There’s nothing as fulfilling as hosting a get-together where everything runs smoothly, a party where everyone can fill their glasses with ice as desired allowing you to to socialize and mingle with your guests or a hot day out with friends, safe in the knowledge that your drinks are being kept refreshingly cool. How about the thought of having mouth-watering seafood chilling on an ice bed until consumption or a bottle of wine, waiting for the perfect moment to be uncorked?
An ice bucket does all of that and more. You may argue that one can always use a simple cooler
to keep drinks chilled, but you would be neglecting the versatility that the ice bucket has to offer – with its convenience and aesthetic value, there’s nothing quite as neat as having an ice bucket on your table, especially one that goes with your selected dinnerware
. They can be used at home, in restaurants, or at outdoor functions with equal versatility and usefulness.
Most ice buckets come with snug fitting covers, often transparent to allow you to see the quantity of ice remaining inside, with the cover sometimes even sporting a small hole to allow the neck of a bottle to stick out. They typically come with scoops or tongs for easy collection, but you can buy one separately if need be. A functional ice bucket will keep your ice as solid as it was from straight out of the ice maker
for long periods while adding beauty and style to your table. Aside from their practical and artistic appeal, ice buckets are often considered collectibles, with several limited edition and vintage models available to grace your occasion.
Whatever your personal reasoning for shopping for an ice bucket, you’ll need to be apprised of some factors and features such as material, size, capacity, price, design and insulation that can affect your decision. All these factors are examined in this guide and we hope to provide you with the knowledge needed to select the perfect ice bucket.
From our research, the prices of ice buckets can range between $20 to $50, with some ice buckets exceeding the given range as the size, manufacturing material, design, and insulation play key roles in pricing.
The products we reviewed here are all top-quality items from renowned brands in the industry so you need not worry about their reliability. They’re selected across board to include several types and designs of ice buckets so you have a solid range to pick from.
Though some of our products are pocket-friendly, they’re a world apart from the cheap ice buckets that we came across and decided to ignore because they were either made from questionable materials or their capacity to hold ice was less than impressive.
Shopping for an ice bucket may be somewhat tasking but with just a few features kept in mind, you’re set on your way to making a great choice. These important features include:
- Manufacturing Material
- Size and Capacity
- Additional Features
If you need more detail about these, keep reading and we'll fill you in!
Construction and Design
Ice buckets are manufactured with different materials, all offering their own advantages and disadvantages, with many including either a liner or rubber insert that houses the ice to improve the life of the bucket. The most common material is stainless steel, often mixed with chromium to enhance durability, functionality, and rust-resistance. Wooden ice buckets may sound odd but are both functional and aesthetic ice buckets. There are also acrylic ice buckets made with sturdy, clear, glass-like plastic that is far lighter than glass in weight. Silver ice buckets are available, as well, but usually are in form of silver-plated metals to reduce cost, as pure silver ice buckets are naturally expensive and typically considered collector’s items.
The size of the ice bucket refers to weight and dimensions, with the weight depending solely on the type of material used in manufacturing as, although generally they do not weigh much, most vintage and retro style ice buckets are quite heavy, indicating the age they represent.
The capacity of the ice bucket refers the quantity of ice it can hold. Different ice buckets have different capacities, from large to small, depending on what it’s designed for. An ice bucket designed to hold ice say, for a party, should be large enough to hold plenty of ice to last for a while and the same should be expected of those designed to hold two bottles of wines or a dish of seafood. You really should consider function as the main reason for which you’ll be needing the ice bucket as it will play a key role in your choice in terms of size and capacity.
Ice buckets come in different shapes and styles, with some in form of bowls while the majority come in the shape of a bucket, albeit an ergonomic one. The specific style of the bucket itself does not reduce its versatility, as it can still be used for any number of things that require chilling.
Performance and Ease of Use
An ice bucket basically holds ice for a long period of time as a simple bucket styled piece that often comes with little to no frills, making them easy to use and maintain, with most of them requiring mere hand washing with liquid dish soap.
Stainless steel ice buckets are often preferred because of their attractive and shiny look. They reflect other colors around them, producing a pretty panorama of colors when placed on the table.
Some ice buckets, especially non-metallic ones (and some metallic ones, as well), have double wall insulation serving to maintain the temperature inside and prevent defrosting of the ice as well as to stop condensation forming on the exterior wall of the bucket.
For elegant and classic presentation, some brands go a step further to add a stand to their ice bucket package allowing you to place the bucket on that rather than directly on the table or floor. Many come with special scoops or tongs with easy grip design for taking out ice from the bucket. A number of them are designed with handles for easy carrying that are often collapsible and fold out of the way when not in use.
Other interesting features that may add value to your ice bucket include a garnish tray that rests on the inside of the bucket to keep fruits, vegetables, and garnishes cool and fresh and a moat or filter bottom that collects the melted run-off and ensures that water is kept away from the still frozen ice.
A number of factors come into play when you’re shopping for an ice bucket but, having read our buying guide, we hope that you are now able to confidently make a choice from the list of wonderful options that we lined up for you in our product review section.
Now that you have taken the time to go through this review, you should be more informed as to the kind of ice bucket that suits your preference. Take the next step and place your order!