Methods that have been shown to work to keep ice cream frozen for days in a cooler
It can be challenging to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler, as anyone who has tried to do so will attest to. Upon removal, the ice cream will have melted into a mushy liquid.
Ice cream won't stay frozen if you simply place it in a cooler with regular ice. Since ice cream is made to have a lower melting point than water, it will melt before your ice does.
Nevertheless, it is feasible, and in this article, I'll demonstrate step-by-step how to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler for several hours or even days.
Your cooler must be colder than 32 °F (0 °C) in order to keep ice cream frozen inside. You can achieve this by using dry ice and lowering the temperature below freezing by adding salt to the ice. Putting ice cream in a vacuum insulated cup or placing it at the bottom of your cooler can also help it stay frozen for longer.
I'll discuss each of these strategies for maintaining ice cream's freezing temperature, outlining how to employ them most effectively and why they are effective. However, let's first examine why your ice cream doesn't stay frozen in your cooler despite the fact that it is filled with ice.
How Come Ice Cream Doesn't Stay Frozen in a Regular Cooler?
I believe it's crucial to first comprehend why ice cream doesn't stay frozen in a regular cooler filled with ice.
The melting point of ice cream is intended to be lower than that of water. This is why it remains smooth and convenient to serve and eat at 0°F (-18°C), as opposed to being completely rock-hard frozen like ice.
Regular ice won't be able to keep ice cream at the freezing temperatures of 0°F (-18°C) that it is intended to be stored at when you put it in a cooler with regular ice. Instead, it will only keep it at a temperature below 32°F (0°C).
This implies that ice cream will rapidly warm up and melt, far ahead of the rate at which the ice in the cooler begins to melt.
Therefore, you must employ various techniques to further reduce the temperature of your cooler in order to ensure that the ice cream stays frozen. Simply placing ice cream in a cooler with ice is NOT sufficient to keep it cold.
1. Employ Dry Ice
Use of dry ice is the simplest method for keeping ice cream frozen in a cooler.
Dry ice is much colder than regular ice because it is made of frozen carbon dioxide. At -109, dry ice is. 3°F (-78 Even colder than your home freezer (5°C), Definitely cold enough to maintain the frozen state of your ice cream.
Dry ice is actually so cold that it can freeze your ice cream to a solid state that makes it impossible to serve. Therefore, you must take some additional measures to keep your ice cream frozen and at the ideal temperature.
Step 1: Use newspaper, cardboard, or a towel to cover the dry ice.
Use gloves or other protective and insulating gear when handling dry ice because it is so cold that it can cause frostbite in just a few seconds.
The dry ice should be covered with newspaper, a towel, or cardboard.
These substances act as insulators and will shield your ice cream from the dry ice's powerfully cold temperatures.
Step 2: Position your dry ice at the top or bottom of your cooler.
You can now position the dry ice at either the bottom or the top of your cooler, depending on your strategy and how long you want it to last.
Personally, I prefer to put it on the cooler's bottom, then cover it with a layer of cardboard or a towel. Next, I add my ice cream to ensure that it is near the dry ice and maintains its frozen state.
I layer frozen meats or other foods I want to keep as cold and frozen as possible on top of my ice cream.
Finally, I'll place my drinks on top of everything. This indicates that the beverages are sufficiently separated from the dry ice so that they won't completely freeze.
Alternately, you could place the dry ice on top of your cooler and place your ice cream at the bottom.
If you want to keep several buckets of ice cream frozen, this method works because cold sinks allow for more even cooling of the ice cream.
Step 3: Adjust as necessary
Depending on how frozen your ice cream is becoming, you may need to adjust your recipe. If it appears to be slightly melted, move it closer to the dry ice; if it appears to be too hard and frozen, move it further away from the dry ice.
2. Season your ice with salt
Another method to lower the temperature of your cooler so that you can keep your ice cream frozen is to add salt to your ice.
This happens because the ice melts as the salt forms a bond with it. Ice actually requires energy to melt, changing from a solid to a liquid. By absorbing heat from the ice around it, it obtains this energy.
As a result, the cooler becomes cold enough to keep ice cream frozen as the salt water ice melts.
How to do it:
Put the ice cream bucket in freezer bags as the first step.
Before you start, wrap your ice cream buckets in plastic freezer bags to protect them from the water. This method will melt ice and produce a lot of water.
Step 2: Fill the cooler's bottom with ice cream.
Ice cream should be placed at the bottom of your cooler because it will be the coldest place because heat rises and cold sinks.
Step 3: Wrap Ice Around The Ice Cream
Once your ice cream has been placed in the cooler, add your loose ice cubes on top of it, making sure to fully encircle the ice cream container whenever possible.
Pour salt over your ice in step four.
Now liberally sprinkle salt over the ice. The ice will melt more quickly and your cooler can get colder if you use more salt.
Step 5: Seal Your Cooler and Allow It to Work Its Magic
After you have sprinkled salt on your ice, the ice that forms a bond with the salt will begin to melt, making the surrounding ice around it colder in the process.
Your ice and the melted saltwater's temperature can be lowered by this process to as low as -5 degrees. It is slightly warmer than the temperature of your home freezer, at 8°F (-21°C).
Step 6: Where necessary, add more salt and ice.
If the cooler is not cold enough, you might need to add more ice or salt to hasten the melting process and get the cooler to the desired temperature.
To find out how much dry ice to put in a cooler, click here.
3. Place your ice cream in a vacuum cup or container that has already been chilled.
This technique can be used alone to keep ice cream frozen for a few hours or in combination with the techniques mentioned above to help keep your ice cream frozen for even longer in your cooler.
Larger vacuum cups, like the Yeti Rambler Tumber 30 oz, can hold a lot of ice cream. In fact, the tweet below demonstrates how to fit a small tub of ice cream directly into a Yeti cup without removing the ice cream from its container.
Pre-chill Your Cup For Best Results
To achieve the best results, remove the lid from your Yeti cup and place it in the refrigerator or freezer to cool the stainless steel metal.
If you don't have access to a freezer, another option is to fill the cup with ice to cool the interior walls.
The ice cream will stay frozen longer as a result of less heat being transferred to it.
Close the lid.
Put the lid on your cup because it will help keep out liquids and act as insulation by itself.
Put your cup in the refrigerator.
Place your ice cream in your cooler now so that it is less exposed to the heat outside.
The most effective insulator is a vacuum. Therefore, keeping your ice cream frozen longer is made possible by a vacuum-sealed cup.
Check Amazon for the most recent Yeti Tumbler price.
4. Use Ice From Your Freezer Rather Than A Gas Station.
It is frequently referred to as "warm ice" to purchase ice from a gas station or supermarket. This indicates that the ice melts more quickly and does not initially start out as cold as ice from your own freezer at home.
This also implies that it is typically too warm to keep ice cream frozen.
At home, your freezer should be set to 0°F (-18°C), which ensures that the ice is the same temperature.
Use this ice to cover your ice cream to maintain its temperature around 0°F (-18°C) for a short period of time.
Depending on your cooler, this will help you keep ice cream for at least a few hours, if not up to two days. Over time, the ice and the ice cream will warm up.
To view the top ice trays on Amazon, click here.
5. Add some dry ice to your ice cream.
You can actually use dry ice right in your ice cream to freeze it if it has already melted. Place the powdered dry ice in your ice cream and stir it through after breaking or blending it into tiny pieces or a powder.
The small amount of dry ice will be cold enough to quickly freeze your ice cream.
It is safe to eat dry ice as long as it is food-grade dry ice.
Simply by sublimating (changing from a solid to a gas), the dry ice will vanish. Your ice cream may taste a little fizzy (like soda's carbon dioxide), but that can only enhance its intriguing flavor.
However, it is imperative that you avoid ingesting any dry-ice chunks. Before eating your ice cream, make sure that everything has been converted into a gas. Despite the fact that it would be too cold for you to swallow, eating dry ice can burn your mouth and can even kill you if you do.
Additional Advice for Keeping Ice Cream Frozen in a Cooler
Here are some additional tips for cooling ice cream that will stay frozen.
Put your cooler's ice on top and the ice cream at the bottom.
Your ice cream will stay frozen for longer if you place it at the bottom of the cooler with ice completely covering it.
This makes sure that your ice cream is in the cooler's coldest area because cold air sinks.
Additionally, the ice should completely encase the ice cream on all sides, as well as on top and underneath. This guarantees that the ice cream is cooled from all sides.
Avoid opening your cooler whenever you can
You want to open your cooler as little as possible after placing the ice cream inside until you need the ice cream.
By opening it, you let outside air into the cooler. Because of how warm everything is outside, your ice cream will melt more quickly.
Therefore, until you need to remove your ice cream, try to keep your cooler completely closed.
If you must use it, use it as little as possible, get everything quickly, and then tightly close the lid to ensure that your ice cream and ice are exposed to as little outside air as possible.
Keep your cooler in a shaded, cool area.
Keep your cooler in a cool, shaded area away from the sun. This lessens the amount of radiant heat that enters your cooler and prevents a significant amount of outside heat from entering it.
Wrap the aluminum foil around the ice cream.
An excellent heat radiation insulator is aluminum foil. Regular coolers aren't really protective against this kind of heat.
The cold temperatures of the dry ice, saltwater ice, or regular ice will continue to keep your ice cream cold while the aluminum foil will help reflect this type of heat away from your ice cream.
Utilize an Excellent Cooler
Your cooler's capacity determines how long it can keep things cold. Compared to a standard cooler, a Yeti cooler can keep things much colder.
Ice cream will stay frozen for a lot longer in a high-quality cooler than in a low-quality, less expensive cooler.
To see the coolers with the best ice retention, click here.
On Amazon, you can view the most recent Yeti cooler prices.
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