Did you know the United States uses 80% of all ice makers in the world? Through restaurant supply web sites and various other outlets, big name ice manufacturers distribute their many different products to many different types of consumers. One way or another, whether sitting down to eat at your favorite restaurant or standing in line at a gas station, you've gotten close to some commercial ice machines.
Restaurant supply stores are sometimes called on to sell outside of their expected market. For example, hospitals, hotels and gas stations are all places that have a need for ice machines.
Ice machines are composed of various parts The actual ice maker is the top half of the machine; it is called the head. It is here that water flows over freezing chambers where ice cubes form over time. Restaurant supply stores sell various sizes of ice machine heads. If you aren't buying a complete machine, talk to a sales representative so you can be sure your head and bin will operate together.
The lower half is called the bin, and it is here where ice is stored when it drops from the head. Some ice makers are made with a built in anti-bacterial lining to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold in this dark and moist place. As aforementioned make certain you speak to the restaurant supply store's sales representative for help choosing a head and a bin that will operate together
A commonly overlooked item would be a water filter. Water filters are essential to an ice machine; they keep the water flowing over the freezing chambers purified so ice users have the best tasting, chilled drinking experience possible. When purified water flows over the freezing chambers in the head, freezes and falls into the bin below, you have purified ice! Tada! But how will you get it out? Restaurant supply stores carry ice bin accessories such as ice scoops and scoop holders; these tools are essential to prevent contamination of your precious pure ice.
Ice is available in a variety of shapes. For the average beverage, cubed ice is the most effective in providing a cool drinking experience. Half cubed ice is perfect for mixed drinks as it break down easily and provides a smoother finish. But everyone's favorite ice is the pearl ice, or Sonic ice as it is more commonly known. This ice fits in your mouth for an easy chew, absorbs the flavors of the drink it lies in and disperses smoothly. Ice machines are also available in air-cooled or water-cooled refrigeration units. There is much debate over which is overall more effective as both models have advantages and disadvantages. However, I have been told by an ice company's sales representative say that air-cooled machines are more energy efficient and more conservative of water.
Don't forget! Ice outside of the States is hard to come by; don't take this substance for granted. If you're in need of an ice machine, choose a restaurant supply to minimize your search effort; why scour the countryside when the power of Google is at your finger tips? Choose a restaurant supply that understands the value of good ice from quality ice machines!