Making Clear Ice with the Clearly Frozen Ice Cube Tray
December 26, 2017
While I'm not going to get in the habit of testing out every clear ice cube maker on the market, I decided to try out the Clearly Frozen tray because they sent me one.
This ice cube tray uses directional freezing, the process to make clear ice first described here on Alcademics back in 2009. This particular system is pretty much the same as in this blog post about poking holes in silicone ice cube trays and using directional freezing to ensure the part inside the tray is clear. The difference is that in the Clearly Frozen device, the shape of the 'cooler' is custom made to fit the ice cube tray and retaining tray.
The device is just three parts: a 10-cube silicone ice cube tray (makes 10 2-inch cubes at a time), a plastic retaining tray to hold the cloudy ice beneath the tray, and the foam insulated box that enforces directional freezing. You put it together, fill it with water, and leave it to freeze. My timing was perfect at a little over 12 hours of freezing - there was still plenty of unfrozen water in the plastic tray so it was easy to separate.
- Makes more cubes than most clear ice cube trays on the market - ten 2" cubes
- More space-efficient relatively than others - it takes up a bunch of space, but you get more ice out of it than with other clear ice makers
- Costs less than others- $25 including shipping
- I have no complaints for my first attempt, but I do have some doubts about its long-term durability. The interior clear tray is quite thin and I could see it cracking. 2019 update: They have updated the interior tray with a much thicker and more durable plastic, so it seems this tray will last a long time.
Personally I will probably continue to to make my ice one big Igloo cooler at a time, because I enjoy the process of breaking up an ice block and don't care that much about having super-square ice cubes. But of the commercial products I've tried, this one has a low price and some nice features.
Do you think insulating any container will result in directional freezing? I'm thinking of wrapping a pot with thick foam to create a cylindrical ice block.
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org | December 27, 2017 at 04:36 AM
Absolutely - My fellow ice nerds and I have used all sorts of containers.
Posted by: Camper English | December 27, 2017 at 08:55 AM
Don't you wish they made a smaller clinebell
Posted by: Jacob | January 03, 2018 at 08:36 PM
I've met a couple people who've made their own. I think we'll see a lot of new machines on the market within a couple years. This one is like a Clinebell divided into 4 smaller cubes: https://www.bartendersice.com/
Posted by: Camper English | January 04, 2018 at 11:55 AM
Thanks for the reply I just sent these guys an email. Any personal experience with their product?
Posted by: jacob carlos | January 05, 2018 at 12:32 AM
No personal experience with the machine- have only seen pictures of the prototype.
Posted by: Camper English | January 05, 2018 at 09:41 AM
Stephan Hinz from Germany recently came up with a very promising and affordable product. The machine is here: www.iceforward.com
Posted by: Robin Weiss | January 11, 2018 at 02:47 PM
Posted by: Camper English | January 12, 2018 at 09:35 AM
I have a 4 cube silicon tray for cubes approx 45mm x 45mm and thinking of making a DIY version.
1. Any recommendations for depth of tray under 45mm deep cubes to catch cloudy portion?
2. What diameter hole would you recommend for bottom of each of the 45x45x45 ice cube compartments?
Many thanks in advance, Andy
Posted by: AndrewDriver | March 04, 2018 at 05:05 AM
Hi - Here's someone who did it:
1. 20mm should be more than plenty
2. Tiny holes work as in that link
Posted by: Camper English | March 04, 2018 at 09:57 AM
Hi. How do you store your clear ice cubes once you made them?
Posted by: soundlink | March 28, 2018 at 08:36 AM
While they won't turn cloudy when stored, they can sublimate and/or pick up refrigerator smells. I store mine in ziplock bags to prevent both.
Posted by: Camper English | March 28, 2018 at 11:56 AM
Thanks for the review. It was quite helpful.
Posted by: Nathan | January 16, 2023 at 12:49 AM