Tag Archives: Ice

Maintaining Your Scotsman Prodigy Ice Machine

An ice system requires routine maintenance, and there are three steps to properly clean a Scotsman Prodigy ice machine. A clean ice machine is essential for the health of not only your customers, but it also prevents wear and tear that could shorten the life of your ice machine.

Three Steps For MaintenanceScotsman Prodigy Ice Machine

The first step to maintain your ice machine is scale removal. Remove the evaporator cover after your last ice harvest and push the clean button which drains and refills the reservoir. Then, circulate Scotman’s Scale Remover for at least a ten minute cycle. Push the clean button again to drain the reservoir for at least twenty minutes so you can get all of the cleaner solution out of your machine. When you’re done, simply push the off button, remove the curtain, ice thickness sensor and the water distributor making sure all distributor holes are open. Make sure you wash these parts, and the water level sensor, with scale remover and water. Finally wash these parts with sanitizer to make sure every surface is bacteria-free.

Put these pieces back to their rightful place in the machine, and wash the inside of the freezing compartment with your leftover sanitizer. Push and hold the clean button to drain the reservoir. Push the clean button again and when the purge valve indicator light goes out, immediately pour the remaining solution into the reservoir and circulate for at least ten minutes. Then push and release the clean button andScotsman Prodigy Ice Machine let the machine drain and repeatedly refill the reservoir for at least twenty minutes to purge the remaining sanitizer and residue. When you’re done, push the off button.

When you’re ready to start making new ice, push and release the on button. The last step is to wash the reusable air filter and put it back in place. Scotsman recommends never using an ice machine without an air filter, except when cleaning. Remember only a refrigeration technician can clean your ice machine condenser.

Watch this week’s video for more help on the three steps for maintaining your ice machine and don’t forget to shop Central for Scotsman Prodigy ice machines!

Choosing The Best Ice Machine For Your Foodservice Operation

Sodas, cocktails, water, tea, chilling, storing, displaying foods – what do these all have in common? They all require the use of ice! Ice machines are very important to any foodservice operation because of consumer demand for drinks, as well as keeping ingredients and food cold and presentable.Drink

It’s hard to determine what type and size of ice machine will be the best fit for your restaurant. There are a couple things to consider before you make the big investment. “[You need to] determine what type of ice you want to use. If it’s a healthcare system where they need to be able to use it for something other than just consumption, [like] packing things, cold packs, a nugget machine will be appropriate. It it’s a restaurant where they will use blended beverages, could be nugget or cube depending on what they want the end beverage to be,” explained Ty Jones, Product Manager at Manitowoc Ice.

What is one of the biggest, most common mistake people make when they buy their first ice machine? “The worst one is finding out that they didn’t buy [a machine] that’s big enough. You make an investment in a machine, so the worst thing is to get set up and your first day it’s making ice and customers come in and halfway through the day you need to go grab bags of ice,” Ty explained.

Uses of Ice

There are many ways ice can be used within any foodservice location. This is just an assortment of some uses for ice.

Foods:Lobster on Ice

Ice prevents bacteria growth on food because it holds cold foods at lower temperature for an extended period of time. This is especially important for buffets and food preparation. Foods can be displayed outside of a refrigerated area with the use of ice. Ice also adds an aesthetic appeal to salad bars and other food displays.


One of the most obvious uses for ice is to keep drinks at a cold temperature. Ice helps maintain carbonation in soft drinks and can be used to create slushies and frozen dribeveragenks. “Nugget ice will give a smoother consistency because of the hardness of the ice in drink. So whether [a restaurant makes a] margarita, daiquiri, smoothie, all of those could use both types of ice. If they are doing poured beverages (soda) this could be sticky because it depends on the preference of their customers. Nugget, though softer, has a much higher water content and causes beverages to go flat quicker and dilute faster. But, some people want to be able to chew on their ice after they consume and still want flavor in their beverage. Cube ice makes a beverage colder and won’t make it go flat as quickly and will not dilute,” Ty said.

Ice Types – Why Does It Matter?

Just when you think you’ve figured out what ice machine would be best for your foodservice operation, you have to determine ice types! There are different shapes and sizes for various reasons, so listen up and take notes.cubeice

Classic Cubed Ice

Cubed ice can be used for any application you desire at your foodservice operation.

Gourmet or Crescent Cubed Ice


These ice cubes are also known as top hat, octagon or cublet ice. This ice type is slow melting, meaning it won’t water down or flatten your soft drinks. The higher displacement of these ice cubes equals a higher profit for your business! Gourmet ice is perfect for bars, restaurants and banquets.

Flake Ice


Flake ice is perfect for displays, salad bars, blended cocktails or for therapeutic use. This type of ice is made up of dry flakes that cool quickly, and conform around the object making it perfect for keeping foods cold or using it a hospital.

Nugget Ice


A lot of people like to chew on their ice, but chewing on cubed ice can be a little difficult. Nugget Ice was created to be a soft, chewable form of ice. Drinks stay colder with nugget ice and they’re great for carbonated drinks, salad bars and cold food displays.

For more information on ice types, refer to Manitowoc’s Quick Reference Guide.

How Much Ice Does Your Business Need?

It’s essential to estimate how much ice your foodservice operation will need at select times. If you don’t produce enough ice, you’ll run out for your customers and food needs. If you buy an ice machine that is too large, you’ll be overspending on energy and operating costs. Moral of the story – select the appropriate ice machine size! Use this handy chart from our Ice Machine Buying Guide (the numbers are based on filling glass volume up with 25% ice). On page 41 of Manitowoc’s Quick Reference Guide, you can find an Ice Usage Guide to help you estimate how much ice you’ll need for a particular application. Don’t make the same mistake when you’re purchasing your ice machine!


Ice Machine Types

Undercounter Ice Machines

Undercounter ice machines have an ice maker and bin in one. They are compact, and leave a small footprint in the kitchen if you’re cramped for space. These machines are great for low volume applications and are perfect for fitting under bars or counters because they are front breathing.

Modular Ice Machines

240-268Modular ice machines are an ice-making head only, which goes on top of either an ice dispenser or storage bin that you purchase separately. These machines can handle a bit more than undercounter models, and are good for medium to high volume applications. If you need a lot of ice, you should look into modular ice machines because they can make between 300 to 2400 lbs. of ice in 24 hours, depending on the unit chosen.

Cooling Methods

Ice machines remove heat from water to produce ice. There are two different options to choose: Air or Water cooled.

Air Cooled ice machines exhaust heat into the surrounding area. The production of ice slows down as the intake air temperature rises. Air cooled machines need clearance for air flow and are typically noisier than water cooled machines.

Water Cooled ice machines remove the heat using water. If you’re tight on space and need to put a machine in a compact area, water cooled is the way to go. These machines don’t add extra heat to the room and are quieter than air cooled machines. The downsides to water cooled machines? There are higher installation and operating costs, and they aren’t allowed in areas with water conservation laws.


Accessories complete your ice machine, and Central has many to choose from. Don’t forget to think about purchasing ice caddies, scoops and holders, filters, cleaners and more. These accessories will prolong the life of your machine, and keep it running smoothly.Ice Accessories

Don’t forget water filters! They are essential for filtering and cleaning out your machine from lime, rust, chlorine and calcium before water even enters the machine. Even the cleanest water isn’t 100% “clean”. By using a water filter, clean water extends the life of your machine, lowers service costs and helps eliminate cloudy or smelly ice (no customer wants that!).  Produce clearer and better-tasting ice with a water filter – without one, you have the risk of:

  • Scale buildup on evaporator plates can significantly increase maintenance costs
  • Excess sediment particles can clog distribution tubes and solenoid valves
  • Excess chlorine residual can cause chlorine smell and corrosion in ice bins
  • Sediment and abrasive hard particles wears down and shortens the life of pumps, valves, o-rings and seals

Manitowoc’s ice machines have key features that make maintaining a clean machine a snap. LuminIce™ Growth Inhibitor is an option on Indigo Ice Machines and an accessory on the new NEO Ice Machines. It creates “’active air’ by recirculating the air inside the ice machine foodzone components to inhibit the growth of yeast, bacteria and other common micro-organisms.” iAuCS™ is an automatic cleaning system that is an accessory on the Indigo Ice Machines. This “eliminates routine maintenance. AuCS counts the number of ice-making cycles and, at a frequency you select, initiates a cleaning or sanitizing cycle automatically.” You can even choose from 2, 4 or 12 week settings.

As you can tell, there is a lot to think about before you make a big investment in an ice machine. Click here for Central’s entire ice machine selection. If you have any questions and still need help, don’t hesitate to call our Product Consultants at 800-215-9293!

Ice, Ice and More Ice! Which Type of Ice Is Best for You?

When the Scotsman Luv the Nug truck made a visit to Central on St. Patrick’s Day of 2011, we learned a little bit more about ice than we already knew—people love it and some are even borderline obsessed with it.

Of course, people enjoy ice in their beverages.  But with the large selection of styles now available, people have preferences.  These range from different types of ice to how much ice they want in their beverage.  Then on the other end of the spectrum, there are certain types of ice ideal for displaying and serving food on.

So with a variety of ice types to choose from, it may make you wonder which type of ice is best to use at your establishment.

While different ice machine manufacturers may have different names for the different styles of ice,  all the styles can really be categorized to the following four: classic cubes, gourmet or crescent cubes, flake ice and nugget ice.

 Classic Cubes

This is your simple standard ice.  Its simplicity makes it great for most applications.  According to Scotsman, this type of ice works well for ice dispensing, mixed drinks, carbonated beverages, ice displays, ice retailing and banquet services.

Gourmet or Crescent Cubes

There are a few different kinds of gourmet or crescent cubes.  If you browse through Central’s selection of ice machines, you will see many machines produce “top hat,” “cublet” or “octagon” cubes.

These different types of ice are slow-melting and have a higher displacement which means a higher profit for you.  They are usually found in restaurants, bars and banquet facilities.


Flake Ice

Flake ice consists of small, hard bits of ice that are dry and cool quickly.  It’s great for meat or seafood displays, salad bars, blended cocktails and even therapeutic use. From the Manitowoc website, flake ice is great for serving because the soft, small pieces of ice form around an object without bruising.

Nugget Ice

There are so many different names for nugget ice from “chewable ice” to “Sonic ice.”  Nugget ice is flaked ice compressed into small nuggets—and because of its soft texture, it’s easy to chew. Also, it keeps beverages cooler longer.  It’s commonly used for carbonated beverages, meat or seafood displays and salad bars.

“It’s more energy efficient than cube ice because it uses 50 percent less water than making cube ice,” added Terry Toth, marketing communications manager for Scotsman.  “It also lowers syrup cost per cup, (there’s a) higher liquid displacement.”

Nugget ice is seeming to be a favorite among ice lovers.  So adding nugget ice to your establishment may differentiate you from surrounding stores, which may help you get a leg up on your competitors.

Luv the Nug

Delving in a little bit deeper in to nugget ice, last year marked the 30th anniversary of Scotsman’s nugget ice, so they created a social media campaign and built a truck (Luv the Nug) to travel across the country.  This enabled them to witness people’s love for nugget ice first hand and hear personal stories.

Image: Luv The Nug

“Usually food equipment companies don’t get to taste the product they create, so it was really unique,” Toth said. “It’s a different type of interaction that I’ve never experienced.”

With their different campaigns and contests, they learned people loved chewing on ice for a variety of reasons.

“Some chew on it because they were introduced for medical reasons; people have said nurses said to chew on it to prevent ulcers from forming,” Toth explained. “Then some just went to Sonic and got lots and lots of ice, or went to a convenience store and purchased bags.  There were many different reasons which is why we looked through social media.”

The Luv the Nug truck will be touring again this year, kicking off in Boston this June.  They also have added a free app people can use to find the nearest location to them that serves nugget ice.  The app and tons of other nugget ice information can be found at LuvTheNug.com.  Also–if you serve nugget ice at your establishment, be sure to check and see if are on the list! If not, you can add your location so people can come to you for their nugget ice.

So How Much Ice Do You Need?

It’s important to purchase an ice machine that produces the correct amount of ice for your establishment. Too much or too little ice runs you the risk of wasting money or not having enough ice for your customers.

While it may seem small, ice is a huge asset to a foodservice establishment, so you need to be sure you’re set. Central put together this buying guide which not only explains how much ice you need, but includes other helpful tips about ice machines too.

What’s your story with ice? Why do you love it? What have you seen with your customers?