Before you purchase a commercial ice machine, it’s important to know what type of ice (i.e., shape) you want your ice machine to produce. The shape of ice not only adds to a customer’s overall experience, but it can also help maximize your beverage costs. While over 80% of U.S. ice machines produce some version of cubed ice, there are other types of ice out there. See below for a quick reference guide that highlights the six types of ice along with the benefits and uses for each.
1. Half Cube Ice
The half cube, also known as the “half-dice,” measures 3/8” x 7/8” and is considered to be the most versatile type of ice. A half-cube is a solid, dryer piece of ice with a high ice-to-water ratio (this means it will keep a drink cooler for longer). It melts slower than nugget or shaved ice. More ice can fit in a glass to displace more liquid, which means less of an expensive beverage can fit into the glass.
Industries that use Half-cube Ice
2. Full Cube Ice
Similar to the half cube, a full cube or “full-dice” ice is common and cheap to make. It measures 7/8″ all the way around. With its high ice-to-water ratio, it offers maximum cooling and slow melt time.
Industries that use Cube Ice
3. Nugget Ice
Pellet, pearl, and “sonic” ice are other names given to nugget ice. It is a soft and chewable type of ice. Nugget ice displaces more liquid than cube and half-cub ice. Customers who love nugget ice want more ice in their cup, which means increased beverage profits.
Industries that use Nugget Ice
4. Flaked Ice
These small slivers of ice come in either shaved or crushed forms and make for a very packable ice. This type of ice is perfect for quick and consistent chilling of display items.
Industries that use Flaked Ice
5. Crescent Ice
Crescent-shaped ice has a curved side that helps displace liquid. More ice + less liquid = increased beverage profits.
Industries that use Crescent Ice
6. Gourmet Ice
Gourmet ice is known for its top-hat shape and unique visual appeal. These ice pieces are typically larger than other types of ice and are used with high-end liquors.
Industries that use Gourmet Ice
Find out more about commercial ice machines by reading our Ice Machine Buyer’s Guide.
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