I can’t tell you the number of times since I started Fake Plastic Fish that people have asked me what I do for ice. The answer has always been that I just keep using the same plastic ice trays that I owned before I started Fake Plastic Fish. I know, I know. I don’t like to put food in plastic because of possible chemicals leaching. But it’s my understanding that chemicals leach more from plastic when it is heated and that plastic interacts more with fats in foods. So I figured freezing water in plastic was safe.
Is it? I honestly don’t know. And since so many people have asked about a plastic-free option for ice, I decided to try out the stainless steel ice cube tray sold by NoPlastic.Ca. (2018 Update: NoPlastic.CA seems to be out of business, but check out this stainless steel ice cube tray from Life Without Plastic.) I asked the owner Ramin to send me a tray to review, and here it is:
We had a metal ice tray like this when I was growing up. I think ours might have been made out of aluminum. My mom hated it and was happy to switch to the new plastic trays because she had a problem lifting up the lever to release the ice. But I had no problem at all with this one. I used a towel in both hands, holding down one end with my left hand and lifting the lever with my right.
It feels so funny explaining this to the youngsters. Sort of like explaining metal safety razors. Honestly kids. People made ice and shaved themselves before plastic!
One difference between a metal tray and plastic is that with metal, you can’t remove the ice cubes individually and replace the water. So I emptied the whole thing into a glass bowl and refilled the tray. Simple.
So what do you think? If you needed an ice cube tray, would it be worth it to spring for a new stainless steel one or would you be satisfied with a used plastic ice cube tray from a thrift store or Craigslist? (Notice buying new plastic is not one of the choices.) Do you feel that ice is the same as food and should not touch plastic? In that case, would you replace your plastic ice tray with a new stainless steel one? I want to hear what you think.