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Grab the Best Portable Ice Maker for Your Next Large Gathering

  1. Ivation Daily Capacity Counter Top Portable Ice Maker
  2. Igloo Counter Top Portable Ice Maker
  3. Knox Portable Compact Portable Ice Maker
  4. Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker
  5. Ice Boss Red Portable Ice Maker Machine High Output Ice Maker
  6. Buyer's Guide

Portable ice makers come in handy during hot weather, entertaining a large crowd, youth lemonade stands, lively bars, church socials and family gatherings. These appliances are easy to transport to local pot lucks or even to a garden style party; all you'll need is water and an outlet to plug them into. Most ice machines are capable of making a large quantity of ice in a small amount of time and some units have the option to be hooked into your water line to supplement your freezers ice making abilities.

We’ve chosen the following best portable ice makers in 2022 because they’ll produce a minimum 20 pounds of ice per day. These ice makers are also exclusively top door access because with side door models you run the risk of spilling out all of the ice cubes. Additionally, these ice makers are designed with a side drain so no meltwater remains within the unit. This is especially important because if even a little bit of water can't be drained or readily wiped out of the unit, the standing moisture has the potential to create mold.

All of these units will feature a minimum one year manufacturer’s warranty, unless otherwise stated within the description, they will have, and remember to always wash them out thoroughly before you begin making any ice.

Compare The Best Portable Ice Maker Of 2022

Ivation Daily Capacity Counter Top Portable Ice Maker - Best Portable Ice Maker Overall

For the big parties and social events, you need the Ivation 48-Pound Daily Capacity Counter Top Ice Maker which provides non-stop ice making with a 4.7 quart water reservoir. Although expensive, the Ivation Counter Top Ice Maker allows you to make ice virtually anywhere from dorm room to RV’s.
This unit is capable of making a batch of ice cubes every eight minutes, producing 48 pounds of ice over a 24 hour period. You have the option on the digital control panel to select three different cube sizes, an "add water" light so you'll always know when you’re running low, as well as an "ice full" light. This ice maker offers quiet operation and the side handles make for easy transportation.

Igloo Counter Top Portable Ice Maker - Runner Up

If you just need an adequate amount of ice production at a good price, the Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket is a good choice. You'll get 26 pounds of ice per day, but the medium sized reservoir only holds three quarts of water. This unit is capable of making ice in as little as minutes, but the batches will be smaller and so are the resulting cubes. That may not really matter to most people who just want a chilled drink and you do get a choice of three different ice cube sizes and indicator lights which let you know when to add water as well as when the unit is full. For basic ice making, the Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket is going to be all you really need, at a price that won't break the bank.

Knox Portable Compact Portable Ice Maker - Honorable Mention

If you like an LCD display to go with your ice maker, check out the Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker with LCD Display. This unit will make about 27 pounds of ice per day, and it comes with near three quart capacity water reservoir. It has all of the standard features like three different cube sizes and lights that tell you the reservoir needs filling and whether the ice bucket is full. There are even audio alerts that beep when the water is low. The big difference is this unit shows you these functions on an LCD screen, and it also comes with a timer so that you can turn it on or off automatically. If you need an ice maker to which is a bit more user attentive, the Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker with LCD Display might be right for you.

Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker - Consider

For large ice cubes in about seven minutes, the Magic Chef MCIM22TS 27lb Ice Maker is hard to beat. Capable of turning out 27 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period, this ice maker features a full gallon water reservoir which you won't have to fill as often. It's a bit on the high side when it comes to the price but the cubes are large and also the quietest operating unit on this list. Of course, there are three cube sizes to choose from, and it comes with a full bucket light and an add water light. If cube size and a larger reservoir are what you are looking for, the Magic Chef MCIM22TS 27lb Ice Maker will deliver all of the ice you need.

Ice Boss Red Portable Ice Maker Machine High Output Ice Maker - Best Portable Ice Maker

The Ice Boss Portable Ice Maker Machine High Output Ice Maker comes in different colors, so you will have a machine that matches your overall decor. This is one of the highest capacity units on this list, and with it being capable of producing 33 pounds of ice over 24 hours, you'll never be at a loss for ice. The one gallon reservoir will keep fill ups to a minimum, you'll get fresh ice made in as little as six minutes. The digital keypad gives you the same choices as the others, there are three ice sizes to choose from, indicator lights for low water and full bucket. So, if you want a higher capacity ice maker and don't want to pay out top dollar like the first machine on this list, choose this option for all of your ice making needs.

Buyer's Guide

A handy ice maker can be your best partner to provide you with a new source of refreshing ice at any time. Of course, if you're unsure whether a portable ice maker is the best option for you or which ice machine is best for you, have no fear. We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions and addressed any queries over purchasing a portable ice maker.

What is the purpose of purchasing a portable ice maker?

If you're reading this, you're probably intrigued about portable ice makers and debating whether or not to get one. Although they are still considered niche items, they may be quite useful in several circumstances.

We have jotted down some common reasons to buy a premium-quality portable ice maker:

  • You host a number of parties and events that require ice, but it's cumbersome to constantly purchase additional bags.
  • The majority of portable ice makers generate between 24 and 26 pounds of ice each day, which should be sufficient for a small bar or restaurant.
  • The water supply in your area is incompatible with an ice maker built-in (unsafe or hard water).
  • You frequently go camping or stay in a cabin that lacks a convenient location to get ice.
  • A dependable ice maker may help you save time, money, and gas by eliminating the need to purchase ice at the store or by eliminating the need to purchase a freezer specifically for ice production.
  • If you work in a tiny workplace with insufficient space for a large refrigerator and where people are more concerned with beverages than food, a portable ice maker is a way to go.
  • You enjoy chewing ice but want something less abrasive on your teeth.

While an ice maker is not necessary kitchen equipment, nothing matches the sense of relief that comes with not having to constantly refill ice trays in the freezer.

What key considerations of a portable ice maker should you inspect?

Productivity, speed, and scale

A decent portable ice maker should generate 9-12 ice cubes every batch in around 6-7 minutes, which is frequently plenty for 2-3 small beverages. Additionally, it should be as small as a 4-slice toaster oven so that it does not take up excessive counter space and can be conveniently stored when not in use.

Bear in mind that smaller units frequently operate more quickly and generate smaller ice than larger, heavier equipment. Due to the reduced space for air circulation, these models also produce colder ice and keep it frozen for longer. Therefore, ensure that you are aware of the dimensions of both the ice maker and the area in which it will be installed.

Ice shape

You will get bullet-shaped ice from most types of portable ice makers. As the name implies, this ice is formed like a tiny bullet with a hole in the center and maybe hazy or completely white.

Additionally, some versions generate nugget ice, which is perfect for fountain beverages, soft drinks, and mixed cocktails. When eaten, this chewable ice quickly dissolves quickly. Therefore, if you enjoy chewing ice, we believe a countertop nugget ice maker would satisfy your need. Indeed, many nugget ice producers utilize less energy than other varieties, which translates to lower electricity bills.

Which type of portable ice maker should you buy?

Countertop ice makers

For light use, countertop ice makers are popular. They're ideal for individuals who live in small areas due to their portability and ease of usage. They are more compact than their cousins, but this also means that they retain less ice.

Additionally, because these devices are meant to be portable, they may freeze water straight without the need for a water line or drain connection. Their water tanks must be manually replenished in order to maintain ice production.

The majority of portable ice producers don’t feature a refrigerator. They are capable of producing ice but are incapable of storing it. When the unused ice melts, the machines recycle the water to produce fresh ice. This implies that you must utilize your ice immediately; otherwise, it will melt if left in the basket.

Under-counter ice makers

These are also known as built-in ice makers and operate in the same way as countertop ice makers. They create ice indefinitely until the bin is completely filled. While they are more expensive than countertop versions, they provide a higher capacity of output. Additionally, they feature larger storage containers capable of holding between 30 and 500 pounds of ice.

This is sufficient to provide a constant supply of ice throughout the day, despite the fact that the majority of countertop ice makers are incapable of freezing ice for a long duration. As a result of their greater size, they take significantly longer to produce a batch of ice. Additionally, they provide a greater mobility challenge.

Which characteristics of portable ice makers should you consider?

Quick water drainage

Even a simple ice maker will include a drain plug on the bottom to remove any leftover water after use. Locate a machine with a drain outlet positioned at the bottom of the reservoir for quick and easy water drainage.

Mesh filter

If you've ever had a traditional ice maker, you're probably already aware that the natural minerals in water ultimately build up within the device, affecting the ice output substantially. Additionally, after a brief time of regular use, you will notice that the ice's quality degrades due to impurities in the water. This is why mesh-filter ice producers have gained popularity.

These versions are capable of preventing dust and other particles from entering the ice, therefore keeping the ice's natural appearance, flavor, and scent. Additionally, a mesh filter assists in keeping the machine clean and efficient without the need for routine maintenance or cleaning. Simply ensure that you change it at least once a year to maintain your machine's peak functionality.


Numerous inexpensive ice makers include this functionality, which enables customers to plan the machine's operation. While we do not believe the feature is required, it can be beneficial for many people.

Function of self-cleaning

This option is frequently included in higher-end models. Cleaning your portable ice maker should be a breeze now that this development has been made.

Portable Ice Makers FAQs

Q: Is it true that portable ice makers consume a significant amount of energy?

A: Electricity consumption is lower with portable ice makers than with conventional equipment. If the equipment has a constant cool temperature, it will operate more efficiently and consume less power.

Q: Should your ice machine be turned off?

A: If you will be out from work for longer than a week, it is prudent to switch off the icemaker. The ice may condense and melt repeatedly, resulting in an unpleasant stench. Clean and dry the equipment thoroughly before leaving to avoid moldy odors.

Q: How should an ice maker be cleaned?

A: Unless you've purchased a self-cleaning type, you should clean your ice maker on a regular basis. Simply disconnect your ice maker, empty it, and use a soft cloth to wipe it down with warm water. Cleaning any hard-to-reach places and corners using cotton swabs or vinegar is a good idea. It can then be washed well with water, dried, and allowed to sit.

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