Water is being poured in an ice cube tray by a jar

Best Ice Cube Trays

While ice is a basic notion, a good ice cube tray can make a big difference in your cocktail game. What’s the first step to improved ice? Get rid of your refrigerator’s chunky plastic ice trays. “Avoid using the murky ‘half-moon’-shaped ice that comes out of your freezer door,” says Jordan Hughes, the High Proof Preacher’s cocktail specialist.

“Partly for aesthetic reasons, but mostly because they break down and melt fast, diluting your drink.” Choose an ice cube tray that matches your drinking needs instead. For whiskey fans, there are crystal clear spheres and crushed ice trays for Tiki-style drinks, as well as ice trays for regular use and ice molds for flawlessly clear cubes.

We’ve meticulously home-tested our favorite trays for different sorts of beverages and drinkers to help comprehend the world of ice cubes. We scored each item based on how easy it was to carry from the sink to the freezer, its size, stackability, and whether or not it had a lid to cover the frozen region. We also looked at how easily the cubes came out of the tray, the ice’s aesthetics, if the freezer imparted any flavors, and how long the cubes kept frozen.

Best Overall: W&P Everyday Ice Cube Tray

If you’ve ever cracked a vinyl ice cube tray when extracting the ice, a flexible silicone tray, such as this W&P choice, is an excellent remedy. The flexible ice mold produces 12 square cubes with little effort. The tray’s ice cubes are 1.25 inches in diameter, making them tiny enough to toss into a drink on the rocks yet large enough to shake without diluting.

During our testing, the twelve cubes created were among of the nicest and most uniform you can manufacture in a home refrigerator. They had no plastic odor from the silicon, and the top, although not completely closing onto the tray, keeps any food or freezer odors from infecting the cubes.

Although each cube readily pulls out of the silicone form, cubes occasionally adhere to the bottom of the mold, resulting in less-than-perfect ice. All of these trays stacked well in the freezer and can be washed in the dishwasher. They’re also available in a variety of neutral and interesting hues, like blue, charcoal, marble, confetti, and more.

Best for Whiskey: Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds

Plastic-silicone molds from Tovolo produce beautiful, spherical ice circles. To easily remove ice from the mold, half of the mold is made of durable plastic and the other half is made of flexible silicone.

Tovolo-Sphere-Ice-Molds

Put the mold together, fill it with water, and you’ll get clear, 2.5-inch spherical ice in 24 hours (for the clearest ice, use distilled or pre-boiled water). Two BPA-free, dishwasher-safe molds are included in this package. The spherical molds’ shape is what makes them popular among cocktail connoisseurs, and when tested, they created an almost perfect sphere that melted slowly enough not to unduly dilute a cocktail or alcohol.

Because in actuality, some variation might occur, resulting in less-than-perfect spheres every time, the term “almost perfect” is used.Tovolo also has mustache, rose, and highball ice forms in addition to the spherical. You may even freeze flowers or bright liquids in the mold to give aesthetic appeal to cocktails or punch bowls.

Best Stainless Steel: Onyx Ice Cube Tray

This Onyx ice tray’s stainless steel structure not only makes it extremely durable, but it also prevents the contents from collecting freezer aromas, making it ideal for freezing broths, herb cubes, or fruit juices without leaving any other flavors behind.

Onyx-Ice-Cube-Tray

While this tray isn’t as flexible as a silicone mold, the stainless steel handle and detachable divider make it simple to remove ice: simply turn the handle up and take out the cubes after they’ve frozen. The Onyx tray is a lovely accent to a kitchen area that doesn’t receive much attention: the freezer. The metal tray is a smart concept in principle, releasing all cubes with the pull of a lever, but it did not perform as promised when we tested it, making it tough to justify the $30 price tag.

Only three of the eighteen cubes were freed from the tray during one test, with the remainder stuck to the metal divider. The manufacturer suggests allowing the tray to stay at room temperature for several minutes to allow the cubes to fully release, but it took closer to ten to fifteen minutes to liberate the remaining cubes.

Best for Clear Ice: W&P Peak Clear Ice Mold

Invest in a mold that generates show-stopping cubes for dedicated cocktail fans. This W&P model is made composed of a silicone mold and an insulated sleeve that join together to form a huge, crystal-clear 2-inch ice cube. We inserted the mold into the sleeve and filled it with water during our testing.

W&P-Peak-Clear-Ice-Mold

We discovered that the top-down design froze the ice without any bubbles or contaminants, while gravity forced the bubbles to the bottom of the mold, leaving a clean cube at the top. The bottom of the sleeve pulls off, allowing the mold to be easily removed.

This ice mold only creates one cube at a time and takes up a lot of space in your freezer (at 5.75 inches high). Furthermore, because these ice cubes are bigger than ordinary cubes, they might take up to 24 hours to completely freeze.

Best Easy-Release: Kitch Ice Tray

Consider an easy-release alternative like these Kitch trays if you frequently struggle to get ice out of a tray. In comparison to conventional plastic ice cube trays, these flexible trays are designed to pop out ice cubes without the need to twist or smash the tray on the counter. They also stack well in the freezer for easy access.

Kitch-Ice-Tray

The Kitch tray was easy to fill in our tests, with notched compartments that allow for more equal cubes and high sides that prevent overflow or spilling when carrying. Traditional freezers can fit and stack the standard-sized trays. Each tray features handles to make it easier to move around. The cubes that arise are quite easy to remove, even without the twisting and smacking that is necessary with similar plastic trays.

Each tray effortlessly creates 16 ice cubes and comes in packs of two (for a total of 32 cubes) or four (for a total of 64 cubes), making them ideal for creating drinks for large gatherings. In addition, the ice cube trays are BPA-free and dishwasher safe.

Final Verdict

After evaluating each of these trays at home, W&P’s regular ice cube tray emerged as the obvious winner for superb daily ice. It creates square cubes that are absolutely square (plus the tray comes in a variety of colors). The brand’s bigger mold produces stunning pebbles with no effort if you’re searching for huge, crystal-clear cups.

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