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Old Fashioned Metal Ice Trays

Didn't know where to post this question/category. But, I am looking for the metal ice cube trays that incorporated a pull-type lever to loosen the ice out of the tray.

I no longer have an ice maker in my refrigerator, therefore I have to use the plastic ice trays. It's a pain in the "you know what" trying to get the ice out. I usually resort to turning the tray upside down under running very warm water, to loosen the cubes.

Does anyone have an inkling as to the whereabouts of the "old fasioned" ice cube trays?

And, please, I don't shop on-line. Someone in my family recommended that I try E-Bay. NOT! (I don't have any issues with E-Bay--just don't want to shop on-line). FoiGras

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  1. Thrift shops. Lower-end antique stores.
    They've probably become collectibles. I love those things, I used to see them, but haven't so much lately.

    1. Are you sure your memory isn't deceiving you? I think the old lever-action metal trays are much harder to use than modern plastic ones.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hal Laurent

        I have never used the metal ones, but currently have some plastic ones that work great. Target has a couple options, and if I remember correctly, the more expensive of the two choices (solid white as opposed to solid blue) are a dream to work with. Two little twists and the ice pops right out!

        1. re: Hal Laurent

          Ditto. The metal trays were awful. The cubes were hard to get out -- they'd stick to the metal, and often your skin would end up adhering to the metal if you pulled to hard. This is one case where life was made better by plastic!

          1. re: theoneontheleft

            i can still feel my hand getting stuck to that lever!

        2. My parents still probably have their metal ice tray, but I always found it difficult to use. The ice cubes would always stick to each other at their bottoms, becoming one big mass. Then pulling the lever would send the whole ice-mass flying across the kitchen in a cloud of shattering ice crystals.

          Wanna buy it? :)

          1. I would check thrift, second-hand and similar shops. But I have to agree with the other posters that those metal levered ice trays are awful to use. I grew up with them and was very happy to make the switch to plastic.

            1. I saw some recently but can't for the life of me remember exactly where. I noted it because I thought that it was odd to see something so old-fashioned.
              They are hard to use and the ice cubes usually shatter when you pull the lever. I actually liked that because it makes terrific cracked ice for drinks, but it makes a mess when the ice flies all over the kitchen.

              Try calling Frager's Hardware on Pennsylania Ave, SE. - a great hardware store, that has amazing things. I think that's where I saw them.

              1. i shop yard sales and thrift stores. i haven't seen those trays in many, many years. but, best option is "estate" sales where an older person has lived in a place for a gazillion years, and has died. that's your best bet, i think.

                also, check the goodwill at glebe and rte. 50, and the thrift store at annandale rd. & rte. 50 (joseph's coat).

                if you're not wedded to the idea of the metal tray, there is another ice tray product that *looks like* it would be very easy to use, by "orka." this is information from the amazon site, but i'll bet it might be available at the local housewares store (or maybe sur le table). http://www.thenibble.com/zone/kitchen...
                oops, maybe not so easy.... http://www.epinions.com/review/Orka_F...

                sorry i couldn't help. good luck.

                (if you change your mind about ordering online, here's a stainless steel ice tray like you seek, http://www.healthegoods.com/product/s...

                and the same thing at amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0027V9OR0/r... ).

                12 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  Vermont County Store had them at one point - they have a catalog so you don't have to order online.

                  1. re: amyatkendall

                    oh wow, thanks for reminding me about them. look, aluminum tumblers!! ;-)). http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/Sh...

                    and yes! they do have the aluminum ice trays, and cheaper than the stainless version -- stainless version $30. vermont country store aluminum 2 for $19. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/br...

                    1. re: alkapal

                      I have those tumblers and they're wonderful - nothing like a glass of icy lemonade in those tumblers - they keep it ice cold.

                      1. re: amyatkendall

                        we'd take those camping. the glistening condensation on the outside made your hands feel cool on a hot summer day (and then it would drip off the tumbler onto your clothes ;-).

                        these tumblers are great for picnics and around pools, when plastic isn't cutting it!

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I have some of the aluminum tumblers from when I was a kid. I have been told that I would often cut the bridge of my nose when drinking from them. They look so cool.

                          1. re: MsDiPesto

                            i seem to recall an aluminum pitcher, too...

                      2. re: alkapal


                        I've always hated the feeling of teeth on metal. Don't like plastic much better so we camp with glasses. Sure, you lose one every once in a while but it is worth the risk, IMO.

                        1. re: tcamp

                          the problem with broken glass is not the "losing" it, but cleaning up glass in the camp dirt or the poolside concrete.

                          and....i can't recall my teeth on the metal when i drank from those aluminum tumblers.... but, hey...whatever.

                          1. re: tcamp

                            ICkK--I am also a fervent GLASS person. (despite the fact that I did, and still do, like those metal tumblers).

                            No matter how down-to-earth my evening meal--linen napkins, bone or other type of china, glassware for drinks and metal (versus plastic) flatware. Oh, and ALWAYS candlelight.. It takes a bit of effort, but well worth the ambience.

                            Hope this doesn't sound snobbery. It has just always flummoxed me as to why people buy lovely china, crystal, and/or nice ceramic wear--then not use it. What's the point. Just use paper plates. Save money and don't buy the china, etal. It's pretentious to only use the plates, tableware, etc. for special occassions. EVERYDAY IS A SPECIAL EVENT. Make it that way. FoiGras

                            1. re: FoiGras

                              hold on...you use glass poolside and when you're camping?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Poolside...to avoid getting hassled by the HOA witch or lifeguard I do use hard plastic but camping we take thick glasses (cheap ones from Ikea). So far none have broken and the users include 11 and 7 yo boys. I also use ceramic coffee mugs.

                              2. re: FoiGras

                                Using the good stuff - or at least nice things - was part of civilizing my children.
                                We taught them to set the table from the time they could reach high enough to put stuff up there. Some of the table "settings" were pretty creative at first but they learned quickly and I really enjoyed having them around while I finished up meal prep. They absolutely LOVED lighting candles and putting on "dinner" music - even if we were only having burgers. LOL.
                                The reward was that they grew up with darned good manners - if I do say so myself - and we could take them to restaurants when they were really young, because they knew how to behave at a proper dinner table.

                      3. Thanks to all of you for your fabulous responses and practical assistance. I do believe that I will go to Target and buy the plastic version that pops out the cubes.

                        Yes, I do now recall that the metal trays did make a mess of the ice. Of course, I was very young at the time and my parents cleaned up the mess. So, it wasn't an issue for me to contend with.

                        With regards to the metal tumblers, I've seen them in Wegman's. Weren't they so colorful and icey cold?! FoiGras

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: FoiGras

                          According to my husband the trick to getting the ice out easily is to let the trays come to room temperature before filling them up again so no little shards develop when you loosen the ice. I was skeptical but it seems to work, we don't have an icemaker either. Also, look for the trays that don't allow the water to channel from one cube to the next thereby creating a sheet on top, that's also helps.

                        2. You might check your local FreeCycle board. Someone may have a few in a closet somewhere. These are very local (you need to register for your local area FreeCycle) - don't know where you are, but here's the link to the Falls Church/Annandale area one as a starting place:


                          1. This is a weird thing, but I've found that it truly is worth it to spend more money on brand-name plastic ice cube trays. Specifically, Rubbermaid brand trays. The ice just doesn't stick and pops right out from all my Rubbermaid trays where I had nightmares getting it out of other cheaper ones. Also, you might look into silicone ones, too. :)

                            1. If you get the catalog for Miles Kimball, they have them.
                              BTW, although, yes, the plastic trays are easier to use, there has been recent reports of dioxin leaking into the ice from the plastic. This is also true for microwaved plastic. Apparently extremes in heat and cold cause the plastic to leak dioxin into whatever food / liquid is in the container.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Morgayne

                                please, could you link those recent reports that you cite?

                              2. As everyone else said, antique stores, thrift stores, etc. However, it sounds like your problem with the plastic trays is that you are filling them too full. Try filling them about 4/5th full instead of putting in as much water as you can with out spilling it.

                                1. I used to volunteer at a thrift shop sorting out donations in the back and we would throw out all the old metal ice cube trays: no one would buy them at any price.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: guyacrossthehall

                                    i was going to say that i often shop at thrift/goodwill stores, and i have never seen a metal ice tray. i don't see them at yard sales, either. even elderly folks' estate sales don't have them -- unless -- i guess -- you *might* find one if the person was a hermit/packrat.