The 4 Best Pellet Ice Maker Options for the Home

Pellet Ice Maker

If you like your drinks on “the rocks,” chances are you have had pellet ice in your glass. Pellet ice differs from standard ice cubes in that it tends to come out softer and in clumps, rather than in discrete units. Today, ice lovers all over the world enjoy pellet ice to top off their drinks and to keep their food cold when they are away from refrigeration systems.

Want to find out more about pellet ice, and how to find the best pellet ice makers on the market? If so, you have come to the right place. In this guide, our experts weigh in with a list of the best pellet ice makers available to consumers. Whether it is for a backyard barbecue or an upscale office party, we guarantee that we can help you find the best pellet ice maker for your needs.

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What Is Pellet Ice?

Invented in 1981 by Scotsman Ice Systems, pellet ice became a smash hit at bars and restaurants all over the world. This is because pellet ice is small and compact, which makes it preferable for small drinks and other beverages that are over-encumbered by full-sized ice cubes. It is well-known as the ice of choice for Sonic.

With the advent and subsequent success of pellet ice, demand for pellet ice grew at exponential rates. By the late 1980s, ice makers the world over started being manufactured to produce this type of ice. One of the key attractions of this ice was the simple fact that it could be bitten into and chewed with considerable ease.

4 Top Pellet Ice Maker Choices

Pellet ice is an excellent choice for those who want Sonic ice at home. To help you make an informed decision, our experts combined their judgment and experiences to put together this quick list of the best pellet ice maker options on the market today.

1. FirstBuild Opal Nugget Ice Maker

Manufactured by renowned ice maker FirstBuild, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is among the best in its class. With the unique ability to craft large batches of ice within its transparent all-glass chamber, this ice maker is truly one-of-a-kind. At a competitive price point, it can make vast quantities of pellet ice without any fuss or hassle.

It is one of the best-reviewed ice makers in the world. It has garnered many five-star reviews at various retailers. In our experience, we have found it to be a breeze to use and even easier to clean. It is intuitive, simple, and compact in design. With this ice machine, it is hard to go wrong.

We put this ice maker to the test and found that a full batch could be made in as little as an hour. This makes it super competitive in times of time and energy efficiency. Plus, its small and compact frame makes it delight to move around on the countertop and use when on the go. We have brought it to office parties and backyard get-togethers without any headaches involved.

Ice O Matic GEM Series

If you are in pressing need of pellet ice, the Ice O Matic GEM Series Pearl Ice machine might be the solution for you. It is a tall and elegant machine that can produce enormous quantities of ice in short periods. Plus, all Ice O Matic machines come with an extended manufacturer’s warranty, which makes it an excellent long-term investment.

The pellet ice dispensed by this machine is great for any occasion, whether it is in a soft drink, slushie, or cocktail. Unlike regular ice cubes, the ice produced by GEM Series machines are pearly and opaque and are generally longer lasting than most other ice varieties.

The Ice O Matic is a true innovator. With decades of industry experience, the experts at Ice O Matic have refined the professional ice maker to make the GEM Series Pearl. Although it uses less water than most other machines, it can pump out large volumes of ice that are chewable and softer to the touch.

It is also among the eco-friendliest machines on the market. This is because it requires minimal amounts of energy to freeze the water within it. As a result, Ice O Matic is world famous for its sustainable energy consumption and for regularly exceeding Energy Star criteria.

Della Portable Ice Maker

On the opposite end of the ice maker spectrum is the Della Portable Ice Maker. This machine is the all-around best choice for home users who want a reliable pellet ice maker without having to shell out more than they can afford. At a low price point, you would be hard pressed to find an ice maker of better value.

It is a budget-friendly solution that looks anything but. It features a stainless-steel finish that portrays an air of elegance and sophistication. In our assessment, the Della Portable Ice Maker could suit any kitchen countertop if placed in the right location. Plus, it is a dream to use as LED lights guide you every step of the way.

This machine can produce 48 lbs. of ice within one day. Although this pales in comparison to a commercial ice maker, this ranks among the best household pellet ice makers in terms of production value. In our opinion, this is a great choice for a budget-friendly ice maker to bring on the boat, to the cottage, or to keep around the house.

Scotsman Brilliance

If you are going to purchase a pellet ice maker, you might as well trust the brand that started it all. The Scotsman Brilliance line of pellet ice makers is the hands-down most reputable line on the market today.

The Scotsman Brilliance ice makers are the best choice available if you want pellet ice that is smooth, chewable, and lighter than most others. The ice produced by these machines tends to come out a bit easier on the teeth than others, which is a nice added benefit. In terms of production, it can churn out 80 pounds over the course of a day.

These machines are operated via a simple five-button LED panel on the front of the unit. This makes operation relatively easy compared to some of the more commercial solutions on the market. Overall, we recommend the Scotsman Brilliance to homeowners with a serious drink bar, or medium-sized restaurants in need of something more heavy-duty than a countertop.

Costzon Commercial Ice Maker

This is a little different than the other options on our list because it is a commercial product, but this pellet ice maker from Costzon is small enough to use in your home. It does require a connection to a water source, which makes installation a little more work, but it produces up to 110 pounds of ice per day, which is far above the other machines on our list.

This ice maker has a stainless-steel exterior and is free standing. It includes an ice shovel and the installation kit. Do note installing the unit is fairly quick and easy. It also has adjustable feet to allow it to fit your needs and space.

This machine takes about 12-18 minutes per cycle. It has a cleaning cycle and a timer. Since it is commercial, it produces high-quality ice. You can expect it to stand up to high demand.

This unit also comes with a one-year extended warranty. This is an excellent option if you feel you will be using your ice maker a lot.

Buying Considerations

As you look over the four options we’ve presented, you may not know exactly how to make your choice. So, we wanted to offer a little buying advice to help you. Here are a few considerations you should make when buying a pellet ice maker.

Setup: Most of the machines on our list are simple to set up. You just plug them into an outlet, add water, and wait for the ice. However, the Costzon model requires hooking up to a water source. You need to decide what you space allows and whether you want to have to hook the machine in or if you would rather have a standalone unit.

Capacity: The ice makers on our list produce ice at different speeds and quantities. You should consider your needs. Will you need a lot of ice or will you just be using it for drinks throughout the day? Think about how much ice you really need per day.

Ice quality: In general, the more you pay for the machine, the better the quality of the ice will be. When speaking of ice quality, we mean how soft it is and how good the shape of the ice is. If this isn’t really a concern, then you can go with a lower priced unit.

Budget: You will also want to think about your budget. These machines can cost under $100 to upwards of almost $3,000. So, you need to keep the budget in mind as you shop.

A Couple User Points

Once you have purchased your ice maker, we want to make sure you get the most out of it. There are very few rules when it comes to making ice, but there are two essential points to keep in mind.

First, you should always use filtered water. This will give you the best-looking ice. It will be clear and of good quality. In addition, it will prevent build up in the machine that could shorten its life span and affect function.

Second, you want to only use clean water. Never use flavored water. While it may seem fun to add in flavored water to get flavored ice, it will harm the machine.

Final Words on Buying a Pellet Ice Maker

There we have it—you are now an expert in all things related to ice pellet makers. With this knowledge in hand, deciding on which pellet ice maker to buy should come more naturally to you. If you are still undecided, you can safely purchase any of the above units without worrying about whether you might have bought a dud. In truth, each of them exceeded our high expectations.

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