What are Ice Cube Trays?
Ice cube trays are molds for freezing water into ice. Once frozen, the ice takes the shape of a mold, and you can add it to your beverages and food items to cool them. Standard ice cube trays usually have round, rectangular, or square molds to make uniform ice cubes.
What Material is Best for Ice Cube Trays?
There are several materials for making ice cube trays. Before considering the best, let’s take a look at these materials.
Stainless steel ice cube trays are BPA-free and toxin-free. Food-grade stainless steel is safe for use and is durable. In addition, it does not crack or bend. It is also recyclable and reusable. Other benefits of stainless steel ice cube trays are that they do not absorb odors and freeze fast.
However, this type of ice cube tray is heavier and more expensive, and the metal gets so cold that it makes your hands likely to freeze temporarily.
Plastic ice cube trays come in different shapes and sizes. However, look out for BPA when purchasing a plastic tray. This substance can leach into food and drinks and stay in the body. Although BPA is non-toxic, it builds up over time. Furthermore, plastic is a poor conductor of heat and electricity, so it takes longer to freeze.
Silicone is a synthetic rubber with excellent tensile strength and electrical properties. Moreover, 100% silicone is BPA-free and safe for use with food and drinks. Silicone ice cube trays are soft, pliable, and stable even at freezing temperatures. In addition, a silicone tray comes in custom shapes and sizes to make your drinks and cocktails more fun.
However, the downside to this type of ice cube tray is its flexibility. It isn’t easy to carry the filled tray to the freezer without spilling. However, you can cover the trays with a lid to keep them steady and prevent water from spilling. Furthermore, you can run warm water over the bottom of the tray to pop the cubes.
Is Silicone Good for Ice Cube Trays?
Silicone is an excellent material for ice cube trays. The material is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than plastic. Also, it is energy efficient, keeping your ice cubes frozen. Another reason silicone is suitable for ice cube trays is that the material is sturdy and does not warp on exposure to cold or heat.
What are Silicone Ice Cube Trays Used for?
Silicone ice cube trays are versatile and ideal for freezing several foods besides water. Besides ice, you can use your silicone tray for;
- Tomato Paste
You may use only a few tablespoons from your can of tomato paste and wonder what to do with the rest. Instead of leaving it to dry out, scoop the leftover into your silicone ice cube tray. Your tray keeps the paste frozen, and you can use it anytime. Consequently, this prevents your paste from spoiling, saving you money for a new can.
After dinner, you may have a bit of wine left in your bottle. Although you may decide to drink it, why not just freeze it? You can always use your leftover frozen wine to finish your soup, stew, or sauce recipe.
- Herbs in oil
Keeping your herbs fresh, especially when you are not ready to make a sauce, can be challenging. But with silicone ice cube trays, you can preserve your herbs. You can chop your veggies into small pieces and freeze them in oil in your ice cube molds.
Stock is an excellent addition to sauce and dishes. However, opening up your stock without using it for a while makes it rancid. You can preserve the flavor of your stock by pouring and freezing it in a silicone tray. You can always extract cubes from your frozen stock and reheat them when you want.
Adding ice cubes to your coffee can water down the flavor. Instead, you can make frozen coffee cubes with your silicone ice tray. And whenever you enjoy your coffee, add a few cubes of frozen coffee for an iced drink. The cubes release coffee into your cup as they melt, keeping the flavor strong.
- Fruit Juice
You can freeze your juice with your silicone ice cube tray. The cubes can give your cocktails a robust flavor as they slowly melt into your drink.
- Pureed fruit
You can blend fruits like bananas and freeze them in your ice cube tray. These cubes come in handy whenever you want to create a smoothie or treat that requires frozen fruit.
Buttermilk gives your baked foods a buttery flavor. However, you usually don’t need a lot in most recipes. And instead of leaving your milk to curdle, you can pour it into your ice cube tray and freeze it. Whenever you need buttermilk for your pancakes or bread, you can pop a few cubes and let it thaw. Because the thawed milk will separate, you can whisk it to improve its consistency.
- Cookie Dough
Silicone ice cube trays are also great for freezing extra cookie dough. Whenever you crave a cookie, you can bake your cookie cubes.
Instead of making smoothies daily, you can freeze and preserve them in batches. You can pop your smoothie cubes in your insulated cup, and you will have a cold and refreshing cup when it defrosts.
How Do You Choose the Right Silicone Ice Cube Tray?
A silicone ice tray is functional and stylish. When choosing an ice tray, select the ones with lids to prevent spills and for easier handling. It would be best to choose trays that you can easily stack in your freezer. This saves space and allows you to keep more cubes.
Furthermore, what you are using your ice cube tray for is essential in your choice. For cocktails, ice trays with large molds are ideal. A single cube will keep your drink chilled without making it watery. Also, for everyday beverages, a standard size is okay. However, rectangular-shaped molds are ideal if you get your silicone ice cube tray for broth or herbs.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Silicone Ice Cube Tray?
Before buying a silicone ice cube tray, consider the following;
Cube shape and size
Silicone ice cube trays have molds in several shapes and sizes. The standard size for an ice cube tray is 1-inch square molds. But they can only keep your drinks chilled for so long. Larger ice cube trays keep your drinks chilled for longer. In addition, round ice cubes do not melt as fast as square cubes.
Nevertheless, if you are going for a larger or rounder tray, consider if it can fit in your freezer. Compact, stackable trays are the best for saving freezer space.
All silicone ice cube trays are made from silicone, but they are not all food-grade. 100% silicone is safe for consumption. However, ice cube trays not made from food-grade silicone may contain BPA, which can leach into your ice.
The purpose of an ice cube tray is to make ice cubes. But if there is a leakage, there is nothing to freeze. Although silicone is resilient, always check the ice trays for holes.
Silicone ice cube trays should come with a lid. Lids allow you to stack the trays and prevent the ice from absorbing freezer odors and tastes.
The Benefits of Using a Silicone Ice Cube Tray
- Easy to use. Silicone ice cube trays are flexible and easy to use. You can easily pop out ice without breaking the tray.
- Better form. Silicone ice cubes have a uniform shape and form. Because you don’t have to force the ice out, they retain their shape without shattering or breaking.
- Safe and hygienic. Silicone trays are made from food-grade silicone. This material is BPA-free and certified safe for food and beverage use.
- Fun colors. Silicone ice cube trays are colorful, and you can order them in colors that suit your home’s palette.
- Fun shapes. Silicone is a flexible material; the molds can be customized to different conditions. So, silicone rubber makes it possible if you want ice cubes in hearts, stars, or any shape.
- Flavor preservation. Silicone is inert and does not interfere with food and liquid. You can put juice other than water in your silicone ice cube trays without worrying about losing flavor.
How to Use a Silicone Ice Cube Tray?
Before using a silicone ice tray, wash thoroughly. Afterward, fill the tray with your liquid until you reach slightly below the molding’s shape to prevent spills. Next, place the tray on a flat surface in the freezer. Leave to freeze. The time it takes the ice cubes to freeze depends on the size. Smaller cubes freeze faster than larger ones.
Once frozen, remove your silicone ice cube tray and pop the ice. You can run warm water on the sides of the tray to make the ice pop out easily. If your silicone ice cube tray has a lid, you can keep the ice in the freezer. Otherwise, pop the ice cubes and keep them in an airtight container.
The Best Way to Clean a Silicone Ice Cube Tray
Cleaning your silicone ice cube tray is essential to remove dirt and odors. Not only is this healthy, but it also prevents a weird taste in your drink. The best way to clean your silicone ice cube tray is to soak it in a 50-50 warm water and vinegar solution.
Although you can use any vinegar, white vinegar is ideal. The solution removes odor and disinfects the ice cube trays. After cleaning the trays, air them out to dry.
It is important to note that silicone trays can pick up odors in the freezer. Therefore, it is best always to use a lid on the ice tray.
FAQs About Silicone Rubber Trays
- Can you freeze baby food in silicone ice cube trays? Silicone ice cube trays are excellent for freezing and preserving baby food. You can keep this food in portions without worrying about BPA leaching into the food. Furthermore, unlike water, bay food doesn’t freeze into a solid. Therefore, it is easier to remove them from the ice cube trays.
- Are silicone Ice cube trays dishwasher safe? Yes. Silicone is resilient and can withstand high temperatures. Therefore, you can wash these ice trays in your dishwasher without compromising their integrity.
- How can I fill my silicone ice cube tray without spilling water? You can fill your ice cube tray without spilling water by holding it at an angle. That way, water flows into the tray easily, filling up individual compartments without spilling.
- Can you freeze eggs in an ice cube tray? Yes. You can save your eggs before they expire. When freezing eggs, you cannot do so in their shells. Instead, you have to crack and whisk them n a bowl. Then, brush the ice tray with oil to remove the iced eggs easily. After oiling the tray, put your whisked eggs into them and freeze. Furthermore, once they freeze, transfer the eggs into an airtight container.
- Can you put hot water in a silicone ice cube tray? Yes. Silicone ice trays stand out from plastic because they can withstand heat. So, hot water in this ice tray does not degrade, leach, or damage the material.
- How can you make clear ice? Making clear ice depends on the direction of the freezing water and the water impurities. Usually, many ice cube trays lack insulation, so they freeze from outside. As the water freezes, it absorbs surrounding air, which is pushed to the center of the ice. You can make clear ice by changing the freezing direction and using clean water. First, boil your water to remove impurities. You may also use filtered or distilled water. Next, surround the ice tray with dish towels to insulate it, leaving only the top exposed. The water freezes from top to bottom, giving you clear ice.
Silicone ice cube trays are flexible, come in custom shapes, and do not interfere with the taste of your beverage. Besides water, you can use your ice tray to store wine, juice, coffee, and tomato paste. Furthermore, silicone ice trays are safe and free of toxic materials that may harm your health.
Customize Your Silicone Ice Cube Trays at Hongju
Hongju silicone is a leading silicone rubber products manufacturer. Because we use only 100% silicone for food-grade applications, our reputation precedes us. We also customize silicone ice cube trays and other products, like swimming caps and rubber feet, to exceed your expectations.
Besides satisfying your requirements, communication with us is very easy. Our customer service is ever-ready to listen to you and give you the best experience.
Kindly reach out today for your silicone product needs!