Where can a guy like me (just a home cocktail enthusiast) get hold of the old-ikea sized ice cube trays or what other methods are you guys using to make large (as in single cube per old-fashioned glass) cubes?
The old Ikea trays were nice, but can't be found (at least by me)
Open to suggestions!
http://randallpmcmurphy.blogspot.com - I cook a lot and take a rediculous amount of pictures...
I don't know how big the old Ikea cubes were, but I just got some nice homestyle ice cube trays at an appliance parts store here in Portland recently for $3 each. Pretty large cubes.
I'm not sure the dimensions of the ikea one but here is a picture of one compared to a regular home tray.
Lot's of cocktail bars seem to use the Ikea ones...but they are like hen's teeth.
Rob, that red tray looks like it is silicon? I picked up a couple a silicon icecube trays which makes smaller/square icecubes. I used it a couple time for mixing drinks without thinking much about it, then I used some cubes in a glass of water... let the water sit for a while and the ice mostly melted... then took a sip YOWSER! The silicon was throwing some weird rubbery flavors into the ice. So those trays are OUT!
Is this true for silicon ice trays in general, or were the trays I got just not tempered (or whatever) properly for this sort of use? I can't imagine anybody producing ice trays which would impact the flavor of the ice like that.
They are silicon....but Hmm no clue about your experience, but I know a LOT of cocktail bars use the exact Ikea ones I posted a picture of and I've never tasted a problem....now you jinxed me!
The "rubber-taste" issue comes up quite often in the reviews for silicone ice molds on Amazon. Lots of people find no problem with them, and specifically disagree with such comments in other customers' reviews, but the people who taste it can't get rid of it no matter what they use to clean the trays. It may be a genetic predisposition thing.
I've read that too- the odd thing being that silicone is supposed to be largely inert. It shouldn't contribute anything to the taste. There are two things I can think of that may be a factor- improperly catalyzed silicone wherein one or more compound component was out of proportion, rendering a slightly off final composition, and mold release residue. More probably the former.
Robert, have you tried this with another set of trays? If you know someone who has a set, make some ice in one, place a cube in a glass and fill an identical glass to the same level. Mark each on the bottom and have someone else move them to the next room. Wait for enough time for the ice to melt and the water temp to equalize, then go into the room and try the two and see if you still taste the funkiness. If you do- then the sensitivity theory might be true. If you don't, then it looks as if there could be a quality control issue at hand.
As for the large silicone molds, I know I saw somewhere where someone used silicone mini-muffin pans. They aren't "cubes" but they do have a lot of surface area!
Yeah. I thought silicone was supposed to be essentially inert as well. I'm planning on picking up another silicon tray from the same manufacturer and try to find one from somebody else and do a test against them.
There won't be any need to do a blind taste test, the flavor difference was... well... sort of like "Here's a glass of water, here's a glass of vodka. Which is which?"
That bad, eh? Wow. I can't say I've ever experienced something like that with the ones I own. I stopped using them more 'cause they just were enough of an inconvenience for the amount of ice I got!
I only suggested the pseudo-double blind since there seems to be so little of it done in beverage tasting (I still need to get some of the "new" Campari to taste test against the old in a true double blind).
I've asked for these for Christmas: http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Spherical%20Ice%20Tray_10451_10001_27651
Acme Cocktail Company
Joe Niedbala:That bad, eh? Wow.
Well, perhaps I might have been exagerating just a little... but it is definately so noticeable that there isn't a need for a blind tasting (although it is a good suggestion in general).
My trays "smell" like rubber too, and that is the flavor that is getting into the ice. I've got two of the trays, and I took a couple cubes from the other tray last night and let them melt all the way and tasted them... yep.
I've kept these trays in the freezer for perhaps a year now. They've been my "emergency" ice cubes, and I've only used them a few times when I accidently ran out, usually I end up dumping the ice and refilling the trays. I wonder if when brand new there isn't a problem, and there is something about spending a long time in the freezing cold changes them?
These are the trays I have. I notice they say "...made from food-grade Silicone, so they won't absorb odors...", but it doesn't say it won't throw odors :->
If anybody else has these trays try taking a couple cubes of ice, and letting them melt in a glass and let us know if you notice any tastes.
...just sent the Tovolo folks some email to ask them for any insights on this. And noticed that they are located here in Seattle :->
I'm going to Linens and things (they have like a 70% off, economy sucks, we are folding sale) this weekend to pick up some mini-muffin tins to hold me over at home
I figured surely with the popularity, someone would be producing ones similiar to that of the old Ikea ones. For time being I'll just get to the bar early and call dibs on a few of the 8 or so cubes they make a night!
Robert, are you saying that they trays sat in the freezer for almost a year or so? If so then there's your problem right there.
Ice is notorious for picking up odors/flavors over time and if you did indeed leave trays in there for even more than a month I wouldn't be surprised if they became off-tasting. I'm actually surprised they didn't fade away into nothingness after that many defrost cycles! Was it kind of an ozone-y taste?
Here's my solution to always having a decent supply of ice on hand:
I have one filled with ice that just sits in the freezer nice and cozy. I use ice from my regular trays day to day, but if I go through that some eve, I have a ready replacement supply that has been sealed off from the bad odors and has stayed nice and dry. Sure it takes up some space, but c'mon man, we're talking ice here! For cocktails!
Continuing the intended thrust of this thread, thanks to Mr. Timko to remind me to check in at my local Linens & Things to see what deals there are to be had. And in truth, given the number of silicone baking products out there, I'm actually surprised that so few companies produce any silicone ice trays!
It wasn't those particular ice cubes which sat in the tray, but just the trays themselves. Our modern frost-free refrigerators will cause ice cubes to evaporate over time. As the cubes decreased to 2/3rds size I would pop them out and totally re-fill. After the first "bad cubes" experience I made a totally fresh batch. Same problem.