Portable Ice Maker: All You Need To Know

Portable Ice Maker

Ice on a sunny afternoon or during a long ride is a necessity for several reasons. But it is obvious that you can’t carry ice with you in a jar or box as it requires it to be in a freezing condition. Otherwise, it would melt and wet all things around. But going out without ice is not an option either. Then what is the way out? 

The best way to get the benefits of ice even when you are away from a refrigerator or even the city or require a large supply of ice continuously is to carry a portable ice maker. This magic kit is just what you need on a sunny day drive, at a big house party, or maybe during a family picnic. Just carry it with you and keep enjoying the constant supply of ice. 

But to get the most out of it, you need to know A to Z about a portable ice maker. Only then you can get the full benefits. So read my article to get all information about portable ice makers:

5 Factors To Consider While Choosing A Portable Ice Maker:

If you are not used to using a portable ice maker, you may not be able to handpick the right one from the market. A variety of ice makers are available in the market and choosing one can be challenging if you are new at this. 

To help you out a bit, let me tell you some factors that you need to consider while choosing a portable ice maker:

1. Ice Production Rate:

Ice production rate varies from device to device, brand to brand. Though the variation may not be too prominent, still it has some differences. 

The portable ice makers produce around 20lbs to 35 lbs of ice per day. So, you have to know how much ice the machine can produce per day. Decide how much ice supply you need and then select the ice maker that matches your demand. 

Remember that the ice production rate also decides the size of the ice reservoir. The more the ice production rate, the larger the size of the ice reservoir. 

2. Size Of The Ice Reservoir: 

As mentioned earlier, the ice production rate also decides the size of the ice reservoir. When more ice is produced, more space is required to store the ice. 

If you want maximum ice production and want a small reservoir, that won’t happen. Remember that the ice production rate and the size of the reservoir go parallelly. And if the production rate doesn’t matter to you, look into the size of the reservoir before buying the appliance. 

3. Type And Size Of Ice Produced:

To get the maximum benefits and fun of ice making, buy a portable ice maker that produces all types of ice shapes. Ice is made in various shapes in the maker like a cube, crescent, gourmet, half cube, and so on. The consistency of these ice is the same no matter what the shape is. 

You can even choose the size of the ice too. If you want small half cube ice or large crescent ice, you need to select the option and you can get the size and shape of ice you want. This benefit is not found in normal freezers. So, you must find an ice maker producing different sizes and shapes of ice. 

4. Water Recycling Feature:

If you want the portable ice maker to work for a long time, you should opt for the one that has the feature of recycling water. Otherwise, you would end up wasting a lot of water which is definitely not a good thing to do. 

Most ice makers nowadays have the feature that recycles the ice that has melted in the ice reservoir as you haven’t collected it on time. As the ice reservoir doesn’t have any heat insulation, the ice in it would start melting if you don’t empty it. 

With the water recycling feature, the melted ice would move to the water reservoir again and the device would use this water to produce ice. This prevents wastage of water and makes the process automatic. 

5. Additional Features:

When you are deciding to get a portable ice maker, you should choose the best one. And for this reason, you must look for some additional features in the ice maker. 

Some devices allow you to set a timer when the ice production would start and stop. This helps you to get the ice at the exact time you need it. This automatic timer function saves electricity as well as gets customized results. 

If the look and style of the portable ice maker matter to you, you can choose to check a lot of options and select a color and design that you like. It can actually add decorative value to your kitchen if selected properly. 

4 Different Types Of Portable Ice Makers:

There are different types of ice makers. Besides the standard refrigerator, other ice makers produce ice. You must know about these options to make an informed decision. 

Here are the 4 different types of portable ice makers:

1. Standard Portable Ice Maker:

The portable ice maker has a compact size that requires an electric supply to function and can be carried and used anywhere you want. To keep an extra and constant supply of ice, it is a useful appliance both for everyday use and special days. 

2. Commercial Ice Maker:

If you require a large amount of ice and huge storage for commercial uses, you should get a commercial ice maker. You may have seen these ice maker machines in KFC or Pizza Hut from where they pour cold drinks on glasses.  

3. Outdoor Ice Maker:

Outdoor ice machines have better insulation systems than other ice makers. This makes the ice in the storage for a longer time, and the ice won’t melt easily unless the temperature is moderately high. 

4. Built-in Ice Machine:

Built-in ice makers are generally kept in the kitchen and expected to produce and store a huge amount of ice. It is mainly used in houses and offices where ice is required daily. 

Now you choose which one is the best one to serve your purpose. The choice is yours!

3 Steps Of Obtaining Ice From A Portable Ice:

You have understood that a portable ice maker gives ice incessantly without needing any constant water supply. Also, you can carry it anywhere where there is an electrical plug point. Now, you must know how you can work with it to produce ice from the machine. 

The procedure of ice making with a portable ice maker is pretty simple. Here are the 3 simple steps to produce ice with a portable ice maker. 

Step 1: Plug-In The Portable Ice Maker:

The very first task is to connect the portable ice maker with an electricity supply. Wherever there is an electricity supply around you, plug in the device there. 

Try to plug in the device in the kitchen if you are at home as this would give you more convenience while collecting the ice from the device. 

Step 2: Pour Fresh Water:

After you have plugged in the device, you need to find the section where water has to be poured. You will find a water reservoir in the device. The section is generally located on the front side of the device. 

Pour fresh and filtered drinking water into the water reservoir section. Remember to pour the water that you drink. Fresh drinking water would produce ice quickly and give fresh ice too. 

After pouring the water, close the lid of the device and let it work. 

Step 3: Collect The Ice From The Ice Reservoir:

Now the time required to produce ice depends on the quality of the water, the device’s power, and many other factors. But on average, it would take 7 to 15 minutes to produce ice. 

After a certain time, you can see ice stored on the ice reservoir of the section. Collect the ice from the reservoir and store it in the freezer if you don’t need them at that moment. Try turning off the device if you don’t need any more ice supply. If you need more, you can keep it on and give more water to the water reservoir. 

This is the process in which you can obtain ice from the portable ice maker. But, are you interested in knowing how it produces ice? Let me tell you. 

The device has metal prongs or cooling trays inside it that immediately start freezing the water in the water reservoir. During the process, it produces ice of different shapes that are stored in the ice reservoir. 

If you don’t collect the ice from the ice reservoir, it will start melting there. But to prevent water wastage, the device automatically recycles the melted ice and uses it to make new ice if the device is on. 

3 Tips On Using A Portable Ice Maker:

Though using a portable ice maker is pretty simple, you need to follow some rules to keep the machine in a good condition. To maintain it well and use it conveniently for years, you should follow some tips. 

3 tips that can improve your experience with a portable ice maker are given below:

1. Keep The Machine Clean:

This is the ground rule of using a portable ice maker. As the machine comes in contact with water, the minerals in it can often settle inside the water and ice reservoir. Also, you can see watermarks and stains inside the reservoir. Also, dirt and particles may settle inside and outside the machine. 

To increase the life of the machine, wipe the ice and water reservoir after using it. If you can’t do it regularly, wipe it at least after using it 2 to 3 times. Dry it well before storing it away. Wipe the outside of the machine too. 

2. Use Clean Water To Make Ice:

Remember that there is no filtration method inside a portable ice maker. The ice you get is made of the water you have poured into the water reservoir. This is why you should always pour clean and filtered water into the reservoir for producing ice out of it. 

Filling the chamber with fresh water also improves the production rate and you would get crystal clear ice from it. Also, freshwater keeps the chambers clean and you don’t need to do much to maintain or clean them. 

3. Use It In A Cool Area:

Remember that portable ice makers don’t have good insulation systems. They can’t prevent ice from melting once it is in the ice reservoir. This is why you should keep it in a cool area. 

In fact, conduct the entire process of ice making in a cool area. This would keep the ice in form for a longer time in the ice reservoir. It also uses less electricity if kept in a cool place.

Related Questions:

Where Do You Put A Portable Ice Maker?

A portable ice maker is a modern electrical appliance that is compact in size and needs an electricity supply to function. 

The main function of the ice maker is to supply ice continuously till the plug is on without needing any constant water supply. The procedure of producing ice is similar to the process in an in-built ice maker in the refrigerator. Just pour water in the designated place and the tray would keep providing you with fresh ice as long as you want. 

You can place a portable ice maker anywhere you want where it has an electricity supply. Plugin the machine, pour the water, and it would start supplying ice within minutes. Portable ice makers can be plugged off when not required and stored somewhere else. This is the convenience that comes with the portable model.

Do Portable Ice Makers Keep Ice Frozen?

Before you buy a portable ice maker, understand what purpose it serves. A portable ice maker is excellent for making ice of different shapes and sizes quickly with 7 to 15 minutes. But does it keep it frozen? No. 

After the ice is produced in the machine, it is stored in the ice reservoir. From there, you need to collect ice and either uses it or store it in a freezer. But if you keep it in the ice reservoir only, it would start melting eventually. Ice doesn’t stay in the form for a long time. As it melts, the water either gets wasted or the machine recycles it to make new ice. 

As there is no insulation system in the ice maker, it can’t keep ice frozen. If you place it in a cool place, it can only keep frozen for a few minutes. But eventually, it will melt. 

Can You Use Tap Water In A Portable Ice Maker? 

If the tap water in the area is clean and doesn’t contain excessive iron or mineral, you can use tap water to make ice in a portable ice maker. But if the tap water is not what you drink normally, it is not recommended using tap water in the ice maker. 

You can either use fresh and clean tap water or filtered water to produce ice in a portable ice maker. You can use bottled water too. But using distilled water in the ice maker is not recommended as it may not function. You can try adding some pinches of salt to distilled water to make the machine function. 

Can You Keep A Portable Ice Maker On All The Time? 

Yes, you can keep a portable ice maker on all the time. But the real concern is whether it is wise and good to keep it on all the time or not. 

Portable ice makers are designed to give you a constant supply of ice when necessary. You put water in the reservoir and the machine would keep supplying ice in the ice reservoir. You collect it and pour water again if you need it. If you don’t collect the ice, it would melt eventually and get wasted or move back to the water reservoir and keep making ice again. But when you don’t require any more supply of ice, should you keep the ice maker on? 

It is advisable to turn off the ice maker when you don’t need ice. It is wise to turn it off after usage. But why? Here are the reasons: 

  • It consumes a lot of electricity when you keep the machine on when you don’t require ice. This is a wastage of energy. 
  • Keeping the ice maker on when it is not making ice reduces the longevity and durability of the machine. It overpressures the machine and it keeps working when there is no more water to be transformed into ice. 
  • You should clean the machine after every use. Now if you keep it on for hours and days, you would miss out on cleaning and storing it in a cool place. 

Therefore, it is not a good idea to keep the machine on when it is not producing ice anymore. 

How Do You Sanitize A Portable Ice Maker? 

As I have talked about cleaning the portable ice maker several times, I must also mention how you can sanitize the interior of the machine. 

Sanitization would make the ice safer and clean. Also, the stains can be cleaned using the sanitization method. So, it is good if you know this technique to keep the portable ice maker clean and fresh

For sanitization, make a mixture of half cup bleach and a gallon of clean water. Now, take a soft microfiber cloth and spray the solution on it. Wet it well with the solution and then wipe off the interior of the water reservoir and ice reservoir and the other parts of the ice maker.

After that, use a soft and dry cloth to wipe the solution from the interior and then dry it well. And you are done!


You now have a detailed idea about portable ice makers, their uses, and tips on how to use them effectively. You have also learned about the conveniences of using it. Now, it is your decision whether you want it or not. 

If you think it is a good addition to your lifestyle, then get excited to get a new portable ice maker!

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Shifat Hossen

Hey guys, This is Shifat Hossen. I'm a professional chef. I have been cooking for the last 10 years. I have a restaurant business as well. If you love cooking, be with me.

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