Originally Posted by lhowemt
It also helps prevent food from rotting.
As long as there is ice in the cooler the water temp will be 32 degrees and the food will not rot. It might get soggy but it will not rot
Ice to water is 80cal/gram heat of fusion. Water is 1cal/g/degree C specific heat. Air is neglible, i think. So when you run out of ice and just have air you have lost all cooling capacity. If you have 32 degree water it can continue to insulate, accepting one calorie per gram of water to raise its temperature by one degree C
So the question is whether a cooler with ice surrounded by ice water will gain heat faster than a cooler which has ice surrounded by air. I'm curious to see the experimental conclusions
My gut tells me the cooler innerds touching 32 degree air vs 32 degree water is negligible
A much greater difference is obtained by draping a wet towel over the cooler and maintaining the outer temperature cooler through paco insulation and evaporative cooling (540 cals/gram heat of vaporization)