From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Ice/Ice Substitutes
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 22:09:42 -0400
On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 21:38:26 -0400, "Joe"
>"Neon John" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
>> * Grin and bear buying ice every day
>> * Find (or make) a super-insulated box
>> * Go with a refrigerated box.
>Thanks for the input. I decided to try one of the Coleman coolers that
>claim to keep ice for 6 days (I'm not entirely optimistic, so I'll probably
>pack for 3 days worth of perishables and then use dry food and replenish the
>ice for drinks. the meats I pack will start out frozen, so I don't think 3
>days is too unreasonable.)
Yer welcome. I used the large (175 lb ice capacity) Coleman coolers
in my catering biz. One of those would keep ice for a week or more.
BUT!!! Only if the ice is undisturbed so that an air gap formed
between the sides and top of the ice hunk and the cooler walls. Once
about an inch of air gap forms, the ice seems to last forever.
I made my own ice in a crusher/pelletizer machine. This type of ice
would kinda stick together if undisturbed. Cube or chunk ice like you
buy at most stores won't do that.
A somewhat suitable alternative to crushed or flake ice is to keep the
chunk ice in the bags, pile it up in the cooler so that it doesn't
touch the walls and put the food between/under the ice. This wastes a
lot of space in the cooler but it DOES make the ice go a long ways
without risking food spoilage.
It used to stress my ice machines and my "supply chain" to the limits
to make enough ice in a week for a long weekend concession show so I
explored all sorts of tricks. Wrapping the coolers in fiberglass and
foam insulation (OK but too much hassle), building plywood boxes
around the coolers and filling with expanding foam and/or peanuts
(worked great but an equally great space-waster) and a few more
tricks. In the end, simply filling the coolers to the top with
crushed ice and letting the air gaps form seemed to work best.
One thing that made a big difference and WAS worth the effort was to
wrap the coolers in a reflective film to deflect radiated heat. I
used adhesive-backed aluminum foil designed as reflective insulation.
Today I'd probably take a long hard look at the adhesive-backed
metalized mylar film that is now available so cheaply. This should be
more durable than the aluminum foil. This made a BIG BIG difference,
especially when the ice boxes had to sit out in the sun. In the July
sun, the insulation almost doubled the holding time.