Three best ice makers to keep your summer chilled

BestReviews Staff

Unlike ice trays that require several hours to produce ice, an ice maker can make a full batch of ice in a matter of minutes.

Sometimes you need a lot of ice at once, and it's a pain to run out and buy a bag of it. If you have a portable ice maker, you don't have to go on an emergency errand; you can make ice from the comfort of home, usually within a matter of minutes

To use a portable ice maker, simply pour water (bottled or tap) into the machine's reservoir and let the machine take over. Unlike a built-in refrigerator ice maker, a portable ice maker doesn't need to be connected to your water line. As a result you can take it with you in your RV or wherever you're going to need ice cubes.

Nearly all ice makers have some type of storage compartment where ice is housed. Some of these compartments are refrigerated to prevent the ice from melting. Others don't keep the ice cold, so it eventually starts to melt unless you transfer it elsewhere - or use it immediately.

If you're thinking that a portable ice maker might make your life a little easier, check out three of the best that we're recommending.

Avalon Bay Portable Ice Maker

The Avalon Bay Portable Ice Maker produces light to moderate loads of ice in as little as six minutes. Indicator lights let you know when it's time to remove ice and add water. The smaller of the two cube size settings isn't as practical as the larger size, and the unit must be emptied often to make the most ice possible. Still, if you're looking for a light-duty ice machine or even a replacement for a broken freezer compartment, this affordable ice maker is an appealing solution.

RCA-Igloo Ice Maker

This countertop ice maker is the ideal choice for budget-minded shoppers with heavy ice needs. Featuring a 26-pound ice bucket, it can produce a full batch of ice in as little as six minutes. The ice melts pretty fast in the storage bin, however, so buyers should have an alternate storage solution on hand if the ice won't be used right away. If you have a large family, frequently need ice for your cooler, or host a fair number of parties, the nicely priced RCA-Igloo certainly comes in handy.

EdgeStar Portable Ice Maker

This is an easy-to-use ice maker that makes new cubes from recycled water. There is a 10-minute wait for ice cubes to form, which some may see as a drawback, but it's a great little appliance for RVs and other places where there's no room for a full-size freezer. Because it's not a freezer, however, the ice must be transferred somewhere else before it melts.

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