Which Type of Ice is Right for Your Restaurant? Nugget, Cube, Bullet, or Pearl?
What's the best Ice Type For Me?
Commercial kitchens and restaurants don’t just need ice. They need ice with a very particular set of skills. Here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind as you look for an ice type for your restaurant.
Look for ice that is designed to fit the needs of the:
- Drinks being served
- People enjoying the ice
- Volume of your restaurant’s business
How do you know what type of ice is suitable for your restaurant? Don’t worry—we’ve got the answers. Ice is kind of our thing.
But before we weigh the pros and cons of different ice types, it’s important to know a few things about ice makers. Chicken and the egg, you get it.
What You Need To Know About Ice Maker Machines
Type of Ice Machine
Portable Countertop Ice Machines
Under-Counter Ice Machines
Commercial Ice Maker Machines
How much ice does your commercial kitchen use every day? That’s something you’ll want to account for early on in your ice machine journey. Once you know how much ice you’ll need to have on hand, add a little cushion (7% is standard) just in case. Better safe than sorry, no?
Once you know your ice requirements, look for commercial ice machines that meet your production and storage capacity. Most ice makers denote the daily production capacity in pounds per cycle in addition to how long each cycle takes. For example, an ice machine could produce 36 lbs of ice per day with a rate of 12 cubes every 6 minutes. When doing your ice machine research, keep an eye on these specs to make sure you’ll have enough ice at the right time. (If math isn’t your strong suit, give us a call, we’re happy to help you calculate this!)
Ice Maker Machine Price
How much do ice makers cost? Commercial ice makers can run over $3000, so you’ll need to budget your commercial kitchen appliances accordingly.
If an ice machine isn’t where you want to invest your money right now, consider renting a commercial ice maker. You can get all the benefits of a high-capacity ice machine without the initial investment. At Memphis Ice, you can rent a commercial ice machine for as little as $4 a month. You can explore our ice machine rental program here.
Ice Maker Machine Price
The Best Ice for Restaurants
Pearl and Nugget Ice
The first thing you should know is that there are a lot of different names for the same type of ice. Nugget ice, pearl ice—it’s the same thing. This is a universal favorite for drinks because of its lovely, chewable texture. This is accomplished through tiny pockets of air trapped in the ice as it freezes, giving it its crunchiness (and mass appeal).
Pearl and nugget ice tend to melt pretty quickly, but many restaurants find that customers prefer it. Pearl ice is also pretty quick to produce, which means you’ll use a lot, but you’ll also have a steady supply.
Cube ice is a classic for a reason. Cube ice tends to be larger, more dense than pearl ice, and slower to melt. There’s lots of room for customization with these machines, too. Most modular cube ice machines offer different cube size options, which you can easily switch between.
Cube ice is an excellent choice for restaurants because of its simplicity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Explore all our cube ice machines by clicking here.
Ah, bullet ice. Also known as gourmet ice, cylinder ice, circle ice, bullet ice is essentially a cylinder of ice with a hollow center. Bullet ice is also a staple in commercial kitchens, and the reason might just surprise you.
Bullet ice has a secret super power: the hole in the center. Even though it doesn’t look like much, the empty center exposes liquids to more surface area than other ice types. The result? Super cool drinks, super fast.
Because of the negative space in the center, bullet ice can be produced and harvested quickly, which is a big win in the fast-paced restaurant environment.
Find The Ice You Need With Memphis Ice
At Memphis Ice, we’re crazy about ice. Not just ice types, but ice machines, ice machine repair, even ice history! We’re on a mission to supply your restaurant, bar, and commercial kitchen with the right ice, and to make sure you’ve always got the ice you need when you need it most.
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