Whether you’ve got a full-sized home bar or you just have a setup in your kitchen that doubles as a bar, you might have noticed that things aren’t quite the same as they are in a professional bar. For starters, you’ve (probably) got a more limited supply of alcohol. You also don’t have beer on tap, you have to wash the dishes yourself, and you might not have timed pour nozzles on every single bottle of booze in your arsenal.
When it comes to mixing drinks, however, the most inconvenient difference is no doubt the lack of easy access to ice. Real bars will have literal pounds of the stuff on hand whenever they want it. If your bar isn’t next to your freezer (and your kitchen ice maker), it can be hard to make even the most basic drink on the rocks.
There’s a pretty simple solution you can implement to combat this: simply get a bar fridge with a built-in ice-maker. While these devices can be expensive and hard to find, we’ve scoured the internet to find a few models that are reasonable and reliable. You can install any of these into your power and water hookups in order to have on-demand ice whenever you want it.
So without further ado: here are the best bar fridges with ice makers.
The Danby DPC6012BLS is a 4.2 cubic foot “party center.” It’s a compact refrigerator with an ice maker inside the unit itself that can make just under 5 lbs of ice per day. Each of the two horizontal double doors opens up to a separate temperature controlled compartment that can hold beer, wine, and more.
The DPC6012BLS is a “built-in” unit, meaning that it’s designed to be installed inside of your counter instead of standing in the middle of the room. The top of the unit is just under 34.5″, meaning it easily fits under normal counters. Removable interior shelves mean that you can customize this fridge to fit the size and shape of your liquor collection without too much hassle.
One fairly nice feature of the DPC6012BLS is the bright interior lighting. It’s a great fridge for a man-cave or other dark room. This is somewhat offset by how noisy this fridge is. While it’s quiet enough with the doors closed, you’ll get a faceful of light and sound when you grab a drink at night.
Overall the DPC612BLS is quite nice for home bars and other rooms that require a drink cooler. As long as you’ve got access to the appropriate utility lines and enough space, you’ll enjoy being able to have access to both ice and cold food whenever you want.
Midea’s WHD-113Fss1 3.1 cubic foot fridge/freezer combo is a compact fridge with a freezer on top. It’s got a reversible door that opens easily from either side, making it incredibly convenient in cramped spaces. Both the fridge and freezer have their own adjustable temperature controls to keep your food and drinks at the coldness level you want.
While this unit is pretty inexpensive (compared to built-in models) and doesn’t require a connection to your water line, this comes at a cost: there’s no automatic ice-maker. Instead, you’ll have to put bagged ice or ice trays in the freezer.
Still, the generous freezer capacity and the low cost of this fridge will mean that it’s a great solution for people who don’t need quite as much ice and people on a tight budget. It’s also much less permanent than the other units on this page: if you decide you want to move it, it’s not a big deal to lift it up and move it!
If you’re not sure how serious you are about mixing lots of drinks at once or you’d like to save money, the Midea WHD-113FSS1 is an adequate alternative to a real ice maker. If you think you’ll run through multiple ice trays each day, however, and budget isn’t a concern, check out our other options.
Like the Midea above, this isn’t an ice maker/fridge combo. It’s just an ice maker. That said, the EdgeStar IB120SS is a fully functional freezer that you can use to keep drinks quite cold. It plugs into your water line and can make up to 12 lbs of ice per day. It’s the perfect solution for someone who likes making lots of drinks who needs access to an endless supply of fresh ice.
The IB120SS is a totally automatic ice maker. It automatically makes ice until an internal mechanism detects that the ice tray is sufficiently full, then it shuts off and reverts to freezer mode. When you remove ice and lower the level, it automatically resumes making ice until it’s full again. This means that you’ll never have to worry about running out of ice.
As a dedicated unit, the IB120SS is both faster at making ice and better at storing it than the smaller icemakers you’ll find in ice maker/fridge combos. This means that it’s actually a better solution for people who go through lots of ice on a daily basis.
If you’re serious about your home bar and you want a professional-quality solution for ice at home, the IB120SS is a perfect choice. If you think you’d like a fridge, too, keep reading — there’s a perfect product for you!
This combo pack comes with a 45 lb icemaker and a 148 can beverage cooler. Both of these units are designed for professional use, meaning they’ll be exceptional performers in your home bar. With 45 lbs of ice and over 24 six-packs worth of storage space, you’ll have the best-stocked bar in the neighborhood.
Both units in this pack can be installed freestanding or built-in. This gives you lots of flexibility when it comes to designing and setting up your home bar. Once you’ve figured out where to put them, you’ll have lots of fun solving the problem of filling up your new beverage cooler.
If you entertain guests often and think you’ll get a lot of use out of the 45 lb ice machine in this package and the big 148 can beverage cooler, you’ll love this package. It’s a great way to save some money on one of the top bar fridges and one of the top ice makers around.
Choosing The Best One For Your Bar
Even though there are plenty of difference between the compact refrigerators with ice makers available on the market, it’s often tough to choose the right one for your bar. Here are some basic questions to consider that will help make your decision a bit easier.
If you’ve already built your, bar, this is probably your biggest concern. Will your mini-fridge fit? If you’re still in the planning stages, you’ve got a bit more flexibility. Be sure to measure existing spaces to get a feel for what fridges will and won’t fit.
Keep your beverage habits in mind
If you want to cool wine or another non-canned liquor, make sure that the fridge you’re choosing has a shelf with the necessary clearances to fit your beverage of choice. You can also just get a dedicated wine cooler in some cases, but most homes will benefit from having a device that can cool more than one type of drink. Besides, wine coolers almost never have built-in ice makers.
How Much Ice Will You Use?
Many home bars aren’t visited that often. You might have a couple drinks with company over the weekend, but most of the time, your bar won’t see much use. If you think your bar falls into this category, you definitely don’t need an ice maker that can store 45 lbs of ice.
On the other hand, you might be on the opposite end of the spectrum. if you find yourself frequently hosting large parties or simply using the ice from your ice maker for regular household use, you might want to deliberately get a unit with a larger ice maker or even a stand-alone ice maker.
A piddly little ice maker that’s crammed into a mini fridge might not have the power that your usage habits require.
At the end of the day, none of this matters if you can’t afford the fridge you want. Bar fridges tend to be pretty expensive, especially models that plug into your water line and make ice automatically. While these units are pretty fancy additions to your bar, they’ll often eat up a big chunk of your project’s budget. Make sure that you leave enough money for the rest of your bar!
While the Danby DPC6012BLS is perhaps the easiest beverage center to put under the counter of your bar, don’t discount the other options!
You can save money on beverage storage, have a professional quality ice maker with monster output, or even get a cooler/ice maker combo that will have more than enough power to host an entire block party.
By analyzing the needs of your home bar and comparing them to the products above, you’ll be able to pick the best bar refrigerator for your home and have plenty of access to ice.