Are you planning to pack food in your cooler for your next picnic, but don't know how to keep it cool? Has it been a while since your lunch bag has had trouble keeping your drinks fresh when you go on a walk? We think you should act fast by adopting a cold storage procedure.
As the warmer months approach, everyone starts planning outdoor trips. Whether you're at the beach, camping, or a park, a cooler is always essential to keep you fed and watered. This equipment is designed to stay cold and keep food and drinks cool for as long as possible. However, how you pack it and use it can make a huge difference in how long it stays cold.
Indeed, to know how to keep cold in a cooler, you must first choose the right cooler. Then think about pre-cooling it and your food before putting ice packs in it. Finally, you can close it tightly afterwards.
The good news is that these tips are really easy to implement. Any doubts? We invite you to read the rest of this article, which provides details on how to maximize the cooling capacity of your cooler.
Choose the right cooler
It may not seem like a big deal to you, but one of the best ways to keep a cooler cold the longest is to use a good quality cooler. There are several models on the market that offer outstanding thermal performance. Pay attention to the advertisements and always check the design material that the cooler is made of. Whether the cooler is flexible or rigid, it must be of high quality and food certified.
From another angle, don't settle for a cheap product. And if you have any doubts about the effectiveness of the cooler, our Healthy Lunch store has the necessary information for you. Do not hesitate to continue reading, because at the end you will have beautiful proposals of models that will certainly please you.
Pre-cool the cooler
Once you are sure you have the right cooler, the next step is to pre-cool it.
Coolers actually contain thick insulation and when kept in a cool compartment, this insulation can absorb a lot of coolness. So, when you put your food products in it, there is little chance of finding them warm later. Specifically, there are several ways to successfully pre-cool your cooler. It can be directly in front of a cooler or inside a huge freezer. On the other side, you can also place a lot of ice cream inside the cooler.
Freeze food and drinks overnight
When packing a cooler for maximum efficiency, it is necessary to load it with frozen or refrigerated products. These will help the cooler stay cold longer. Adding hot food or drinks at room temperature will add heat to your container. This is not what we are looking for.
You can do this overnight, the night before you go outside. However, be careful about freezing drinks. Obviously, not all drinks can be frozen to the extreme. This is especially true of beer cans, which can explode when frozen.
Use lots of ice cream and as much ice cream as possible
It's obvious: the more ice cream you use in your cooler, the colder it will stay in the long run. For more efficiency, remember not to use hot ice packs, i.e. ice that is around 0°C. They sink faster and are therefore not durable.
What types of ice cream to choose for your cooler?
Not all ice is created equal and some is actually colder than others. Technically, you can use several types of ice, but only three easily stand out from the crowd:
- Ice blocks;
- Ice blocks;
- Dry ice.
The ice blocks
Choose large blocks of ice because they melt more slowly than cubed ice. This is understandable, as large blocks of ice have less surface area exposed to the outside heat. You can make them yourself in a variety of ways by adding water to balloons or containers and putting them in a freezer.
The ice loaves
Still known as cold accumulators, ice packs differ from blocks through their composition. Indeed, they are made of dyes, salts and water and have the mission to dissipate the heat that the food may contain. In turn, the ice blocks create an extremely cool climate inside the cooler. To take it a step further, as these ice packs melt, they become colder.
This is a rather particular choice that is not suitable for everyone because of its specificities. In fact, dry ice is known to freeze products quickly. It will be of excellent use to you if you go fishing or hunting. Thus, your fish or game meats will not be wet by the melting ice. However, its use implies the use of protective gloves, because dry ice is hot and colder than ordinary ice.
Once you have selected the ice that suits you, you will now have to use it well to maximize the coldness of the cooler. Start by placing the ice at the very bottom of the cooler before placing your contents on top. Next, place the ice pack on the sides and on top of the contents. This will enhance the insulating power of the cooler's walls.
Fill in the gaps with frozen water bottles
Air is the first enemy you absolutely must combat when it comes to keeping your cooler cold. In fact, the free air space inside your jar is likely to melt the ice much faster. To avoid this, you will need to fill the empty spaces with water bottles straight from the refrigerator. Also, it is important to know that the size of the cooler also plays a big role in this procedure. To better minimize the air space, we recommend using an appropriately sized cooler.
Keep out the cold with foam or an insulating layer
If you still have some room left inside, add an insulating layer on top of the ice blocks that cover the fresh food. This is a little-known but important trick. Conveniently, you can take polyurethane foam, a nylon blanket or even a towel that fits the size of the lunch bag. This extra insulation padding keeps hot air from invading the food and liquid products you want to keep cool.
Close the cooler tightly
Every time you open your cooler, you are letting in warm air from outside to replace the cold air inside. This will melt your ice cream very quickly and your cooler will warm up in record time. So if you want to save the cold inside the jar, keep the lid tightly and permanently closed. Only open your cooler to get your products when you need them.
Our best coolers for better cold storage
We mentioned it above: you need the right cooler to keep your products cold. And to make your life easier, our editorial team offers you to discover a top 2 of our best coolers.
The White High Performance Cooler
Need a rigid insulated container that you can carry while hunting, fishing or just hiking? This Healthy Lunch product is what you need. It's not too big, let alone too small to hold everything you need. It offers a large capacity of 25 liters and includes a thermometer for temperature control. But what about its performance?
In fact, our cooler benefits from a high performance through its waterproof PU foam and its shelf life which is estimated at 3 days. It is simply remarkable. Finally, you can count on its handles that facilitate its portability in any place.
The Flexible Cooler Black 9 L
Here is one of the best-sellers of our Healthy Lunch catalog. For the more curious, it comes as an insulated lunch bag that offers you a nice 9 liter capacity. In addition, the container sports premium quality materials, including 600D Oxford. Its interior is reinforced with 3 layers of high quality insulation that allow you to enjoy at least 6 hours of cold. Of course, you can greatly increase this time with our previous tips.
On the other hand, the soft cooler remains easy to carry thanks to its adjustable shoulder strap which is extremely resistant. So do yourself a favor by adopting it and you will know the joys of always consuming fresh food and drinks.
Here we are at the end of our article which you will certainly have enjoyed. We suggest that you apply all of our techniques, or even combine them, to keep your cooler cold in the long run. Start with a good cooler, pre-cool it, use ice packs instead of ice cubes and close it tightly after using a foam.