Whether it's for a long trip in the car or a family picnic, keeping your food in a safe and cool container can prove difficult. Often times people quickly fill up a cooler with ice, only to find that when they have reached their destination, the ice has melted and the food is left wet. Fortunately here are steps for how to ensure that your ice stays frozen in an ice chest.
- The first thing you will need to do is purchase a high quality ice chest. Look for an ice chest that is large and has a comfortable handle to be carried around with. The ice chest should have good insulation throughout and a tight fitting lid that will guarantee that contents stay securely inside. Also choose an ice chest that has a drain plug on the inside so that you can drain any excess water accordingly.
- If you know the foods you are going to pack inside the ice chest, make sure that they are placed in sealed containers and bags. This will help keep the food fresh and properly sealed so that water or ice will not seep into the food.
- Next you will need a 1 gallon jug of water. Add 1/3 cup of salt and shake it up until the salt is dissolved in the water. Be sure to mark the container using the word "salt" so that you do not confuse it with fresh water.
- You will then put your salt water mixture into the freezer and check it from time to time. The salt will cluster together so you will need to shake it up to prevent it from clumping. Keep the jug in the freezer until the solution is completely frozen. It's possible that the bottom contents will not freeze however.
- The size of your ice chest and what types of food you are taking along will determine how many jugs of frozen water and salt you will need to make. For most standard size ice chests, two jugs are adequate. However, you may opt to use more if you are taking along more than one ice chest.
- When the jugs of water have frozen, place them in the bottom of the ice chest and cover them with ice. You can choose to use bags of ice or blocks of ice, yet bags of ice will allow more room for the food to be placed. Also be sure to keep the ice chest in a cool and dry place and refrain from opening it if not necessary.
Keeping jugs of frozen water and salt can keep ice frozen for several days in an ice chest. That is because a colder temperature is needed to freeze ice water than to freeze ice. When the jugs of salt have been thawed out, simply return them to the freezer to reuse them again.