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User Friendly Ice Cube Trays


Pierogi
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As I may have mentioned before, I have pretty severe arthritis in my hands and wrists, and my current (hard plastic) ice cube trays give me major fits when I try to release the cubes. Since I routinely have a delightful adult beverage every afternoon, this is an issue. Anyone have any recommendations for easy-release ice cube trays for "normal sized" cubes? I've seen the silicone ones for huge cubes, but would like the standard size. Thanks so much in advance !

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I recently bought these, silicone ones for smaller (perfect square) cubes. You push each cube out individually by pushing on it from behind until the compartment turns inside out..I'm not sure whether this would be gentler on your hands though, but the action/pressure is definitely more in the thumbs than the wrists.

Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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From Ikea, I have silicone trays that make a long, thin cube. (Well, not a cube, but you get my meaning). The ice fits nicely in a tall glass and they're much easier to "pop" than regular trays. My sister got some in novelty shapes from the same source but they're apparently not as satisfactory.

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From Ikea, I have silicone trays that make a long, thin cube. (Well, not a cube, but you get my meaning). The ice fits nicely in a tall glass and they're much easier to "pop" than regular trays. My sister got some in novelty shapes from the same source but they're apparently not as satisfactory.

Those are really good for putting in water/drinking bottles too.

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You may want to consider this meanwhile:

Use any ice cube tray.

After the ice cubes have formed, take the tray out fron the freezer for a few minutes.

Pour the ice cubes in a container that you put in the freezer.

This is great for the summer time or when you have guests. You can make a big bucket of cubes and never have to struggle.

dcarch

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I recently bought these, silicone ones for smaller (perfect square) cubes. You push each cube out individually by pushing on it from behind until the compartment turns inside out..I'm not sure whether this would be gentler on your hands though, but the action/pressure is definitely more in the thumbs than the wrists.

I love these trays, but they are most definitely a bit of a pain in the ass to get the cubes out of.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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You may want to consider this meanwhile:

Use any ice cube tray.

After the ice cubes have formed, take the tray out fron the freezer for a few minutes.

Pour the ice cubes in a container that you put in the freezer.

This is great for the summer time or when you have guests. You can make a big bucket of cubes and never have to struggle.

dcarch

Better still to "float" the tray in a vessel of water so that the plastic warms up faster.

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I recently bought these, silicone ones for smaller (perfect square) cubes. You push each cube out individually by pushing on it from behind until the compartment turns inside out..I'm not sure whether this would be gentler on your hands though, but the action/pressure is definitely more in the thumbs than the wrists.

I love these trays, but they are most definitely a bit of a pain in the ass to get the cubes out of.

Yeah I think it would be more of a pain in your wrists then normal plastic trays. I love the big ones for my scotch though!

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

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You may want to consider this meanwhile:

Use any ice cube tray.

After the ice cubes have formed, take the tray out fron the freezer for a few minutes.

Pour the ice cubes in a container that you put in the freezer.

This is great for the summer time or when you have guests. You can make a big bucket of cubes and never have to struggle.

dcarch

I do this all the time - putting the cubes into a plastic ziploc bag and laying flat in the fridge so they do not clump. It only takes a few minutes on the counter to make them pop out easily from the trays. Alternatively you could check thrift stores and flea markets for the old aluminum ones that had the pull handle to dislodge the cubes.

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Why not use bags of ice from the store? Doesn't cost much and feels like a luxury to me. I hate filling and dumping ice trays, haven't done it for years.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Why not use bags of ice from the store? Doesn't cost much and feels like a luxury to me. I hate filling and dumping ice trays, haven't done it for years.

I never really trust that they're 100% safe, especially when the plastic bag is damaged.

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Nothing is 100% safe. The drive to the gas station to buy the bag of ice was far more risky than consuming the ice.

Not so much about safety as it is about taste, something I would think Mr. Hennes would be aware of.

Because my drink is 33% water, I only use filtered water to make my ice. And if your water sucks, you should be using spring water to make your ice.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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You may want to consider this meanwhile:

Use any ice cube tray.

After the ice cubes have formed, take the tray out fron the freezer for a few minutes.

Pour the ice cubes in a container that you put in the freezer.

This is great for the summer time or when you have guests. You can make a big bucket of cubes and never have to struggle.

dcarch

I guess I don't see how this is an improvement -- she'd still need to get the ice out of the trays. If you're suggesting letting the cubes melt enough that they'll fall out of the tray without twisting, then you get another problem: the half-melted ice will refreeze into a giant lump.

Alternatively you could check thrift stores and flea markets for the old aluminum ones that had the pull handle to dislodge the cubes.

As I recall, that style was awful. When the tray was full, it was virtually impossible to move the handle. In any case, I think it would take as much hand strength as the newer plastic trays.

Why not use bags of ice from the store? Doesn't cost much and feels like a luxury to me. I hate filling and dumping ice trays, haven't done it for years.

Although bagged ice isn't ideal (irregular shapes and sizes of ice chunks, plus if the ice isn't stored correctly, you can get the melting/refreezing problem with bags), it might be your best bet. I've tried a number of ice cube tray options over the years, including the OXO, and I don't think any of them are easy for someone with arthritis.

Depending on how much ice you use, your budget, and kitchen space, maybe something like this portable ice maker would be a good option.

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You may want to consider this meanwhile:

Use any ice cube tray.

After the ice cubes have formed, take the tray out fron the freezer for a few minutes.

Pour the ice cubes in a container that you put in the freezer.

This is great for the summer time or when you have guests. You can make a big bucket of cubes and never have to struggle.

dcarch

I do this all the time - putting the cubes into a plastic ziploc bag and laying flat in the fridge so they do not clump. It only takes a few minutes on the counter to make them pop out easily from the trays. Alternatively you could check thrift stores and flea markets for the old aluminum ones that had the pull handle to dislodge the cubes.

If you find those aluminum ice cube trays, please pick me up one too. I have 2 and I am seriously dreading the day they break. They make the best ice cubes. They are harder and more solid than ice that is frozen in plastic.

I also have psoriatic arthritis and I dont have a problem pulling the lever. a quick run on the backside under the faucet helps too. I posted a pic of those trays in my last foodblog. I love them so much.

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Although bagged ice isn't ideal (irregular shapes and sizes of ice chunks, plus if the ice isn't stored correctly, you can get the melting/refreezing problem with bags), it might be your best bet. I've tried a number of ice cube tray options over the years, including the OXO, and I don't think any of them are easy for someone with arthritis.

Depending on how much ice you use, your budget, and kitchen space, maybe something like this portable ice maker would be a good option.

So you feel that bagged ice, from unknown water sources, is better to make cocktails with than ice made from high-quality filtered municipal water or spring water?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Although bagged ice isn't ideal (irregular shapes and sizes of ice chunks, plus if the ice isn't stored correctly, you can get the melting/refreezing problem with bags), it might be your best bet. I've tried a number of ice cube tray options over the years, including the OXO, and I don't think any of them are easy for someone with arthritis.

Depending on how much ice you use, your budget, and kitchen space, maybe something like this portable ice maker would be a good option.

So you feel that bagged ice, from unknown water sources, is better to make cocktails with than ice made from high-quality filtered municipal water or spring water?

I'm not sure what I said that would cause you to infer that, Mitch. I wasn't talking about the quality of the ice; I was making a suggestion about the easiest ice option for someone with severe arthritis.

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As I may have mentioned before, I have pretty severe arthritis in my hands and wrists, and my current (hard plastic) ice cube trays give me major fits when I try to release the cubes. Since I routinely have a delightful adult beverage every afternoon, this is an issue. Anyone have any recommendations for easy-release ice cube trays for "normal sized" cubes? I've seen the silicone ones for huge cubes, but would like the standard size. Thanks so much in advance !

Since we know Pierogi likes her cocktails, eBay has lots of those old-fashioned aluminum ice cube trays...

Click.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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On the topic of ice cube trays: rumor has it that if you immediately throw away the lid that comes with it, these OXO trays are decent for people with arthritis. Apparently the lid is complete crap, which explains the majority of the poor reviews.

I've used these (four of them) for a while, albeit with the pita lids. One slides on and off very easily, one is passable, two are pains. I put up with them because they do a great job of keeping freezer odor away from the cubes. Straight out of a zero-degree freezer, it does take a bit of a twist to dislodge the cubes. I guess it depends on how bad Roberta's arthritis is. I imagine, though, that a brief dip in hot water would allow the cubes to slide right out.

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Thanks for the replies, folks. I think one of my problems is that I overfill the trays. I keep forgetting (even though I pretend to be a science geek....) that water expands as it freezes. I refilled the trays today, and underfilled them a bit. We'll see if that helps.

The aluminum trays with the lever, I remember being a PITA even when I was a young pup, and had healthy hands ! Part of the problem I have now, is that, as soon as I touch something really cold, like frozen ice cube trays, the chill just seems to radiate all the way through my fingers, and that exacerbates all the other issues. I seem to be very sensitive to the chill, and I think the metal would be even worse than the plastic.

Sadly, (or not, depending upon how you view it I guess...) my freezer is so stuffed with leftovers and split packages of meat/poultry/fish etc. I don't have room for bags of ice. Although, I do have to admit, the crystal clarity of them is majorly sexy....

Another factor is, I think, the length of time I let the cubes sit in the trays before I try to crack them. I dumped all 3 trays today relatively easily, after letting them sit on the counter for only a minute or two. But they'd been filled only a couple of days ago. That seems to make a difference in my freezer.

Sadly there doesn't seem to be the definative answer to the ice cube tray question. If only I were smart enough to design the perfect tray, it'd make up for the fact I didn't buy that winning Mega Millions ticket on Friday ! :raz:

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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first off, don,t take this,wrong,I have not used Ice cube trays for other than freezing Basil into cubes for pesto.for many many years,seems all refrigerators these days, have ice cube makers,(some work better than others)(thankfully)

Bud

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Have you considered switching to whisky stones for most of your chilled liquid needs? They're basically small cubes of soapstone that are too soft to scratch glass and retain a decent amount of thermal energy. I've never given them a try, but I've long been curious.

For cocktails, though, you both want and need the dilution that comes from the melting ice.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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