The Silicone Ice Cube Tray and Other Options for Out of the Ordinary Ice Cubes
Make Festive Ice With a Silicone Ice Cube Tray
Silicone ice cube trays offer a few advantages over plastic and even metal trays.
Because the silicone material is more flexible, it can be formed into a variety of fun shapes. Some are designed to make ice you can insert into bottles with ease and others are designed for kids and festive occasions, with shapes like stars and butterflies.
Due to the flexibility of the silicone material, they are also a bit easier to twist than hard plastic (or metal) and generally they won't crack. In most instances however, cubes from a silicone tray are removed one at a time as they don't just fall out easily. So if speed is important, they won't be the perfect choice.
While more expensive than most plastic trays, silicone ice cube trays are less expensive than metal ones. They tend to house fewer cubes per tray and may add a bit of a taste to the ice. However, if you entertain or just like adding a special touch with even the smallest details, then a silicone ice cube tray allows you to do that with your ice.
If you don't find the silicone ice cube tray you need, there are some other suggestions lower on this page.
So Which Ice Cube Tray is Best?
Determining which ice cube tray is best depends upon your priorities!
1. Metal ice cube trays are the right choice if you want a tray that will likely last a lifetime or you want a tray that makes it easy to remove the ice. Running cold water over these trays and prying up on the lever takes some strength, but not as much as twisting a plastic tray or as much time as removing cubes individually from a silicone ice cube tray.
2. If you are particularly concerned with assuring there is no trace amount of chemicals leaching into your ice, then stainless ice cube trays are universally considered the safest.
3. Plastic trays on the other hand, are the right choice if you want to spend as little money as possible when buying.
4. But of course, silicone ice cube trays are perfect for special situations and occasions thanks to their ability to form ice in a nearly endless variety of shapes.
Silicone Ice Cube Trays for Shaped Ice
Making small specialty shapes is great for parties and get togethers. Shaped ice is a small detail but it doesn't go unnoticed. It's easy to do with a silicone ice cube tray.
You can create pumpkin shaped ice for Halloween parties, hearts at Valentine's day, shells for your summer pool party, and much, much more. Silicone ice cube trays are made for the task. Lower on the page you will find some of the most popular shapes from which to choose.
Silicone Ice Cube Trays Aren't the Only Option
If it's festive ice cubes that you want but for some reason, silicone ice cube trays aren't right for you, there are other options.
Even regular plastic and metal ice cube trays can be used to make fun ice cubes. Ice cubes can be flavored using extracts. Of course, ice cubes can also be flavored by using juices rather than water to make them. Orange juice, apple juice, and lemonade are just three of the many possibilities.They can be colored using gel based food coloring and, by using a toothpick, even swirled designs are possible.
You can also place small pieces of fruit in the ice cube tray before adding water. Once frozen, the fruit will be suspended within the cube. It will be colorful and provide a tasty surprise at the end of the drink.
In fact, frozen fruit can be used in place of ice cubes. If you have fresh fruits, such as grapes, you can wash them, pat them dry, place them in a freezer bag and freeze for several hours. I've done this with grapes, blueberries, and raspberries. It would seem however, that even buying frozen mango pieces and so forth would be a possibility and would save time as well.
When we were kids, I would sometimes freeze soda pop and use it in my drink. So, if we drank Coca Cola, I would poor one in an ice cube tray and use it in the drink. Then as the ice melted, my drink didn't get watered down.
If you prefer the clear ice cubes, you can just bring distilled (or well filtered) water to a boil, and then fill any ice cube tray and freeze rather than just taking water from the tap or your refrigerator.
If you want a wider variety of shapes, silicone ice cube trays still aren't the only option, you can use either cookie cutters or chocolate/candy molds, as explained on these pages. Certainly you can imagine a variety of items that can be used to create shaped ice. That item has to be freezer safe but in addition, it should be food grade.
For a fun evening event, there are even colored, lighted ice cubes (some of them even blink) that can be reused over and over. They have to be handwashed after each use of course, but they can add a very special touch to an occasion. These can be found online and on sites like Amazon.
Silicone Ice Cube Trays for Special Use
If you buy bottled drinks or water, then you don't have to pour it into a glass to add ice. Instead, a silicone ice cube tray designed for just this purpose is available.
Long cylindrical ice cubes will easily slide into the bottle making sure those drinks are cold and stay that way. They will even save you time and energy by eliminating the need to wash dozens of glasses every day.
Full Sized Silicone Ice Cube Trays
If you want the regular square ice cubes, then these trays can do it. They are dishwasher safe and, in some instances, microwave safe for those who choose to freeze baby foods in them.
Some options provide a lid to prevent spillage and make stacking easy. Others like the Greens Sprouts products are made PVC, phthalate, and nitrosamine free to assure there's no leeching of toxic chemicals.