15 Best Ice Buckets To Hold Ice and Cool Your Drinks In 2023: Reviews & Buying Guide
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There is nothing that a nice refreshing drink can't fix on a hot day. Whether you're keeping bottles of Champagne ice cold or serving cocktails at a bar, the quickest way to do it is with an ice bucket.
Ice buckets are normally seen beside a liquor bottle and a set of rocks glasses, but you can also see wine bottles placed inside them. But for a big get-together, you’ll need a beverage tub to hold as many beer bottles to serve guests.
Aside from capacity, these bar tools also vary in look, construction, and more. So if you’re a fan of cold drinks, here are the best ice buckets and beverage tubs you can buy!
Best Overall: Fine Dine Ice Bucket
Runner-Up: Tablecraft Galvanized Beverage Tub
Best Structure: Oggi Ice Bucket
Best Sleek: Crafthouse by Fortessa Ice Bucket
Best Lightweight: OXO Good Grips Ice Bucket
Best Accessories: Amerigo Make It Special Ice Bucket
Best Rustic: BREKX Copper Galvanized Beverage Tub
Best Insulation: S'well Calacatta Gold Ice Bucket
Most Unique: Jolitac Copper Ice Bucket
Best Value: Twine Living Co. Country Home Ice Bucket
Best Plastic: Prodyne AB-14-A On Ice Beverage Tub
Best Compact: malmo Ice Bucket
Best Versatile: Polder Chill Station
Most Elegant: Godinger Dublin Ice Bucket
Best Simple: True Black Ice Bucket
“This stainless steel ice bucket is beautifully made and solid and serves our purposes admirably. After using this, it was impressive that the ice cubes stayed frozen for hours, even if the bucket is left out in the open.
We appreciate the tight seal because we don't want a lid that can be accidentally tipped over. Also, it has a rack at the base to keep any melted ice from contaminating the pieces of ice left, and the pair of tongs with the hook is a nice touch.”
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 3 quarts | Manufactured: India | What’s Included: Lid, tongs
Related: The Best Ice Tongs
“This large ice bucket is just what we need for our big dinner parties as it stores a lot of ice, and with its oval shape, we can also use it as a chilling tub for beer bottles. Safe to say, this is a versatile ice bucket!
In addition, the material was of great quality, with no signs of rusting, and its construction ensures it will last long. Thankfully, there are handles; otherwise, it would’ve been hard to carry an ice bucket this big!”
Material: Galvanized steel | Capacity: 22 quarts | Manufactured: India | What’s Included: Ice bucket only
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“We've had nothing but fantastic experiences with this best ice bucket; it proved functional and heavy-duty. We tested it in nearly 80°F temperatures, and the ice inside remained frozen for hours. For intimate get-togethers, we find this capacity perfect.
It can accommodate an entire gallon-sized Ziploc bag of ice cubes. Moreover, we think that tongs aren't as convenient as the ice scoop and holder that comes with them. While the base is made of hard plastic, it has non-slip feet, so we had no slipping problems.”
Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Capacity: 4 quarts | Manufactured: Taiwan | What’s Included: Ice scoop
Related: The Best Ice Scoops
“Our favorite part about this stainless steel ice bucket is how it’s shaped. With its wide opening and short height, your hand won’t get caught up, especially when you're getting ice at the bottom, leading to cleaner ice cubes.
It also showcases a gorgeous mirror-polished exterior, making it look more elegant in any setting, while the handle is comfortable to hold and doesn’t strain the hand. And when you open the lid, you can attach it to the rim of the bucket with its hook.”
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 4.6 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Scoop, lid
Related: The Best Countertop Ice Makers
Kelsey Waddell from Winning Homebrew comments, “The OXO Good Grips Ice Bucket is a great budget-friendly option for home bartenders with its double-wall construction that keeps ice from melting too quickly.”
“Moreover, its compact size and non-slip base make it a practical choice for a home bar. It also comes with tongs for easy ice handling and has a removable lid that keeps ice clean and fresh,” she notes.
Material: Plastic | Capacity: 3.3 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Tongs, garnish tray
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“This ice bucket is on the smaller side, which is perfect for small gatherings, date night, or sipping whiskey by yourself. We find the appearance great and sophisticated, making it a great display in your bar.
Furthermore, it is not only made of high-quality material but also quite weighty, demonstrating superior construction and the ability to serve its purpose for a long time. We also appreciate that it produces zero to minimal condensation.”
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 3.2 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Lid, strainer, tongs, and scoop
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“If you’re looking for a way to display your drinks in your wine carts elegantly, look no further than this beverage tub. We believe its glossy copper finish complements the hammered texture, making it stand out and fit as a gift.
This tub can hold about 10-12 drinks, and even if it’s moved from place to place, the durable material paired with the handles makes it easy to do so. We also like how the material is lead-free and rust-proof.”
Material: Iron | Capacity: 15 quarts | Manufactured: India | What’s Included: Tub only
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“If you’re looking for not just a well-performing stainless steel ice bucket but a beautiful and eye-catching one, we recommend this best ice bucket. It sports a marble pattern of white and gold, which will surely complement your countertop.
Function-wise, this boasts therma-s’well technology, which consists of triple-layer insulation like S’well’s wine tumblers. This assures you of an ice bucket with great temperature retention ability and zero condensation. We also like how the lid has a hole so the tongs can hang by the bucket’s rim.”
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 2.1 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Tongs, lid
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“If you want to pass on stainless steel or plastic ice buckets, you could try this giant copper mug!
Thanks to the copper material, this has the ability to keep your ice chilled for longer than your standard ice bucket.
In terms of appearance, this could pass as a decorative piece with its beautiful, glistening copper color together with the hammered-down texture. Even the handle looks beautiful! You can also give this as a gift to someone who loves Moscow Mules or alcohol, in general.”
Material: Copper | Capacity: 5 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Ice bucket only
Related: The Best Copper Mugs for Moscow Mules
“The Galvanized Metal Ice Bucket by Twine Living is my go-to choice for ice buckets since it can hold more ice than most alternatives (more than 5 gallons),” says Bash Hovian, owner of BASH the bartender.
“This affordable ice bucket is also made from stainless steel, which is durable, rust-resistant, and has good insulating properties, so ice stays cold and dry for longer. And since it will be on display, ensure that this one will contribute to the atmosphere of your event or establishment,” he adds.
Material: Steel and plastic | Capacity: 21.4 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Plastic insert, scoop, lid
Related: The Best Ice Trays
“If you want a different but awesome way of chilling and displaying your cold beverages, this transparent ice bucket will do the job! We are impressed by the handles, which are ergonomically designed for a firm grasp, making it a breeze to transport a full container.
Furthermore, it is crafted from sturdy plastic that won't crack easily and won't leak. However, given that it does not offer much insulation to keep the ice cubes frozen, we recommend having a bar mop towel on standby to wipe any messes.”
Material: Plastic | Capacity: 8.75 quarts | Manufactured: Taiwan | What’s Included: Ice bucket only
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“Everything about this ice bucket is so nice, from how it looks to how well it works. Because it has a double-walled construction, it prevents condensation and damage to the tables and keeps drinks cold for hours! It also looks good on a bar cart or as a present to a loved one.
We also love its seal, which is better than plastic lids. The ice tong storage is so convenient that we got so many compliments on it.”
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 3.2 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Tongs, lid
Related: The Best Bar Carts
“Wine cooler or ice bucket? Why choose one when you can have both with this product? Whether you and your guests enjoy wine or liquor, everyone will be accommodated with a perfectly chilled drink.
We appreciate how easy this bucket is to carry around, so it’s excellent for picnics, bbq parties, man caves, etc. It also stays stable and clean, thanks to the non-slip pad at its base and the condensation-free exterior.”
Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Capacity: 3.3 quarts | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 2 lids, scoop
Related: The Best Wine Cooler Sleeves
“There is something about a glass container that makes its contents and surroundings more elegant, and it is also the case with this ice bucket. We’re relieved it’s free from lead but still exudes a pretty sparkle.
The glass is very thick and heavy, ensuring that it remains stable. The handles also help lift the bucket and move it to different places. This bucket is perfect for any wine or Champagne bottle and still leaves enough room for the ice.”
Material: Glass | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Bucket only
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“While this bucket is made of plastic, it is sturdy enough to hold a bottle of wine, and we did not have trouble with it tipping over. We also like that it did not have excess condensation, so our tables were safe from water stains.
Because it is light, it makes it easy to store andfis suitable for traveling. The black design is already nice and clean, but you can customize it with paint, ribbons, etc., to match the whole room.”
Material: Plastic | Capacity: 3 liters | What’s Included: Bucket only
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Whether hosting a formal or casual event, ice buckets will always do a spectacular job of making drinks stay cold. For a quick suggestion, try our top pick - the Fine Dine Ice Bucket. From its classic design to its function, you could say it’s the quintessential ice bucket and a great starting point.
Which ice bucket caught your eye? Please leave a comment below!
Here are some factors that you can take into account so you can evaluate and choose the right ice bucket for your needs.
Ice buckets are created with either plastic, stainless steel, or glass. Some may use a combination of these materials, while others only use one.
Stainless steel is the ideal material because it is a good temperature conductor. The ice cubes can melt slower, especially if the stainless steel ice bucket is covered.
On the other hand, some plastic and glass ice buckets are transparent, so you can see the ice and the drinks and know precisely when to refill them. Whatever the material is, a good ice bucket must be durable so it will be put to use for a long time.
Traditional ice buckets have evolved into modern styles, which can contribute to the bucket’s function and form.
A beer expert from The Cask Connoisseur, Luke Slater, says, “It’s important to consider how well insulated the bucket is and if it will keep the ice chilled for an extended time.”
Stainless steel buckets are usually double-walled to provide insulation, but you can also find those with triple insulation designs. The lids also contribute to keeping the ice frozen.
Moreover, when filled with a lot of ice, ice buckets can become heavy. But, to make your life easier, they are designed with handles for easy carriage and transportation. Make sure that the handles are convenient and can carry the weight of the bucket and the contents.
“You also want to consider the design of the bucket and whether or not it matches the decor of your home,” Slater adds. You can find many styles of ice buckets and beverage tubs that can accentuate your bars, from sleek exteriors to hammered textures.
One of the ice buckets' primary purposes is to hold as much ice as possible to reduce the time and effort of going back and forth to get more ice. It would be best to look for a larger ice bucket to serve as many people as possible.
It also depends on what you're putting in the ice bucket. If you put soda or beer bottles in, then opt for a large ice bucket or beverage tub. If you're using it for wine bottles or for whiskey on the rocks, you can choose a small ice bucket.
There are a lot of great deals on the market when it comes to ice buckets. Price is associated with quality, so make sure you pick functional ones worth their price.
Most ice buckets come with ice tongs to quickly pick up ice. Others also have lids and filters for better temperature retention. These accessories add significant value and convenience to the bucket itself.
Ice will last, depending on the type of ice bucket. If it is closed with a lid and has double-walled insulation, ice can last for about 10 hours or more. The size of the ice cubes is also a factor.
The bigger they are, the slower they'll melt. Ice in buckets or tubs that are left exposed to air (those without lids) is more likely to melt faster.
An ice bucket has two functions: cool a bottled drink, and hold ice cubes until they are transferred into a glass. If you are to chill bottles of wine, Champagne, or beer, it is okay to add water with the ice cubes to make the vessel a colder environment for the drinks.
But if you're drinking whiskey, which needs ice cubes in the glass, there's no need to add water to the ice bucket. Some ice buckets have filters so the ice does not soak in the meltwater. The idea here is to keep the ice frozen until consumed.
This tactic is only applicable to the first purpose of ice buckets, as mentioned just previously. Besides adding water, people also found that adding salt into the mix can make the ice cubes melt faster and make them colder.
When salt comes into contact with ice cubes, it lowers the freezing point from 0°C to about -21°C. So, the water molecules become imbalanced, and heat/energy is absorbed from the environment to fight off the hydrogen that bonds the water molecules together.
Styrofoam is the best insulator for making the ice melt slower. But its structural integrity doesn't compare to that of metal buckets. With this, you can opt for insulated ice buckets with an airtight lid.
We believe that our readers should have access to unbiased, well-informed reviews when deciding which products to buy, and we work hard to provide that type of content. Our editorial team is experienced and passionate about mixology and bar equipment. In addition, we often consult with industry professionals when gathering information, which gives us an insider's perspective on the products we're reviewing.
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