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Have you thought about using dry ice in your cooler? With some knowledge and preparation, dry ice can be an excellent way to keep your cooler contents cold.
Please note that all Kenai Coolers and Grizzly Coolers are dry ice compatible but not all coolers are – please check manufacturer websites for this critical information. Grizzly Coolers are built to withstand the extreme cold of dry ice without warping or cracking. Grizzly Coolers’ insulated walls stop the transfer of the extreme interior cold temperatures to the exterior of the cooler, therefore, eliminating freezer burn risk to people carrying or bumping into the cooler. When dry ice “melts” it releases carbon dioxide gas which could build up inside an airtight cooler and make it explode. Users must adhere to special usage instructions and safety precautions when using dry ice.
Now that we have your attention, here are some other interesting facts about how to use dry ice in a cooler successfully and safely:
- Dry ice is colder than regular wet ice which quickly cools or freezes items and keeps them colder longer. Dry ice temperature can average about negative 109.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dry ice doesn’t melt like regular ice, so paper-wrapped meat won’t get wet. Dry ice releases gas instead of a liquid.
- Dry ice is lighter than conventional ice which makes transporting your cooler easier.
- Dry ice is well-suited for items you want to keep frozen like meat and ice cream. It’s not the best choice for an afternoon picnic. Dry ice will quickly freeze items like beverages and sandwiches so it will turn your roast beef sandwich into a roast beef-sicle, etc.
- Dry ice “melts” or dissipates faster than conventional ice so it’s not a good choice for a long trip.
- Dry ice is more expensive by weight or size than conventional ice. If you have many items to keep cold for a long duration of time, regular ice is your best bet.
- Dry ice is readily available. Google “dry ice near me” and you’ll see it can be purchased at many grocery stores among other locations.
- Some stores have “over 18 years of age” purchasing requirements because of the handling risks.
- Dry ice should never come in contact with skin. Always use protective gloves, towels, or tongs to handle dry ice. It’s colder than regular ice and can burn skin similar to frostbite.
- Use dry ice in well-ventilated areas because when it converts to carbon dioxide gas instead of melting, replacing oxygen. It should not be inhaled, eaten, or swallowed.
- When purchasing and transporting block dry ice, it’s generally recommended to drive with the windows down. If possible, transport away from the driver and passenger compartment. Headaches, rapid breathing, and passing out can happen if exposed to too much carbon dioxide.
- Carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen so it will sink to lower areas in a vehicle so be especially mindful of pets.
- Proper Ventilation is key. Open the cooler drain plug to allow carbon dioxide to escape from the cooler so pressure does not build up within the cooler. An alternative would be to keep the cooler open.
- Wrap dry ice in towels or newspapers before placing it in a cooler.
- Put the dry ice on the bottom of the cooler or on top of cooler contents.
- Use the newspaper to fill empty space within the cooler.
- Dry ice can be used in conjunction with conventional ice. Keep dry ice from coming in contact with water to extend dry ice life.
- In camp, store cooler with dry ice away from the tent or camper.
Dry Ice Is a Good Alternative to Conventional Ice
Specifically, for keeping valuable meat and food items cold and frozen for a shorter period of time, not an extended stay. Following dry ice safety protocols can keep people and pets safe while protecting food from spoilage. Whether you choose conventional ice or dry ice to chill your cooler contents, Grizzly Coolers are always a good choice.