, but may struggle with restaurants that need to make lots of ice all at once.

This icemaker is capable of reading and operating off your water line, making installation fast and easy. The control panel is easy to read and easy to use, too, and the unit is suitable for floor or counter installation. The digital control panel lights up with the color red and makes a buzzing sound when the level of ice drops too low. This ice maker comes with an ice scoop for easy access and a drain for water drainage. You can even operate the machine manually if you want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best ice maker to buy?

When selecting an undercounter ice maker there are several things to consider. First, if you are filling any application that requires blade-trimmed ice, you will need a machine that can produce it. If you are not using blade-trimmed ice, you can disregard this specification. Next, determine your required ice capacity. Then consider things like the size and amount of storage your item can hold. If you are just using it for your own home, the amount of counter space it takes up is a major consideration. Finally, price. The most expensive machines in this product line aren’t always the best and there are a few very good models that cost far less.

Before selecting the best machine for your home, it’s important to review the product manual for your specific model. The manual will detail the specific applications you can use to maximize its potential.

Why are undercounter ice makers so expensive?

Ice makers are expensive no matter which kind you get. Before choosing one, let’s take a look at the reasons why they cost so much.

First, the ice making mechanism is usually somewhat complex. Ice makers are either using sub-zero temperatures or freezing chemicals that blend with water, etc. All of those things take electricity. That power means a bigger motor; and bigger motors mean higher prices. Because there are so many things that can go wrong with these machines, your household appliance warranty is usually only 12 months. So if there is anything that goes wrong, you may be out the cost of a new machine if it’s over that warranty.

Do ice makers use a lot of electricity?

The energy consumption of different ice makers varies widely. It is affected by the size of the ice maker, the type of ice it makes, and the quality of the mechanical components.

Generally speaking, you can expect anywhere from 35 to 250 watts per hour for small under the counter ice machines. Larger commercial models can be 3,000 watts or more!

Most people forget or don't think about their ice maker once it's installed so it is often thought to be a low-energy use appliance, but it can be very significant. Commercial ice makers use big generators which run on extremely high voltage alternating current or direct current. This must be converted into common household alternating current which is very inefficient.

We always suggest you play it safe and don't plug in an ice maker without knowing the watts and power you are using in your home. Using a machine like Watts in your home can be very useful.

How do I make my ice maker faster?

The first thing you can do if you're in a hurry is lower the ice production.

This is done by a mechanism called an ice cube control, which is basically a sliding lever that can lower the storage bin’s freezing temperature. The ice maker is producing ice at the fastest rate when it’s already at its lowest temperature and then it will follow a schedule to continue to freeze the ice until it’s at the desired amount. After that, it will repeat the process over.

In the average freezer, the ice maker will be at or near its lowest temperature after the first cycle. So, once the first cycle is complete it will quickly fill your storage bin. If you don’t want ice in the storage bin and you just want it to keep making ice, then you can slide the ice control back towards the middle or off the far left.

Conclusion

This buying guide is meant to help you find the best undercounter ice makers, wherever you are and whatever you’re hoping to achieve with them. We hope this guide can help you narrow down your search, choose the right ice maker, and give you a range of options to consider. We also hope you find this guide helpful if you’re looking for a portable ice maker because a lot of the advice applies to both.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Manitowoc UYF-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Cube Ice MachineBest OverallManitowoc UYF-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Cube Ice Machine
UNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER STAINLESS STEEL DOORBudget PickUNDERCOUNTER ICE MAKER STAINLESS STEEL DOOR
Manitowoc UYF0190A-161B UYF0190A NEO U-190 Undercounter Ice Cube MachineUpgrade PickManitowoc UYF0190A-161B UYF0190A NEO U-190 Undercounter Ice Cube Machine