FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189 Portable Countertop Ice Maker Review

There are few things better on a warm day than a nice cold drink. Ice can make any beverage just that little bit more refreshing but making it can be a chore.

Normally you have to fill an ice tray, carry it to the freezer and carefully balance it in one hand while you open the door and probably spill a little bit on the floor while you do so.

Then you have to wait three to four hours for your ice cubes to be done, which means if you haven’t prepared them the night before then your drink will be staying warm.

Ice makers solve all of these problems and make a great addition to any kitchen.

They can often make several pieces of ice in just a matter of minutes allowing you to enjoy a chilled drink whenever you want.

The machine can be left running and will continuously produce ice in the background while you do other things, which is great for summer parties.

This review will cover the FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189 ice maker which is available to buy on Amazon among other retailers.

With its shiny silver body and compact design, this unit will look great on your kitchen counter.

If you are looking for a breakdown of how these ice makers work as well as which specific features this model offers you have come to the right place. 

FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189 Ice Maker

FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker, 26 lb per Day, Silver (Packaging May Vary)

Like most ice makers, the EFIC189 has a reservoir that you fill with water which is channeled to a second compartment at the back of the machine.

In this section, a compressor is used to cool 9 metal prongs below 32°F so that the water around them will freeze.

The frozen water sticks to the metal and once it gets large enough a weight sensor will cause the prongs to be lifted out of the water to the top of the device.

Here the elements are slightly heated up so that the ice will slide off them into a mechanical scoop that tips them into the bucket.

Despite using a compressor, there are no harmful CFCs or chemical refrigerants like freon used in the FRIGIDAIRE’s icemaker.

It is also exceptionally quiet so you won’t have to worry about an annoying hum while you are working in the kitchen.

In fact, you may even forget it’s running at all until you open the lid to find a basket full of fresh ice.

What Kind Of Ice Does It Make And How Much?

Because of the way it works with the ice freezing around metal prongs which it then slides off, this machine will produce hollowed-out ice bullets rather than cubes.

The holes in these pieces will create a greater surface area and therefore will cool down your drink much faster. 

Also since the water is frozen so rapidly, the ice you get will be similar to that sold in fast-food restaurants and cinemas in that it will often be softer and chewier. 

There is a transparent lid so you can see your ice slide off the prongs and fall into the bucket.

Not only is this immensely satisfying to watch but it also helps with monitoring the machine’s performance and knowing when the bucket is full.

The FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189 can produce 9 small or large ice bullets in 7-15 minutes, which is significantly faster than it would take to make a whole tray in the freezer.

By itself this is more than enough for you to make a nice, chilled drink, but should you need more ice the machine can be left going.

The basket has a capacity of 1.2 kgs but if you keep emptying it the machine can produce up to 26lbs of ice in 24hrs.

Other Useful Features

This ice maker has the option to make small or large pieces both of which have their uses depending on the type of drink you want to make.

The ice bucket is removable so you can put it in the freezer, which you will need to do as any ice left in the machine will eventually melt if left alone.

The holes in the basket allow the melted ice to be recycled by the machine for making future batches. A handy scoop is also provided for shoveling out your ice pieces when they are done.

Cleaning Your Ice Maker

After a few uses, you may notice that your ice starts to take on a bad taste. This can happen for a number of reasons but the answer is often the same, your machine needs to be cleaned.

Cleaning the EFIC189 is simple and the hardest part will probably be getting all the old water out of the machine.

The drain plug for removing all water from the machine is on the very bottom of the appliance which makes it hard to reach.

Once you have drained it, you can clean your device by running the automatic cleaning function with a mild solution of purified water and bleach.

After you have done this run the cleaning cycle at least four more times with only purified water to remove any traces of the cleaning agents before you make your next batch of ice.

Overview

The EFIC189 by FRIGIDAIRE is a compact, sleek, and very efficient unit that will fit perfectly anywhere on your kitchen counter.

Given how many ice pieces it can make in just a few minutes, it is safe to say that you will never need to buy another bag of ice again.

So if you don’t like using ice cube trays, but still want to enjoy refreshing chilled beverages, give this ice maker a try and experience the joys of instant ice whenever you want.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Produces 9 pieces of ice in 7-15 minutes.
  • Removable ice basket that can hold 1.2kgs.
  • The basket has holes so melted ice can be recycled for future batches.
  • The transparent glass lid allows you to watch the machine in action and monitor its performance.
  • The automatic cleaning function makes this device easier to maintain.
  • Hollowed ice bullets can be made in two sizes and offer a greater surface area for cooling your drink.

Cons

  • The drain plug is difficult to access
  • This is not a refrigeration unit so the ice will melt again if left unattended. 

FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189 Ice Maker Buying Guide

If you want to enjoy a cold drink without nipping to the shops to buy a bag of ice, or waiting hours for an ice cube tray, then you need an ice maker.

However, choosing the right one isn’t always easy. Here are some useful tips and things to look out for while you are shopping for a new ice maker.

How Much Ice Do You Need?

The FRIGIDAIRE EFIC189 is great for people who live alone and with families. You can either run the machine for one cycle to prepare a single drink for yourself or let it fill up the basket to make enough ice for everyone in your household.

If you want to produce slightly more ice for a party, then you will need to either empty the basket very regularly or buy a bigger ice maker.

Some heavy-duty models have bigger baskets and can create even more pieces at a time so that everybody can enjoy a chilled drink at your next barbeque or summer party.

How Big Is The Water Tank?

All ice makers work by filling up a large reservoir with water from your tap or purified water for more transparent ice.

The bigger the tank, the longer your ice maker can run without needing a refill.

The problem with this is that if you don’t need a lot of ice all the time, then the pool of water in your machine may sit for longer.

Stagnant water may affect the components of your ice maker, or simply make your ice taste bad when it is done.

Again think about how much ice you plan to make before you purchase a heavy-duty machine with a huge tank.

What Functions Does It Have?

Many ice makers will have the option to produce small or large pieces but some of them have other functions as well.

One of the most useful features to look out for is a dedicated clean cycle. Without one cleaning out your ice maker can be very difficult, to say the least.

Another great function is a sensor at the top of the main compartment for telling the machine when the basket is full.

If you plan to leave your ice machine running for a long time, this feature is great to have as it will automatically stop the ice maker before the basket starts overflowing.

How Noisy Is It?

Ideally, you don’t want your machine to make an irritating hum the entire time it is running.

Many ice makers will say they are quiet, but it is a good idea to check reviews from other customers to make sure this is actually the case.