12 Ways to Hack an Ice Cube Tray
This one-dollar kitchen tool is a lot handier than you thought. Here are a dozen things it can do beyond freezing water.
From single-serve cookie dough to decorative soap, why stick to ice cubes when the tray that’s been hiding in your freezer can do so much more? With a little imagination, it can serve as a mold, organizer, food platter and more. Try it out with your standard ice cube tray—or opt for something a bit fancier like this heart-shaped mold from Tovolo ($14). Get crackin’!
(And if you like this product, check out Taste of Home’s Special Delivery Box. The heart mold is the kind of kitchen gadget you’d find in each of our quarterly collections.)
Cube your coffee
Say goodbye to watered-down iced coffee by making coffee cubes! Great for those days where you need a little extra caffeine.
Make herb cubes
Speed up dinner prep by making perfect portions of frozen herbs. Fill each cube with chopped herbs, or combinations of herbs, then fill with olive oil and freeze overnight. Store the frozen herb cubes in freezer bags. When the time comes, pop one in a pan to use as a base for your dish. Voila, fresh herbs all year round! Learn how to cook with them here.
Save the milk
You’ll always have some on hand for recipes or smoothies. Here’s more surprising food you can freeze.
Save extra lemon juice
Stock up on lemons when they’re in season and freeze the juice. Lemon juice cubes are great for flavoring water or using while cooking.
Store up bacon fat
Makin’ bacon? Save the drippings and freeze in an ice cube tray to use later. The frozen bacon fat will add delicious flavor to a pasta dish or batch of soup.
Freeze homemade sauce
When cooking dinner, make extra sauce and freeze it for later. Homemade pesto or tomato sauce is always handy to have in the freezer, ready to go on those busy weeknights.
Speed up a smoothie
Freeze dollops of Greek yogurt in an ice cube tray. Pop one or two into the blender with your fruit and other smoothie ingredients for an extra creamy—and healthy—smoothie.
Portion out cookie dough
Freeze cookie dough in portions by using an ice cube tray. Later, when the cookie craving hits, you can pop out just a few and bake.
Freshen your garbage disposal
Freeze a few small slices of lemon in vinegar to make garbage disposal cleaning cubes. When your disposal smells less than fresh, pop a couple cubes in and turn it on. The cubes will clean and deodorize!
Make mini chocolate bars
Pour melted chocolate into each cube and top with mixed nuts and dried berries. Let the chocolate set at room temperature. Yum! Perfect mini snacks for traveling or, let’s be honest, watching Netflix in bed.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Have a toddler buffet
Kids love finger foods. Serve them in a new and exciting way—in an ice cube tray! Create a colorful and nutritional buffet by stuffing each compartment with their favorites like berries, cheese cubes and crackers.
Here are 47 meals your toddler will devour. (And so will you.)
Organize the junk drawer
Chances are you have at least one junk drawer in your kitchen. Corral all the odds and ends by placing a couple of ice cube trays in the drawer as organizers. The mini compartments are perfect for storing all those tiny things that get lost in the shuffle.