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Ice coolers for meat and other food

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Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby DAVELA » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:00 am

How well do these igloo and coleman coolers work for meat and food?Do they leak or get messy and how much ice is needed?Thinking about it for camping.Thx.



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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby sambieni » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:37 am

I had a large Igloo for family camping. Worked very well. We would have to restock w/ 2-3 packs of ice every 3 days or so. Depended a bit on how comfy you are with slosh/cold water vs. pure ice after couple days. We don't eat meat; only cheese/beer/veggies needed the cold so less a concern for us. Kids broke that cooler; got a Coleman. Same story. Happy with it. Its like $60 or so for good one vs. $200+ for a Yeti. I just couldn't justify it.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby Jimr » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:43 am

I've used Coleman coolers for years. Since late 1960's. They're fine for perishables. Igloo as well. Same thing only different. They don't leak. How much ice is dependent. I normally get a bag of ice from CVS. Not that their ice is anything special, but a standard 1/2 cubic foot of crushed ice is divided up into 4 sealed bags. I've found that to be less messy as the days go by and ice melts. As far as how much? use your best judgement. More is better with perishables, but the thing doesn't have to be overflowing.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby rlown » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:00 am

We had coolers when I was growing up, and they all tend to be the same. I do leave the drain plug open so the meat doesn't have to float. We stayed in near Boulder, UT for a month in the '80s. All the meat was in one cooler and the other stuff was in another cooler. There was a store about 7 miles away that stocked ice, so we monitored and someone did an ice run when necessary. The meat was in there for a good 28 days before I started to notice some of it turning green. At least by that time we had our deer and a new supply of meat.

We did try dry ice a few times, but it seems to disappear very quickly.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby Jimr » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:04 pm

I tried dry ice once. Actually, it was a whole lot of beer cans, water ice and dry ice. It took a jack hammer to release the beer from it's icy tomb. More times than not, chipping away ended up puncturing the can.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby John Harper » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:31 pm

I've been using Smart water bottles filled with water and frozen (4 bottles are one 8 lb. block of ice, plus cold potable water after melt), or use block ice whenever possible. Not sure those Yeti style coolers are worth the cost or the weight.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby psykokid » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:00 pm

For vehicle based stuff I have Dometic/Waeco 12V fridge and an AUX battery that I top off via solar in the Rover. Love that setup. It's nice not having to worry about stuff getting soggy. I'll usually freeze a couple of smart water bottles and put them at the bottom to help keep the fridge temps down If i'm going to be out for longer than I think my AUX battery can keep up with. I keep smaller cooler full of ice with drinks and other stuff that wont matter if it gets wet.

The rotomolded coolers like the Yeti and Pelicans are great, they keep ice for a long time. But they are spendy, way out of my budget. There are a few knocks offs like RTIC and the Ozark Trail walmart version that are cheaper. Downside is that they are heavy and have a small interior volume because the walls are pretty thick.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby Dave_Ayers » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:45 pm

I have saved 4 1/2 gallon plastic milk bottles that I cut part of the top off. I put water in 2-3 of them and freeze them, then put them in the corners of the cooler. I fill the other 1-2 with cubes and add those in too. So no food floating in the water and you can grab a few cubes to add to your drink or ice water if you like. Then I refill them with store-bought ice cubes as needed, about every 3rd day.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby dave54 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:26 pm

You can make the ice last a bit longer by practicing good shade management and adding insulation. If you have an old beat up sleeping bag you can slip the cooler inside it when not in use. Or drape an old blanket over it. A cardboard box slightly larger than the cooler can be used -- put the cooler inside the box, pack the space around it with old foam pads or other insulation (newspaper). Use larger blocks of ice instead of crushed or cubes. Freeze water jugs. Sometimes juice works. Milk usually does not. Alcohol won't freeze at normal freezer unit temps, but it is still at 0 or 20 deg, whichever your freezer is set at.
A bit of a hassle, but another trick is to pre-freeze the cooler itself. Put the empty cooler inside the freezer a few days beforehand. Chest type freezer works best. Gives you several hours to a day or so longer before the ice melts.

The yeti works by having thicker walls. The outside dimensions are the same, the space inside is less.
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Re: Ice coolers for meat and other food

Postby tarbuckle » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:51 am

The Marine Igloos work great and last a long time. Although a bit expensive. You can also get parts for them. Plug, straps, hinges, etc.
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