8 Best Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers

8 Best Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers

Although there might be a general perception that ice makers are a luxury item rather than an essential addition to the home, some might feel the opposite way. Only true cocktail lovers or chilled wine friends will recognize this, but sonic ice could be the difference between an enjoyable evening with guests or a frantic one on your own.

Comparatively to standard ice cubes, Sonic Ice consists of smaller and softer chunks of frozen water. In addition to chewable ice, it can also be known as ‘nugget ice’, ‘pellet ice’, or crunchy ice. It has made a huge difference and people have attested to this fact. This guide will provide you with information on sonic ice and how it is created.

Again, you’ll have to take a taste to understand the difference. If you want to do that, you should get yourself a nugget ice machine. Crunchy pellet ice makers are available in a range of styles to meet domestic and commercial needs. You could personally serve ice to your family and friends at your home bar or provide ice for your business outlets.

You may be interested in an ice machine that creates sonic ice for whatever reason, and we think we can help narrow down your options. There are a lot of small nugget ice maker models on the market to choose from. This guide was compiled after thorough research, so we can assure you that it will be helpful! We’ve compiled a list of the top nugget ice makers and sonic ice machines based on a variety of brands, models, and budgets. I will now get you a chewable cup of ice.

List Below Best Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers

1. Frigidaire Stainless Steel Counter Top Ice Maker

Frigidaire Stainless Steel Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: Frigidaire
  • Model: EFIC103-AMZ-SC
  • Color: Stainless
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 18.51 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14 x 12 x 15 inches
  • View at Walmart

The compact refrigerator makes a countertop ice machine. Lightweight and compact, you can take it to the hotel with you to avoid long hallway walks at night. With only 19 pounds in weight, you won’t have trouble lugging it along with your suitcase.

2.3 quarts of water and an outlet are all you need to make your favorite ice right before your eyes. Then plug the machine in, fill up the removable water reservoir, and in just six minutes you’ll have a fresh batch of ice.

You can make ice in two different sizes in quantities up to 26 pounds per day. Using LED indicators, you can tell when your machine is full, when water needs to be added, and which size cubes you have chosen. It takes about 1.5 lbs to fill the small storage bin, so you shouldn’t run out within a day unless you are extremely thirsty.

As with most portable ice machines, they come with plastic liners which will absorb taste if left sitting too long. A little TLC will often keep your machine running well for many years to come. However, you won’t need to worry about rearranging the icebox too often. Just occasionally clean it with a natural cleaner and run a test batch of ice through it.

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2. FirstBuild Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

FirstBuild Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: FirstBuild
  • Model: ‎‎Opal01
  • Color: Stainless Steel Wrap with Black Accents
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2 inches

We’ll give you soft, crunchy ice like the ice you’re used to at restaurants within 20 minutes. During the day, the Opal produces 24 pounds of ice, while the storage bin holds 3 pounds at a time. You’ll wow your guests with the elegant design of the Opal before they even try the tasty ice it makes.

The perfect size for any counter in your home. Our Opals are covered by a Limited 1-Year Parts and Labor Warranty when purchased directly from FirstBuild or an authorized reseller. The FirstBuild App lets you set up your ice making schedule from your phone using the Bluetooth capabilities of the Opal.

Overfilling is prevented because it detects when the bin is full of ice. You don’t need to hook up a water supply, just plug it into any 120v grounded electrical outlet and fill up the reservoir. Water will return to the reservoir as it melts, and there, it will be converted back into ice.

3. NewAir Portable Ice Maker

NewAir Portable Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: NewAir
  • Model: ‎AI-215SS
  • Color: Stainless
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 37.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14 x 16.88 x 16.75 inches

An ice maker like this is suitable for a large family or a housewarming party. The 50lb per day capacity means you don’t have to carry an ice bag out to the store every day. As quickly as seven minutes, you can have solid nugget ice that is perfect for your needs. As thick ice remains longer in your glass, it will not water down your whiskey.

The maker is easy to use as well; just fill the reservoir and plug it in. There are indicator lights that let you know when to replenish your ice or when it’s time to use it. With self-cleaning, you don’t have to worry about cleaning. Now you can throw away the hard stuff and relax with a cool drink. Though bulkier ice might keep your drinks cooler for longer, it does not make for good chewing ice.

After finishing your drink, you chew the leftovers to decide whether you’d like to go back for another round. Only the weight of this ice maker is a downside. Since the heavier model cannot be transported, it’s likely to remain on the counter once you find a home for it.

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4. Frigidaire Counter-top Portable Compact Ice Maker

Frigidaire Compact Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: Frigidaire
  • Model: ‎EFIC108-BLUE
  • Color: Blue
  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 18.21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.44 x 9.6 x 14.88 inches

Most of the previous nugget ice machines weighed in at over 30 lbs, so it is hard to believe that one weighs under 20 lbs. However, the Frigidaire EFIC108 is very light at only 19 pounds, making it ideal for use in the home, when camping, and in RVs. The plastic exterior is finished in shiny silver or red finish, which is very attractive.

Nevertheless, versatility and ambiance are only a few of its unique characteristics. An ice machine from Frigidaire has a production capacity of 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours. Two sizes of ice can be produced by it as well; small and large. It also produces 9 standard cubes in 6 minutes and 1.1 pounds of ice per hour.

Have I also mentioned how thick the nuggets are? It prevents the ice from melting too quickly since this model is not refrigerated. Unlike some comparable appliances, this appliance’s ice bin only holds 1.2 pounds of ice. Whenever the machine gets full, you are notified before it shuts down to avoid overflow.

The top of the unit has a control panel that’s easy to use and a transparent window that shows the progress. The Frigidaire EFIC108 is an excellent countertop appliance that is very affordable, built to standards, and highly functional.

5. Magic Chef Portable Silver Countertop Ice Maker

Magic Chef Countertop Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: Magic Chef
  • Model: ‎MCIM22SV
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.4 x 11.7 x 15.7 inches
  • View at Homedepot

Pellet ice makers are perfect for those who want to enjoy their margarita (or any cocktail), favorite juice, or wine, but do not have the time to make it. Nugget ice is usually made in only one size by many ice makers, but Magic Chef makes several. There are very few appliances on the market that produce two sizes of icy nuggets (small and large cubes). They’re very fast!

In no more than 7 minutes, it can generate nine bullet-sized cubes, weighing 27 pounds in a day. It is certainly not ice that will ruin your weekend chilling experience! With this kitchen gadget, you can enjoy soft, icy nuggets with your beverage (after all, it wouldn’t be called nugget ice if it wasn’t soft, right?). Melted ice is also recycled into the water reservoir by draining the water into it.

The ice maker is one of the best ones for ease of use. The controls are straightforward and easy to use. Additionally, a removable basket allows you to collect the sonic ice pellets and store them in the freezer. Soft nugget ice pellets are a fan favorite, and if you want to never run out of ice, you have to try them! You will be glad you purchased the Magic Chef 27-lb Portable Countertop Nugget, Ice Maker.

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6. Scotsman Undercounter Ice Maker

Scotsman Undercounter Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: Scotsman
  • Model: CU50GA-1
  • Color: Silver
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Weight: 100 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.88 x 22 x 34.38 inches

A pellet ice maker undercounter is what you need if you plan on having an uninterrupted supply of crystal-clear ice on demand during the initial phases of designing your kitchen. A prime example of exactly what you can accomplish with an under-counter nugget ice maker is the Scotsman CU50GA-1. This unit is made of an exotic stainless steel finish on the outside and has a host of features you won’t find on any cheaper nugget ice machine. In addition, it is designed for outdoor use so it does not need to be under the counter.

Ice nuggets that are unique in their own way are produced by the CU50GA-1. Compared to typical sonic-style ice nuggets, gourmet ice cubes are larger and denser. Moreover, gourmet cube ice has a softer texture. The slow dissolving properties of gourmet ice cubes allow them to dilute drinks at a slower rate. Wine and cocktail enthusiasts may notice a subtle difference in the taste of their drinks depending on the speed at which the ice melts and dilutes. 

In addition to being a versatile option when it comes to installation, the undercounter pellet ice maker is also superior when it comes to ice production. Accordingly, the CU50GA-1 is capable of producing 65 pounds of ice per day (which converts into 2.7 pounds per hour) and can store 26 pounds of ice at a time in its bin. Due to these standards, it is a suitable option for restaurants, cafeterias, drinks stores, offices, or even outdoor bars.

Its price point is justified by the fact that the undercounter ice maker machine has a built-in water quality sensor that can only accept water hardness that exceeds predetermined standards. Maintenance of this standard is what distinguishes it from cheaper models that simply convert the fed water into ice. In addition to ensuring crystal clear ice cubes every time, this feature prevents equipment from scaling due to mineral-laden hard water.

7. Ice-O-Matic Pearl Self-Contained Ice Machine

Ice-O-Matic Pearl Self-Contained Ice Machine

Features

  • Brand: Ice-O-Matic
  • Model: ‎GEMU090
  • Color: Silver
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 133 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.62 x 14.87 x 33.37 inches
  • View at Iceomatic

It produces 85 lbs of ice per day, but it only has a storage capacity of 22 lbs before it must be refilled. Featuring 33 inches of ice-making capacity, it would be a great addition to any office or bar setting. The installation differs just enough from an under-counter installation that it qualifies.

It’s not refrigerated and the inside is insulated, so you may have to clean up melted messes more often. In other words, you cannot use more ice than the bin can hold at a time. Overflows are prevented by the machine’s stop-start design, which stops making ice when the supply is full.

Ice nuggets are cylindrical in shape, while pearl ice resembles small, round pearls. I suppose in this case they shouldn’t be called ice cubes. Sonic’s favorite, Pearl Ice, resembles the original game. They’re perfect for munching on.

A little assistance may be required during installation, but only to connect the drain and water. If you’ve done that, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh ice nuggets whenever you like. Designed by Ice-O-Matic, this ice maker features an open front door for accessing all of your controls, indicators, and ice container.

Therefore, while you may have to scoop your own ice, you are consuming the purest ice. Pure Ice protection is an antimicrobial system that prevents all types of bacteria and fungi from growing in your ice maker.

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8. Newair Nugget Countertop Ice Maker

Newair Nugget Countertop Ice Maker

Features

  • Brand: NewAir
  • Model: ‎NIM044BS00
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Weight: 34.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 17 inches
  • View at Newair

The new pellet ice machine from Newair has many impressive features. This nugget ice maker is right at the top of the line for countertop nugget ice makers, thanks to its 44-pound daily ice capacity. You’ll never run out of ice because it holds 3.3 pounds at a time and operates quickly.

Additionally, it simply looks good. While ice makers aren’t usually designed for aesthetics, this one features a sleek black-and-gray exterior, along with a purple LED light. An appliance that will sit on your kitchen counter 24 hours a day is nice to have some personality.

No counter space will be taken up by it. NIM044BS00 is a fairly narrow aircraft, measuring less than 10 inches in width. Some downsides should be considered. Several customers complained that it makes a lot of noise; however, it is unclear whether it is louder than your average nugget ice maker.

The second reason is that it’s new. Only a few months have passed since the introduction of this ice maker (as of March 2022) and there aren’t as many customer reviews as some of the other ice makers on this list. Because of this, it’s more difficult to tell how durable it is since nugget ice makers are notoriously finicky.

You can buy a warranty for up to 3 years from Newair if you are concerned about this. At a glance, this model looks like a massive step up over Newair’s previous countertop model. 

Buying Guide: Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers

It’s obvious if you’ve read this far, that you’re considering buying an ice maker. However, we understand that you may still have a few questions and concerns. Before you buy, let us help guide you.

We considered the following factors when choosing these Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers:

Type Of Ice

How do you feel about nuggets versus sonic ice? Nuggets are usually bulkier, so they melt more slowly and are still crunchy after they melt. In the first stage, sonic ice is like munching ice, except that it is finer, so it is best for smoothies and the best snow cones.

Setup

Is it common for you to move your couch every once or twice a month to avoid commitments? For this reason, a freestanding or countertop unit would be ideal. Therefore, you need not commit to a certain location. Even if you don’t like change, installing a unit can help you improve your ice game.

A big advantage of installing larger units is that they have a larger production capacity. Consequently, you will likely need some assistance during installation. If you are not familiar with the installation of water lines and drains on these units, it can be a complicated process.

Ease Of Use

There are several best sonic ice machines and nugget ice makers that have some type of indicator that will tell you what it needs. Additionally, they feature touch-sensitive buttons for easy operation. Because these are ice-making machines and not rocket science, they’re very easy to operate. In case you only know how to turn the power on and off, it’s easy to figure out the rest.

Portability

Is it enough that you have a mobile home or like to camp often to justify buying a portable ice maker? There are several portable ice makers available today that are lightweight and easy to take anywhere. Almost all of them require only an outlet and freshwater to operate.

Price

Nugget ice makers and sonic ice machines are already considered luxuries that not everyone can afford. It is very likely that you want to ensure you don’t spend on any old machine if you’ve made it this far.

If you want to invest in a machine that will produce quality ice for longer periods of time, choose a machine that will do so. It is probably necessary to purchase an ice machine with a larger capacity and higher cost if you plan to use it frequently. If it would be just as luxurious to own as it would be to use, you can buy a less expensive machine.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Sonic Ice Maker?

Sonic ice makers are compact appliances that produce soft, chewable ice. The many names of Sonic ice include pearl ice, nugget ice, cubelet ice, and pellet ice. Sonic ice makers, therefore, produce chewable ice. Sonic ice cannot be made with a regular home ice maker. Ice makers are needed to create the type of ice that many people enjoy crunching on.
Especially in the summer, sonic ice is a great option for many drinks. Thus, you should spend some time looking for an ice maker that will produce ice that is genuinely chewable and soft.

How do you make Nugget Ice cubes?

With an at-home Sonic Ice Maker, you can make nugget ice cubes quickly and easily. Sonic is known for its soft, chewy ice, and these machines produce it.

Is Nugget Ice the same as Sonic Ice?

There is indeed no difference between nugget ice and Sonic ice. The only difference between the two is that Sonic is a trademark, and the ice for the drinks is produced according to their specifications.
Even if you don’t live near Sonic, you can still enjoy high-quality Sonic ice at home with one of our great nugget ice machines that we’ve reviewed in more depth above. The ice will be crunchy and chewy just as you’re used to, and won’t be as hard as bullet ice.

What is the difference between Nugget and Flake Ice?

The difference between nuggets and flake ice is pronounced. Flake ice, bullet ice, crushed ice, and cube ice typically have a lower liquid content than nugget ice. Ice that is soft and easy to chew is more desirable than other types of ice.

Does Nugget Ice melt faster?

There is no doubt that nugget ice melts faster than traditional ice like bullet ice. Due to its smaller size, it will melt much faster than bullet ice or cube ice because it is less dense. Since it melts quickly and dilutes your drink faster, you may not want to use it with alcohol.

How much Ice do you need?

There are some people who have a small bar in their man caves and only need ice to get through poker night. Some people regularly throw house parties and want to ensure their guests are satisfied. The smallest details count when it comes to competing to be the hostess with the mostess. Choosing the right Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers that meet your needs, no matter if it’s 26 lbs or 85 lbs, is important.

Is a Sonic Ice Maker worth it?

Ordinary home ice is as hard as a rock, a major problem for many households. This challenge can be overcome by incorporating a sonic ice maker for the home, which provides ice with the same cooling effect as ordinary ice. It is, therefore, worthwhile to purchase a sonic ice maker. With it, you will be able to chew ice without having to worry about breaking your teeth.


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Emma Gold
By Emma Gold

Hi, I'm Emma Gold and I am the Blog Editor at KitchenExpert.net. My blog is all about kitchen accessories and utensils that you need to make your cooking life easier! If you're looking for a new knife or spatula, or want to upgrade your pots and pans; then come visit me at my blog to see what's hot in the kitchen world today!

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