What Are The Different Types Of Ice Cubes

Did you know that there are actually several types of ice cubes available? If you are thinking about getting an ice maker machine, knowing your ice cubes might help in your decision. In this article, we’ll take a look at what are the different types of ice cubes available so you can decide which one is best for your needs!

Ice cubes are a staple in any kitchen, bar, or home. They can be used to chill drinks, cool off dishes and even provide a decorative touch to food presentations. From the classic cubed shapes to small pebbles and large chunks, each type has its own unique use and purpose.

Thanks to the very convenient ice makers, nowadays we can choose the types of ice cubes that suit our needs best. There are those machines that offer bullet ice, perfect for cocktails. However, you and your family may incline more toward the traditional style of ice cubes. These are great for chilling soda cans and water bottles, as their shape allows them to cool down quickly.

So, when it comes to types of ice cubes, there is something for everyone! Whether you’re looking for regular cubes or large chunks, an ice maker machine is your best bet to making your steady supply of ice cubes dreams come true. Learn all about what are the different types of ice cubes and select your favorite.

What Are The Different Types Of Ice Cubes Quick Guide

Find below a list of the most common types of ice cubes available:

  • Cubed Ice – classic cubes perfect for chilling drinks and cooling off dishes. These can also be half-cube ice cubes or full-cube ice cubes.
  • Nugget Ice – small pebble ice that is soft and crunchy, usually used in food displays
  • Flake Ice – light, airy chips of ice great for keeping items cold during transport
  • Bullet Shaped/Shell Shaped – bullet shaped cubes are best suited to cocktails
  • Crescent Ice Cubes – this ice is best for ice bagging and dispensing, as well as soft drinks and mixed drinks
  • Gourmet/Dry/Hard Cube – large chunks of clear gourmet cubes add a decorative touch to drinks

Why are types of ice cubes important?

Types of ice cubes become relevant because they will help you when selecting an ice maker machine. By now, you are aware that there are different types of ice cubes, the question is, which one will serve your needs and those of your family, friend, or even clients?

Picking the right type of ice from an ice maker is essential; it can dramatically impact how long your drinks stay cold, as well as which applications are best suited for each cube shape. That’s why with different options available, you ought to know which works better for you.

Types of Ice Cubes Goal

Each form of ice is optimally suited for a certain function. While all forms are intended to chill items, the various characteristics make one type more appropriate for a specific application than another.

For instance, some types of ice can better cool drinks while others work best when used for preservation and display purposes.

When it comes to serving drinks or displaying food, choosing the right types of ice cubes for your application is definitely beneficial. Not only does it create an enjoyable experience, but also allows you to maximize efficiency and save money in the long run.

What types of ice cubes are better for home use?

If you find yourself in need of various forms of ice but can’t spare the extra room for a commercial-grade appliance, then no worries! A countertop ice maker is your ideal solution.

Whether it’s to make crystal clear cubes for an evening get-together or mixed drinks and gourmet meals, these machines provide several pounds of perfect cubes per day – so you never have to worry about running out during parties again.

With its rounded shape and multi-purpose functionality, bullet ice is the perfect choice for all your everyday needs.

Not only can you use it in any glass or blender, but unlike other types of ice, it reduces splashing when pouring drinks – making it a great option for entertaining guests.

What Features to Look for in Types of Ice Cubes


The type of ice cubes you get from a countertop ice maker machine depends on what you are using them for. Different types of ice cubes can be used in different ways.

Some may be interested in a large volume application, some in bagging, self-service dispensing or perhaps you are just looking for chewy ice cubes for soft drinks.

Melt Rate

Melt rate is how quickly the ice cubes turn from solid to liquid. It helps you decide which type of ice cube you want. Some melt slower than others, so they last longer in your drink.

For example, nugget and flake ice melt rather quickly while crescent, gourmet, and large ice cubes melt slowly.


Getting to know what are the different types of ice cubes will allow you to pick from different settings as well. You might want your ice to serve strictly in a commercial setting, or perhaps an upscale restaurant.


Ice makers make cubes of different sizes. Some are big and some are small. For example, the half-ice cube is known for its convenient size; while the full-ice cube due to its larger size provides a maximum cooling experience.


When getting to know what are the different types of ice cubes, you’ll realize they all have special benefits like cooling your drink quickly or melting slowly to make it last longer.

For instance, nugget ice is considered to be attractive to ice chewers, while crescent ice due to its shape, creates an exceptional liquid displacement and easy flow as you enjoy a beverage.

What Are The Different Types Of Ice Cubes

Below you’ll learn in detail about the different types of ice cubes:

Cubed Ice

Cocktail bars favor regular or large cube ice cubes for their slow dilution rate in drinks, making them ideal for serving spirits neat.

Not to mention that they’re perfect for bagging as well! That being said, however, these big baddies are not suitable for dispensers; so the bartender has been warned.

  • Half-cube ice cubes: Half-cube or half-dice ice cubes are the tiniest rhomboid shape available. They dissolve quickly, making them ideal for smoothies and frozen cocktails alike. Their diminutive size also makes them suitable for dispensing applications due to their larger surface area which results in faster cooling of drinks.
  • Full-cube ice cubes: Full-cube ice cubes create an ideal balance between melt rate and coolness; compared to the faster melting half-dice option, it won’t dilute your beverage quickly but still provides enough of a chill factor. Additionally, the full cube can be used in dispensing machines due to its shape along with being available frozen in bags.

Nugget Ice

Nugget ice is an ideal frozen treat – soft, easy to chew yet firm enough to maintain its shape. These cubes are created by a special kind of shaved-ice maker that produces ice that does not easily stick together. Enjoy the unique texture and flavor of nugget ice.

Nugget ice is renowned for its ability to absorb the flavor of whatever beverage it’s in, making it ideal for cold and soft drinks as well as slushies, cocktails, and smoothies. This type of ice cube quickly melts when chewed by those who love texture while consuming their beverages.

Flake Ice

Flake ice is comprised of finely-shaved pieces and has become the go-to option for maintaining freshness in seafood, poultry and produce displays.

This soft yet moldable texture makes it perfect for mass pour projects during concrete settings as well as applications within food processing industries.

Bullet Shaped Ice Cubes

Bullet ice is aptly named, as it resembles a bullet in its cylindrical shape with a rounded tip at one end. This type of ice is hollow inside and melts more quickly than solid cubes; hence why you’ll often find it in self-service dispensers or commercial ice machines found in hotels.

Additionally, due to its cloudy white coloration, some people refer to this particular form of frozen water as pearl ice.

Bullet ice is the perfect addition to any mixed drink due to its hollow shape. The increased contact area on the “inside” of these bullets causes them to melt evenly and chill drinks quickly for a refreshing taste.

Not only are they great for blended cocktails, but bullet ice makers also provide carbonated soft drinks with an ideal size that won’t detract from their cloudiness in more relaxed settings.

Crescent Ice Cubes

Have you seen the ice cubes that hotels or home freezers use? They’re called crescent or half-moon ice, and they are large blocks of solid ice appearing as a cylinder cut in half lengthwise. One side is flat while the other curves into a semi-circle for easy dispensing.

Whatever your preference may be, these impressive chunks of frozen water will surely keep your drinks cooler than regular square-shaped cubes.

If you’re in search of a top-notch cooling experience on those sizzling hot summer days, then crescent ice is your perfect companion! This type of ice has an impeccable freezing ability and a large size that slowly melts over time, providing the ultimate coolness.

Additionally, its rounded shape prevents any spills or splashes when pouring drinks; making it ideal for home use with family and friends.

Gourmet/Dry/Hard Cube

“Pretty” and “ice cubes” are usually not connected, yet when it comes to Gourmet Cubes they could be an apt pairing. These chic-looking ice cubes upgrade the ambiance of any sophisticated event such as weddings or banquets.

Additionally, with their slow melt time and non-stick characteristics, these cubes make for a perfect selection for long occasions during which you require your beverage’s coolness without diluting it quickly.

What Are The Different Types Of Ice Cubes Video

In this YouTube video tutorial, we explore the different types of ice from a bartenders pint of view.

How Long Does Ice Last in a Cooler?

The duration that ice lasts in a cooler depends on several factors, such as the type of cooler, the kind of ice used (standard or dry ice), and whether the cooler has been pre-chilled. According to various sources, the longevity of ice in a cooler can range from as short as 12 hours to as long as 7 days. How Long Does Ice Last in a Cooler? 6 Key Factors

Final Thoughts About What Are The Different Types Of Ice Cubes

When it comes to types of ice cubes, the possibilities are truly endless. From classic cube shapes to nugget and crushed varieties, a countertop ice maker machine is an excellent way to add some variety and flavor to your drinks.

By understanding what are the different types of ice cubes that can be produced by these machines, you’ll be able to customize your beverages for any occasion!

Whether you’re looking for unique presentation ideas or just want something different than what’s in your freezer at home, there’s sure to be an option out there perfect for you. So go ahead, get creative with all the fun choices available when it comes to making icy treats.

Photo of author
Mike Roberts is a retired icemaker engineer who has spent his entire career researching icemakers and providing valuable insights into their performance. He shares his knowledge through icemakerchoices.com to help readers make the best icemaker choice for their needs.
Photo of author
Mike Roberts is a retired icemaker engineer who has spent his entire career researching icemakers and providing valuable insights into their performance. He shares his knowledge through icemakerchoices.com to help readers make the best icemaker choice for their needs.