I Tried a Bunch of Ice Cube Trays, but Nothing Beats the Classic

For less than $4 a tray, it outperformed all the fancy designs.

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April 08, 2021

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When my family and I moved to a new apartment mid-pandemic we didn’t think twice about the fact that our freezer didn’t come with an automatic ice maker. After all, that’s a pretty minor issue when you think about everything we’ve all been through this year.

That said, I learned that finding an ice cube tray that not only makes oversized cubes that are just right for an iced tea without burning your fingers on the ice-cold frozenness when you try to release them from their holder, isn’t even close to an easy feat.

You name the products, I’ve tried them. From silicone squares to ones with lids to ones that purport to be stackable, I’ve spent months trying to figure out why it’s so hard to find a tray that doesn’t crack under the pressure — literally breaking as you twist it to remove cubes — or smell funky no matter how many boxes of baking soda are in the frozen compartment. Turns out, I just needed to go with an old reliable.

Meet (or in many cases, get re-aquainted with) Rubbermaid’s Easy Release Ice Cube Trays. These BPA-free, U.S.-made trays don’t promise to be anything fancy. They’re as pedestrian as they are true to their promise of popping out rectangular cubes every time I empty the cubes into an ice bin. And no burnt or aching fingers in the process!

Each tray holds 16 compartments, the trays stack well, there’s a lip on each that keeps water from spilling during the transfer from sink to fridge and they’re dishwasher safe, too.

Turns out, this timeless design has stuck because it's exactly what those of us without ice cube trays need. Plus, for just $7.50 for a set of two, you won't mind if you need to replace them or start fresh after a move.

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