Sonic ‘nugget’ ice is one of the most popular from of ice anywhere! This article discusses the origins of the term ‘sonic ice’ and will show you which are the best nugget ice machines available for purchase for your home or business.
What are the leading Sonic ‘nugget’ ice machine brands?
There are 3 very popular nugget ice machine brands capable of making great tasting chewable ice. They are listed below:
We will discuss models from all 3 of these nugget ice machine manufacturers.
Nugget ice machines designed by Scotsman, the creator of sonic ice machines. Scotsman machines are very expensive, over $2,500 and up. Since this is outside the budget for many of us, we also covered lower priced machine from Della and Edgestar which are capable of creating nugget, sonic inspired chewable ice at more reasonable price.
These machines typically between $150-300, so this may be the best route to go if you are a budget and do not require a lot of ice on a daily basis.
Before we discuss nugget ice machines, let’s go over what nugget ice is and where the term originated
Where did the term Sonic ice come from?
The term Sonic ice has become the most popular name for this edible ice because of the Sonic restaurant drive thru chain, where the ice is readily available.
The truth is chewable ice was originally created by the industry leaders in ice making machines in 1981, Scotsman, which they call nugget or chewable ice.
Other terms for Sonic Ice are:
- Chewable ice by Scotsman (the true originators of sonic ice)
- Pellet ice
- Nugget ice
- Pearl ice
A picture of this Sonic Ice is below:
How can I make Sonic Ice Machine at my residence or business?
A sonic nugget ice maker machine in your home or business will ensure that you have chewable ice available for use whenever you need it. There are many different type of nugget ice makers available depending on your needs and budget. We focus on the top 3 popular brands.
A guide to Popular Sonic Nugget Ice Makers from Scotsman, Della and Edgestar.
Scotsman SCN60PA-1 Brilliance Nugget Ice Machine
To start off our review, we have what seems to be one of the best nugget ice making machines in the country. There is really no comparison when it comes to ice makers. We have to admit, you’ll be paying a premium for this machine, but you’ll be getting the best.
The nugget ice is normally in small chunks, chewable and can take the flavor of whatever drink they’re in. The machine contains lighting in the ice bin with a self-closing door. The Scotsman Ice maker can make up to 80 pounds of ice per day and26 of that can be stored. The design of the machine is such that you can install it under the counter in your home, patio bar or even yacht.
Below are some product specs for the Scotsman SCN60PA-1 Brilliance Nugget Ice Machine. These specs have been taken from the Amazon website. As of this writing, Amazon page has reviews from 55 customers with a 4.5-star rating.
- 80 lbs. Nugget Daily Ice Production
- 26 lbs. Ice Storage
- Interior Light
- Self-Closing Door
- Requires Custom Pane
- Item Weight: 129 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 14.9 x 33.4 inches
- It offers quick ice production
- The LED light in the cabin is a plus
- There is an LED light to remind you about routine maintenance
Scotsman SCN60GA-1SU Brilliance Series Nugget Ice Machine
The next machine on our list still comes from Scotsman and is a part of the brilliance series as well. The product is slightly cheaper, but offers the best service. The nugget ice maker has 15 inches in width and can produce over 80 lbs of ice daily.
On top of that, you could also store 26 lbs of ice in the ice maker as well. This nuggie ice maker is approved for use outdoors and offers a user-friendly control panel as well as a lighted bin.
Below are some product specs for the Scotsman SCN60GA-1SU Brilliance Series. These specs have been taken from the Amazon website. As of this writing, Amazon page has reviews from 2 customers with a 3.5-star average rating because one customer found it noisy.
- Produces over 80 lbs. of ice per 24 hours
- 26-lb. ice storage capacity
- Produces nugget ice
- Outdoor approved
- User-friendly control panel; lighted bin
- Item Weight: 129 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 14.9 x 33.9 inches
- It’s quiet compared to other models
- It can produce plenty of ice for home use
- It looks great with the stainless-steel finish
- The price is still on the high side
DELLA 048-GM-048225 Portable Ice Maker
We feel that this ice machine is one of the few that we’ve seen that incorporates technology very well. It’s perfect for home use not as much for business due to the amount it produces. You can expect to get up to 26 lbs of ice daily from this machine. It can also hold 2lbs of ice in a well-insulated bin.
It has alerts that let you know when the ice container is full or when the level of water on the reservoir is low. It can also notify you when the ice bucket is full. The unit is user friendly in its use as well as controls. The LED controls are easy to use and the unit doesn’t need any sort of installation to work. There is a see-through window at the top that can be used to check how far the ice making process is at.
Below are the product specs for DELLA 048-GM-048225 Portable Ice Maker. These specs have been taken from the Amazon website. As of this writing, Amazon page has reviews from 94 customers with a 4.2-star rating.
- Sleek performance Oriented design and compact size with a removable tray for easy ice transfer
- Easy push touch buttons with Icons for digital control; Yield Up To 26 Pounds of Ice Daily
- See through window allow for process monitoring & ice level checking
- Alerts of peace of mind: Low water level & maximum ice capacity reached
- Perfect for your RV, boat, or small kitchen, this ice maker is compact, bars, restaurants, portable and works anywhere there is an outlet available
- Item Weight: 21.9 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 15 inches
- It can produce ice quickly
- It’s durable
- Its compact
- Does not produce as much ice
Again, Scotsman ice machines are very expensive, and outside the budget for most of us. That said, Della does make some very popular ice machine capable of making chewable nugget ice. Please see below for more information on their products.
DELLA 048-GM-48293 2-in-1 Water Dispenser with built in Ice Maker
Here we have a free-standing machine that’s compact and useful. This ice maker from Della also doubles as a water dispenser. Due to its size, you can’t really get that much ice out of it, but it does have some amazing features. The controls are easy to use and understand.
It has LED notifications and alerts to let you know when the ice needs to be emptied out or the water reservoir is full. It’s ideal for both office and home as its compact and also has a spill tray to catch any spills. It can also dab into being a crushed ice maker as you can adjust the size of the ice from big to small.
Below are the product specs for the DELLA 048-GM-48293 2-in-1 Water Dispenser with built in Ice Maker. The specs were taken from Amazon. As of this writing, Amazon page has reviews from 1 customer with a 5-star rating.
- 2-in-1 Water Dispenser with a Built-in Ice Maker
- Easy to use and portable design is ideal for any Kitchen / Office / Lobby / Break Room
- Easy-to-use controls, you can adjust the cube size from small to large
- Ice and Water dispensing system; Certifications: ETL, CSA, UL Listed
- Overall Dimension: 15″(L) x 10-1/4″(W) x 14″(H)
- Item Weight: 24 pounds
- It’s compact
- It’s user friendly
- It doesn’t produce enough ice for large consumption
Is a Sonic Ice Machine worth the price?
The price for an ice machine that makes this quality ice can be pretty steep for most people, but it’s definitely a life time investment. If you’re a regular eater of ice 3 bags of ice a day is not uncommon. A bag of ice can cost anywhere from $1.49-2.00. If we do the math 3×1.49 = $4.47 a day! If we multiply that by 365 days in a year the total cost is $1,631.55! A good ice machine by Scotsman that makes their ground-breaking 1981 chew-able ice will cost you Just over $2500.
These are just a few of the most popular sonic ice makers on the market. There are many more nugget ice machine models to consider for your home or business that we did not cover. You can click here to see those.