Ice is used in a variety of restaurant functions; From menu selections to packing chilled or frozen storage, your restaurant uses ice on a daily basis. When choosing an ice machine, it pays to invest in the right type of ice that fits the bill! From cubed to crushed, choosing the right type of ice for your restaurant’s applications is critical in selecting the appropriate ice machine for your kitchen.
Cube-style ice makers can make your traditional cubed ice. The variety of shapes/sizes are the full cube, half cube, alpha cube, gala cube, full dice cube, and half dice cube. The simplicity of cube design offers high liquid displacement, making it relatively cheap. Soft drinks thrive best with the half cube, and high-end cocktails work with a full cube, as the surface area allows for slower melting times.
If your restaurant serves any type of high-end alcohol to serve ‘on the rocks’, you’ll absolutely need an ice machine with the capability of making cube ice. For most fine-dining restaurants, this is the appropriate type of ice for most applications.
Known also as pearl, cubed, and crushed, nugget ice is a customer favorite. It’s chewable and absorbs the flavor of the drink while still maintaining a reasonable melt time. A nugget-style ice machine requires less downtime for harvesting, but drinks tend to be diluted quicker as nugget ice melts faster than cubed.
Consider nugget ice as a great option for restaurants with buffet lines or refillable drink stations. Nugget ice is great for quick-serve and fast-casual establishments alike!
While both flake and nugget ice machines may cost more on the front-end, the payback is in your production! Flake-style machines have zero downtime for production, making it highly efficient and quick to recover.
Flaked ice is best for packing produce, displaying cooled items, and for snowcones. Because of its high water content, flake ice melts quickly and dilutes drinks, making it a poor choice for beverages. Consider adding flaked ice to frozen drinks if you plan to use it for more than just display and storage purposes!
Sushi restaurants and seafood counters essentially require this type of ice on a daily basis. If your restaurant utilizes little ice for display and packing, then stick to the cube or nugget style for best results.
E Friedman Associates Inc