How to Make Nugget Ice: Unveiling the Secret in 2021

Nugget, Pebble, Pellet, Chewable, or Sonic ice; how would you want to call them? The recipe of how to make nugget ice is the right way to get it easily.

It means the same thing, and this kind of ice is fantastic. Trust me, it has a near-cult following. This chewable ice soaks in the flavor of your delicious drink and is so much better on your teeth. You don’t need to crush it or chew it. It just falls about in your mouth.

What is nugget ice?

Nugget ice is the best way to enjoy your cocktail. You can distinguish it from others because it is airy and, therefore, light. It floats on your drink and has a more even distraction as compared to cubed ice.

Additionally, this ice doesn’t melt as fast as crushed. Rather, stay for longer, but gets softer with time. Best of all, it doesn’t hurt your precious teeth. It is oft and, therefore, gives a satisfying feeling upon chewing.

Nugget ice is not crushed ice. The nugget ice is in small nuggets, and it is made from flaked ice, which is compacted into little nuggets. On the other hand, crushed ice is from crushed ice cubes.

How to Make Nugget Ice

While making ice at home requires any ice maker, nugget ice needs specialized ice machines. This is the first step in understanding how to make soft ice. Since these machines are from different manufacturers, they work a little bit differently.

But all commercial ice makers utilize a refrigeration system to freeze water into ice. In making nugget ice, the primary aim is to make soft chew able ice. The sonic ice machine does this well.

The Process of making Soft Ice

Note that the process begins with producing flake ice.

  • Run water through the metal cylinder of a sonic machine. The cylinder is cooled by an effective refrigeration system. The cooling of the cylinder causes the water to freeze into small sheets. You can see these sheets protruding from the side of the cylinder.
  • While the spikes are forming, a rotating auger scraps the interior walls of the cylinder. Its action removes the ice sheets/ spikes that are building on the cylinder and pushes them towards the top side of the auger.

If the process stops here, then this is the flak ice. Such ice is common in produce displays and seafood.  However, for nugget ice, it goes a step further.

  • All ice flakes are pushed to a small tube, which compacts the flakes into a single piece. Then the ice moves through a pipe into an extrude. At the end of the extrude, the ice breaks off into smaller pieces naturally or a blade lop it into uniform pieces.

Essential Points on How to Make Sonic Ice

You need clean water. Actually, water determines the taste and overall quality of your nugget ice.

  • Filtered water: produces softer and less cloudy nuggets.
  • Pre-boiled water: produces clear nuggets since boiling expels air from the water

Remember, in nugget ice, only texture and taste matters a lot. That means you need potable water to make incredible sonic ice.

The mode of water delivery to the ice maker depends on the model. For portable ice makers, you add water to the reservoir. In the case of an under-counter or standalone ice machine, you may need an active water line.


The freezing process is what sets the nugget ice makers apart from the cube ice makers. Ice cube makers use a tray with cubes, which isn’t the case in sonic ice makers, as seen above.

It uses a cylindrical tube with a rotating auger. The refrigerant passes through the tube, chilling it. What’s interesting is that sonic ice maker doesn’t uses heat. Thus, an efficient machine.

The nuggets

Nuggets drain from the auger to the ice bin, and this step, again varies with the machine type. Two primary forms exist:

  • The flakes pass through a compression tube t form nugget. In the end, they break naturally due to gravity.
  • Blades uniformly shred the nuggets during extrusion.

However, most advanced machines carry out more finesse before releasing the nuggets.

These machines compress the nuggets to rid extra water. Ultimately, the ice is harder but not as harder as ice cubes.

The firmness of compressed nuggets makes them last longer in your drink. They’ll last longer in your drink. As such, they are a suitable option for outdoor bars and restaurants.

Nugget ice machines: Getting the right machine for the job is a must. There are both commercial machines and home nugget ice makers. Currently, Scotsman products are best known for making sonic ice.

Can you DIY sonic ice?

The answer is greatly debatable. Some people believe it is impossible to make nugget ice without a machine. However, another group believe you can make something close to nugget ice.

I suggest you try the following steps.

  • Freeze carbonated water in ice cubes
  • Place the ice cubes in a glass or a lewis bag
  • Whack each cube once to get small nuggets


Understanding how to make soft ice means picking the right machine. Further, understanding the whole process will make generate incredible sonic ice.

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