Need ice when you’re outside? We’ve tracked down the best outdoor undercounter ice maker to make your yard or patio the place to be this summer.
Nothing says summer like a tall glass brimmed with frosty ice cubes and your favorite drink! Keep that ice well within reach with an undercounter ice machine to fit into your outdoor kitchen! Here we’re going to review the best undercounter ice makers to help you keep the party going, and check one more thing off of your list.
These appliances are perfectly suited to producing pounds of ice cubes over a short period of time, allowing you to serve up frosted cold drinks, lemonade and margaritas as fast as you can make them!
First, we’re going to let you in on some things that you should really know before you buy your first undercounter ice maker for an outdoor kitchen. Afterwards, we’ll jump straight into some detailed reviews of the top models you can find to outfit your deck or patio with.
What kind of drinks are you thinking of serving up with one of these?
Know Before You Buy: Undercounter Ice Makers
You’d think it would be pretty straightforward, but there are some crucial details you need to take stock of before you go to purchase one of these appliances.
They’re incredibly useful to have, whether it’s inside or as a part of your outdoor kitchen. To get the most out of it, check out some of these considerations below.
There’s many aspects of an ice maker that might make you develop a preference for one or the other. One key feature you need to look out for regardless of how it looks, is how long the manufacturer states the ice will take to actually be made after connecting it to a water source.
If it produces more ice than you need, and at a slower rate it’s probably not the ice maker for you. Opt for a model that’s going to be able to deliver the right amount of ice cubes to you when you need them, so you don’t end up running to the gas station anyways!
Ice Cube Shape
No two ice cube making machines produce exactly the same kinds of cubes. Here we’ll feature models that make larger square cubes of ice, as well as standard sizes and even bullet ice cubes. (The conical narrow ones with a dimple on top).
There are benefits to considering one over the other, besides your personal preference for what you like bobbing around in your drink. One may have a shorter freezing time, (the idea behind the bullet shaped ice cubes), and others may simply give you a larger piece of ice for certain drinks.
Many ice cube makers are supplied with the necessary water for making ice via a water line. This makes it somewhat automated, and pretty useful for making ice cubes on demand. That being said, most people don’t have water line access into their outdoor kitchen. Either because of budget, climate, or simply necessity.
Some models, one of which will be featured in thes reviews, have a ‘manual’ option for water intake, which usually just means a place to put a water jug. These are similar to the ones you might use in a water dispenser.
Now that you’ve got a good idea of what to look out for before you buy an undercounter ice maker, let’s go over some reviews of our favorite models!
Reviewing the Best Options for Outdoor Undercounter Ice Makers
SMETA 15 inch Built-in Ice Maker
This ice maker allows you to store up to 6lbs of ice, and it’s capable of making 12lbs of ice cubes over the course of 24 hours. This unit doubles as both a freezer and an icemaker, and instead of the usual hatch, it features a door somewhat similar to a mini fridge.
It’s a smaller model that’s made for more form-fitted enclosures, keeping out of the way when you don’t need it. Overall it features a stainless steel faceplate, with an indented pull handle on the top of the door. You’ll need to ensure there’s enough clearance to get your hand under the counter to open the fridge.
It automatically shuts off after the ice bin is full, so you don’t need to worry about turning it off. This is really the ultimate in hassle-free ice making, with an included ice scoop, visible water line and removable ice bin.
- Small form-fitted design for fitting inside smaller enclosures in outdoor kitchens
- Removable ice cube tray for easily making blended drinks
- Front venting for easy installation in an outdoor kitchen cabinet
- Produces semi circle ice cubes, much like a fridge ice dispenser
- Requires manual defrosting and cleaning
- Has an automatic water drain, but no drain or tray
Manitowoc NEO 26” Full Sized Ice Machine
To give you the option of producing seriously large amounts of ice cubes in your own backyard, I chose to feature this commercial size ice machine. Believe it or not, it is completely capable of being used as an outdoor undercounter ice maker.
This monster produces up to 90 lbs of ice, which it’s capable of holding in the inner bin. It has onboard manual controls for controlling ice production, and produces two different sizes of ice cubes.
The large inner storage bin is accessed via a hatch, much like those in bars or restaurants. This makes it easy to serve up lots of ice as soon as you need it! We recommend these for people who do a lot of entertaining, or need to fill several coolers full of ice at a time.
*Our research shows that you can use this ice maker outside without issues, as long as you don’t plug it into a GFCI outdoor outlet, instead using a standard outlet.
- Large inner ice bin capable of holding 90lbs of ice
- Perfect for filling up multiple coolers or ice bins full of ice for canned drinks
- Produces large amounts of ice in only a few hours
- You need to supply your own drainage line to the back of the machine
- You’ll need to use an external filter if your water line doesn’t already go through one
- It produces a lot of drainage water with everyday use
Artidy Commercial Ice Maker
This is a sleek, modern looking ice maker that can be used either as an undercounter unit, or a freestanding one. It has front-facing vents which make it easier to install, as well as digital controls on the front with an LED temperature display.
It produces 60 pieces of ice in one 12-29 minute cycle, and holds up to 33lbs of ice, with the capability of producing 100lbs in 24 hours. It has two water intake connectors, one from a water jug, and one from a water line.
The body of the machine is made from a galvanized steel plate, which gives it a really sharp look, too.
- Glass window with LED lighting so you can see how much ice you’ve got on hand
- Included scoop, and the ability to switch between water jug and water line filling
- Automatic cleaning function
- Can not be used as an undercounter unit when using the manual water jug connector on top of the unit.
- Does not store frozen ice, ice needs to be removed and put in a freezer after it’s made
SMAD 33LB Capacity Undercounter Ice Maker
This is another mid-range unit with a commercial design all around. It features an ABS hatch door on top for accessing ice cubes, and a stainless steel plate on the front with venting and a small LCD display screen with controls.
You can make use of a timer for only making a certain amount of ice at a time, or having it automatically shut off when you’ve got all the ice you need. Although, the unit will stop producing ice once the bin is full, as well.
This ice maker has a self-cleaning cycle, as well as substantial insulation. Unlike some of the other models we’ve reviewed, it even includes a 0.25 diameter hose which can connect straight to a faucet. That means that if you provide a space for it to go through the top of the counter, you can simply connect it straight to the faucet without running an additional water line.
- Self-cleaning cycle activates at the press of a button
- Comes with an included water hose that can connect directly to the faucet
- Has excellent insulation for keeping ice frozen
- There is some ice melt at the bottom of the bin, but the ice maker replenishes quickly
Uline Undercounter Crescent Ice Maker
As the name states, this is a crescent ice cube maker, meaning that it makes those small semi-circle types of cubes. Personally, I find these preferable for large mouth water bottles and pitchers.
It uses a standard 120v outdoor plug, and its slim 14 inch wide design makes it ideal for use as an undermount ice maker that doesn’t hog any space. It has a swinging insulated door with a small inset handle at the top. It will produce 23 pounds of ice a day, using less than 3 gallons of water.
- Removable ice drawer that fills with 23 pounds of crescent shaped ice cubes
- Just needs one water line connection
- Uses only 3 gallons of water a day
- Requires a drain despite using a bucket for ice making
Best Outdoor Undercounter Ice Maker – Conclusion
Thanks for checking out our reviews for the best outdoor undercounter ice maker! Hopefully this selection of appliances helped you find just what you were looking for. While they’re all based on an undercounter design, they each take up a wide variety of space.
This gives you options for installation on a raised enclosure, as well as larger units that go from the floor to the bottom of the countertop. Each one is great for different reasons, so choose the best outdoor undercounter ice maker that works for your needs!