Ice buckets are one of the most important party accessories that every host should own. But between all the talk about which brands of ice makers offer the best products, and what type of ice goes well with a particular cocktail, people tend to omit considering this accessory. Ice buckets, especially those that are built out of stainless steel, turn what could have been a logistical conundrum in their absence into a flawless party where everyone’s ice demands are covered, beverages never become undrinkable by warming up and people are scared of the inconvenience of making frequent trips to the kitchen for re-ups.
But since there are many types on the market, you might understandably feel confused about which one to pick up. Here is what the best stainless-steel ice buckets have in common, and how to buy a model that is suited to your needs.
A Review of Stainless Steel Ice Buckets
The Physical and Chemical Qualities of Stainless Steel
Inox steel, more popularly known as Stainless steel is a material widely appreciated in many industries for its physical and chemical properties. Today, it is nearly ubiquitous, and it is used to manufacture cutlery, cookware, surgical instruments of all types, major appliances, as well as for constructing large buildings – one notable example is New York’s Chrysler Building.
Products made from this steel alloy are notable due to the fact that they are highly resistant to corrosion, rust, staining and can withstand repeated abuses without suffering damages to its structural integrity. By extension, stainless steel ice buckets boast all of the advantages of this material and are a good compromise for people who want an accessory that is both practical and excels in the aesthetics department.
Sure, if you are concerned about visuals, silver ice buckets are probably the better option in the whole scheme of things, the only problem being that they are usually quite expensive. But if you want something that will serve you loyally throughout dozens of parties without being an eyesore, buying a few stainless steel ice buckets is surely the most sensible option. Even though this material has a tendency of slowly degrading over time, this process can be easily slowed down through frequent and careful maintenance work. Make sure to scrub and polish the bucket once every two to three months, and it can last you for many years.
One of the most pressing issues for anyone who is hosting a party, especially if it takes places outside in hot, humid conditions, is keeping the ice in its initial, solid form and shape. The ice slowly turning into a watery, indistinguishable mess can be especially problematic if your guests are particularly keen on cocktails that need specific types of ice, like a punch, margarita, daiquiri, tikis, and swizzle.
Fortunately for everybody involved, ice buckets made from stainless steel have great insulation properties thanks to their structural composition. Most models are comprised of two thick layers that serve as makeshift walls. This fact, in conjunction with the material’s chemical properties, keeps the ice ‘’dry’’ and prevents it from melting for about six hours. This time period is extended even further by some models which feature a removable ice strainer. This useful add-on is usually attached to the bottom of the bucket, where all the water resulted from the melted ice is collected, keeping the ice fresh, cool and preserving its shape in the process.
Another feature that the best stainless steel ice buckets have in common is their capacity. Now, when it comes to this issue, the ice demand will naturally depend on the size of the party, as well as the number of guests present. For large parties, most people make do with a regular, large-sized plastic bucket. The downside of plastic buckets is that frequent exposure to humidity and melted ice will slowly degrade them, forcing you to spend more money on new purchases, despite the fact that they are quite cheap.
Fortunately, there are many stainless steel models on the market that are more than adequate to meet the demands of medium and large sized parties. The Bellemain Insulated Stainless Steel Ice Bucket, for example, has a capacity of 101 ounces (or about three kilograms). Another perfectly good alternative is the QSM Worldwide Premium. While this particular model can only carry about two kilograms of ice, it compensates by having a double-walled structure and the removable strainer that we have mentioned in a previous entry.
If you are the type of person who has people over at their house on a regular basis, buying a few stainless steel buckets is one of the best long-term investments that you could make. Thanks to their chemical and physical properties, they are protected against the effects of rust and corrosion and are also capable of keeping ice in solid form and shape for the entire duration of the party. Finally, on top of all these perks, the majority of the models can handle up to four kilograms of ice, which is more than enough to meet the demands of a medium to large-sized party.