Best-Portable-Ice-Makers

Preparing a refreshing cocktail or a thirst-quenching slushee is easy if you have access to clean and crystal-clear ice. Unfortunately, not all of us have an undercounter ice maker or an expensive ice machine at home. And even if we do, these machines are so bulky and hefty that we cannot bring them to the picnic grounds or in our RV when we go on a road trip. That is why many people consider the best portable ice maker to be heaven-sent.

These ice-making marvels are fantastic devices for people who live in small apartments, motorhomes, and even boats. A portable ice maker can also be a great tool for picnics and outdoor parties. If you have access to an electrical outlet, you should be able to take advantage of the ice-making capabilities of these machines. So, which of the countless ice makers on the market is the best?


 I. Our Top 5 Picks for Portable Ice Maker 


II. What to Look for in the Best Portable Ice Maker

Portable-Ice-Maker

Picking a portable ice maker to use at home should not be confusing nor frustrating. There are certain things about these ice-making devices that you can always look for to help you in your buying decision. They are as follows.

Speed of Ice Production

Always look at the ice production capability of the portable ice maker. What you would want is a device that can produce as many ice cubes in as little time as possible. A device that can produce 15 ice cubes in 10 minutes is a lot better than an ice maker that can produce the same amount of ice cubes in 15 minutes. The faster the machine is in producing ice, the better it is. You get to serve ice cold drinks in a jiffy without having to wait a long time for the machine to produce the next batch.

Shape and Size of Ice Produced

Beverages require different shapes of ice. For example, bullet-shaped ice is perfect for blended beverages, iced tea, soft drinks, and margaritas. The size of pearl or bullet-shaped ice allows it to melt a lot faster than conventional ice cubes. It also cools the beverage fast. Nugget-shaped ice is ideal for blended cocktails, soft drinks, and fountain drinks. Nuggets have a chewable characteristic that is perfect for people who find pleasure in cracking the ice with their teeth. There are also machines that produce crescent-shaped and cube-shaped ice. These are perfect for beverages that you sip because they melt slower than other shapes of ice. A machine that lets you choose the size of ice is also ideal.

Ice Capacity of the Machine

The capacity of the ice maker to produce ice is tied to its size. Larger machines can produce more than 40 lbs. of ice per day. Consider the occasions that you will be using the machine. Large parties will require a large capacity ice maker. If you will only be going out for a family picnic, then a machine with a smaller ice production capacity might be more ideal.

Ease of Operation

Most machines come with a simple control interface. A simple press of the power button is enough to operate the device. However, you may also want to look at additional features that can simplify the operation. A good feature is a timer that automatically turns the machine on and off at a predetermined time. A digital control interface would also be nice.

Ease of Maintenance

No one likes complicated cleaning and maintenance. A machine that has a built-in self-cleaning function is ideal. The machine should also have a feature that allows for the easy drainage of melted water. Check the machine if it also comes with a water filter. This will help improve the quality of the ice produced; unless, you do not mind putting cloudy ice in your glass. Not having an integrated filter can also preserve the integrity of your machine. This can lead to less maintenance, while ensuring the best possible ice making performance.


III. The 11 Best Portable Ice Maker Reviews

 1. NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker

NewAir-AI-100R-Portable-Ice-Maker

Whether it is for your home or your RV, the NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker should fit right in. This is a device that can outperform any ice making machine on the market and still have the awesome look to brag about.

The AI-100R starts making ice in as little as 6 minutes. Each time it completes a 15-minute cycle, you get about 9 pieces of beautiful bullet-shaped ice that can make your drink look like it was prepared by a bartender. You will reward yourself with 28 pounds of ice if you let the AI-100R running for the whole day.

One issue is that the ice melts a lot faster than ice bought from the store. Nevertheless, we still recommend the NewAir AI-100R for people who do not have ice machines or are already tired of having to refill their ice trays every time.

Pros

  • Fast freezing cycle
  • Selectable sizes of ice
  • Large ice capacity
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Compact and convenient design

Cons

  • Ice melts faster than store-bought ice

2. FRIGIDAIRE Compact Counter Top Ice Maker

FRIGIDAIRE-Compact-Counter-Top-Ice-Maker

Another reliable ice maker on the market is the Compact Counter Top Ice Maker because of its solid performance and heavy-duty components. The standalone model is easy to position and does not take up much space.  You’ll love its overall performance, especially for its ability of making up to 33 lbs. of square ice and 26 lbs. of ice in two sizes daily.

This model is two-cubic feet and is affordable. It is a quality item that will not break the bank.  It also has LED indicators and electronic controls for ease of use and added functionality.   I also liked that it comes with an ice basket and an ice shovel.

However, some people reported of quality control issues. They said that it stopped making ice after a couple of months. But then, these were isolated cases because most feedbacks are positive. Most users noted how reliable this Ice Maker is. If these features sound cool, you might want to check out this ice maker.

Pros

  • Standalone type
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Has a large ice-making capacity
  • Modern and sleek design

Cons

  • Quality control issues

3. Igloo ICEB26WH Automatic Portable Electric Ice Maker

Igloo-ICEB26WH-Automatic-Portable-Electric-Ice-Maker

With a sleek design and a modest capacity to serve ice for the whole family, it is not surprising why people consider the Igloo ICEB26WH Portable Ice Maker as one of the best.

This machine comes in 4 different colors to match any kitchen theme. Getting your ice ready is as fast as 7 minutes and the machine will keep on making up to 26 pounds of ice every day. There is no need to peek under the lid as the cover is already translucent. The touch operation is also easy enough that even a kid can safely operate it. Cleaning is never a problem, too.

It is quite a shame that the ICEB26WH only has 2 ice cube sizes. It would have been better if there were at least three. Regardless, our belief is that this Igloo Ice Maker is still one of the best you can get.

Pros

  • Convenient operation
  • Fast ice-making capability
  • Large ice capacity
  • Sleek design
  • Space-saver

Cons

  • Only 2 sizes of ice

4. Koldfront KIM202W Portable Ice Maker

Koldfront-KIM202W-Portable-Ice-Maker

Designed to fit in the smallest spaces, the Koldfront KIM202W is the perfect ice-making machine for those living in dorms, small flats, RVs, and boats. Its small size belies its amazing ice-making capabilities.

As compact as the KIM202W is, this device never reneges on its promise to deliver 26 pounds of crystal-clear ice in 2 different sizes every day. The user interface has a very neat and simple layout. This ice maker is fully capable of giving you store-bought-quality ice within10 minutes.

The Koldfront would have been the ideal ice maker if not for the unreliability of its sensor. The mechanism that senses if the ice basket is already filled does not function as efficiently as a manual mechanism. Other than that, however, the Koldfront KIM202W remains a popular choice among RVers, boaters, and small apartment dwellers.

Pros

  • Ease of operation
  • Modest capacity
  • Very simple user interface
  • Compact and space-saving design
  • Perfect for cabins, boats, and RVs

Cons

  • Unreliable sensor
  • Only 2 sizes of ice

5. Frigidaire EFIC108-RED Compact Ice Maker

Frigidaire-EFIC108-RED-Compact-Ice-Maker

Like all Frigidaire products, one can always expect quality in the EFIC108-RED. This is one of the brand’s most compact ice makers. With the size of a bread maker, the EFIC108-RED is perfect for small homes and even RVs.

Operating this ice maker is super-easy because of the soft-touch user interface. Just fill up its 2.3-quart reservoir, plug it in, and turn the machine on. Within minutes you will already be popping those beautiful ice cubes from the machine’s ice basket. Unlike other ice makers, you will love the quiet operation of this machine.

One thing we noticed was that the ice produced by the EFIC108-RED started to melt as soon as it hit the ice basket. It really is not a big deal, since almost all ice makers are like that. This makes the Frigidaire EFIC108-RED a good option for people who want a reliable ice maker for their homes and vehicles.

Pros 

  • Fast ice production
  • Very quiet
  • Easy to drain
  • Small and compact design
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Ice melts quite fast

6. Vremi Countertop Ice Maker

Vremi-Countertop-Ice-Maker

The Vremi Countertop Ice Maker is a no-nonsense machine that has the sole purpose of making bullet-shaped ice within 10 minutes. It has a very straightforward, boxy design that some people may find too boring. However, one must look beyond appearances to appreciate the performance of this countertop ice maker.

The Vremi can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in a day. There is no need to check if the machine is working, since Vremi already integrated an auto-shutoff mechanism. The stainless-steel body only requires a simple wipe with a clean piece of cloth.

Unfortunately, the Vremi tends to be noisier than some of the brands that we have tested. It also makes only 1 size of ice cube, whereas other brands can provide you with up to 3 sizes. Nevertheless, the Vremi Countertop Ice Maker is still a good buy if you are after reliability.

Pros 

  • Makes ice fast
  • Space-saving design
  • Comes with auto-shutoff features
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • A bit noisier than other brands
  • Only 1 size of ice

7. NewAir AI-215SS Portable Ice Maker

NewAir-AI-215SS-Portable-Ice-Maker

If you like the NewAir AI-100R, then you will love the AI-215SS. It has the same reliable operation and ease of use, but with a bigger ice capacity. In fact, this NewAir product was designed to do only one thing: serve amazing ice cubes to a large group of people at parties.

The AI-215SS can make up to 50 pounds of ice in three different sizes for 24 hours. The only difference with its smaller brother is that the AI-215SS can start making ice in 7 minutes. The smaller NewAir can do that in 6. This one also comes with a self-cleaning program that simplifies maintenance even further.

Keep in mind that this NewAir creation is not exactly a space-saver. Nevertheless, with all the features built into this ice maker, it would be a shame not to get it for your next big party.

Pros

  • Great for large gatherings
  • Very fast ice production
  • Produces 3 sizes of ice
  • Reliable indicator lights
  • Hassle-free cleaning

Cons

  • May not fit small countertops

8. Luma IM200SS Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker

Luma-IM200SS-Comfort-Portable-Clear-Ice-Maker

Some people may be put off by the boring look of the Luma IM200SS. However, one should see the machine produce ice first before passing any judgment.

One advantage of this ice maker is the tendency of its ice to stay frozen for a much longer period. Most portable ice makers produce ice that starts to melt before it even hits the bottom of the ice basket. The Luma ice maker can also make more ice than your average ice maker of the same size. This makes the IM200SS the ideal ice-making companion in RVs, dorms, and small living spaces.

Be ready with your ear muffs as the cooling fan of the IM200SS rattles a lot. Despite this, we still recommend the Luma IM200SS because of its ability to produce good quality ice that does not melt easily.

Pros

  • Fast ice production
  • Produces clear ice
  • Ice melts slower than other brands
  • Good for small living spaces
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Noisy operation
  • Only 1 size of ice

9. Merax Portable Clear Ice Maker

Merax-Portable-Clear-Ice-Maker

You have got to love the ice coming out of the chute of the Merax Portable Clear Ice Maker. What you get is the classic cube shape of ice. Each ice cube is denser and harder than your typical bullet-shaped ice.

With a 48-lb daily ice production capacity, the Merax is perfect for backyard parties and other large gatherings. You will never have to run to the nearest store ever again just to buy bags of ice. The ice that the Merax produces is also harder and denser than what other ice makers can provide. And it does this within 15 minutes.

The Merax does not have any self-cleaning feature. However, this does not mean it will be very tedious to clean this machine. It isn’t. On that note, we believe that the Merax Portable Clear Ice Maker is the perfect choice for those who want ice that can chill their beverages a lot longer.

Pros

  • Makes large, dense ice
  • Fast ice production
  • Large ice capacity
  • Programmable on/off feature
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No self-cleaning feature

10. Abalon Bay AB-ICE26R Ice Maker

Abalon-Bay-AB-ICE26R-Ice-Maker

The Abalon Bay AB-ICE26R is a good ice maker for those who do not have the extra budget for a high-end undercounter ice machine. It looks elegant enough to add to your countertop’s aesthetics.

Making ice is as easy as filling the machine’s reservoir with water and turning the device on. The straightforward user interface makes operation a breeze. All you need is to wait about 6 minutes before the first ice cube drops into the ice basket. Completing your batch of ice will only take a quarter of an hour. There is no need to lift the lid to check the ice, too. The machine also features indicator lights for easier operation.

However, there are users who complained that the machine died out on them after only several months. Barring any reliability issue, the Abalon Bay Ice Maker should still be a good choice for a portable ice-making device.

Pros

  • Makes ice fast
  • Comes with indicator lights
  • Great for small homes
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Issues with durability
  • No timer

11. DELLA Portable Electric Ice Maker

DELLA-Portable-Electric-Ice-Maker

DELLA’s Portable Electric Ice Maker looks quite different from the other ice makers we have seen. This machine takes on a rectangular shape, instead of the usual cubical form. The design gives the DELLA a smaller footprint for tight spaces.

The DELLA ice maker is easy enough to operate. It comes with elements that notifies you of the need to refill the water reservoir. You can also program it to turn on and off by itself. It can produce ice in as short as 6 minutes, although you will need an additional 9 minutes to complete a batch.

Take note that the ice basket can only accommodate about 1.5 pounds at a time and produce only two sizes of ice. This should be good enough for most families. As such, the DELLA Portable Electric Ice Maker makes for a reliable machine to chill your drinks when you need them.

Pros

  • Makes ice fast
  • Easy to operate and monitor
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons 

  • Small ice basket
  • Only 2 sizes of ice

IV. Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

How to clean a portable ice maker?

Remove the ice basket and clean the machine’s interior using warm water, an appropriate cleaning agent, and a piece of soft cloth. Clean the exterior using warm water and mild detergent. Always dry these surfaces thoroughly.

If you want to perform a more thorough cleaning of your ice maker, you need to prepare a white vinegar solution with a ratio of 10 parts water to 1-part white vinegar. Pour the cleaning solution into the machine’s water reservoir. Turn on the machine and let it make at least two batches of ice. Empty the cleaning solution. Remove, clean, and rinse the water line and put it back in the machine.

Pour clean water in the reservoir and run the machine for a couple of batches of ice. Remove and discard the ice before you drain the water. Do this procedure one more time. Dry the interior using clean cloth.

How much electricity does a portable ice maker use?

The energy consumption of portable ice makers depends on their inherent design and the different features integrated into the machine. The more features there are, the more energy that the machine can consume. One also needs to consider the energy-saving features that manufacturers put into their products.

What causes portable ice maker to smell like fish?

That fishy odor you smell from your ice maker is often due to the presence of several organic substances in water. It can be due to barium and cadmium that can contaminate water through breaks in the water pipe. Another potential cause is chloramine. This is a substance that is common in the disinfection of public water sources. If the fishy smell occurs only in summer, it is possible that the culprit are algal blooms.

What kind of water should you use in a portable ice maker?

Good quality ice requires good quality water. Distilled water or water that passed through a reverse osmosis system is the best. Purified water that does not have microscopic debris and mineral deposits is also a good choice.

How do I reset my ice maker?

Some models of ice makers have a simple reset button. Others may need manual resetting. This involves unplugging the machine’s power cord from the electrical outlet. Next, you manually adjust the position of the machine’s ice shove through the different phases of its cycle. Do this at least 3 times. Plug the machine back into the electrical outlet and turn on the ice maker.

How to make homemade ice cream with electric maker?

An ice maker is NOT an ice cream maker. However, it is still possible to use a portable ice maker to help you make homemade ice cream. There are two ways you can do this. The first one involves using the ice basket of the machine like a semi-freezer.

Start by cooling an ice cream container in the ice basket. Prepare the ice cream mixture and pour into the cold container. Put the container in the ice basket and leave it there for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the edges of the ice cream to start to harden. Take it out from the machine and beat the mixture using a hand mixer. Put it back to the ice maker to re-harden. Repeat the process of freezing, beating, and refreezing the ice cream several times until you get a smooth and creamy texture.

The second method involves placing the ice cream mixture in a vacuum resealable bag. Place the bag in a bigger vacuum resealable bag and fill the outer bag with ice. Add coarse salt. Wear thick gloves and shake and massage the bag vigorously for 5 to 8 minutes. This will help ‘freeze’ the ice cream mixture.

What to do when your ice maker stops making ice?

The presence of a clog somewhere along the water supply line of a portable ice maker is the most common cause of failure of the machine to produce ice. This is often brought about by frozen water. To fix this problem, switch off and unplug your machine. Get a turkey baster or a large bulb syringe and fill it with warm water. Pour the warm water into the machine’s water line.

An easier method will be to keep the ice maker unplugged for at least 4 hours. This will help ‘melt’ the frozen water that is clogging the lines. An alternative is to use a hair dryer to ‘defrost’ the ice maker’s water supply lines.


V. Conclusion

The best portable ice maker is one that can provide you perfect, crystal clear ice within minutes. The amount of ice that the machine can produce should also be more than enough for your needs. The ideal machine does not take too much energy to operate and is effortless to maintain. If you are still at a loss as to which portable ice maker to buy, then we recommend the NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker. It is easy to use, has great capacity, has a reliable ice-making capability, and has a space-saving design. You can check the other tenbest portable ice maker, too.

The 11 Best Portable Ice Makers of 2020

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