There are basically two types of people in this world. Those that chew ice, and those that don’t. Generally, people who chew ice are VERY particular about the kinds and type of ice they like. People who do not chew ice tend to not really care about the ice, they just want it odorless, tasteless, and of course, cold. So, that begs the question, what are the different types of ice? Here’s a quick breakdown, along with the home ice maker that will make that type of ice.
Also known as “Sonic Ice.” This ice is soft and a favorite among those who chew ice because it is soft and easy to chew. Those that don’t chew ice also like nugget ice because it holds the flavor of your drink. So, after you finish your drink, you can suck on the ice and get the same flavor.
Until recently, there was no residential ice maker that made nugget ice. However, Scotsman now makes two units specifically designed for in home use. The NU130GA-1A and the NU130PA-1A make the ice that “Sonic Ice” lovers crave.
This is just as it sounds, the ice is clear and you can almost see through it. Most restaurants use clear ice in their drinks as it tends to look better. Clear ice is generally preferred by those who do not eat ice, but rather just want to keep their drinks cold and attractive. Most ice makers that require some type of drain will make clear ice.
The key to keeping the ice clear is making sure it doesn’t freeze. Thus, the ice that is in the holding bin will eventually melt, and need to drain. So, when shopping for an ice maker, if the unit says it does not require a drain, then it will not make clear ice. Clear ice is generally shaped like a cube. However, that is not always the case. There are literally hundreds of units on the market that make clear ice, and finding the right one for you is about your budget and personal preferences. Just make sure you get one that has a drain if you truly want clear ice.
Bullet ice is typically made in portable ice makers. It is called that because it is shaped like a fat bullet (you know, from a gun), and it has a hole in the middle of the base. Bullet ice is not as soft or as small as nugget ice, but for those on a budget, a portable ice maker that makes bullet ice is often a great alternative to nugget ice.
Portable ice makers are convenient because they do not need a water hook up or a drain, and are usually small enough to fit on your counter. Boaters and campers often use portable ice makers for their trips as it is much easier to handle than lugging around bags of ice, and something to keep it frozen.
Most people get confused when they hear crescent-shaped ice. However, it is really quite simple. Crescent ice looks like a half moon, or a semicircle. A lot of refrigerator ice makers make crescent-shaped ice. This ice is typically very hard because the ice is stored frozen in order to keep its shape. Machines that make crescent-shaped ice generally do not require a drain because they act as a freezer and keep the ice frozen. And, since the ice is frozen, there is no melting and no condensant to remove from the machine. Also, machines that make crescent ice tend to be more affordable than those that make clear ice.
However, there is one drawback to crescent ice. Because the ice has to be kept frozen, it is white and not clear. Now, if that matters to you, then you will not want a machine that makes crescent ice. However, if you don’t care, then a crescent-shaped ice maker is perfect for you!