Cubed ice, ice chips, ice balls, and those weird crescent-moon ice cubes that don’t fit in the cup right; what do all of these things have in common? They’re all inferior to the chewable goodness of nugget ice. While your average run-of-the-mill ice makers don’t produce the perfect cup of ice, we found one that does.
Having the capacity to quietly produce up to 56 lbs of delicious little nuggets of ice per day is something only a few of these ice maker’s competitors can say. Unlike some of the nugget ice makers on the market, this particular model does not use a refrigerated ice bin; instead, it uses the melted ice to create more ice. While this feature is touted as the best way to produce the freshest ice, it can also contribute to spills, and you might have to keep a closer eye on your drain line.
GE Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker
4.5 / 5
- Quiet and fast
- Indoor and outdoor capabilities
- Refills itself as ice melts
- Easy installation
- Sleek design
- Doesn’t come with a door kit
- Doesn’t come with a drain pump
- Must be cleaned regularly
- Not Energy Star Certified
We have only had this ice maker for 3 weeks, but so far we love it. It is much quieter than the Jenn-Aire unit it replaced. I was surprised at how fast it started making ice (less than 5 minutes).
Home Depot Customer
Our 2 Cents
GE’s 15” Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker is easily the most positively reviewed model of its kind, balanced with a pretty high price tag. If your goal is to have on-demand, Sonic style, chewable ice nuggets, then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect machine. It’s sleek and stylish, and the 56 lbs per day capacity is great for those with big families.
The biggest downside to purchasing this machine seems to be that you have to purchase the door and handle kit separately. For a machine with a price tag that high, most people expect it to come with a finished door.
What We Liked
1) Quantity AND Quality
This machine produces up to 56 lbs in a day and holds up to 26 lbs in the ice bin at any time. Based on the vast amount of reviews, we can safely say that this is more than enough ice to keep you satisfied. Even better than that is this 15” nugget machine produces all those delicious little munchable ice nuggets without sacrificing texture or flavor.
2) Easy Installation
With four leveling legs and reversible hinges, most reviewers will tell you that handling the installation is no big deal. This multifaceted nugget ice maker can also be used indoors and outdoors; the freestanding capabilities only help solidify its ease of use and set-up.
3) Does Most of the Work for You
As you ponder the endless sea of options on the internet, looking for your next sonic-style nugget ice maker, you might want to know a few “technical” things before giving up your hard-earned cash.
Models such as this differ somewhat from what your standard refrigerator ice maker produces. This unit has an illuminated ice bin to hold your 26 lbs of ice, but the bin is just a bin, it’s not refrigerated, so you will get some melting toward the bottom. At first, this may sound like a flaw, instead, it’s a feature. Melting ice from the bin gets recycled back into the machine to continue crafting crunchable little ice nuggets for you to enjoy.
Be prepared, because this means you will have to clean the machine at least every 6 months. On the bright side, there is a “clean indicator light” that will inform you when it’s time to clean.
4) Design Matters
Instead of having another microwave-sized apparatus crowding your countertop, this nugget ice machine is designed to fit under the counter. Not everyone has the ability to get an ice machine installed under the counter; if that’s the case then you can also use this machine freestanding, or even outside.
5) What if it Breaks?
GE offers a limited 1-year parts and labor warranty on the entire appliance and a limited 5-year parts and labor warranty on the “sealed refrigerating system." Most places will also offer extended warranties or other types of coverage at an additional cost.
What We Didn't Like
1) I Have to Buy What?
GE offers this nugget ice maker for a pretty hefty price, and they don't include the door or drain pipe in the total amount. While they give you door options from stainless steel to matte black, white and a few others, you’ll have to pay extra for this.
The optional drain pipe (if needed) can cost an extra $580 and at the lowest end, a stainless steel finished door will cost $320. Many customers voiced concerns over the pictures showing the unit with the stainless steel door, but not being including in the initial price. The product description does say that these are “optional” pieces of hardware, but at the end of the day, you’re most likely going to need the door.
This machine also relies on a gravity drain system in its stock form; you can purchase the optional drain pump kit if needed, but some form of draining is required.
2) A Pretty Penny
The stock model of GE’s 15” Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker is going to run you around $3400, and as stated above that doesn’t include the optional drain pipe or a finished door and handle. These extras could cost you nearly $900 for both. With or without a door, $3400 can easily break the bank and put this machine out of the normal consumer's budget.
3) Things Can Get Messy
As mentioned above, this unit works on a gravity drain system (unless customized) and will occasionally leave you with water in the ice bin. Since this nugget ice maker doesn’t come with an ice catcher, you’re forced to use a scoop which will inevitably lead to ice on the floor.
We read from a few reviewers that purchasing an extra, smaller ice scoop really helped them reduce spillage.
4) No Energy Star Tag
This under-counter nugget ice maker is not Energy Star approved. Meaning that it isn’t the most energy-efficient appliance you can buy; which can have an impact on your utility bills.
Suggestions Before You Buy
If you’ve climbed your way past the price tag and you’re ready to order your very own GE 15” Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker, then you might want to take advantage of other customers' hindsight.
First and foremost, make sure you understand that unless you are okay with the “unfinished” look, you’ll need to purchase a door. There are a few options and they’re listed on GE, Home Depot, and AJ Madison's websites. Don’t be fooled by the pictures, make sure you pick one of these options out and see the price change.
Next, check and make sure that you have the accessibility to use the built-in gravity drain, because this machine requires a drain and it’ll cost you more if you can’t use the gravity drain.
Keep in mind that this nugget ice maker comes with a pretty wide-mouthed scoop and if you plan on scooping ice directly from machine to cup, you’ll want to purchase a smaller scoop.
Also, when deciding the perfect under-counter placement you’ll want to keep this further away from any appliances that generate heat like ovens and dishwashers.
Finally, GE’s 15” Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker doesn’t come equipped with a water filtration system. If you don’t already have a system in place, you’ll want to look into getting a filter, especially if you live in an area where the local tap has a higher water hardness.
Remember that it is recommended by most professionals to discard the first batch of ice to clear out any first-use dust or chemical residue.
Overall Product Rating
Overall, we’re more than satisfied with the quality, capacity, and design of GE’s nugget ice maker. It’s stylish and can be used indoors and outdoors, making this a very versatile machine. It’s going to cost you a pretty penny, but we think it’s worth it.
While GE’s Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker may not come with a finished door, it does its job arguably better than any of its similarly priced competitors. When all is said and done, you purchased this machine to make you crunchable, munchable, tasty Sonic-style ice, and that is exactly what it will do for you.
Founder of Robust Kitchen