8 Simple Ways To Make Ice Much Faster In Freezer

Sometimes you need to make a lot of ice fast, perhaps because of a hot day or a big event and the standard method of making ice cubes in a tray just won’t cut it. 

Usually ice cubes take 3-4 hours to completely freeze but with a few simple techniques you can speed up this process and make ice in as little as 1-2 hours.

If you combine multiple methods you'll get the fastest freezing ice possible, but even just using one of these techniques will give you ice cubes faster than you otherwise would.

To make faster ice use pre-chilled water from the fridge and make smaller ice and thinner ice cubes. Turn your freezer all the way down and place your ice cube tray directly in front of the cooling outlet. For even faster ice put a small fan in your freezer blowing directly onto the ice cubes.

Making ice cubes quickly involves some interesting ideas.

You most likely won't need to use all of the methods listed above, but just a few done properly can speed up the amount of ice you can make in your freezer. 

Find the ideas that best suit you and you'll be making more ice faster.

1. Make Smaller Ice Cubes

The larger ice cubes are the longer they take to freeze. Block ice can take 24-48 hours to completely freeze whereas smaller nugget ice cubes will freeze in as little as 2-3 hours.

Some people prefer larger ice cubes to lots of little ones but the fact is that larger ice cubes may take twice or even three times as long to make.

Done correctly smaller ice cubes might only take an hour or two to freeze. 

A smaller ice cube freezes faster because it’s more exposed to the cold temperatures in the freezer from all sides.

Because ice cubes freeze from the outside in the inside is often insulated from the cold of the freezer by the ice that forms on the outside. The larger the ice cube the longer it takes for the water in the middle to completely freeze.

And the smaller the ice cube the faster the water in the middle of the tiny cubes freeze.

This means it’s much quicker to freeze all of the water in the tray – the surface and core of the ice cube freeze much faster. 

I personally use and recommend these silicone nugget ice cube trays from Amazon as they are cost effective, freeze fast and work great. But there are also a variety of other ways to make small nugget ice quickly.

Mini Nugget Ice Cube Trays

These mini ice cube trays make 160 cubes of nugget ice each. Made from 100% food grade silicone these trays and BPA and great for kids drinks of cocktails.

Pack also comes with a ice bin for storing ice cubes and a plastic scoop for serving.

See Latest Price at Amazon
03/07/2024 04:42 am GMT

2. Use Metal Ice Cube Trays

There are all kinds of materials used to make ice trays and some are better than others. When it comes to ice cube freezing speed – stainless steel ice cube trays beat out plastic and silicone trays. 

Both silicone and plastic are better insulators, which is exactly the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to make ice cubes. 

While metal ice cube trays are undoubtedly more expensive, but I like them better. They tend to make clearer ice than plastic or silicone trays and I personally try to avoid plastic (and the chemicals it can leech into my ice) wherever possible.

That last a long time and come with levers that make it easier to get the ice out of the tray. 

I recommend the Vintage Kitchen Metal Ice Cube Trays from Amazon as you get 2 trays for the same price that other companies are charging for 1 tray. It seems all these trays are made from the same (or similar) manufacturer anyway so this is the most cost effective way to get metal ice cube trays.

Vintage Kitchen Metal Ice Cube Trays (2-Pack)

These vintage style metal ice cube trays feature a lever-style handle that cracks the ice in a single action. Made from 18/8 kitchen grade stainless steel this brand of durable ice cube trays are around half the price of other metal ice cube trays.

See The Latest Price At Amazon See All Metal Ice Cube Trays
03/08/2024 04:37 am GMT

3. Refrigerated Water

This is my favorite hack for making ice way faster than you otherwise would.

Think about it, for ice to form it needs to be lowered in temperature to 0ºC/32ºF and the warmer the water starts out the more energy (and time) that is needed to bring it down to freezing temperature.

Water in your fridge will be around 4ºC/39ºF which is much colder than room temp water. This means that once this water goes into the freezer it’ll turn into ice much faster. 

The only downside to this method is that if you need to keep making ice cubes quickly, you’ll have to keep refrigerating water before you freeze it – it’s up to you to decide if this is saving you time or not. 

But personally I always have 2 liters of cold water in my fridge anyway so I easily have enough cold water to make ice cubes fast when I need to.

If you want your ice to not melt as quickly – there are some tips here.

4. Increase The Surface Area

How much of the water is initially exposed to the freezer's cold temperatures determines how quickly the entire ice cube gets frozen.

This means that ice cube trays with compartments that are longer and thinner will freeze faster than perfectly square compartments. 

5. Set Your Freezer To Low

When trying to make ice fast a simple method to speed up the process is to turn your freezer to the lowest setting. The colder your freezer gets the faster it’s going to freeze the water. 

One thing to be aware of, you don’t want to leave your freezer on its lowest setting for too long, as food items can get too frozen which means they take longer to defrost, or you’ll end up trying to eat ice cream that’s hard as a rock. 

6. Place Tray Near Cooling Outlet

The cooling unit is usually located near the back of your freezer – the closer you put your ice cube tray to it, the faster any water in it will freeze. 

This is because cold air will blow out of this outlet, making it the coldest part of your freezer.

Move around your food items so you can put your ice cube trays directly next to the cooling outlet for faster freezing times.

7. Install A Freezer Fan

This one takes a little bit more effort and you might even need to buy a small fan that can fit inside your freezer (with a chord not too thick so you can run it out the door without ruining the seal too much).

Installing a freezer fan and pointing it directly at your ice will make it freeze faster than it otherwise would. This is because of evaporative cooling.

It's like how when you get wet on a windy day you feel a lot colder than if there is no wind. The cold wind blowing the water on your skin causes some water to evaporate and the leftover water to become colder.

This same process can be used to cool down your ice faster and cause it to freeze faster.

8. Use Boiling Water

Through a phenomenon called the Mpemba effect, hot water sometimes freezes faster than cold water but not always. 

While it may seem counter-productive, boiling water can make ice faster – why this is so, nobody yet knows. There are some theories kicking around but no one knows for certain.

The downside of this method…it only sometimes works.

Sometimes it will make ice faster…sometimes it won't.

I also don't like using this method if I am using plastic ice cube trays as it is well documented that high temperatures and boiling water increase chemical leeching from plastic. So only do this with silicone or metal ice cube trays.