Who needs an ice crusher? Most of us have a fridge at home with a freezer section, which is perfectly adequate for our domestic ice requirements. But in commercial premises – especially within the catering industry – it’s a whole different ball game. (Or should that be cube game)? For a wide variety of busy commercial settings an ice machine is not just a useful addition, but an essential tool. The question is, do you need an ice crusher, a crushed ice machine or something else?
Founded in 1998, Welch Refrigeration Services have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the repair, installation and maintenance of ice machines. Read on to discover how to choose the right ice machine for your business.
A cold hard look at the options
The most common types of ice produced in a commercial refrigeration setting are cube, flake, bullet and spray.
Cubes are widely used in pubs, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. Ice in cube form is multi-purpose in function, but is probably used most commonly for chilling drinks. The benefit of full cubes is that they melt more slowly, keeping drinks colder for longer.
Ice flakes have a number of uses, and are commonly associated with the kind of displays you might find in a fishmonger’s shop. The flakes help prevent the displayed items from suffering the effects of freezer burn. Along with crushed ice, which involves smaller pieces, flakes are used in a range of industries from catering to chemical processes.
Bullet ice is also used in drinks and displays, and takes less time to produce than ice cubes. Due to the way it’s made, bullet ice is softer than cubed ice and has a tendency to melt faster. It can be a cost effective solution, however, and is a popular choice for busy pubs and bars.
Spray ice is generally considered to be the premier product when it comes to ice. It’s crystal clear and takes longer to melt than other forms, and a high-end restaurant ice machine is likely to be of the spray ice variety. The downside is that the ice takes longer to make.
Things to consider before deciding
When choosing an ice crusher or commercial ice machine, do you go for air cooled or water cooled? Air cooled machines take in air through vents and will require a certain amount of clearance. Water cooled machines use mains water for the process, allowing more flexibility in terms of positioning. Generally speaking, air cooled machines are the more cost effective option. Some machines are filled manually, and are more easily moveable; larger machines are more efficient, but will need a mains water supply and drainage. The ice requirements of different businesses will vary hugely, so it’s important to choose a machine that will produce as little or as much ice as you need.
Here at Welch Refrigeration Services we are specialists in commercial and industrial refrigeration, and we pride ourselves on putting our customers first. For more information or advice give our friendly team a call, and let us help you choose the ideal ice machine for your business.