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Why do you hate your icemaker?


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I was just chatting with a colleague who was lamenting the "shitty ice from the ice maker in the freezer"—I hear this all the time, actually. I don't get it. I love my icemaker, I wouldn't go back to those stupid plastic molds if you paid me. What's with all the icemaker hate?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I love the icemaker in my run-of-the-mill Kenmore fridge. As I explicated here, every upmarket standalone icemaker designed for home use that I've encountered (and there have been quite a few) seems to be intentionally designed to make bad ice.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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We've got a fairly nice Frigidaire 26-ft² side-by-side and the ice maker worked fine...for a while. Then it began spontaneously switching itself from cube to crushed and wouldn't switch back. After a couple of service calls, I finally took the crusher wheel out. Now it has the annoying habit of occasionally trapping a cluster of cubes under the control arm which means it stops making ice because it thinks the bin is full.

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My icemaker makes pretty decent ice, but my problem is that I don't use all that much. If I turn it off, then the water in the hose to the freezer gets stale and tastes like plastic, so I end up with a lot of ice to deal with. When I make stock I can clean out the old stuff when I chill down the stock, but otherwise I have to either throw it out or melt it and use it for the cats' water dish so that I can make sure the ice in the bin is fresher. Even so, I still prefer to make cubes in a silicone mold for drinks on the rocks -- they just taste fresher.

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An automatic ice maker is definitely convenient, but most every one I've seen produces cloudy ice in a weird shape. This is what you get from mine:

P1020679.JPG

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I hate my icemaker but I hate icetrays more.

I don't mind the cloudiness as I'm not running a modernist mixology bar out of my home. I just want ice to keep stuff cold.

That said, the shape of my ice is horrible. It is crescent shaped and the curve of the outside fits perfectly against the side of my glasses forming a tiny dam. This causes one to tilt the glass further in order to obtain the liquid which eventually comes rushing over the ice and down one's shirt.

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My ice looks like Steven's. But it's automated. I don't have to fool around with trays. A lot (most??) of my ice use is for making cocktails that are strained and served up. So, the look of it is rarely an issue.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I hate my icemaker but I hate icetrays more.

I don't mind the cloudiness as I'm not running a modernist mixology bar out of my home. I just want ice to keep stuff cold.

That said, the shape of my ice is horrible. It is crescent shaped and the curve of the outside fits perfectly against the side of my glasses forming a tiny dam. This causes one to tilt the glass further in order to obtain the liquid which eventually comes rushing over the ice and down one's shirt.

OMG, me too. Why can't the cubes be tapering trapezoids? Those curved cubes stick to the sides of the glass. I hate my icemaker b/c about 2/3 of the cubes are currently coming out hollow. This means I have to clean it out/adjust the inflow. What a pain.

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I hate my icemaker but I hate icetrays more.

I don't mind the cloudiness as I'm not running a modernist mixology bar out of my home. I just want ice to keep stuff cold.

That said, the shape of my ice is horrible. It is crescent shaped and the curve of the outside fits perfectly against the side of my glasses forming a tiny dam. This causes one to tilt the glass further in order to obtain the liquid which eventually comes rushing over the ice and down one's shirt.

I hate it when that happens. I've developed the habit of giving the glass a shake before drinking (when the drink level is low) to loosen up the ice and break the dam.

But I love my icemaker. Especially since I stopped using the expensive filters GE is pushing. We have limey, ferrous well water and it would clog in 6 weeks. No problems since I defiltered the refrigerator a year or two ago.

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I have an Amana with French doors and a freezer drawer. It didn't have an ice maker but I paid the extra to have it installed.

Sometimes it's a bit awkward as the ice tub is in the left rear of the freezer but, as I drink copious amounts of ice tea all summer, it's well worth the small bother to keep from messing with ice trays.

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I am happy to be rid of mine. I did not like the curved on one side, flat on the other shape. Also people continually took the ice from the top of the bucket inside the freezer so the bottom half was always stale ice which as noted above only got used up when I cooled stock. I disliked dealing with the filter - felt like the water was running through a dirty sock - probably mental I know, but mental matters when it come to food. In addition I gave up on the stupid exterior pusher after having it fixed twice. Poor design I suppose. I use the cheap plastic flexy trays and always keep a plastic bag full of ice (closed) in the freezer and two full trays. I also drink a ton of iced tea and am always happy and fully stocked.

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just a couple months ago we got a new fridge with an ice maker. This is the first such equiped fridge we have had. I must say I am very pleased with it. I did not get a through the door dispenser as it seems they are the number one issue generating service calls for fridges. Like everyone else we do get the crescent shape on one side and the flat on the other and I really don't understand the hate this shape seems to cause. And the ice is not clear, but ice cube tray ice is not either.

I have plenty of ice, it is cold and and hard and makes good cocktail ice for my purposes. It does make alot of ice. Maybe more than I need but as summer approaches we will be using more ice.

Edited by lancastermike (log)
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They are convenience, but not very good. Consider an undercounter professional-type ice maker. Scotsman, among others, offer machines that put out clear cubes. One of their models is only 15 inches wide and holds up to 26 lbs of ice. The trade off from lost cabinetry is worth it-forgo the trash compactor!

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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They are convenience, but not very good. Consider an undercounter professional-type ice maker. Scotsman, among others, offer machines that put out clear cubes. One of their models is only 15 inches wide and holds up to 26 lbs of ice. The trade off from lost cabinetry is worth it-forgo the trash compactor!

Perhaps this outfits machines do a good job but the only residential machines I have encountered produce soft wet warm ice like the kind that comes from a hotel ice machine.

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Because it broke a week after the warranty on the fridge expired. 6 years ago. And we've never had it fixed. It's a good thing I'd rather drink my water room temp anyways...

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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They are convenience, but not very good. Consider an undercounter professional-type ice maker. Scotsman, among others, offer machines that put out clear cubes. One of their models is only 15 inches wide and holds up to 26 lbs of ice. The trade off from lost cabinetry is worth it-forgo the trash compactor!

Perhaps this outfits machines do a good job but the only residential machines I have encountered produce soft wet warm ice like the kind that comes from a hotel ice machine.

That's been my experience also, which includes teaching at cookware stores that sell dedicated icemakers, as well as countless Florida rentals. The photo if the ice in the Scotsman brochure is notably wet (and the shape appears to be a hollow cylinder, though they call it a "cube"). If the choice is between clear, wet, 0°C ice and cloudy, dry, -15°C ice, I'll take the latter every time.

When I complained about standalone units in an earlier topic, andisenji referred to U-Line, which makes units that are essentially bigger versions of what's in most domestic freezers. If I were in the market for a dedicated icemaker, that's what I'd get, unless a windfall allows for a Kold Draft.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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In my unit, the ice bin is insulated not refrigerated, with I suppose the theory being that older ice on the bottom melts, the drain clears the water and new ice replaces it on top of the bin. This may not be too different from some restaurant model designs. The difference would be how often the ice is being utilized. If you are merely filling a glass evey so often during the day, the cubes might be 'wet' as ambient temperatures of the room cause melting. If you are taking out ice all the time to store it in a freezer or using it for cooling items like stocks or sous vide bags, it may not be as 'wet' since it does not stay in the bin very long. These put out lots of ice over the course of a day if the ice is being removed from the bin.

Also the technology of how the ice is made may contibute to the 'wetness'. The water flows into a mold with a center rod and cycles with a warming bar so the 'cubes', which are formed around the center rod can be cut off or break and drop into the bin. This is a continuous process, so yes there is wet water and ice cubes. I believe the freezing/purging point can be adjusted.

Edited by JBailey (log)

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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They are convenience, but not very good. Consider an undercounter professional-type ice maker. Scotsman, among others, offer machines that put out clear cubes. One of their models is only 15 inches wide and holds up to 26 lbs of ice. The trade off from lost cabinetry is worth it-forgo the trash compactor!

Perhaps this outfits machines do a good job but the only residential machines I have encountered produce soft wet warm ice like the kind that comes from a hotel ice machine.

That's been my experience also, which includes teaching at cookware stores that sell dedicated icemakers, as well as countless Florida rentals. The photo if the ice in the Scotsman brochure is notably wet (and the shape appears to be a hollow cylinder, though they call it a "cube"). If the choice is between clear, wet, 0°C ice and cloudy, dry, -15°C ice, I'll take the latter every time.

When I complained about standalone units in an earlier topic, andisenji referred to U-Line, which makes units that are essentially bigger versions of what's in most domestic freezers. If I were in the market for a dedicated icemaker, that's what I'd get, unless a windfall allows for a Kold Draft.

The brochure also states this machine makes "gourmet" ice. From now on, I will demand only gourmet ice be used to make my drinks. Gourmet ice, I love that.

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Our GE fridge makes and dispenses those crescent shape ice "cubes" as well, but I have 0 complaints. It's been going strong for over 8 years and it's there when I need it (drinks, shocking, brines, stocks, drinks, drinks and more drinks). I could not care less if it is cloudy or not. Like I said, it is extremely convenient and tastes good with a filter than only needs replacing every six months or so. No way I would go back to the pain-in-the-ass ice cube trays or spend the $$ and space on a dedicated ice maker even if it makes see-through ice.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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