You can make clear ice balls at home using plastic cake tins (using a technique called directional freezing), ice ball press and even balloons or by cutting out the balls manually. Ice balls melt much slower than ice cubes, so do not water out your drinks, go perfectly with whiskey and cola, iced coffee and lowball mixed drinks. Today we teach you how to master the art of crystal clear ice balls (also known as balls) at home.
1. Carving Ice Balls
Take a small, cheap cooler and fill it with 3/4 water (you can either use tap water and boil it twice or distilled or purified water). Put the cooler in the freezer (without putting the lid on) and let it sit there for the next 18 to 20 hours. When the time is up, take the cooler out and let the ice thaw for 5 to 10 minutes to make it easier for the ice block to slide out.
Lay a towel or cloth on the kitchen table and place the ice block on it. Use a plastic hammer and a knife to break down the block. Wear goggles and gloves to prevent injury to yourself along the way.
Slowly press the knife in a place where you want the ice block to break with the hammer (warning: do not hit too hard, otherwise the block will fall into a million pieces). Then take a lump of ice and start cutting it with the knife until you form an ice ball.
Be patient and do not try to crush the ice with your hands. Carving ice balls requires some skill and you will learn how to produce eye-catching ice balls after a few tries.
2. Production of ice balls in plastic molds
Take a plastic ball mold and fill it with water. Seal the hole on top of the mold with your finger and turn the mold so that the hole now points downward, then place the mold on a flat surface, ideally a stainless steel tray. This process is called directional freezing, and it encourages freezing to start at the top and gradually down, causing the air bubbles to come out, resulting in a pristine, crystal clear, bubble-free ice ball. The mold should sit in the freezer for the next 18-24 hours.
Make clear ice balls at home using an ice ball press
Use a simple cooler to make ice blocks, take them out after 18-20 hours, and then place them one by one in an ice ball press. An ice ball press uses force to press the ice and turns it into an ice ball. This press is typically made of aluminum or metal and produces perfectly shaped balls with virtually no effort. A machine like this is capable of producing 30 ice balls per hour.
4. Balloon technique
Take a balloon, fill it with water, tie it gently and find a place in your freezer to hang it. After 12 hours, spheres form. Take the balloon out, cut it off, then a beautifully shaped ball comes out.
5. Use silicon trays to make ice balls at home
Take a cord and make a loop in the middle that is large enough to fit a silicone ball mold in it. Then find a small pot, place the wire together with the mold on top of it, and then fill the pot with water. Make sure the water reaches the pipe. Fill the silicone mold with water, but make sure the hole faces down (directional freeze again) and place it on top of the water right in the loop. This prevents the water in the mold from running down into the pot.
Put the pot in the freezer and let it sit for several hours. The water freezes gradually, and the first part to be frozen is – the mold. In this way, impurities and trapped air come out into the pool through a hole while the ice ball remains completely clear. Remove the pan from the freezer, carefully remove the silicone mold and cover the ice ball.
If you do not have a dedicated clear ice machine at home but still want clear ice balls, we hope you find this post useful and use at least one of these easy-peasy methods that teaches you how to make clear ice balls. Let us know how it went!
Oh, and if you want to learn more about ice cream making, we are here to help!
The post How to make clear ice balls at home? first appeared on Ice Making 101.