Prepare the Patio with an Outdoor Ice Maker

It may not feel like it depending where you live, but summer really is right around the corner. April is here, and soon too will suntans, summer days, and weekend barbecues be here. The sights, sounds, and smells of summer events are a mere moment away, and unless you have an outdoor ice maker, you probably aren’t adequately prepared to host a proper party! What separates a excellent event from an average one is often the quality of the food and drinks, and no one ever raves about a party that serves a warm margarita on a hot summer day. To properly prepare you or summer, we decided to highlight the best outdoor ice makers available at Ice Machines Plus so you can find the right one for your next event.

All of the following ice makers have been approved for outdoor use: Ice-O-Matic’s popular GEMU090, Hoshizaki’s AM-50BAE and C-100BAF, and U-Line’s BI95, BI98, CO29, and the ADA15IMS. They are available in different sizes (some are meet ADA height requirements), make varying amounts of ice, and create four different ice styles.  Finding the right outdoor ice maker should be a simple task after reading these reviews. Not a reader? We tried to sum up this article in the image below if that’s more your preference.

Ice Makers Approved for Outdoor Use

Ice-O-Matic GEMU090

If you’ve searched for an undercounter ice maker in the past, you may be familiar with the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 already, as it is one of the more undercounter ice makers available. This ice maker creates Ice-O-Matic’s Pearl Ice (also called nugget ice), the same ice served at fast food chains like Sonic and Zaxby’s. It is soft, chewable, and has the ability to retain the flavors of the beverages it cools. Nugget ice also blends easily, making it perfect for frozen summer beverages. Ice-O-Matic’s GEMU090 makes up to 85 pounds of ice per day, and stores 22 pounds in its self-contained bin. It requires only a water line and a 115V outlet to create ice. The GEMU090 also measures less than 34 inches tall and less than 15 inches wide. It takes in and releases air from the front so it requires no side clearance, making it easy to find room for the GEMU090 to operate, whether placed inside or outside.

Hoshizaki C-100BAF*

Like Ice-O-Matic’s GEMU090, the C-100BAF also creates nugget style ice (called cubelet ice by Hoshizaki). Its dimensions are almost identical to the GEMU090 as well, but the Hoshizaki C-100BAF provides a few unique benefits that Ice-O-Matic’s outdoor ice maker does not. The C-100BAF creates more ice per day, at 92 pounds. It also creates ice slightly more consistently when air and water temperatures increase – an extra benefit if you live in a warmer climate. The C-100BAF is most famous for its door overlay system, as the door can be affixed with custom cabinetry of your choosing. This allows customization options for those who own this outdoor ice maker. Hoshizaki also provides a C-100BAF that complies with ADA height requirements, measuring less than 32 inches tall.

Hoshizaki AM-50BAE*

It terms of style and stature, the AM-50BAE is identical to the C-100BAF. The AM-50BAE can be outfitted with the same custom cabinetry, and an ADA qualified model is available. The difference between the two is the style of ice created. The AM-50BAE makes elegant gourmet ice (called top hat by Hoshizaki), and can create up to 55 pounds of this ice per day. The bin stores 22 pounds of ice when filled to capacity. This ice is hard, slow melting, and unlike nugget ice, is comprised almost entirely of water. In the freezing process, nearly all air and impurities are eliminated- leaving you with solid, high quality ice cubes (hence the name gourmet ice). This ice is a great option as it lasts long and melts slowly so as to not water down your beverages. Gourmet ice is the best choice for scotches, whiskeys, and other spirits that are enjoyed “on the rocks”.

*Hoshizaki models available with the door system are labeled with the suffix –DS. ADA approved models are labeled with the suffix AD. An ADA approved outdoor ice maker with a door system show the suffix –ADDS.

U-Line BI95,BI98

These two ice machines are a good fit for those that require lesser amounts of ice on a daily basis as the BI95 creates around 23 pounds of ice per day, and the BI98 creates 25. These outdoor approved ice makers make U-Line’s signature crescent ice – which is similar to the ice made in most refrigerators at home. They are similar to each other in size as the BI95 measures less than 25 inches tall and the BI98 stands just three inches taller. Both of these outdoor ice makers meet ADA height requirements. The biggest difference between the U-Line BI95 and the BI98 are their storage capacities. The BI95 holds up to 12 pounds of ice when filled to capacity while the BI98 can hold an entire day’s ice creation at 25 pounds. The BI95 and BI98 require only a 110V electrical outlet to operate, along with a water line. Both are very conservative when it comes to electrical and water use as well, requiring only three gallons of water to make 25 gallons of ice. The door of the BI95 and BI98 is field reversible as well, allowing you to make adjustments if a change is ever required when the ice maker is in your possession. The BI95 and BI98 are available in either a black or white vinyl textured cabinet, to fit in with or stand out from existing appliances.

U-Line CO29

The CO29 from U-Line provides two great conveniences in an outdoor environment. Not only is it an ice maker, but it also provides 2.1 cubic feet of refrigerated storage space. This way, all of your ice and refrigerated goods can be stored conveniently in one place. You are no longer required to retreat to the house for cold food or beverages. The CO29 uses the same amount of water and electricity in the ice making process as the previous U-Line models, but it makes only 18 pounds of ice per day, and stores 13 when filled to capacity. If you’re looking for an outdoor ice maker with the added convenience of a built in refrigerator, the U-Line CO29 is an excellent choice.  It is available in black or white vinyl, and stands 28.5 inches high while measuring just under 21 inches wide, allowing it to fit easily in areas with spatial limitations.

U-Line ADA15IMS

While the U-Line ADA15IMS makes up to 25 pounds of ice per day, and can store 25 pounds of ice in its self-contained bin, it is a bit different from the BI98. The ADA15IMS is available with a stainless steel wrapped door for added protection against wear and tear. A black vinyl model is available as well, with a field reversible door, as the stainless steel door of the ADA15IMS must be designated as left or right before it is purchased. Like many U-Line models, the ADA15IMS does not require a drain to operate effectively, simply a 110V outlet, and a water supply.

Caring For Your Outdoor Ice Maker

If you own an ice maker approved for outdoor use, it is important that you take care of it properly. Your outdoor ice maker should not be left in direct sunlight. Heat from the sun will reduce your ice maker’s ice making capabilities, and can also wreak havoc on the plastic components of the unit. An elevated, cool, dry, shaded area provides a far better area for operation, as water or puddles can also cause machine malfunction. The water line that carries water to your ice machine should also be protected from direct sunlight, and should provide UV protection. It should also be rated to carry potable water safely. Ice-O-Matic recommends the use of copper tubing. If temperatures fall below freezing and your ice maker is forced to operate consistently outside the specified temperature ranges listed in your owner’s manual, serious damage may occur, and often this damage is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Most outdoor ice makers are designed to operate between 50 and 100 degrees, although ice production levels may fall when air temperatures increase past 70 degrees and water temperatures rise above 50 degrees.  The information provided above will help you make sure your outdoor ice maker lives a long, productive life.

With summer fast approaching, be sure to place your order before the first heat wave. Relaxing in the shade or by the pool on a warm afternoon is complemented perfectly by the ice from your own personal outdoor ice maker. Give us a call for more information regarding these outdoor ice makers, or any other ice makers for your home.