The Best Portable Ice Maker

The Best Portable Ice Maker

Our pick

Magic Chef MCIM22/HNIM27

Magic Chef MCIM22/HNIM27

Just another icemaker

Most portable ice makers (including this Magic Chef) are likely made by a company called Hicon. We’re highlighting this model in particular because it’s usually in stock for a reasonable price at a retailer (Home Depot) that accepts in-person returns.

Buying Options

$138 from Amazon
$160 from Appliances Connection

Advertisement

Our pick

Igloo ICEB26HNBK

Igloo ICEB26HNBK

Almost identical, with a few extras

One of dozens of nearly identical machines, this Igloo distinguishes itself with a carry handle and a dedicated self-cleaning cycle. We’re not sure they’ll be useful that often, but it won’t hurt to have them.

Buying Options

$264 from Amazon

We’re highlighting the Magic Chef MCIM22/HNIM27 in particular because it’s usually in stock for a reasonable price, at a retailer (Home Depot) that accepts in-person returns. (Shipment-based returns may not always be possible with ice makers.)

Just like any of these smallish portable models, the Magic Chef makes nine bullet-shaped ice cubes every eight minutes (though the exact speed depends on a few factors). Within a half-hour, you’ll have enough ice to chill a few drinks. The reservoir holds enough water to make ice continuously for a few hours at a time, so you won’t have to watch it too closely (though the bullets will melt if left in the unrefrigerated storage basket). Although the cloudy bullets aren’t exactly gourmet ice, they’ll get your drinks cold, and that’s good enough for most of us.

There’s evidence that most (if not all) bullet-style portable ice makers sold in the US are manufactured by a single company, Hicon. So pretty much any brand or model of nine-bullet ice maker will work fine, and most of the differences are aesthetic. The Igloo ICEB26HNBK is noteworthy because it’s one of the few variants in this size with a dedicated self-cleaning cycle (though we’re not actually sure how much that matters). Bigger sizes are also available, if you really need a lot of ice.

Also great

Luma Comfort IM200SS

Luma Comfort IM200SS

Clear cubes, great for fizzy drinks

This model produces clear ice cubes, which don’t make carbonated drinks fizz and go flat as quickly as cloudy ice. Each batch it makes is about three times as big as that produced by a small bullet-ice maker (though it also takes about three times as long).

Buying Options

$240 from Amazon
$215 from NewAir

If you drink a lot of sodas or seltzers, or you just want better-looking ice, you could consider a waterfall-style, clear-cube ice maker like the Luma IM200SS or the NewAir Clear Ice 40. Clear ice cubes won’t make carbonated drinks fizz as much as cloudy ice does, so your bubbly beverages will taste better for longer. The main downside is that clear-cube makers are bigger and more expensive than the nine-bullet machines we’ve highlighted.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Magic Chef MCIM22/HNIM27

Magic Chef MCIM22/HNIM27

Just another icemaker

Most portable ice makers (including this Magic Chef) are likely made by a company called Hicon. We’re highlighting this model in particular because it’s usually in stock for a reasonable price at a retailer (Home Depot) that accepts in-person returns.

Buying Options

$138 from Amazon
$160 from Appliances Connection

Our pick

Igloo ICEB26HNBK

Igloo ICEB26HNBK

Almost identical, with a few extras

One of dozens of nearly identical machines, this Igloo distinguishes itself with a carry handle and a dedicated self-cleaning cycle. We’re not sure they’ll be useful that often, but it won’t hurt to have them.

Buying Options

$264 from Amazon

Also great

Luma Comfort IM200SS

Luma Comfort IM200SS

Clear cubes, great for fizzy drinks

This model produces clear ice cubes, which don’t make carbonated drinks fizz and go flat as quickly as cloudy ice. Each batch it makes is about three times as big as that produced by a small bullet-ice maker (though it also takes about three times as long).

Buying Options

$240 from Amazon
$215 from NewAir

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *