I have some pretty exciting news for ice chewers!
Related: My GE Profile Opal 2.0 Review
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker has been on the market for a while now, and it seems to be a popular ice maker for producing soft, chewable nugget ice at a decent price.
I decided to grab about $500 and purchase one of these Opal Ice Maker’s myself and see what all the fuss is about.
This is my Opal Nugget Ice Maker Review.
What Is Nugget Ice?
The invention of nugget ice dates back to 1981. The creator of this type of ice was Scotsman Ice Systems.
What is so appealing about nugget ice?
Bartender Jayce McConnell of Edmund’s Oast explains the appeal of nugget ice like this: “It’s porous and chewable, and every little pebble can carry some of the beverage with it.”
Now, this ice maker isn’t the cheapest portable ice maker on the market today. You’ll probably spend about $500ish for this ice maker on Amazon. There are other options available if you’re looking to pick up a cheaper countertop ice maker (which produces bullet-shaped ice and not the nugget ice), but this ice maker isn’t like the others.
Click here to read our comparison between the Opal Nugget Ice Maker and the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker.
When it comes to producing nugget ice, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker does the job well.
|Ice Production||24 Pounds a day|
|Design||Stainless Steel, Plastic|
|Dimensions||15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2 inches|
|Ice Cycle||20 Minutes|
|Storage Capacity||3 lbs|
|Ice Type||Nugget Ice|
|Best Price||Click Here For Best Price|
Let’s review this portable ice maker and see if it’s a unit you should consider purchasing.
Design and Features
There’s no doubt about it! The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a sharp-looking unit. The ice maker is wrapped in beautiful stainless steel, and the back is a glossy black trim. It has a transparent bin that fits nicely on the front of the unit, and it’s lit with a LED light. I thought that it was very classy!
The GE Opal didn’t have the traditional portable ice maker look, which is refreshing. It’s practically a rectangular metal box on my countertop, but the stainless steel front and sides, and the front sliding storage bin, elevates its style to premium in my books.
It’s Built Well, A Little Heavy
The unit measures 17.2 by 10.5 by 15.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 44 pounds.
My opinion? It’s far too heavy. I actually had trouble lifting it from the box to my countertop.
The average portable ice maker weighs between 17-30 lbs. You’re going to want to find a place for the Opal and leave it there – it’s not designed to be moved around (my opinion) even though it technically can.
If you are looking for an ice maker that’s more for camping or your RV, check out my post on the perfect ice maker for camping.
How The GE Opal Ice Maker Works
Most portable ice makers freeze ice around small cylinders which produces bullet or hat-shaped ice. The Opal Ice Maker scrapes ice flakes from a cooled cylinder and compresses them together. This is what gives you that light-chewable ice.
Makes 24 Pounds of Ice Every 24 Hours
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker will produce for you one pound of nugget ice every hour (24 lbs of ice every 24 hours).
- 24 Pounds of Nugget Ice Daily
- Elegant Design
- Stainless Steel
This is a decent amount of nugget ice. Usually, refrigerator ice makers produce 2-3 pounds of ice every day.
It’s still not the largest capacity in an ice maker and falls short of the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker by almost 20 pounds of ice each day.
A Removable Ice Bin
At the front of the unit, there is a clear plastic removable bin. The bin is lit by an LED light which gives it a really nice look. You can slide the bin out whenever you need ice, and it easily slides back into place. My kids loved sliding the bin out for ice, and I found that it often was scattered around the base of the ice maker.
Beneath the clear plastic bin is the water reservoir. Like most portable ice makers, the ice storage bin has holes to drain the water from the melted ice. This allows the water to return to the water reservoir to make more ice.
The Opal doesn’t need a water or drain line. Everything works together within the ice maker itself.
You can purchase the Opal Side Tank, which extends the amount of water the reservoir can hold. This additional attachment gives you more ice and fewer water refills.
Indicating LED Light
On the front of the unit, there is a LED circle light that gives you an indication of the operation of the unit.
- If the ring is solid white the bin is full of ice.
- When the circle light is cascading white, it means that the unit is making ice.
- A prolonged cascading white light says it is in defrost mode and should not be turned off for at least 30 minutes.
- A pulsing yellow light means that the ice maker is in cleaning mode, and a rotating yellow light indicates that it is in rinse mode.
- If the ice maker shows a swishing blue light, it means that the water reservoir is empty and needs more water before it can continue.
The Back of the Ice Maker
At the back of the unit, you’re going to find 14″ drain tubes that are used to drain extra water from the clean cycle. You’re also going to find a toggle switch which is used to switch between cleaning mode and making ice mode.
The unit comes with a small black plastic scoop. The scoop isn’t much to behold, and should be ungraded to a stainless steel scoop.
I went on Amazon and purchased a stainless steel one which matches the ice maker perfectly. Click here to head over to Amazon and read more about it.
Installation and Cleaning
The great thing about the Opal Ice Maker is that you don’t have to pay for a professional to come and install it. All you have to do to start making ice is prepare your ice maker.
When the Opal arrived at my house, it didn’t take long to get it unpacked, cleaned, and to make nugget ice.
First, wash the bin with warm soapy water, and then do your best to rinse it thoroughly.
Plug it in and switch the toggle mode to cleaning.
You’ll need to fill the reservoir with water and then begin the cleaning cycle (Which will last for about 3 minutes) by touching the button.
When the light ring begins to pulse yellow, you need to disconnect the tubes and place them in a sink or a bucket. It’s a good practice to clean your ice maker at least once a week. You can purchase the Opal Cleaning Kit here.
Keeping your ice maker clean is vital in keeping your nugget ice tasting great and your ice machine working correctly.
The Mobile App
The Opal Ice Maker also has a mobile app that you can download from your mobile phone’s app store. This app allows you to connect to your ice maker through Bluetooth.
Remember that this ice maker doesn’t have a wifi connection. There is a big difference between WIFI and Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, you would need to be near the Opal Nugget Ice Maker to use the app. If you want an ice maker with WIFI, then the Opal Nugget Ice Maker 2.0 is your best choice.
The app allows you to turn the ice maker on and off. It also allows you to create an ice production schedule.
I never really used the app much. I guess it depends on the individual and what they are used to.
It takes 20 minutes for the first batch of ice to fall into the bin. Your ice bin should be full in about 3 hours.
If you need a lot of ice, I would suggest that you purchase freezer ice bags from Amazon, and every three hours fill the bags and put them in the freezer.
If you are looking for an affordable nugget ice maker to your home, then the Opal Ice Maker is a great choice.
For $500, you’re going to get an ice maker that delivers genuine chewable nugget ice with a compact, stylish design.
I really enjoyed using the nugget ice maker. It was heavy, a little loud, but produced good ice, and enough for the entire family.
Opal Nugget Ice Maker Manual
You can download Opal Nugget Ice manual by clicking here.
- 24 Pounds of Nugget Ice Daily
- Elegant Design
- Stainless Steel