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Feeling like a cold drink? Well, we all feel like it on a hot day. Or sometimes it’s a cool evening and we just want some ice in our whiskey. Either way, you’ll want some ice.
The thing is, though, that ice isn’t just about cooling your drinks. I appreciate aesthetics and quality just as much as the next person.
What’s cooler than an ice cube? An ice skull, of course! Why not get some frozen coffee and make iced coffee ice cubes to add to your iced coffee?
But to really pull off the aesthetics, you need the right ice tray. That’s why we wrote this review, to cover the best ice cube trays on the market.
We thoroughly enjoyed writing about them. We hope you enjoy reading about them just as much!
Best Ice Trays – How They Compare
Ice Tray Reviews – Our Top Picks
Housewares Solutions Froz Ice Ball Maker
Best Ice Ball Mold
This counts as our best ice ball mold, and for good reason. The mold itself is made of BPA free silicone, making it safe for your food.
It’s dishwasher and microwave safe and cleans very easily. The ice mold itself is 14 centimeters by 14.5 centimeters and can make 4 ice balls at a time.
The sturdy silicone construction is pretty great for making ice balls that take a long time to melt, even when they’re made of water. It also gives them an elegant look.
I would advise you to use hot water to get the best results, but your ice balls are going to look fancy whether you use hot or cold water.
If you’re into fancy ice balls for cocktails, summer parties, or your restaurant, or if you want to gift a fancy ice mold to someone, then this would be the perfect gift.
Chillz Ice Ball Maker
Best Ice Ball Maker
The Chillz ice ball maker is the best ice ball maker on our list with its crystal clear spherical ice balls.
Seriously, I had a great time making ice balls with this ice maker. The silicon is flexible, which makes it very easy to clean. It’s also BPA free and food safe and won’t crack or break easily. It’s perfectly dishwasher safe.
The ice balls from this ice maker are humongous at 1.78 inches. It’s certainly not for every use. If you want ice balls for your whiskey, then this should make some elegant ice balls for you.
If you want to freeze your iced coffee or herb, or lemon popsicles, then this is perfect. It’s really great for all those special purposes where you want to be artsy and does its job well.
3D Alien Skull Flexible Silicone Ice Cube Tray
Best Skull Ice Mold
If you’re into fancy shapes for your ice cubes, then you’ll love the aesthetic allure of an ice skull. The design on this particular ice mold is patented, so you’re not going to be able to buy anything like it elsewhere. It makes for large 2.25-inch diameter ice skulls that melt really slowly and look realistic.
The silicone used in the 3D ice mold is BPA free, food-grade, and flexible, protecting it from cracking or breaking. It’s safe for your microwave, oven, and dishwasher, and washes very easily.
These ice cubes are perfect for your whiskey, lemonade, fruit juice, and also for making skull popsicles!
Glacio Ice Cube Trays Silicone Combo Mold
Best Silicone Ice Cube Trays
I love these ice trays from Glacio because they’re a combo. There’s one for square ice cubes and one for ice balls. The square ice cube tray can make 6 giant ice cubes, each 2 inches thick. The ice melts slowly and is perfect for your Bourbon or Scotch whiskey.
The ice ball mold will make 6 ice large 2-inch thick ice balls, which is 2 more than most ice ball molds (most of them will only make 4 ice balls at a time).
These count as our best silicone ice cube trays because of the non-stick design. The durable silicone is not only food safe and BPA free, but also flexible and non-stick. It’s perfect for just about any use you can think of.
The sellers also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on Amazon if you don’t like your product. That’s a fantastic deal in my eyes!
You can get it at Amazon here.
Praticube Large Ice Cube Mold
Best Large Ice Cube Tray
These were the best large ice cube trays we could find at Amazon by far. The extra-large 2.25-inch ice cubes are better than the 2-inch ice cubes you’ll get from other large ice cube trays.
It comes as two trays with lids that are easy to use and perfectly safe. They are FDA approved and BPA free silicone trays that don’t capture odors or flavor from food. They’re also incredibly easy to clean and are dishwasher safe.
I love how much room these trays give you to be creative. You can make ice cubes out of juice or coffee or tea and not have to worry about the silicone capturing the flavor.
The fact that there are two trays instead of one also means more capacities. They also included lids to help keep the ice fresh while allowing you to stack the trays.
Find out more info at Amazon
Unique Ice Ball Maker Sphere Mold
Best Sphere Ice Ball Mold
These great ice ball makers easily take the prize for the best sphere ice ball mold. They are 4 individual ice ball makers that are just right for making perfect little whiskey balls.
I love how they come separately so your ice balls come out as perfect spheres. It’s typically harder to get a perfect sphere with multi-ball ice molds.
The bottoms are black and the tops are transparent, giving them a stylish look. Also, the 2.5-inch ice balls are very large, which is perfect for whiskey.
I also loved the opening mechanism, which uses wings, making it very easy to retrieve the ice balls once they’re frozen. The molds are all BPA free and food safe, of course, so you don’t have to worry about using the ice in your drinks.
And they also come with a lifetime warranty, check it out at Amazon.
Making Ice Cubes At Home – Complete Buyer’s Guide
So now that we’re done with the individual reviews, perhaps we can do a deep dive into the matter and talk a little more about ice cubes and how to make them using ice ball trays and molds.
We put in a lot of research effort and time into coming up with our list above, and you should do fine by picking whatever product meets your needs from the list.
However, it is still better to have a deeper understanding of ice cubes and their trays in general so you can be a more deliberate shopper.
That’s what this section is for: to make you a more informed consumer that knows exactly what they want and why. Here are some of the most important things to know about ice cubes and ice trays.
How Can we Get Ice Cubes?
This is probably the most pertinent question you’ll ask when you need ice cubes for whatever reason.
How do you get ice cubes? More importantly, how do you get ice cubes that you want, as opposed to just grabbing those that are available?
Well, there are two main ways to get them. The quickest and most effort-free way is to just head on to the nearest store and buy those ice cubes.
The other way is to make the ice cubes yourself. There are definitely pros and cons to both, which we will look at.
Buying Ice Cubes at the Store
Buying ice cubes at the store is pretty fast. You exchange a bit of money for some good ice cubes. In fact, most of the ice sold in stores are reusable ice. Reusable ice has the advantage that you can simply rinse and repeat every time you need to cool your drinks or food.
For starters, reusable ice cubes are a major convenience. They save you the time and effort you would otherwise have spent making your own ice cubes.
They are not only capable of being used again and again, but they’re also capable of staying frozen a lot longer than regular water ice cubes. We’ll look into the different types of reusable ice cubes a little later in this review.
The demerits of reusable ice cubes are mostly related to the lack of shape and the possible toxic effects. Most reusable ice packs and blocks are in generic shapes that might not really be what you’re looking for.
If you want a fancy shape, you might end up spending so much money on it that it is ultimately rendered pointless compared to just making the shape yourself.
Reusable ice cubes are also made of such materials as silica gel, plastic, and stainless steel, which typically pose the problem of acquiring flavors from previous drinks and lending them to new drinks; something you may not want at all.
Silica gel can also be toxic if it leaks out of a faulty packing and into your drink. Plastic, even when BPA free, can slowly leak into your drinks over time. All reusable ice has a lifespan beyond which it wouldn’t be safe to use it.
In case you’re buying regular ice cubes, they typically come glued together, even when they’re shaped. That means you’ll have to take out the ice pick to pry them apart, and they’ll break up into little shapeless pieces of ice after.
Moreover, you can never be quite sure about the quality of water used for the ice; at least not as sure as you’d be with ice you made yourself.
Making your own Ice Cubes
Making your own ice cubes gives you full control. You can get the best quality water, go for whatever shape you want, and make as much or as little ice as you need.
It’s the best route to go for if you want to control for both quality and aesthetics.
On the other hand, it can be quite a time consuming and requires quite a few tools. You’ll need ice makers, ice molds, and a freezer, among other things. You’ll also need some skill or at least time to invest in tutorials to learn to make the more complex shapes and forms.
Decide on the Route to go for
From what I’ve said in the preceding section, it looks like it’s a clear win for homemade ice. Well, not quite. Like everything else in this world, it is a nuanced matter. It depends on the context.
Not only is it time consuming, but it also doesn’t even have any aesthetic value. Who’s going to see your fancy skull-shaped ice cubes while they sit in your cooler?
In such cases, it makes more sense to use purchased ice or use ready-made ice packs. Be sure, however, to get high-quality ice while you’re at it, because we still can’t vouch for the quality of store-bought ice.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to chill juice, iced coffee, or whiskey in the glass, then you’ll definitely want bespoke ice over shapeless store-bought ice. It's about the experience after all.
This adds aesthetics to the whole presentation and isn’t very time consuming since you don’t need that much.
Ice Cube Forms and Molds
There are many ice forms out there. It all depends on what kind of ice you’re preparing or looking to buy and whether you’re using an ice maker or simple ice mold to make one.
Ice Cube Maker
In case you’re using an ice cube maker, you will generally have 6 different types of ice cubes at your disposal: nuggets, flakes, full cubes, half ice cubes, crescent ice, and gourmet ice. They are each useful for different purposes.
Nugget ice, which typically requires a special nugget ice maker to make, is great for carbonated beverages because of their ability to retain flavor; flakes are great for transporting seafood; full cubes are great for bulk cooling; half cubes are for self-dispensing machines due to their ability to dispense easily; crescents are great for liquids where you don’t want too much dilution, and gourmet ice is for banquet service at upscale restaurants.
Best Ice Ball Mold
If you’re using an ice ball mold, then you have many more options. You are only limited by the mold you are working with. From cubes to spheres to skulls, you really aren’t limited. Just look at our list of recommendations and you will definitely find something that suits your needs best.
Reusable Ice Cubes
If you’re using reusable ice cubes, then the materials are the most important thing to note. Reusable ice can be made from a wide variety of materials, the most notable being plastic and steel.
There are even bamboo ice cubes, though I don’t think they were the best concept to come out of the ice cube industry.
The most common ingredient in reusable ice is actually silica gel, which insulates better than water. That means it will take longer than water to freeze, but it will also stay cold for longer. The silica gel is then packaged in plastic or stainless steel.
The most high-quality reusable ice cubes, especially for alcoholic beverages, are stainless steel ice cubes. These can keep cold for the longest, especially if they contain silica gel in them. There are even stone ice cubes, which are typically made of soapstone, but those also have their issues.
Something to note is that stone ice cubes aren’t dishwasher safe, because they can be damaged by the heat inside a dishwasher.
As for plastic, even though BPA free plastic is used, they have a tendency to absorb odors and flavors from drinks, and can also slowly break down over time, making them unsafe for your food and drinks past a certain point.
The safest to use are steel ice cubes, though those can add a tinny flavor to your drinks.
Making Ice Cubes using Ic Tray or Ice Mold: Step-by-Step Instruction
Making ice cubes at home is as simple as getting the right ice mold.
- Get an empty ice tray or ice mold
- Fill it with hot water. We recommend hot water because it freezes faster than cold water and is clearer
- Put the mold in the freezer and replace the ice bin if you haven’t already
- Close the freezer door and leave it alone for 6 hours.
If you want, you can play around with different ideas. You could freeze leftover coffee to make iced coffee ice cubes or freeze juice or a bit of water lemon. The options are endless!
Learn how to make the crystal clear ice cubes with this video we've found:
Where To Buy Ice Cube Trays And Molds?
There are lots of options for where to buy the best ice molds in our review, though we recommend you consider buying on Amazon. If you want a site where you get reviews of products from real users, then Amazon is the site to go to. They also have great offers, especially for Prime members, such as same-day delivery and money-back guarantees.
Best Ice Cube Tray Reviews – The Conclusion
And with that, we come to the end of our review of the best ice cube trays on the market in our opinion. Hopefully, you’ve found something you like from our list and have enjoyed learning about ice cubes in general.
We certainly enjoyed learning and writing about them. Have a cool day!
Last update on 2020-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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