A flake ice machine is a type of ice-maker that produces small chips or flakes of hardened ice. This type of ice is often used in food service settings to add texture and visual appeal to dishes or cocktails. It’s also ideal for seafood bars, as it molds to the contours of shellfish and raw fish presentations, creating an eye-catching presentation in front of customers. In addition, flake ice is effective for drinks and buffet displays because it doesn’t melt as quickly as cubes or nuggets, and it packs down well to provide even cooling.
Flake ice is produced by spraying water onto a cooled surface and allowing it to freeze, usually in the form of thin sheets or wafers. It’s typically made with fresh, clean water to ensure high quality ice, but it can be produced using saltwater as well. Most commercial flake ice machines are air-cooled and vent heat into the surrounding environment, but water-cooled units are available that are more energy efficient. These are more costly to purchase and operate, but they offer superior performance.
When choosing a flake ice machine, it’s important to consider the size of your operation and how much ice you need each day. The smallest units produce only about 182 pounds per day, while larger models can produce up to 772 pounds of ice daily. It’s also necessary to look at the ice storage capacity. Some models come with a separate bin while others include the container and maker in one unit.
There are several different types of flake ice machines, including countertop, undercounter, freestanding, and portable units. Countertop and undercounter models are the most common and are easy to use, as they can be plugged in directly to your sink or a standard household ice maker. However, they are limited in size and production capacity, so they may not be suitable for large operations.
If you’re looking for a more substantial model, choose a self-contained unit that has both the flake ice maker and the ice bin in one unit. These types of machines have a larger volume of storage and typically have higher outputs than head-only models. They’re typically the best choice for restaurants, hotels, and healthcare facilities.
Depending on your needs, you can also choose between air-cooled and remote-cooled flake ice makers. Air-cooled machines vent excess heat into the environment, while water-cooled units have a condenser located away from the ice maker. This reduces the noise and vibration of the ice maker, which can make it more suitable for quiet environments.
Homeowners can also benefit from the versatility of a flake ice machine, as it’s easy to tuck under cabinets or in tight spaces. It’s also the perfect accessory for parties and BBQs, as it can be pulled out when more ice is needed. If you’re interested in buying a flake ice machine, check out our reviews to see which models are the best for your specific needs.