Ah, ice. No smoothie or cocktail would be complete without this essential ingredient. Mind you, there are people out there who make smoothies without ice, and that’s fine. But a frozen margarita without ice? Is that even possible?
Now, obviously, you can’t just drop a block of ice in your blender and blend away. That would just damage the rotors and engines of your machine. If you ask us, we believe that there is an art to learning how to crush ice in a blender, and we’re here to share that with you.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to know what the material of your pitcher is made out of. If it’s plastic, then it has a greater risk of breaking and might even give you an injury in the process. Not to mention that it could also ruin your blending machine.
If you can, always use a glass pitched for all of your ice-crushing needs. Why so? That’s because glass pitchers are tougher, more durable, and can provide more stability as compared to a flimsy plastic model.
Also, make sure to use small ice cubes when starting out. In fact, the smaller the ice cubes are, the better they are for crushing. If you have a blender that is lacking some punch, then it is better just to crush the ice manually beforehand to make smaller chunks of ice. Doing this will lessen the load on your blender and ensure that it won’t overheat.
Turning a block of ice into finer pieces might seem like a very complicated thing to do, but it’s really not. All you need to do a great job at it are the right tools as well as a few basic knowledge on how it is done. For that, we’ve got you covered.
Here is a step-by-step guide to crushing ice in a blender:
The first thing that you have to do is take out the ice from the fridge and let it rest on the kitchen counter. Leave it be for around three to five minutes.
While waiting, go ahead and take out your blender’s user manual to check if it is indeed suited for crushing ice. What you don’t want is to burn the motor by trying to crush ice with it when it is designed to do so in the first place. If your blender does not have enough horsepower to crush ice, then it won’t really be able to do anything but spin the ice around the container.
A lot of high-quality blenders now advertise ice crushing as one of their main features; some models even have specific buttons for coarse or fine crushed ice. Others have ice-crushing canisters that you can buy to rig to your machine. These attachments are made from stainless steel, so they are a level up from glass and are much safer.
Now, if you have a blender that doesn’t necessarily advertise ice-crushing abilities, a good rule of thumb to assess whether or not blending ice would damage it is to determine if its motor has at least 400W of power. If it does, then blend away!
It also helps that the manual has some tips and tricks of its own when it comes to crushing ice. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for you because you get to learn more and add to your repertoire of ice-crushing knowledge.
The next thing you have to do is place the ice in the pitcher/container. However, only fill it to about a third. Make sure not to pack the ice tightly or put too many ice cubes as this will make it harder for them to move down to the blades.
Close the lid and press the pulse button on your blender for around three to five minutes in sudden, two-second intervals. What we personally do in this situation is do this for about 10 times. You can also hold the pulse button for around three seconds to really grind the ice.
Here’s a quick tip: try adding small amounts of water or juice to accelerate the process. This helps to separate the ice cubes from each other (as well as give the blades a bit of traction at the same time). Moreover, it will also prevent them from sticking to each other as they spin.
Once you are satisfied and absolutely sure that the motor will not struggle anymore, turn the knob to medium speed. Keep it at this setting for about 10 seconds. After that, turn the blender off, take the lid off, and check to see if the crushed ice is good enough for you. If not, then repeat the process.
During this part of the process, if you wish to make a protein shake, then now is the time. Pour the powder in while the crushed ice is spinning so as to end up with something with a smoothie-like consistency.
After you have achieved the texture that you want or need, turn off the blender and put the crushed ice in a container. Put it in the freezer if you wish to use it for later. Otherwise, use it now!
Unfortunately, not a lot of us is lucky and loaded enough to own a good-quality blender that is capable of crushing ice. Still, no one should give up having to make your own glass of frozen margarita that easily. Thus, you must learn how to crush ice manually:
Wrap a towel or similar cloth that is clean around the ice you want to crush. Place it on the kitchen counter and smash it using a mallet or hammer. One disadvantage of this is you might make everything on the counter jump around, or if you miss, the hammer might chip the counter. If you have a porch, do this operation there instead. If you don’t have a porch, putting it on the floor will do.
Put the ice cubes in a plastic bag from the last grocery trip you made. Once you are absolutely sure that the plastic hasn’t been used for raw meat, tie the bag, put inside another plastic bag, and then tie that as well.
You can now smash it into the walls of your kitchen, or if you want, you can take it outside and smash it on the ground a couple of times.
Once you have manually crushed your ice, you can then proceed to put the pulverized ice into your blender and do the steps above.
As you can see, crushing ice is a task that anybody can easily learn. What takes time and effort to learn, however, is how to crush ice in a blender. It’s not enough to just place ice into the jug; you have to make sure that it’s pulverized manually as well to lessen the load on the motor and make it easier for you to crush ice.
As we said, there’s a bit of art in it. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be on your way to crushing ice with a blender effortlessly.