Last updated: August 9, 2021

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In particularly hot temperatures, refreshing drinks with crushed ice can cool you down. But what is the easiest and most effective way to make crushed ice? With a crushed ice maker. This makes the desired amount of crushed ice in a short time and you can have an iced summer drink with as little effort as possible. In our big crushed ice maker test 2021, we introduce you to the different types of products and give you criteria with which you can compare and evaluate them. The frequently asked question of how best to clean these appliances can be found at the end of the article. Our test will help you choose the perfect crushed ice maker for your home.




Summary

  • Crushed ice makers make a large amount of ice in a short time. You can then use this crushed ice especially well for cocktails or cool summer drinks.
  • A distinction is made between the following types of function: mechanical or electrical, with or without cooling, with or without a fixed water connection. Each of these types has advantages and disadvantages.
  • Crushed ice makers can be used by anyone. There are models suitable for both private use and the catering trade.

The best Crushed Ice Maker: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a crushed ice maker

What is a crushed ice maker?

A crushed ice maker is an electronic device that makes crushed ice for you. There are different ways of working, but the result is crushed ice that you can use for cool drinks, especially in summer.

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A crushed ice maker makes crushed ice in a short time. You can use it to mix your own delicious cocktails, the kind you usually only drink in your favourite bar.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Kim Daniels)

But crushed ice is also mainly used in cocktails. So if you like to host a cocktail evening at home, a crushed ice maker is just what you need.

How do crushed ice makers work?

There are different ways crushed ice makers work.

Crushed ice makers can be mechanical or electric, with or without cooling and with or without a fixed water connection.

In one version, you put ice cubes already present into the container. The crushed ice maker then crushes the ice until crushed ice is formed. For the other model variant, you only need to put water into the maker. It also has a cooling system, which makes ice first and then crushed ice.

Who is a crushed ice maker suitable for?

A crushed ice maker is suitable for everyone. Above all, the crushed ice allows you to have ice-cold drinks in the summer.
A crushed ice maker is the best choice for a summer garden party.

If you love drinking cocktails and want to make them at home for you and your friends, a crushed ice maker is the perfect purchase for you. The cocktails will taste like your favourite bar and impress your friends. If you are not looking for a crushed ice maker for your private use, but for your business, there are also some professional devices. These stand out for their ability to make large quantities of crushed ice in a short time. So if you are looking for a crushed ice maker, a crushed ice maker is the right choice.

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When you buy a crushed ice maker, you can also buy stylish cocktail glasses.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Wesual Click)

What alternatives are there to crushed ice makers?

The following table lists possible alternatives to crushed ice makers:
Alternative Description
Ice cube maker The only difference between a crushed ice maker and an ice machine is the shape of the ice cubes. In some cases, you can also set the desired shape and size for both models.
Ice cube mould and ice crusher If you only need a small amount of ice cubes, you can also use a standard ice cube mould that comes with most refrigerators. You can then crush the ice into crushed ice using an ice crusher.
Crushed ice from a retailer if you don't need crushed ice that often, you can also buy it directly from a retailer.
Stand mixer If you already have a stand mixer, you may be able to use it to make crushed ice. But first make sure that your appliance is designed for this purpose and read the manufacturer's information.

Decision: What types of crushed ice makers are there and which one is right for me?

There are a few different types of crushed ice makers. In total, three different categories can be distinguished:

  • Crushed ice maker
  • Crushed ice maker for household quantities
  • Crushed ice makers for catering use

Each of these types has different features and therefore advantages and disadvantages. In the following section you will find an overview of these aspects. This will help you find a model that suits your needs.

What are the features of an ice crusher and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Using an ice crusher to process the ice into crushed ice is very quick. The device itself is usually characterised by its compact design. You can place it anywhere in your kitchen or in other rooms. If you already have ice cubes at home, you can put them directly into the device and have them crushed. The ice crusher does not require any preparation time.

Advantages
  • Quick preparation of crushed ice
  • Compact design
  • Ready for use immediately
Disadvantages
  • Only small capacity
  • High noise level
  • Ready-made ice is required

Most of these ice crushers have a capacity of less than 1 litre. This means that you need several crushing passes for larger quantities. Another negative aspect is the high noise level during production. For fast production, ice is absolutely necessary in the household. Without this, you cannot use the ice crusher directly.

What distinguishes a crushed ice maker for household quantities and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In a crushed ice maker for household use, larger quantities of ice are possible than in an ice crusher. The crushed ice is made from the water in the integrated water tank. With this model, the ice is made directly in the appliance. This means you don't need to have the right amount of ice at home, but can start making your crushed ice straight away. The only thing you need is water. Some products offer the possibility to determine the shape of the ice cubes. This means you can get regular ice cubes or crushed ice from a single machine.

Advantages
  • Larger quantities possible
  • No ice storage necessary
  • Ice cube shape selectable
Disadvantages
  • Partial lead time required
  • No fixed water connection - filling up the water tank
  • Frequent cleaning required

Negative points of a crushed ice maker for home use are that it requires partial lead time for cooling. This time varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Most models for household use do not have a fixed water connection. This means that you always have to make sure that the water tank is full. Cleaning is particularly important. If you neglect this, your ice cream may become contaminated. Therefore, change the water regularly and empty the collection container.

What are the features of a crushed ice maker for the catering industry and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A major advantage of crushed ice makers for the catering trade is the fixed water connection. This eliminates the need to fill up the water tank. Overall, all gastronomy models have a very high capacity. You can therefore produce several thousand ice cubes a day. The programming allows you to determine not only the start time but also the shape of the ice cubes.

Advantages
  • Fixed water connection
  • Large capacity
  • Programming possible
Disadvantages
  • Large, wide design
  • High price
  • Regular use necessary

A negative point of these models is the large and wide design. The crushed ice makers for catering use are more reminiscent of cabinets than kitchen appliances. To justify the high price, it is necessary to use the crushed ice maker regularly. This is also additionally important, as otherwise contamination can occur inside.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate crushed ice makers

In this section, you will learn about different aspects that you can use to compare different crushed ice makers. These are the following criteria:

In the following paragraphs we will explain what is important for each of the criteria.

Cooling method

To make ice, it is necessary for the appliance to have a cooling system. However, there are different types of cooling: air cooling and water cooling. Air cooling, as the name suggests, cools the appliance with air. This type of cooling is associated with a higher volume. Water cooling is not as loud as air cooling. It cools particularly effectively at high outside temperatures.

Capacity

The capacity of the product types presented varies greatly. The smallest units have a capacity of 0.5 litres.

Note: The more capacity your crushed ice maker has, the more electricity and water it consumes.

Refrigerated ice makers start at around 10 kg ice cube capacity and go up to 20 kg. The capacity of catering equipment can reach up to 85 kg.

Ice cube mould

Depending on what you want to use your ice for, the shape is important. Before buying a machine, you should check what shapes the machine can make. You can usually choose between several different ice cube sizes and crushed ice. In the catering industry, it is especially important to be able to offer different ice cube sizes.

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Depending on the drink you want to serve, you will need a certain type of ice cube. A whisky on the rocks needs classic ice cubes like the one in the picture. A caipirinha is made with crushed ice.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Colin Behrens)

Size

The size of the crushed ice maker also varies greatly. Crushed ice makers are particularly small and can be placed in different places in the kitchen. When not in use, the appliance can also be stored in a cupboard. With the other machines, you need more space in each case. For crushed ice makers with refrigeration, a fixed location in the kitchen is important, but not essential. These models can be stored in the cellar when not in use.

If you buy a professional appliance, you need a fixed location with a fixed water connection.

The professional appliances, which are mainly used in the catering industry, are visually and in size reminiscent of a cupboard. Accordingly, they will need a lot of space. A frequent change of location is not possible due to the fixed water connection.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of crushed ice makers

How do I clean my crushed ice maker?

Cleaning your crushed ice maker is essential. Even if you only fill it with water, there are still dangers of hazardous impurities.

When it comes to cleaning, a distinction is made between crushed ice makers with and without a water connection.

First of all, it is important to dry the appliance completely and clean the water tank. If your machine does not have a fixed water connection, you can clean the individual parts quite easily. The water tank and drip tray should be rinsed and the rest wiped with a damp cloth. With a fixed water connection, you must pay particular attention to the pipes. Such products are usually cleaned by professionals at regular intervals. It is best to read the manufacturer's information again or contact the manufacturer.

What is the best cocktail recipe for a Caipirinha?

With a crushed ice maker, you can make your own ice for a Caipi, for example. There are many different recipes and variations for Caipirinhas. We have picked out a simple recipe and some tips for caipis.

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