Ice machines play a critical role in the success of countless foodservice operations. Here's a brief introduction to these pieces of foodservice equipment.
There are three main types of ice forms: full-size, meaning actual full, square cubes as well as various other shapes that vary by manufacturer; flake ice; and nugget ice, which generically refers to ice that is smaller than full-sized cubes. The basic types of ice machines are modular, undercounter and countertop.
Undercounter or self-contained units have the ice machine and bin attached into one compact machine. Modular units allow operators to purchase and attach an independent bin to the ice maker.
There are ice machines that form other cube types including dice, half dice, gourmet, octagon and crushed.
Most machines and bins are made up of stainless, aluminized steel and plastic, while copper is often used for the evaporators.
Stand-alone countertop ice dispensers for foodservice facilities are generally hand-filled. In high-volume operations, floor-model dispensers can be paired with ice machines.
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