The Vandaag Cocktail Menu
Boozehound by Jason Wilson

Cutting Blocks of Ice with an Icepick

To cut the large blocks of clear ice that I make at home using and Igloo cooler (methodology here), I have always busted out the saw I bought for that reason. 

However, last week I gave a talk on ice at Portland Cocktail Week with Evan Zimmerman and Jim Romdall. During the talk one of them (Evan I think) mentioned how you use an ice pick to cut apart a block of ice the easy way.

I cringed thinking of all the time I'd spent sawing when this way is like 1000 times easier. I hope I can save you from the same fate.

1. Start with your slab of ice. The one in this picture is about 5 inches thick.

Pick on slab_tn

2.  Tap a line across the top where you want the ice to break. The ice will chip off and form a little groove. 

Score line closeup_tn

3. Tap in one point in the center. Poke hard. Poke poke poke. 

Tap on center_tn

4. The ice should break in two roughly along the line. Hooray!

Two pieces2_tn

5. Repeat the process to break it into smaller pieces. 

Four pieces_tn

An index of all of the ice experiments on Alcademics can be found here.

Comments

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Dmmichalowski

Great article. What ice pick is that? When I try to look for ice picks none of them have the chipper on the top like the one you have. Where can I find that?!

Camper English

Thanks- that's the anvil ice pick from CocktailKingdom.com. Japanese and expensive. I love the pick but I never use the other end (haven't really figured out what it's for). I also use the 3-pronged and far less expensive one sold by CocktailKingdom a lot. It's good both for breaking blocks of ice and for fine-tuning work.

Alex

the other end is for smashing the ice

Rick

I want a sexy video of you carving ice balls at superman-like speed.

Alex

When I worked in W Hotel Hong Kong, we would use tap kitchen knife around the block to make that line, and finish off with a good solid whack. This avoided the radial cracking from a point of pressure. At home, I use a meat cleaver for the extra weight and hardier blade edge

David Kean

Ice pic is on http://www.cocktailkingdom.com
I just ordered one.

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