If you’re planning to enjoy some ice cream outdoors, you’ll need to know will ice cream stay frozen in a cooler. One way to do this is to pack it in a cooler with ice. But will your ice cream stay frozen in a cooler, or will it start to melt? Here’s what you need to know about keeping ice cream cold in a cooler.
Will Ice Cream Stay Frozen In A Cooler?
As long as dry ice is present in a cooler containing ice cream, the ice cream will remain frozen. Using towels, keep the ice cream away from the dry ice. Dry ice is so cold that it will freeze your ice cream, as opposed to simply keeping it cold as a freezer would.
How Is Ice Cream Kept Frozen In A Cooler?
To keep ice cream frozen, the temperature in a cooler must be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). Using dry ice and salt to lower the temperature below freezing makes this possible. Additionally, you can keep ice cream frozen for longer by placing it in a vacuum-insulated cup or at the bottom of your cooler.
Each of these methods can be used to keep your ice cream frozen, and I’ll explain why they work. First of all, think about why your ice cream isn’t staying frozen in your ice-filled cooler.
Why Does Ice Cream Not Stay Frozen In A Standard Refrigerator?
To understand why ice cream does not stay frozen in an ice cooler, you must first understand why it does not.
The melting point of ice cream is lower than that of water. This is why, even when frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius), it remains smooth and easy to serve and consume rather than completely solidifying like ice.
When ice cream is stored in a cooler with regular ice, it will remain below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), but not near its optimal storage temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
This indicates that the ice cream will warm up and melt considerably faster than the ice in the cooler.
Putting ice cream in a cooler with ice alone will not keep it frozen; you will need to employ a variety of techniques to further reduce the temperature of your cooler so that the ice cream remains frozen.
1. Utilize the dry ice
Dry ice is the most convenient way to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler.
Dry ice is carbon dioxide that has been frozen and is much colder than regular ice. At -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-78.5 degrees Celsius), dry ice is colder than your freezer. Undoubtedly, it will keep your ice cream cold.
Dry ice is so cold that it can freeze your ice cream, rendering it unusable. Consequently, you will need to take additional measures to keep your ice cream frozen and at the proper temperature.
2. Add salt to your ice
Adding salt to your ice is another way to keep your ice cream frozen by lowering the temperature of your cooler.
This occurs due to the salt’s interaction with the ice, which causes it to melt. Ice requires energy to change from a solid to a liquid state when it melts. This energy is obtained by absorbing heat from nearby ice.
As saltwater ice melts, the cooler cools, maintaining the ice cream’s frozen state.
3. Place the ice cream in a pre-chilled vacuum container or cup
This method can be used alone to keep ice cream frozen for a few hours in your cooler, or it can be combined with the other methods to keep ice cream frozen for even longer.
The Yeti Rambler Tumbler vacuum cup holds a substantial amount of ice cream. As demonstrated in the tweet below, a small tub of ice cream can be placed directly into a Yeti cup without being removed from the container.
4. Instead of using gas station ice, use ice from your freezer
Warm ice refers to ice purchased from a convenience store or gas station. As a result, the ice melts more quickly and is not as cold, to begin with as ice from your freezer.
Consequently, ice cream is typically too warm to remain frozen.
If you set your home freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius), your ice will be the same temperature.
Put this ice on top of your ice cream to keep it at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) for a while.
Eventually, the ice and ice cream will melt, but depending on your cooler, this will keep the ice cream frozen for at least a few hours, if not up to two days.
5. Mix a small amount of dry ice into your ice cream
If your ice cream has already melted, you can directly freeze it in the container using dry ice. Break or blend the dry ice into small pieces or powder, then incorporate it into the ice cream.
Dry ice will be sufficiently cold to rapidly freeze your ice cream.
Dry ice is safe to consume if it is of food-grade quality.
All that will happen is for it to melt and then evaporate. As with carbon dioxide in soda, your ice cream may take on a slightly fizzy taste as a result of using this ingredient.
Other Techniques for Preserving Ice Cream
Here are additional tips for freezing ice cream in the refrigerator.
Fill the cooler’s bottom with ice, followed by ice cream
By completely covering your ice cream with ice and placing it at the bottom of the cooler, you can keep it frozen for longer.
Because cold air sinks, your ice cream will be in the coldest portion of your cooler.
You want the ice to completely cover the ice cream on all sides, including the top and bottom. This ensures that all sides of the ice cream are cooled.
The refrigerator should be opened as little as possible
Once you’ve placed the ice cream in your cooler, keep it as tightly sealed as possible until you’re ready to consume it.
When the cooler is opened, air from the outside enters. As the outside air warms everything, your ice cream will melt more quickly.
Therefore, try to keep your cooler closed until you need to access the ice cream.
If you must use it, use it as little as possible, work quickly, and then close the lid tightly to prevent your ice cream and ice from being exposed to air.
Place your cooler in a cool, shady area
Keep your cooler in a shady, cool location out of direct sunlight. This prevents a significant amount of outside heat from entering your cooler and also reduces radiant heat.
Wrap your ice cream in aluminum foil
Aluminum foil is an excellent heat barrier. This is a level of heat that conventional coolers cannot withstand.
The aluminum foil will reflect heat away from the ice cream while still allowing the dry ice/saltwater ice/regular ice to keep it cold.
Utilize an Efficient Cooler
The longer a cooler can keep its contents cold, the better. A Yeti cooler can keep items much colder than a conventional cooler.
A cooler of superior quality will keep ice cream frozen significantly longer than a cooler of inferior quality.
With these tips, you will be able to keep your ice cream frozen in a cooler for a long time. Just make sure to use food-grade dry ice and not eat any chunks of dry ice. If you have any further tips or questions please leave them below in the comments section.