Most home craft ice makers build a “stash” or inventory of cubes for routine personal use or a party/event. A previous article described one way to accomplish, clear, craft ice at home with the cooler method. Regardless of the ice making method, ice makers are now faced with a new challenge - storing ice cubes.
Do not worry! After 3 years of making and storing clear ice at home there are proven solutions to this problem.
Key elements of Clear, Craft Ice Storage
- Seal – Ice should be isolated from air and moisture in the freezer. The cubes can absorb smell from other foods and moisture can create frost bite on the surface of the ice cubes.
- Separation – Large, clear ice cubes should be physically separated from other cubes. Exposure to warm air can slightly melt the outer surfaces of the cubes. When placed in the freezer, cubes in direct contact can freeze together. This makes separation difficult when ready to use the next time. Keeping cubes separated and protected can also prevent chipping and cracking as cubes can become very brittle at low temperature.
- Access –Cube access should not be difficult when removing from the storage container and freezer. The longer the duration the storage container is out of the freezer, the more likely cube melting will occur, putting good cubes at risk. The storage container should also be easily stackable and compact enough to fit in a consumer freezer in any direction.
Some storage solutions explored include silicon molds, tubes, freezer storage bags, and closed containers.
|Container (Sealed Tray)||Good||Good||Good|
Frequently asked ice cube storage questions:
- How long will cubes last in the freezer? If properly stored, cubes can last several months if not longer.
- Is it normal for cubes to become frosty on the surface? Yes, a thin, frosty layer can develop on the cube surface during freezing. Do not worry, this disappears during tempering, as discussed in another article.
- How can cubes be separated after freezing together? Remove the cubes from the freezer and allow cubes to slightly melt. If this does not allow separation, carefully use a serrated knife tapping along the seam to separate the cubes. If all else fails, make clear ice shards out of the cubes by breaking into smaller pieces as discussed in another article.
- Where can storage containers be purchased? See the links in the table above.
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