Why you need to keep your cooler cool
When the weather becomes warm and heat, you can head out doors in droves, enjoying cookouts, picnics, hiking, boating, as well as other outdoor activities.
However, great outdoor activities also mean a lot of food safety hazards caused by the hot temperatures. You need to know how to keep your perishable foods and beverages cool, which is the basic challenge when it comes to food safety. You can use an ice chest or insulated cooler if the outings are short.
Foam chests are lightweight and inexpensive, and they can do their best to keep your food cold. However, they have their drawback. They break easily and cannot last very long.
Coolers are made of metal, fiberglass or plastic. They are much durable and sturdier. Of course, they have their advantages. However, they can be a burden for you because of their weight. If they are full of foods and beverages, they can weigh you down. On the market, there are many types of coolers, including electric coolers, camping coolers, rolling coolers, or small coolers. Rolling coolers have wheels, so the transporting is so easy.
Cool the Cooler
If you need to keep your foods and beverages cool, first you need to cool the cooler and keep it cold. Of course, the best, most common, cheapest ways is to use ice to cool it. Andy you need to remember, ice cubes stay cold much shorter than block ice. Therefore, try your best to use block ice. However, if block ice is not accessible, you can try this:
Of course, you need to have a freezer or a fridge. Fill some plastic bottles with tap water and then put them in your freezer or fridge to freeze them to become ice blocks. This method is better than ordinary ice. This is because when the ice block melts, the water cannot escape from the bottle, so the inside of the cooler keeps clean and relatively dry. You also can choose frozen gel-packs which are a good reusable option. However, they are less economical than the frozen bottled water.
Pack the Cooler
Before putting your items in the cooler, it is a good idea to put them in your refrigerator. If you are ready to head out, you can pack your food from your refrigerator into your cooler. Well, how to pack the cooler?
Practice last in, first out. This means the first foods you packed should be the last foods you will use. This also means you don’t need to go digging through your cooler to find the items you want. If you stick to this principle, this can shorten the time you use your cooler, extending its cooling effect. Before packing your cooler, you also need to consider the order you pack foods. The first food you need to use should be on the top. This means you need to put the first food at the last.
Pack it cold: If possible, try your best to fill the cooler with cold or frozen foods. This can extend the ice retention time.
Keep the Cooler Closed as much as possible
Of course, the best way you can rely on is to keep your cooler closed as much as possible. A good way is to use several coolers to store different kinds of items. For example, one is used for beverages and snacks, and another one is used for your perishable items. This can avoid you to open the one that you used to keep perishable items frequently, extending the cooling time.
Of course, don’t let your cooler under the sun. And you can use a blanket to cover your cooler, and this can offer further insulation. You also can bury your cooler in the shade or sand if you are at the beach.