4 Easy Tips & Hacks To Make Shaved Ice Without a Machine

How to Make Shaved Ice Without Machine or Blender
How to Make Shaved Ice Without Machine or Blender

There are four ways to make shaved ice without using a machine;

  1. Using a Very Sharp Knife to Shave the Ice or a tough Fork.
  2. Or a Zip Lock Bag 
  3. Getting an Old Fashion Ice Shaver or Grater or
  4. A Mechanical Ice Shaver 

In this article, I will walk you through step by step each of these methods.

1-Knife or Fork Method Of Making Shaved Ice

  • The First thing you would need to do is make an ice mold also known as an ice block.
  • To do so you can use any large square container and fill it up with water and put it in the freezer.
  • Once its a solid block of ice, take it out and let it thaw out for 4-5 minutes at room temperature.
  • Thawing it out is essential, this makes the ice more easy to shave
  • Whilst the ice is thawing out you can use these minutes to sharpen your kitchen knife.
  • Now remove the ice out of the container and rest it on a thick cloth to prevent it from sliding.
  • Next, hold the ice firmly in one hand using a cloth glove, the glove is to protect your hands from freezer burns
  • Then proceed to slice at the ice block in quick motions, just like if you are slicing at an onion
  • Take extra caution because the knife can slip easily
  • Finally, place your shaved ice into a bowl and add your syrup or other toppings
  • You can check out a short video below to see how it’s done

Fork Method

Alternatively, you if you have a fork with sturdy teeth you can use the fork to scrape off ice shavings from the block of ice.

Just ensure the block of ice has thawed out for a couple of minutes.

2-Using a Zip Lock Bag

This method is the easiest and requires the least amount of work, though the quality of shaved ice will vary, its more crushed ice than shaved ice.

  • The first thing you need to do is get a water tight zip lock bag, meaning the bag can hold water without leaking
  • Next, fill the bag a quarter of the way up with water.
  • And lay it out flat in the freezer
  • Now once it is frozen, you can use a mallet or a rolling pin to pound up you ice, nice and fine, inside the ziplock bag
  • because it was frozen in a flat shape, it can be easily crushed up.
  • Once the ice has been crushed up you can take the ice out of the ziplock bag and pour it out into your container
  • finally, add your syrups and maybe some condensed milk.
  • You can check out the video below to see how it is done.

3-Using an Ice Shaver

This is one of the most common ways to make shaved ice without a complicated machine.

And it makes really good shaved ice so much so that before there was an electric shaved ice machine, using an Ice shaver was the best way to make shaved ic.

An Ice shaver is a simple utensil that you need to drag over an ice mold or ice block, and whiles you drag it over the ice block, thin pieces of ice are being shaved off and stored inside the ice shaver.

How to Use an Ice Shaver

  • The First thing you need to do is make an ice mold.
  • To make an ice mold, add water to a container and freeze it
  • Once its frozen solid take it out of the fridge and place in on a cloth to prevent it from sliding
  • Next, let the ice block thaw out at room temperature for 4-5 minutes
  • After it has thawed out, drag your ice shaver over the surface of the ice block
  • Finally, empty your ice shaver into a container.

Where to Get An Ice Shaver

A lot of specialty stores should have them, though Amazon usually has them in stock you can click to see the current price there.

4- Mechanical Ice Shaver

These are simple manual powered shaved ice machines they dont use electricity instead they rely on your hand to crank or turn a handle, which moves internal blades inside the shaver to shave the ice.

Comparison of Mechanical Shavers to Electonic Shavers

  • Mechanical ones tend to be cheaper than electronic shavers, yet they won’t give you that snow like texture that you would get from electronic shavers.
  • Most of them just fall flat in this regard they just dont have the power to make really fine and smooth shaved ice
  • On the plus side, you do get a good workout and these machines are very tough since they are all simple machines with no wires to short out.
  • Plus since they have no electrical parts they are easier to clean and they come without that risk of electrical hazard.
  • And because they dont work with electricity you can even use it outside.

The manual shaved ice machine that I would recommend is The Victorio Manual Shaved Ice Machine.

How to Use the Victorio Shaved Ice Machine

  • The first, thing you will need to do is make an ice mold
  • The Victorio will come with a plastic mold that you can then use to make your ice block.
  • Once the ice mold is made allow it to thaw out for 3 minutes.
  • this allows it to shave easier and helps make the shaved ice have a smoother texture
  • Now you can proceed to place the mold into the container of the machine
  • Next, screw down the cover and place a container at the bottom of the machine to catch the shaved ice
  • Once the mold and the cover is tightly fitted you can proceed to crank the handle on the cover which will start shaving the ice
  • Finally, once your container is filled with shaved ice you can proceed to add syrups or juice for taste

Where to get the Victorio Manual Shaved Ice Machine

Amazon usually has these machines at really good prices, you can click to see the current price on Amazon.


It is possible to make shaved ice without using a machine but your results will vary.

To truly get great shaved ice I highly advocate getting a shaved ice machine you can click to learn more and see my recommendations on the Best Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine.

Similar Posts


Comments are closed.