If you are shopping for a commercial ice machine, it is a good idea to know what type of ice the machine makes. Different styles of machines make different shapes and sizes of ice. The type of machine that is used, depends on what kind of facility it is being used in. These are the different types of ice that are made by commercial ice machines and the types of businesses they are commonly used for.
Flaked ice is small, thin finely chopped flakes of ice that are easy to pack together. Commercial ice machines that make flaked ice are often used in supermarkets in the meat department. This ice is best for keeping fresh meats and seafood cold because it does not crush these foods while they are on display. Restaurants often use flaked ice to keep items on salad bars cold.
Flaked ice is also used for consumption in many hospitals and nursing homes. Because this ice is in small flakes, it melts more quickly and is less likely to cause a choking hazard.
Nugget ice is another type of popular commercial ice. Nugget ice is made of small, round pieces of ice that are about the size of marbles. This ice is enjoyed because it keeps drinks cold, but is also fun and easy to crunch after your drink is finished.
Nugget ice is used in both fast food and sit down restaurants. Commercial ice machines that make nugget ice are also commonly used at movie theaters, sporting events, carnivals and other recreational functions.
Cubed ice machines make larger square shaped pieces of ice that are similar to those made in ice trays at home. Some commercial cubed ice machines can make ice cubes in a variety of sizes. These include full size cubes, half size ice cubes and crescent shaped ice cubes.
Since cubed ice is larger and thicker than both flaked and nugget ice, it is ideal for keeping drinks cold for longer periods of time. Cubed ice is used in sit down family restaurants, bars and more expensive gourmet restaurants as well. Some very sophisticated restaurants also have gourmet ice cubes that are round and served in certain alcoholic drinks.
When choosing the ice machine that will best meet your needs (from a local outlet such as Crystal Ice Machine), consider what the ice will be used for. If it will only be used for keeping foods cold, flaked ice is the best option. However, since flaked ice melts quickly when submerged in liquids, nugget or cubed ice is best for keeping drinks cold.