Many people like to cool off during the hot summer days with the help of ice pellets. Also called ice nuggets, these are small and have such a soft texture that they can be chewed on quite easily by anybody, including people with sensitive teeth.
Ice pellets to drop in drinks or simply chew
Ice pellets are also great for smoothies, cocktails and other flavored drinks that are best served cold. The soft ice nuggets can be flavored either in the process of obtaining them, or after you drop them inside your favorite beverage; they will simply absorb the flavor. A free standing pellet ice machine can also be used at home, especially if you tend to munch on a lot of ice or add it to the bar drinks you make at parties. A free standing ice machine means that the unit is not attached to a freezer, so the ice that it makes is soft from the very beginning.
Free standing units can also be used outdoors, especially those models that are made of stainless steel and are weatherproof. These machines usually have an air-condenser and a pump, and can store dozens of pounds of ice; larger models can store the ice for about a week and keep it at the right temperature. The 24-hour output of a more expensive pellet ice unit is of roughly 30 pounds of ice, so it produces even large amounts of pellets rather quickly. These are also one of the heaviest ice machines, and can take up a lot of space.
Note that the pellets may taste like plastic at first, but this is only because the machine is brand new; after using it a couple of times, the bad taste should subside and the ice nuggets should be able to take on the taste of the beverage you put them in.
Just some factors to keep in mind before buying any machine include the level of noise that you can handle, given that some models are louder, while others are more quiet, so choose carefully. Some yet are more economic as they use less water, and some also feature an automatic reminder, basically a LED light, that turns on automatically when the machine needs cleaning, usually about twice per year. Another way to save money in the long run is to opt for a machine that has an automatic overfill protection; this way, the machine will not make more ice than the bin can hold, and will alert you when that happens. Moreover, before buying, it is always worth checking that the product is compliant with the electrical standards of your country so that there is no problem when you want to plug it in.