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How Is Ice Made Commercially? How A Dedicated Ice Machine Is Different From Your Home Ice Maker

The process of making ice is a simple one. Grab a container, fill it with some water, and plop it in the freezer. In a few hours, you’ll have ice! 

That’s all fine and good. In some cases, it gets the job done. That’s why we have ice trays! But what if you’re looking for more from your ice at home? What if you could have an unlimited amount of crystal clear gourmet ice whenever you want? 

Enter commercial ice makers. These dedicated ice machines work differently than your home freezer and refrigerator appliance. Same principle, different application. It’s the difference between store-bought white bread and homemade sourdough. They’re both breads, but the quality and value between the two are drastically different. 

So, let’s dive into what makes an ice maker commercial quality, how it’s different from your home ice maker, and whether or not you can have commercial-grade ice in your home for just a few dollars a day (spoilers: you can!).

What are commercial ice makers?

Commercial ice makers come in many forms, but most stand vertically and are designed to produce as much as you need in a short amount of time. Instead of a small tray or container of ice, commercial ice makers produce ice by the pounds. Before you know it, you have thousands of ice cubes to do whatever you want with! Most people choose to use them for drinking or cooking, but hey, you do you.

How is a commercial ice maker different from your home ice maker?

There are three factors that define why a commercial ice maker is different from the smaller ice maker inside your freezer: speed, volume, and quality.


Commercial ice makers are fast. Blisteringly fast. It’s quite frustrating to host a party or get together only to run out of ice before the party even begins. Heck, it’s just as frustrating to reach for an ice tray your family forgot to refill. Both of those issues are wiped away with a commercial ice machine. In the same amount of time it takes your freezer to produce several hundred ice cubes, a dedicated commercial ice machine can produce thousands.


Speed is related directly to volume. The bigger your ice machine, the more ice you’ll have. Since commercial ice machines produce ice at a much greater volume than your home ice dispenser, the quality of your ice increases. That’s because the speed at which ice forms is related to the quality of the ice. Greater volume means more time to produce ice. Since there’s so much to produce, you’ll always have access to crystal clear ice! You’ll never have to wait for the ice to form. It’ll always be ready when you need it.


Ice dispensers in residential refrigerators are popular for a reason: convenience. Almost every fridge on the market offers an ice dispenser, but that doesn’t mean that ice is top-notch. Here’s why:

  • Residential refrigerators keep food and beverages at your desired temperature. But it’s not made to produce ice. Since it’s running at higher temperatures than ice makers, cloudy ice can form instead of the clear ice you expect from commercial machines.
  • When’s the last time you enjoyed your ice cubes at home? There’s something really special about clear ice chips after sipping your favorite soda in your favorite local restaurant. You can bring that feeling home. Right now.

How can I bring commercial quality into my home?

Starting at just $4 a day, you can bring restaurant-quality ice home. This is the most cost-effective, simplest way to enjoy the best ice around. On top of quality ice, you’ll have access to the full suite of services from Memphis Ice: service calls, cleaning, emergency service, and preventive maintenance.

Submit a rental application to our robust rental program! One of our dedicated service professionals will reach out to you quickly. For more information on our rental program, click here!

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