Ice Machine Buying Guide

To keep soft drinks carbonated, ice cubes can be used to keep food at a low temperature and prevent bacteria from growing, which is common in most Sydney restaurants. Adding ice to salad bars and other food displays in Sydney establishments also enhances their visual appeal.

Types of Ice Machines

A flaker and a cuber are the two most common types of ice machines on the Sydney market today. Cubers produce ice that is crystal clear and solid. High-volume cube production requires more complex and expensive machinery than flake production. One of their biggest drawbacks is the inability to precisely manage the ice quality, and the fact that flakes melt faster than cubes.

Storage Bins

There are a variety of ice machine storage bins available, each with a different capacity. 20 — 800 kg are typical capacities. Bins are often made of plastic, aluminium, galvanized steel or stainless steel and are insulated to keep the ice from melting. Some ice machine storage bins are separate and moveable, such as those found in Sydney pubs and wait stations.

Choosing the right ice machine size

When sizing ice machines, a number of factors should be considered. Total ice requirements include the amount needed for beverages, as well as any cooling and holding purposes, such as salad bars or raw seafood displays.

Ice machines are rated according to how much ice they can make in a 24-hour period, whereas ice machine storage bins are rated according to how much ice they can hold.

The fluctuating demand for beverages in nearly every Sydney foodservice establishment makes estimating the entire amount of ice needed for beverage service a difficult task. Most Sydney businesses need a lot of ice during busy times, especially in the warmer months. 

The chart below may be useful for evaluating the ice production and storage capacity required to meet the needs of beverage service alone. For demonstration purposes, it is assumed that one demand peak occurs during the day and that the ice content of the glasses is 25% by weight.

Number of Glasses

120 ML / 4 oz

175 ML / 6 oz

235 ML / 8 oz

300 ML / 10 oz


11 kg

17 kg

23 kg

28 kg


23 kg

34 kg

45 kg

57 kg


34 kg

51 kg

68 kg

85 kg


45 kg

70 kg

90 kg

110 kg


60 kg

85 kg

115 kg

140 kg


115 kg

170 kg

225 kg

285 kg

Water quality

Water quality and clarity of the water going into the ice machine is critical to the production of clear, clean ice. Suspended solids such as silt are major culprits in the making of cloudy ice.

Keeping your Ice Machine Clean

Ice machines must be cleaned regularly to avoid the development of mould, bacteria and hard water scale. Periodic cleaning with a deliming agent is required to keep them producing the cubes. Some manufacturers are incorporating anti-microbial materials into their units and ice bins but regular cleaning is still advised.

Looking for a Commercial Ice Machine?

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