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paulraphael

Ice cube trays?

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Those of you unblessed by the automatic icemaker deity, what sucks the least?

 

Ease of getting the ice out, stackability, space savings, and durability are all plusses.


Notes from the underbelly

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Those plastic jobs that you can twist to pop out ice are least suckfull.

 

We have an icemaker that breaks down about yearly and takes up a ton of freezer space in exchange for the convenience of getting a handful of ice in one motion instead of two. Not sure its worth it.

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Yeah, I figured the plastic twisty ones ... that's what I have now. I need some more, and the current ones are only ok ... I fight with them a lot and ice goes flying. I was wondering if they're all basically the same or any of them will make life better.


Notes from the underbelly

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Or you can get these disposable bags  that makes ice cubes.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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In addition to the plastic twist style, we have silicone ice cube trays like these: www.amazon.com/dp/B000QIU7X6/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20

The silicone trays come in a variety of cube sizes. Their advantage is that there's no wasted space as with the tapered sides of the plastic twist trays, so if you're trying to maximize the ice generated per space taken they're great. The disadvantage is that, at least in my experience, the cubes often have to be poked out (from the base of the tray) individually. Sometimes I can twist or flex the tray and get multiple cubes out, but not often.


Edited by Mjx eG-friendly amazon link (log)

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I use lots of ice and have the garden variety twisty ones. The method that works for me is not to fight the tray. If they are not releasing immediately I let them sit on the counter for just a few minutes. In my climate that gives enough "melt" to easily release. I also make sure there are no bits of ice left before refilling as that makes the next set of cubes stick. Again - just a couple minutes on the counter, rinse, and re-fill. If I am really powering through the ice I store extra cubes in a ziplock bag. 

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I've heard and read excellent things about the Tovolo ice cube trays. I don't have any, only because I don't like ice in my drinks, but every time I see friends', I covet them, anyway.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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I've heard and read excellent things about the Tovolo ice cube trays. I don't have any, only because I don't like ice in my drinks, but every time I see friends', I covet them, anyway.

Kerry and I have those even here in the townhouse and I think they are great.


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Plastic twist type for normal situations.

 

Vintage aluminum pull handle type for parties when I need ice made fast. 1/3 more ice in the same space, in 1/2 the time. Even faster if I chill the water first.

 

dcarch

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Yep, plastic twist type.

I have about 20 Rubbermaid stack and nest trays.


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I ordered a couple of Rubbermaid trays that good reviews on amazon, and a couple of the Tavolos.

Expecting a hot rest of the summer ...


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Not a fan of plastic twisty.  For most things I drink, the big chunks that come from these do the job quite well.  I've got 2 and am lazy refilling them, and have never come close to running out.  Couldn't do a party with a dozen of those chunks, but for day to day usage, they're great.


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I clicked on the link, but amazon told me I had already bought the item.  Indeed, there is one sitting in my freezer.  However I have to say I prefer Kotobuki.

 

I got the Tovolo because it fits in my chamber vacuum sealer.  Clear ice is a side project here.

 

Most recently I picked up some Rubbermaid from the grocery store on sale.  My previous Rubbermaid were unsatisfactory because the plastic cracked.  The new ones are probably a different material.  They work very well.

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Aside from the plastic twisty ones that came with the fridge/freezer, we have some other cheap and nasty twisties which are OK in a pinch (eg if we know we're going to need more ice than usual over a short period), and a couple of varieties of Tovolo.  The ones we use most often are the big silicone cubes (four to a tray).  I'd like to use the huge spheres more, but we had to get a couple of special glasses so they'd fit, and I prefer our other glasses!

 

The silicone ones work well but, lacking faith, I'm always prepared for them to rip as I pop a cube out.  Hasn't happened yet and we've had them a year ...


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Making ice is one of the rhythms of daily life I most enjoy. Of all the plastic twist trays I've tried, I've found these to be the best option: they release easily and cleanly and I like the size and shape of the cubes -- as close to a true cube as I've seen, apart from the silicone trays. They stack very securely up to 4 high; above 6 and the going gets squirrely. They're dirt cheap, but hold up well (I think the only reason I've bought new ones over the years is because they were left behind in moves).


 

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We use the aforementioned Rubbermaid trays for freezing end-of-season basil pesto. For ice, we have four of an earlier version of this Oxo tray. We don't use them all that much, so the cover prevents any nasty odors from seeping into the cubes.


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Can you guess what   I have?

Yeap IKEA


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Or you can get these disposable bags  that makes ice cubes.

More information please.


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Rubbermaid. Simple. Well-made. Easy to come by. We make multiple trays of ice daily.


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. . . You just filled these with water, tie them of and freeze.

 

Those definitely would not meet the 'durability' aspect mentioned in the OP (and they sometimes break and leak while you fill them), not to mention, they're a waste, and bad for the environment. I find the empties all over the beach here in the summer, yuck.


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So, the early verdict is that these are great. Just like other twisty trays, but incredibly easy to release. And they stack in really positive and space efficient way.

 

I also got a pair of the Tovolos, which probably won't see everyday use. My main issue with them is that the ice took hours longer to freeze. There's no air space separating the cubes. This would seem to be a tradeoff for the more efficient use of space. Also the cubes are bigger, and silicone may be more of an insulator than the plastic of the others.


Notes from the underbelly

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I have an ice maker but I bought three of these, which I used for freezing herbs in oil, juices and etc., because I like the shape of the "cubes" better than in regular ice trays and the ice releases easily.  I tossed all my Rubbermaid ice trays because they became discolored and retained odors after multiple uses with herbs & etc.

 

Also, they are versatile and can also be used for baking...  In the microwave  (for melting chocolate in which I insert dried fruits) and other tasks which are unsuitable for regular ice cube trays.


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My mom bought two of these ice cube trays from Bed, Bath & Beyond:

Joseph Joseph® QuickSnap™ 2-Pack Easy-Release Ice Tray

They're pricier than most trays.

You flip the trays over, revealing their backsides. There are small tabs, one for each cube, that you press/move to one side. This releases the cube or loosens them...then a twist of the tray should release them all. 

She hasn't encountered any leaks like some of the reviewers mentioned on the web site (see link). The releases aren't always clean...some shards can be left at the very bottom of the cube mold. Leaving the trays out at room temperature for a little bit of time before removing the cubes should fix that.

 

My mom doesn't like fighting with ice cube trays. She doesn't have the strength in her hands to give a powerful twist that is sometimes needed to release the cubes from the plastic trays. Her response is to under-fill the ice cube trays with water so she can more easily twist the trays. Of course, the trade-off is that she has smaller ice cubes to use (it doesn't seem like a very efficient use of energy to me).


 

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