Cooking 101: All about Ice Baths

how-to ice bath love food
recipe from
our test kitchen
An ice bath is simply a big bowl filled with water and ice. It is used to quickly stop the cooking process, especially when poaching, steaming, blanching, or par-boiling ingredients. The cold shock stops ingredients from continuing to cook from residual heat. When you’re doing big batch cooking, cooling the food in an ice bath before refrigeration is a smart step to take, as it helps prevent bacterial growth and spoilage.

To make an ice bath, fill a large bowl halfway with cold water; add a generous helping of ice cubes. Stir until the water is ice cold, adding more ice as needed. The final bath should still have many unmelted ice cubes in it.

When an ingredient is cooked to the degree of doneness you desire, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon or spider strainer, transfer to your ice bath, and stir. Then scoop the cooled ingredients into a clean dish and continue with your recipe.

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