September 7

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Scotsman Nugget Ice Makers Review

By Michael

September 7, 2021

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

Not all ice is created equal. Whether soft, chewy ice is your snack of choice, or your secret weapon for crafting the perfect beverage, the right ice—and the right ice maker—is essential. Scotsman is the OG nugget ice maker, and their machines are trusted by restaurateurs and ice addicts alike. Scotsman Nugget Ice Makers come in several model types, like under-counter and self-dispensing, but the overall results are the same—addictive, top quality nugget ice that’s the perfect size, shape, and texture.   

Scotsman Nugget Ice Makers

4 / 5

Likes

  • Consistently produces restaurant quality ice
  • Quantity—produces enough ice for commercial uses
  • Intuitive control panel
  • Compact design
  • Eco-friendly since it uses 40% less energy and 50% less water than dedicated cube ice machines

Dislikes

  • Expensive
  • Limited lifespan
  • Short warranty
  • Noisy
  • Issues with damage during shipping

This ice machine is great. I was nervous it wouldn’t be big enough, but this little machine has some power. Highly recommend. The ice machine started making ice in less than 3 minutes once hooked up.

AMazon Customer

Our 2 Cents

two-pennies

This brand is perfect for people who want high quality nugget ice—and a lot of it! Scotsman machines are great at producing large quantities of nugget ice without sacrificing consistency, texture, or speed.

With their ability to supply and produce bins full of nugget ice in a hurry, Scotsman machines are ideal for people or businesses that need access to ice 24/7. However, these machines are a hefty investment, and their limited lifespan means they’re better suited for serious ice aficionados than they are for casual crunchers. 

Different Style Options


Title
Scotsman UN0815A-1 15-Inch Air-Cooled Nugget Undercounter Ice Maker...
Scotsman HID525A-1 Meridian Nugget Ice & Water Dispenser, 25-Pound...
Scotsman SCN60GA-1SS 15" Brilliance Outdoor Ice Machine with Gravity...
Preview
Scotsman UN0815A-1 15-Inch Air-Cooled Nugget Undercounter Ice Maker...
Scotsman HID525A-1 Meridian Nugget Ice & Water Dispenser, 25-Pound...
Scotsman SCN60GA-1SS 15" Brilliance Outdoor Ice Machine with Gravity...
Type
UnderCounter
Self-Dispense
Outdoor
Prime?
-
-
Title
Scotsman UN0815A-1 15-Inch Air-Cooled Nugget Undercounter Ice Maker...
Preview
Scotsman UN0815A-1 15-Inch Air-Cooled Nugget Undercounter Ice Maker...
Type
UnderCounter
Prime?
-
Buy it Now
Title
Scotsman HID525A-1 Meridian Nugget Ice & Water Dispenser, 25-Pound...
Preview
Scotsman HID525A-1 Meridian Nugget Ice & Water Dispenser, 25-Pound...
Type
Self-Dispense
Prime?
Buy it Now
Title
Scotsman SCN60GA-1SS 15" Brilliance Outdoor Ice Machine with Gravity...
Preview
Scotsman SCN60GA-1SS 15" Brilliance Outdoor Ice Machine with Gravity...
Type
Outdoor
Prime?
-
Buy it Now

What We Liked


1) True Nugget Ice

If you want restaurant quality nugget ice, Scotsman ice machines truly get the job done, since they’re actually used in restaurants across the country. Users raved about the ‘sonic-like’ ice these machines produce, and reviewers were generally extremely pleased with the texture, size, and overall crunch of the nuggets.

The cubes are soft enough to eat as an addictive snack, but solid enough that they won’t melt too quickly and dilute cocktails and other beverages. This ice absorbs the flavor of your favorite drinks, which enhances every frosty, ice-cold sip. Some users noted that before purchasing a Scotsman, they were making trips to fast food restaurants to purchase nugget ice, but that this ice maker’s quality was amazing enough to put an end to frequenting the drive-through.

2) Different Options

Every ice lovers’ needs are different, and Scotsman excels at offering a variety of models that are geared towards different spaces and uses. The under-counter machines are ideal for producing nugget ice without sacrificing precious prep space, as well as for providing a streamlined kitchen aesthetic. Since the under-counter models are height-adjustable, they fit seamlessly into almost any kitchen or bar. 

Scotsman also offers self-dispensing models which makes accessing your nugget ice quick and convenient—no ice scoop required. Though these models require more space, they’re ideal for public settings like office break rooms or self-serve drink stations.

3) Tons of Nugget Ice

Although users did find flaws in some aspects of Scotsman ice makers, the reviews were almost unanimously positive in terms of quantity. You won’t risk running out of ice with a Scotsman. Models range from producing 80-500 lbs. of nugget ice a day! 

Not only do these machines excel at making nugget ice, but they’re equally great at storing the ice they produce. Since they’re air-cooled, they rely on a refrigerant to keep the nuggets at the perfect temperature to retain their satisfying crunch, and to prevent the ice from turning into a slushy mess.

4) A Company with Serious Roots

Scotsman is far from being the new kid on the block when it comes to nugget ice makers. In fact, this trusted company has been keeping things ‘cool’ since the 1950s, when it pioneered easily accessible, reliable ice machines. Not to mention, they’re also credited with introducing nugget ice to a world that wanted more than standard, rock-hard cubes. Since then, they’ve become the leading name in ice makers that’s trusted for both home and commercial uses.

What We Didn't Like


1) Warranty

Scotsman ice makers are for serious ice-lovers, which is reflected in their seriously steep price tags. Although these ice makers will set you back thousands of dollars, many reviewers still had qualms about the warranty and overall lifespan of their machines. Many cited issues with the machines breaking or needing repairs after the warranty period had ended, which resulted in less positive outlooks on the product overall. 

The company’s standard warranty only lasts between six months and a year (depending on the model) and at this time Scotsman doesn’t offer extended warranty options, which should be taken into consideration as you decide if this product is right for you.

2) Shipping Damage

Large, heavy items often encounter damage during transit, and Scotsman nugget ice makers are no exception to this inevitable logistical difficulty. Some users had issues upon arrival such as the back bin being broken, but they also noted that the warranty covered these problems and that the damage was quickly addressed and taken care of. However, one reviewer’s machine had a dent that occurred during shipping, which apparently wasn’t covered by the warranty.

3) Costly Repairs

The biggest complaint reviewers voiced about Scotsman machines was the extremely high cost of repairing issues. Many users’ models needed repairs that set them back thousands of dollars, and in many cases were severe enough that the machine wouldn’t produce ice without them. Even basic parts like lightbulbs and screws are costly to replace, and the short warranty period means most maintenance won’t be covered. 

Unfortunately, necessary repairs seemed to be the rule, rather than the exception, and countless reviewers faced extremely high bills to get their ice makers back in working order. These machines are powerful, yet delicate, and they generally aren’t well thought of in terms of durability or longevity.

4) Noise

Reviews were extremely mixed about the noise level of Scotsman machines. While some reviewers praised its quiet hum, others likened it to “a bundle of bricks falling into your kitchen every few hours” or “a screaming jet engine after a bird strike." Ultimately, ice makers are machines, and noise comes with the territory. However, if you’re sensitive to sound or if your lifestyle necessitates pin-drop quiet surroundings, the noise is a factor that’s important to consider before you purchase.

Just remember that noise levels are somewhat subjective, and what’s problematic for one person may not phase another, especially if their environments and needs are different. For example, if you plan to use your ice maker in a bustling cafe, you might not even hear the machine, but if you install it in your home’s serene kitchen, it might be a different story.

Suggestions Before You Buy


  • Determine how much nugget ice you need (and the space you have to work with) in order to find the model that’s right for you.
  • Budget for repairs and maintenance to maximize the lifespan of your nugget ice maker.
  • Think objectively about how much ice you really need, and how often.

Concluding


There’s more to producing nugget ice than just freezing water. The process is actually rather complex, and requires heavy-duty machinery, which is why you can’t find nugget ice in every kitchen, bar, or restaurant. No machine is perfect at creating this frosty treat, and the Scotsman line is no exception. It may be expensive and costly to repair, but it’s one of the best options available for people and businesses who rely heavily on nugget ice. Though it may not be practical for those who just want the occasional crunchy indulgence, it’s perfect for those who need around-the-clock access and serious volume.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you. 


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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