Ice is just one of those components of your kitchen you may have a hard time remembering. After all, it seems like it’s only useful for numbing a wound or keeping a glass of water cold, but it turns out there are a myriad of other uses for one of the most helpful forms water can take. In fact, there are plenty of nifty kitchen shortcuts you can take with a touch of imagination and a bit of scientific know-how.
Cut down on kitchen prep time
If you spend much time in the kitchen you start to learn the ins and outs of what chews up most of your time. For example, soup and stew lovers have to deal with skimming the fat from their soups of choice which is often a long and potentially excruciating process in which a spoon is used to daintily ladle out small amounts of fat. Not only does it take up time, it makes fat removal way harder than it has to be! Let your soup cool a little and then add a few ice cubes. Let them sit for a few seconds and then remove them. Out comes some of the fat, in stays your sanity.
In the vein of saving kitchen time, having an extremely runny salad dressing means it won’t adhere properly to your salad and will instead pool at the bottom of your bowl or plate, making it both messy and wasteful. Add an ice cube or two to your next salad dressing before you shake it to help it come together a little thicker and take advantage of it while it’s still cool and viscous.
Finally, adding an ice cube to leftover rice before you reheat it gives some much-needed moisture to help bring rice back to life. Of course, using this many cubes means you’ll need to keep them coming at a steady rate, especially if you go through soups quickly. Try punching up your kitchen’s ice output with an professional ice maker so you don’t have to hassle with old-fashioned trays several times a day. You can check review sites like Ice Maker Pro in order to make the best decision.
Make gum removal pain-free
Chances are you’re going to get gum somewhere it shouldn’t be sooner or later. If you have kids, chances are it’s going to happen more than once. Use a few ice cubes in a washcloth to freeze the gum before chipping it out of whatever it’s stuck to, ensuring you get as much gum as possible while leaving carpet fibers or thread from your clothes where they belong.
You can even try the same trick with gum stuck to hair, should the worst-case scenario arise, though it may take some clever wrapping with plastic wrap to keep the ice in place.
Keep picky foods fresh
You know what tastes great any time of year? Guacamole. You know what happens to be one of the most notorious foods that undergoes spoilage the second you show it what fresh air feels like? That’s right, avocados. Keeping nature’s favorite dip-maker ready to be layered across chips or toast requires a lot of patience and luck unless you skip Mother Nature’s true intent and simply freeze that avocado in ice cube form. It’ll keep it properly portioned and easier to handle than a big block.
Avocado’s not the only option to freeze conveniently, of course. If you have trouble keeping garlic, ginger or pesto on hand, try the same trick!
Punch up your favorite drinks
By now, everyone’s been told to try freezing coffee ice cubes to cool down your morning brew without watering it down, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg—no pun intended—when it comes to taking beverages up a notch instead of weakening them. For starters, coconut water ice cubes add a much-needed twist of flavor to plain old water while also offering the health benefits of coconut as quickly as can be.
If your preferred drinks come in slightly harder varieties, freezing up your favorite cocktail add-ins means less time fussing with muddling mint or prepping fiddly flavor profiles when you’re not at your most cognitively aware. Even if your preferred highball doesn’t require anything more complicated than an orange juice ice cube, why not punch that cube up with a bit of sliced fruit? At worst, adding a little extra orange flavor to your Screwdriver will only help it taste a touch more complex.