What is an Ice Bucket?

An ice bucket can be used in a variety of settings to keep beverages cool.
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  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2014
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An ice bucket is an insulated container used to make ice readily available for chilled beverages. It can be used at home in a wet bar to make ice available for guests, or it can be placed on a countertop at parties. Another use is to keep wine chilled at the dinner table, both at home and in restaurants. These buckets are commonly available in hotel rooms where guests can use them to carry ice back from an ice vending machine. They are available for purchase at department stores and anywhere kitchen products are sold.

There are many styles of ice buckets available, from very basic models to elegant designs. They typically have a hat-style lid that slips into the lip of the bucket. The lid is lifted or lowered into place without turning by using a central knob or finial. The handle might be a basket-style swivel that can drop to one side when not in use, or knob handles might be located on either side of the body of the bucket. Ice is often removed from the bucket using ice tongs. In some cases, tongs are sold with the bucket, but more often, they’re sold separately.


There is an bucket design for every decor, occasion, and purpose. A basic model with a black vinyl exterior will go with almost any kitchen. In the summer months, one can be placed on the countertop can keep kids from opening the freezer repeatedly or running a noisy ice dispenser continuously. It can also be taken to the backyard for barbecues or to tailgate parties. One can even come in handy when camping.

Stainless steel ice buckets are highly polished and add a tasteful flair to any party. Hosts can place glasses and beverages next to a bucket and guests can help themselves, leaving the hosts free to entertain. If something a bit more elegant is appealing, individuals might prefer a cut crystal model. This type can look beautiful sitting out, even when not in use. One can be used at a wedding, shower, or other special occasions, and they are often used at conventions, employee outings, and organizational gatherings.


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