Getting the Most out of Insulated Coolers

| March 16, 2011

Insulated coolers can provide very good refrigeration for your cold beverages. They do have their limitations, however, and there are ways that you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of them. There are even ways that you can use them to chill beverages very quickly with a little bit of science. There are designs that are suitable for one person to carry with them on a camping trip and designs that are big enough to provide for an entire tailgate party. Any design, however, has to be cared for.

It’s inevitable that the ice in insulated coolers is going to melt. To make sure that the water doesn’t become a problem, drain it out as it melts away and add more ice. This ensures that you’re getting the maximum amount of cooling out of the cooler. When you’re travelling in a car, throw something over the top of the cooler to keep the direct sunlight off of it. Insulated or not, some of the heat energy from the sun will raise the temperature in the cooler and it will make the ice melt faster, which is exactly what you want to avoid.

There are some occasions where you might want to put some water into insulated coolers on purpose, however. If you have beverages that are warm and want them cold fast, try the following. Add just enough ice to cover your beverages and then add enough water to just cover the entire mixture. Add a bit of salt—it doesn’t take much, a half a cup will usually do. Mix the water around for a while and just wait a few minutes. The addition of the salt allows the water to get very cold without freezing, down to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Your beverages will cool quickly. You can replenish the ice as it melts away.

When you’re outside, be sure that insulated coolers are always closed after someone takes a beverage out. Warm air introduces a lot of heat into the cooler, even after it’s closed, and this will make the ice melt pretty quickly. Open coolers become tubs of water very quickly on hot summer days. It’s also a good idea to put your cooler in a shady spot, if possible. If you’re tailgating, sliding the cooler underneath the vehicle protects it from the sun pretty effectively.


Category: Picnic Shopping Guide

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