IceGone Quick Defrosting Tray Review

IceGone Quick Defrosting Tray Review

Buy it at Amazon: IceGone Quick Defrosting Tray [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Rapid, effective, quick defroster for prepping frozen foods last minute.

At first glance, the IceGone looks like a simple metallic tray. It measures 8.25” x 13.5” and is about 0.5” thick, weighing a little over 2 lbs or about 1 kilo. It’s got a rectangular shape with plastic grips on the sides that also have small bump out feet on the bottom to raise the plate up from your countertop. But flip it over, and you’ll find it has these heat transfer fins all along the bottom, and these increase the rate of heat transfer to or from the environment and whatever is sitting on top of the plate. Since the metal used in the plate is and aluminum alloy, it is highly thermal conductive and sealed inside is heat-transfer fluid which helps move the heat from the environment into the frozen item on top of the plate.

I tested the tray's claims of rapid defrosting with a couple ""controlled"" experiments. The first was using two ice cubes: one on the IceGone and the other in a glass, both set out at room temperature, and I recorded how much time it took to completely melt the cubes on their respective surfaces. It did not matter where the item to be melted was placed on the IceGone as long as it has good surface contact with any part of the top of the tray. After 7 minutes the ice cube on the IceGone completely melted while the ice cube in the cup was maybe a quarter of the way there. In fact, even half and hour later, the ice cube in the cup had not melted completely and was still about 50% frozen. I did discover that if you're melting/defrosting something that will release a lot of liquid that you'll want to set the IceGone on a flat level surface to reduce melt liquid running off the sides, or set the tray on a towel or rimmed baking sheet. Alternatively, if you do choose to back this project on Kickstarter, you’ll have the option to add on a washable silicone drying mat which would serve this purpose.

After you’ve defrosted something, the tray will be quite cold to the touch. I also noticed that the plastic feet, do nothing to keep the tray from sliding around on your counter, which would be another benefit of getting the silicone undermat, to stabilize the tray and keep it from sliding. Next, I tried defrosting two hamburger patties side by side. To be fair, I started off by placing them both meat side down so the parchment paper stuck to one side didn’t act as an insulator on either surface. After I'd placed them down, you could see in real-time some of the ice on top of the parchment of the pattie sitting on the IceGone fade within the first 30 seconds. I discovered that one of the really important things for the success of this tray is contact with its aluminum surface. Whenever there was an airgap between the food I was defrosting and the tray's surface, the portion not touching the tray would take longer to defrost. After about 8 minutes the top of the pattie on the Icegone was still pretty hard, but the bottom felt a bit squishy, so I can tell it had melted a bit. Meanwhile, the pattie on the plate was still rock solid like a hockey puck. I then flipped the patties over to do a scratch test with a fork.

When I did this, I notied that under the pattie on the plate it was completely dry, so the pattie hadn't even warmed up enough for the water content in the burger to become liquid! When I flip the one on the IceGone, there was clearly some melt liquid underneath. The ""plate burger"" was still really hard and I could not even scratch the surface of it. On the IceGone pattie, I was able to pull away some of the defrosted meat with the fork about a quarter of an inch into the pattie. The defrosting at this point was not quite even because the entire pattie wasn’t making contact with the tray’s surface (due to an airgap cause by its uneven surface). Once flipped over, I was able to test the performance of the tray through the parchment paper on the pattie, which I thought might act as a thermal insulator and prevent heat transmission.

After the burgers had been defrosting about 15 minutes total, I was able to pull the parchment paper off both of them, however, the burger on the plate was still completely dry underneath and I was not able to pierce the meat with a fork when conducting the scratch test. Again, on the IceGone pattie, I was also able to scrape down ¼ of an inch through the defrosted meat on the second side. While i was still frozen in the center, a few minutes more on the tray and it was thawed completely.

Washing the IceGone is pretty straight forward, like washing a serving dish. Give it a rinse with warm water and gently wipe with the soft side of a sponge then rinse off. You’re not really cooking on it so you don’t need to scrub hard and for defrosting stuff. Nothing’s going to stick to it unless it’s syrupy and has lots of sugar in it, so you don’t need to treat it any differently than a regular dinner plate that raw meat has been sitting on. The surface is non-porous so there are no crevices that could harbor bacteria. It’s even dishwasher safe, though hand-washing is simple enough, and I just let it rack dry.

I also wanted to know how well the tray would perform on a stack of items so I placed a block of frozen sliced cheese on it. However, my block wasn't complete flat and only part of the cheese was touching the aluminum surface. What I found was that the part of the cheese that was directly in contact with the tray was completely thawed, but only up until the point where the cheese curved up and away from the tray; the section that wasn’t touching was still completely frozen. Unintentionally, I had a constructed controlled experiment, again demonstrating that the tray does indeed thaw out food faster than food left out at room temperature. After flattening out the ""curved"" portion ofthe block, just 5 minutes later, I was able to easily peel apart and separate the slices.

In conclusion, do I think the IceGone works? Yes, 100%. For optimal performance you should stick to defrosting things that have at least one flat surface that’ll make good contact with the tray and are no more than one or two inches thick, like steaks, fish fillets, chicken breast, or hamburger patties. For foods that are thick or may have air gaps between the food and the tray, defrosting may take longer and be uneven unless you manually flip or turn the food so more frozen surfaces can contact the tray’s surface. Speed, when defrosting, is key to safe food handling, and you always want to make sure to cook or refrigerate the food as soon as it’s done thawing. If you can’t defrost your food on the IceGone completely within 20 minutes, like a whole chicken, then you’re better off defrosting it in the fridge.

Also, if the IceGone isn’t large enough, you can place two of them together and defrost across both of them. Or, if you need to defrost several things on the same tray one after another, you’ll want to rinse the tray with warm water in between defrosting to bring its core temperature back up to room temperature, but be careful not to use hot water because the tray will hold onto that heat, and you don’t want to cook the food you set on it nor create a warm enough environment where bacteria could multiply. Though as an added benefit, that means the tray can also absorb heat from hot foods, cooling them down quickly so you don’t burn your fingers or mouth.

My sincere thanks to Unitrength for sending over their prototype IceGone tray for me to try out. They’re also planning to release a black anodized aluminum colored version so be sure to check out their Kickstarter page using my link below for support tiers and their associated rewards, and if you decide to back the project and reserve one, or two or three, I’ll automatically get a little something for the referral at no extra cost to you. There are only a few days left to back this project, but it’s already fully funded multiple times over so more than likely, this is happening, and if the final product is anything like this prototype, I think it'd be a great tool to use in any home kitchen.

Buy it at Amazon: IceGone Quick Defrosting Tray [Affiliate Link]

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