Maybe you’re sick of going to get ice only to find whoever took the last few cubes didn’t refill the ice tray, or maybe you’re a budding mixologist who’s always wanted to make a proper mint julep (crushed ice and all). Either way, if you’re an ice lover (and this writer definitely is—only chilled water please), it might be worth investing in a countertop ice maker. And while our review offers a variety of options, a nugget (a.k.a pellet) ice maker is the creme de la creme for many ice aficionados. Plus, our winner from GE, which is admittedly pricey, is currently nearly $115 off, making it a great moment to indulge in your crushed, pebbly ice fantasies.
To buy: GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker was $580, now $466 at amazon.com.
Why It Won Our Review
You might think, what makes an ice maker great? Well, it turns out it goes beyond producing perfect pellets of ice. We loved the easy user interface of the GE Profile Opal, as well as the app connectivity that allows you to turn it on and get some ice in the hopper before you’ve even set foot in your kitchen. Coming home to some nugget ice ready to be placed in a drink? How luxe! And since it makes over a pound of ice an hour, it’s also great for cocktail parties. The ice itself was also perfect—soft and crunchy with that little bit of squeak redolent of nugget ice. And the refilling and cleaning, which might seem inconsequential but can be a big pain, was super easy thanks to a detachable water tank and self-cleaning cycle. Having “the good ice” on hand has never been easier.
Good to Know
- Machine weight: 38 lbs
- Dimensions: 14.8 x 11.3 x 14.1 inches
- Production: 1.09 lbs per hour
- Ice shape: Nugget (a.k.a pellet)
- Warranty: 1-year limited
What’s the difference between nugget/pellet ice and cube ice?
Nugget ice (a.k.a pellet ice) is made of small flakes of ice that are compressed together, almost like a snowball. They are often used for boozy cocktails, like a mint julep, because they create an almost slurry-like texture and help bring out the flavor of the dominant spirit (if you ever taste whiskey, add a few drops of water or a small ice cube—you’ll be amazed at how it brings out the flavor). Cube ice is, as the name suggests, more square in shape and, depending on the quality, can be great for cocktails that require a slow melt.
Does the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker keep ice frozen?
This ice maker will keep your ice frozen for a short period of time, but eventually, it will melt into the drip tray.