Ice Cube Trays

By old retro, you mean these?

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Yes, except they were aluminum. I always got hand freeze and could never get the ice cubes out as a child! The plastic ones were a big improvement, and as an adult, when possible, I’ve never been without an ice maker.

Funny enough that I also remember these old fashion metal based ice tray. It has a mechanism to slightly break/loosen the ice by moving the lever front and back.
The plastic ones are actually easier to use. One just need to twist the plastic ice tray.

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Yes, it was a great improvement to my young mind! Still, seeing the old retro ones, and even the new SS ones, it prompts a flood of memories. Mainly, always having to ask for an adult to help get the ice for my gin and tonics! Ha - just kidding, kool-aid more likely.


I remember what you remember. The cold metal would “freeze stick” to my skin. I also remember playing with the old ice tray alone. Moving the level back and forth to understand what it is doing.


That screechy sound when pulling the lever on those old aluminum trays still gives me the all-overs when I think about it, and I haven’t used one in over 40 years.


The ones I have stick so bad that I have to rinse them long enough to melt about a third of the sphere.

I’m curious what you hate(d) about them. Was it the propensity to shatter cubes, or the dreaded licking-the-chairlift skin adhesion? Something else?

I’ve come to appreciate some shard %, as a mixed media tends to chill drinks faster and doesn’t dilute much.

I also value the ability to turn out the entire tray at one time, something that eludes me with plastic and silicone molds.

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Aloha! What I hated about them is my hands stuck to them and became painful! As a child then, I didn’t have the hand strength to ever get any ice, thus causing frustration. As I recall they also made kind of a cringey sound? Anyway, no fond memories of them practically, however, in a nostalgic sense, like other retro things, I do appreciate them for other memories they conjure.
Do you think part of your affinity for them may be based on nostalgia?


The old rectangular aluminum ones are THE BEST. Indestructible (mine, inherited, are at least 70 years old), don’t pick up freezer odors. Even as a child, though on occasion I’d pinch the base of my pinky when pulling the lever, I was always able to release the ice. I even have a double-wide one. Two regular shape lever dividers plus a strip of aluminum that you place between them lengthwise.

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Aloha 'oe! Not in this case. I’ve always looked for a “better mousetrap” and never found one. I’ve been gifted multiple silicone ice trays (still have a few specialty cocktail shapes), and gone through sundry plastic trays. All the silicone ones I’ve found very hard to release, and they never ALL release simultaneously. I’ve also found that the plastic ones, while they release OK with a twist, make it hard to pluck out just a few for 1-2 cocktails–I end up having to shake the tray up and down until some cubes flip up. With the old style, you just remove the grid, and what you need is right there.

So much of this is routine-driven. If you place the tray on the counter for a minute or two (potholder or side towel), you won’t have a problem with skin sticking. Likewise, there’ll be enough surface melt that all cubes turn out more easily. But I’m usually impatient and thirsty.

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Thanks for the explanation - I can certainly understand your thinking on this.

I want spherical ice cubes!!!

I’ve got molds for both spheres and large square cubes, but haven’t used them yet. I’m going to use distilled water so they’re more dense.

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Let me know how the distilled water works. Supposedly boiling the water beforehand makes clearer, denser cubes, but that didn’t work for me.

I will do that, as soon as an archaeological dig turns up my ice cube molds! :joy_cat:

I once used Fiji Water for ice cubes. They seemed to be denser and clearer than tap water cubes…but we have crummy, hard water in my town.

I know no one cares, but I just bought a spherical ice cube mold. It is pretty cool to have ball-shape ice “ball” (not cube)

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Me neither, but I find my ice cubes kind of fascinating


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