Why Are Nugget Ice Makers So Expensive?

Using ice is a perfectly simple way to keep all manner of drinks cool, whether you’re sitting basking in the sun, or hosting the perfect summer party. Ice can be quite difficult to make.

Making your own ice in your freezer is a massive hassle that requires making lots of space just for a single ice tray!

Ice machines can also be quite expensive, as they tackle this job for you and provide a constant flow of fresh ice.

As well as the potential difficulty involved in making ice. Various methods can lead to very different tasting ice.

Some machines create strong and solid ice that doesn’t feel great in the mouth, and creating ice from the freezer can create incredibly dry and odd-tasting ice.

Amongst ice enthusiasts, perhaps the most acclaimed form of ice available is nugget ice. Nugget ice refers to ice that is divided into smaller chunks, to make it easier to move.

This ice doesn’t melt as quickly as other forms of ice, and even has a better and softer feel in the mouth.

But getting a machine to make this kind of ice can cost a great amount. Why is that?

Prepare to have this burning question answered once and for all, by reading on below!

Why Are Nugget Ice Makers So Expensive?

Nugget ice has a totally different form and consistency than standard ice. Nugget ice is smaller and tends to taste better, while also being easy to chew on.

The process of making this ice, as a result, is totally different from the process used to make standard ice cubes.

Because of the different processes used to make nugget ice, it also stands to reason that nugget ice makers have to be built differently to accommodate that process.

Nugget ice makers are considerably less common than ordinary ice makers, due to their highly specific use case.

The average person who wants to host an occasional summer get-together won’t really need a fancy nugget ice maker, as ordinary ice cubes would easily suffice.

However, restaurants or professional party caterers may prefer to opt for a more expensive nugget ice maker, due to the improved taste and texture of the ice.

This ice also melts far slower, so there is less time spent refilling guests’ glasses with fresh ice.

Nugget ice makers require totally different mechanisms than standard ice makers, and this can be pointed to as a crucial cause of the increased price.

First, constructing these machines requires more time and effort, due to the extra parts that are also highly specialized for the purposes of creating ice, so the price needs to be reflective of the extra labor required.

Second, it’s important to mention that certain parts used in nugget ice makers are specially designed specifically for use within them.

Thus, these parts are less common and cost more to acquire.

These components are used to ensure that small amounts of air end up in each individual nugget of ice, which is what gives the ice its wonderful mouthfeel and helps to prevent them from melting quickly.

It is also worth mentioning that nugget ice makers are made for very different uses compared to ordinary ice makers.

Ice makers that produce ordinary ice cubes cost less because they are made for general personal use, to create a small number of ice cubes to use at a social function.

Nugget ice makers, on the other hand, are built for industrial use, for restaurants, or for those who specialize in making iced drinks.

Because these machines are built for commercial use, they are not built to be user friendly or small.

Standard ice machines for the average consumer are built to be small and not take up excessive space, as they are usually going to be used in personal family kitchens.

Nugget ice makers are much larger machines that are often fully installed within the kitchen, and cannot be stowed away outside of use.

These machines are also built to create massive yields of ice with every use, in order to satisfy high customer demand.

This has a massive impact on the cost, as its increased capacity and ability to create high yields require better parts and better manufacturing.

Can You Buy A Nugget Ice Maker For Domestic Use?

Yes. It is possible to purchase nugget ice makers that are specifically designed for domestic use. These machines make it possible to create nugget ice easily without having to install large industrial machines in the home.

However, much like their larger counterparts, these can still be considerably more expensive to purchase than standard ice makers, due to the specific mechanisms involved within them.

Some domestic ice makers can significantly reduce their costs by implementing a hand cranks system.

Instead of installing an automatic rotating system to create the small chunks of ice, these machines reduce the cost for the consumer, by requiring that they hand crank the machine themselves.

This can be a great solution for one-off gatherings of people, due to the small yield of ice they create.

However, they would not be an adequate replacement for an industrial machine in a commercial context.

Hand-cranked nugget ice makers also don’t create ice to the same quality as a more expensive machine.

As mentioned earlier, professional nugget ice makers seek to fill the ice nuggets with small pockets of air, which give the ice its characteristic texture.

Hand-cranked machines do not do this, and simply function to grind away at existing ice to create smaller chunks.

This might be a negligible difference to some, but for enthusiasts of nugget ice, this is a significant drawback.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chewing Nugget Ice Bad For Your Teeth?

As with a lot of snacks, chewing ice can have detrimental effects on the health of your teeth.

Chewing nugget ice, though easier than chewing on standard ice, still requires some amount of force that your teeth may not be able to withstand.

The intense colds can also cause problems with the enamel of your teeth, which causes them to become chipped or sensitive, which would make chewing on more ice really difficult!

What Is Pebble Ice?

Unlike normal ice, or nugget ice, pebble ice is a more elegant way of creating ice.

Pebble ice tends to be smooth, and beautiful to look at, hence why it is commonly used in high-class establishments, especially to cool down bottles of sparkling wine.

Pebble ice can be quite difficult to produce, which is reflected in the quality of the ice itself.

Thus, this ice also, as a result, tends to be very costly to produce, needing a specialized machine to produce it properly.

What Is The Difference Between Nugget And Flake Ice?

There is actually very little in the way of differences between these two types of ice.

Nugget ice, of course, has a different outward appearance to flake ice, which has a thin shard-like appearance. Flake ice tends to melt far quicker than nugget ice.

You’d notice if you put flake ice on your tongue it would melt in mere seconds, while nugget ice might require you to chew on it first before it starts to melt significantly.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it. Nugget ice makers clearly cost a significant amount because of the more complex processes that they utilize in order to create that beloved crunchy ice.

These machines are also quite bulky, and not overly user-friendly, due to being designed for commercial use in restaurants and cafes, which see a high number of guests every day.