We Tried the Viral GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker and Now We Understand the Hype
Calling all ice aficionados! We tested the GE Profile ice maker to see if it's worth the hype.
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I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the closest Sonic Drive-In was about an hour away. In-N-Out Burger reigns in that part of the country, but my sister and I were always enticed by the mystique of Sonic—its rollerblading waiters, its buddy-comedy commercials and its seriously robust menu.
It wasn’t until I was attending college in the Midwest that I was finally able to try the fast-food phenom for the first time, and I was instantly hooked. Not for the reason you might expect, though. I came for the corn dogs and tater tots, but I stayed for the ice. Yes, the ice.
As any Sonic aficionado knows, the restaurant uses small, pellet-like ice in their drinks. It’s crunchy, cold-but-not-too-cold perfection. And for seemingly inexplicable reasons, it makes everything taste better.
So, you can only imagine my excitement when I heard about the GE Profile ice maker, a state-of-the-art countertop ice maker that exclusively produces nugget ice or, as GE likes to call it, “the good ice.” I tried it for myself to see just how “good” this ice really is.
What is the GE Profile ice maker?
The GE Profile ice maker is just what it sounds like: an ice maker that creates nugget ice. Although it’s also available in black, we purchased one with a stainless-steel finish. It’s meant to fit on a kitchen countertop, and, while fairly large, is still portable. It’s famous for going viral on TikTok, just like these other “the internet made me buy it” products!
The sleek, modern-looking appliance, when purchased with an optional side tank, measures about 17 inches tall, 14 inches wide and 17 inches deep. You’ll love these other aesthetic appliances you can get on Amazon, too.
GE Profile Ice Maker Features
There are a number of different components to the GE Profile ice maker. Here’s what we learned about each feature:
There’s not much to say about the easy-to-use ice maker itself except that it does its thing—and fast—behind the scenes, a testament to its design. It’s quiet and sightly.
Although it’s on the large side, presumably due to all the necessary mechanisms hidden behind the stainless-steel exterior, it’s not needlessly bulky. It would fit on most standard countertops.
And despite its inention for personal use, this machine cranks out ice at an impressive rate and has the ability to produce up to 24 pounds in a single day. Its ice bin can hold three pounds of ice at a time. And once that bin’s ice is mostly empty, the machine knows to begin creating more.
The side tank, a slim rectangular accessory that sits snug against the ice maker, holds up to three times as much water as the ice maker alone, meaning the machine requires less refills with this handy attachment.
There is a removable cap on the bottom, allowing the tank to be filled with water. When I was testing, I saw no fill line, so I simply filled the plastic tank about 75% of the way, which seemed to work well. Within 5-7 minutes, ice was already tumbling out.
The ice bin is where the ice deposits and remains until it is manually scooped up. This well-insulated component, which functions like a drawer, is made of clear plastic so the ice is visible to users. It holds up to three pounds of ice at a time. Plus, it’s easy to pull in and out, though it could stand to be a bit deeper. At no point did the ice begin to melt, clump together, etc. But here’s how to keep regular ice cubes from sticking together.
A small plastic scoop with a short handle, you can stash this accessory in the ice bin or on the drip tray. I found that I needed about two scoops of ice to fill a cup to my desired level of fullness.
This scoop is the only provided way in which to dispense the ice. There is no automated, hands-free mechanism.
The plastic tray juts out about three additional inches from the bottom of the ice maker. It has a slight lip to catch runoff and does a great job of keeping the surrounding surface clean and free of melted ice.
How We Tested It
To test this appliance, we assembled it in our kitchen, a process that was surprisingly simple. As stated above, we splurged for the side tank, which makes the machine cost $100 more, but enables it to hold about three times as much water. This add-on isn’t essential, and the machine works without one.
Once we filled the side tank and connected it to the machine via rubber tube, the appliance was churning out ice in mere minutes. It takes between 30 and 45 minutes, however, for there to be enough ice for drinks. And we tested it (gladly, I might add) with just about every type of beverage, from lemonade to sparkling water to canned cocktails.
Consuming the ice—and the drinks that go along with it—is the fun part, but it’s not the only part. We also cleaned the machine weekly as part of the testing.
The first step isn’t in the manual, but you’ll be glad you did it: Save the ice! Dump it in a freezer-safe container, then get to work.
For the cleaning process, you’ll need water, bleach and a little time. The instructions in the manual are thorough and easy to follow, which made us grateful—nobody wants grungy ice. It takes about three minutes to run the bleach cleaning cycle.
And nope, the ice doesn’t taste like bleach afterward because you run three water-only rinse cycles after cleaning (or more, if you’re nervous). But we found that three rinses do the trick.
- Novelty: Drive-in ice at home! What more could you want? The nuggets, about 3/4-in. long, are sure to level up any cocktail, iced tea or soda.
- Speed: This thing is quick! You’ll only need about 30 minutes for a cupful of ice—way faster than traditional freezing methods.
- Yield: 24 pounds of ice per day is a lot! And we’re not complaining. This machine is ideal for big families, avid entertainers, employers and so much more.
- Ice: If you’re a fan of pellet ice, this won’t disappoint. This ice is crunchy and airy with a perfectly imperceptible taste—it really is “the good ice.”
- Appearance: The appliance itself is rather attractive. It’s a seamless addition to any modern kitchen.
- Cleaning process: Cleaning these types of appliances is oftentimes cumbersome, but this machine is far easier to clean than you’d expect. And it only takes a few minutes!
- Size: It is a rather large appliance to introduce into your kitchen space. Those with apartments and tiny kitchens, proceed with caution. And although it’s marketed as portable, the machine is far too heavy to feasibly move with regularity.
- Texture of ice: Now this is where things get subjective. Some of those who sampled the ice found its softness off-putting. Because pellet ice is made of compact ice flakes, it’s not as dense as other types of ice. (Sticking to traditional cubes? Check out these cool ice ideas.)
- Price: Costing several hundred dollars, either with or without the side tank, this is a splurge for sure. But for ice enthusiasts, this maker is the absolute pinnacle and certainly worth the money.
- Cleanliness: As concerns about spreading germs persist, the fact that the ice must be scooped out of the bin by hand, rather than dispensed through a touchless mechanism, is something to take into account.
How long can the ice maker run?
The ice maker is capable of running 24/7. If left on, the machine will run until the water reservoir is empty or the ice bin is full. That said, we do recommend manually turning it off when it’s not in use.
How do you clean the ice maker?
Cleaning the ice maker is a very straightforward process with full instructions in the owner’s manual. You simply run diluted bleach through the cleaning cycle, then run three more water-only rinse cycles. It is recommended that this be done weekly.
Is the ice maker noisy?
If running correctly, the ice maker should produce very little noise, especially when compared to other traditional ice makers. (Learn more ways to hack your ice tray.) Aside from when the ice pellets fall into the plastic ice bin, this machine is nearly silent.
Does the ice maker need to connect to an external water source?
This ice maker does not need to connect to a water line in order to create ice. Simply fill up the water reservoir or side tank with purified water (tap water works!), then let the ice maker take over.
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
On Amazon, the GE Profile Ice Maker has an impressive 4.3 stars and over 1,700 ratings. Here’s what a few smitten customers had to say.
Amazon buyer Jace Ryan Bragg asserts the value of the investment. He even has the anecdotal evidence to back it up: “I purchased a cheaper countertop ice maker a few months prior. It broke within 2 months,” he says. “My GE Opal is perfect! It was packaged really well for shipping. It was super simple to set up. It is very quiet… The ice tray stays full all day long.”
It makes so much ice, in fact, that wife of 5-star reviewer Michael Leonard likes to share it with peers. “We love this ice maker and are very pleased with it,” he says. “[My wife] bags the ice in 2 gallon bags and hands it out to friends and neighbors. She really likes her nugget ice. This GE Opal 2.0 is a workhorse and keeps her and all our friends very happy.”
And verified purchaser Chrysty Morris gives it perhaps the best praise of all: “Hands-down, one of the best purchases I’ve made on Amazon.”
It’s tricky to compare the GE Profile Ice Maker to an item as simple as an ice cube tray because they’re so different. But in terms of speed, quantity and specialization, the ice maker is far superior. But, it’s also far pricier.
In terms of how it ranks among other countertop ice makers, that’s a little more straightforward. If you’re fine with standard cubes of ice, then you’ll discover there are some cheaper options out there, ranging from around $80 to $200. However, many of them still are not as efficient as the GE ice maker. Plus, the pieces of ice themselves aren’t pellet-sized, if that’s what you’re seeking.
I personally love this product. It made all my Sonic-centric dreams come true. (Now I just need to figure out how to make the chain’s slushes at home. Hmm…) Not only is the nugget ice top-notch, but the machine itself is also notable. The speed with which it produces ice is incredible; it’s easy to clean; and it’s about as attractive as appliances come.
However, I do acknowledge that this purchase isn’t universally appealing. Whether it’s too expensive for your budget or too large for your space, this luxury kitchen appliance is an investment not everyone is willing or able to make. And I get it. Try one of these small appliances for less than $20 instead. What’s more, some people just don’t care about or even like ice. That I can’t relate to as much. But in that case, this ice maker definitely doesn’t belong in your cart.
This appliance is a great fit for large families, small offices, frequent hosts or any old ice lover. (I know I’m not the only one!)
Where to Buy the GE Profile Ice Maker
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