Portable Ice Makers
Ice Maker Dispenser & Portable Ice Cream Freezer: Reviews & Troubleshooting

Portable ice makers are extremely convenient for carrying from place to place.

portable-ice-makersRequiring only an electrical outlet and manual water refilling, portable freezers are perfect for making ice cubes in minutes while on the go.

Finding the Best Ice Makers or Freezers

There are mainly two types: domestic and commercial ice maker dispensers. In this review we look at residential models.

Determine your budget before starting your search for an ice maker. Once you know what you want to spend you can search through the local and online retailers for ice maker prices and make a list of best sellers. Also look at consumer ratings to get the best deals.

Best Portable Ice Makers & Ice Cream Freezers on the Market

Sunpentown-IM-101The Sunpentown IM-101 is an ice maker that can produce 35 pounds of ice cubes per day. Its dimensions are 17.1 x 15 x 17 inches and weighs 46 pounds, while its reservoir can carry 1.2 gallons of water. The unit can produce about 12 ice cubes in 10 minutes and can make three different cube sizes.

The machine is eco-friendly thanks to a CFC-free compressor that is highly efficient in freezing water quickly. Self-contained, it does not require any installation, runs on an 115V electrical outlet and is ideal for rooms, boats and bars.

However, on the downsides, some users have complained that the unit quit working within 48 hours or lasts less than a year. Some users have also had the label fall off the control panel. It also doesn't have a water line attachment.

The Sunpentown portable ice maker costs about $350.

Play-FreezePlay and Freeze is a portable ice cream freezer and is ideal for picnics, camping trips and barbecues. Available in a range of colors, like pink, orange, red, and more, it makes ice cream super fast. You just have to add ice cream mix through one end and ice and rock salt through the other end. Roll and shake the freezer for 10 minutes and you'll get rich creamy ice cream.

Made from advanced, durable materials, this mini freezer is very light, easy to clean and portable. You can use a mix made of vanilla, cream and sugar, or can try adventurous flavors to whip up your concoction. Weighing only two pounds, the ice cream freezer requires manual labor and can prepare up to a pint of ice cream at a time.

Users find the two-cup capacity is too low for medium to large parties. The opening of the device is too small for large ice cubes and some users have complained that the ice cream created is not thick enough.

As with anything, make sure to buy compact freezers from reputable brands with a minimum one-year warranty.

Getting Rid of the Strong Plastic Taste in a Portable Ice Maker

While ice makers have definite advantages there are some drawbacks, one of which being the common plastic taste in the ice. To remove it just follow these simple steps.

  1. Prepare a solution with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water. You can also add white vinegar instead of lemon juice. Pour the solution inside the reservoir and run a cycle.
  2. Next, turn on the self-cleaning cycle. For units without this feature simply run the first cycle, empty the reservoir, pour fresh solution and turn the cycle again.
  3. After cleaning twice, vacate the reservoir and fill it with warm water and run the cycle again. Repeat this process at least three to four times to get rid of the plastic taste completely from the ice machine.
Troubleshooting Ice Machines


How Built In Ice Makers Work and Various Types

As with anything, freezers can break down. Fortunately, there are some easy repairs that can be done before you need to call an expert.

  • If the portable freezer's low-water indicator glows then pour water in the reservoir or storage tank to refill it until the indicator turns off. If the ice indicator glows prompting that the ice basket is full then remove some ice from the basket. If both indicators blink then it indicates a blockage in the ice shovel. Take out the ice cubes and this will unblock the shovel and cause the indicators to turn off.
  • If the ice cubes being formed are sticking to each other you'll have to turn the ice maker off and allow the cubes to melt. Ice clumps together when the ice making cycle is too long, so by pressing the “Select” option and choosing “Small” it will restart the cycle without the ice sticking together.
  • If the machine forms no ice in spite of being in good condition then move it to a cooler place. Portable ice makers should always be kept in rooms with temperatures below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Updated February 2011