5 Types of Ice and When to Use Them


Most modern refrigerators have ice makers built in. However, if you’re big on entertaining or have a large family, an ice machine is essential. If you’re in the market for one of these machines, you may be confused on which to purchase since each produces different types of ice.

Your Guide to the Top 5 Types of Ice

We made this list of different ice types to help you find the right ice machine for you:

Cube Ice

Cube ice is probably the most recognized ice cube shapes available, hence why most types of ice are simply called, “ice cubes”. Typically, it takes shape as a perfect cube and is crystal clear. With this type of ice, it’s vital to know how to clean ice maker components to keep the cubes clear.

Arguably, its purpose is the most versatile of all ice shapes. It’s slow to melt and is perfect for chilling drinks. Additionally, its slow melt rate also makes it perfect for keeping food cold in a portable cooler.


Nugget Ice

Nugget ice, also famously known as “sonic ice”, takes ice cube shapes to a whole new level. It’s compact and usually cylindrical in shape. Nugget ice was specifically designed to be softer in texture, making it easily chewable.

Due to its soft structure, it takes on the flavor of the beverage it’s cooling. This makes nugget ice great for a wide variety of beverages, including smoothies, sodas, and many other types of drinks.

Photo Credit: Viking

Gourmet Ice

Out of all the different types of ice, gourmet is perhaps the most unique out of all of them. It’s clear, cylindrical, and hollow in the middle. It’s defining shape ensures an even melt and rapid chilling.

Gourmet ice is most used in upscale restaurants and a favorite for mixologists. It’s also favored by banquet and catering services.


Crescent Ice

Another top contender for the most popular types of ice is crescent ice. It’s solid and dense like cube ice but not as clear. Crescent ice is shapes like a half-moon, which allows it to move with liquid and not stick in place.

Due to its large size, crescent ice is more ideal for liquid drinks and portable coolers. Its density does not make it ideal for blended drinks.

Image Credit: U-Line

Flake Ice

Unlike most types of ice on this list, flake ice does not take a specific shape. Rather, its texture is much like snow. Since it’s is so thin, it is not ideal for beverages as it melts quickly in liquid.

Instead, it’s unique ability to pack makes it perfect for food displays. It can often be found in supermarket meat departments. However, flake ice is great for entertaining at home, as it provides an excellent presentation for chilled food and drinks.


No matter which type of ice your machine produces, call Appliance Service Station if you need ice maker repair.

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