Nugget ice is great.
There is nothing like that chewable goodness that absorbs all of the flavor of your beverage. If you don’t know what nugget ice is, then take a trip to a Sonic Drive-Thru or a Chick-Fill-A and notice the ice that they serve. For that reason, nugget ice is often called Sonic ice or the “good ice.”
Nugget ice is produced when ice crystals are packed together into a small, soft, chewable ice nugget. Nugget ice doesn’t just soak up the flavor of your beverage , it also chills it faster because you can get more ice in your glass.
There was a time when purchasing a sonic or nugget ice maker would cost you thousands of dollars, because the only units available to make Nugget ice was commercial ice makers. If you are looking for a commercial ice maker that produces a lot of nugget ice each day, then read my article here to learn more.
Not everyone needs hundreds of pounds of nugget ice each day! What if you are looking for a small nugget ice maker that can fit on your countertop? What if you are looking for a nugget ice maker that is affordable? Then this article is going to help.
We are going to list for you the best small nugget ice makers available on the market today.
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker
First, Let me introduce you to the Opal Nugget Ice Maker. This unit has been turning heads for some time.
Learn more about the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker Here.
Opal, an offshoot of GE, started something incredible when they created a Kickstarter page to fund and begin their revolutionary compact nugget ice maker.
Let’s look at this small nugget ice maker.
A Small Powerful Nugget Ice Maker
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is the perfect fit for any kitchen, family room or home bar looking to add nugget ice.
It can produce 24 pounds of ice every 24 hours, and takes about 20 minutes to produce the first batch of ice.
The Opal has a stunning design. It’s built using high-quality stainless steel and the ice bucket is LED-lit which really adds a lot of flare to the overall look of the unit.
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker operates like all other portable ice maker. You don’t have to place it by a sink, or have any water lines or drain lines installed. You just add water to the water reservoir and you can begin to make ice.
The Opal Nugget Ice maker also has Bluetooth technology, so you can use their smartphone app to create a schedule or turn the ice machine on or off.
The best feature of all is that it makes perfect nugget ice. The ice is the same as what you would purchase at a Sonic Drive-Tru. Think of how much time, and money you will save producing your own nugget ice at home.
It’s Compact but Heavy
The Opal Nugget Ice maker isn’t light. It weighs 44 pounds, and measures 17.2 x 10.5 x 15.5 inches.
It does come with a side tank that gives you more water so that you don’t have to keep filling up the water reservoir. This does add to the size and weight of the ice maker.
It’s a compact machine, but it would be difficult to carry around to different locations. I would suggest that you find a level place to set up the Opal, and just leave it there. Only move it if you absolutely need to.
You could use this ice maker camping or on your RV, but it may be difficult because of its weight. I guess if you’re careful, and take your time moving it around, you would be okay.
More Expensive than the Other Portable Ice Makers
The Opal Nugget ice maker is expensive, but it’s worth the investment if you’re looking to purchase a portable ice maker that produces nugget ice.
When I say that it’s expensive, I mean compared to all the other portable ice makers available today.
Want to see the best portable ice makers available today? Click here to read more.
Compared to the commercial ice makers than the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is actually a really good deal. It’s easy to spend $3,000 or more on a commercial ice maker that produces nugget ice.
You’re looking at spending $500 to purchase the Opal Nugget Ice machine, but the features, design and NUGGET ICE make it worth it. There are less-expensive portable ice makers available – if nugget ice isn’t a big deal to you.
The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Our next small nugget ice maker is manufactured by NewAir. NewAir is a leader in compact home appliances and their nugget ice maker is no exception.
Learn more about the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker Here.
Read our comparison between the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker and the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker here.
A Well-Built Nugget Ice Maker
The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker is a simple designed unit that is easy to operate. It has only one button on the front of the unit, which is used to operate the entire ice maker.
The NewAir is wrapped in high-quality stainless steel, and looks and feels like a typical portable ice maker. On the top of the ice maker, you’ll find a viewing window where you can easily check on the ice supply.
It features a melt-resistant, with certified BPA-free parts, and an insulated interior so that your ice stays around longer.
This ice maker, like the Opal above, doesn’t keep your ice frozen. The ice will melt over time and drip back into the water reservoir where it’s used to make more ice.
If you are looking for an ice maker that keeps your ice frozen then read my post here.
Lots of Ice
This ice maker works very well, and delivers on all the right places.
It produces 40 pounds of nugget ice (almost twice as much as the Opal Nugget Ice Maker), and produces that soft, chewable nugget ice in about 5 minutes.
This means that the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker is the fastest home model on the market.
The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker gives you great features. It comes with a self-cleaning function, indicator lights when you need more water or your ice storage bucket is full, a slot to hold your ice scoop inside the unit, and one button controls.
Like the Opal, the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker doesn’t need a waterline or drain lines, and can be stored where ever you like.
This ice maker weighs 34 pounds and its dimensions are 16.50″D x 10.60″W x 16.30″H (w/feet). Remember that if you’re going to store this ice maker under cabinets that you’ll need some clearance for the lid to open.
There was a time when having nugget ice in your home wasn’t feasible.
Now with one of the ice makers above, it’s very possible.
We have added links to the best prices and more information about each ice maker.
If you have any questions or comments about any of the ice makers that we listed in this post, then please use the comment section before.