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13 Amazing Ice Cube Tray Hacks to Make Life Easier in the Kitchen

13 Amazing Ice Cube Tray Hacks to Make Life Easier in the Kitchen



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Ice cube trays are surprisingly versatile

Shutterstock / Katerina Belaya

Many of the tools we have in our kitchens are marketed with one purpose in mind, but can be rigged to complete a multitude of tasks.

It’s easy to stare up in wonder at that massive wall of kitchen tools at your local kitchen supply store. Sometimes, one tool used wisely can be just as awe-inspiring.

Click here for the 12 ice cube tray hacks slideshow.

Ever used a coffee grinder to turn whole spices into powder in seconds, or turned your blender into the perfect dough hook? So many of the tools we have stored in our kitchens are marketed with one purpose in mind, but can be rigged to complete a multitude of tasks.

Ice cube trays, for instance, can do more than freeze water. These little wells can be used for portioning foods, molding desserts, and organizing items. Next time you rush to the store for that new tool, think to yourself, do I already own just what I need?

Don’t dirty tons of bowls at your next party. Set up the bar by using each ice cube section for lemons, limes, twists, onions, and olives. You will be all set to stir up any cocktail with your organized ice cube tray bar caddy.

Easy Sushi Mold


Sushi is fantastic, but making it at home isn’t so simple. If you haven’t mastered the rolling technique, try molding the rice in the ice cube trays with your filling in the center. Then, pop them out for little sushi rolls that won’t cause you grief.

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.


Kitchen Hacks: The Ice Cube Tray Broth Trick

Ah, kitchen hacks. We rarely know who deserves the credit for inventing these brilliant (albeit sometimes wacky) problem-solvers. Not that it matters. What matters is that some of these hacks are seriously genius (like this one, which will turn your salad-eating world upside-down) and deserve to be shared.
My personal criterion for a shareable kitchen hack is as follows:

  • It saves time and makes cooking easier.
  • It saves on waste saves money.
  • It makes the food taste better.
  • It makes the food healthier.
  • It helps me to become more proficient in the kitchen.
  • All of the above.


When a recipe calls for water, stock or broth — forget the water. You can skimp on a drizzle of obscure liquor or a fancy garnish, but the stock/broth option is the one ingredient that can make or break your creation. A splash here, a half-cup there — the stock or broth adds not only a ton of flavor, but more nutrients, too!
Unless you have a simmering pot of stock at the ready (like they do in a commercial kitchen), you’d be hard pressed to conjure up a lone cup. But, if you utilize this handy dandy kitchen hack, your stock/broth woes will be a thing of the past.
I seriously love this kitchen hack. The next time you make your own bone broth (or open a container) freeze the extra broth in an ice cube tray and then store the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. When a recipe calls for a bit of beef, chicken or vegetable stock, reach into the bag, toss the required amount into the pan, melt away and keep on cooking. (Ice cube tray sizes can vary, so measure first!)
The same method can be used for other tasty tidbits that would normally go to waste. Make coffee cubes with leftover morning brew and keep your iced coffee from tasting watery. Coconut water ice cubes give a tropical twist to your breakfast juice and leftover wine (if there is such a thing as leftover wine) can be used the same way as the bouillon cubes.
They may be simple, but the kitchen hack often defines creative genius. Seriously, who out there possessed the rational, the reason and the intellect to first slice a cake with unflavored dental floss? Was it a culinary mastermind or a maniacal dentist? We may never know.
Are you a fan of this kitchen hack? If you have other clever uses for the ice cube tray, please share! —Karen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


How To Make Ice Cubes Faster (And The Weird Science Behind It!)

Learn how to make ice in a hurry, and find out exactly who to thank for this "cool" trick!

One of the best perks of being a blogger is that I always have someone to share interesting information with. (Of course I’m referring to you, my wonderful readers!) And I recently learned about a fascinating ice phenomenon that I instantly wanted to share with you! It may not be something you end up using every day, but it could be very useful in a pinch.

The next time you need ice in a hurry, try filling your ice cube tray with hot water rather than cold water. Due to a mysterious little phenomenon called the Mpemba effect (pronounced mem-PEM-ba), hot water is capable of freezing faster than colder water under the same conditions. It sounds backward, and maybe even a little crazy, but it really works!

Why Is It Called The Mpemba Effect?

But what does the name actually mean? This phenomenon got its name from Erasto Mpemba, a Tanzanian student who observed that his still-warm ice cream mixture froze faster than his classmates’ colder mixtures. He teamed up with a physics professor named Denis Osborne to study the effect, and they published a paper about it in 1969.

And although the phenomenon was named after Mpemba and his research, he was far from the first person to take notice of it. In fact, Aristotle recorded observing the Mpemba effect all the way back in the 4th century AD!

How Does The Mpemba Effect Work?

Between Aristotle’s time and now, scientists haven’t actually gotten much closer to a concrete explanation of how it works. One promising explanation is that hot water develops currents and temperature gradients as it cools. It loses heat more rapidly from its surface, which might contribute to a faster rate of freezing.

But there are other promising explanations too, suggesting that several factors contribute to the Mpemba effect! It just goes to show that even something as seemingly simple as water can work in very mysterious ways! :-)

About a month ago I was working on doing one of my daily posts when I happened to notice in the upper corner of my WordPress dashboard that the total . Continue Reading

So there you have it, your mini science-and-history lesson for the day! And if you ever find yourself in need of ice in a hurry, I hope you’ll remember the Mpemba effect and give this handy tip a try!

I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I've been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!


49. Use an Ice Cream Scoop to Form Meatballs

Getting ready to create delicious fears of spaghetti and meatballs? You may have run into the issue of making all of the meatballs uniform. Other times, handmade meatballs may look large when they&rsquore formed in your hands, quickly shrink or crumble once they&rsquore cooked. It&rsquos also pretty gross to get ground meat all over your hands. An easy way to resolve this issue is by using a small ice cream scoop. This helps to keep your hands clean, but it also ensures that every single meatball is the same size.

Stuck jar lid? Use hot water to help it open. Credit: Shutterstock

48. Can&rsquot Open a Jar?

Opening jars is often the bane of everyone&rsquos existence. There are plenty of hacks out there for opening new jars, but sometimes previously used ones get stuck, too. This happens a lot with products like honey or jam that will harden. An easy way to loosen the metal lid is to run the jar under piping hot water. This will loosen up jam and honey by liquifying it, as well as expanding the metal. If necessary, turn the jar upside down and let it sit in hot water for about a minute before attempting to open.

Make any drink cold in just 10 minutes. Credit: Shutterstock

51 Easy Kitchen Hacks That Will Change Your Life

You say your bookshelf has a dedicated cookbook section (or you have a dedicated cookbook bookcase)? You have a whole slew of recipe websites bookmarked and cooking apps downloaded? You&rsquove already tried all the online cooking classes you can find? There&rsquos no way any of these tricks are new to you? We bet you&rsquoll still find something useful in this list&mdashprobably a few things, at least.

And, OK, maybe these kitchen hacks won&rsquot change your life in an &ldquoI won the lottery&rdquo or &ldquoI just found out I&rsquom pregnant&rdquo kind of way. And maybe you have seen a few of these before. But we&rsquove mixed it up a bit and covered a lot of territory here&mdashfrom making over your refrigerator to the easiest one-ingredient ice cream you&rsquoll ever make (no cooking or fancy gizmos required). Not to mention neat tricks for edible bowls, ways to make unitasker gadgets into multitaskers, and even how to rescue burnt cookies.

1. Make Eggs in the Microwave

Are you sick of eating a mediocre a.m. meal of bland yogurt or a granola bar that&rsquos way more sugar than you need anyway? Meet your new morning best friend: the microwave. Find out how to make a breakfast-of-champions in just a few simple steps, plus the help of minimal equipment (a microwaveable plate or bowl). In under 5 minutes you can make scrambled eggs, or even fried eggs (hello desk-side huevos rancheros&mdashand fried egg tacos!), in the time that it would take you to order that overpriced cup of oatmeal. Your work day is about to get a whole lot better.

2. Section Ground Meat Before Freezing

Do this with ground beef, ground turkey and chicken, and ground pork and you can break off only as much as you need without defrosting the whole package. See more great freezer storage tips while you&rsquore at it.

3. Reuse Pickle Brine

Drop chip-size slices of fresh cucumber into leftover pickle brine in the jar and store in the refrigerator for a few days to make crunchy quick pickles. (You can also drop in other vegetables like green beans, garlic, carrots, or radishes. For best results, par-boil these veggies before pickling to speed up the process.) But that&rsquos not all you can do with pickle juice&mdashsee nine more ways to use your leftover pickle brine.

4. Wet Your Fingers to Remove Eggshell

Photo Credit: Somrudee Doikaewkhao / EyeEm / Getty Images

Stray shell bits in your cracked egg? Dab your finger in water before you go after it. Water acts like a magnet and the shell will stick to your finger without having to chase it around the bowl.

5. Make Limp Celery Crisp Again

Trim the top and bottom of the celery (cut it off of the root if it is still attached) and drop the stalks upright into a pitcher or jar of ice-cold water to re-crisp. You can also store celery like this as soon as you bring it home&mdashasparagus too. The ice water trick also works to perk up tired broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and spinach.

6. Make Crispy Bacon without the Mess

Photo Credit: Hana Asbrink

Forget about the cast iron skillet. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of foil) that has been crimped at 1-inch intervals to create a disposable bacon rack&mdashor place an actual wire rack over the foil if you have one. Then cook the bacon in the oven&mdashthe easiest, cleanest, and best way to do it. Elevating the bacon keeps it out of the grease and allows hot air to circulate around the strips, so they cook and crisp evenly.


46. Use a Glass to Peel a Kiwi

Peeling kiwis is different from pretty many other fruits. It has a hairy skin that is completely inedible, and needs to be peeled off from the edge. This feels weird to say the least, and you want to get it done as quickly as possible. Usually, people cut the fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the inside. However, you might miss a lot of the fruit that was sticking to the sides of the peel. A great hack to utilize your kiwi to the fullest is to use the rim of a glass to separate the peel from the fruit. Now, it should be easy to create healthy smoothies and fruit salads.

If an egg floats, it means you need to throw it away. Credit: Shutterstock

Creative Ice Tray Hacks To Try This Summer

Smoothie Ice Cubes!

Seems interesting, isn’t it! If you have a bag full of waste spinach or bananas in your refrigerator that started smelling badly, throw them in blender instead of the trash. Grind them until they’re smooth and freeze into cubes. Then, put them into your summer drink for extra nutrient kick.

Ice Cream Cubes!

It’s really simple to try! Scoop your favorite ice cream into an ice cube tray and freeze at high temperature. In hot weather, your kids will love popping these cubes into their glass of milk for an added flavorful taste and delight you!

Layered Cubes!

Have you ever thought that frozen ice cubes would turn as one of the creative ice tray hacks to try this summer? You can throw them in any drink and they will instantly add flavor! So, mix and stir well your favorite juices to get a combination that is just perfect for you. Some of the best DIY baking hacks listed below are intended to make your life easier and yeah, you’ll become a better baker.

Make Yummy Worm Cubes!

If it’s your kid’s party time, you can make them these gummy worm cubes that are perfect for Halloween or any other themed-party! All you have to do is – just freeze fruit punch and add the worms before you freeze.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cubes!

Are you crazy for chocolate covered strawberries, especially in summer months? Deep ice cube trays ensure the right chocolate-to-strawberry ratio. You can also add them to a glass of hot chocolate and serve hot to your beloved on some special occasion.

Coffee Ice Cubes!

Like me, if you also don’t like to drink the bottom of your iced coffee because it tastes like muddy water. So, can you think of any better idea to prevent that awful flavor? Pour coffee into small ice cube trays and freeze them for 2-3 hours. You will get the amazing watery flavor.

Ice Cube Tray Cheesecake Bites!

If you’re craving for cheese cake but don’t want to gain enough weight, this is a superb alternative for you. You can freeze delicious cheesecakes or anything your heart desires. Add chocolate crunches on the top for a cute desert the whole family can enjoy and remember forever. Here are a number of Magnificent Birthday Cake Designs for Kids which would surely bring a smile on their face.

Frozen Smiles!

It’s so simple to try! Just freeze up a batch of frozen smiles into shark fin ice cube tray and drop them into any glass. Please your guests with one of these creative ice tray hacks and stay cool!

Create Homemade Dishwasher Tablets!

A dishwasher enhances the beauty of kitchen and looks absolutely wonderful! But buying it again and again costs a lot, right. So, ladies! Next time don’t throw old ice cube trays into trash and create your own dishwasher tablets that give your utensils a sparkling clean shine.

Make Personalised Seed Bombs!

To instantly spruce up your outdoors, seed bobs are a great choice! If you have certain areas that are dull, add 3-4 seed bombs and after few weeks you’ll see beautiful flowers have grown up covering that boring area. To give proper shape to seed bombs, you can use ice cube trays and add little color.

We hope you loved learning how to freeze all your favorite food items or drinks in cube form. These creative ice tray hacks may help you prevent food waste while saving both money and time.


13 Weird (But Awesome) Life Hacks

Life can be hard, which is why having a few awesome life hacks that everyone should know just kind of makes sense. Because why not make things easier on yourself when you can? Plus, is there really anything more satisfying than an efficient workaround that saves you time and/or money? The answer is no.

And the thing that always boggles my mind about a good life hack is that I usually can't believe that I was living my entire life without it once I know about it. Seriously, once you find one that makes a previously annoying task more manageable, or that solves a super simple problem you deal with all the time, you quite literally can never go back to your old, pre-hack ways. It's like life before Tide sticks. Or TVs before remote controls. Never again.

If you're always on the hunt for new and improved ways to tackle life's little problems, or if you just plain love efficiency and problem solving, then you've come to the right place. Here are thirteen kind of weird, albeit super awesome hacks that you will definitely find a use for. You're welcome in advance!

1. Freeze Coffee In Ice Cube Trays For Iced Coffee

Folgers has an awesome iced coffee hack on their website — just pour coffee into ice cube trays and freeze them. That way, whenever you make iced coffee at home you won't water down your drink with regular ice cubes, and instead will only enhance the flavor with the ones you've made from coffee. It makes a huge difference.

2. Blend Soap And Water In Your Blender

This tip from the YouTube channel List25 literally changed my life, and it is so, so simple. After you use your blender, simply add some soap and water and blend it together before cleaning it out in the sink. It makes the super annoying task of cleaning your blender way, way easier, and is especially awesome if you make a lot of smoothies or blended drinks.

3. Turning Perfume Into Lotion

KeepCalmAndBlushOn had a super awesome tip for when there's just a little perfume left in the bottle. She said to add the remaining perfume to your favorite basic body moisturizer so that the lotion will now smell like your favorite perfume. I find this especially useful when I have an old scent that I no longer really wear but don't want to throw away.

4. Use A Shoe Rack To Organizer Cleaning Supplies

I advocate using shoe racks to organize just about everything, but using them to organize cleaning supplies is especially clutch. Instead of keeping them in a disorganized mess under your sink and having to get down on the floor to locate a single cleaner, just keep them all on display on the back of a closet door.

5. Dryer Sheets For Staticky Hair

This tip from lifestyle vlogger YouTuber KeepCalmAndBlushOn is kind of revolutionary for those days when you're having staticky hair issues. Grab a dryer sheet and puncture it onto the bristles of your brush so that it lies flat against the base of the bristle. Then just brush as usual, and say goodbye to static frizz!

6. Pancake Mix In A Ketchup Bottle

I love this tip! It's one of those things that is so, incredibly simple and obvious, yet I never had thought to do it until I saw it mentioned on YouTube's eHow channel. Just keep an empty, washed out ketchup bottle in a drawer or cabinet for when needed, and prepare yourself for the most perfect pancakes of your life.

7. Use A Can Opener On Pesky Plasket Casing

I haven't yet tried this hack from YouTuber Keith4Prez, but it instantly caught my attention because I personally get so frustrated when opening electronics that are tightly packed in plastic. Instead of trying to cut the edges and prying the plastic apart, Keith simply recommends using a can opener on the top edge. Jump to minute 4:09 of the above video to see how it's done.

8. Add Baking Soda When Boiling Eggs

Keith4Prez also noted that a super easy way to make sure your hard boiled eggs are super easy to peel is by simply adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water while they boil. Game changer!

9. De-wrinkle Clothes In A Steamy Bathroom

This is a hack I've been using for years and it especially serves me well when I travel. When you have a dress or shirt that has a few wrinkles and you don't have an iron or steamer on hand, simply hang it up in the bathroom before you take a hot shower, and keep the door closed so that all the steam stays in the room. The wrinkles should work themselves out after an hour or so.

10. Slicing A Watermelon

Cutting a watermelon is one of those things that doesn't seem like it should be hard, but when you're actually faced with the task it suddenly can become very frustrating — especially if you want the pieces to look pretty and presentable for guests. The YouTube channel 1 Minute Recipes has you totally covered with the above super awesome how-to video for optimal watermelon presentation.

11. Cut The Bottoms Off Your Lotions

YouTuber JessiceLikes shows us just how much extra product we can get out of our lotion and makeup bottles by taking five extra minutes to cut off the bottoms. Check out how she does it and then reseals the bottles in the above videos and see how much extra product you get yourself.

12. Put Your Phone Into A Glass To Amplify Sounds

LifeHacker recommends putting your phone into a glass when you want to amplify the sound but don't have speakers. And I can personally vouch for the fact that this one works wonders!

13. Microwave Your Sponges

This tip is perfect for those days when your sponge is on it's absolute last leg but you just don't have time to grab a new one at the store. The microwave will kill any odor-causing bacteria in or on the sponge, making it usable for a little while longer.

Life is already hard enough — so make things easier on yourself by implementing some of the above hacks. You'll thank me — I promise.

Images: Giphy (4) eHow/YouTube Courtesy Brands


43. No Knife? Cut Cheese or Butter with Floss

This next hack might never actually come to fruition, but it&rsquos still interesting to say the least. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you don&rsquot have a knife to cut butter or cheese, you could always use a piece of dental floss instead. To be honest, I don&rsquot know who figured out this life hack. Maybe it was someone on vacation who bought wine and cheese for the hotel room, but all they had with them was a cosmetic bag. You never know if you&rsquoll end up in a similar situation someday.

Paper clips can help you remove cherry pits. Credit: Shutterstock

51 Easy Kitchen Hacks That Will Change Your Life

You say your bookshelf has a dedicated cookbook section (or you have a dedicated cookbook bookcase)? You have a whole slew of recipe websites bookmarked and cooking apps downloaded? You&rsquove already tried all the online cooking classes you can find? There&rsquos no way any of these tricks are new to you? We bet you&rsquoll still find something useful in this list&mdashprobably a few things, at least.

And, OK, maybe these kitchen hacks won&rsquot change your life in an &ldquoI won the lottery&rdquo or &ldquoI just found out I&rsquom pregnant&rdquo kind of way. And maybe you have seen a few of these before. But we&rsquove mixed it up a bit and covered a lot of territory here&mdashfrom making over your refrigerator to the easiest one-ingredient ice cream you&rsquoll ever make (no cooking or fancy gizmos required). Not to mention neat tricks for edible bowls, ways to make unitasker gadgets into multitaskers, and even how to rescue burnt cookies.

1. Make Eggs in the Microwave

Are you sick of eating a mediocre a.m. meal of bland yogurt or a granola bar that&rsquos way more sugar than you need anyway? Meet your new morning best friend: the microwave. Find out how to make a breakfast-of-champions in just a few simple steps, plus the help of minimal equipment (a microwaveable plate or bowl). In under 5 minutes you can make scrambled eggs, or even fried eggs (hello desk-side huevos rancheros&mdashand fried egg tacos!), in the time that it would take you to order that overpriced cup of oatmeal. Your work day is about to get a whole lot better.

2. Section Ground Meat Before Freezing

Do this with ground beef, ground turkey and chicken, and ground pork and you can break off only as much as you need without defrosting the whole package. See more great freezer storage tips while you&rsquore at it.

3. Reuse Pickle Brine

Drop chip-size slices of fresh cucumber into leftover pickle brine in the jar and store in the refrigerator for a few days to make crunchy quick pickles. (You can also drop in other vegetables like green beans, garlic, carrots, or radishes. For best results, par-boil these veggies before pickling to speed up the process.) But that&rsquos not all you can do with pickle juice&mdashsee nine more ways to use your leftover pickle brine.

4. Wet Your Fingers to Remove Eggshell

Photo Credit: Somrudee Doikaewkhao / EyeEm / Getty Images

Stray shell bits in your cracked egg? Dab your finger in water before you go after it. Water acts like a magnet and the shell will stick to your finger without having to chase it around the bowl.

5. Make Limp Celery Crisp Again

Trim the top and bottom of the celery (cut it off of the root if it is still attached) and drop the stalks upright into a pitcher or jar of ice-cold water to re-crisp. You can also store celery like this as soon as you bring it home&mdashasparagus too. The ice water trick also works to perk up tired broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and spinach.

6. Make Crispy Bacon without the Mess

Photo Credit: Hana Asbrink

Forget about the cast iron skillet. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of foil) that has been crimped at 1-inch intervals to create a disposable bacon rack&mdashor place an actual wire rack over the foil if you have one. Then cook the bacon in the oven&mdashthe easiest, cleanest, and best way to do it. Elevating the bacon keeps it out of the grease and allows hot air to circulate around the strips, so they cook and crisp evenly.