A commercial ice machine is a must-have for bars and restaurants, and for hotels as well as resorts that allow drinks by the pool. Choosing a new commercial ice machine may be a challenge however, as there are so many from which to choose and they are actually more technical than you might imagine. If you need a new commercial ice maker for your establishment or are even thinking of getting one installed in your basement at home, note this quick buying guide.
1. Choose the type of ice that you want
If this is your first time buying a commercial ice machine, you may be surprised to find out that different types will create different ice cubes. Full-cube ice is similar to what you make at home with a tray in your freezer; these are good for using around salad bars and in glasses of soda, as they melt more slowly and cool things more quickly.
Half-cube ice is a smaller rectangle and these are good for iced coffees and other drinks where ice is going to be blended into the drink. You can also pack more half-cubes into a glass than full cubes, so they may also be good for mixed drinks.
Flake ice and ice chips are good for smoothies and drinks where the ice will be broken down completely, or for restaurants that serve slushy drinks. Ice machines can also be ordered to create unique ice cubes, including rounded ice or cubes in specific shapes.
2. Choose air-cooled versus water-cooled
Air-cooled machines are more affordable and easier to install than water-cooled machines, and these work with cooled air that blows over a condenser to draw heat away from the refrigerator lines. Water-cooled machines have the benefit of not being affected by outside air temperature. These are better for warmer environments, for keeping an ice machine in the hot kitchen of your restaurant, and for when you need to keep the machine quiet since it works without a fan.
3. Note the size you need
It may be a mistake to think you should purchase the largest ice machine you can fit into your facility so that you always have ice on hand, as larger machines will work harder to keep the ice cold. An under-counter variety can also be a good choice for keeping ice convenient for wait staff or to tuck under a bar at home. Take actual measurements, noting any space needed for ventilation, and choose one that fits the space but which won't be too expensive to operate or waste energy to cool more ice than you need.
For more information, contact a company like Ice Machines Australia.