- Paul Kahan
Generating ice can be a difficult task for various individuals. One of the most popular ways how to make block ice is by using a cardboard box, a pan, and a little salt.
Despite this simple process, it takes time and water to generate enough ice to last a month. In general, the warmer the ice melts, the more bacteria will grow.
Block ice lasts much longer than regular because it doesn’t have any liquid in it. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy a nice block of ice. Let’s start to learn those ways in this post!
Why Use Block Ice?
Larger blocks last longer and melt faster than cubed. A few large blocks in your cooler can keep you cold for many days.
The nine large blocks pictured above were covered with sawdust and left outside. One month later, there was still ice!
Although it looks like a rock, the ice is one month old.
Block ice can be made at home, which can help you save money. Also, if you have block ice in a bottle (as we will show you), you can drink the melted ice during your trip.
Clear blocks of ice can last longer than regular if you put in the effort and time. They can also be used to make cocktails, spirits, or ice carving.
How To Make Clear Block – DIY Blocks
Bottles are one example. For making block molds, bottles are an excellent choice. Because the ice is not removed from the bottle, you can place it in the cooler.
If you tightly cap the bottle, water will not get everywhere in your cooler if it melts.
When you don’t want your dry food to go mushy, this is the way to go. You may utilize the melted water for drinking purposes. Your water bottles can double as cooling to save space. Bottles are generally made from plastic or glass.
As the water freezes, the plastic bottles will begin to bow. If you are into aesthetics, this will result in a hideous bottle.
It would help if you also were careful not to fill your bottle too full. This could cause the plastic to crack and allow any frozen water to leak out.
Please don’t fill the bottle up to its maximum capacity. Allow the water to air for between 1 and 2 inches.
Glass bottles are interchangeable with plastic ones. The glass will not have the ability to bow, and it will crack or break completely, spilling any unfrozen water.
This is also true for milk which is glorified bottles.
Size is essential when it comes to containers such as an ice cream bucket. First, determine how big you want your blocks, and then decide if a container that size will fit in your freezer.
As I have learned from painful experiences, your freezer can be a real hindrance to this process.
One time I wanted large blocks, so I bought a bucket from the grocery store. I filled it with water and brought it to the freezer. But, it wouldn’t fit.
The one I had was too big to fit in my freezer, so I went out and bought a new one.
It did. The good news is, it did. However, I had to take out most of the items in the freezer and squeeze what was left in various corners and crannies.
However, that’s not the end. Another part is that I filled the bucket with too much water, and it cracked and bowed.
Unfrozen water escaped and formed a 1-inch thick layer of ice at the bottom of the freezer. The plastic also expanded so much due to the freezing inside that it became stuck against the freezer walls.
This little story brings me to the next tip that I have learned over the years: Don’t fill up your buckets, or even halfway, if you want to freeze correctly and quickly.
It is essential that the freezes in less than one month. Block can take a while to freeze, I’m sure.
My trick was to add a little water to the container, then let it freeze. Then, I added more water. This makes the freeze faster and doesn’t shrink as much, morphing the container along the way.
Metal is the best material to freeze block. It won’t stick to the metal containers, so it is easy to take it out of its mold.
Metal containers can be challenging to find, and I have yet to see a complete metal bottle. The other options include rubber, glass, or plastic.
Because glass containers are fragile, they can be dangerous. Glass containers can crack or shatter easily due to the expansion of water as it freezes.
I recommend that you use glass with care. You can also freeze a small amount of water at a given time, adding more as it freezes.
It’s not as easy to find suitable rubber containers as finding one made of metal. However, you might find one made from silicone, which I will discuss in the next section.
A rubber bottle is something I have never heard of.
Ready-Made Block Ice Molds
There is one particular problem in the market: there aren’t many ready-made ice blocks molds, especially large ones.
Ice cube molds and trays are readily available, but blocks appear to be a DIY project.
Silicone Bread Loaf Pan
This is our favorite hack. Silicone is great for making block mold material, as the ice doesn’t stick. Regular blocks can also be made by using the shape of a bread loaf pan.
It isn’t easy to lift the pan once it’s full, as the water can easily splash.
If you put it in the freezer and fill it with water, you can avoid this issue. Make sure to pour a little at a time, then let it freeze and add more.
Rectangular Food Pans
These can also be used to make regular block. The instructions for using them are the same as for the silicone bread loaf mold.
Many other options are available, such as hospital plastic bath basins and cake pans, Tupperware containers, and even a PVC tube cut in half.
The only limit is your imagination, but most of the tips and tricks above still apply.
To start, fill several balloons with water and tie them off. Place the balloons in a freezer and allow them to freeze overnight.
Remove the balloons from the freezer and snip off the balloon after they have frozen solid. You should be left with a block of ice in the shape of a balloon.
These blocks of ice can be used to keep drinks cold at a party or for other uses where regular ice cubes may melt too quickly. Making block ice using balloons is a great way to add a unique touch to your next gathering or event.
Large Plastic Bag
Using a large plastic bag to make block ice is not a recommended method because it can be unsafe and potentially harmful.
Frozen water in a plastic bag can cause the bag to burst due to the expansion of the ice inside. The water within the bag will spill out if it bursts in the freezer.
The water may also be tainted with chemicals from the plastic bag if it is not food-grade.
Instead, it’s recommended to use ice cube trays or dedicated plastic containers designed for freezing water into blocks.
These containers are typically made of thicker plastic and are designed to withstand the expansion of the ice as it freezes. They are also more likely to be food-grade and safe for freezing water.
Use a Cooler
Making your own block ice in a cooler may be a cheap and convenient way to keep your food and beverages cold on a camping trip or day at the lake.
Here’s a simple guide to making block ice with a cooler:
- First, find a suitable cooler that’s big enough to accommodate the size of block ice you need.
- The next step is to pour water into the cooler, leaving a little amount of headspace. Put the cooler in the freezer, lid down, ensuring sure it won’t topple over.
- Make sure the water in the cooler has frozen solid by putting it in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Carefully invert the cooler after removing it from the freezer to remove the frozen ice.
- To keep the ice from melting too soon, wrap it in a towel or blanket before placing it in a cooler or other insulated container.
Clear Ice Block Maker
A clear ice block maker is a specialized device that is designed to create large, crystal-clear blocks of ice.
Clear ice blocks, in contrast to conventional ice cubes, which frequently include impurities and air bubbles, are devoid of any contaminants and are fully transparent.
Using a baking pan to make block ice is technically possible, but it may not be the most efficient method. You may use a baking pan for this if you give it a good scrub and fill it almost to the top with water.
The next step is to freeze the baking pan for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. The baking dish can be removed from the freezer and soaked in warm water to break up the ice block that has formed in the water.
However, the shallow shape of a baking pan may make it difficult to create a solid block of ice, as the edges and corners may freeze faster than the center.
Tips For Making Block Ice Easier
Use a Pitcher To Fill Large Containers
Using a pitcher or a large jug with a spout to fill up large containers can help avoid spills and make the process of making block ice easier. Make sure to use a container that’s suitable for freezing and can handle expansion when the water turns into ice.
Use Cold or Iced Water To Speed Up The Process
Starting with cold or iced water can speed up the freezing process. Make sure to use clean water to ensure your block ice is safe and clear. Chilling the water in the refrigerator for a few hours beforehand can also help speed up the freezing process.
Fill Large Plastic Containers A Bit at A Time
When filling large containers, pour the water in gradually, allowing each layer to freeze before adding more water. This will help to prevent the container from cracking or breaking due to the expansion of ice.
Also, it will help in creating a more uniform block of ice.
Fuse Multiple Smaller Blocks Together To Make Larger Blocks
If you want to create a large block of ice but don’t have a container big enough, you can make several smaller blocks.
To do this, slightly melt the surfaces of the ice blocks that you want to join by placing them on a warm surface for a short time or using a wet towel.
Once the surfaces have melted a bit, press the blocks together and let them refreeze. The melted surfaces will freeze together, creating a larger block of ice.
Insulate the Containers
Insulating the containers while they are freezing can help ensure a more even freeze and can also help speed up the process. You can use towels, newspaper, or even bubble wrap to insulate the containers.
Remove Air Bubbles
To create clearer block ice, try to remove air bubbles before freezing the water. To accomplish this, boil some water, allow it to cool, and then pour it into the storage unit. This will help remove dissolved gases, which can cause air bubbles in the ice.
Use a Cooler for Freezing
Block ice may be made in a compact cooler that fits in your freezer. The insulated walls of the cooler will cause the water to freeze from the top down, pushing any impurities and air bubbles to the bottom. This will result in clearer and more solid block ice.
Are our Ice Blocks Better for Coolers?
The issue can be avoided if the food is chilled before being stored in the cooler.
Pre-chill the cooler while you’re at it. The food should be stored in the freezer. You should wait 6-12 hours before leaving for your trip.
This will ensure that you don’t freeze food before packing your cooler. It’s important to freeze it, which is why the block is great.
You can also mix crushed and block ice in your cooler. The block can be placed at the bottom and the crushed ice on the top. The crushed chills the food while the block keeps the temperatures steady. It wouldn’t hurt to add a few quality packs.
A windshield sunshade can be purchased to cover your cooler, mainly if it’s being used for fish or game meat. This will keep the cooler cool for longer.
- How Long Will Dry Ice Keep Meat Frozen? How To Store In 2023
- How Long Does Dry Ice Last In A Cooler Top Full Guide 2023
How Long Does It Take To Make Block Ice?
Making block ice might take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of your freezer and the container you choose. Generally, it takes around 24-48 hours to freeze completely.
Can I Add Food Coloring To My Block Ice?
Yes, you can add food coloring to your block ice to create a fun and colorful effect. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water before freezing.
How Do I Remove The Block Ice From The Container?
To remove the block ice from the container, you can run the mold under warm water for a few seconds. This will help loosen the ice and make it easier to remove.
How Do I Prevent Air Bubbles From Forming In My Block Ice?
To prevent air bubbles from forming in your block ice, fill your container with water slowly and tap the sides of the container to release any trapped air. You can also try boiling the water before freezing to help release any air bubbles.
How Can I Make Clear Block Ice?
To make clear block ice, use distilled water, boil the water before freezing, and freeze the water slowly. You can also try using an insulated container or wrapping the container with towels to insulate it and slow down the freezing process.
Can I Use Regular Tap Water To Make Block Ice?
While you can use regular tap water to make block ice, it may not produce the same clear and solid results as using distilled water. Tap water can contain impurities that cause cloudiness or bubbles in the ice.
What Is The Best Container To Use For Making Block Ice?
The best container to use for making block ice is a silicone mold or a plastic container that is specifically designed for freezing ice blocks. You can also use a metal container, but it’s important to wrap it in towels to insulate it and slow down the freezing process.
Where can I find snow blocks?
You can now find snow block items in the chests of snowy village homes.
Having made cubes, you may find yourself wondering why they are necessary. The truth is, cubes are an economical way to stay cool on hot days.
They’re easy to pack with for hikes, games, and picnics. Unless you’re traveling into space or exploring the depths of the ocean, having ice on hand will be indispensable.