Don’t Slush about Slushies – The Expert’s Buying Guide for Slushy Machines

Whether it is to enter the slushy business, boost sales at your cafe, or increase your revenue, it is important to buy an efficient and effective slushy machine. Commercial slush machines are eye-catching and can pull customers to make impulsive purchases, raising your income from slushies, cocktails, frappucinos, and granitas. Slushies are a great option to add to your menu, and can also help you diversify your offerings. By outlining the important features of slushy machines, their types, maintenance, and the best commercial slushy machines in the market, Chef Buyer will help you make an informed decision through this article.

What are Slushy Machines?

Commercial slushy and granita machines can blend sugar, water, flavor, and color to produce a unique drink that’s a perfect blend of both ice and liquid. The slush machine has been around for over 60 years, and the drinks picked up in popularity over time. Currently, slushies are popular with both adults and children and provide a great money-making opportunity to any commercial food establishment. The slush machine is not only a unique piece of functional engineering but is also an attractive countertop crowd-puller. The vibrant colors, swirling liquids, and dispensing sounds make the unit very attractive to customers and pique their interest.

How Does a Slushy Machine Work?

A slushy machine has multiple functioning parts that work together to prepare the perfect beverage. To understand the process and the mechanism of a slushy machine, let’s take a look at all the different parts contained within it:

Body & Base: The body of the commercial slush machine holds all the inner compartments together and supports the compressor and the mixing bowls. 
Freezer Cylinder: A horizontal, cylindrical freezing chamber exists to turn the mixed fluid into ice. The body ensures that temperature is distributed evenly throughout the chamber. 
Agitator: These are horizontally placed stirring rods that turn around in spirals to make sure the fluid mixture within the freezer cylinder is mixed uniformly. The agitators ensure that the slush is of perfect consistency.
Bowl: This unit holds the freezer cylinder, agitators, and also the tap and handle. The bowls must be made of simple design and from durable material to ensure ease of cleaning and longevity of the machine. 
Tap & Handle: Each machine comes with taps and simple lever-based handles that allow the flow of the slushy into a cup. The taps and handles are detachable to enable ease of maintenance.
Drip Tray: Drip trays avoid leaks, drips, and spillages from dirtying the surroundings. These trays can be emptied and cleaned regularly.

The mixture is poured into or automatically drawn into the freezer cylinder, while the agitator mixes the product well. The temperature in the chamber must ideally freeze the water in the chamber immediately, however, the constant stirring motion, the presence of sugar, and other components like food coloring further delay the process of freezing by lowering the freezing point. The result is a perfect slushy that can be dispensed out of the tap at the front. A couple of trials to adjust the sugar content will help you understand the freezing process. Too little sugar can cause a lumpy mix, while too much sugar will result in a runny mess. The mix must be the perfect balance between ice and fluid, something that’ll take you a few attempts to master.

Types of Commercial Slush Machines

Commercial slush machines come in many different types and models, and certain variants specialize in preparing certain drinks. The prominent variants of slush machines are: 

Pourover Slushy Machine: The machines need to be operated manually, and following each batch, the liquid slushy mix needs to be poured into the bowl to continue operation.
Fluid Auto Fill Slushy Machine: These machines are automated and contain a large tank/ reservoir to hold a vast quantity of liquid slushy mix. The main bowl is refilled as and when needed. 
Powder Auto Fill Slushy Machine: Such machines contain a separate canister to hold powdered slushy mix. The machine then mixes the powder and water within the machine itself and fills up the bowl. This machine saves up ample mixing and refiling time.  

What You Should Look for When Buying a Commercial Slush Machine

Before you add slushies to the menu and buy that slushy machine you’ve been thinking of, be sure to make these considerations: 

Primary Offering: Certain slushy machines have a wide range of options and can serve juices, iced teas, frappucinos, cocktails, carbonated drinks, and milkshakes. If your primary choice of offering is just the good old slushy, you should consider getting more basic models. However, if you’d like to have a wide range of functionalities at the click of a button, a versatile multi-purpose machine, an automated commercial slush machine would be the obvious choice. 
Number of Servings: Commonly, the bowls and tanks of slushy machines have a capacity ranging from 170 oz. to over 400 oz. Capacity is important once you decide on the content and products you want to serve, as it helps you calculate the number of servings per batch. Small and mini-sized servings start from under 10 oz. and king-sized servings can go above 15 oz. The number of servings and capacity help you calculate the price per serving and the cost you must sell it at to make a decent margin of profit. 
The Number of Bowls/ Tanks:  A higher number of bowls in a slush machine indicates the capacity to deliver different flavors of slush simultaneously. Multiple tanks mean multiple flavors, but they also need more space and more meticulous maintenance.
Production Rate: Different machines have different production rates per hour. Slush machines with multiple bowls and larger capacities have a higher production rate per hour, however, their power consumption might be higher. 
Space: The space available to you on the countertop is essentially one of the most important deciding factors of the kind of slush machine you’ll buy. Larger countertop spaces allow for larger, multi-bowl slush machines, on the other hand, smaller spaces can manage with more modest units to prevent any encumbrance to their staff.

Maintenance of Slushy/ Granita Machines

Maintaining a clean and safe machine is important to provide your customers with clean, FDA-compliant food products. The maintenance of your machine can also factor into your running costs and is an important aspect of owning a slush machine. Here’s what you need to know- 
Upkeep: Manual slush machines require more frequent repairs. These can put a dent in your profits and get you more bogged down with maintenance than operation. 
Product Purchases: It’s always wise to procure the slush mixes in bulk to get healthy discounts. Buying pre-made mixes in bulk tends to be much cheaper than buying individual ingredients. 
Accessories: Accessories like cups, straws, and lids must be included in your production cost and the sale. These items are also best bought in bulk to avoid spending too much on individual costs.    
Cleaning & Sanitation: Slushie machines can end up harboring microbes like bacteria due to their location and operation. Cleaning daily might get cumbersome; however, a thorough cleaning is recommended at least thrice a week. All the movable parts, taps, tubes, bowls, and tanks must be scrubbed thoroughly. In case you operate a slush machine that also offers milk-based drinks, daily cleaning is a must.

The Best Commercial Slush Machines

Here are some of the best slush machines from Chef Buyer’s catalogs- 

Best Pour-over Slush Machine

BUNN Ultra Gourmet Ice® Frozen

BUNN 34000.0012 34000.0012 ULTRA-2 Ultra Gourmet Ice® Frozen

This countertop model supports standard pour-over operations and is equipped with a set of three-gallon bowls. With internally controlled refrigeration, display-mounted controls, stainless steel finish this unit offers seamless control. A reversible agitator, no-lube faucets, and handles ensure ease of cleaning and maintenance. The touchpad allows for preset controls to save time, and this product is offered by Chef Buyer, inclusive of 2-year parts and a 1-year labor warranty.

Best Fluid/ Liquid Autofill Slush Machine

Grindmaster-Cecilware Crathco Frozen Drink Machine

Grindmaster-Cecilware 5711 Crathco Frozen Drink Machine

The 5000 series Crathco dispenser is equipped with a non-carbonated bowl that allows single flavor, air-cooled, and a self-contained slush-making cylinder. The large machine allows over 15 to 20 gallons of slush to be produced in an hour. While the filling is manual, the unit allows for electronic control. With valve seals and spring-loaded handles, detachment and cleaning are no hassle with the 5711. The unit only occupies 33 cm of space and can offer a wide range of functionality to your establishment. Chef Buyer offers this piece of premium equipment, covered by a 5-year compressor, 2-year parts, and a 1-year labor warranty.

Best Powdered Autofill Slush Machine

BUNN Powdered Autofill Ultra™

BUNN 34000.0501 34000.0501 ULTRA-2PAF Powdered Autofill Ultra™

This countertop model from BUNN provides seamless operation with a set of two-gallon bowls. Sanitation is guaranteed by NSF and the unit supports both dairy, and alcohol. Digital controls with a touchpad display and an internally monitored refrigeration system ensure ease of operation and minimal human intervention. Powdered autofill hoppers have a refill rate of 1.1 oz per second. With a stainless finish, no-lube faucet design, and detachable taps, the maintenance of this unit is a breeze. Chef Buyer enlists this product, inclusive of a 5-year compressor warranty and a 3-year parts and labor warranty.

Chef Buyer offers the best among commercial slush machines to all of its customers. A perfect slushie made at your establishment is just a click away. Make sure you visit our buying guides, blogs, and catalogs to make informed purchases. If you still have questions regarding commercial slush machines, you can contact our customer support number or reach us on our email during business hours. Prioritize quality, choose Chef Buyer.

Posted by Damon Shrauner on 
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