clear ice

    Published: September 20, 2016

    Creating the Clearest, Tastiest Ice

    For my last birthday, a friend gave me one of those novelty ice molds. You know the ones—made of silicon they produce ice cubes in a variety of fun shapes. Mine is in the form of a well-known space smuggler after he wound up frozen in carbonite.

    Excited (I amuse easily, okay?) I poured water into the molds, let them freeze, and popped my ice cubes out only to discover my results were less than ideal. For ice molds to work, the ice needs to be clear. That way you can see all the details in the mold. Mine were cloudy and to be frank, underwhelming.

    Now I could have resigned myself to failure, but I wanted novelty ice cubes, darn it. So instead I went on a quest to discover how to make clear ice. This is what I found.

    Filtered Water is Essential
    I should have realized this, but filtered water is better than non-filtered. Filtered water is cleaner, safer, and lacks many of the impurities that cause ice to cloud. NSF-Certified Reverse osmosis filters, which reduce dissolved minerals, work best.

    Boil and Cool, Boil and Cool . . .
    The fact I should use filtered water came as no surprise to me, but did raise a question. I’d used filtered water for my first ice attempt. What had gone wrong?

    As it turns out, I was right to use filtered water, but missed an important step. Double boiling the water reduces dissolved air from the water, as well as breaking down any remaining minerals. The steps are pretty easy:

    1. Boil water
    2. Cover (to prevent dust from contaminating the water).
    3. Cool completely
    4. Repeat steps 1 through 3.

    After the second cooling, pour the water into your ice tray or mold. Cover the surface of the water with plastic wrap (again, to avoid dust), and freeze. The result will produce clear, tasty ice free of cloudiness.