Having your favorite cocktail poured on top of a heap of crushed ice makes your drink instantly cool, refreshing, and satisfying. Not having any on hand may send you on a Google search to look for ways on how to make crushed ice.
So, to save you the trouble of finding different ways, I have put everything you need to know about crushing ice at home condensed in one blog here.
Now, you may think that the only way to crush ice is to use a blender. While the blender is surely the fastest, it is by no means the only option out there. If you don’t have a blender on hand, there are plenty of other kitchen tools and gadgets that you can use to do the same.
Everything from a tea towel and plastic bag to a mallet, muddler, and rolling pin can help you crush ice. So, here’s a look at how to make crushed ice at home in several different ways.
Read More: What is the best blender for crushing ice?
Lewis bag and mallet
Starting with the most traditional way, a Lewis bag and a mallet are all you need to make crushed ice. A Lewis bag is made of canvas so it won’t rip or tear with the impact, but it will get wet.
There is no science behind it, so start by taking dry ice from the freezer, placing it in the Lewis bag, and folding it over twice to close it. Pound the bag evenly with a mallet until you get evenly crushed ice.
Some variations to this method include placing a freezer bag inside the Lewis bag so that your pounding surface doesn’t get wet.
You could also use a freezer bag alone if you don’t have a Lewis bag and hammer away with a mallet, muddler, meat tenderizer, or a rolling pin; whichever one is available.
This can be a handy helper when you need to make crushed ice quickly.
Most shakers have the decent capacity to accommodate 10-12 ice cubes, going about halfway to the top. Once in the shaker, close the top and shake the ice cubes for about 20-30 seconds.
Open shaker to check if the ice has broken down to your preference, and if not, repeat for another 20-30seconds.
Mind you, this method will only work well for churning out small amounts of crushed ice since cocktail shakers are not big tools.
Manual ice crusher
Another handy device for crushing ice, the manual ice crusher offers a straightforward way to make crushed ice at home.
This simple gadget uses the turning of a lever to crush ice.
After placing your ice cubes within the ice crusher, place the cover on top and click in place.
Grabbing the handle on the lever, crank it in a clockwise motion to get the ice crushing. The cranking motion needs to be done quickly to prevent the ice from melting.
If you have a more updated version of the ice crusher, all you may need to do is press a button or click the dial to get homemade crushed ice.
Frozen plastic bottle technique
This is an interesting take on making crushed and especially if you are looking to make a lot of it.
Take a couple of clean 2-liter plastic bottles filling them about three-quarters of the way up with water. Freeze the bottles and when you need the ice, tap one gently with a hammer until the ice inside gets crushed and broken up.
Slice the bottle open in the middle and pour out perfectly crushed ice to enjoy.
Can you use a food processor to make crushed ice?
The blades of a food processor are ideally designed to chop, slice, and pulverize foods that are soft. Crushing ice, however, needs a different kind of power that is not handled well by these blades.
If anything, hard ice cubes will only damage the blades of the food processor.
If you must, then use a blender instead to make crushed ice at home.
How to make crushed ice with a blender?
There are two types of blenders available in the market. The first is the immersion or hand blender shaped like a stick with a blade at its base. And the second, of course, is the popular countertop blender with a motorized base and strong blades.
So which type handles crushing ice better? Here’s what you need to know.
While immersion blenders are completely capable of pulverizing foods to a pulp, they may not be the best option for crushing ice. The blades on these blenders are not big or sturdy enough to handle the impact of crushing ice.
The likely result of trying to crush the ice with an immersion blender will either dull or break the blades and overwork the motor.
In terms of machines, countertop blenders are your best bet to crush ice at home. These full-sized blenders have powerful motors and blades that are up to the task of crushing ice successfully.
Fill the blender’s pitcher about a third of the way up with ice cubes, leaving plenty of free space for the cubes to whirl around. You can add a bit of water at this point to speed up the process.
Select the Ice Crush setting on the blender and pulse a few times in quick three-second bursts. If there is no Ice Crush setting, select Chop or Crush at medium speed and blend in quick bursts until you reach the desired consistency.
Read More: What is the best Vitamix blender?
How to make crushed ice: final thoughts
Learning how to make crushed ice at home isn’t hard. You can choose from any of the techniques mentioned here and enjoy cool and reinvigorating drinks. Just remember that when using any of the manual methods to crush ice, time is of the essence. The faster you crush the ice the better. Store the crushed ice in the freezer until ready to use.
And when using a countertop blender, the trick is to not blend for too long or the ice will end up too watery.
Read More: Can you put ice in a NutriBullet?