The Simple Paper Bag Trick To Prevent Ice Cubes From Melding Together
Jun 15, 2023
Can you imagine a world without ice? These frozen crystal cubes are used to cool down your favorite summer beverage and to make glorious homemade ice cream. While ice may be considered almost free to make in today's society, at one point in time, it was considered a luxury.
According to Epicurious, ice was initially used to preserve food and medicine. However, it wasn't until the early 19th century that "The Ice King," Frederic Tudor, thought beyond its practical use and suggested it be used for chilling beverages. Once people got a taste of a refreshing cold drink on a hot day, they were hooked.
Thanks to the invention of the ice machine by a physician named John Gorrie (per The Classroom), ice became an ordinary, everyday product. Today, ice is shaped into various forms: cubed, crushed, chipped, shaved, you name it. You can even find ice in the form of fancy molded figures.
Whether you use an ice cube tray, buy it in a bag, or your refrigerator spits it out for you, you run the risk of your ice clumping together. This forces you to freeze your fingers off, chipping away at what you need. Plus, it ruins its satisfying square shape. So, what's the solution? You can do many surprising things with a brown paper bag, but one that may not come to mind is preventing ice cubes from sticking together.
The next time your ice is finished freezing, transfer it to an old-fashioned brown paper bag and put it back into the freezer. Taste of Home says this trick will separate your ice cubes perfectly, making them easier to handle and more aesthetically pleasing in your next drink. You may be wondering how exactly this method works. Unfortunately, the science behind the interesting trick isn't entirely known, but it probably has to do with paper's ability to absorb moisture, which is why many bakeries store their bread in paper and not plastic to optimize freshness.
Next time you're at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on large brown paper bags. This way, you can store your ice cubes properly and impress your guests with perfect, crystal-clear cubes.
Ice cube trays are an underrated kitchen item many don't realize can be used in more ways than just freezing water. Eat This, Not That! states that some of the best ways to use ice cube trays are to freeze items you would otherwise throw away.
Some of these include freezing leftover coffee to use as "ice cubes" in iced coffee. This will keep your coffee flavor more potent and prevent your coffee from becoming watered down from regular ice cubes. You can even use it to freeze leftover wine or broth, which can later be used for cooking.
It also explains that you can use your ice cube tray to preserve herbs by freezing them in oil, butter, or broth. And don't forget about your leftover mint leaves, which can be frozen in ice with berries for a fancy additive in your freshly squeezed lemonade. Other hacks include using your tray to make DIY baby food, storing buttermilk for buttermilk pancakes, and preserving egg whites for your next batch of hollandaise sauce.