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May 2, 2009 02:54 PM

Silicone ice cube trays?

BarmyFotheringayPhipps found some silicone ice cube trays in a kitchen goods store while I was getting my hair cut this afternoon. He refrained from buying a couple because they were rather pricy ($12 each), but we're in the market for some new trays because the cheap ones we bought recently aren't as good as they might be. Has anyone else here used silicone ice cube trays? Are they worth the premium price? Thanks!

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  1. They are... annoyingly difficlt to get the cubes out of. Personally, I prefer the old standard plastic trays. Twist a bit, and turn upside down... voila. With silicone it's flip it over, and push each individual cube out, which takes a lot longer than using traditional plastic trays.

    That said, there are some interesting shapes that you can only get by using silicone, then again, 2 minutes in a glass and you wouldn't know what shape they were anyhow.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ThreeGigs

      Thanks - that's exactly what I had suspected and feared. And I really don't care about shapes.

      1. re: Allstonian

        I bought 2 silicone trays at Williams Sonoma reduced from an outrageous price. I found it almost impossible to get the ice cubes out. I was so frustrated I threw out both trays.

    2. To say that they're difficult to use is a first-world problem. If you don't mind spending the 30 seconds total getting the ice cubes out, you've actually got yourself ice cube trays that are more durable, cleaner, and more versatile than conventional hard plastic trays. I'm using mine to make my wife fruit treats, and Han Solo chocolates for my boy. And yeah, they make great ice.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Nich_G

        <ice cube trays that are more durable, cleaner, and more versatile than conventional hard plastic trays>

        Can you elaborate on these three points? Why are the silicone trays more durable, cleaner and versatile? I have no had a chance to break the regular plastic trays, and they seem to be more easier to clean than the silicone, which is known to be difficult to clean.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Durable? They don't break like the plastic trays. Though plastic being much cheaper is the better option for most people in general IMHO.

          Versatile? I'm not sure on this one. I say it's about even personally. They both freeze water and other stuff into small blocks. Silicone does let you get into some odd shaped "cubes".

          Easier to clean? Definitely go with good old cheap plastic here.

          1. re: Sid Post

            <They don't break like the plastic trays>

            I have not had break a plastic tray before.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              would you like a few refugees from Camp Sunshine? They look like they've been through a war -- chipped corners, cracked compartments - a real mess. (but I use them when I'm going to need more ice than usual.

              Where I live, I can buy ice cube bags -- they theoretically (and I emphasize the word) make evenly-sized cubes that you can easily break apart and squeeze out of the plastic bag.

              In reality, however, they leak, freezing them to the floor of your freezer, and rip everywhere except where you want them to, dumping ice everywhere.

              1. re: sunshine842

                I must be lucky with my plastic ice trays then.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  If you bought high quality ice cube trays before everything went low quality and super cheap, you are lucky to have them. The ice cube trays I knew as a child no longer exist.

                  Almost everyone has an ice cube maker today so, that doesn't help either. I guess since very few people use them regularly today, there isn't a market for something of reasonable quality, price, and durability.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    @Chem -- Nope -- there are two choices here -- cheap and mostly crap, and mindbogglingly expensive. (Seriously? You think I'm going to cough up the equivalent of US$15 for ONE ice cube tray? For that price, I expect it to at least make my drink for me.)

                    It's a lot cheaper to buy the crappy ones and just throw them away when they're beyond salvage. (about $3 for TWO, each bigger than the expensive one, and I get about 1-1/2 years from them)

                    @SidPost -- in my part of the world, most people *don't* have an ice cube maker -- so trays it is -- but there's no middle ground between cheap crap and expensive not-quite-so-crap.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  We can't keep a plastic ice tray at work. I have also broken a few at home but, I suspect I'm not nearly as aggressive with them. Part of it is the low quality of plastic ice trays today. Last time I went to the big box places, I was appalled at the poor quality in the ice cube trays they had. Everything is about cheap today and it shows. If you got nicer plastic ice trays, they would probably work well. Myself, I got a bunch of Tovolo silicon from Amazon and haven't looked back for my personal use. They serve me well and the minor complaints people have are valid but, they are pretty minor to me and are offset by the convenience and reliability they provide - no leaks, no cracks, etc..

          2. Hi, Alstonian:

            I'm not sure if you and/or Barmy have checked back in >2 years, but here's my experience...

            My first silicone ice cube tray was an abject failure. It was a *fancy* thing, another Fotheringay if you will. It turned out small, fanciful, sharp-edged shapes which lost their (Disney rodent) shapes in the time it took to call the Water of Life to order. It was strictly a 1-termer, the difficulty in outing Mickeys having so rent 9 of 12 wells, that it itself was turned out. I was then of the same eschewing mind as was ThreeGigs in 2009.

            My second and third "silly" trays were gifts from Wahine, a pair of Williams-Sonoma 4-well jumbo cubes, nearly 2 inches/edge. To say that my expectations were low would be beneath understatement--I expected the sharp edges and dead-square corners to make short work of the Darth-black rubber, just as 9 my Mickeys' throats had been cut.

            However... One year on, these trays are going strong and have evulsed hundreds if not thousands of Single Malt-freeing cubes. Where I was once sadistic in trying to hasten their inevitable demise, I now find myself grudgingly protective of them.

            I was surprised, but they worked for me like a 15-term Congressman.


            1. They're fine. MIne behave as you'd expect them to behave. Imagine a rubbery mold in the shape of an ice cube tray. Imagine removing the ice cubes. Yes, you have to remove then one by one, because the material is too flexible for actions on one cube to carry over to the next. That could be seen as a good thing or bad thing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: AlkieGourmand

                I kind of like the fact that you only get as many cubes as you want....we're not glass-fillers, but we do like a cube or two on occasion.

                My disappointment is that my tray has a rigid plastic frame, which I thought would be a Wonderful Thing to give it stability until the water has frozen -- instead, the silicone expands a little as the water freezes (expected) and the rigid frame actually traps the ice. PITA.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Heh. I'd forgotten what it's like to use normal ice cube trays that don't flop around when you put the water in.

              2. I have both silicone trays and the traditional hard plastic trays that came with my refrigerator.

                Differences ....

                Silicone trays allow you to much more easily remove only a single cube. Hard plastic trays tend to release the entire tray of cubes at once.

                Silicone trays are more difficult to remove cubes from

                Silicone trays are warmer to the touch

                Silicone trays are more flexible so there's more chance of spilling the water on the way from the sink to the freezer.

                I got the silicone trays as gifts. I would never spend $12 on ice cubes trays.

                5 Replies
                1. re: taos

                  ^all of that.

                  If I could find the old-fashioned metal ones with the lever, I'd buy one in a heartbeat, and deal with my fingers freezing to the lever.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    <the old-fashioned metal ones with the lever>

                    Man, now that you mentioned it. I do remember those when I was a little kid. I don't recall them being easy to use, but maybe I was a little kid.


                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I'm not sure there's an ice cube tray on the planet that's particularly easy to use!

                      Add "affordable" or even "reasonably priced" to the requirements, and I think you'd be better off hunting unicorns.

                    2. re: sunshine842

                      Available on Amazon:

                      Don't tk we spent this much back in the days!! Also remember not loving them -- but like Chem, I was a kid.

                      1. re: iyc_nyc

                        Not only were the metal ice cube trays with the lever difficult to use, I can recall injuring myself rather badly with them on more than one occasion. (That lever will pinch to the point of breaking the skin.) I don't miss them one little bit.