Scotsman ice machines have been on the market for a long time. They’re not the cheapest ice maker brand available, but they do have an exceptional reputation for being one of the best ice maker manufacturers around.
In this post, we’re going to determine if you should purchase a Scotsman ice maker for your home or business. We’ll give you all the numbers, facts and opinions of professionals and Scotsman ice maker owners, and you’ll be able to determine if owning a Scotsman is the best choice for you.
Let’s get started.
Scotsman began the evolution of ice machines in the 1950s with its dedication to creating an ice maker that was both affordable and reliable.
Scotsman ice makers can be found in 100 countries around the world, and they boast that there are more than a million units that proudly carry the name of Scotsman.
What separates Scotsman from all the other ice makers? They understand the vital part ice plays in business and in life, whether you’re a hotel, restaurant, bar, supermarket, fast-food outlet, hospital, laboratory, or a food processing facility, Scotsman design their units with you and your business in mind.
Their focus for every ice machine is quality, efficiency, food safety, and performance. Scotsman ice makers offer the most variety of ice than any other manufacturer, as well as their famous nugget ice, which is soft chewable ice and is perfect for healthcare facilities.
The bottom line, Scotsman has been making ice makers longer than I have been alive, they know their stuff.
Are Scotsman Ice Machines Good?
Scotsman ice makers are very good, in fact, they are arguably the best on the market. There isn’t a business, office or home that wouldn’t benefit from having a Scotsman ice maker around.
There are a few features that separate the Scotsman brand from all the other ice makers on the market.
Check these out.
Scotsman produces great quality ice. They were the innovators behind the nugget ice, soft chewable ice, and continued developing new ways ice machines operate and how we use ice.
Scotsman ice machines are designed to produce quality ice. With proper maintenance, your ice maker will continue to provide clean, refreshing ice for your customers and family for years to come.
This may seem like something that’s not a big deal, but it’s an integral part of how ice makers operate and how much they interfere with our lives. Loud ice makers can affect our sleep, disturb our customers, and are just annoying.
This is the reason why Scotsman has invested so much time and money in the design of their compressors. Low noise levels of their units is another reason why Scotsman ice makers are the best.
The regular maintenance of any ice maker is what guarantees the unit will last and will produce pure ice. Scotsman designs its units to be cleaned with ease, a technology that regulates and alerts you of any issues, and a device that can be taken apart for a thorough clean.
Overall, Scotsman ice machines are at the top of ice production, maintenance and operation.
Types of Scotsman Ice Makers
Scotsman offer serval different types of ice makers, and not all of them will be right for your business or home. In this post, we’re going to break them all down and give you direction on which one you should purchase.
Below are the different types of ice, Scotsman ice makers produce.
Nugget or sonic ice which is The Original Chewable Ice® was developed by Scotsman in 1981. When developed it changed how we would eat ice. Nugget ice is soft, chewable ice and is perfect for healthcare facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and doctor offices because they are not a choking hazard like regular cubed ice.
Nugget ice is perfect for:
- Soft Drinks
- Frozen Coffee
- Frozen Cocktails
There are three types of ice makers that produce nugget ice: dispensers, modular and undercounter units.
Scotsman has several small ice dispensers called the Meridian™ Series Ice and Water Dispenser. These ice and water dispensers are perfect for offices, nursing homes and doctor offices because they are small and compact. They produce between 260-500 pounds of ice each day.
The Prodigy Plus ice makers come in a tall, slim self-serve units and large modular units. These ice makers produce between 450-2100 pounds of ice each day.
Cubed ice is perfect for a host of events and occasions. It’s perfect for any beverage, and would work well at a restaurant or any business that serves food.
Cubed Ice is perfect for:
- Soft Drinks
- Bagged Ice
- Dispensed Ice
The Scotsman ice makers that produce cubed ice are called cubers and come in three main categories. There are the BIG CUBE, which serves perfectly square and large ice cubes (biggest cube – 1¼” x 1¼” x 1¼” dimensions), the Prodigy Plus which comes in a variety of sizes, and the Prodigy Plus Eclipse, which are large narrow self-serving ice stations that serve cubed ice. The largest is the Prodigy Plus Eclipse 1800 which produces almost 1800 pounds of ice each day.
For smaller units, Scotsman created the CU0 series of ice makers which produce between 65-350 pounds of ice.
Flaked ice is perfect for businesses that pack and ship food. With flaked ice, it’s easy to pack around the product so that it keeps cold for a long time.
Flaked ice is perfect for:
- Chilled Food in a Buffet
- Seafood or Meat in a Display
- Blended Beverages
- Cups of Ice for Medical Use
Scotsman have several small flake ice makers that produce between 96-440 pounds of ice each day.
Their larger Prodigy Plus units will make 500-1400 pounds of ice. If you need a lot of flaked ice, then The Scotsman Flaker is the unit for you, producing a whopping 2400 pounds of flaked ice every day.
Machine Heads and Bins
Many of the ice makers you’re going to see on this list are ice maker heads which require you to purchase a separate storage bin.
Determine how much ice you’re going to need for your business. Below is a chart which will give you a rough idea of how much ice you’re going to need, then you can purchase the correct sized storage bin.
How Much Ice Do I Need?
Before you can decide which ice maker will work for you and your business, you need to determine how much ice you’re going to use each day.
Check out the best commercial ice makers for home and business here.
We provided a simple chart that gives you estimations on how much ice different businesses could potentially use each day.
Remember, these numbers are just estimations, and only you can know how much ice your business will require.
|Business Type||Average Ice Needs Per Day|
|Restaurant||1.5 lbs. per customer|
|Cocktail Lounge||3 lbs. per customer|
|Hotel||5 lbs. per guest room|
|Self-serve||3 lbs. per person|
|Quick-service Restaurant||5 oz. per 7- to 10-oz. cup |
8 oz. per 12- to 16-oz. cup
12 oz. per 18- to 24-oz. cup
|Salad Bar/Seafood Display||35 lbs. per cubic foot|
Air-Cooled, Water-Cooled and Remote
Often times when purchasing a new ice maker, you’ll see three styles of condensers – air-cooled, water-cooled and remote condenser. The condenser is a crital part of your ice maker, and something that you should understand.
When it comes to the condenser, you’ll need to choose an ice maker that properly fits your venue.
The most popular type of ice maker are air-cooled units. These ice makers use fresh air to move across the condensers to cool the equipment.
These units are the simplest to install because everything is neatly tucked inside the ice maker. There is no need of any additional installation.
The only CON with an air-cooled ice maker is that it’s more bulkier than other units. This is because the ice maker is designed with additional clearance to allow the air to pass over the condensers.
We nearly always recommend air-cooled units for more operations, but there are times when a remote condenser is best. If you need to install an ice maker with an ambient air temperature that regularly exceed 80 degrees, then I suggest a remote condenser for your business.
Higher ambient air temperatures will mean your ice maker will struggle with producing enough ice, and the constant demand can cause your ice maker to fail.
Water-cooled ice makers also have condensers contained inside the unit, but they require a constant flow of cold water to run pass over the condenser to remove the heat. This means that your ice maker will need a second source of water in order for it to function correctly. This is often not feasible for most businesses.
The PRO of a water-cooled ice maker is that it’s far more efficient than other types of units, but, again, normally very hard to make it work.
The best scenario for water-cooled ice machines is when a business has a water-circulating chiller system to tie their ice machine into.
Instead of the condenser self-contained within the ice maker, remote condensers are housed in a different location, normally outside.
Remote condensers are good because it means you don’t have to deal with the excess noise and heat, but remote condensers are hard to install and cost a lot more money than self-contained condensers.
Which Scotsman Ice Maker Should I Purchase
With so many different units available for you to purchase, it’s hard to determine which one will be best for your home, business, factory, or healthcare facility.
We’re going to break down each unit and determine which unit you should purchase.
We have added links to each unit which will give you the best price available.
Let’s find you a great Scotsman ice maker.
The Best Scotsman Ice Maker for a Hotel or Motel
If you are an owner of a hotel or motel and you’re in need of an ice maker that can keep up with the demand of your customers, then I suggest you choose the Scotsman Prodigy Plus series.
These ice makers come in two parts: the ice machine head and a separate storage bin.
Notice the best ice maker for a hotel or motel below:
The Scotsman Prodigy Plus series come with four important features that I want to hit on in this article.
First, indicator lights that alert you to important actions. When the ice maker needs attention (like when it’s time to descale, sanitize and more), the ice maker will signal your staff to take action.
Second, Watersense technology helps reduce scale buildup so that you’re not spending all your time cleaning this ice maker.
Third, Vari-Smart which gives you the control of scheduling your ice output for up to seven days. This way your ice is always clean and tasting great.
Lastly, this ice maker is fully controlled by some pretty advanced technology, so that you get the diagnosis of operating issues. When issues begin to show their ugly face, this ice maker will notify you, and help you solve the problem.
The Best Scotsman Ice Maker for Healthcare, Lunchrooms, and Offices
I recommend healthcare facilities use nugget ice for their patients and customers. Nugget ice is easier to chew and is less of a choking hazard than other types of ice.
For nursing homes and retirement residences, we recommend that you purchase the Scotsman Meridian Series.
These ice makers are perfect because they sit on the countertop and are compact and out of the way. These units are constructed with heavy-duty stainless steel, air-cooled and dispenses water as well as ice.
They come with two different types of cooling options: air cooled and water cooled. These ice maker can either be placed on a countertop or you can purchase a unit that can be mounted on the wall.
Your residents will be able to serve themselves, whenever they are in need of a cold, refreshing glass of water. It’s also perfect for office lunchrooms because these units don’t take up a lot of room.
For larger quantities of ice, we recommend the NME series. These ice makers produce an extraordinary amount of ice each day (Over 2100 pounds of nugget ice).
The Best Scotsman Ice Makers for Bars and Restaurants
Scotsman ice makers are great units for restaurants and bars. We recommend cubed ice for cocktails, soft drinks, blended frozen drinks, bagged ice and dispensed ice because of its slow-melting properties.
You could also use half-diced ice or small ice cubes for bars and restaurants. Half-diced or small ice cubes offer a high ice-to-water ratio, which means that you get more ice into your beverage which chills it quicker and longer.
Some of the Scotsman ice makers below will need a storage bin accessory added to your order. These storage bins come in a host of sizes and features. Depending on how many customers you have daily, you will need to purchase a bin that holds enough ice to meet the demand.
The Best Scotsman Ice Maker for Cafés, Coffee Shops and Cafeterias
Cafés and coffee shops also need dependable ice makers for their everyday operations. Cafés and coffee shops are known for creating fantastic iced coffee, smoothies, and other taste-satisfying beverages.
Cafeterias use ice for several purposes such as keeping a salad bar cooled, dispensers for soft drinks and creating speciality drinks such as iced coffee.
We recommend that a café, coffee shop and cafeteria use cubed or small cubed ice. Cubed ice melts slower, cools beverages faster and is versatile.
Because Cafés, coffee shops and cafeterias are normally smaller than restaurants, we recommend a smaller unit that produces around 100-500 pounds of ice each day.
We also suggest that you purchase an undercounter unit so that it’s tucked away neatly and easily accessible.
We recommend the Scotsman Prodigy Series.
Scotsman CU3030SA1 best choice for a cafe, coffee shop or cafeteria
The Best Scotsman Ice Maker for Outside Use
Not only are Scotsman ice makers trusted for businesses all over the USA, but they are also a well-used brand for homes, especially using outside by a pool or on a patio.
Scotsman sells a wide-variety of great ice makers for residential use, and more specifically for your outside kitchen.
These ice makers have a beautiful stainless steel construction, they are front venting (which means you can enclose them in your cabinets), are ETL listed, and produce either soft-chewable nugget ice, or gourmet ice.
Gourmet ice is uniquely-shaped, crystal-clear, slow-melting, taste-free, odorless ice. Gourmet ice won’t dilute the flavor of your beverage.
Best Scotsman Ice Maker for a Grocery Store
The best choice for a grocery store ice maker is one that produces cubed ice or flake ice. Flake ice is great for displaying seafood, or for packing food for shipment.
The best ice maker for a grocery store will probably produce around 1000-2000 pounds of ice each day. For this type of ice quantity, you’re going to need to purchase a machine head, and the correct sized storage bin.
Below are our recommendations for the best ice maker for a grocery store.
Best Scotsman Ice Maker for Your Home Bar, Basement, Garage or Kitchen
I want to conclude this post with the best Scotsman ice makers for your home. If you are looking for an ice maker for a newly renovated kitchen, basement, home bar, or garage, then you’re in the right place.
Scotsman offer great ice makers for businesses (there is no doubt about it), but they should not be excluded from residential use as well.
Below are the best Scotsman ice makers for residential use.
Scotsman ice makers are reliable units and will be perfect for your home or business.
We have listed the best units above, and hope that this article guides you to make an informed decision. Click on the link provided and get more information, and the best prices we could find online.
If you have any questions or comments please add them below.
Scotsman ice makers are at the top, and you won’t be disappointed making the investment for your business or home.