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.

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Get creative

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’!

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frozen coffee cubes with milk - cocktails on marble table; Shutterstock ID 565170853

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.

Are you making these mistakes with your morning coffee?

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freezing the dill in ice cube mould for winter; Shutterstock ID 38673409
Teresa Kasprzycka/Shutterstock

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.

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Milk ice cubes on plate on wooden background; Shutterstock ID 221290927
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Save the milk

You’ll always have some on hand for recipes or smoothies. Here’s more surprising food you can freeze.

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freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl; Shutterstock ID 211542739
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

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.

You won’t believe all these things you can do with lemon peel!

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Bacon strips sizzling on a frying pan; Shutterstock ID 29677456; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

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.

Bacon (grease) makes everything better.

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Making pesto in an ice cube tray; Shutterstock ID 438801295

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.

Here’s how to hack a jar of store-bought pasta sauce to make it taste like Nonna’s.

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Young woman with a big glass of healthy smoothie served with a straw and oats. Hands holding milkshake. Stars background. Dairy snack or breakfast.; Shutterstock ID 540214360

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.

Check out our favorite healthy smoothie recipes.

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Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ready to Bake; Shutterstock ID 161855624; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

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.

Try our best cookie recipes here.

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Lemon slices on the old wooden table.; Shutterstock ID 585968516
Atiwan Janprom/Shutterstock

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!

Here are a few more fresh ways to clean using lemon.

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Chocolate fudge pouring into tray. Process of cooking home made chocolate at domestic kitchen; Shutterstock ID 711585034; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Alexander Egizarov/Shutterstock

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.

Here’s how chocolate benefits your health (really!).

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Baby Boy Eating Fruit In High Chair; Shutterstock ID 177222725
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.)

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Colourful Ice Cube Trays; Shutterstock ID 302884184

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.

Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.