Commercial Ice Machines - What types of ice are available?
Q: What's the difference between a 'half-dice' and a 'dice' ice machine? What about a flaker? Could we use that for a soda fountain?
A: The commercial ice machines that we sell produce a few different types of ice. The most popular ice makers we sell make a half-dice ice cube. A half-dice ice cube is what you will find in most chain restaurants and soda fountains. It's roughly 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/2". It's a great option because it's small size is able to fill up big fountain cups and it doesn't melt too fast.
Pictured to the left are some typical half-dice ice cubes. The nice thing about smaller ice cubes is that they fill up fountain cups or soda glasses better than a larger cube, this means that you will sell more ice than soda, which should be more profitable. Your drinks will get colder faster, but will also become watery faster too.
Which brings us to 'full-dice,' 'dice' or 'square' ice cubes. Pictured right, a typical full-dice ice cube is roughly 3/4" x 3/4" x 3/4". This is a much better ice option for cocktails or even for water glasses with table service. The ice will last longer and it won't water down a drink as fast as a smaller cube. That means your cocktails will taste better and your waitstaff will be able use less ice for table service.
Specialty cocktails and all sorts of artisanal beverages naturally require fancy ice cubes and so larger, more square cubes are also available from ice machines. Here is a picture of the cube made by Hoshizaki's square cube ice machines that are manufactured with high-end beverages in mind:
A large clear square ice cube is a great option for liquor sales and your signature cocktail.
At the other end of the scale is flaked ice. Flaked ice is closer to snow, and usually is too soft to be used with drinks. Flaked ice is ideal for keeping product cold. For example, if you had a raw seafood display in your restaurant, you could fill the display case with flaked ice and then place your seafood on top of that. Below is another picture from our Friends at Hoshizaki. Click the image to browse their line of top quality flaked ice machines:
There is a fourth type of ice that is slightly larger than flaked ice that is known as cubelet, chewblet, or nugget ice. This type of ice is small enough to easily chew but still large enough that it won't immediately melt in a beverage. Cubelet ice is a great option for smoothie bars. If you are interested in a cubelet ice machine, ask your customer service person and they will be able to get you pricing for one.
Another type of ice is Hoshizaki's standard crescent cube pictured right. One of the great things about the crescent cube is that it can be very efficiently produced by the ice maker and instead of being formed in a cube shaped tray like most ice machines, the crescent cube is formed on a flat strip. this means routine cleaning and maintenance for Hoshizaki's crescent cube ice makers are at a minimum.
There are few other specialty ice makers that make larger cubes and some very small ice machines that make a cylinder shaped 'top-hat' cube.
If you don't see the type of ice cube you are looking for let us know and we will do what we can to source a machine for you.
Have a question, or ready for a quote? Call us at 800-244-9729, or email us today!