Learning how to use dry ice in a cooler will be a great benefit for you on your next outdoor adventure. If you like camping, hiking, or any activity that takes you away from the comfort of air conditioning, you probably already know how important it is to keep your food and drinks cold. Dry ice is a great medium for achieving this difficult task.
Why Use Dry Ice In Your Cooler?
Do you want to know how to keep ice in a cooler for the longest time possible? It’s one of the most commonly asked questions in the cooler industry. And the answer is to learn how to use dry ice in a cooler safely and efficiently. Safety first, users must adhere to special usage instructions and safety precautions when using dry ice in a cooler.
Safety Guidelines & Considerations When Using Dry Ice In A Cooler
- Do not handle dry ice directly. Dry ice should never come in contact with skin. Use protective gloves, tongs, oven mitts, or towels when handling dry ice.
- Kenai Coolers are dry ice compatible but not all coolers are – please check manufacturer websites for this critical information first, before attempting to use dry ice in your cooler.
- Use dry ice in well-ventilated areas because it converts to carbon dioxide gas instead of melting, replacing oxygen. It should not be inhaled, eaten, or swallowed.
- Your cooler needs to have proper ventilation to allow the carbon dioxide to escape. Some coolers have a gap in the gasket to allow for this, but other high-performance coolers may need to have the lid left cracked open or the drain plug open to act as a vent.
- When purchasing and transporting block dry ice, it’s generally recommended to drive with the windows down. If possible, transport away from the driver and passenger compartment.
- Headaches, rapid breathing, and passing out can happen if exposed to too much carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen so it will sink to lower areas in a vehicle so be especially mindful of pets.
- In camp or out on an adventure, store the cooler with dry ice away from tents, campers, crowds, etc.
How To Use Dry Ice In A Cooler Efficiently
- Wrap dry ice in towels, cardboard, or newspapers before placing it in a cooler.
- The dry ice should never come in direct contact with the walls of your cooler.
- The dry ice should never come in direct contact with the contents of your cooler.
- Put the properly wrapped dry ice on top of the cooler content or in the middle of the cooler.
- Use crumbled newspapers to fill empty spaces within the cooler. This will help to extend the life of your dry ice.
- Dry ice can be used in conjunction with conventional ice. Such as block or cubed ice.
- Keep dry ice from coming in contact with water to extend dry ice life.
How To Use Dry Ice In A Cooler With Conventional Block or Cubed Ice
To create a deep freeze that will maximize your dry ice-compatible cooler’s ice retention, you’ll want to use the dry ice very similarly to how you would use block ice. Be sure to keep the dry ice out of direct contact with the cooler by using a layer of cardboard, a dishtowel, or even a few paper grocery bags.
Place the dry ice at the bottom of your cooler and cover it with another protective layer before adding cubed ice and your goods. In no time you’ll be ready to transport ice cream, popsicles, and more because you know how to use dry ice in your cooler.
Interesting Dry Ice Facts and Uses With A Cooler
- How long will dry ice last in a cooler? Depends on two variables: how it is stored in the cooler and the size of the dry ice brick or block. It is suggested that in a cooler dry ice will last 18-24 hours.
- Dry ice is colder than regular wet ice which quickly cools or freezes items and keeps them colder longer. Dry ice temperature can average about negative 109.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dry ice doesn’t melt like regular ice, so paper-wrapped meat won’t get wet. Dry ice releases gas instead of liquid.
- Dry ice is lighter than conventional ice which makes transporting your cooler easier.
- Dry ice is well-suited for items you want to keep frozen like meat and ice cream.
- Dry ice “melts” or dissipates faster than conventional ice so it’s not a good choice for long trips.
- Dry ice is more expensive by weight or size than conventional ice. If you have many items to keep cold for a long duration of time, regular ice is your best bet.
- Dry ice is readily available. Google search “dry ice near me” and you’ll see it can be purchased at many grocery stores among other locations.
- Some stores have an “over 18 years of age” purchasing requirements because of the handling risks.
Dry Ice Is A Great Alternative To Standard Wet Ice In Your Cooler
Specifically, for keeping valuable meat and food items cold and frozen for a shorter period of time, not an extended stay. Now you know how to use dry ice in a cooler.
Following the dry ice safety guidelines mentioned above can keep people and pets safe while protecting food from spoilage. Whether you choose conventional ice or dry ice to chill your cooler contents, Kenai Coolers are always a great choice.