GE Portable Countertop Nugget Pellet Ice Maker Review

The days of filling ice cube trays with water and waiting for them to freeze are long gone, thanks to built-in ice machines that come in many fridges and freezers.

Not everyone, however, has access to a state-of-the-art freezer.

Even if you have one at home if you travel a lot in an RV without an ice maker then you may be wondering how to keep your drinks cool without actually freezing ice in a freezer.

For these situations, all you’ll need is a portable ice machine. Even if you have ice-making capacities built into your freezer at home, this is still being a popular kitchen appliance in many homes.

Because they take up so little counter space, these appliances are a terrific addition to any modern kitchen.

Simply fill the reservoir with water regularly and wait for the container to fill with ice. 

Many ice makers take an entire day to fill the container, but they can start generating ice in as little as 15 minutes.

Some machines make cylindrical ice that’s similar to what you’d get from a hotel ice machine.

Others offer little, bullet-shaped ice similar to that found at fast-food joints or restaurants.

When shopping for an ice maker, make sure that you pay attention to the ice that they create to make sure that you are getting the right one for you.

Today we will be reviewing the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank.

We will be going through the build, the special features, how long it takes to make ice, and anything else you need to know about this ice maker. 

At the end of the review, we have also added a buyers guide, so you can see what to look out for when buying a portable ice maker.  

GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker With Side Tank

GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank | Portable Ice Machine with Bluetooth Connectivity for Smart Home Kitchen | Stainless Steel Finish | Up to 24 lbs. of Ice Per Day

Making Ice

How well an ice maker makes ice, and the type of ice it makes is going to be the most important feature you will look at when buying one of these products.

This machine works by compressing ice flakes from a cold cylinder into little nuggets that are softer and easier to chew than traditional ice cubes, similar to those found at a drive-in or fast food restaurant.

The Opal 2.0 comes with a clear pull-out bin that can hold up to three pounds of ice and can make one pound of ice every hour.

The internal reservoir holds enough water to fill the ice bin without having to replace it.

This model features a new side tank reservoir that can provide water for up to three times the quantity of ice or around nine pounds.

When filled with water, the machine can begin making ice in just 15 minutes, and after three hours the whole bin should be filled with nice, crunchy ice.

While making ice, you may be worried that the machine will make a lot of noise, but this is not something you will have to worry about with this model.

While it does emit a low humming noise when making ice, it’s almost unnoticeable and won’t disturb you if you are in the kitchen at the same time.

The Design

Designed to sit on any countertop, the Opal 2.0 weighs just 38 pounds when empty, and measures 16.5 x 13.4 x 17.5 inches (height, width, depth).

It features a sleek-looking stainless steel cabinet, with the interior and plastic trim being gay, though you can make the cabinet a black stainless steel finish if you are willing to spend a bit more money.

Unlike the original Opal, which used a round lit button and various colored lights to show what state the machine was in, the Opal 2.0 uses text-based status indications near the top of the device’s face, making it much easier to understand what’s going on.

On the left, there are indications for making ice, adding water, defrosting, and cleaning.

An illuminated Wi-Fi indicator turns on when the ice maker is connected to your network.

To the right are the Clean, Light, and Power buttons. The Power button turns the ice machine on and off, the Clean button starts cleaning mode, and the Light button turns the interior bin light on and off, while also letting you choose a high or low illumination setting.

Like we mentioned earlier, this model comes with an added side tank reservoir, that allows you to get three times the amount of ice than you normally would with older models, or if you only fill up the main tank of this machine.

There are two tubes at the back of the machine for draining the system during cleaning.

One of the two tubes will be connected to the side tank after the side tank is fitted.

The Opal 2.0 also includes a built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio, letting you control it from anywhere with your phone (the original model was Bluetooth only).

The box includes a transparent scoop, an owner’s manual, a quick start guide, and a drip tray.

The App

It seems like everything these days comes with an app, and the Opal 2.0 is no different, making it a great addition to any smart kitchen.

The Opal 2.0, as well as other GE smart home products like the GE Energy Star 115-Volt Electronic Room Air Conditioner AHC08LY, are controlled using the Smart HQ smartphone app (for Android and iOS).

The app will alert you when the machine is making ice, when it’s time to add water, and when the bin is full, as well as dimming or turning off the inside light and scheduling ice production.

However, you will not receive any push notifications informing you when it is time to add water or clean.

Setting Up The Machine For The First Time

The Opal 2.0 is straightforward to set up, but it does require a specific cleaning process that includes scrubbing the bin, as well as the internal reservoir and side tank, with warm soapy water.

Rinse the inside components as well.

To make a solution for cleaning the internal reservoir, mix five cups of water with one teaspoon of household bleach and pour it in.

Then switch on the ice maker and press the Clean button for three seconds to start water circulation. The Clean LED light should then come on.

After a few minutes, the circulation should stop. You will know it is done when the LED goes dark. 

After removing the plugs from the drain tubes, empty the water into a bucket or directly into the sink. T

hen redo this process but instead use five cups of clean fresh water. Rinse with fresh water three times and the machine should be all ready for use.

Takeaway

Overall, the Opal 2.0 is a great ice maker addition to any home. Though it is pricy, the many features it includes make it worth every penny.

The Wi-Fi connectivity is one of the biggest selling points of this machine, as it lets you create ice-making schedules, see when the bin is full, and when more water needs to be added to the machine.

This is an ice maker for people who value convenience but also want to add a bit of style to their kitchen.

Pros

  • Excellent Smart Features – this is a great addition to any smart kitchen and will be even better for those who already have GE appliances as they all use the same app
  • Crisp ice – you’ll have crisp, crunchy ice every time, making it perfect for all your drinks

Cons

  • A bit slow – as it takes around three hours to comply fill with ice, you may think this is a bit slow, but it is still a lot faster than making ice in a freezer 

GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank Buyers Guide

Here are the most important features you should look out for when buying an ice maker.

ice cubes

Water Capacity

The smaller the reservoir, the less ice it will be able to make in one go and you will have to fill it up more often

Noise

Some ice makers can be very loud, which can be annoying, especially if you spend a lot of time in your kitchen.

Look out for ice makers that say that they have a quieter operation to avoid this.

Ice Size And Type

Different ice makers will make different sizes and types of ice, so pay attention to what they do so you are choosing the right one for your needs.

Some ice makers can produce multiple types of ice in various sizes, so this might be the best for you if you will be using the ice for different things.

Time

While most machines begin to produce ice within 10-15 minutes of being switched on, always check to see how long it will take to start producing ice, and how long it will take to completely fill up.

Many machines need a few hours to completely fill, so if you are using the machine at a party or large gathering, you will need to turn it on a few hours before the event starts.