When entertaining at home it can be extremely challenging to impress your guests over drinks.
However, sometimes the simplest of things can have the biggest impact.
When serving drinks, forget traditional ice cubes and try using ice balls instead.
In this review we will show you have to make clear ice balls using Tovolo Ice Molds and what you should consider before purchasing this gadget for your kitchen.
The ice molds themselves are quite simple. They are made of silicone and require very little care to maintain. However, you will need to spend some time experimenting and practicing making ice balls because of the science of water and ice.
- Easy to clean
- The molds are stackable for the freezer
- BPA-Free (Bisphenol A)
- Learning curve to making perfect ice balls. We cover this and show you how to make ice balls easier further down in this review.
The molds are made from BPA free silicone.
Tovolo states that these molds are dishwasher safe. However, we recommend that you hand wash them.
Some dishwashers may use extremely hot water and over time this excessive heat it could possibly warp or damage the molds.
Besides, if you are just using regular water for ice molds and no other liquids, like soup or chocolate, you won’t need the power of a dishwasher.
The diameter of 1 sphere is approximately 2.5 inches or 6.35 centimeters. Their volume contains 4.5 fluid ounces.
Tovolo now offers sets of 2 or 4 when you purchase these molds. So you can only make 2 or 4 ice spheres at once.
The downside is that if you intend to use these for a larger party, it's going to take a lot of time to prepare enough.
Melts Slower Than Ice Cubes
The good thing is that the balls will melt slower therefore resulting in less dilution of your drink!
The science behind this is that the spheres have less surface area than cubes and therefore less contact area with liquid to melt them. Yet at the same time, they still produce cool temperatures to keep your drinks cold.
Feels Better Than Cubes
It's also much easier to drink from a glass because when your lips make contact with an ice ball it feels much more pleasant than square or cubed shaped ice.
You can use these molds to shape chocolate or even soups! However, results may vary and you will need to do a little experimenting to get things the way you want them. Just remember not to use piping hot liquids in the mold as it will damage them.
How To Make Clear Ice Balls - The Secret
Use warm-hot water, not boiling, to fill the molds. This creates a slower freezing temperature ramp which has the side effect of creating clear ice.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to potentially damage your molds by using water that is too hot.
Ice Spheres Are Cracked, Split, Look Bad
Sometimes the ice balls do not come out of the mold in one piece. They usually crack, split, or look horrible. However, here are some steps you can follow to have a better success rate.
- Try filling them with filtered water just below the fill line. Since water expands as it freezes, this may be the cause of your problems.
- Do not use hot water to help loosen the ice from the mold. The extreme differences in temperature, hot and cold, will cause ice to crack and possibly break in to pieces. Try using cold water and give it some time.
- Let the mold sit on the counter or in your sink for 5 minutes after you have removed it from the freezer. This should allow the outer edges of the ice sphere to melt and be loosened easily from the mold without the need for extra water being poured on the mold.
- Give the water enough time to form into ice. When you are trying to loosen the ice from the molds give it more time before you try popping them out. In short, be patient.
Ice Ball Maker Recipes
Watch below as Chef Joel Gamoran at Sur La Table makes creative and tasty ice spheres for your favourite beverage.
Adding edible ingredients to your ice is a great way to turn normal sphere of ice in to something worth talking about.
Although ice balls melt much slower than regular ice cubes, they will eventually melt and can dilute your drink of choice over time. A great way to offset this problem is by flavoring your ice!
List of ingredients:
- Fruit juices
- Pieces of fruit (melon, mango, strawberries, cherries)
- Mint, lemon, and pomegranate (see video)
- Chocolate and sugar, like a Popsicle. Be sure to melt and mix well before pouring in your mold.
- Edible flowers for summer drinks
- Candy or jujubes
There really is no right or wrong ingredient to add. Try experimenting with different items and let us know how it turned out!
Are Tovolo Ice Molds Worth It?
Tovolo also offers normal ice cube trays that produce square or semi rectangular blocks of ice. But it's hard to resist sphere ice molds that are trendy and can be used for molding other liquids.
While there is a small learning curve to get the perfect ball, the cooling effect and conversational piece that these may make, seem like an ideal purchase for entertaining or gift giving.
Did you enjoy this review? Let us know in the comments with your ice ball making experiences.