Crushed Ice Machines - Commercial Use

Best Commercial Crushed Ice Machines – Compare Equipment And Prices

Let’s be honest: Not all ice is created equally. Find out how to choose the best crushed ice maker that will meet your demands and keep your customers happy.

Could you imagine your restaurant having a cult following purely for the ice you use? Well, that’s what has happened with Sonic.

Who knew when Sonic chose their crushed ice makers that it would become such a hit. If you are looking at crushed commercial ice makers there are a couple of different factors that will make the difference between success and failure.

Follow this guide to ensure you pick the right machine.

Crushed Ice Maker for RestaurantsTypes of Commercial Ice Makers

The first thing you must consider is what type of maker you want to go with. There are two main types of commercial ice makers, modular and self-contained.


These machines are just the ice maker. You will have to buy an additional storage unit. If you have a commercial kitchen this is the way to go.

Your venue will have a need for a large amount of ice, and these are the machines that can keep up. The large capacity means that you’ll need a large amount of space to store the unit.

Self Contained

These machines have both the maker and the storage container. They are bigger than a standard consumer maker but smaller than a modular unit.

They will fit underneath or on top of your counter. This makes them easier to fit into tighter places than a modular unit.

The convenience of the smaller size also means less production capacity. They also have less storage space.

These units will work well for a smaller bar or cafe.

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Types of Ice

You could go with the standard cubed. But that is boring and everyone has it. Consider getting a maker that makes a more unique shape like the nuggets that Sonic uses.

There are six main types that commercial ice makers come in. You will need to choose from cubed, half cube, nugget, flake, crescent, and gourmet.

Nugget ice is the best for those who enjoy chewing it. You will find that many people will specifically go to a location because they have this ice.

Flake ice is best for buffets and keeps displays cool. It doesn’t work well for cooling drinks.

Gourmet ice really works well for specialty drinks and high-end cocktails. Think really odd shapes like spheres, cylinders, or octagons.

Here are just a few solutions:

  • Crushed Ice Makers For Restaurants

  • Used Crushed Ice Machines

  • Crushed Ice Maker With Bins


Other Things to Consider

Cruched Ice MakerAfter you narrow down the type of machine and ice you want, you need to narrow down your options. Use these options to figure out which crushed ice machine is the best fit for your machine.


This is an obvious factor, but you have to consider your budget. Certain factors will make your choice of a machine more expensive.

Such as the fancier the type of ice, the more expensive the machine. The higher the capacity and rate of production will also increase the cost.

The goal is to find a machine that will satisfy demand while not breaking the bank. You also don’t want to forget about operating costs. Think about the cost of installation, energy, water, and accessories.


When you look at speed, you need to consider your busiest time of day. This is when your machine is going to put in work.

All manufacturers will give you a production rate. Just remember that this number is the production rate in ideal conditions.

Not all commercial locations need a super high production ice machine. You should also consider how much you plan to store. Having a higher storage capacity can help ease the demand on the production rate.


A commercial crushed ice maker is going to require more power than your standard outlet. Look at what the power demands are of the machines you are considering.

Make sure that you have the right power source near where you plan to put the ice machine. You may find that because of this, your space options are limited.


These are commercial ice machines, so they need to be hooked up to a water source. There is no way you are going to keep up with the water demand by filling it manually.


You will find that your crushed ice maker options have three different compressor options. Most machines have an air-cooled system.

These systems are affordable and efficient. They also use a lot less water than the water cooled option.

Sometimes depending on the situation, a water cooled machine will work better than air-cooled. If you know the area isn’t well circulated, or that the temperatures are going to be high then consider water cooled.

You need to check your city codes though, as some cities have banned water cooled units.

The third option is the same as the air cooled units, but moves the compressor away from the ice machine and puts it outside. This greatly reduces the noise you’ll experience. Unfortunately, these units are also the most expensive.


Almost every city has a code that dictates where your floor drain should be located in relation to your ice machine. You need to check this code as it may change which machine you choose.

If you have to put the ice machine in a certain place, and then you’ll need an ice machine that fits that space.

Buy Your Commercial Crushed Ice Maker

When choosing a commercial ice maker for your business you need to think about what type of machine is going to work best for your space. While the modular unit may make more ice, you might not have the room for it.

Then think about the type of ice you want. The type you choose will really depend on the intended use of the ice. Crushed or nugget is a popular option for drinks.

Once you make these two decisions you can really start to comparison shop for your next ice maker. Find a couple of units that will work for your specific needs.

Then compare the other features to determine which is the best unit for your budget.

Request a quote and starting comparison shopping for your commercial ice machine today.

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