The best ice cube trays for perfectly chilled sips every time (2023)

It seems the simplest of all conveniences. Let the water drain on a tray, put it in the freezer and that's it, change it, you already have ice.

But ice cream was once a luxury. Now, it's definitely a long way from the ECB ice houses (buildings and underground areas insulated with straw or sawdust and filled with ice chunks) to the ice dispensers we see in refrigerators today. And the ice trays themselves have also changed: thefirst versionsby Lloyd Copeman they were made of rubber; Guy L. Tinkham's next generation was flexible stainless steel (similar toThis one) and the first to expel ice cubes.

Today you can choose the material, from metal to edible silicone, an almost infinite variety of shapes and sizes and with or without a lid. To narrow your list of options, we decided to test the best one, chosen based on customer reviews and manufacturer information. We then sent these trays to our tester and asked him to look at their construction (including how easy it was to drop the ice cubes), how easy they were to store in the freezer, the shape and size of the cubes, whether the ice held the smell from the freezer and much more. Based on these tests, theOXO Good Grips Ice Cream Traywas our winner.

Whether you want mini cubes, extra large cubes or balls of ice, here is our list of the best tried and true ice cube trays.

better overall

Cuba OXO Good Grips com tampa


The best ice cube trays for perfectly chilled sips every time (1)

What we love:Sliding lid keeps ice away from odors, stackable, handy

What we don't love:Unable to rotate tray without completely removing cover

Do you prefer something familiar and economical? OXO got you. These sturdy plastic ice cube trays freeze, stack and store just like you're used to, just a little better. Like most of our picks, they come with lids to protect against freezer odors and save freezer space by being stackable without ice sticking to the bottom of the tray. Also, the glass of water our tester chilled with those ice cubes didn't have any off-flavors or aftertastes.

When you're done shuffling the ice tray (as we did), the thick, easy-to-grip top handles (plus lid) help transport the freshly filled tray to the freezer. Our tester notes that while you still have to walk slowly from the sink to the freezer to avoid spills, it wasn't an issue as long as you don't overfill the pot.

What really sets this OXO ice tray apart, though, is how the 2-inch ice cubes come out. Like all plastic ice cube trays, the twist method works to release several ice cubes when the lid is completely removed. But the unique semi-circular shape of the molds allowed our tester to drop the cubes one at a time with a finger pressing on the edge, even with the lid still partially closed.

"Looks like a good everyday ice tray, easy to use and takes up less space due to the stackable design."Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, author and product tester

Price at time of publication: $7

Material:plastic |Dimensions (LxWxH):12.2 x 5.6 x 1.75 inches |Harvest:14 ice cubes |Dishwasher safe:yes (upper basket)

(Video) 7 Ice Cube Trays Compared!

best silicone

GoodCook Prep and Freeze Easy Release Silikon-Würfelschale


The best ice cube trays for perfectly chilled sips every time (2)

What we love:The stability of plastic is combined with the material advantage of silicone, total or individual release capability

What we don't love:Larger ice cubes may not suit everyone

Most complaints about silicone games are that dropping the dice can cause t-e-d-i-o-u-s. Most silicone ice trays require you to lift them from the bottom of the mold one at a time. But not this one!

While you can eject the large 2-ounce cubes for your bleed one at a time, the sturdy inner column of this 2018 Housewares Design Awards winner allows you to eject them all at once using the twisting method that few silicone bowls can. to do. 🇧🇷

Additionally, the rigid mount addresses another common complaint against silicone cookware, which is that they slip and spill during shipping. However, it is not our choice! "I had to walk slowly to the freezer, but the snap-on lid kept water from leaking out," says our tester. "Maybe I shouldn't have filled the water to the top." She notes that the lid also prevented the ice cream from absorbing freezer odors.

Storage was a little trickier. "It fit well in my freezer, but the bottom silicone made it easy for water to leak unless placed in a completely flat space (which isn't my bottom drawer freezer; it's just too full of other stuff!)" he says. Is it over there . Also, the lid compensates for it a bit, making it easier to stack multiple trays. And while the 1.75-inch ice cubes weren't perfectly square (they were slightly rounded at the top), they're larger than a typical cube, which our tester liked because it took so long to melt.

Price at time of publication: $12

Material:silicone |Dimensions (LxWxH):14.5 x 4.5 x 2.25 inches |Harvest:12 ice cubes |Dishwasher safe:Y

better without chaos

Icebreaker Pop silicone ice tray with lid


(Video) How to Make Clear Ice Home | Pro | Expert

The best ice cube trays for perfectly chilled sips every time (3)

What we love:Hygienic and compact, stackable, does not absorb the smell or taste of ice cream, available in several colors

What we don't love:Expensive, a little hard to get the ice out, smaller ice cubes mean it melts quickly

We've all been there: wrestling with a tray of ice cubes, trying to free them victoriously, only to have them explode in every direction exceptin your glass🇧🇷 That's exactly why we want a standalone. All you have to do is fill them up like you would a water bottle and freeze them. Thanks to its compact design, you can place it in the freezer wherever you need it. Our tester also liked that the lid prevents spills when transporting it from the sink to the freezer, and you can store it on its side or flat anywhere in the freezer.

Our tester says it was also very easy to use, once he figured out the design logistics. When frozen, press top and bottom together, then separate to expand with strips. The silicone construction made it easy to shake the ice cubes, he adds. It's ready to serve in the glass without having to touch the ice, which means you can open it.a game of pigeonswithout worrying about contamination.

As for the quality of the ice cubes themselves? "The cubes were free of freezer odors, [and] the water tasted good with no ice machine aftertaste," notes our tester. The only downside was that the cubes were smaller than you'd normally prefer, meaning they melted faster. But because of its versatility and ease of cleaning (the entire unit disassembles for deep cleaning by hand or in the dishwasher), "it's a smartly designed ice maker," he concludes.

Price at time of publication: $30

Material:silicone |Dimensions (LxWxH):9 x 6.6 x 2.4 inches |Harvest:18 ice cubes |Dishwasher safe:Y

Related:the best cups

preferably extra large

Cubitera Tovolo King Cube


The best ice cube trays for perfectly chilled sips every time (4)

(Video) Best Ice Cube Trays in 2021 – Make Ice Cubes for Different Purposes Easily!

What we love:Thicker silicone resists tearing, large cubes, slow melting, beveled bottom for easy removal

What we don't love:A little unstable, easy to stack

These large silicone ice cube trays are perfect for relaxingPerfect craft cocktails🇧🇷 The 2-inch cubes are large enough to chill your drinks without over-diluting them, while small enough to fit in a standard cocktail glass.

Made from flexible, food-grade silicone, the ice cream molds come in a variety of fun colors. They also have a sloping base that makes it easy to pull out the mega cubes one at a time and store the rest for future drinks. Just make sure you don't overfill the bowls: Due to the soft silicone base (and lack of a lid), our tester had to be careful not to overfill hers to avoid spills as she carefully made her way to the freezer. The lack of a lid also means there's a risk of freezer odors or residue, although our cook found the water she chilled with these buckets tasty. Bonus: they also melted slowly.

The seamless silicone design of these pans makes them safe for your dishwasher or easy to clean by hand. Great not just for regular ice cream but also forfreeze broth, coffee, juices or anything else you want. It comes in single or double packs for double the fun. The trays stack nicely as long as you don't overfill the top. Keep in mind that the trays are about 5 cm high; They took up a lot of space in height in our home tester's freezer.

“I fully support Tovolo's silicone ice cube molds. The ice cubes are very easy to pop out of the molds and are the perfect size for cocktails!”Emma Christensen, boss Editor

Price at time of publication: $15

Material:silicone |Dimensions (LxWxH):6.25 x 4.5 x 2 inches |Harvest:6 ice cubes |Dishwasher safe:Y

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best trade

Conjunto Tovolo Esfera Eisformen 2er


The best ice cube trays for perfectly chilled sips every time (5)

View on Amazonmira wamartView from Bloomingdale's

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What we love:Big ball, slow melting ice cream, fun shape for great craft cocktails.

What we don't love:A little tricky to solve, requires some practice in use

A large 2.5 inch ice ball is perfect for your highball or other craft cocktails. It cools the drink as it slowly melts, making your drinks less watery and more enjoyable. This two-piece ice mold maker features a plastic base and a tight-fitting silicone lid, which made it easy for our tester to move it from the freezer to the sink. In addition to keeping odors out of the freezer, the lid is very well designed and has a small hole at the top to allow air to escape during expansion. " She says.

Tovolo also makes a special set for the holidays (see in amazon): Pack of four ice molds to make ice balls in the shape of Christmas ornaments. The large balls are ideal for cocktails or just drinking.out of datealone in front of a warm fire. Just be sure to hold the pot over the sink when you put the lid on to catch any excess water that spills over. The airtight design also prevents freezer odors.

Our tester loved the shape and size of these ramekins, especially the Christmas themed ones, which she thought would be fun and make a great Christmas party. Her only caveat is that the balls were a little difficult to sort out. "I had to ask my husband for help or wait until they melted easily to let them go," she explains.

Price at time of publication: $12

Material:plastic and silicone |Dimensions (LxWxH):3.4 x 3.4 x 6.5 inches |Harvest:1 Skipper pro Shape (2 Shapes) |Dishwasher safe:Y

Related: The best stemless wine glasses

final verdict

For those who want a more conventional take on this tried and true cookware with the added benefit of modern updates, the OXO Good Grips Ice Tray with Lid (see in amazon) offers just that. If you're willing to switch, the multi-purpose touchless "tray" and Icebreaker Pop Silicone Ice Tray dispenser with lid (see in amazon) keeps things clean and doesn't clutter up your freezer.

what are the other options?

Yepiko Freezer Food Trays (view on Amazon):We've tested them as the best options for meal prep and they work just that. They have built-in date markers, shake-proof lids, and are easy to place in the freezer when full, but unlike glass food containers, you can't put them in the freezer. And quite frankly, the Ziploc flat-freezing method is the most space-efficient way to store your future meals.

What to Look for in an Ice Cube Tray


Although the first ice molds invented were made of rubber and metal, the most common ones you'll find today are plastic and silicone. Whatever material you choose, look for grippy edges and think about durability. Cracks are often the reason why people have to replace their plastic ice trays, while silicone versions are thrown out with the bath water (ice) due to cracks.

Plastic molds are great at holding their shape, which is great for making evenly shaped ice cubes. Another benefit is that plastic ice trays allow you to dispense multiple units of ice with a simple twisting motion. Plus, they are generally affordable and stackable. Just make sure they are BPA free.

Silicone, on the other hand, dissolves ice easily. What most don't like is that they do it one at a time. However, these durable, dishwasher-safe bowls are lightweight, easy to store, won't absorb foreign odors or flavors, and are tolerant of high and low temperatures, which is handy if you want to freeze food. Look for ones with reinforced infrastructure, either on the edge edges or on the cube dividers, to avoid the hassle of sagging floors and the inevitable spills. A good lid can also serve as an accident-proof tray. Also look for guarantees that you are getting food grade silicone.


Ice cube trays with a lid are the best, especially compared to the ones that don't. Lids serve several functions: sealing out odors from freezing or leaking food nearby, preventing contamination from other foods or items that fall into your bins, and saving you from cleaning up after a spill.

The lid material also plays a role. Many ice trays mix and match plastic bases with silicone lids or vice versa. Both have their advantages. Plastic lids are ideal for stacking and adding structure to your tray. You can tightly lock the snap seams to better contain spills. Silicone allows for the natural expansion of ice and can also be leak-proof when designed and used correctly. Cubes made under the protection of a silicone lid that is pressed flush with the frame can also be more consistent, preventing spillage between dividers.

common questions

Are the ice cube trays dishwasher safe?

There are many, but it depends on the material, thickness and manufacturer. Because they're so lightweight, ice cube trays have been known to warp, so it's usually best to hand wash them, even if they're labeled dishwasher safe.

How do you wash ice cube trays?

As with any other food container, use soap and water. The only thing is that you should use unscented detergent to avoid transferring artificial or soapy flavors or odors to the ice cream. Alternatively, you can soak the trays in diluted white vinegar to sterilize them or re-neutralize them if they have already gone bad.

Why is my ice tray lid sticking?

There are usually two reasons for this: either you overfilled the container and the expanded ice stuck to the lid, or some water spilled into the seam and the lid is too tight. It's a good idea to leave some space on top of each ice cube to accommodate the larger volume the ice takes up than the liquid. This also prevents your cubes from connecting to each other.

Can you freeze food in ice cube trays?

Yes, but make sure you do it right. All ice cube trays should be food grade, but make sure they are clean and dry before trying anything. Whatever you freeze must also be suspended in a liquid or already in liquid form. If not, it's just random frozen bits of blueberries or something rattling around in the bottom of the tray.

And don't forget to cool your food first. Sure, silicone trays can withstand high temperatures, but throwing them in the freezer right away will suddenly and quickly raise the overall temperature of your device. This can negatively affect anything else you already have in there, causing frostbite and freezer burn.

How to avoid the freezing smell of ice cream?

The first thing you should do is buy an ice cube tray with a lid. This is your primary line of defense against freezing odor. The next thing is to keep the freezer clean. That means cleaning it regularly with white vinegar and water, baking soda and water, or diluted bleach. It also means getting rid of any overcooked, freezer burnt food that might otherwise be making your fridge stink. Finally, clean your ice cube trays regularly. If you keep them cool, your ice cream will stay the same.

What about reusable data?

For a while, reusable plastic ice cubes were all the rage. They're simple, stay dry, are eco-friendly, and won't dilute your drinks. But they went out of fashion for several reasons.

One is that even if they are BPA free, they can break down in your drinks over time. They also absorb odors and flavors easily. And yes, that includes the filthy, freezing air. Silicone reusables may not absorb as much residue, but the gel may leak.

Then there are soapstone cubes, which have gained a following among whiskey drinkers. However, they do not support low temperatures with the expected efficiency and time. Stainless steel ice cubes are food grade safe, easy to clean, last a lifetime, stay fresh for an average of 30 minutes, and retain a relatively neutral odor and taste with minimal metallicity. On the other hand, they take longer to freeze and are expensive.

In other words, good old fashioned water should do you good.

Why rely only on recipes?

This guide was written bySu Jit Lin, who has more than a dozen years of experience writing about food, twice as much in cooking it and three times as much in enjoying everything with extreme and probably indecent pleasure. Until recently, she didn't have a fridge with an ice maker, so she was forced to deal with a lot of bad, not great ice tray models. Her goal for this shopping guide is to help you stay calm in your search for what's right for you.

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Cecilia Hae-Jin LeeI tried these ice cube trays and updated this piece. The author, photographer, former restaurateur, recipe developer and chef is also on a mission, when not traveling the world, to find and review the cheapest appliances and kitchen gadgets (both popular and niche, like these funTovolo Vacation Forms) that make cooking and entertaining easy for the amateur chef.

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