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Home » Best Premium Nugget Ice Makers for On-Demand Chewable Sonic Ice

Best Premium Nugget Ice Makers for On-Demand Chewable Sonic Ice

Nugget ice sometimes called pellet ice and Sonic ice is a kind of frozen water that has attracted a devoted fanbase. Small tater tot-shaped ice has become so popular that devoted fans are searching for commercial-grade ice machines to put in their own homes so they may indulge in the trend.

In fact, one New Yorker food writer said, “Good ice is pellet ice, and to know it is to require it.” Even Matthew McConaughey spent years looking for the “greatest damn ice in the world,” so that he could have it on demand. The excitement around nugget ice is justified, and with this purchase advice as your foundation, you can have some of this ice in your own house.

Here Are Our List of The Five Premium Nugget Ice Makers

1. Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank

 1. Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank

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The GE Profile Opal 2.0 nugget ice maker provided the greatest combination of output, user friendliness, and portability of all of the models I tried. It can produce around a pound of ice per hour and has a 0.75-gallon “Side Tank” so you won’t have to keep refilling it throughout the day.

When compared to similarly priced models from Newair and Frigidaire, which are mostly made of plastic, this ice maker is more streamlined and sophisticated in appearance. The Opal 2.0 may be purchased in either a classic stainless steel or modern black stainless steel finish. The ice bin stores just over 3 pounds of ice, which is more than enough for a family of four, yet the unit is still compact enough to fit beneath your kitchen shelves.

The GE Profile Opal 2.0 costs roughly $600, but it’s worth it because of the high-quality, clump-free ice it makes thanks to its water filter and UV light. The nugget ice maker may be programmed to produce ice at certain times using its Wi-Fi connection and associated smartphone app.

The ice machine started leaking after a few months of usage, as indicated in around 30 of the 1,000+ reviews I read. Costing $250, repairing an ice maker that is no longer under warranty will result in a reimbursement of $125 if the appliance is beyond repair. A prolonged guarantee or protection plan is something I would suggest getting just to be sure.

When compared to its rivals, the Opal 2.0 is a quieter and more efficient ice maker that requires less upkeep.

Essential Characteristics

  • Uses a UV light and a filter to ensure that the water is safe to drink
  • Don’t have to keep going back for more
  • Ice can’t be made fast enough to be useful for big parties
  • It measures 17.5 x 16.5 x 13.43 inches (D x H x W)
  • Average Weight of Bin Contents: 3.25 Pounds
  • Can produce 14 ounces of ice every hour
  • Guaranteed for 12 months from purchase.

2. Newair Nugget Countertop Ice Maker with Self-Cleaning

 2. Newair Nugget Countertop Ice Maker with Self-Cleaning

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The Newair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is the best ice maker you can purchase for the money, while there are cheaper options. Customers who bought ice makers from companies like Euhomy, Frigidaire, and Qualeben often had to return them because of severe leakage, loud grinding sounds, and other problems.

After using the Newair countertop ice maker for almost a month, I can say that I am pleased with it. The Newair can make ice around 30% quicker than the GE Profile Opal 2.0, and its bin can hold a little more ice. However, I discovered that ice in the Newair melted more quickly than I had anticipated. One advantage of the Newair is that it takes up less room on the counter than other models.

Moreover, the ice maker’s fan is noticeably noisier than that of GE’s Profile Opal series of ice makers. If you’re in the next room, you’ll definitely hear it. The sound of ice falling into the bin is similar to the popping of popcorn. Not very bothersome, but definitely discernible! There was a noticeable difference between the Newair and GE ice in terms of how soft it was. It’s OK for chewing, but unlike the GE Profile Opal series, it can’t compete with commercial ice makers.

Since the Newair is nearly $100 less expensive than the GE, its loudness and worse build quality may be tolerable in the pursuit of more savings.

Essential Characteristics

  • Don’t have to keep going back for more
  • Competitively priced
  • Loud
  • The ice won’t last more than a few hours in the bin since it doesn’t become that cold in there
  • It measures at 15.04 by 16.54 by 9.84 inches (inches) (D x H x W)
  • Storage Receptacle Weight Limit: 3.5 Pounds
  • At a rate of 19.3 ounces per hour, ice production is rather low
  • Guaranteed for 12 months from purchase.

3. Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Ice Dispenser

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With the new GE Profile Opal Ice Dispenser, you can generate ice at a pace of 1.6 pounds per hour, which translates to 38 pounds per day—more than any other countertop model can produce.

It assumes, of course, that you regularly empty its bin, as the device continues producing ice even while you do so. The Opal Ice Dispenser isn’t quite as good as the GE Profile 2.0, however, since its internal ice bin can only contain 1.8 pounds of ice instead of 3.9.

GE claims that the quicker ice production rate makes up for the reduced capacity. In spite of the fact that my research showed that this ice dispenser produced ice at a quicker rate than its rivals (approximately 24 ounces of ice per hour), I often found myself in need of more ice than the bin could provide. That’s why I think this ice maker would be great for a busy office break room, where it would be utilized often and not left to sit idle and fill up with melted ice.

The Opal Ice Dispenser’s water filter and big 1-gallon tank meant that it only needed to be refilled once a day, which was quite convenient. I was astonished that the cap wasn’t positioned atop the tank, considering its massive dimensions and mass. When you’re done filling the tank, you’ll have to do something a little tricky: turn it upside down.

The review unit I used started leaking barely two weeks after I put it up, so I had to keep two washcloths on my countertops around the ice maker at all times, despite the fact that it was very quiet and produced ice more quickly than the competitors. GE ice makers come with a 1-year guarantee, and if you’re worried about leaks, you can purchase a 5-year protection plan on Amazon.

The Opal Ice Dispenser is a great option if you want a modern-looking ice maker that is also very efficient and can produce soft nugget ice in a flash.

Essential Characteristics

  • Has a high rate of ice production
  • A large auxiliary storage tank means less frequent refills
  • The lowest noise levels in the industry
  • Can sometimes continue to spew ice long after you’ve finished pushing the button
  • The bin is small, thus the ice melts rapidly
  • The amount of ice in the bin cannot be determined
  • Product dimensions are 16.9 x 17.8 x 15.9 inches (D x H x W)
  • Bin Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Can produce 24 ounces of Ice Per Hour
  • Guaranteed for 12 months from purchase.

4. U-Line Nugget Ice Makers with Freestanding

 4. U-Line Nugget Ice Makers with Freestanding

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I suggest the U-Line HNB315 15-inch nugget ice maker for anybody who often hosts gatherings, has a big family, or just enjoys having access to a lot of ice every day. The appliance may be used on its own or integrated into existing cabinets. Some models may be purchased with the panels already attached, making them a seamless addition to your existing cabinetry. Another option is made entirely of stainless steel.

The U-Line is advertised as being able to create up to 90 pounds of ice every day, yet I was unable to verify this in my own testing. Extravagantly, the container can hold 30 pounds of ice pellets. What sets the HNB315 unique from other built-in nugget ice producers is its “U-Choose” ice adjustment function, which provides five distinct ice density options. Thus, you may change the ice’s consistency from soft and chewable to thick and compact, depending on your own liking.

Blue and gentle white LEDs illuminate the ice maker in an alternating fashion. It comes with an ice scoop, but there’s nowhere to store it.

The ice maker also has an inside water dispenser and a reversible soft-close lid. To finish off your glass of ice water, obtain some nugget ice and then add some water.

To make your nugget ice and water even cooler, don’t forget to pick up a water filter.

Essential Characteristics

  • Complete with a door that closes gently in either direction when closed
  • Fits either inside or outside of a cabinet
  • Expensive
  • An ice scoop has no permanent home.
  • It measures at 22.93 by 33.68 by 14.93 inches (D x H x W)
  • Storage capacity bins: 30-pounds
  • Average Weight of Ice Melted in One Hour: 3.75 Pounds
  • One-year parts and labor guarantee and a five-year warranty on the sealed system are included in the price (parts).

Buying Guides for The Best Nugget Ice Makers

Where to Start Thinking

If you’re tired of running to Sonic or Chick-fil-A to pick up a 10-pound bag of nugget ice and would rather produce your own ice at home, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a nugget ice maker.


A nugget ice machine, if purchased, may cost more than $10,000. Manitowoc, a commercial-grade machine manufacturer, often sells its equipment to restaurants and bars, hence they are the most costly versions. As luck would have it, many affordable countertop nugget ice producers are available to the average house owner.

Although these versions typically cost between $400 and $700, they are the simplest and least costly way to satisfy your want for tasty chewable ice. However, their production is much lower than that of a portable ice machine.


When shopping for a nugget ice maker, it’s important to consider not only how many people will be using it, but also how quickly it can generate ice (in ounces per hour) and how big the ice bin is (also represented in ounces).