Behold: the ice cube tray. A kitchen essential that, maybe, you don’t use as often as you’d like. It’s possible that it’s currently collecting dust in your kitchen cabinets as you read this. I mean, why make your own ice when most freezers come equipped with a built in ice maker these days? We have 10 great reasons to bust out this versatile tool, but first…let’s have a little history lesson.
1933, the first flexible, stainless steel, all-metal ice tray was invented by Guy Tinkham, the vice-president of General Utilities Manufacturing Company. The tray flexed sidewise to eject the ice cubes. Later, various designs based on the original were released, including an aluminum ice cube tray with a removable cube separator and release handles. Eventually, the molded plastic ice cube trays became the standard design that we still use today!
Ready to put your ice cube tray to work? Check out our top 10 reasons you should and why we love this kitchen utensil.
- Freeze herbs in olive oil so they do not spoil. Hard herbs like oregano, sage, thyme and rosemary work best for this. You’ll want to pack the ice cube trays with herbs and olive oil, then freeze and use in sauces, recipes, and more.
- Tired of watering down your iced coffee? Make coffee ice cubes for your iced coffee! Just pour your leftover brew into an ice cube tray and save for a delicious, caffeinated, icy treat.
- Jazz up your fizzy water! Freeze your favorite (or leftover) fruit juice and add it to seltzer water for a twist on a classic.
- Keep your garbage disposal clean by freezing some vinegar and lemon in your ice cube tray. Place a lemon slice in each slot and then fill over the lemon with vinegar. Then, drop a cube or two down the disposal and run water over them whenever you want a fresh, clean-smelling garbage disposal.
- Make homemade seed bombs! These are perfect for sprucing up your landscaping and are incredible gifts. They’re simple to make: it just takes water, clay, soil, and seeds! You can use ice cube trays to help you shape the seed bombs and to keep all of the ingredients inside until they mold properly.
- Pour wine into the cube slots and allow it to freeze to make wine cubes! Once frozen, you can use those wine cubes to add to other drinks like sangria and slushies, or add to your glass to keep it cool, not watered down, on a hot day.
- Pre-make cookie dough! Making your own homemade cookies is a lot less expensive and allows you to know exactly what ingredients are in your cookies. You can make your own by freezing your cookie dough in ice cube trays. The trays offer the perfect size and, once frozen, you can store your cookies in a freezer bag for months.
- Save your eggs. You can use your ice cube tray to freeze eggs individually…yolk and all. Just thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to use.
- Preserve your pesto! Make loads of fresh pesto in the summertime when basil is in abundance, and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Defrost a few cubes as needed to make delicious fresh pesto sandwiches or pesto chicken any time of the year.
- Frozen aloe vera cubes are amazing for soothing sunburned skin. Make them this summer, and you’ll be thanking yourself the next time you’re out in the sun too long.