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best under counter ice maker

Best Undercounter Ice Maker 2021: Reviews & Buying Guide

Shopping for an under counter or built-in ice maker?

You’ve come to the right place.

Why Buy an Undercounter Ice Maker?

The biggest reason to buy an under counter ice maker is if you want more ice.

Undercounter ice makers have a higher production capacity (they make more ice per day) than portable and countertop ice makers.

You can also buy an under counter ice maker to get a specific type of ice that portable ice machines don’t make.

For example, if you want bar-quality gourmet ice, you have to get an under counter ice machine. There are also undercounter ice makers for Sonic/nugget ice, clear ice, and so on.

Keep in mind that an under counter ice maker will cost you much more than a countertop unit, with prices ranging from about $500  to $3,000 and even more if you choose to buy one with additional features.

Tip: If you want ice that your kids can enjoy, consider buying a shaved ice machine. 

It’s great for treats like snow cones and flavored shave ice. And if you are looking for more ways to stay cool in the summer, see our reviews of the best patio coolers


What’s In This Buying Guide?


Best Undercounter Ice Makers

under cabinet ice maker
  • Euhomy IM-02

  • Best overall
  • Production:
    100lbs/day

  • Bin capacity:
    33lbs

  • Size:
    17.3W x 15.7D x 31.5H in

  • Ice type:
    Clear ice cubes

  • 1yr warranty

15 inch undercounter ice maker
  • Manitowoc UDF0140A

  • Best high capacity
  • Production:
    135lbs/day

  • Bin capacity:
    90lbs

  • Size:
    26W x 28.5D x 38.5H in

  • Ice type:
    Full dice ice

  • 1yr residential warranty

under counter ice maker
  • EdgeStar IB250SSOD

  • Best with freezer
  • Production:
    25lbs/day

  • Bin capacity:
    20lbs

  • Size:
    14.8W x 20D x 33.3H in

  • Ice type:
    Crescent ice

  • 1yr warranty

best rated under counter ice maker
  • Scotsman CU50GA

  • Best gourmet ice maker
  • Production:
    65lbs/day

  • Bin capacity:
    26lbs

  • Size:
    14.8W x 22D x 34.3H in

  • Ice type:
    Top hat gourmet ice

  • 1yr + 5yrs on compressor

best under cabinet ice maker
  • Scotsman UN0815A-1

  • Best nugget ice maker
  • Production:
    79lbs/day

  • Bin capacity:
    36lbs

  • Size:
    15W x 24D x 38H in

  • Ice type:
    Chewable nugget ice

  • 3yr warranty

undercounter ice machine
  • EdgeStar IB120SS

  • Best compact
  • Production:
    12lbs/day

  • Bin capacity:
    6lbs

  • Size:
    15W x 20D x 25.2H in

  • Ice type:
    Crescent ice

  • 1yr warranty


best under counter ice maker

The Euhomy 100lb ice machine is the best under counter ice maker for most households. It makes enough ice for most families, it’s affordable, and it produces high-quality clear ice.

Pros

  • Good value for money.
  • Makes lots of ice.
  • Large storage bin.
  • Makes high-quality clear ice cubes.
  • Quiet operation. 

Cons

  • Not the prettiest ice maker.

Our Review

If you want an under counter ice maker without spending thousands of dollars, the Euhomy IM-02 is the best choice.

It makes 100lbs of ice in a day, more than enough for even large families. The large ice bin stores up to 33lbs of ice, ensuring you always have plenty of ice on hand.

The Euhomy IM-02 produces clear ice cubes that are harder and melt slower in drinks compared to the cloudy bullet ice made by portable ice makers.

The bin in this ice maker has automatic overflow protection that stops the machine from making more ice once the bin fills up.

However, it’s not refrigerated. So, ice will melt after some time if you do not scoop it out. The meltwater is drained away.

The control panel is easy to use. It alerts you when the bin is full and when there’s a malfunction. There’s a button for self-cleaning and another for increasing or decreasing the time of each cycle.

Adjusting cycle time makes the ice cubes thicker or thinner. The thicker the ice, the slower it’ll melt in beverages.

As for installation, the Euhomy IM-02 can be freestanding or installed under counter. Leave a 2-inch clearance at the rear. 

Similar to most under counter ice makers, the IM-02 is pretty quiet. The only noise you’ll hear is ice occasionally dropping in the bin.

Issues & Limitations

The Euhomy IM-02 ice maker has an industrial look, which is not surprising considering it’s primarily a commercial ice maker.

The numerous vents at the front are not exactly pretty.

If you are looking for an undercounter ice maker that has a clean front and blends well with other kitchen appliances, this is not it.

Bottom Line

The Euhomy IM-02 is best for: Families looking for a high-capacity and reliable under counter ice machine that produces clear ice.

Avoid if: You want a modern-looking under counter ice maker.


2. Best High Capacity: Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO 

15 inch undercounter ice maker

If you go through lots of ice each day at home, or you often hold big parties, we recommend the Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO under counter ice machine.

It produces up to 135lbs of ice a day, and the bin can store 90lbs of ice.

Pros

  • Makes lots of ice.
  • Large storage bin.
  • Space-saving sliding door.
  • Delay timer. 

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Takes up a lot of undercounter space.
  • The bin could use better insulation. 

Our Review

The Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO makes lots of ice fast. It can easily keep up with demand in a large household, as well as home parties and large gatherings.

The daily production capacity is 135lbs, and the storage capacity is 90lbs.

This particular model makes full dice ice cubes, but there are other options that make half-dice cubes and full-size cubes.

The control panel indicates when the bin is full. But don't worry about leaving the ice in the bin full. It’ll not overflow. A sensor stops the machine from making more ice until you scoop some of the ice out or it melts.

The control panel also includes a delay timer button that lets you pause ice making for 4, 12 or 24 hours.

Installation is straightforward. All you need is 26 inches of undercounter width, a water source and drainage.

The Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO uses a gravity drain that works only with floor drains. If your drain is higher up, you need to buy and install a small pump.

To save space, the Manitowoc UDF0140A uses a slide-up door. You don't have to worry about opening clearance for the door.

Issues & Limitations

As expected for its capacity, the Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO is pricey. If you are shopping for a budget under counter ice maker, this is probably not what you are looking for.

Several users also say the insulation around the storage bin could be better.

The ice melts too quickly, leading to a lot of water wastage since you cannot use all that ice immediately.

The other issue is the size of the Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO ice maker. It’s 26 inches wide, 28.5 inches deep and 38.5 inches high. It’s much bigger than standard kitchen appliances.

Check that you have the space for it. If you don't, you’ll have to either use it as a freestanding ice maker or build a custom cabinet.

Bottom Line

The Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO is best for: Families looking for an undercounter ice maker with an extra-large production and storage capacity.

Avoid if: You don’t need 135lbs of ice a day. Also, not suitable for small kitchens and bars.


under cabinet ice maker

If you want an under counter ice maker that keeps ice frozen, we recommend the EdgeStar IB250SSOD built-in icemaker.

It’s one of the few ice makers with a freezer. It makes ice and stores it for however long you want. It will not melt.

Pros

  • Freezer ice storage.
  • Compact size - great for small kitchens and bars.
  • Beautiful modern style.
  • No drainage is needed.
  • Rated for outdoor use. 

Cons

  • Limited capacity.

Our Review

A common limitation with most ice makers is that the storage bin doesn't keep ice frozen. If you don’t use all the ice quickly, it melts.

With portable ice makers, at least the meltwater is recycled. But most undercounter ice machines drain the meltwater away.

So, the freezer bin in the EdgeStar IB250SSOD is not only convenient but also saves you water. You don't even need to connect a drain line.

Once the machine dumps a batch of ice in the bin, it stays frozen. Once the bin fills up, the machine stops making more ice.

You do have to break the ice apart because they clump in the freezer, but that’s a minor inconvenience. 

The storage and production capacities of the EdgeStar IB250SSOD are lower than most undercounter ice makers. It makes 25lbs of ice in a day and stores up to 20lbs of it.

This makes the EdgeStar IB250SSOD suitable for small and medium-size families.

Installation is easy. Unlike the oversized Manitowoc UDF0140A NEO unit above, the EdgeStar ice maker is the same size as most kitchen appliances. It’s about 15 inches wide and 34 inches high.

The door is reversible, so you can install it in whichever orientation works best for you.

Talking of the door, we love the beautiful modern and clean finish of the EdgeStar IB250SSOD. It doesn't have the industrial look of other ice machines.

The silver finish of the door and the long elegant handle looks great in any kitchen.

Something else worth mentioning is that the EdgeStar IB250SSOD is rated for outdoor use.

So, you can install it on a patio, a backyard Tiki bar or in an outdoor kitchen. Just make sure it is well protected from the elements.

Issues & Limitations

The EdgeStar IB250SSOD is expensive, considering the limited production capacity. The high price tag is primarily because of the integrated freezer.

If you don't need a freezer bin, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives that make more ice.

Bottom Line

The EdgeStar IB250SSOD is best for: Anyone looking for an undercounter ice maker that keeps ice frozen and doesn't require draining.

Avoid if: You want a high-capacity under counter ice maker.


4. Best Undercounter Gourmet Ice Maker: Scotsman CU50GA

best ice makers under counter

Gourmet ice is the top-shelf ice served with whiskey and scotch in upscale bars.

It’s dense, clear, and melts slower than regular ice cubes. If you are looking for a gourmet ice maker to make your own gourmet ice in-house, the best gourmet ice maker is the Scotsman CU50GA.

It’s pricey since it is a commercial machine, but it’s the cheapest one we found that makes true gourmet ice.

There are more affordable ice makers available in the market that make clear ice, but they are not the same as the Scotsman gourmet ice maker.

Pros

  • It makes true gourmet ice.
  • High production capacity.
  • Large bin
  • Compact design.
  • Beautiful modern styling.
  • Approved for outdoor use. 

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Noisy when ice falls into the bin. 

Our Review

Ordinary clear ice from cheaper ice makers works great in some drinks. But for premium beverages like whiskey, it can melt too quickly, diluting the drink.

The Scotsman CU50GA is designed to make ice that’s pure, odorless, tasteless and extra-hard.

You can slowly sip your drink without worrying the ice will melt and dilute it. It also doesn't impart any flavors or tastes to the drink.

The gourmet ice, or top hat ice as it’s also called, is cylindrical in shape. It’s also larger than ordinary ice cubes, which not only slows down melting but also looks better in a glass of scotch. 

The Scotsman CU50GA makes 65lbs of gourmet ice per day, more than enough for a home kitchen or bar.

The insulated bin stores up to 26lbs of ice and has automatic overflow protection.

As for installation, the Scotsman CU50GA has a compact width of 15 inches and a standard height of 34 inches, so it should fit easily under most under counter spaces. 

You’ll need to connect it to a water line as well as drainage. The machine has a built-in water quality sensor that ensures ice is free of impurities and hardness minerals, but installing an inline filter or connecting it to a filter system is still a good idea.

Issues & Limitations

If you are shopping for a budget ice maker, you probably have to stick with cheaper options that make clear ice. The Scotsman CU50GA is pricey.

Another issue that this ice maker has is the noiseit makes. However, that too is not a major concern since the machine is quiet most of the time.

It is nnly when the large ice cylinders drop into the bin that the machine can be noisy.

Bottom Line

The Scotsman CU50GA is best for: Anyone shopping for a gourmet ice maker.

Avoid if: You are shopping on a budget.


5. Best Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker: Scotsman UN0815A-1

best rated under counter ice maker

If your favorite drinks are cocktails, margaritas, and other mixed drinks, the best ice to add to those beverages is nugget ice. The best under counter nugget ice maker is the Scotsman UN0815A-1.

Like their CU50GA gourmet ice maker, the Scotsman UN0815A-1 is a bit pricey since it’s designed primarily for commercial use.

Pros

  • Makes high-quality nugget/sonic ice.
  • High production capacity.
  • Large ice bin.
  • Compact 15” width. 

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Not as pretty as other icemakers. 

Our Review

Nugget ice is not just great for mixed drinks; it’s also the best ice for chewing. It’s soft and crunchy and won’t hurt your teeth.

The Scotsman UN0815A-1 makes 79lbs of nugget ice, more than adequate for most families. You can easily host a big party and keep everyone’s drinks chilled.

The large 36lb ice bin ensures that you always have plenty of ice at hand. Keep in mind that the bin is not insulated, so ice will melt and drain away, but the machine will keep replenishing the bin.

The Scotsman UN0815A-1 has a standard 15-inch width, which should fit easily under most residential kitchen counters.

It’s a bit tall at 38 inches. But you can shorten the legs to fit it under a 36 inch counter.

If you have a 34 or 35 inches counter, leave the legs off altogether. This will bring the ice maker's height to 34 inches.

Note that you’ll need to connect water and drainage to the machine.

Issues & Limitations

Style-wise, the Scotsman UN0815A-1 looks a bit too industrial for our liking. It’s not as sleek as the gourmet ice maker.

Another issue is the price. If you want an undercounter nugget ice maker, this is one of the cheapest you are going to find. The other alternative is to buy a portable sonic ice maker.

Bottom Line

The Scotsman UN0815A-1 is best for: Anyone shopping for a high-quality nugget under counter ice maker that makes true Sonic-style chewable ice.

Avoid if: You don't need nugget ice, or you are shopping for a budget nugget ice maker (get a portable one instead).


undercounter ice machine

If you don't have much undercounter space to spare, we recommend the compact EdgeStar IB120SS built-in ice maker.

It measures 15 inches wide, 20 inches deep and 25 inches high. It’s an excellent choice for small kitchens in homes, tiny houses, boats, and RVs.

Pros

  • Extra-compact design.
  • Beautiful modern style.
  • Includes freezer.
  • No draining needed. 

Cons

  • Limited capacity.

Our Review

The EdgeStar IB120SS is a smaller version of the EdgeStar IB250SSOD.

It has a standard width of 15 inches but is narrower with a depth of 20 inches and shorter with a height of just 25 inches (about 10 inches shorter than standard size ice makers).

If you have limited space under your kitchen or bar counter, the EdgeStar IB120SS is a great choice.

Like its bigger sibling, the EdgeStar IB120SS has a unique feature - an integrated freezer bin. Once the machine makes ice, the 6lb bin keeps it frozen.

This reduces water wastage and eliminates the need for a drain connection. All you need to connect is a water source using the included 25ft quarter-inch line.

The EdgeStar IB120SS makes 12lbs of ice a day, so we recommend it mostly for individuals and small households.

Issues & Limitations

The main downside of the EdgeStar IB120SS is its capacity. It only makes 12lbs of crescent ice a day, less than portable ice makers. The bin is also rather small - it holds just 6lbs of ice.

The EdgeStar IB120SS is one of the smallest under counter ice makers in the market.

Bottom Line

The EdgeStar IB120SS is best for: Anyone looking for a compact undercounter ice maker that will fit in a small space.

Avoid if: You want an ice maker that makes lots of ice.


Undercounter Ice Maker Buying Guide

15 inch ice maker undercounter

What is an Undercounter Ice Maker - and How Does It Work?

There are two main categories of ice makers: portable or countertop ice makers and under counter or freestanding ice makers.

While countertop ice makers sit on the counter and most, don't need any plumbing, undercounter ice makers install under the counter (many can also be used as freestanding units) and require water and drain connections.

Undercounter ice makers work simply by freezing water into ice. But how they do that varies depending on the type of ice maker.

Some units freeze all the water at once to create cloudy ice, while others freeze water in layers to create clear ice.

Nugget ice makers make frozen ice flakes that they then compact together to create crunchy nugget ice.

Ready ice is dumped into an ice bin. 

What to Look for in an Undercounter Ice Maker

Type of Ice

undercounter ice machine

The first thing to decide is what kind of ice you want. Most low-costunder counter ice makers make clear ice or cloudy crescent ice.

If you want nugget ice or gourmet ice, you’ll have to spend quite a bit more. 

Capacity

Once you decide what type of ice maker you are looking for, choose how much capacity you need.

Most under counter ice makers produce lots of ice, usually over 50lbs a day. Most brands in the market will easily meet your ice needs.

But if you plan to hold lots of parties or just want plenty of ice on hand, there are several ice maker models that make over 100lbs of ice a day.

Also, check the capacity of the ice bin. You’ll find undercounter ice makers with ice bins that can hold between 26lbs and 100lbs of ice.

A larger bin ensures you always have plenty of ice on hand.

Something else to check is the design of the bin, specifically, the insulation.

A well-insulated bin keeps ice solid for hours, reducing how much of it melts and drains away. A poorly insulated bin, on the other hand, wastes a lot of water from ice melting.

If you don't want any water wastage, we’ve featured two EdgeStar units above that have a freezer bin. They can keep the ice solid for as long as you need.

Size

best under counter ice maker reviews

Unlike freestanding and countertop ice makers, where you don't need to be very particular about the exact dimensions, you need to know exactly how big an undercounter ice maker is. Otherwise, it might not fit under your counter.

There are three size categories of undercounter ice makers. There are large ones that are more than 15 inches wide.

Some can be as wide as 26” or 36”. These models also tend to be taller than the standard 34-inch height of most undercounter appliances.

Then there are compact undercounter ice makers that are 15 inches wide and have a standard depth of 22” and a height of 34-35”.

And finally, come the ultra-compact ice makers that are smaller than the standard dimensions. A good example is the EdgeStar IB120SS.

Check how much space you have, and choose an under counter ice maker accordingly.

Style

best under counter ice maker reviews

Some ice makers come in an industrial style that may not look so pretty in your kitchen or bar.

They feature big vents at the front and a commercial-style slide-up or tilting door, which isn't the most aesthetically pleasing look for a residential kitchen.

If you want an ice maker that blends in with the rest of your kitchen appliances, we suggest you go for one of those sleek, modern style ice makers. 

Outdoor Rated

If you are planning to install the ice maker in the patio, an outdoor bar or an outdoor kitchen, look for one that’s rated for outdoor use.

Be sure to check the user manual for guidelines on how to protect it from the elements.

Warranty

Finally, check the manufacturer’s warranty on the ice maker. Cheaper ice makers come with a standard 1-year warranty, while trusted brands like Scotsman offer longer 3-5 year warranties.

An essentialfactor to double-check is whether the warranty on an ice maker is still valid if it’s used residentially, i.e., in a home.

Since most under counter ice makers are commercial, some manufacturers either don't offer a warranty for residential use or offer a shorter warranty.


Pros and Cons

under counter ice maker

Pros

  • Increased production and storage capacity compared to countertop/portable ice makers.
  • Higher quality ice.
  • It’s easy to find specialized ice makers for nugget ice, gourmet ice, and other types of ice.
  • They are quieter than countertop ice makers.
  • They install out of the way under the counter. 

Cons

  • It may require professional installation.
  • They are expensive.
  • They do not recycle meltwater, leading to water wastage. 

Care & Maintenance

best under counter ice machines

Undercounter ice makers are generally easy to maintain. The only two things you need to do are sanitizing the interior and deep-cleaning the inside and outside.

Sanitize the inside of the ice maker once a week. You can use a homemade sanitizing solution (bleach mixed with warm water) or buy a manufacturer-approved sanitizer.

As for the deep cleaning, most undercounter ice makers will alert you when it’s time to carry out a cleaning program. It’s usually every six months.

You add a manufacturer-approved cleaner to the ice maker’s reservoir then run the self-cleaning program.

When installing the ice maker, it’s best to supply it with filtered water. You can install an inline water filter or connect it to a water filter system such as an RO filter.

This ensures the best ice quality, keeps the interior clean and lengthens the life of the machine.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do under counter ice makers last?

It depends on the quality of the machine, how often you use it, and how well you maintain it.

When used daily, most undercounter ice makers can last 5 years, and quality brands like Scotsman and Manitowoc can last up to 10 years.

Do you need a special plug for an undercounter ice maker?

No, you don't. Undercounter, ice makers plug into a standard 120V outlet.

Should you use the first batch of ice from an under counter ice maker?

Most user manuals recommend discarding the first batch of ice from an ice maker.

That’s because it may contain particulates and after tastes from the manufacturing process.

Do under counter ice makers need a drain? 

Most under counter ice makers need to be connected to a drain. Without drainage, water from ice melting will accumulate in the ice bin and cause a mess.


Final Verdict: What Is The Best Undercounter Ice Maker Sold Today?

The Euhomy IM-02 100lbs/24H under counter ice maker is the best choice for most homes. 

It makes plenty of high-quality clear ice, is affordable, and fits easily under standard counters.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created CoolAndPortable.com to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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