How to Make Shaved Ice Without an Ice Crusher

by Chance E. Gartneer

Warmer weather brings out the shaved ice vendors who crush and mix icy sweet treats to help you beat the heat. To enjoy shaved ice anytime, you don't need the sun beating down or expensive equipment like an ice crusher. One of the most authentic and traditional ways to make shaved ice without an ice crusher is with a hand ice shaver, which you can find in many supermarkets' ethnic sections. With a hand ice shaver and a block of ice, you can have a summer treat all year long.

Rinse the inside of the empty milk carton thoroughly, fill it with water, and store it in the freezer for up to two days or until completely frozen.

Remove the milk carton from the freezer; cut away the carton and remove it completely to expose the block of ice. Place a towel on top of the cutting board and place the block of ice on the towel.

Place part of the towel on one end of the ice block to hold it firmly in place. Hold the ice shaver in your other hand, place it firmly on the ice block, then pull it back toward you. Repeat until the ice shaver's compartment fills with ice.

Empty the ice shavings into the bowl, then place the bowl in the freezer so the ice doesn't melt. Repeat these steps until you have enough ice shavings.

Wrap the ice block into a clean, brown paper grocery bag, then place it in the freezer for later use.

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Items you will need

  • Empty half-gallon cardboard milk carton
  • Water
  • Hand ice shaver
  • Cutting board
  • Towel
  • Bowl
  • Paper bag


  • If you don't have an ice shaver, use a cheese grater as a substitute. Also, a cheese slicer will work, but it might dull the device.
  • Mix the shaved ice with juices, punches or use it in your favorite cocktail.


  • Be careful when handling the ice block because your body heat will melt the ice.

About the Author

Chance E. Gartneer began writing professionally in 2008 working in conjunction with FEMA. He has the unofficial record for the most undergraduate hours at the University of Texas at Austin. When not working on his children's book masterpiece, he writes educational pieces focusing on early mathematics and ESL topics.

Photo Credits

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