Updated: November 2017

Ice Bucket Reviews:

When planning summer parties, you'll want to have an ice bucket handy to keep ice cubes for drinks or as a storage container for wines or champagne. We have all seen the plain style ice buckets in hotels that perform their function of holding ice cubes, but aren't designed to keep the cubes from melting. The newer stainless steel ice buckets with double-walled insulation will keep your ice cubes intact for more than an hour or so. Another key feature to look for when buying an ice bucket are those models with a strainer at the bottom to keep any melted water away from the ice cubes that remain. Styles were limited until a few years ago when Calphalon brought their first ice bucket to market and now cooking and kitchen websites and retail stores sell 1000's of these each month. Keep reading below for details on finding the best ice buckets for the lowest price.
ice bucket

Choosing an ice bucket - Most ice buckets hold about 1 to 4 quarts of ice cubes and many are sold with a pair of tongs or a scooper so you can get the ice out without having to touch it with your fingers or hands. Condensation is the main thing you want to limit so that the cubes don't melt away (even in warm weather). Ice buckets are made from plastic, glass, stainless steel, copper, and some are encased with acrylic containers. The most popular ice buckets are the silver colored stainless steel brands. If you plan on purchasing an ice bucket to chill a bottle of wine or champagne, make sure you buy one that is large enough to hold a bottle of that size. The majority of ice buckets have lids that will need to be completely removed in order to get to the ice, but the top selling OXO Steel Ice Bucket has a flip up lid which is really convenient. We prefer the ice buckets that come with tongs versus the scoops, but beware of tongs that are too small to grab hold of larger ice cubes. Scoops are better if you plan on making larger batches of frozen drinks like Margaritas. Prices ranges from $25 to $100+ and the monogrammed styles are the most expensive. Kitchen supply stores like Crate & Barrel and Sur La Table sell ice buckets and you can find them listed online at Amazon.com and Cooking.com. Macy's carries the Calphalon brand of ice buckets and catalog orders are possible through Brookstone.com. The Wall Street Journal did a review recently where they compared 5 stainless steel ice buckets. They filled the buckets with ice and put them in a warm room to see how the ice would hold up over an hour. Other features like design, price, and tongs/scoops were included in the rating process to come up with a winner. We also took a look at the user reviews online at Cooking.com and Amazon.com to see what owners say about their purchases. We came up with a short list of the "best ice buckets" down below based on the reviews. You can browse the best selling ice buckets online here.

Best Ice Bucket:

The Oxo SteeL Ice Bucket ($35) comes out on top at both Cooking.com as a "best seller" and Amazon.com users rate it as the most popular model available. The bucket comes with tongs and a tong holder that sits on the side of the ice bucket for convenient and easy storage. The double wall construction provides the best insulation possible and cuts down on any condensation. The 4 quart capacity is plenty of any party or home bar environment and the non-slip base will protect any surface you place it on. The brushed stainless steel finish looks great in any kitchen or bar and the plastic lid flips up for quick access to the ice cubes. Reviewers say the ice stays cold and the bucket is sturdy. We found it online at Cooking.com for $40 and Amazon.com for similar pricing.

High End Ice Bucket:

For a sleeker ice bucket, check out the Screwpull Club 2-3/4 Quart Ice Bucket Set ($90) from Le Creuset. The brushed 18/10 stainless steel finish provides elegance and durability while the double walled body and lid reduce condensation. The Wall Street Journal reviewer liked the dimpled design for easy pick up. However, as the WSJ mentioned, condensation did appear on the exterior and we read several other reviews online by owners that said for almost $100 they expected no condensation. Another drawback to this model is that no tongs are included (there is a scoop). We agree that for sheer looks, the Le Creuset model is the best, but it lacks in total performance. You can find it online at Amazon.

Champagne Ice Bucket:

Champagne and most white wines need to be chilled before serving and even after they are opened, you should really keep them on ice. The best champagne ice bucket we found was Mauviel Oval Copper Champagne Bucket ($269) on Williams-Sonoma.com. Instead of the stainless steel look, this copper body has a polished finish that is both rustic and romantic. Holds 2 bottles of champagne or wine side by side. We did see some traditional stainless steel champagne ice buckets at Crate & Barrel for around $30-$40 which do the job just fine and are a lot less expensive. BEST - At $35 we found the Champagne & Wine Bucket with Stand which is a top seller on Amazon and gets excellent customer feedback online. You get the bucket and stand and the bucket is made with stainless steel.

Glass Ice Bucket:

Williams Sonoma has some beautiful glass ice buckets that cost about $50. They come with handles on the sides for easy lifing and they will keep wine or champagne chilled. The big disadvantage to glass versus stainless steel and double walled insulation is that condensation will become an issue in glass ice buckets if it's left too long without using the ice cubes. If the ice will be used quickly, go with the elegant glass designed ice buckets, but on warmer days where ice will be sitting out in the warm weather, stay away from the glass ice buckets.