The Best Ways To Make Shaved Ice Without A Fancy Machine

When the sun isn't relenting, an ice-based treat is one sure way to beat the heat. Snow cones, for example, are so tasty and refreshing that you'll probably need more than one bowl of that icy goodness during warm days. But the question is, how do you prepare your frigid treats if you don't have a shaved ice machine? Well, you're in luck because there are simple ways to make shaved ice without any fancy machine, not even using a blender or a food processor.

One of the easiest ways is what we like to call the "crush it" technique, where you'll just need a zip-lock bag and a rolling pin or a mallet. The second method is the "scrape it" technique which requires just a regular kitchen knife and a glove, plus a piece of cloth for safety purposes. And lastly, there's the "grate it" method. This one requires a box grater, the one you use for grating cheese or different vegetables.

Now that you know the not-so-fancy names of our easy ice-shaving methods and the items you need for each technique, let's get into the nitty-gritty of how to actually make shaved ice without a machine.

Crush it, scrape it, or grate it

For the crush-it approach, simply fill a ziplock bag quarter-way with water, seal it, pop it in the freezer until it's frozen, and then remove it and start pounding with any hard kitchen tool you've got — like a mallet or even a simple rolling pin. This method may not produce the finest or most uniform ice particles, but the crushed ice is absolutely sufficient for making your cold treat.

The second technique is to scrape it. Start by making an ice block by freezing water in a rectangular container, and let it thaw a bit so it's easier to shred. Now put on your gloves to hold the ice so you don't get freezer burn. Place the ice block upright on a clean cloth (to avoid sliding), and start scraping away with the sharp knife. Use a cutting motion as if you're trying to slice the ice very thinly.

And for the third method, grate-it, apply the same technique you use when grating a block of cheese. However, if your ice block is too big for you to hold in your hand, you may need to hold the grater instead and run it on the ice in a scrubbing motion. Using either of these three simple techniques, you don't need any complicated machine, and you'll have your shaved ice ready in no time. Place it in a bowl, pour your favorite fruit syrup on top, add some fancy toppings, and dig in.