A portable ice maker is a great unit. When you need ice while you’re away from home or you’re hosting a pool party, such a portable device can be a blessing. You can just carry it wherever you go so that you can enjoy your ice-cold drinks.
What’s cool is that portable ice makers can make ice in less than ten minutes in general. This is a great feature when you need ice immediately, as you won’t have to wait for ages to get it. For example, it would take about 2 hours to make the ice in the freezer.
But one question that people are asking before buying one is “can portable ice makers keep ice frozen?” If you’re one of the people wondering this, then read this article and you will find out the answer.
How Do They Work?
To begin with, let’s discover the magic behind ice makers.
- You fill the water reservoir of the unit until the water reaches the fill line. The water just has to be poured into it directly using a jug, bucket, faucet or anything of the sort, because the unit is not connected to any water line.
- Using a water filler, the unit pumps the water through a hole of the reservoir, and up to an ice tray that can be found at the top of the ice maker.
- 1/2 –inch prongs on the heat exchanger will be lowered into the ice tray’s water when the refrigeration cycle starts. Ice will form very quickly because the spikes that get submerged will immediately get cold.
- Depending on how long you leave the prongs in the water, the ice cube size may vary. As you can imagine, when the cycle is longer, you can expect ice cubes to be thicker. Not to mention that the ambient temperature and the amount of time the unit has been running for can also affect the freezing times.
- Once the ice is getting the right size, the water that remained in the ice tray is going to be emptied into the water reservoir. The spikes will warm up too, which allows the ice cubes to slide off the prongs and thus fall into the ice bin, being ready to be used.
- When enough ice is being generated and the unit gets full, the system will shut off.
Do Portable Ice Makers Keep Ice Frozen?
Well, although portable ice makers can make ice and maintain it for a while, the unit is not a freezer. As such, it will not be able to maintain the ice forever. It will, indeed, slow down the melting process, but will not prevent it from happening. After the ice is produced, the melting process will begin. Due to the insulation, though, it can take hours until the ice fully melts, so it will not melt instantly.
The ice will go from solid to liquid again, and after the ice melts, the water will all drain into the water reservoir, after which it goes into the ice-making tray again. As such, ice will be made once again, and then it will tumble into the ice bin.
Why Can’t the Unit Keep Ice Frozen?
An ice maker is not a freezer, nor does it contain any refrigeration. Therefore, it is only normal for the ice to melt after a while. This is also different from built-in ice makers because these have a refrigeration section that can keep ice in solid state. Portable units don’t have this feature.
This could also be because portable units were made for immediate use, instead of keeping ice for future use.
What to Do Since Ice Doesn’t Stay Frozen?
Considering the ice is made for immediate use, you can just use it in your drinks to keep them cool, especially if the weather is too hot to handle.
However, if you must keep some ice for future use, you should consider storing it in a freezer or a deep freezer after putting it into a freezer bag. You should only make sure that you don’t store it close to meat or anything with a strong smell.
What Can Happen If Ice Is Left in the Ice Maker?
If you leave the ice in the unit, then it will start melting and clump together as a result. So, if you plan on using it in your drinks, it will not look too pretty anymore. This is a situation when you should consider making crushed ice instead.
Is It Okay to Leave the Ice Maker to Run Continuously?
You should not let the unit run permanently. Basically, ice will be produced in no longer than 10 minutes, so there’s no reason to let it run all the time. Units like this were not made to be running for days, so most manufacturers will not recommend using the ice makers for hours on end. Not to mention that you can’t store a lot of ice in the ice storage bin anyway.
How Long Does It Take Until Ice Is Being Made?
With a portable ice maker, ice can be produced in less than 10 minutes. For the most part, you can obtain the desired ice in around 6-7 minutes. This is better compared to a freezer, which would take hours to make ice.
Can You Make the Unit Produce Ice Faster?
An ice maker can make ice much faster if it’s a built-in one because it allows you to make temperature settings. Portable units don’t come with adjustable temperature settings, though, so you will not be able to influence how fast the device creates ice.
Ice makers are very useful, and portable ones are especially amazing if you need to bring ice to another place. Just remember that they are not freezers and will not keep ice frozen for too long.