Top 5 Under-Counter Nugget Ice Makers to Cool Down on a Hot Day!

Instantly chill your favorite drinks that requires an extra crunch.

Updated August 14, 2022

Imagine chilling on a hot summer day with a cup of cold drink filled with ice… While we are familiar with regular ice cubes having a maximum cooling effect, there are so many options for ice varieties. For example, crescent ice has a distinct half-moon shape. They will not pack together and will create exceptional liquid displacement in your drink. Or flake ice is just the right type for market display applications with its super fun, snow-like texture! There is so much more to choose from...

For your taste and household-type applications, try using the nugget ice (Also known as; tubular nugget ice, pebble ice, or sonic ice), which is soft and easy to chew, rather than using the regular ice cubes! Unlike regular cubes, nugget ice absorbs the drink's flavor and blends well. It is best for soft, cold, and blended drinks like smoothies and frozen cocktails. However, because nugget ice melts quicker, you might want to make it yourself rather than buy it from the store. Plus, it would be way cooler to invite your friends over and have fun with unlimited ice! While these ice makers come in various types (like under-counter, countertop, portable, freestanding, etc.), here are our top five under-counter nugget ice makers!

Our Favourite Picks

1. Best Overall Scotsman Nugget Ice Maker (UN0815A-UN1215A-1)

With the highest ice-making capacity of 119 lbs., the Scotsman Ice Maker is at the top of our list. This eco-friendly machine has a 36 lb storage capacity and an ergonomic slide-back door! When it comes to ice makers, storage is surely a critical aspect that defines the usability of the product, and Scotsman is nowhere behind on this topic! (Here is something to keep in mind; nugget ice melts quicker, so do not keep them in the store for too long!)

Top Pick

Make nugget ice yourself and don’t worry about storage!

It comes in two options, where UN0815A makes up to 76lb of ice per day and UN1215A-1 makes up to 119 lb of ice per day. Both come in the same size; 15in x 24in x 38in. The small design makes it so easy to place it in the tightest places. Also, with the front breathing, you do not need to clear the sides and can easily place it wherever you want.

This product is also eco-friendly and is Energy Star certified! You can easily install and use it right away. The 6" adjustable legs make it so simple to configure it for your place. Also, the stainless-steel evaporator and auger increase the durability, so your machine will be available for you and your guests for years!

What We Like:

  • High production of ice per day
  • Saves space with its compact design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Durable material
  • High storage capacity

What We Don't Like:

  • None

2. Best Quiet Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Undercounter Ice Machine

Want to have nuggets of ice rapidly, with little to no sound and odorless? The second product on our list is one of the quietest out there! It has an approximate size of 22in x 15in x 33in and is quite easy to install with a 115v plug-in design. The small door with the handle is so ergonomic and easy to open. With 85 lb of ice production per day and 22 lb of container storage, Ice-O-Matic is convenient for small-space applications like break rooms, houses, cafés, and so on!

Silent Pick

Ice maker for your own, in your house, and with minimum noise!

For an odor-free and fresh experience, Ice-O-Matic’s exclusive Pure Ice technology works just fine! After a quick production of nugget ice, Ice-O-Matic automatically shuts itself off; its energy efficiency is harmless to your electric bill. Optionally, you can get a drain pump too.

What We Like:

  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet ice production
  • Easy to install
  • Odor-free technology

What We Don't Like:

  • Might be a little expensive to repair (high maintenance)

3. Best Customizable GE UNC15NJII Undercounter Ice Maker

Whether for a modern or traditional house, the GE Ice Maker can be personalized to the environment or interior with its panel-ready, cabinet-compatible door and custom handle! It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. After producing the ice, use the ice scoop, which has a sturdy design that helps transfer the ice to any container/glass!

Great Aesthetics

Personalize the door and the handle just the way you like!

It has a 65 lb. ice production capacity per day and 26 lb. of storage. It comes in a 23in x 15in x 34in size. Additional GXRLQK, GXRTLL, or GXRTDR filters and optional drain pump kits are also available.

The electronic display in the GE Ice Maker has LED lights for "ice making," "check water," and "time to clean" notifications, where the "cleaning time" message alerts you to clean the product. Additionally, the product shuts itself off when the storage is full, so you do not have to worry about overusing electricity!

What We Like:

  • Looks aesthetic with cabinet-compatible doors
  • Energy efficient
  • Electronic display for easy use

What We Don't Like:

  • A little on the pricier side

4. Best for Patio Scotsman SCN60GA-1SS Brilliance Outdoor Ice Machine

The Scotsman SCN60GA ranked fourth on our list and is simple to set up and use! The Scotsman ice maker can produce up to 80 lbs of ice per day and can store up to 26 lbs of ice in its storage! It comes in a 23in x 15in x 33in size.

This high-quality product is also very quiet when operating and durable. While it is outdoor approved and can be used in many places, the Scotsman would surely be essential for your house!

Also Great

Transform your outdoor space into a beautiful bar or iced beverage shop with this machine as its centerpiece.

It contains an LED-lit storage bin, an electronic display (which notifies you of the power status, when it's time to clean, and when there's no water), and a self-closing door, making it both convenient to use and energy-efficient. Speaking of efficiency, the Scotsman SCN60GA uses 40% less energy than stand-alone ice machines! So, when you are having fun making your nugget ice, do not worry about the electric bill!

What We Like:

  • Custom cabinet doors can be installed
  • Energy-wise design
  • Lighted inside and an electric display
  • A class energy efficiency

What We Don't Like:

  • Could be a little expensive for some budgets

5. Best Cheap Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine

Last but not least, here is our budget pick on our list: the Euhomy Ice Maker. It is one of the best ice makers in terms of quality and quantity. It can produce up to 100 lbs of ice per day and store up to 33 lbs of ice. (Here is another tip; don’t keep your ice in the store for too long if the weather is hot, so it doesn’t melt!)

The new curved flip cover design is different and safer than the old-style flip covers with sharp edges. It comes in an approximate size of 18in x 16in x 31in. Plus, it’s so simple to install and use!


Excellent countertop ice maker under $500.

The smart LCD panel shows the temperature, the size of the cubes, and when it’s time to clean. By pressing the buttons, you can change the size of the cubes according to your needs. When it’s time to clean, it is easy to do with a gravity drainage system!


Pressing the timer button for about 5 seconds activates the cleaning mode. Also, the automatic overflow prevention system shuts the machine when it’s full!

This product is one of our favorites because it has ETL certification and is approved for commercial use. So whether it’s for a house, restaurant, bar, or hotel, Euhomy is a great choice! It works silently and saves energy (certified).

What We Like:

  • Getting started is a breeze
  • Appropriate for both commercial and domestic use
  • Works fast and easy
  • Automatic start/stop
  • Silent production

What We Don't Like:

  • The ice is not exactly nugget type

Undercounter Sonic Ice Maker Buying Guide

Best Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker with a door open

Buying a worthy under-counter nugget ice maker for your place is a decision you don’t want to take lightly. These machines are of long-term value, so you want to ensure you’re getting one right for you and your family. Here are some important things to consider before buying an under-counter ice maker:


How much ice do you need? A small ice maker is probably all you need if you’re just looking for enough ice to keep drinks cold at parties. But if everyone in your house drinks a lot of water or soda, you might want to consider getting a larger machine.


Make sure that whichever brand and model you choose fits comfortably under your countertop. Some models come with their own stand; others need to be installed into existing cabinetry. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to account for the length of the water and drainage lines, which can be anywhere from 2 to 15 feet.


Some under-counter ice machines are as small as 15 inches wide, while others measure over 30 inches across. If you have a smaller kitchen or limited space to work with, choose a model that will fit comfortably in the available area.


Undercounter ice makers range in price from around $500 to upwards of $3,500 or more. When choosing a machine for your home, consider your budget and whether you’d like to pay a higher price for premium features such as a built-in drain pump, extra ice storage, an infrared sensor that prevents overfilling, or a larger bin capacity.


Most under-counter ice machines produce between 35 and 50 decibels of sound, which is similar to the level produced by a dishwasher. Some models have special filters or insulation that help them run more quietly. If you plan to install your under-counter ice maker where it will be near a seating area, and noise is a concern, you may choose a model with an insulated cabinet.

Cooling System: Air-cooled vs. Water-cooled

All under-counter ice machines have a cooling system that helps the refrigerant circulate and causes the water to freeze. There are two different types of cooling systems, air-cooled and water-cooled. Air-cooled models use fans to move ambient air over the condenser coils, while water-cooled models circulate chilled water from an external chiller unit through these same coils. This is significant because it helps prevent your machine from getting too chilly or your food from spoiling. It also helps keep things consistent, so your food tastes good every time.

Air-cooled models are less expensive and require less installation work, but they can be noisier and may not produce as much ice in a day as water-cooled models. Water-cooled systems are more expensive, but they’re also quieter and tend to produce more ice. The tradeoff is that you need to run a water line to the unit, which requires more installation work and can increase utility costs.

Water and Energy Consumption

Ice machines can use a lot of water and energy, so choosing a model that is as efficient as possible is important. Some models have special features like low-water shutdown or auto-defrost that help reduce water and energy consumption. This matters because ice machines are expensive to maintain and operate. Compressor-driven cooling systems tend to be more powerful and offer better temperature control than evaporator-style systems. Air-cooled condenser models may not produce as much ice in a day as water-cooled models, but they cost less to operate.


Most commercial ice machines have a one-year warranty, but some brands offer more extended warranties. Be sure to check the terms and conditions before purchasing an ice machine to ensure you are getting the coverage you need.

Some companies offer parts and labor coverage for up to five years, while others only cover the cost of parts.

Extra Features

Some ice machines come with extra features to make them easier to use, such as an LED or LCD display and automatic cleaning cycles. These features aren’t always needed, but they may make the machine easier to keep up and cheaper to own in the long run.

Also, consider some customization options. For example, you can buy an ice machine with a stainless steel finish and custom panels to match your decor.


Don’t forget to look at and prioritize all the factors we have discussed to make the best choice for your needs. After considering all of these factors, you are ready to purchase your ice machine!

If you are in a hurry, let’s remind you of the Scotsman Nugget Ice Maker — It has a larger model that can produce up to 119 pounds of ice in a day. It uses an air-cooled system, which means it does not waste water. It has a storage capacity of 36 pounds and can make a batch of ice in as little as 20 minutes.

Enjoy your cocktails with your new ice maker, and if you have any questions about the best model for your needs, we are always just a click away.

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About the author 

Dianne Centeno

Dianne is the editor-in-chief and also one of the main writers of Use&Cook. She has an endless curiosity for new kitchen ideas and products which keeps her motivated. Her technical background is also the key to make complex kitchen issues easier with the right set of cooking tools.

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