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Compact Ice Makers Tips: How to Use it Effectively
When planning an outdoor BBQ, or hitting the open road in your RV, ice is usually the last thing you think about. But once you're out there, don't you often find yourself wishing you had some ice with you?
If you're tired of making last minute runs to the grocery story for big, heavy bags of ice that melt halfway through the day, a compact ice maker may be exactly what you need.
Compact ice makers are great for an almost instant supply of ice at home, on the road, or at a party. They are lightweight and portable, and have serious power - some compact ice makers making over 30 pounds of ice in a day.
If you've just discovered this wonderful little machine, read on for great tips on how to pick the right compact ice maker for you, and how to maximize its usage in your lifestyle!
Use Compact Ice Makers to Their Full Potential
To use compact ice makers, you simply need to plug one in, pour in some water, and press a button! In minutes, you'll have ice ready to go, and if the ice starts to melt, most models automatically recycle the water to make more ice.
A compact ice maker provides ice quickly and conveniently, and is the perfect appliance on a hot day. Knowing your ice maker, and how to use it, allows you to maximize your compact ice maker's value.
Research Before You Buy
Before purchasing compact ice makers, like all appliances, it's best to know ahead of time what you are getting. There are many brand names and models of compact ice makers (also called portable ice makers), so make sure you're choosing one that best fits your personal needs. Someone using their compact ice maker for a home mini bar may want an entirely different ice maker than someone who is bringing it along on camping trips.
Buying compact ice makers online makes it easy to choose a quality unit. You can easily check for professional and customer reviews of the ones you are most interested in, so you'll have an idea of how it runs before you even make your purchase. Online stores also have more variety, making it easy to find a compact ice maker that's perfect for you.
Experiment with Your New Purchase
Reading the specifications of different compact ice makers will give you an idea of which models take longer to form cubes, and which ones can produce more pounds per day, but it probably won't tell you how long the ice will stay frozen in the bucket, or how much water you will need to last you throughout the day.
Before taking a new compact ice maker out an event, spend a few hours experimenting at home first. Ensure that you won't run out of ice, or unexpectedly have melted ice when you really need it. You will be glad you know exactly how long it takes your compact ice maker to make ice, and how quickly it melts in the bucket and in your drink.
Plan Ahead For Big Events
Even if your ice maker can make about thirty pounds of ice per day, most compact ice makers can only store about ten pounds of ice at a time. Compact ice makers need about twenty-four hours to make the maximum amount of ice, so if you plan on having a big party, prepare the day before and store the ice in a freezer as it is being made.
Though compact ice makers have a storage bucket, the bucket doesn't work as a freezer and won't keep your ice frozen over a long period of time. The idea is that the ice produced will be used fairly quickly. If you have storage or extended cooling requirements, you may need additional accessories.
Look For a Warranty
When choosing between compact ice makers, pick one that has a good product warranty. Air & Water offers extended warranties for all the compact ice makers they sell. Some cost over $300 (though you can find a great one for less than $200), so you'll want to know your investment is protected. Make sure that all parts are covered for at least a few months after making a purchase.
Follow the Directions
After purchasing your compact ice maker, read through the manual it comes with. It will give you instructions on how to add water to the unit, and how to clean and maintain your compact ice maker so it stays working its best.
A good compact ice maker requires little maintenance, and there shouldn't be much to do beyond wiping excess moisture off the unit. Proper care ensures years of hassle-free service and prevents problems. Besides a routine wipe down after every use, occasionally clean the machine with a cap of vinegar or lemon juice.
Take Compact Ice Makers Everywhere
Place It on a Countertop
Don't waste valuable freezer space trying to store ice. Use a compact ice maker in your kitchen instead, and always have a ready supply. It also works great for mini bars, recreation rooms and office break rooms. Compact ice makers are also great for college students living in a dorm, who need things that can fit in the back of their car when the semester is over. It'll help keep their drinks cold throughout the night, whether they're studying late for a final, or partying the night away.
Boats and RVs
Compact ice makers are ideal for extended group trips in boats and RVs. They are easy to carry and are compact enough to fit on a small counter. Use it at a tailgate party, too. You'll need a power inverter that changes the power from your vehicle's cigarette lighter (DC) to the type of power used in your house (AC). Compact ice makers use between 150-300 watts at 115 volts, so you'll need an inverter that meets those specs.
Outdoor Picnics and BBQs
They are also great for outdoor picnics, BBQs and pool parties. They'll keep guests' drinks cold throughout the day, everyone will be thankful for your thoughtfulness. Compact ice makers are a cost-efficient alternative to bags of ice, and come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and designs that will make you want to show them off at parties.
Things to Look for When You Shop
Now that you're imagining all the possibilities your compact ice maker will provide, consider these last minute shopping tips before you make your purchase:
Think about how much ice you may need in a given day - including how much ice you need overall and how much you may need to store.
Different compact ice makers also make different sizes and shapes of ice. Most compact ice makers produce bullet shaped ice. Some ice makers provide ice cubes in three different sizes, with the large size ice cubes measuring roughly the same size as those you'd find in a typical ice tray.
Functionality and looks is the last thing you will want to consider. Some compact ice makers hook up to a water line, while others use manually poured water. Some models have a removable ice basket, or a programmable timer. Are you going to use it in your home kitchen, or need it to be ultra-portable? How important is an LED display screen? What about a self-cleaning function? Do you want a stainless steel model to match the rest of your appliances?
Once you envision how and where your compact ice maker will be used, it will be easy to find the perfect one for you!