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This machine lets you make nugget ice at home—and it just got even better

Nugget ice: I love it and I want some more of it

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Do you like Sonic's nugget ice? If you answered, "What's nugget ice?" you should move on. This article is for serious nugget ice enthusiasts who can't get enough of that satisfying crunch. Also, if you already own an Opal Nugget Ice Maker (available at Amazon), but feel like it never makes enough ice, there's finally a solution.

Opal Nugget Ice Maker ice
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Without a tank, this is about as much ice as your Opal can hold.

We instantly fell in love with the Opal when we first tried it. It was simple to set up—no waterline required. All you need to do is fill up the internal tank, plug it in, and turn it on. You don't even need to touch it because it has a Bluetooth-enabled app.

Opal Nugget Ice Maker Bluetooth app
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Having a Bluetooth app means you can schedule the machine to turn on.

The ice that the Opal makes has a perfect consistency, like al dente frozen water. The downside we found was just how cumbersome and slow the process was. To make any large amount of ice, we had to constantly refill the internal tank, which was difficult given the shallow opening. After an hour, the Opal made only about 14 ounces of ice. Even at maximum capacity, you only get about three pounds of ice—until now.

The Nugget Ice Maker's new feature

Opal Nugget Ice Maker can make three times as much ice when full.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

When the tank is full, you can make about three times as much ice.

FirstBuild has now put out a side tank to go with the Opal Nugget Ice Maker. The tank is sold separately and compatible with older Opal models. With it, you'll be able to make up to 12 pounds of ice without having to refill the water. While it looks pretty simple after we spent the day with it, we got a sense that it's pretty well designed.

The water tank itself weighs 2 pounds empty and about 9.5 pounds when full. It lacks any handles so it can be a bit tricky when carrying it any distance, especially if it's wet.

How to install the tank

We found it took longer to unpack the tank than to install it. Our only tip is that you make sure you have access to the back of the unit before starting.

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The Opal Nugget Ice Maker hose on the right is what needs to go into the tank
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

The hose on the right is what needs to go into the tank

All you need to do is place the tank on the side of the nugget ice maker, making sure it doesn't block the vents on the side. When you set it down you'll notice the tank is magnetic, which helps keep it secure.

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker drain hose connects to the side tank via a spout in the back.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

The drain hose connects to the side tank via a spout in the back.

After that, you need to unhook the drain hose from the ice maker. When you're facing the back of the machine, it's the hose on the right. With the stopper removed from the drain hose, insert the end into the spout on the tank. That's all that's needed.

When the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is connected this is what the setup looks like.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

When connected, this is what the setup looks like.

Is it worth it?

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker tank is totally worth it if your Opal is always on the counter and you use it constantly.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

The tank is totally worth it if your Opal is always on the counter and you use it constantly.

It's totally worth it, especially if your Nugget Ice Maker sits on the counter all the time near the sink. The tank is a little cumbersome to move and fill any great distance. People who make nugget ice cocktails for parties or are nugget ice fiends will find this tank a reasonably priced godsend.

Get the Opal Nugget Ice Maker on Amazon for $474.99

Get the Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Walmart for $466.77

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