Commercial Ice Machine Buying Guide

Employee scooping ice from ice cube making machine

Commercial Ice Machines

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An ice-making machine helps you prepare deliciously cold drinks on demand, ensuring fast bar service that keeps up during busy seasons. The type of ice maker you choose depends on how much ice you need, the space available, and how you plan to use the machine. Keep reading for our full buyer’s guide to commercial ice-makers and how to choose the best one for your business.

What to Consider When Buying a Commercial Ice-Making Machine

Types of Ice Required

Not all ice is made equal, and commercial machines often make different ice shapes for specific uses. Cubed ice is the most popular shape as it melts slowly and lasts longer in drinks. Many machines also make half-cubes. Nugget ice is softer than ice cubes, making it blender-friendly and easy to chew. Flake ice is best for food displays, and you can form it into various shapes to suit your presentation preferences.

Power and Water Supply

You will need a reliable cold-water supply to run an ice-making machine in a commercial kitchen. Placing the machine near a floor drain ensures easy drainage of melt and purge water. If you don’t have a floor drain, you may need a drain pump. Make sure you also check the power requirements and dimensions of the machine before deciding on its position in your kitchen or restaurant.

Volume of Ice Required

Deciding how much ice you need is essential to choosing the right ice maker. Consider your typical ice usage daily and compare that to the ice yield listed in the machine’s specifications. Commercial ice machines can make anything from 150lb/60kg to 800lb/300kg of ice per day. Some ice machines include built-in storage bins.

Types of Commercial Ice Machines

Modular Ice Machines

Modular ice makers can produce large volumes of ice and come in many sizes suited for different uses. You will need an ice cube storage bin below the ice maker to collect the ice. We stock a range of Atosa, Ice-O-Matic, and Hoshizaki modular small, half-cube, and large ice cube maker machines.

Undercounter Ice Machines

These ice-making machines are also called self-contained ice makers. They include an ice collection bin for an integrated ice-making and storage unit. Undercounter ice makers usually fit under a 900mm counter and are ideal for small bars, cafes, and restaurants with up to 300lb/150kg ice production.

Ice dispensers

Countertop ice machines release individual cubes and are ideal for self-service restaurants and retail environments. Hotel ice dispensers include an ice-making machine and storage bin, giving your guests a steady ice supply on demand.

The FED is a leading supplier of Atosa, Ice-O-Matic, Follet, and Hoshizaki ice makers and bins in Canada. We make shopping for kitchen equipment quick and convenient with our online store and streamline delivery. Browse our wide range of commercial kitchen equipment or get in touch with our friendly team for more about our premium products.


  1. What types of ice machines are available?
    • Commercial ice machines come in various styles, each serving specific purposes:
      • Cube Ice Machines: Produce classic ice cubes suitable for most beverage applications.
      • Gourmet Ice Machines: Create crystal clear, slow melting ice liked by high end businesses.
      • Crescent Ice Machines: Craft crescent shaped ice, ideal for filling glasses and chilling drinks.
      • Self-Contained Ice Machines: Combine the ice maker and storage bin in a single unit.
      • Undercounter Ice Machines: Fit neatly beneath counters or bars.
      • Combination Ice and Water Dispensers: Convenient for self service areas.
      • Built-In Ice Storage Bins: Store ice for easy access.
      • Air-Cooled Undercounter Half Dice Ice Machines: Efficient and compact.
      • Meridian Countertop Ice and Water Dispensers: Perfect for offices or cafeterias.
  2. What factors affect ice machine performance?
    • Size and Production Capacity: Choose based on your businesses demand.
    • Cooling Method: Air-cooled, water cooled, or remote cooled options.
    • Energy Efficiency: Look for Energy Star rated models.
    • Water Filtration: Essential for maintaining ice quality.
    • Storage Capacity: Consider how much ice you need on hand.
    • Space Efficiency: Some machines fit underneath counters or in tight spaces.
    • Condenser Type: Air-cooled or water-cooled.
  3. Which brands are reliable?
    • Brands like Atosa, Ice-O-Matic, Manitowoc, and Follett offer high-quality commercial ice machines.
  4. How do I choose the right ice type?
    • Consider your menu and drink service needs:
      • Cube Ice: Versatile and widely used.
      • Gourmet Ice: Ideal for upscale cocktails.
      • Crescent Ice: Fits well in glassware.
      • Half Dice Ice: Efficient for cooling beverages.
  5. What about installation and maintenance?
    • Ensure proper installation by professionals.
    • Regular cleaning and filter replacement are crucial.
    • Keep ice scoops and buckets sanitized.
  6. Where can I find a variety of commercial ice machines?
    • Explore reputable suppliers like The Foodservice Equipment Depot (The FED). They offer a wide selection of ice machines across Canada.

Remember, choosing the right commercial ice machine ensures your customers enjoy refreshing drinks while maintaining hygiene and efficiency in your establishment!

Purchase All Your Commercial Kitchen Equipment From The FED (Foodservice Equipment Depot)

Explore our diverse selection of high-quality commercial kitchen equipment for all your culinary needs. Enjoy a seamless online ordering experience, ensuring fast and frictionless access to professional-grade food service equipment. Shop at our Restaurant Supply Online Store.