Deep Frying Ice (and Why it’s a Terrible Idea)

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Last updated on August 7, 2022


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One of the many joys of living in America is the easy access to deep-fried food. In fact, half of American cuisine is made up of deep-fried goods. Fries, fried tomatoes, tater tots, onion rings, fried chicken, corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, fried shrimp, fried pickles, the list goes on and on. 

Did I go to the State Fair once and eat fried Oreos? Yes, yes, I did. Would I do it again? Of course. 

Although deep-fried foods are delicious, not everything should (or can be) deep-fried. Such as our good friend ice. 

While we understand the attraction, deep frying ice is a truly terrible idea and could result in an extremely dangerous situation.

Without further ado, here’s why you should never deep fry ice under any circumstances and the science behind it. 

Can You Deep Fry Ice?


No! Absolutely not. 

Let’s break down the facts for you. Oil in a deep fryer is heated above 300°F, occasionally as high as 375°F. Ice is 32°F or below. Clearly, not a match made in heaven. 

Once the ice comes in contact with such a hot liquid, it will immediately evaporate (or expand) into steam. This sudden expansion pushes the boiling oil up and out of the frier, essentially causing an explosion.

Also, it's physically impossible to deep fry ice. The ice melts the second it touches the oil.

You won’t have anything to show for your experiment aside from a boiled-over air fryer, burns, and a potential oil fire. 

What Happens When You Deep Fry Ice?

Bad things. But let’s get into it anyway. 

When any sort of substance changes from one state to another, the vibrations of the individual molecules increase or decrease. Remember, there are only three states: liquid, gaseous, and solid. 

So, when the ice inevitably melts and begins to go from solid to liquid to gas, the molecular vibration skyrockets! All of a sudden, there are two high-vibrational forces at play here, and they do not react well together. 

On top of all this, there’s a steep temperature between these polar and nonpolar substances. Once it’s all said and done, you end up with what is essentially a very uncool, dangerous, homemade volcano. 

As you can see here and here, the ice and oil violently explode and leave you with quite a messy situation.  

Can You Deep Fry Dry Ice?


Now, I understand the desire to deep fry dry ice. Believe me, I do. And though the effect is less disastrous than regular ice, it’s still not safe. 

As you may know, dry ice is carbon dioxide in solid form. Dry ice is known for its ability to transition from a solid directly to a gas, meaning it has no need for the liquid state in between.

Because of the lack of liquid state, dry ice will not melt in the oil, like regular ice does. However, it will still cause the oil to boil over.  

Once it’s all said and done, all you’ll be left with is a shrunken piece of dry ice. So, what’s the point? 

I only deep fry food and food alone, and it’s worked out pretty well for me so far. 

Can You Air Fry Ice?


The answer is no! No, no, no, no, and, you guessed it, no.

Air fryers are all the rage right now, as they should be. So, don’t put your air fryer at risk by trying to air fry ice. 

Once it gets hot enough in there, the ice will melt and potentially damage your air fryer. You’re putting ice in a miniature convection oven…what did you expect to happen?

So not worth it, folks. So not worth it. 

Can You Make Deep-Fried Ice Cubes?



Whether you’ve got giant chunks of ice or tiny ice cubes, you’ll get the same reaction. That chilly ice will melt, and instead of a delicious, deep-fried, frozen treat, you’ll have chaos. Pure, unadulterated, boiling chaos.

And potentially some oil burns. 

What Is Deep-Fried Ice Cream?


Deep-fried ice cream is one of the gifts that just keeps on giving.

If you have a sweet tooth, then deep-fried ice cream should be right up your alley. Imagine this: you bite into a crunchy, fried coating and then a cool, creamy scoop of ice cream. It’s the best of both worlds! 

If you have a fryer at home or are going to a State Fair anytime soon, I highly recommend trying some deep-fried ice cream. Why not? 

How Do You Make Fried Ice Cream?

Ready for some fried ice cream? You can find funky recipes online if you want to add some pizzazz, but we’ll stick to the basics here: 


  • Ice cream
  • Crushed cornflakes or white bread


1. Scoop your ice cream onto a baking pan in your preferred shape. Place in the freezer for at least an hour. 

2. Create your coating. You could mash cornflakes and cinnamon together or stick with bread. 

3. Take out your ice cream rounds and coat them. 

4. Freeze for at least several hours, preferably overnight. Can freeze for up to two months. 

5. Heat oil to 375°F. 

6. Place rounds in one at a time, frying for 8-10 seconds each. 

7. Serve hot and enjoy! 

Doesn’t that sound good? 

Now, deep-fried ice cream is only possible thanks to the protective coating around the outside. This coating can be made of crushed cornflakes, white bread, or anything else your heart desires. So, the oil is frying the coating, not the ice cream itself. Hence the lack of a crazy explosion. 

Final Thoughts on Deep Frying Ice

Deep frying ice is incredibly unsafe and rather unsatisfactory, if you ask me. In fact, it’s so dangerous that several restauranteurs don’t allow ice near their fryers at all. 

Just don’t do it, folks. It ain’t worth it. 

So, be careful when using your deep fryer and please stay safe! Why not eat some French fries or fried ice cream instead? 


About the author, Dolly

Dolly is a student at Goldsmiths, University of London and an avid cook. After managing a miniature organic farm for a year, she fell in love with the art of cooking and the taste of homegrown greens. Dolly first became plant-based eight years ago, and she is now a full-blown vegan; her plant-based journey has made her creative and experimental in the kitchen. If she’s not writing or cooking, Dolly can be found on her front porch, strumming her guitar and singing for anyone who will listen.