Best-Portable-Ice-Makers

Preparing a refreshing cocktail or a thirst-quenching slushie is easy if you have access to clean, crystal-clear ice.

Unfortunately, not everyone has an under-counter ice maker or an expensive ice machine at home. Even if you do, these machines are so bulky and hefty that you can’t easily take them to a picnic spot or out in our RV when you take a road trip.

The best portable ice makers step in neatly to solve that problem.

Whether you have a small apartment, a motorhome, or a boat, these compact ice machines are ideal. They also work well for outdoor parties and picnics. All you’ll need is access to an electrical outlet and you can get ice on demand.

All that remains for you is to choose from the countless ice makers glutting the market, so that’s where we come in.

Here at Foodie&Tours, we’ve curated a shortlist of the most effective mini ice machines so you can choose the right machine for you the easy way.

Before that, we’ll be giving you a concise buying guide to help you on your way.

If you’re impatient for the main event, here’s a snapshot of our top picks…

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I. Our Top Picks for Portable Ice Makers

Products & FeaturesImage & Price

1. Our #1 Pick: NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker

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

2. FRIGIDAIRE Compact Counter Top Ice Maker

FRIGIDAIRE-Compact-Counter-Top-Ice-Maker

3. Igloo ICEB26WH Automatic Portable Electric Ice Maker

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

4. Koldfront KIM202W Portable Ice Maker

Koldfront-KIM202W-Portable-Ice-Maker

5. Frigidaire EFIC108-RED Compact Ice Maker

Frigidaire-EFIC108-RED-Compact-Ice-Maker

6. Vremi Countertop Ice Maker

Vremi-Countertop-Ice-Maker
7. NewAir AI-215SS Portable Ice Maker
NewAir-AI-215SS-Portable-Ice-Maker
8. Luma IM200SS Comfort Portable Clear Ice MakerLuma-IM200SS-Comfort-Portable-Clear-Ice-Maker
9. Merax Portable Clear Ice MakerMerax-Portable-Clear-Ice-Maker
10. Abalon Bay AB-ICE26R Ice MakerAbalon-Bay-AB-ICE26R-Ice-Maker
11. DELLA Portable Electric Ice MakerDELLA-Portable-Electric-Ice-Maker

II. What to Look for When Buying a Portable Ice Maker

Portable-Ice-Maker

Picking a portable ice maker to use at home doesn’t need to be confusing or frustrating.

Focus on these areas and you’ll find the best ice maker with ease.

  • Speed of Ice Production
  • Shape and Size of Ice Produced
  • Ice Capacity of the Machine
  • Ease of Operation
  • Ease of Maintenance

Speed of Ice Production

You might be looking for an ice maker that can produce lots of 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.

If speed is not of the essence, you don’t need to worry too much about this aspect.

Shape and Size of Ice Produced

Different drinks call for 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 perfect for people who like cracking the ice with their teeth.

There are also machines that produce crescent-shaped and cube-shaped ice. These are perfect for sippable beverages 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 production capacity of the ice maker is tied to its size. Larger machines can produce more than 40 pounds of ice per day.

Consider when you’ll be using the machine. For big gatherings, you’ll need a large-capacity ice maker. If you only plan to head for a small family picnic, a machine with a smaller ice production capacity will suffice.

Ease of Operation

Most machines come with a simple enough interface. Just push the power button and you’re away.

However, you might also want to look at deper functinonality that can simplify the operation. A strong 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 ice maker with a built-in self-cleaning function is ideal.

The machine should also have a feature that allows for the efficient drainage of melted water.

Check if the machine also comes with a water filter. This will help improve the quality of the ice produced.

OK, with that simple groundwork laid, let’s dive down into our portable ice maker reviews.


III. The 11 Best Portable Ice Makers

 1. NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker

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

The NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker is a superb and space-saving ice machine perfect for use at home or out in the RV.

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.

If you leave the AI-100R running for the whole day, it will generate 28 pounds of ice.

One issue is that the ice melts a lot quicker than store-bought ice. Despite this minor flaw, we still strongly recommend the NewAir AI-100R for anyone tired of refilling those tiny ice trays every time, and constantly running out of ice.

Pros

  • Fast freezing cycle
  • Multiple sizes of ice available
  • Easy to use and maintain

Cons

  • Ice melts quicker than store-bought ice

2. FRIGIDAIRE Compact Counter Top Ice Maker

FRIGIDAIRE-Compact-Counter-Top-Ice-Maker

Another ultra-reliable and compact ice maker is this Compact Counter Top Ice Maker from the highly reputable Frigidaire. You benefit from solid performance and heavy-duty components.

The standalone model is easy to position and doesn’t take up much room.

Capable of making up to 33 pounds of square ice and 26 pounds of ice in two sizes daily, you’ve got a robust kitchen companion despite those slender dimensions.

The LED indicators and electronic controls streamline operation wonderfully.

The bundled ice basket and ice shovel is welcome.

A few disgruntled customers report quality control issues and stated that their machine simply stopped making ice after a couple of months. In fairness, twere isolated cases with most feedback more positive. The questionable lifespan is still worth bearing in mind, though.

Pros

  • Standalone model
  • Quiet in operation
  • Generous ice-making capacity

Cons

  • Quality control issues

3. Igloo ICEB26WH Automatic Portable Electric Ice Maker

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

With a sleek design and the capacity to serve ice for the whole family, it’s not surprise that the Igloo ICEB26WH Portable Ice Maker is on most lists of the best portable ice makers.

This machine comes in 4 different colors to match any kitchen theme.

You’ll have your ice ready is as little as 7 minutes and the machine will deliver 26 pounds of ice every day. There’s no need to peek under the lid to monitor proceedings thanks to the trsnalucent cover.

Touch controls are simple enough for a kid to use. Cleaning is never a problem, either.

The only real drawback with the ICEB26WH is the fact you’re limited to 2 ice cube sizes.

Pros

  • Couldn’t be easier to use
  • Large ice capacity
  • Sleek design and small footprint

Cons

  • Only 2 sizes of ice at your disposal

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 anyone living in dorms, small apartments, RVs, or boats. Its small size belies its amazing ice-making capabilities.

As compact as the KIM202W is, this device never fails to deliver 26 pounds of crystal-clear ice in 2 different sizes in each day of continuous use.

The user interface has a very neat and simple layout. This ice maker is fully capable of giving you store-bought-quality ice in less than 10 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 this minor gripe, the Koldfront KIM202W remains a popular choice among RVers, boaters, and small apartment dwellers.

Pros

  • Super-simple to use
  • Straightforward user interface
  • Ideal for cabins, boats, and RVs

Cons

  • Unreliable sensor

5. Frigidaire EFIC108-RED Compact Ice Maker

Frigidaire-EFIC108-RED-Compact-Ice-Maker

Like all Frigidaire products, the EFIC108-RED delivers quality without bankrupting you. This is one of the brand’s most compact ice makers. The size of a bread maker, the EFIC108-RED is perfect for small homes. It’s also a great choice for RV owners.

Operating this ice maker is super-simple because of the soft-touch interface. Just fill up the 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, this model makes relatively little noise at full clip.

One thing we noticed was that the ice produced by the EFIC108-RED started to melt as soon as it hit the ice basket. This is not such a big deal and is common to many ice makers.

Overall, the Frigidaire EFIC108-RED is reliable, affordable, and versatile. What are you waiting for?

Pros 

  • Swift ice production
  • Easy to drain
  • Space-saving design

Cons

  • Ice melts pretty quickly

6. Vremi Countertop Ice Maker

Vremi-Countertop-Ice-Maker

The Vremi Countertop Ice Maker is a no-nonsense machine with the sole purpose of making bullet-shaped ice within 10 minutes.

The unimaginative, boxy design is not to everyone’s taste. If you look beyond appearances, though, you’ll appreciate the performance of this countertop ice maker.

The Vremi can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in a day and comes with a neat auto-shutoff mechanism for safety’s sake.

The stainless-steel body only requires a simple wipe down with a clean cloth.

Unfortunately, the Vremi is quite noisy. It also only makes 1 size of ice cube, where other brands can provide you with up to 3 sizes.

With reliability uppermost, this ice machine still makes a worthwhile option.

Pros 

  • Small footprint
  • Nifty auto-shutoff feature
  • Easy to use and just as easy to clean

Cons

  • Not the quietest ice maker

7. NewAir AI-215SS Portable Ice Maker

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

If you like the NewAir AI-100R, you’ll 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 compared to its smaller brother is that the AI-215SS can start making ice in 7 minutes. The smaller NewAir can do that in 6. Such a small difference is purely notional really. They’re both brisk machines.

This model 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. It makes the ideal compromise between a compact footprint and large capacity.

Pros

  • Great for large gatherings
  • Brisk ice production
  • Produces 3 sizes of ice

Cons

  • Might be too bulky for small countertops

8. Luma IM200SS Comfort Portable Clear Ice Maker

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

Some people might be put off by the boring look of the Luma IM200SS. Check out the machine producing ice first before passing judgment!

One advantage of this ice maker is the way it keeps ice frozen for 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

  • Ice melts slower than other brands
  • Good for small living spaces
  • Easy to use even for beginners

Cons

  • Makes quite a racket

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 all this within 15 minutes.

The Merax does not have a self-cleaning feature. However, this does not mean it will be very tedious to clean this machine. It isn’t.

We feel 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 cubes
  • Generous ice capacity
  • Programmable on/off feature

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 slick choice if you’re looking for a great ice maker on a budget. It also looks elegant enough to grace any kitchen countertop.

Making ice is as easy as filling the machine’s reservoir with water and switching it on. The straightforward user interface makes operation a breeze throughout.

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’s no need to lift the lid to check the ice, either. The machine comes with indicator lights to streamline operation further.

Unfortunately, a handful of users complained that the machine died out on them after only a few months. Setting aside this suspect reliability, the Abalon Bay Ice Maker still makes a reasonable choice for a portable ice-making device.

Pros

  • Comes with handy indicator lights
  • Great for small kitchens
  • Easy to use and cost-effective

Cons

  • Issues with durability

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 is rectangular rather than the usual cubical form these machines take. 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 notify 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 little as 6 minutes, although you’ll need an additional 9 minutes to complete a batch.

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, though.

Overall, the DELLA Portable Electric Ice Maker makes for a reliable machine to chill your drinks when you need them.

Pros

  • Easy to monitor at a glance
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Simple to clean and maintain

Cons 

  • Small ice basket

IV. FAQs

How do I clean a portable ice maker?

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

For a deep clean, 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 a clean cloth.

How much electricity does a portable ice maker use?

The energy consumption of portable ice makers depends on their design and the different features baked in. The more features there are, the more energy the machine will consume. You also need to consider the energy-saving features that manufacturers put into their products.

What causes portable ice makers to smell like fish?

That fishy odor you smell from your ice maker is often due to the presence of 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 substance is common in the disinfection of public water sources. If the fishy smell occurs only in summer, it’s possible that algal blooms are to blame.

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 just means 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 can I make homemade ice cream with an electric ice maker?

An ice maker is not an ice cream maker. However, it’s 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 should I do if my 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 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 delivers 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 doesn’t take too much energy to operate and is effortless to maintain.

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The 11 Best Portable Ice Makers

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