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How Long It Takes To Freeze Ice Cubes? | Ultimate Guide

Ice cubes are essential to keep your favorite cocktail cool. Are you having a party and realize that you run out of ice cubes! Or, you don’t want to end up serving warm drinks. You are in a rush and want to know how long it will take for ice cubes to properly freeze?

Here is your quick answer

In a freezer, it takes three hours to make ice cubes. It takes 90 minutes to make ten pieces of ice with a nugget ice maker machine. The most rapid way to have ice cubes within two hours is by using hot water. 

Let us give you detailed information on the average time for ice cubes to freeze. Our expert team will also help you with a quick hack to make clear ice chunks. Let the party begin!

Freeze Ice Cubes

How Long Does It Take For Ice Cubes To Freeze? 

In a nutshell, it will take around three hours to make an ice cubes tray. But, the time may vary with different types of ice, molds, and thickness. 

For more accurate information, we make six batches to find out the average time. 

Way Of MakingSize Of Ice CubeQuantity Of Ice Cubes Per BatchTime 
Normal Tap Water In Plastic Tray0.75’’ x 1’’ 83 Hours
Cold Water In Plastic Tray1.75’’ x 2’’ 163 Hours
Boiled Water In Plastic Tray1.75’’ x 2’’ 162 Hours
Normal Water In Silicone Tray2’’ x 2 ‘’ 124.5 Hours
Cold Water In Silicone Tray With Lid2’’ x 2 ‘’126 Hours
Tap Water In Stainless Steel Tray1.75’’ x 2’’163 Hours
Hot Water in Stainless Steel Tray1.75’’ x 2’’162 Hours
  • Hot water freezes faster. 
  • Making average-sized chunks in a plastic tray is more convenient.
  • The old-school way of making ice in a stainless steel tray is easy and quick.
  • Hot water doesn’t go well with plastic molds and steel trays.
  • Even though it’s fast, the ice on the base of my freezer melts due to heat. 
  • Silicone trays are durable but take a very prolonged time to make a batch of ice.

At What Temperature Does Water Freeze? 

Water freezes at 32°F or 0°C. Most of the refrigerator’s freezer sections are set to 0°F or -18 °C.  

At this temperature, water becomes ice within two hours. 

The tray material and outside atmosphere may affect the average time. 

What Is The Best Temperature to Freeze Ice Cubes Faster?

The perfect temperature to produce ice is 0.4°F or -18 °C.  

The tray material should be plastic with a dimension of 1″ x 1″ x 1″.

Use lukewarm water for quick results. Add a tiny amount of salt (just a pinch) to slow down the melting.

Freeze Ice Cubes

Nugget Ice Maker V/S Normal Freezer – Which Is Best?

Having a nugget ice maker is always a pro. With easy sonic ice access, why not opt for soft frost.

But on the other hand, nugget ice makers are so expensive. So, why not stick to old-school fridge ice. 

Here’s the difference between the two;

  1. Time – Clock Is Ticking!

Be mentally prepared for three hours of waiting for five trays in one go using a regular freezer. That’s 60 clear thinner ice cubes chunks.

 For nugget ice makers, some can produce a batch of sonic or crushed ice within 30 minutes.

  1. Ice Type – The More, The Batter 

The ice maker machines are winners here. I own an undercounter ice maker, and I can enjoy six ice types with it, including half-sized and frost flakes. 

You can only have a single kind with a standard ice tray, i.e., full cubes. 

  1. Quantity – The EndNote

You can fit six trays in your freezer. That’s 72 chunks per three hours, assuming a single tray has 12 sections.

On the other hand, the ice maker machines vary from each other. Only the best nugget ice makers produce over 20 chunks within an hour.

Which One Is The Best?

I recommend the refrigerator. It is pocket-friendly. 

All you need to do is prepare ahead for a big party or dinner for an unlimited supply of ice for everyone.

Hot Water V/S Cold Water – Which One Freeze Faster?

Hot water freezes faster. So, if you’re short on time and want a batch quickly, use hot water.

Mpemba Effect – The Reason Behind It

When hot water is placed at a cold temperature, it freezes faster. It is due to the Mpemba effect. Overall, there is a debate over whether this is true or not. 

But in our general experiment, hot water makes solid ice and freezes slightly faster. 

Freeze Ice Cubes

Determining The Ice Cubes Freezing Time – All You Need To Know!

Ice cubes trays come in several shapes, sizes, and materials. So there is no thumb rule. Here are factors that determine the duration.

  1. Size

The more significant the size, the more time it takes. If you want a sphere or more than 2 inches thick of ice, you may need to wait several hours. 

  1. Surface Area

Water freezes from the outside in. Making chunks in a tray with secession is easy compared to making a long pallet of decorative ice.

  1. Material Of Container

The material also determines how fast water freezes. If you use plastic or silicone, the water freezes almost simultaneously. 

  1. Temperature

If the outside temperature is high, you may face the problem of having a pallet of ice in three hours. Regardless, even if your refrigerator is set at 0.4°F. 

Tips/FAQs For Enough Ice Cubes – The Party Must Go On

Our team comprises experts. After years of experience in the ice maker industry, here are some tips. So, in the meantime, you keep on rolling.

How To Have Clear Ice Cubes?

– Use lukewarm water to make crystal clear ice. 
– Stir a little bit and allow it to rest for a few minutes at room temperature.
– Then, place the tray in your freezer.

How to Make Ice Melt Slowly?

Add a pinch of salt to ½ litre of water to make ice. Salt decreases the concentration of molecules in water. 
Never use salt more than a pinch.

Wrapping It Up!

The freezing time depends on the size of the ice cubes. The container material also affects the time. 

Lukewarm water freezes faster and makes clear ice. The actual time may also be affected by the environment. 

Adding a pinch of salt to the batch will delay the melting.