Summer is around the corner and the heat of the sun has already started to toast us considerably. All of us are now experiencing a great need for ice and chilled beverages. Ice cubes are the basis of great drinks on the daily basis and there is no party, barbeque, or get-together with great ice. Can we be running to the convenience stores to get ice for every single party and every time you want a chunk of great ice? Though we can do it occasionally, running to the stores every day is not possible.
When we think of great quality ice, the two appliances that come to our mind, in getting instant and high-quality ice are freezer ice makers, that we get in our refrigerator and portable ice makers.
A Different Source of Ice Makers
The large unit that we all have in our kitchen is the refrigerator, which serves as our ultimate destination for high-quality ice. But the refrigerator takes up a ton of internal space in the kitchen and these freezer ice makers are capable of delivering ice automatically. These refrigerators with freezer options are the most available and the best option for common people.
Yet another viable source of ice cubes is the portable ice makers. These types of ice machines come in handy in a range of circumstances, especially or home parties, and to meet the sudden requirements of huge quantities of ice. The portable ice makers are small, compact, fit on the kitchen countertops, and are capable of producing ice within minutes. (Check out: Best Countertop Ice Makers)
Before ascertaining the difference between the two types of ice makers, let us first understand each of them individually and their working mechanisms.
Everything You Need to Know About Freezer Ice Makers
The freezer ice maker can be used interchangeably with the freezer compartment in your refrigerator-that makes high-quality clear ice cubes, when we feed it with water in trays. It converts the water into ice according to the mold shape in the tray and chunks out after a few hours. Some conventional freezers take overnight to form solid and sturdy ice cubes, that retain their shape for a long time.
In the freezer ice maker, the ice-making cycle begins when the refrigerator sends an electric signal to the water valve of the refrigerator. The water valve opens it and releases the water into a specialized mold in the freezer. The valve is generally open for about seven seconds which is good enough to fill in the mold and has enough room to hold about 6 to 9 ice cubes. After the mold is filled, the valve shuts off and the water will slowly freeze through the process of convection.
The freezer ice makers make use of air as a heat conductor, which is a slow way of transferring heat in the cooling process. Though the recommended average temperature is zero degrees Fahrenheit, it takes at least an hour to freeze into ice. Automatic ice makers have a built-in thermostat that also monitors the temperature of the water when the water is in the mold. A rotating ejector blade swoops down and scoops the ice that is put in the ice tray, where it is stored until it is used. The circuits will then send another signal to the valve that stocks water and the entire process starts all over again.
Portable Ice Makers And Their Working Mechanism
Portable ice makers are an excellent source of quick ice and to speed up the ice-making process, the portable ice makers make use of unique technology to form high-quality ice. These appliances require us to manually fill water in its water tank. The water pump in the appliance will take the water from the reservoir to the ice case, which is a rotating tray where ice is formed.
There are a set of metal prongs that are suspended in the tray where the water fills. These prongs will have a connection with the evaporator coils of the compressor. The prongs will start to freeze the water instantly around the metal prongs, and ice keeps building up around them in layers. After reaching a certain thickness of ice, the ice tray will pull back and the metal prongs begin a brief heating mechanism to loosen the grip of the ice formed around the prongs.
The ice cubes that are formed according to the shape of the molds will pop off and slide towards the ice bin. When the indicators on the appliance denote that the ice cubes are ready, they can be scooped off from the ice bin. Leftover water will get drained back into the reservoir and will be reused to form the next batch of ice. The entire process of ice making ranges from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of appliance. The portable ice makers can create around 28 to 50 pounds of ice per day.
Check out: Best Portable Ice Maker Under $200
Difference Between the Freezer Ice Maker and the Portable Ice Maker
1. Depending on their available types:
a. Two types of freezer ice makers:
There are generally two types of freezer ice makers, namely chest freezers and upright freezers. A chest freezer is capable of holding more ice and more food than a traditional upright freezer. In the chest freezers, the cold air will stay low inside the freezer, when the door opens and will not escape quickly, as in the case of upright freezers.
The upright freezer will stand horizontally, just like a refrigerator, and features adjusting shelves and additional indoor storage for additional space. Upright freezers have less capacity when we compare them with chest freezers.
b. Portable ice makers:
Portable ice makers can be moved from one room to another depending on one’s needs. Portable ice makers are capable of producing around 9 to 10 ice cubes, every 15 minutes. They are ideal for guest rooms, pool areas, wet bars, etc. They can also be freestanding ice makers or can be built into the cabinets of the kitchen.
Check out: List of Best Ice Makers in the Market
2. Space and productivity options:
When the desired space is available, the freezer ice makers are great options. These ice makers will operate automatically and will help in a constant supply of ice. They are also present in the refrigerator and freezer and thus, there is no need to purchase equipment specifically for making ice. The users get the convenience of getting ice from the appliance that is already in use in their home.
But they are available as large units that could occupy a lot of space. They are not great for small kitchens and studio apartments. Also, small families do not require these large appliances. Though they are undeniably a great source of ice, they are not practical options for everyone.
Portable ice makers are highly efficient in terms of production and space. They are compact, portable, and occupy very little space on the kitchen countertop. Though they are small, they are still capable of delivering about 30 pounds of ice in a day. They are also pretty quick in yielding ice compared to the freezer ice makers. They are great appliances for those who through a lot of parts and engage in social activities frequently.
You must check: Best Ice Maker Under $100
Freezer Ice Makers Vs Portable Ice Makers
|S. No.||Parameter||Freezer ice maker||Portable ice maker|
|1.||Installation||Freestanding installation as it comes with the refrigerator||It is freestanding and portable. Built-in ice makers are also available|
|2.||Size of the appliance||Generally large as it is a part of the refrigerator||A very small and handy appliance that fits on the kitchen countertop|
|3.||Time is taken to form ice||Takes a few hours to form ice||Ice is formed within 5 to 15 minutes|
|4.||Dispensing option||Ice is dispensed from the dispenser or to be removed from the ice tray||Ice has to be scooped from the ice bin|
|5.||Applications||Used in home and commercial food and beverage units||Ideal for parties, minibars, safes, and residential uses.|
|6.||Ice size and shape||Generally forms ice in a fixed shape (cube) and the standard size||It is possible to customize the ice thickness and different ice makers form different shapes of ice cubes such as nugget, bullet-shaped, crescent-shaped, gourmet ice, etc.|
|7.||Space occupancy||Occupies a large amount of space.||Very compact and takes very little space.|
|8.||Insulation and storage||The ice cubes stay frozen until they are dispensed||There is no insulation in the portable ice makers and the ice should be removed instantly.|
Freezer Ice Makers or Portable Ice Makers?
The best option is to have both appliances in the kitchen for optimal ice synthesis. The ice makers form ice quickly, but cannot preserve them in a solid-state. You can make ice in the portable ice maker and transfer them to the freezer ice maker to preserve it until use. The freezer ice makers also don’t have better storage options and the ice melts in them quickly. For special occasions and parties, the portable ice maker serves as the workhorse to chunk out large volumes of ice. Thus, the choice vests in the user and their ice requirements.