Salt in the ice?

workerdrone

Fulltimer
If I understand the ice cream maker (don't have one), salt water can be at a much colder temp before freezing.

Beers (or ice cream) will cool down fastest if they have complete contact (immersed in fluid vs. surrounded by ice cubes with air in between them) with the cooling medium, and the medium is as cold as possible.

So a salted cooler with ice in it that's well below freezing to start with will make a bath of sub-32 degree salt water and things in it will get real cold real fast.

But your ice will disappear faster, no free lunch.

Bonus for circulating the medium as well, whether it's air or fluid
 

AbleGuy

Too Much Fun Club, founder
But your ice will disappear faster, no free lunch.
Bonus for circulating the medium as well, whether it's air or fluid
I know I’m rehashing an old discussion found somewhere elsewhere here...but I can’t remember where or what the answer is.

This brings back to mind the question, does the ice in your cooler last longer if you keep the melt water drained out of the cooler, or last longer if you leave the melt water inside the cooler with your ice?
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
I hated ice, one garage sale I saw a Kooltron Cooler, $10. I bought it. On summer trips 90 degree days, it holds everything at 42 degrees for a week. Cheaper than ice for a weekend. I know, 42 is not food safe but we are talking about keeping milk cold for a few days, cold cuts, veggies for a week. It works. Hope the fear mongers park it.

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Teamoatmealpie

Observer
We gave a Walmart Ozark 50 (ish) quart cooler a test run in the Blackrock desert last weekend 4 days. Pre-cooled it with frozen milk jugs for 24 hour prior to packing. Then packed 2- 1 gallon frozen gatorade bottles (they have flat sides, so they pack nice) and a 10lb block of ice from Safeway and 2 bags cube ice. We keep a beach towel covering it too, just to keep direct sun off it.
Tons ice left over including the cubes. The blocks were still intact. For $145 it has a rubber sealed lip and it performed very well.
I've always been told don't drain the water as its basically at 32 degrees /ice water and thus much cooler then air. Pretty good little cooler for a fraction of the price compared to the big $ ones. Don't know why we didn't do this sooner as we camp a lot (over 130 nights over the last 3 years). We have 4 different Colemans that worked pretty well, but you do have to feed them ice.
This was an impulse purchase as we were at Wally World looking for propane and thought what they heck, try it out.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
I hated ice, one garage sale I saw a Kooltron Cooler, $10. I bought it. On summer trips 90 degree days, it holds everything at 42 degrees for a week. Cheaper than ice for a weekend. I know, 42 is not food safe but we are talking about keeping milk cold for a few days, cold cuts, veggies for a week. It works. Hope the fear mongers park it.

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Have you tried putting ice in it ie frozen milk jug? You might drop down in temp and the ice might last several days before actually melting.
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
Have you tried putting ice in it ie frozen milk jug? You might drop down in temp and the ice might last several days before actually melting.
sort of misses the point of buying a plug in cooler
 

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kwill

Observer
Why does salting your crushed ice make the ice cream freeze faster?
Because the salted ice melts faster and it pulls heat from the ice cream mix making it colder more quickly.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
sort of misses the point of buying a plug in cooler
not really I have an ARB50 and I still like to have ice in my whisky and cokes or Manhattans or margaritas. I throw in a half of bag of ice and it does not melt and make everything wet but stays in cube form for several days and the arb does not have to pull much power to stay frosty cold. I would think that one bag of ice in your cooler would drop the temps down low enough to keep food safe and not melt at a very fast rate.
 

geojag

New member
For trips of not more than a week I use a couple of the 5# purple Artic Ice blocks *after pre-cooling* my yeti or pelican coolers. The purple blocks freeze at -5F, and can freeze whatever is next to it. A couple layers of brown paper or cardboard prevents that and still cools everything down.

Also freeze the meat you aren't using directly and circulate the days meat to the top to thaw. For food, I really like a dry cooler.

The drink cooler gets ice with frozen water bottles mixed in, drink them as they thaw. Two coolers help in a big way, you will be in the drink cooler a lot, the food cooler only needs opened a few times a day.

Much more than a week in summer, I need ice for the food cooler.
 

Hoooogan

Member
What kind of cooler do you have? If it's a Yeti, RTIC, or similar, you "should" last that long.

Make sure to keep it full, leave the melted water in it, keep it in the shade with ventilation if it's hot (not in the car), open as little and as quick as possible. If you are adding bottled water or anything that can be frozen, freeze them. If you're going to be by the water (lake), a wet towel on it will help too. Lining the inside of the cooler with foam or reflectix insulation can assist as well. Make sure the lid seals tightly.

If you have the space and means to get a second cooler(even borrowed) fill it with ice, duct tape it shut, and only open towards the back end of your trip.
 
What kind of cooler do you have? If it's a Yeti, RTIC, or similar, you "should" last that long.

Make sure to keep it full, leave the melted water in it, keep it in the shade with ventilation if it's hot (not in the car), open as little and as quick as possible. If you are adding bottled water or anything that can be frozen, freeze them. If you're going to be by the water (lake), a wet towel on it will help too. Lining the inside of the cooler with foam or reflectix insulation can assist as well. Make sure the lid seals tightly.

If you have the space and means to get a second cooler(even borrowed) fill it with ice, duct tape it shut, and only open towards the back end of your trip.
I have a knock-off version. It does better than my old coleman but it doesn't do as advertised. Brand is nICE
 

Rando

Explorer
Salt water has both a lower latent heat of fusion and lower specific heat capacity. Freezing salt water will reduce the amount of energy that the ice can absorb, reducing the coolers ability to keep food cold. A secondary effect is the temperature differential - the larger the temperature differential, the more heat your cooler will gain through the insulation. You want to keep the cooler at the warmest temperature that will serve the desired purpose. 0C works well for this, depressing the melting point of ice with salt will mean your cooler gains heat from the environment faster.

Cliff notes: Don't use salt water, it will make your cooler less effective.
 
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