I have some pretty exciting news for ice chewers!
Now you can enjoy nugget or sonic ice at home without buying an expensive commercial unit.
Related: My GE Profile Opal 2.0 Review
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker has been on the market for a while now, and it seems to be a popular ice maker for producing soft, chewable nugget ice at a decent price.
I decided to grab about $500 in cash and purchase one of these Opal Ice Maker’s myself and see what all the fuss is about.
This is my Opal Nugget Ice Maker Review.
Nugget or sonic ice is popular today for offices, home bars and those that love chewing ice. Nugget ice is also popular to use in smoothies, ice coffee, slushies or any kind of ice drink that you want to create.
The invention of nugget ice dates back to 1981. The creator of this type of ice was Scotsman Ice Systems.
What is so appealing about nugget ice?
Bartender Jayce McConnell of Edmund’s Oast explains the appeal of nugget ice like this: “It’s porous and chewable, and every little pebble can carry some of the beverage with it.”
The Opal Nugget ice Maker is a perfect ice maker to allow you to enjoy the beauty of nugget ice in the comfort of your own home.
Now, this ice maker isn’t the cheapest portable ice maker on the market today. You’ll probably spend about $500ish for this ice maker on Amazon. There’s other options available if you’re looking to pick up a cheaper countertop ice maker (which produces bullet-shaped ice and not the nugget ice), but this ice maker isn’t like the others.
|Ice Production||24 Pounds a day|
|Design||Stainless Steel, Plastic|
|Dimensions||15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2 inches|
|Ice Cycle||20 Minutes|
|Storage Capacity||3 lbs|
|Ice Type||Nugget Ice|
|Best Price||Click Here For Best Price|
When it comes to producing nugget ice, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker does the job well.
Let’s review this portable ice maker and see if it’s a unit you should consider purchasing.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
There’s no doubt about it! The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a sharp looking unit. The front is a stainless steel band, and the back is a glossy black trim. It has a clear bin in the front that is lit with a LED light. I found it to be very classy!
The Opal didn’t have the traditional portable ice maker look, which made it refreshing. It’s practically a rectangular metal box on my countertop, but the stainless steel front and sides, and the front sliding storage bin, elevates it’s style to premium in my books.
It’s Built Well, A Little Heavy
The unit measures 17.2 by 10.5 by 15.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 44 pounds.
My opinion? It’s far too heavy. I actually had trouble lifting it from the box to my countertop.
The average portable ice maker weighs between 17-30 lbs. You’re going to want to find a place for the Opal and leave it there – it’s not designed to be moved around (my opinion) even though it technically can.
If you are looking for an ice maker that is perfect for camping or your RV, I would check out my post on the perfect ice maker for camping.
How The Opal Ice Maker Works
Most portable ice makers freeze ice around small cylinders which produces bullet or hat-shaped ice. The Opal Ice Maker scrapes ice flakes from a cooled cylinder and compresses it together. This is what gives you that light-chewable ice.
Makes 24 Pounds of Ice Every 24 Hours
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker will produce for you one pound of ice every hour (24 lbs of ice every 24 hours).
This is a decent amount of nugget ice. Usually, refrigerator ice makers produce 2-3 pounds of ice every day.
It’s still not the largest capacity in an ice maker, and falls short to the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker by almost 20 pounds of ice each day.
A Removable Ice Bin
At the front of the unit, there is a clear plastic removable bin. The bin is lit by an LED light which gives it a really nice look. You can slide the bin out whenever you need ice, and easily slides back into place.
Beneath the clear plastic bin is the water reservoir. Like most portable ice makers, the ice storage bin has holes to drain the water from the melted ice. This allows the water to return to the water reservoir to make more ice.
The Opal doesn’t need a water or drain line. Everything works together within the ice maker itself.
For more water, you can purchase the Side Tank that extends the amount of water the reservoir can hold. This additional attachment gives you more ice and less water refills.
No Built-in Freezer
There is no built-in freezer with this unit. So the ice will eventually melt. As the ice melts, the Opal Ice Maker will replace the bin with new ice.
Indicating LED Light
On the front of the unit, there is a LED circle light that gives you an indication of the operation of the unit.
If the ring is solid white the bin is full of ice.
When the circle light is cascading white, it means that the unit is making ice.
A prolonged cascading white light says it is in defrost mode and should not be turned off for at least 30 minutes.
A pulsing yellow light means that the ice maker is in cleaning mode, and a rotating yellow light indicates that it is in rinse mode.
If the ice maker is showing a swishing blue light, it means that the water reservoir is empty and that it needs more water before it can continue.
The Back of the Ice Maker
At the back of the unit, you’re going to find 14″ drain tubes that are used to drain extra water from the clean cycle. You’re also going to find a toggle switch which is used to switch between cleaning mode and making ice mode.
The unit comes with a small black plastic scoop. The scoop isn’t much to behold, and should be ungraded to a stainless steel scoop.
I went on Amazon and purchased a stainless steel one which matches the ice maker perfectly. Click here to head over to Amazon and read more about it.
INSTALLATION AND CLEANING
The great thing about the Opal Ice Maker is that you don’t have to pay for a professional to come and install it. All you have to do to start making ice is prepare your ice maker.
When the Opal arrived at my house, it didn’t take long to get it unpacked, cleaned, and making nugget ice.
First, wash the bin with warm soapy water, and then do your best to rinse it thoroughly.
Plug it in and switch the toggle mode to cleaning.
You’ll need to fill the reservoir with water and then begin the cleaning cycle (Which will last for about 3 minutes) by touching the button.
When the light ring begins to pulse yellow, you need to disconnect the tubes and place them in a sink or bucket. It’s a good practice to clean your ice maker at least once a week. You can purchase the Opal Cleaning Kit here.
Keeping your ice maker clean is vital in keeping your nugget ice tasting great and your ice machine working correctly.
THE MOBILE APP
The Opal Ice Maker also has a mobile app that you can download from your mobile phone’s app store. This app allows you to connect to your ice maker through Bluetooth.
Remember that this isn’t a wifi connection and so you would have to be in the same area as the ice maker for this work.
The app allows you to turn your ice maker on and off. It also allows you to create an ice production schedule.
To be honest, I never really used the app much. I guess it depends on the individual and what they are used to.
MY FINAL ASSESSMENT
It takes 20 minutes for the first batch of ice to fall into the bin. Your ice bin should be full in about 3 hours.
If you need a lot of ice, I would suggest that you purchase freezer ice bags from Amazon, and every three hours fill the bags and put them in the freezer.
If you are looking to add a nugget ice maker to your home, than the Opal Ice Maker is a awesome nugget ice maker.
For $500, you’re going to get an ice maker that delivers chewable nugget ice with a compact, stylish design.
Opal Nugget Ice Maker Manual
You can download Opal Nugget Ice manual by clicking here.
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a portable ice maker that produces wonderful, soft, chewable nugget ice. This compact unit is perfect for so many occasions, and comes with some pretty awesome features.
- Elegant Design
- Produces Nugget Ice
- 24 pounds of ice in a day
- A Little Slow