How To Make Clear Ice At Home With The OnTheRocks Ice Box

April 30, 2020

Your Ice Awaits

My goal was to make this product as simple and versatile as possible.I wanted it to work the same was as ice cube trays and molds that everyone is familiar with, but without the headaches. Follow these steps, and you'll be living that clear ice life in no time.

First, I'll just show you...

Now, the steps:

Step 1: Fill up the water vessel with hot water (the hottest your tap will put out)


Step 2: Lower in your mold.
Let it naturally sink down until it has found the equilibrium point.  



Step 3: Pour off excess water.
Make sure the water level is below the top of the tray (for sphere tray, tap on the top near holes. Water should come out indicating the level is high enough).

 

Step 4: Place the vessel into casing. 
The vessel will fit snuggly into the insulated casing. Once in, put the whole thing into the freezer in a spot where it can remain level and where other freezer contents won't fall in (sphere tray is covered, so this is only a concern with the cube tray).

After 24 hours, your ice is ready

Ideally you would pull the device out of the freezer around 24 hours, before it has frozen solid. This makes your life easier and prolongs the life of the product.

Now, to remove those crystal clear cubes:

Step 1: Take the water vessel out of the housing, check that the ice front has moved past the bottom of the tray.
We didn’t skimp on the water vessel and specifically designed it to use PBA/phthalate free Polycarbonate so that it would not only be tough, but clear so you could marvel at the magic of this directional freezing process...or just to take the guesswork out of it.

Step 2: Take the water vessel out of the housing, check that the ice front has moved past the bottom of the tray.
Flip it over and either wait or run some warm water over it until the block drops out.


Step 3: Twist the tray off the top and push out your cubes!
A couple hot tips: A butter knife will help you easily separate the ice from the mold if it's a little stuck. Be careful with using your hands because the moisture will freeze to it like a tongue to metal in winter time!

Now you can demold the ice and store in a bag or drawer in the freezer.

 

How did that whole process work?

If you're curious as to why this simple little contraption just yielded the crystal clear ice, here's a simple version: The product is specially designed to establish a passive convection current. This keeps the water circulating as it freezes from the top down. That means all the dissolved minerals and gasses get pushed to the bottom of the device, below your ice mold. By the time they come out of solution in the water and get stuck in the ice, these little nasties are frozen in the layers below the tray, like Han Solo in carbonite (or Brendan Frasier in Encino Man if that's more your speed). That preserves the top layer that is held within the tray leaving you with unbelievably pure frozen water aka ice.

If you want a really deep dive into the science with additional tips and tricks from someone who has spent far too much time thinking about ice, check out my blog post The Physics.

 






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