Entertaining is a Blast with a Countertop Ice Maker
You're only an ice maker away from throwing a great party! No longer will you have to rely on your refrigerator's short supply of ice, which can take hours to refill. Home ice makers give you ice in just minutes. Here you can learn about the benefits and features of ice machines for your home and also get some great ideas for throwing your next get-together with family and friends.
People have been using ice for entertaining since the mid-19th century. Back then ice was harvested from areas packed with snow or from frozen lakes. It was stored in ice houses and then delivered to homes. Unfortunately, these could easily become contaminated by industry pollution or sewer runoff. That's not a good way to make a good impression on your guests - by serving them dirty ice!
Eventually industries produced cleaner ice. Block ice was delivered by the "iceman" on horse drawn wagons. Children followed the wagon and got ice chips for a summer treat. So ice became the entertainment in itself.
Nowadays, we have portable ice makers that are very small and can produce clean, pure ice for entertaining in a matter of minutes. We've come a long way from the inconvenience of trying to harvest enough ice from lakes to last all year long!
Why Do You Need an Ice Maker?
- Great for entertaining! You won't have to worry about running out of ice when you have large family gatherings or get-togethers with friends. Everyone will be able to enjoy cold, refreshing drinks all day long making for a great party.
- Stop buying bagged ice! It's such a hassle having to make a special trip to the grocery store to buy bags of ice. You have to lift the heavy bags into your car, worrying about the mess they're going to make when they melt as you drive home. You have to time it right so when your guests arrive the ice hasn't turned into warm water!
- Easy installation! Tabletop ice makers don't require permanent installation. You basically just have to plug them into a standard outlet, fill the reservoir with water and you're ready to enjoy some ice in just minutes.
- Goes anywhere! The great thing about a portable ice machine is that you can pretty much take it anywhere. Take one on your next camping trip so you'll have ice anytime you want it. They're so small and compact you can put them in your tent, RV or even your boat.
Ice Your Way - A Guide to Buying
Home ice maker machines can come with several different features, so it's important that you understand all of them so you can choose the best model for your needs.
- Daily Ice Making Capacity - kitchen ice makers can make anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds of ice a day.
- Ice Making Capacity Per Cycle - most small ice machines produce from 9 to 12 pieces of ice per cycle. That's enough ice to make drinks for about 4 people in under 15 minutes.
- Indicators - different ice maker models have different types of indicators that make ice making even more convenient. These indicators can include if you have a full ice basket and if you need to add water.
- Operating Cycle - this can vary from 6 to 30 minutes depending on the ice maker unit.
- Ice Size - some models of ice maker dispensers will allow you to choose between different sizes of ice - small, medium and large.
- Ice Shape - ice can come in all kinds of different shapes. The most common ones produced by compact ice machines are bullet, crescent and cubed.
Time for Some Fun - Throwing Your Next Party
Enough already with the background information on ice makers, let's talk about your next get-together. Here I'll give you some tips for using your ice maker to make your next party a hit!
- What type of gathering is it? Whether you are camping, barbequing at your house, or having a pool party, you can easily move a portable ice maker to the desired venue. If there isn't an electrical outlet at the location you can easily fill up a cooler with ice to take instead.
- How many guests are attending? Depending on how many people are attending you'll need to start making your ice beforehand. Most home ice makers can produce around 9-12 ice cubes per cycle, which can be between 6-30 minutes. So if you have 15 guests coming to have the perfect amount of ice you should probably start running the home ice maker machine 2 hours before your guests arrive and store the ice in freezer while prepare.
- What is your budget? The great thing about compact ice makers is that since you're getting your ice for free you can spend the money you would have paid for bags of ice on other things for your party instead. Maybe you can go the extra step and buy some fun decorations.
- How much time do you have? Just before your guests arrive you can go ahead and fill cups with ice and set them out, so they can start enjoying a drink right from the start.
- What kind of drinks are you serving? The type of drinks you serve will determine what size ice you want to use or how much you need to make. If you're using smaller cups then you won't need as much ice and you could also make smaller sized ice by changing the settings on your ice maker model.