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Ice cube tray

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hobbess Apr 21, 2010 01:50 AM

My fridge doesn't make ice cubes anymore.

Rather than buying a new fridge or fixing it, I'm looking to buy a ice cube tray.(I think there's some rule that when it costs X% of the price of new item to fix something, you should buy it instead).

So, what's a good ice cube tray to buy? Any features I should insist on?

In the immortal words of Vanilla Ice, ice is back with a brand new invention- there's all these new types of ice cube trays that have things like silicone, covers, unique shapes, etc..

Are they really a upgrade over those old traditional 99 cents ice cube trays? I'm seeing ice cube trays ranging in price from five dollars for Oxo's to fifteen dollars for silicone ice cube trays to sixty dollar gucci ice cube trays.

I don't mind paying more if there's an improvement in performance, but the but the feedback on Amazon for the Oxo ice cube tray were really brutal- they're mostly negative and the only positive reviews were about using them for baby food.

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  1. MikeB3542 RE: hobbess Apr 21, 2010 07:50 AM

    Silicone trays make cool shapes, but getting the cubes out is a pain. My vote is for the basic plastic tray you can get at the dime store for a buck or two.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MikeB3542
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      jk1002 RE: MikeB3542 Apr 21, 2010 12:25 PM

      I like the Tovolo Silicone ones for 15$ a pair from amazon. Yes it takes a sec to get each cube out but they have an optimal size for cocktails.

      I used plastic for a bit but they sometimes break apart when I try to get the ice out. if you need lots of cubes at once silicone is of course not a good option, but if you just need few cubes for a drink I would go for that.

      1. re: jk1002
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        hobbess RE: jk1002 Apr 21, 2010 10:46 PM

        What exactly does the silicone material do for ice cubes?

        MikeB3542 said you needed the silicone to make ice cubes with cool shapes, but the tovolo silicone ones make normal looking ice cubes.

        And, one thing that I wish the Tovolo had was some type of cover to prevent odors from seeping into the ice cubes. I never thought about that till I saw the Oxo ice cube tray, so its too bad that the execution on the Oxo falls short.

        1. re: hobbess
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          jk1002 RE: hobbess Apr 22, 2010 08:38 AM

          Hard plastic can get brittle and break. Silicone doesn't.
          Then there is handling, with hard plastic it is easier to get many cubes out at the same time because you bend the tray all over the place until the cubes break up and fall out. With silicone its more like a peeling them out one by one. You have more control. I prefer that since I usually make just one or 2 drinks and I don't want to have cubes shoot all over the place.

          Is personel preference I guess. There are also some discussions about some plastic materials not being food save that is why some hippies revert to aluminium trays from back in the 50ties.

          1. re: jk1002
            MikeB3542 RE: jk1002 Apr 23, 2010 10:51 AM

            Hmmm... never had a plastic one break (might be dumb luck). Generally a good twist will dislodge all but four or five cubes at the ends. A good knock on the counter takes care of those.

            Silicone trays come in all sorts -- some fairly conventional, some whimsical. The more complicated the shape the bigger hassle it can be to remove. They are actually are more fun for jello and for the sand box. Check out Ikea -- their Plastis line of ice cube trays are fun (fish, hearts, stars, etc) and are very reasonable, maybe $2.

            I would never go back to aluminum -- childhood memories of handling one of those with damp hands (if you've seen the move "A Christmas Story", you have a pretty good idea how wel that turned out). Plus the force needed to pop the cubes usually enough to bend or break it. No thanks.

            As far as ice cubes picking up freezer funk, covers don't help (they do keep debris from getting in your ice -- like that half open zip-loc bag of frozen parsley). An open box of baking soda in the back of the ice box will do the trick.

        2. re: jk1002
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          smkit RE: jk1002 Aug 2, 2011 04:11 AM

          One thing I did like about the Tovolo square trays is that you can push out the cubes individually. To some this might mean it is a pain to remove the ice, but it was nice when I had limited space in my freezer. When you use the plastic ones, the twist often takes a bunch of cubes out and you needs an ice storage bin.

          With that said, the silicone ones are a pin to transfer from water source to freezer as they are flexible.

        3. re: MikeB3542
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          Ali RE: MikeB3542 Apr 22, 2010 10:35 AM

          I disagree and think that it's significantly easier to get the ice "cubes" out than the traditional tray - of course, I always had stickage issues with the tradition hard plastic trays.

          OP: You can pick up some silicone ones at IKEA for nothing.

          1. re: Ali
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            hobbess RE: Ali Nov 28, 2010 11:50 PM

            This ice cube design seems so obvious that its surprising that nobody thought of it yet:

            http://gizmodo.com/5137110/quicksnap-...

            In this simple design, you've got a button to pop out an ice cube. And, the cool thing is that it lets you release only the ice cubes you want in each pack.

            1. re: hobbess
              cannibal RE: hobbess Nov 29, 2010 09:17 AM

              that's a pretty neat idea, the comments at the bottom were pretty funny too.

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          Sam D. RE: hobbess Nov 29, 2010 02:53 AM

          IMO the best ice cube trays available now are the basic ones packaged in pairs and sold at K-Mart for a couple dollars. They make decent size ice cubes and are durable, long lasting and resistant to cracking or splitting like many other plastic ones.

          Rubbermaid used to make a superior one but sadly, like so many former Rubbermaid items, it has been discontinued.

          I've tried silicone and I'm not a fan.

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            NotJuliaChild RE: hobbess Nov 29, 2010 04:59 AM

            Here is one made from stainless steel:

            http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel...

            1. d
              danbob RE: hobbess Nov 29, 2010 05:00 AM

              I feel your pain. I live off the grid, entirely on solar and wind power with battery storage, so I have a propane fridge. No ice maker available, and it seemed I was replacing cheap plastic ice trays 3 or 4 times a year, from cracking.

              I had fond memories of the sturdy old aluminum ones from 30 years ago, and found some aluminum trays at Bed Bath and Beyond. Had to return all of them; the aluminum levers bent easily, and all of them broke within a week.

              So, I'm back to the cheap plastic ones. I get the cheapest I can find, as they still crack regularly (sigh).

              Once garage sale season fires up again, I'll be looking for the *old* aluminum ones again.

              DANBOB

              2 Replies
              1. re: danbob
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                hobbess RE: danbob Aug 2, 2011 01:20 AM

                The NYTimes had a shopping with article about ice cube trays with a couple of selections:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/gar...

                I like the heft of the big spherical ice cubes from MoMa Design, but are these spherical ice cubes always going to be cloudy in the middle like in the picture or was that just a bad batch?

                1. re: hobbess
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                  chowmania RE: hobbess Mar 9, 2012 08:21 AM

                  Fun fact: make ice cubes with cooled water that has been boiled and you'll get less cloudiness. It has to do with the amount of oxygen in the water, they cause bubbles which look cloudy. Boiled water has less oxygen and doesn't have the same affect.

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                PotatoPuff RE: hobbess Aug 2, 2011 01:55 PM

                i have the oxo one with a lid on it - saves fridge space cuz you can stack stuff on it, and it keeps the ice "fresher" - i LOVE it. The cubes come out pretty easily too. It is NOT silicone

                1. greygarious RE: hobbess Aug 2, 2011 02:25 PM

                  I still have the aluminum ones from a succession of older refrigerators owned by my parents.
                  I much prefer them to the plastic ones. My pride-and-joy is a doublewide. It has two of the typical "venetian blind" handled inserts, with a solid aluminum strip to insert lengthwise between the two. Houseguests have coveted it.

                  I pop them out and store in a ziploc baggie to slow the sublimation. But if I need extra ice, I use a styrofoam egg carton. Wash it first, of course. Press each well from the bottom to pop out the ice.

                  1. r
                    Rigmaster RE: hobbess Mar 9, 2012 09:09 AM

                    I have the Tavola trays and like them. They take more time to remove the cubes, but I just push them in the middle of each reservoir and they pop out pretty easily.

                    I have plastic trays but don't use them. I only use the Tavola ice cubes for special occasions when huge ice cubes are a part of the presentation.

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