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5 Best Ice Maker Machines For Your Outdoor Kitchen

During those hot and humid summer days, the sweltering heat can get overwhelming. During those days, the best way to deal with scorching temperatures is to get your hands on some ice. Although you may be able to get ice bags from the supermarket, there’s nothing quite like the convenience and quality of fresh ice from an outdoor ice maker.

Best Ice Maker Machines

Whether you’ve planned a large outdoor gathering, or you’ve just got a few friends coming over, an outdoor ice maker will help to keep the ice cold drinks going. If you’re not sure where to get started, we’ve gone ahead and listed some 5 of the best outdoor ice makers below. Before diving into them, let’s start by talking a little bit about the benefits of an outdoor ice maker.


Benefits of an Outdoor Ice Maker 

While they’re relatively similar to their indoor counterparts, several features set an outdoor ice maker apart from an indoor one. The first advantage is that outdoor ice makers can churn out ice even if the temperature outside is hot and humid. This is particularly advantageous for individuals that are living in warmer climates.

Outdoor ice makers are also usually made of sturdy material such as stainless steel. Hence, with proper maintenance you won’t have to worry about your outdoor ice maker breaking down or taking structural damage. They’re made to withstand all sorts of weather patterns from rain to fog and more.

If you’re hosting an event, it’s also hard to just rely on ice buckets or ice bags as they’re cumbersome to lug in and out and it could melt fairly easily in the humidity and heat. With an outdoor ice maker, you’re able to produce ice with just the touch of a button – which is especially convenient if you love hosting gatherings and parties throughout the summer.

Outdoor ice makers are also able to make ice in different forms. Whether you want it flaked or crushed, your outdoor ice maker will get it done – and in the safest and most optimal conditions. On top of everything mentioned, outdoor ice makers also come with a bin so you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to store your ice.

Guide to Outdoor Ice Makers

“A guide to outdoor ice makers? How complicated can ice be?” Well, if you want that frozen water in your glass to be just right for the occasion, ice can be more complicated than you’d think.

But fear not! Just skim through the information below to get a better idea of how to shop around for your ideal ice maker.

What Shape of Ice Do do You Want?

There are six main ice shapes available from commercial ice makers. Let’s break it down:

  1. Full Cube. This is your traditional ice cube. It’s also the most versatile shape, great for use in drinks or as bagged ice, among other applications.
  2. Half Cube. This is like the traditional full cube, but half the size. It’s most commonly used in settings where people get their ice from a dispenser, such as in fast-food restaurants. Due to its smaller size, it tends to melt into the drink more quickly than the full cube does.
  3. Nugget. You know when you go to Sonic and order a soft drink just so you can chew the ice afterwards? Yep! Sonic uses the easy-to-chew nugget ice shape, which is ideal for chilling more flavorful beverages like soda or drink mixes. Its softer consistency allows it to absorb the flavor of whatever it’s chilling!
  4. Flakes. Generally speaking, the flake ice shape is used for more industrial purposes, such as food preservation during shipping. It can also be used to make snow cones or other desserts of similar consistency.
  5. Crescent. The crescent ice shape is used similarly to how the half cubes are, typically in beverages served at fast-food restaurants or other industry sectors.
  6. Gourmet. This is the fancy stuff you find in your glass at top-notch restaurants and hotels. Gourmet ice, shaped a lot like a thimble, is considered the best of the best. It cools drinks quickly, is soft enough to chew, and has a delightful appearance in any glass.

What Drain Type Will You Need?

Six different ice shapes were a lot to go through, we know! Luckily, there are only two major drainage options for your ice maker: gravity drains and drain pumps.

  • Gravity Drains. With a gravity drain, your ice maker is able to drain excess water via a slight slope in the drainage system. This option is less popular, as your ice maker and drainage setup need to meet certain specifications to make it work.
  • Drain Pumps. The more popular option, a drain pump will drain excess water by pumping it through the drainage system after enough has been collected. Because there are fewer specifications that need to be met, many people find this option more convenient than the gravity drain.

Top 3 Best Outdoor Ice Makers 

We’ve taken the liberty of rounding up some of the ice maker machine and breaking down the details to help you choose one that will work for you.

1. Blaze 50 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Ice Maker With Gravity Drain

Blaze 50 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Ice Maker With Gravity Drain

The Blaze Outdoor Rated Ice Maker can produce up to fifty pounds of cube-shaped ice and store up to 25 pounds of it. It’s made of durable stainless-steel material and also features a reversible door. It has an energy star rating for ultimate efficiency and also has both an in-line water filter as well as a percolating cold plate for the production of fresh and clean ice.

Inside the ice maker, there’s a blue LED light that illuminates the contents, and the ice maker also comes with a self-cleaning mode that can be operated with the touch of a button. A special digital temperature control is also intentionally concealed behind the door for additional protection. The bottom of the ice maker also has four levelling legs for a perfect fit.

2. Marvel 25 Lb. 15-Inch Reversible Hinge Outdoor Rated Crescent Ice Machine

Marvel 25 Lb. 15-Inch Reversible Hinge Outdoor Rated Crescent Ice Machine

The Marvel Reversible Hinge Outdoor Ice Maker can produce up to 25 pounds of crescent ice per day and store up to 25 pounds of it as well. This particular ice maker doesn’t consume as much water as its other counterparts and also has a thermal insulated cabinet to lower energy cost while enhancing cooling performance.

It comes with a removable ice bin and an on/off ice production switch so you can easily suspend ice production whenever you want. There’s also no need for a drain for this particular product as the ice is kept at sub-freezing temperatures which means there’s no melting.  


3. Summit 10 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Ice Maker

Summit 10 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Ice Maker

This Summit Outdoor Ice Maker is completely made with high-grade stainless steel making it incredibly weatherproof. It can also both produce and store up to ten pounds of ice that’s crescent-shaped. The ice is stored in an insulated bin that will help in maintaining the ice shape longer.

It also has a sealed back that will protect its electrical components and comes with a cabinet that’s completely decked out in stainless steel. This is a great ice maker if you’re looking for something with truly innovative design along with superior construction.


Other Cool Best Ice Maker Machines

Scotsman Brilliance 80 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Nugget Ice Machine With Drain Pump

Scotsman Brilliance 80 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Nugget Ice Machine With Drain Pump

This particular ice maker can produce up to 80 nuggets of ice per day and has a storage capacity of 26 pounds. It’s made of sturdy stainless-steel material and has both a door panel and a cabinet that’s convenient for outdoor use. It’s perfect for entertaining guests with and produces crystal clear and taste-free gourmet ice that’s great for helping to keep beverages cool on a warm day.

On top of that, this particular outdoor ice maker can also produce up to 80 pounds of ice that’s sonic styled in 24 hours. It also uses less energy and less water in comparison to conventional stand-alone ice machines. This particular outdoor ice maker also comes with a user-friendly control panel that will let you know whether or not the power is on if there’s no water, and when it’s time to clean for ultimate convenience. There’s also both a lighted storage bin along with a drain pump system for ice melt water removal.

Fire Magic 63 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Ice Maker With Gravity Drain

Fire Magic 63 Lb. 15-Inch Outdoor Rated Ice Maker With Gravity Drain

The Fire Magic outdoor ice maker can produce up to 63 pounds of ice and can store up to twenty-seven pounds of ice. It comes with constant flow technology and will continually produce ice as you’re using it so you never have to worry about running out. It comes with a finely constructed ice scoop that you can easily use to serve drinks and is fully wrapped in durable stainless steel.

The outdoor ice maker also comes with a reversible door that includes a towel bar handle along with leveling legs that will help in adjusting the height to a precise fit. To maintain your outdoor ice maker, all you’ll have to do is push the clean button.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put any ice maker outside?

No. While you may be able to get any ice maker to function outdoors, not all of them possess the quality needed to withstand the elements. The more expensive the ice maker, the more likely it is to be built for outdoor use. If you plan on using your ice maker outdoors, look for models that have a stainless-steel build and long warranties; also ensure that it has been certified by UL (Underwriters Laboratories). 

Which ice machine makes Sonic ice?

There are several ice makers that make Sonic ice, also known as ‘nugget’ ice. However, there are three brand names that consistently rank the highest in terms of price and quality for their nugget ice makers:

  • Scotsman
  • Opal
  • Manitowoc

Do any portable ice makers keep ice frozen?

Yes! If keeping your ice frozen is important to you, there are several options on the market. In particular, the Luma Comfort ice maker is conveniently sized and quickly produces slow-melting ice—and of course, keeps it good and frozen so you never have to worry about your ice melting when you need it most.

The Bottom Line

There you have it, some of the best outdoor ice makers that we’ve found. There are plenty of options to choose from in terms of features and what you feel would suit your needs best. There are plenty of positives in investing in an outdoor ice maker from convenience to quality and more. After all, there’s nothing like having a refreshing ice-cold drink in hand during the peak summer heat.