Review Updated Dec 2018 – Still struggling with those age old ice trays to make ice in your refrigerator? We can understand how cumbersome it is to first fill those ice trays, wait for ages till it freezes, and then struggle to get the ice cubes to pop out.
Imagine coming back home on a scorching day just to realize that there is no ice, and then having to wait for a couple of hours to enjoy your favorite drink. Worse still, you are hosting a party, and you run out of ice – there is nothing worse than running out of ice at a party – ice makes the drink!
The only solution to these problems is to invest in a portable ice maker machine.
Do I Really Need One? Let’s Find Out!
What is an ice maker machine anyway? It is a small kitchen equipment that freezes water to make ice cubes. It is meant to make ice but not to keep ice for long. Once the freezing is done, you need to either use the cubes in your drink or keep them in a cooler or your freezer.
What happens inside this contraption? Once you pour water into it, it is channelled into the rotating ice tray. Cool air is pumped by a fan and a tiny compressor freezes the water. Once the freezing process is done, the ice cubes are released from the ice tray using a warm refrigerant. The cubes will stay in the bin until you empty it out.
If you are wondering if we are talking about some big piece of equipment used in commercial kitchens, then you can give your imagination some rest. These ice makers are portable and compact units that can fit on any table top or counter top.
It doesn’t even need to be hooked onto a water supply. You will have to manually get water and pour it into the machine. As long as you have a supply of water with you, you’re good to go. You will also need to plug it into a power source for it to work. Luckily, most RVs and campsites have power outlets that you can use.
They are ideal for kitchens of all sizes. Whether you are a small family or someone who loves to play a host, these ice making machines can churn out perfect ice cubes for you and your guests.
Where Else Could I Use the Magic Chef Countertop Ice Maker?
Being able to continue to supply your guests with cold drinks is just one scenario where an ice maker is needed. It is also handy for any situations where you find yourself needing something cold and ending up buying bags of ice:
- Camping – Coming back to your campfire after a long day of hiking and swimming, wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to have drinks that hasn’t been sitting in a container all day? Plus, ice cubes would be very helpful if you happen to twist your ankle or bump your head.
- Tailgating – If you are bringing your vehicle to an away game, instead of buying ice in convenience stores along the way, you can just make your own. You can store your beer in them and cool your soda cans too.
- RV trips – Most RVs already have refrigerators installed. But who has the time to pour water in ice cube trays when you are too busy exploring? Plus, if you have a big family, you will need to keep on refilling the ice trays and moving the ice to another container just to have enough for everyone.
- Break rooms – A lot of companies have coffee makers in their break rooms. These are meant for people who want to stay awake during the work day. But, what about the people who do not want to drink anything hot? Having an ice maker in the break room will allow them to make iced tea, iced coffee, or juice drinks.
There are several brands and models of ice makers available on the market, and choosing the right one might be a bit of a daunting task. To make things easier for you we have done a bit of our own research and checked out some products, their features, prices, and customer reviews.
One product that really caught our eye on was the Magic chef ice maker. This is an elegant looking sleek machine that can sit comfortably on your counter top, and make ice cubes for you in a hassle free manner.
There are a couple of models available on Amazon with slightly varied features, but they offer more or less the same functionality, and the prices are not very far apart either. So, for the purpose of discussion we will not go very deep into what is in these in different models, but we will limit our scope to the magic chef ice maker in general.
Why Magic Chef, Why Not Others?
You may not know this but the brand Magic Chef is related to other popular household brands. It used to be known as The American Stove Company, an innovative stove company back in the day. It eventually got sold to Maytag and then, finally, to Whirlpool. It has been around for more than 85 years. That is why many consumers trust their small appliances.
The best thing about the magic chef portable ice maker is its efficiency.
That is less than the time that you would need to put together all the ingredients for your cocktail. If you are hosting a party at your home, you don’t have to order ice from outside anymore, you can make as much as you want at home with this amazing piece of equipment.
Considering its size, it is hard to imagine that it is capable of making 30 pounds (15 kg) of ice in a day. So, call over as many guests as you want, and treat them to the best of cocktails and coolers, without worrying for a minute that you will run out of ice. You might as well start your own neighborhood bar!
Another reason why more people choose to buy the ice makers from Magic Chef is its durability. All of the models have received mostly favourable reviews from customers who bought their equipment a year or so ago.
Some even return to buy the same model for their families and friends. Surely, this is a testament to how they trust the product.
What Are the Issues to Watch Out for In Buying A Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker?
Magic Chef is a brand that typically gets a mixture of good and bad feedback from customers. These are some of the issues they raised about their purchase of Magic Chef’s various ice maker models:
- Some units broke after only a few months of use.
While majority of the people who bought the Magic Chef ice maker attest to its durability, claiming that it worked for them for years without any issues, there are still a few that sent in complaints. Some customers claimed that their ice makers didn’t work when they got them out of the box. This could be a factory defect and is easily addressed by asking the online store for a replacement.
Some posts say that their ice maker performed well for a few months (3-6 months) before it stopped working altogether. Most of the problem raised is related to the sensor that monitors the water level in the machine. A customer claims that the “Add Water” alert kept on lighting up even when there is water inside equipment. Another posted that the machine would not make ice because its sensor claims that it is still full. Again, if the unit is still under warranty, the best way to address this problem is to have it replaced.
- The water pump doesn’t push water into the ice maker.
If your ice maker stops pumping water into the freezing tray, it could be because the pump assembly has been blocked by calcium deposit. This occurs when you do not clean your ice maker properly or store it for too long without draining the water reservoir. Another reason could if something is preventing the impeller from turning. Hair or other fibers could be trapped in there.
- The ice bin is too small.
The Magic Chef ice maker’s ice bin is said to be smaller than average. This means fewer ice can be stored. This is why some customers are complaining that they have to move the ice to a different container too often just so the machine could start making the next batch of ice. Luckily, the speed which the ice maker freezes water is commendable and somehow offsets the fact that it produces
Let’s have a look at its physical features. We found the magic chef ice maker on Amazon in two different colors- silver and white, both look pretty cool. Any of these colors would gel well with any kitchen décor and add to the feel of your home. It would not look like an odd piece of machinery that is taking up too much of your working space.
The sleek design is also a plus because it goes with most modern kitchen themes. It’s not too boxy with its curved edges. However, if you have a traditional kitchen and don’t want to clutter its look with something that looks too modern, you can simply store the ice maker in a cabinet as soon as you’re done making enough ice.
Its dimensions are 14 x 17 x 16 inches, which makes its pretty much the size of your microwave oven. This ice maker weighs about 27 pounds (13kg), and you can easily shift it from one place to another (without busting valves of your own).
The size is great for when you already have so many appliances on your countertop. And, again, should it not have any place left, you can simply hide it away. Plus, it’s so small that you can place it on top of your refrigerator or even your microwave when not in use.
This portable ice maker machine makes perfectly shaped ice cubes. Another cool thing is that you can adjust the size – It comes with three size options small, medium, and large. Depending on the drinks that you are going to make, you can select an option.
This is a standard feature for most ice makers nowadays because some people want cool drinks but do not want the flavor of their juice or cocktail watered down. It is good to have an option of putting smaller ice cubes in your drinks.
Once you have made ice, you can just leave it in the ice maker for a considerable amount time before it starts to melt. Even if you have kept the ice in the machine for too long and it melts, you can reuse the same water to make a fresh batch of ice cubes, or you can drain it out from outlet provided on the side.
The magic chef portable ice maker comes with a transparent top cover, so can see through it when your ice is getting made. It also comes with an automatic shut off feature, which means that you don’t have to keep a track of time, the ice maker will shut off as soon as the ice cubes are ready.
Another great feature of this ice maker that truly impressed us was that it worked pretty much silently. So, no need to worry about some noisy ice machine clunking away in your kitchen.
The mark of a kitchen appliance that will ensure that it stays being used, and not gathering dust inside a bottom shelf, is how easy it is to clean. The Magic Chef is super easy to keep clean. All you need to do is to mix a small amount of ice machine cleaner, or dish cleaner, with water. Pour that mixture into the ice maker’s water reservoir.
Turn the soapy water into ice by running the ice maker. Remember to discard that batch immediately or else you’re going to end up serving soap cocktails to your guests. Once you are done, run another cycle, this time, only with clean water. You can do this several times until you are sure that there is no more soap residue inside the machine. Place the unit upside down and drain the remaining water from its reservoir.
The Pros and Cons of Buying A Magic Chef Countertop Ice Maker
Your head might be spinning from reading all the features of the product written above. To make choosing a little bit easier for you, here is the summarized advantages and disadvantages of buying an ice maker model by Magic Chef.
- It is made by a reputable brand. Magic Chef has also been around for a long time.
- It’s capacity and ice production speed is sufficient for normal ice use. It can also produce enough ice for larger needs.
- It is able to produce 30 pounds of ice in one day.
- It is generally durable if the consumer follows proper maintenance and use. It also comes with an easy-to-follow manual.
- It is affordable. The different models’ prices range from $99 to $145.
- It has a sleek, modern design that would allow it to fit right in your modern kitchen.
- It is compact and lightweight. You can bring it along with you on trips.
- It can produce three different sizes of ice.
- It is silent.
- It is easy to clean and store.
- It requires a power source. You will not be able to use it if there is no power outlet available.
- Some units break after a few months of use.
- The water pump assembly can get blocked if not cleaned properly on a regular basis.
- You have to drain the reservoir completely if you plan on storing it for a long time. Otherwise, deposit could build up and block the pump assembly.
- Its ice bin is smaller than usual.
All in all this thing pretty much rocks.
For a reasonable price, you already get the convenience of never having to do an ice run in the middle of a gathering ever again.