Cloudy ice cubes are white all over and opaque because they are full of air bubbles. But this makes them less dense than regular ice cubes and it gives them a deliciously chewy texture that can make them great in drinks or to simply enjoy on a hot summers day. Best of all they won't hurt your teeth.
But how can you make these deliciously chewy cloudy ice cubes at home? There are quite a few ways to make cloudy ice cubes at home and all of them are very simple.
1. Use Carbonated Water
Carbonated water is one of the easiest methods of making cloudy ice cubes. It's simply water with carbon dioxide in it.
As the ice freezes the carbon dioxide evaporates into the air making bubbles in the ice and giving it a light soft chewy texture. It's not possible to make carbonated fizzy ice but it would be cool if you could.
You can also get flavored carbonated water if you want your ice cubes to be a little more exciting.
There are many different types of carbonated water, and many come with flavors like lemon and strawberry. Try using flavored carbonated water for your cloudy ice cubes if you want to experiment. However, if you would like plain ice cubes, use plain carbonated water.
How to use carbonated water to make cloudy ice cubes:
- Step 1: Select the correct size ice tray. Look for an ice tray that has medium-sized blocks. Silicone or plastic ice trays will both work. Using an ice tray with medium-sized blocks will ensure your ice cubes are not too big or too small for the different glass sizes.
- Step 2: Pour the carbonated water into the ice tray. Pour the carbonated water into the ice tray until each block is filled halfway. Don't fill them up all the way like I did – the ice expands A LOT as it freezes so it can overflow into your freezer if you aren't careful.
- Step 3: Place the tray in the freezer. The ice cube tray should be placed in the freezer for six hours or overnight. When the tray is finished freezing, the ice blocks will be cloudy.
Ice trays are not only for making cloudy ice but can also be used for other things. If you're looking for some ice tray hacks check out this article on the 53 Genius DIY Ice Cube Tray Hacks.
2. Use Club Soda
Club Soda is an excellent alternative to carbonated water when making cloudy ice cubes. The carbon dioxide in club soda becomes a gas at water's freezing point.
You could use club soda or different flavors of soda to make cloudy ice cubes. To make cloudy ice cubes using soda, fill your ice tray until almost filled with soda. Then, place it into the freezer until completely frozen.
3. Add Sugar To Your Water
Adding sugar to water increases the impurities in the water and causes more of the ice to be white in the middle making it softer, cloudier ice.
Adding sugar to your water to make ice can take longer to freeze compared to other methods. Adding sugar will also make your ice cubes slightly sweeter than tap water or carbonated water.
To make cloudy ice with sugar, you'll want to start with slightly warmer water for the sugar to dissolve and to avoid a grainy consistency. You can use a large jug and fill it with warm water. Slowly add some sugar and make sure it is dissolved. Pour the water into ice cube trays and place in the freezer to set.
Fun fact: Did you know sugar is an alternative to salt for melting ice on roads and pathways?
4. Use A Nugget Ice Maker
Nugget ice makers create the perfect-sized ice blocks for drinks and chewing on. The smaller size makes them easy to chew and then tend to be cloudy in the middle and of a softer texture.
A nugget ice maker doesn't come cheap but it makes some of the best cloudy ice out there. Nugget ice makers work by creating flaked ice and compressing it into small nugget shapes. It's kind of like eating mini snowballs.
Nugget ice makers can also make ice in as little as 15 minutes and the Opal Nugget Ice Maker can churn out 1 pound of ice per hour or 24 pounds per day! That's way more than a traditional ice maker in a freezer can produce each day.
The biggest downside of nugget ice makers is the cost. At around $500 it's not a cheap way to make soft cloudy ice, but it does make some of the best ice money can buy. You need to decide whether or not a Nugget Ice Maker is worth the money for you.
There are a few brands out there but by far and large the most popular one is the Opal Nugget Ice Maker by GE. You can see the latest prices of this product by clicking my affiliate links below:
5. Use A Benchtop Soft Ice, Maker
Modern ice makers save you time on having to fill up ice trays and wait for them to turn into ice. Most ice makers are available online and are compact enough to fit on your countertop, are cheaper than nugget ice makers and naturally make cloudy ice…and make it quite quickly.
They are also generally more affordable than the nugget ice makers too, but the ice they make isn't quite as good.
6. Crush The Ice
For a unique drinking experience, crush some ice cubes for a cloudy effect. This can be done by wrapping ice cubes in a tea towel and crushing them with a rolling pin or hammer.
You can also crush the ice is by putting it in a blender and putting it on the crush setting. More on how to make crushed/pebble ice cubes.
Make sure your blender can crush ice and avoid packing the ice cubes too close together in the blender. Once the ice is crushed, you will have cloudy ice.
7. Use An Ice Shaver
An ice shaver is excellent at making shaved ice and cloudy ice slushies. This dual-purpose appliance can create cloudy ice for delicious slushies and alcoholic beverages.
Ice shavers are simple to use and can make a lot of cloudy ice. Most ice shavers come with a one-year warranty and are valuable appliances in your kitchen.
If you're looking to purchase an ice shaver, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A is an excellent shaved ice machine.
If you want you can then take the shaven ice and compress it into your own cloudy ice cubes.
Cloudy ice is easy to make at home, and with appliances like an ice shaver and a soft ice maker, it's even easier to get as much cloudy as you need. However, if you've made clear ice and wondered why there is a cloudy section in the middle, this article may help.
Cloudy ice is fun to use and can be made in many different ways, and when added to drinks, it adds a creative take on classic beverages.