Got just a TINY bit of room in your freezer? Not enough for a full ice cube tray, but enough to make just one or two ice cubes? Here's how you can do it!

Individual Ice Cubes

Ever wished you could just make a single ice cube?  I know I did on Que Tal. Our freezer just wasn’t large enough for me to give room to a whole ice cube tray — even the vertical ones that came with it.  I needed the tiny bit of freezer space to store meat and seafood safely!Got just a TINY bit of room in your freezer? Not enough for a full ice cube tray, but enough to make just one or two ice cubes? Here's how you can do it!

A couple of years ago, I had yet another one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments, proving once again that the combined wisdom of TBG readers is amazing.  I had written about Fun Pops and the fact that you could just tuck one in at a time . . . and mentioned that if you don’t just want pure sugar water, you can buy molds and freeze fruit juices and purees.

Sue Klumb then commented on TBG’s Facebook page that she uses them to make individual ice cubes.  DUH! Perfect for those with tiny freezers — just one individual ice cube with a mold that can be tucked in almost anywhere.

And so I bought a set of 4 molds (Amazon, of course, no local shop carried them):

They are a little pricier than a few of the other brands (although not nearly as expensive as the $60+ vertical ice cube trays!) . . . and a little smaller too.  Actually, it was the fact that they are smaller that made me choose them — holding just under a half cup, they make a large single ice cube.  Any larger and it wouldn’t fit well into my glasses (the wine glass in the photo at top isn’t what I normally use the ice in . . . but it’s about the only clear glass I have for a photo!).  And smaller is certainly better for fitting into a boat freezer.  Other things I like about these:

  • Got just a TINY bit of room in your freezer? Not enough for a full ice cube tray, but enough to make just one or two ice cubes? Here's how you can do it!Each mold is about the size of a spice jar, although not exactly the same shape.
  • The molds are separate and don’t have to be put in a stand or base — many sets have several molds that fit into a large base and are horribly space inefficient.
  • They’re made from food grade silicone.  A few people commented about a smell and there was a slight odor when I first took them out of the box.  I stuck them in water with some baking soda for about a half hour, let them dry and the smell was gone.
  • The caps fit tightly and the company says a little water or juice may seep out if they’re placed on their side or with the big end down.  So what?  I’m always wedging them in somewhere where it’s natural to put the small end down.
  • Exactly how long it takes to make a cube will depend on your freezer and how warm the water is to start.  Mine took less than four hours.
  • To get the ice cube out, hold the mold in your hands for about 30 seconds to warm it slightly.  Pull the cap off, using the tab.  Then squeeze gently with one hand while keeping your other hand over the open end.  The first time I made an ice  cube, I didn’t keep a hand over the opening, and my cube went flying out as if from a slingshot . . . skidded across the carpet, picking up all sorts of lint and stopping right in front of our dog who couldn’t believe her good fortune! (In Guatemala, the guys at the bar nicknamed her “Hielo” for her love of ice cubes).
  • Based on my experience with other silicone kitchen gear and the Amazon reviews, my guess is that these will last for years and years as long as you don’t do something to puncture one.  The silicone will give a little as the liquid freezes, so I just don’t envision one splitting . . . and since silicone is “soft” it’s not going to shatter even if you drop it when frozen (as hard plastic will do).
I cannot believe it took me this long to figure out how to make individual ice cubes, but I’m certainly happy that Sue shared this. UPDATE: we’re still using the molds and still loving them, over four years later!

Of course, you can use the molds for lots of other things:

  • Frozen yogurt — my favorite summer treat!
  • Frozen juice — not just fruit juice, but think of things like V-8 and tomato juice, too
  • Frozen pureed fruit — we love frozen applesauce
  • Frozen Gatorade
  • And — from reader Candy Ann Williams — you can make “pickle-sicles” — chop up or puree dill pickles and freeze with their juice.  Wonderful on a hot day!

So what other uses can you find for these molds??

Just a reminder, since I’ve had a few questions lately — when you buy through the Amazon and some other links here, I do make a few cents on the purchase (whether it’s the specific item I linked to or something else), but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.  It’s a way to support TBG, but of course there’s no obligation!

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28 Comments
  • Jackie Bartz
    Posted at 23 July 2012 Reply

    In that same vein of individual ice cubes, I use the Tupperware 2 ounce midgets. Like your ice pop molds they seal tight and I can put them into the freezer anywhere there is room…upside down even.

  • Waterwoman
    Posted at 26 July 2012 Reply

    I also use the Tupperware midgets, cut the legs off panty-hose (I keep several pair of clean panty-hose for various uses) tie a panty-hose leg in a knot, put 5 or 6 midgets in and hang over the freezer (either inside or out) for extra ice cubes – my space allows for several panty-hose legs clipped over the freezer with a clothespin. When the freezer isn’t too full, I hang them inside, if no room, I flip them over & hang them outside.

  • Bob Bechler
    Posted at 02 September 2012 Reply

    For years I have been using 35mm film canisters. You can get as many as you want for free from anyplace that develops film. They just throw them away. Don’t fill all the way to the top because water expands when it freezes. Use as many as you need and refill. Put into any available spot in freezer….

  • Jim Shell
    Posted at 05 December 2012 Reply

    We use the Solo 2 and 4 oz. disposable food service prep storage containers. They are available at many fast food places or at Sam’s. They seem fragile, but they don’t leak and can be used many times. They freeze very quickly.

  • Janice Fleischmann
    Posted at 21 March 2013 Reply

    I found little plastic ice cube bags that you fill from the top, turn over and tie. It makes 18 small round ice cubes. Bag is flexible and can lay just about anywhere in the freezer.

  • Georgina Moon
    Posted at 14 November 2013 Reply

    I will definitely look for these on Amazon, thanks.

  • Bob Bechler
    Posted at 14 November 2013 Reply

    I use 35mm film cannisters available for free from film developers. They throw them away.

  • Lenka Novoa
    Posted at 14 November 2013 Reply

    Excellent idea!

  • Debra Perfitt
    Posted at 14 November 2013 Reply

    Your readers are very cleaver!!

  • Little Cunning Plan
    Posted at 15 November 2013 Reply

    Cool! No pun intended. I’ve used ziploc baggies, then smashed the ice with a small hammer.

  • Chris G.
    Posted at 23 January 2014 Reply

    I’m curious, has anyone tried the OXO No Spill ice trays? These have a silicone lid that you use to eliminate all the air and create a seal. They claim the tray can then be put in the freezer at any angle.

    http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Spill-Cube/dp/B007U256D2/?tag=theboagal0a-20

  • Jane gammons
    Posted at 11 October 2014 Reply

    We bought the stainless steel cubes. A bit pricey but pay off in the long run. They don’t dilute your adult beverage either. They work much better than the plastic cubes you referee.

  • Larry Handley
    Posted at 12 October 2014 Reply

    Two fingers of bourbon with one cube please…..:)

  • Annual Salvador Rally
    Posted at 12 October 2014 Reply

    For frozen yogurt I just put the small carton in the freezer and a few hours later it’s ready.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 12 October 2014 Reply

      Works perfectly if you buy it — I usually make it so have to find a container 🙂

  • Susan Wilson
    Posted at 12 October 2014 Reply

    Grapes work well frozen, especially if you like your wine chilled and do not want to dilute it!

  • Gimme Shelter
    Posted at 21 August 2015 Reply

    We just got molds to make big round ice spheres — right before the refrigerator died. New fridge goes in this weekend, and we’ll try again.

  • Jesse K On Smitty
    Posted at 21 August 2015 Reply

    We got 8 of these after reading about it on the Boat Galley. We love them.

  • Barb Manning Kappe
    Posted at 16 September 2016 Reply

    Great idea

  • Rebecca Guthrie
    Posted at 17 September 2016 Reply

    What a great idea….if you don’t have kids it makes sense you would not think of these. Amazon prime offers a clear set of 6 with a reciepe ebook. Enjoy TBG! Thanks for the post.

  • Eric Hendricks
    Posted at 17 September 2016 Reply

    my experience with these is – they work ok but- you cannot get the taste or smell to go away from whatever material they are made from.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 17 September 2016 Reply

      I soaked them in baking soda for a bit before using, and have no problems. Some brands seem to have more problems than others.

  • fred
    Posted at 03 January 2017 Reply

    Prescription bottles? Would they be food safe?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 04 January 2017 Reply

      I think the material would be food safe since meds are put in them. And you’d have to wash out the “dust” from any meds. But the bigger problem might be that they’d break as the water froze and expanded.

  • Sean Hayes
    Posted at 14 September 2017 Reply

    I got these but found after about a month the plastic tainted the taste of the ice cube so we can’t use them now

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 14 September 2017 Reply

      We have not had that problem at all. We soaked them in baking soda & water overnight before using as I recall.

    • Sean Hayes
      Posted at 15 September 2017 Reply

      We threw them out and went back to normal tray ice but with lids on much better

  • Claire McCloskey Ford
    Posted at 21 September 2017 Reply

    Ordered eight. Hopefully, we can do away with trays and storage box for cubes.

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