Ice Ice, Baby by Conal

Hey Appliance Fans,

I won, I won!

I’m proud to announce that you are now reading a blog written by an award winning blogger!  That’s right, my blog (I mean the Kieffer’s Appliances Blog) won a Home Builders Association of Chester & Delware Counties Pyramid Award.  The category was for “best use of technology, new media source, or animation”.  Clearly this blog uses technology, blogs are new media sources, and I feel that I’m VERY animated when I write so I’m guessing this blog was an easy choice for the awards committee.  Thank you to all the little people that helped make this all possible!

I promise I won’t let this go to my head, but I hear the natural progression in the awards circuit is winning a Pyramid award and then winning a Pulitzer.  So I guess I’m halfway there.  Score!  Next up: world domination!

And now, onto the show!

Ice Ice, Baby

Today, we are covering all types of ice.

A question that I get asked all of the time is: what’s the difference between clear ice (sometimes called bar ice) and regular ice?  Drum roll please…………….clear ice is clear whereas regular ice is cloudy.  I know what you’re going to say, “DUH, Kieffer’s Guy”, but there are some other differences too!

Blame the particulates

Duh, clear ice is clear.

The reason that regular ice is cloudy is due to particulates.  If you clicked on the particulates link, you probably got REALLY grossed out.  DON’T WORRY!  The particulates in your water at home aren’t going to harm you, so please stop freaking out.  I use regular ice all the time and I’m…..ok maybe I’m not normal, but it’s not because of the ice.  Particulates also help to absorb flavors.  That’s why your ice at home might taste like fish, onions, or whatever stinky food you store in your refrigerator.  The main reason that you don’t get flavor transfer, is because these clear ice machines are independent units.  Surprise surprise, if you put a clove of garlic in your ice maker, you’ll get garlic ice.  If you’re serving a Tuna Martini, maybe you want some fishy flavor in your ice, but I’m guessing that’s not what you want.

How do clear ice machines remove the particulates?  GREAT question.  Basically these clear ice machines make ice in a totally opposite way than your refrigerator does at home.  The moldings (chiller plates) for the ice cubes in a clear ice machine are upside down and the interior is set to an exact temperature of 32 degrees.  Water with a heavy amount of particulates won’t freeze at 32 degrees.  It actually freezes at a lower temperature.  The clear ice maker shoots bursts of water up into the ice cube molding and the particulates begin to, for lack of a better term, fall out of the water as the purer water above the particulates freezes.  Make sense?  Yes/No?  Email me with your questions.

Benefits of Clear Ice

First off, it’s really cool (every pun intended).  When you drop clear ice into a liquid, it seems to disappear within the liquid.  I discussed another benefit earlier in the post about the lack of flavor transfer into your ice.  Yet another benefit of clear ice is less “fizzing” when used with carbonated liquids (I would have said beverages, but I’m not a big fan of the word beverages and try not to use it unless I HAVE to).  Less fizzing makes every home bartender happy.

Final Thoughts

Indoor and outdoor clear ice makers are available.  In fact, there are some units that combine a clear ice maker on one side and a small refrigerator on the other side.  Just like every other type of appliance, you have choices.  Also, make sure to read the owners manual and check any routine maintenence procedures that must be followed.

Some brands to consider:

  • Scottsman
  • Perlick
  • Marvel
  • U-Line
  • Sub-Zero
  • Viking
  • KitchenAid
  • GE Monogram

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!