Most people think of traditional, square cubes when they think about ice. However, ice comes in many shapes and sizes to meet the needs of different ice needs of industries. Specialty ice has uses in Kansas and Missouri hospitals, markets, and yes, restaurants and bars.
Let’s look at some specialty ice types and the craft ice makers that produce them.
Nugget/Cubelet Craft Ice
It doesn’t matter if you call it cubelet ice, chewblet ice, or pellet ice, nugget ice is a soft and chewable ice shape designed with hospitals in mind.
Doctors love this ice because it helps hydrate patients who have a hard time swallowing liquid out of a glass. Instead of serving water, patients can chew nugget ice throughout the day. It’s easy on patients’ teeth. Nugget ice is made of compressed flake ice, which gives it the texture of a snowball.
Nugget ice’s soft texture is an excellent choice for Kansas and Missouri physical therapy clinics. Nugget ice provides a better cooling area when applied to the skin. Its soft texture molds around difficult to treat areas, like knees and elbows.
Solidly frozen ice, like crescent ice, can melt into sharp points that can cut holes into plastic bags. Nugget ice is soft, so it won’t rip through plastic and leak water over patients.
There are some bars and restaurants that prefer nugget ice for specialty drinks. Nugget ice is porous, so it absorbs the flavor liquids. Kansas and Missouri soda shops love nugget ice because it absorbs the flavor of sugary drinks. Customers are left with a sweet, icy treat after finishing their drinks. No wonder Sonic uses this ice in their famous slushes!
Flake Craft Ice
Flake ice machines produce ice designed for food displays, but some business owners have found other uses for flake ice as well.
Flake ice is similar in texture to snow. Flake ice sticks together into a variety of shapes. Seafood restaurants, fish markets, and produce stops can build elaborate displays to show off products. Produce, bottles, and cans stand firmly in the ice and stay cool in the process.
Some oyster bars use flake ice over chilled rock salt. Flake ice keeps shellfish at a safe temperature while keeping them in place on a plate. Best yet, flake ice is cheaper than buying bag-after-bag of rock salt.
Finally, physical therapy clinics use flake ice the same way they use nugget ice. The texture of flake ice provides the best possible cooling surface for difficult-to-reach areas.
Sphere Craft Ice
Over the last decade, quality cocktail bars have upped their game. Cocktails are getting the same level of detail as three coarse meals – and ice can make or break a drink.
Sphere ice is prized because it looks great in drinks. It’s clear and stacks nicely. Since they’re larger than other ice cubes, they won’t water down drinks.
Hoshizaki’s upcoming sphere ice machine delivers 50 lbs. of perfectly round sphere ice a day.
Square Craft Ice
Yep, the traditional square ice cube has become a specialty ice style as well. Both half-dice and crescent ice cubes have become the popular ice choice for bars and restaurants because of their versatility and high production rate.
Since the change, square ice has become a prized in high-end cocktail and whiskey bars. These are large ice cubes that keep quality cocktails and top-shelf spirits cold without diluting.
Specialty Ice Machines are Here for All Your Business Needs
If you run a Kansas or Missouri-based business that’s looking for a craft ice type, both Hoshizaki and Manitowoc make some of the best commercial ice machines on the market.
If you need help choosing a specialty ice machine for your business, contact us and one of our helpful Ice Machine Experts will point you in the right direction.