Should You Buy a Stand-Alone Ice Maker?

Your refrigerator's ice maker might be trying its best, but in the summer months it can't always keep up with demand. Chowhound user Pwmfan has grown weary of making trips to the store for ice when this happens. Is a portable ice maker the solution?

Chowhound jlhinwa has an EdgeStar Titanium stand-alone ice maker that is priced at around $120, and it's great for daily use. Sid Post has a Magic Chef model purchased for $300 a few years ago that still works well. They seem to be getting cheaper, he says, and he would not hesitate to buy another one in the $100 to $200 range from a retailer with a good return policy in case of any problems.

Hard water (high mineral content) can be a problem for ice makers that are hooked up to your home water supply, amazinc says. rexster314 has a small portable ice maker and uses filtered or bottled water; if you do this, it will last for years, rexster314 says.

One issue: Portable, stand-alone ice makers make "soft" ice as warm as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, Sid Post says, whereas your freezer's ice is much colder and harder, closer to zero degrees Fahrenheit. For harder, colder ice that doesn't melt as fast, jlhinwa and rexster314 bag ice from the portable ice maker and stick it in the freezer.

Discuss: Portable Ice Maker

Photo by Flickr member Eric Schmuttenmaer under Creative Commons