I’ll Gladly Give Up My Limited Counter Space for This Summer-Ready Appliance

published Mar 13, 2023
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Modern and bright Loft kitchen
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If you’d asked me a couple of years ago whether I’d consider spending money on a fancy ice maker, I would’ve said no. It’s easy enough to throw some ice cube trays in the freezer and call it a day, right? But then the nugget ice trend came about a few years ago (you know, the crushed type you’d get at a restaurant), and I found myself lusting for a machine of my own.

That said, many nugget ice machines are quite pricey — not to mention, living in an apartment, I wasn’t sure whether I could justify sacrificing counter space for yet another appliance. About a month ago, though, while doing a bit of late-night online shopping one weekend, I decided to go all in and order a countertop ice maker of my own — and I couldn’t be happier that I did.

What’s So Great About Frigidaire’s Countertop Nugget Ice Maker?

The Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker that I ordered is one of the many variations of nugget ice machines sold on Amazon and is a mid-range pick. I always like to read reviews carefully before ordering anything online, whether I’m spending $5 or $500, and while there weren’t many for this one, those that had been posted were overwhelmingly positive and helped me make my decision.

The price was a factor, too — it was less expensive than others and far cheaper than the GE Profile Opal 2.0, which is also one of the most popular countertop nugget ice machines on the market. At around $350 at full price, the machine doesn’t come cheap, but be sure to stay on top of price decreases and sales. When I placed my order, it was on sale for $279.99, which makes a fairly substantial difference. And if you’re a Prime member, you’ll get yours ASAP. No kidding, I ordered mine around 8 p.m. and it arrived at my doorstep around 12:30 p.m. the day after. The next thing I knew, I was ready to make some ice.

Credit: Sarah Lyon

I’m not the most tech-savvy person, so I was a bit worried about setting up the ice machine properly, but the instructions were thorough and self-explanatory. After cleaning the machine, in which you fill the interior reservoir with water and let it run for 15 minutes (similar to what you do with a coffee maker when using it for the first time), I was ready to start the ice-making process. This basically just meant filling up the reservoir with fresh new water, inserting the ice bucket, and pressing the main button on the screen to start ice production. The machine runs constantly, but you can set a timer if you only want it to be on and produce new ice for a certain period.

Credit: Sarah Lyon

Once I added in the water and started the machine, I left for a dinner with friends. A few hours later, I returned to tons of nugget ice in the bucket. The machine comes with a handy little plastic scoop so you can easily grab as much ice as you please. After I poured myself a glass of seltzer and topped off the cup with ice, it was instant bliss.

As someone who isn’t always great about staying hydrated while working from home, I’ve found that the nugget ice has made me more excited to fix up some fun beverages. My occasional afternoon Diet Coke feels like a treat, and I love adding the nugget ice to my morning cold brew; it makes prepping for the day while half-awake a total breeze.

How Much Space Does It Take?

The machine does take up some space on my counter (it’s slightly larger than one of the more sizable Keurig or Nespresso machines), but I’ve been able to part ways with multiple ice cube trays in my freezer, which were taking up their fair share of room in there anyway, so all in all, I feel like it was an even trade. It’s also just much more convenient to have a constant fresh stash of nugget ice all ready for my next drink.

Does the Frigidaire Nugget Ice Maker Keep Ice Frozen?

While the Frigidaire machine makes ice, it doesn’t keep it frozen like a freezer would. Instead, it’ll reuse any melted ice water to produce new ice until the water runs out, or until you fill up the reservoir again. The instruction manual suggests refilling the water reservoir once every 24 hours, but I didn’t do this, as it seemed a bit excessive, so I just poured out the old water every week to freshen things up.

Is It Noisy?

It does make noise throughout the day as it produces new nugget ice, but it’s almost like white noise type of sound. This doesn’t bother me, but it’s something to be mindful of if you’re more sensitive. I got accustomed to the sound right away but still notice it here and there when I’m in or near the kitchen.

Is the Frigidaire Nugget Ice Maker Worth It?

The machine is definitely a workhorse, producing up to 44 pounds of nugget ice per day, and I’m always excited to see a fresh bucket of ice waiting for me in the mornings and afternoons. For me, it’s definitely been worth the investment. I can’t keep the love to myself, though, so I’m excited to use it the next time I entertain or whip up fun cocktails — I know it’s gonna be a hit.

Buy: Frigidaire Countertop Nugget Ice Maker,  $329.99 (originally $349.99)