Whether you’re looking to add a flake ice machine for your home bar or want to use it in your restaurant to make snow cones and other frozen treats, you’ll find there are several models to choose from. You’ll also need to determine how much ice you will need, and what types of features you prefer.
Our editors have compiled this list of the best flake ice machines to help you make your decision. We tested each model for speed, quality, and durability. We also looked at special features like adjustability, design elements, and portability. Finally, we evaluated each machine’s noise levels during operation and when making ice.
A commercial flake ice machine is a great investment for your business. They’re designed to produce large amounts of high-quality ice that is perfect for food displays, shellfish, and other applications. They’re a convenient alternative to traditional cube ice, which takes longer to melt and is rough on blenders. Plus, they’re more energy efficient than other types of commercial ice makers because they use an in-built cooling system and don’t need a defrost cycle.
Flake ice machines are also ideal for restaurants that serve cocktails and other mixed drinks. Blended beverages take time to make, which can pull bar staff away from other customers. Additionally, traditional ice cubes are rough on blenders and can break them over time. But with a flake ice machine, blending is quick and easy, so you can serve your customers even faster.
These commercial flake ice machines are easy to use and require little maintenance. They have an in-built air filter that keeps odors and mold at bay, and they produce flake ice at a rate of up to 44 lbs. per day. They’re also compact, which makes them an excellent choice for smaller businesses and restaurants.
Unlike cube ice, which is made by freezing water in an insulated bin and allowing it to evaporate as it freezes, flake ice is produced by freezing water inside a metal cylinder. The ice forms as the water freezes, and when it’s ready for use, a harvester scrapes the frozen ice into a storage bin for safe keeping.
There are two different types of flake ice machines, air-cooled and water-cooled. Air-cooled units vent the heat they generate into the surrounding air, so they don’t create a lot of excess noise. Water-cooled units, on the other hand, require an external condenser, so they are more noisy. If you have limited space available, opt for an air-cooled unit. Otherwise, a water-cooled machine might be the right choice for you.