Whether for your restaurant business or any location that serves cold drinks, a commercial ice machine is a must-have in the kitchen. When buying such a machine, you may be surprised at the many options you have, even right down to the shape of the ice itself. These details may not seem important to you, but they will make a difference in the function of the machine and may even save you money when it comes to the beverages you sell. Before you purchase a commercial ice machine, note the following.
1. Choosing the ice shape and size
The shape of the ice cubes you choose for your machine may not seem important, but note that larger cubes may mean that you don't need to fill glasses as full with water, tea, and the like, as the cubes are taking up more space. This in turn can save you money on these beverages overall. Ice flakes, on the other hand, are good for when you put ice around a buffet as it needs to fit easily into the area around bins. Chips are also are good for when you blend ice with beverages, such as for smoothies and iced coffees. Smaller cubes may be good for mixing alcoholic beverages as they look better in a glass and customers may be more likely to notice if an alcoholic drink seems "watered down" by larger cubes of ice.
2. Air-cooled versus water-cooled
When choosing a commercial ice maker, you'll need to choose between an air-cooled model or a water-cooled. The air-cooled variety will be affected by the ambient room temperature and its fan will need to work harder to keep ice cool when the room is very warm. For tropical resorts and kitchens that get very warm, or if you are planning on keeping the ice maker anywhere near the grill, such a machine may not be the best choice.
A water-cooled machine must have an additional line installed to bring in cold water that circulates to keep the ice cool, so the installation is a bit more difficult and usually more expensive. This machine will increase the water usage of the kitchen, so if water costs are a factor it may not be the best choice. However, it is not affected by ambient room temperature so it's a good option for those tropical areas or very hot spaces and it does use less electricity than an air-cooled machine, since it is not blowing a fan and condenser constantly. In turn, it may cost less on your utilities to operate a water-cooled ice maker.
For more information, contact a company like Ice Machines Australia.