Tell me about your ice cube trays

nekotish

We still have a plain old fridge, (no water and ice in the door, no ice maker) which still works fine, so don't want to replace it. We currently have hard plastic ice cube trays, which I hate as I have some wrist issues and they are really hard for me to twist to get the cubes out. I've looked at the silicone trays but wonder if they wouldn't be difficult to carry from the tap to the freezer when full.

What do you use and like?

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Jim Mat

I recommend some planning. Remove the trays a few minutes before you want ice.

Silicon did not work for me, they were pop out vs twist. From the supermarket, I like Rubbermaid.

A couple of trays cost $4-10 is it an budget issue to try a few different brands? If so, plan ahead with what you have.

Is this for cocktails? Maybe time to buy bagged ice, if you have health issues and the trays are not working.

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plllog

I use ice cube trays for stock and lemon juice, but when I got them they were for water ice. :) They're OXO hard plastic with lids (they make a silicone version now). The ice shape is half moon, like from an ice maker, and they loosen with a quick whap against the counter, the lids keeping them from flying around the kitchen.

I also sometimes make ice in silicone baking molds. I think they might be hard to handle with wrist issues. For carrying them, just find a small sheet pan, or cut a piece of steel or wood to fit, and make a tray. You still have to twist and peel to get the ice out.

Have you looked at the ones with hard sides and silicone bottoms? I think they might be easiest. I only have them for the long skinny ice you put in bottles, but they come in all shapes including true cubes. The rigid top and sides are easy to handle and carry. The silicon bottom makes it easy to poke out the ice, no twisting. If that's still hard for you, you might be able to use a spoon or the edge of a jar or something.

If even that much pressure is too much, you might consider a countertop ice maker. They make as much as a couple of trays and you can put the cubs in a container in your freezer.

I love ice! I hope you find something that works for you.


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Lars

Run warm water over the bottoms of the ice trays, and that will loosen the ice, but you should be prepared to catch ice cubes that might fall out while you are running the water.

You can also buy a variety of ice trays to see what you like best - they are reasonably inexpensive, and what you can find in your stores might be different from what others find.

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Islay Corbel

Heres thé top and bottom of mine. The lid makes it easy to carry to the freezer. When I want ice, I run the bottom under the hot tap, then press on the silicon bottoms with the flat of my hand and the cubes drop onto the lid. It's easy.

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bragu_DSM 5

the hard plastic trays [that you twist] degrade over time ... you will see floaty residue in your glass of ice water after they melt ... when you see this, get new trays.

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sarahsocal

Our ice maker died so we are stuck with trays. I recently bought these from Amazon - VERY easy to release:


Ice Cube Trays

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nekotish

Thanks all. I am fine with trying a couple of different kinds, but thought that a personal recommendation would cut down on the number of types I'd need to experiment with. As such, I have just ordered the ones that Sarahsocal recommended. An ice maker would be great, but I'm stingy with my kitchen real estate!


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Lars

We have a countertop ice maker, and we keep it in the dining room instead of the kitchen, just because we don't have the space in the kitchen. It sits on a tray table, and it makes ice very quickly. The ice is not as cold as ice from the freezer or the refrigerator ice maker. If I had room in the freezer, I would store the ice it makes there.

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sarahsocal

Make sure to report back how you like them! I would hate to steer someone wrong.

I bought a set of 2 and liked them so much I bought another set right away!

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Have to laugh a bit when is see this post. How could something so simple be so much trouble?

I went through this when our ice maker broke. Embarrassing how many trays I tried the past 5 years. Our ice maker bin hold four trays. Two bottom, two stacked on top of those. I have two green ones, (no label), a half/silicone like posted and a very hard white plastic one. (a couple cheap blue ones downstairs just like the green ones)

The white one is so stiff. The half silicone is fussy. The cheapest green/blue are just right. Flexible just enough and ice pops out with barely a twist. I fill my trays light, not full to the brim. Seems easier to pop out that way.

I have a small bin to keep full so I can just reach for that rather than take out a tray each time. 4 trays lets us keep ahead of it.

Full silicone is ok but you need room for a flat freezer surface on a small sheet pan.


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I have an old school vintage aluminum tray - the kind with the lever you pull to release the ice. Mine fits on top of another aluminum container that holds the loose ice.

The trick with them is to fill only halfway, and run lukewarm tapwater over the bottom before pulling the lever.

It seems like ice freezes faster in aluminum than in plastic.

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Olychick

I really dislike auto ice maker ice and water from refrigerators so would never have one. I like really clear ice, so have for years bought bagged crushed or cubed ice so I never have to deal with ice cube trays. I break down the bag into smaller gallon size ziplock bags so they lay flatter. A bag lasts me a couple of months so it's not an expensive proposition and so worth not dealing with trays or foul tasting ice.

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nekotish

My sister has an ice maker which takes up at least 18" of counter space and I was not impressed. The ice cubes are hollow and thin and melt really quickly. Plus it is noisy when "on." I'll report back on my new trays, which should be here in a couple of weeks.

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John Liu

We got a little countertop icemaker (much smaller than nekotish described) so no more ice cube trays! I was doubtful, but this turned out to be the best kitchen purchase of the year. Quiet, convenient, cheap. Someday I want to get a commercial icemaker but can’t really come up with a place for it or a reason for it.

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party_music50

Have you tried just not filling the trays so much? I've found that if I put just a little less water into ice cube trays, the cubes are much easier to get out... probably because I can flex the plastic easier.

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arkansas girl

I have the trays that sarah posted a link to. They are just fine, I have no issues with them really. I've had them for ten years and they are still good. I'm not exactly sure why but when I fill three of them and stack them in the freezer, for some reason the bottom one is harder to remove the ice. I will put them back one at a time sometimes if I feel like it, then they are all easy to remove the ice. The top two though are always easy to get the ice out.

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KatieC

DH goes through a lot of ice water so I got him a small countertop icemaker. He scoffed at the time, but now it's one of his favorite things. It does make some noise but we keep it on the back porch. Four freezers and I don't have a level place

for trays, lol.

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janey_alabama

We ordered some Rubber Maid ice cube trays from Ebay. The cubes pop right out very easily.

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nekotish

Reporting back to say thank you to Sarahsocal. Got my 4-pack of Rubbermaid ice cube trays last week and they are perfect! They can be stacked either way (meaning that no one in the house has to take the 5 seconds to figure out which way they go - heavy sarcasm there in case you missed it.) The ice cubes practically fall out, even when the trays are filled to the top! Crazy how such a little thing can make me so happy these days. Thanks again for the recommendation Sarahsocal!

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I had my fingers crossed for ya! 😜

We have the three trays like that. Barely a twist and half of them jump up and land sideways. Easy to grab a few. The forth oddball we both avoid like the plague. Stiff and the ice is mostly crushed and sticks to the bottom. I use that one for bagged ice. Slide into a bag and bang it on the counter, then into the freezer drawer for iced tea and the cooler. Chilling hot stock, etc.

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sarahsocal

Yay!! So glad you like them.

I actually was thinking about you the last time I needed ice - the cubes literally fell out for me (I think it was because they were not crazy full).

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beesneeds

I don't use real ice- I use reusable cubes for real ice, sometimes freezer mugs.

I freeze a bunch of other stuff like ice cubes with stuff in them, lemonade concentrate... stocks and pestos, lol, doing a scrambled raw egg experiment at the moment. I got a couple each of 2 sizes of silicone ice cube trays meant for freezing pesto and stuff for this sort of thing.

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artemis_ma

I'll give those ice cube trays a shot!

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aliceinmd

We bought some silicone ice cube trays to make extra large ice cubes for drinks; our freezer's cubes are small and melt too quickly. We like the size of the cubes, BUT both the cubes and the trays smell awful! Some say they smell like a freezer, but I think the smell is worse than that. I Googled smelly silicone ice cube trays and was appalled at the number of solutions, so it's not just me. ... Here's another vote for the Rubbermaid ice cube trays, which work great and don't smell.

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