Most commonly, restaurants and homes make use of ice cubes rather than block ice. The small size is convenient for placing in glasses and pitchers for cooling down water and drinks. They can even be easily tossed in a blender for making a slushy or milkshake or placed in a cooler for keeping drinks cool. However, ice cubes, as handy as they are, do not last very long. This is where block ice differs.

But, what is block ice?

Block ice is exactly what it sounds like, a big block of ice, typically 25 pounds or more. This type of ice used to be quite common in homes and was used in the “icebox” which was the first, low-tech version of the refrigerator.

Today, block ice continues to be a prized product in ice with many uses. Its main advantage is that because of its low surface area, block ice melts slowly and lasts longer than other types of ice. What can you use ice for? Here are 5 practical uses of block ice:

1. Serving Food

Whether you’re serving a buffet or barbecue in your home or your restaurant does catering, blocks of ice are the perfect way to keep food at safe, low temperatures. For example, you can use it in a cooler to keep meats cool for a barbecue or place it under fruit or deli meat and cheese trays. A large block of ice is also perfect for placing in the punch bowl. It will melt slowly, avoiding the watering down effect that ice cubes often have. But, it will also keep the drink refreshingly cool.

2. A Portable Refrigerator

Whether you’re camping or headed out for a day of boating, you will probably be taking some food with you that needs to be kept cool. Ensure the safety of your food by creating your own ice box using a cooler and a large block of ice. You can also use this for a day at the beach. Block ice is ideal for these situations because it will last longer than ice cubes.

3. Keeping Cool

Did you know that block ice and a fan can be as effective as an air conditioner? When the heat gets to be too much to handle, place a chunk of block ice in front of a fan and enjoy the cooling effect.

4. Shaved Ice

Many restaurants and food businesses offer shaved ice in the form of slushies and snow cones. How do they do it? With block ice of course!

5. Sculptures

Finally, the most exciting and impressive use of block ice is for creating sculptures. From purely decorative to functional sculptures, block ice is the canvas of ice carving specialists who create beautiful figures in frozen water.

These are just a few of the most common uses for block ice. There are many other applications for these slabs of frozen water. Block ice can be made in different levels of clarity and even in different colors! Whether you prefer a perfectly transparent, crystal clear block or a slightly opaque one, a quality ice provider can customize your order.

Ready to order block ice? Contact Crystal Ice for quick delivery and high-quality products. Call now at 323.476.1273. Most orders are delivered in 60-90 minutes!