I don’t know how or where you were raised, but I was raised by Southern people, both in Mississippi and Los Angeles. My people are iced tea drinkers, which makes having a steady supply of frozen water very important, especially when it’s hot out, which was almost always.
A key component of this lifestyle is having some sort of receptacle to store your ice so you can build a surplus. Taking it directly from the tray means you have to finish that batch of ice before you can make more ice, and that isn’t acceptable. Almost every freezer I encountered growing up had some sort of ice bin inside of it, and it was perfect accept for one little flaw: The ice sometimes absorbed the fridge and freezer smells, tainting an otherwise lovely beverage.
And while an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of fresh ice, and there are several fancy, sealable ice bins you can purchase to block wafting aromas, the most elegant solution is to use a freezer bag. Freezer bags are designed for the freezer, and they. give your ice cubes an extra layer of protection against odors, not to mention drips and spills.
I don’t even currently have an ice bin—I’m free-bagging it with a gallon Ziploc in the freezer door—but you could always set the bag down inside a bin, then close it up at the top, if you like the structure a bin brings to the freezer. Fill the bag with ice as it is frozen, preferably with the big cubes, until you have a surplus of (stink-free) ice, so you can drink tea, shake and stir cocktails, and make your little ice baths to shock blanched vegetables and hard-boiled eggs.
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