September 7

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Ice O Matic Nugget Ice Maker Review

By Michael

September 7, 2021

nugget ice, nugget ice maker, pellet ice, pellet ice maker, sonic ice, sonic ice maker

Ice is one of those underrated commodities that everyone undoubtedly loves. But some ice just doesn’t do the trick. That’s why those who’ve experienced the soft chewiness of nugget ice in a perfect cocktail or Coke, often find themselves never wanting to revert to cube or crushed. But once opened up to the world of home nugget ice makers you don’t have to.

That’s why today we are taking a look at the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090-Pearl® Self-Contained Ice Machine. With its ability to produce mass amounts of ice at once and function indoors and out, it provides some desirable features for ice aficionados. For some, that may offset the hefty price. For others, not so much.

Let’s get into it.

Ice O Matic Nugget Ice Maker

4 / 5

Likes

  • All-around stainless steel finish making it an easy clean
  • Produces up to 85 lbs of ice a day
  • Operates quietly
  • Gravity drain moves water to the floor drain

Dislikes

  • Expensive buy with other options on the market
  • Not equipped with a drain pump
  • Parts repair is expensive outside of the warranty
  • Customer service reviews are poor
  • Two-year warranty parts and labor.

I did a lot of homework on which machine to get. There are many on the market and very few get good reviews. These types of under the cabinet ice makers seem to all have issues. I wanted a nugget machine. I decided on the Ice-O-Matic machine. It shipped quickly. The pump was easy to install. As soon as I powered the machine on it started making ice. It is quiet and easily keeps up with my ice needs. So far so good!

Customer from IceMarketDirect.com

Our 2 Cents

two-pennies

The Ice-O-Matic GEMU090-Pearl® Self-Contained Ice Machine is a great product for those who are looking to produce a serious amount of ice in a short amount of time. These are the nugget (sonic) ice lovers of the world. The product is also great for those who prioritize quiet production. Considering the investment and the possibility of having to keep investing if parts break down after two years, this is not for those who don’t want to keep spending after the initial purchase.

What We Liked


1) Mass Production of Perfect Ice

nugget-ice-in-pitcher

This is a serious powerhouse when it comes to producing quality ice. Being short on ice and waiting for it to constantly refill is one of the downfalls of refrigerator ice machines. But the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 produces a whopping 85 pounds a day so you will never run out. 

It also stores up to 22 pounds of drink absorbent pear ice at one time. And despite it being such a powerhouse it only requires a 115 -Volt Plug-in.

2) Fits Anywhere

Because of its 115-Volt Plug-in, this baby can go anywhere even including outdoors! Suitable for hosting parties or relaxing by the pool, this machine is approved for outdoor use making it one of the more versatile options on the market. 

Its dimensions of 24” depth X 15” width X 33.375” height, make it a great under-the-counter option. This fits most standard-sized countertops and with its stainless steel finish, it can blend right in with most kitchen appliances that are up-to-date.

3) Quiet Operation

listening

One of the more annoying things about ice machines is their ability to wake you up or startle you at any time of day or night. But with this one, its quiet operation is a fan favorite. This is specifically true with automatic ice makers that drain and turn on based on the level of ice that is in the machine at the time. 

With the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090-Pearl® Self-Contained Ice Machine, many customers reported they didn’t even notice it refilling or draining.

4) Stainless Steel Finish

This product fits nicely in with any of your stainless steel kitsch products should you want to put it under the counter. It looks like it came as a set with your other kitchen appliances rather than a portable add-on. Some might think this is an overrated feature but nothing is worse than something big, clunky, and ugly looking sticking out like a sore thumb in a nice area. 

But looking nice is not the only benefit here with stainless steel finishings. It becomes relatively easy to wipe down and clean should any of the kids get their fingerprints on it. And when we say kids we are talking about the adults.

What We Didn't Like


1) Warranty 

upsetr

The warranty for such an expensive product is short. Two years for certain parts and labor replacement is not a great deal especially since buyers reported that they experienced some sort of breakdown after the two years. This keeps tacking on more money to the ice maker which may not be worth it to buyers despite its great performance.  

TIP!

If you are not buying straight from the manufacturer, there may be a way to find some extra safety. Ask your store about add-on warranties that the specific store itself may offer. This could be a useful loophole in guaranteeing more protection if it is offered. Companies like Best Buy among others have different options for different months/years and price plans.

2) Poor Customer Service 

A product is only as good as its company. If you are dealing with breakdowns even with the warranty you will need to work with their customer service team. The reason the product gets 4 stars and not higher is that the customer service rating is low. This makes it difficult and inconvenient for buyers of this ice machine to fix their problems. And expensive! 

The main issue reported was that customer service often didn’t solve the issue the customer was calling about. And worse, sometimes customer service was rude along with being unhelpful. This creates a frustrating problem even more frustrating.

3) Additional Pump Required for those without Floor Drains 

Not everyone has floor drains under the ice machine which is why the gravity drain built-in to the machine becomes not super useful. This requires product users to purchase an extra pump for draining themselves and install it. 

While the install is relatively easy this just becomes something else to add to the list for those who want a final product delivered.

4) Overall Price 

While it certainly performs (as long as things are running smoothly) it still is a hefty price to pay considering there are quite a few options on the market. It’s not to say this can’t be one of the best nugget ice makers on the market. It’s more a question of rather is the price worth what you are getting? 

In our honest opinion, the price point is slightly too high for what it has to offer. Not by much which is why a sale or markdown would do it well. This would favor a more justifiable buy than its current price. 

It also could be a flip or flop. If you are lucky enough to get one that never breaks down then the price may be worth it. But there is no denying there have been some issues reported which don’t quite justify the price as much.

Suggestions Before You Buy


  • Consider how much nugget ice your family needs. 85 pounds of production a day is quite a bit for a single user to need. 

  • Map out where the Ice-O-Matic is going to be used most. If a floor drain is not possible then a separate drain plug will need to be purchased. 

  • While it produces nearly perfect Sonic ice, this is one of the most expensive options on the market. It’s also not cheap to repair once it goes past the two-year warranty. Consider cheaper options that can get the job done if budget is a priority. 

  • Likely, you don’t need to hire someone for the initial setup even with an added drain pipe on. Save money by going through the manual and YouTube videos. This machine is one of the easier setups.

Overall Product Rating

The truth is this machine does a job well done when talking about the quality of the nugget ice. It's under counter installation and quiet operation also make it a relatively nonintrusive appliance in the kitchen. With that said, the high price should warrant extra care with customer service. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like the case. We'll keep you updated as more product reviews are posted.

Quality

Nugget Ice

Customer Service

Cost

Speed

Storage Capacity

Concluding


Are we still dreaming of chewing that soft nugget ice? I know we are. If you are looking for nearly unlimited amounts of nugget ice production then the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 should be a real contender in your lineup. The expensive price may be scary but for true nugget ice produced quietly, many fans have reported it to be one of the best on the market. That is of course if you don’t have to deal with part breakdowns. Consider an add-on warranty and your problem is solved.

So, why keep all the good pearl ice to yourself when you can share it with family and friends?

As always if there are any concerns or questions about these products, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Cheers,

Michael

Founder of Robust Kitchen

About the author

Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.

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