How to Pack a Cooler to Keep Food Fresh and Cold for Summer Fun on the Southern Shores

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The dog days of summer are upon us, so it’s even more important to make sure your food stays fresh on those summer outings. Follow these cooler-packing tips to ensure your food and beverages are at the perfect temperature this summer!

Prepping the Cooler

  • Storing Properly
    Store your cooler in the proper place during the summer months. If your cooler sits outside for a majority of the year, it’s bound to be warmer than if stored inside. Bring your cooler inside to cool down so the ice doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your items cool.
  • Cleaning Before Using
    Think about the last time you used your cooler. Did you clean it before storing it? Even if you did, you should clean your cooler thoroughly before using it. No one wants a surprise when they reach for a bottle of water! Wipe your cooler down with a small amount of dish soap and a damp cloth.
  • Pre-Chilling Your Cooler
    You should also consider pre-chilling your cooler to get the most out of it, especially if you will be using your cooler for multiple days. Pre-chilling your cooler improves the duration that your cooler will keep your items chilled. Fill the cooler with ice or bags of cold water and dump the ice water the following day before packing the cooler.

Packing the Cooler

  • Ice, Ice Baby
    The best kind of ice to use for your cooler is block ice because block ice won’t melt as quickly as ice cubes. After block ice, freezer packs are the next best thing.
  • Be Strategic About Placement
    Layer your cooler, and separate food and beverages. Start by layering the bottom with ice, then the food you’ll need last, add more ice and repeat.
  • Keep Your Cooler Closed
    This is the most crucial step to keeping all of your items cold. The more air you allow in your cooler, the faster everything will get warmer, and the ice will melt.

Have Fun!

By following these tips, you will safely enjoy those cold beverages and snacks on hot summer days along the coast.

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