Ice maker – how to choose ice maker

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Ice maker

There are many things to consider when buying an ice maker, calculating your needs and thinking about what type of ice makers you need.

Ice machines are an important link in the chain of business for a restaurant or a large kitchen. Ice machines can also be one of the biggest expenses in your budget, so choosing a unit that works for your particular needs and your situation is extremely important. Before the summer months, you are most likely to need to invest in a new ice machine. This guide is to help you choose which ice cream machine is right for you.

Size of ice maker as needed

Choosing the size of your ice cream maker is the most important decision you need to make. In addition to space restrictions in your restaurant business, you must buy an ice maker with the right capacity and binge so that you can keep up with demand during the high season, without over-producing ice.

How much ice cream do I need?

The average number of guests per day, together with the daily use of the kitchen, gives you a picture of how much ice you need over a 24-hour period. Ensuring that the company always has ice at its disposal requires careful consideration of storage space and production capacity.

A binge that is too large results in large amounts of melted ice, which costs money. But a too small binge means that you will run out of ice during rush hour / peak season, which costs customers. The key is to find a good balance between ice production and storage.

The most important thing to remember is that it is cheaper to store ice than to make it. In other words, a larger binge that leaves ice after the peak of demand is reached is more efficient than an ice machine that needs to produce ice all day long to catch up.

When deciding which ice cream machine to buy, take into account your future growth as well. A good ice machine, if properly maintained, will last for at least 10 years, during which time your restaurant will also hopefully grow. It is usually a good idea to put in about 10-20 percent of your usage at the highest demand, to calculate your future growth. In addition, some ice machines come with stackable binge which allows you to add more storage space as your need for ice cream increases, which in turn gives more flexibility.

What kind of ice cream will your ice maker produce?

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Different ice machines make different forms of ice cream, the type of ice cream you should choose is the one that is most suitable for the different needs of your restaurant, or your convenience store.

Ice cubes:

  • Full dice or half dice
  • They are dense, which means they melt slowly and cool drinks quickly
  • Recommended for cocktails and drinks, ice dispenser and retail

Isflakes:

  • Needs less energy in production
  • Is easier to shape and shape for salad bars, to display meat or poultry, seafood
  • Reduces the suffocation risk, making it ideal for care and childcare
  • Recommended for hospitals and cafes, for nurseries and preschools, salad bars, product displays and for cooling drinks

Klumpis:

  • Is softer than ice cubes but denser than ice flakes
  • Recommended for hospitals and cafes, for nurseries and preschools, salad bars, product displays and for cooling drinks
  • Chewable and popular for drinks
  • Can also be used in product displays or salad bars

Air cooled or water cooled ice maker?

There are two methods of cooling water to ice, either through water cooling or via air cooling. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

An air-cooled ice maker is:

  • affordable and easier to install
  • usually cheaper in operation
  • have to work harder in warm environments
  • is loud
  • required in areas with water conservation regulations

Water-cooled ice maker:

  • Is more expensive and more difficult to install
  • Works effectively in warm environments
  • quiet
  • Depending on where you live, the cost may depend on water usage

Separate condensers

Larger air-cooled ice machines that produce more than 225 kg of ice a day can be equipped with a condenser in a secluded location. A separate condenser is located at a distance from the binge or dispenser, usually on a roof.

A separate condenser is:

  • air cooled
  • more efficient and quieter than air-cooled indoor models
  • requires professional installation

Maintenance

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In most cases, an ice machine is equipped with anti-microbial cladding in the areas where ice is created and stored. This coating prevents the growth of bacteria, mold and algae. Still, it is very important to regularly clean your ice machine. Thoroughly clean the bins and production parts at least once a month with detergents for ice machines.

Also clean the condensation fan (on air-cooled models) regularly, as well as the air filter, if your ice maker has one. On both air-cooled and water-cooled ice machines, regularly clean the water connections to prevent the build-up of minerals or bacteria.

Should you use a water filter?

Installing a water filter in an ice maker has become standard in recent decades. Some manufacturers encourage customers to add some form of water filtration and extend the warranty by up to two years if the correct water filter is installed in the ice makers.

Filtered water:

improves performance and extends the life of an ice machine due to reduced mineral storage gives better taste on the ice to your customers.

Buying the right size ice machine is the most important decision to make. Take the time to carefully calculate your need for ice, both current and future needs. Once you have purchased your ice machine, the unit will perform well for many years to come if you maintain it as above and have a water filter.

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