I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out my glass - David Lee Roth
We’ve all been in Diamond Dave’s position, and at one time or another have found ourselves longing for an ice-cooled drink on a far too hot afternoon.
Much as we love spending time in it, the heat makes us do all sorts of crazy things and that’s what we’ve always found that the best way to enjoy it, is with an ice-cold drink in one hand while surrounded by family, friends and good company.
While we’re not exactly short of the folks that we like to spend time with, there have been occasions in the past when we’ve run tragically short of the one thing that we’ve needed to make sure that everyone stays cool and has a good time; ice.
That’s why we’ve always maintained that the one thing that every home needs, and the best-kept secret to ensuring that you and your guests are always happy no matter how hot it gets outside, is an ice maker.
But all too often, ice makers can fall short of our, admittedly high, expectations and can’t even keep up with the strain that our demands for ice-cooled drinks place on them, and in our pursuit of ice making excellence, we’ve ended up consigning more than a few ice makers to appliance heaven.
Our search for the ideal ice maker has felt, at times felt like a never-ending quest, and even though it’s often been fruitless, we’ve never given up as we believe that the right ice maker, the one that’s capable of doing everything that we expect it to do is still out there.
And it’s that belief that led us to Igloo, an ice maker specialist that has firmly established itself in the upper echelons of the chilled drinks world.
Who Is Igloo?
That’s a question that we’ve been asking ourselves for a while, and even though their ice makers seem to have found favor among a legion of cold obsessed fans, finding a definitive answer has proved to be more difficult than we ever thought it would be.
There doesn’t seem to be any sort of discernable presence behind the Igloo name, and they’re not really a who, as Igloo seems to be a brand name that Curtis International (their parent company), uses for their specialist refrigeration division.
While the news that Igloo was a badge name used by a corporation was a little alarming, it wasn’t too concerning as we’ve never been unduly swayed by brand loyalty or devotion.
Names are overrated and as long as a product does what it claims it’s going to do and does it well, we’ve never really been bothered by who it’s made by or where it’s manufactured.
Sure, it would be nice to find out that Igloo ice makers were made in America, but given the mystery surrounding their origin and the tight-lipped secrecy that Curtis guards the brand name with, we’ve got a feeling that they’re not made in Wisconsin.
As we’ve readily bemoaned the ability of most ice-makers to keep up with our, admittedly, excessive demands for ice, we thought the best way to see if Igloo were up to the job was by putting their biggest, baddest countertop ice maker through its paces to see it could keep up with us.
And, much to our chagrin, we have to admit that we were pretty impressed with it. Igloo, whoever they really are, really does know a thing or two about making ice.
This ice maker is a lesson in simplicity, and Igloo has made sure that it doesn’t just look good, but that it’s also incredibly easy and straightforward to use.
Igloo claims that as long as you keep the two and a half quart water tank filled, and by that, we assume that they mean as long as you keep topping it up, this ice maker can produce around thirty-three pounds of ice in twenty-four hours.
While we didn’t run it for anywhere near that amount of time, as we’re way past the age when we can party that hard anymore, we did keep the reservoir topped up for an afternoon, and sure enough, it kept on making ice.
It’s also incredibly efficient, and from the moment we filled the tank and pressed the on button it took around seven minutes or so to drop its first ice cubes into the basket.
It may not sound like the Igloo breaks any ice cube making speed records, but as soon as it starts, it just keeps on going until you’ve had enough and decide to either stop filling it up or switch it off.
Believe us, you’ll quit before the Igloo does. It nearly wore us out, which was something that we never dreamed that a countertop ice maker would ever be able to do.
While we’re on the subject of the basket, it holds up to two pounds of ice cubes when it’s full, which is more than enough ice to keep all of your guests’ glasses happy and their drinks cool.
It takes the Igloo around ninety minutes to churn out enough ice cubes to fill the basket, which again, for a home-based ice maker is incredibly efficient and quick. And when the basket does fill up?
There’s a warning light in the front of the Igloo that’ll let you know that you need to relive some of the weight in the basket and start filling your glasses so that the Igloo can start making ice cubes again.
When the basket’s full, the ice making stops until you empty it. It’s a nice touch, as it means that you can just let the Igloo carry on doing what it does best, without having to worry about refilling it or emptying for around an hour and a half, as it’ll convert a full reservoir into a basket filled with ice and then switch itself off.
That said, the thing that we loved most about the Igloo, and this is going to sound a little crazy but once you tried it, it’ll make a fan out if you too, is the way that it lets you choose the size of the cubes that you want it to make at the touch of a button.
Whether you like your ice cubes big, or you like them small and like to listen to them bouncing around inside your glass, the Igloo has you covered. Just hit the “Select” button and choose the size you want and the Igloo will do the rest.
And, the size of the cube that you prefer doesn’t have any impact on the time it takes the Igloo to turn water into cubes.
When it comes to keeping your drinks cool and the party going, size really doesn’t matter.
Igloo Countertop Ice Maker Buying Guide
Stuck In The Ice
Even though we were more than a little smitten by, and taken with, the Igloo and it became our go-to choice of ice maker for more than a month, we started to notice that the tray that dumps the ice cubes into the basket started to stick every now and then.
At first, it was no big deal, as giving it a friendly nudge seemed to do the trick and it would carry on doing what it was supposed to do.
But then it started sticking more frequently, so we decided to find out if it was just our Igloo that had a defective tray, or if this was something that other users had experienced. We weren’t alone.
Apparently, the sticking ice tray used to be a common problem with this ice maker and was an issue that around one in ten machines (it’s surprising how specific an otherwise secretive company can be when they’re pressed for information) suffered from before the fault was addressed and corrected by Igloo, whose customer service team were refreshingly easy to deal with and as we’ve said, were surprisingly informative, even though we couldn’t tempt them to answer the list of questions we had about Igloo.
And even after spending an hour on the phone with them during which time they agreed to replace our ice maker, we didn’t actually find out if they were located, and whether or not their machines were made, in Wisconsin.
Skating To The Finish
The truth is we adore this ice maker. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, the defective ice tray put paid to any chances that it might have had of scoring a perfect ten on the ice maker-o-meter.
But the fact that it can churn out thirty-three pounds of ice cubes in twenty-four hours and that it will fill its basket with two pounds of perfectly sized ice in around ninety minutes was enough to make sure that it won us over.
And it’s still sitting (well, it’s actually our replacement from Igloo that’s sitting there, but you probably figured that out already) on our kitchen counter making ice cubes and keeping our drinks cool and filling its basket with cubes, both big and small, should tell you everything you ever need to know about how we feel about our Igloo.
Would we recommend that you place your guest’s libatory happiness in the hands of Igloo?
Absolutely, but if you do, make sure you keep an eye on the tray, as you never know what might happen.
Be prepared for the worst, and always expect the best and the chances are, your Igloo will never let you, or your friends and family, down.