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Discussion Starter #1
So tell me I'm wrong but, wouldn't a yeti packed solid with frozen food like steak , sausage, burgers, egg burritos etc be as cold as and last as long frozen as a cooler with half ice blocks and half frozen food?
In other words isn't frozen food as cold as ice and lasts cold as long??
 

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Somebody is bound to jump in here with a bunch of science to set us all straight, but I personally wouldn't try it.

I'm guessing the answer will be that there isn't nearly the water content in the frozen foods so it therefore doesn't have as much energy locked up in the ice crystals. IE: It doesn't last as long.

Just from experience, frozen burgers thaw out way faster sitting on a picnic table than a block of ice melts.

The real question is "to drain or not to drain."
 

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I keep wanting to find a walk in freezer where I can take my cooler.
I'd like to layer in the food in stages and take a few days.
Layer of food, cover with water, freeze.
Layer of food, cover with water, freeze.
Repeat until you're on the first few days and then fill it with food and cover with ice or let chill, etc.


I do it with water bottles to put in my cooler, put some in, freeze it, pour some on top, freeze. Gives me solid ice with no bulging bottles.


Anybody in the Erie, CO/front range area know of a good place to try it out. My chest freezer won't hold my 160 qt cooler or I'd be doing it already.
 

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contact a local meat processor / taxidermist. They usually have large cooling facilities that aren't used much in the boating season.
 

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Great idea, I'll see what I can find out and see if it can happen. I process my own meat, may need to visit one next year to start building a relationship.
 

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I keep wanting to find a walk in freezer where I can take my cooler.
I'd like to layer in the food in stages and take a few days.
Layer of food, cover with water, freeze.
Layer of food, cover with water, freeze.
Repeat until you're on the first few days and then fill it with food and cover with ice or let chill, etc.


I do it with water bottles to put in my cooler, put some in, freeze it, pour some on top, freeze. Gives me solid ice with no bulging bottles.


Anybody in the Erie, CO/front range area know of a good place to try it out. My chest freezer won't hold my 160 qt cooler or I'd be doing it already.

Do you have kids? Make friends with a teacher or admin.... Our group is all school admin and coolers spend a week in the schools walk in..... Its running and not being used.
 

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My name isn't Will
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Don't just use steaks

Ice works two ways to keep your stuff cold. Both processes absorb heat.

First, let's stay you start with very cold solid ice from a deep freeze -- between zero and -10 degrees F. Let's also say you were smart and stuck a few blocks in your cooler a few days before as sacrificial ice to pre-chill the interior of the cooler. That ice melts faster.... Once your cooler is packed, you head out into the wide world that's above freezing. Heat makes its way into the cooler. The ice absorbs that heat and the ice warms up, but doesn't melt. This makes sense, and yes, frozen food would do the same thing.

The next part is the magic. It involves phase change and latent heat. Once the ice warms to the melting point and is isothermal (all the same temperature), it continues to absorb heat, but it does not change temperature. The heat energy is needed for the phase change. As the ice was warming from -10 to 32 degrees, that was "sensible heat," so named because you can sense it. Latent heat doesn't change the temperature. Water is such an awesome chemical, I wish there were some way we could use it for recreation....

Once the ice is melted, it's still 32 degrees. It still can absorb more heat, and this is again sensible heat. You still have safe food until the temperature gets to 41 degrees, and that's when you enter the danger zone.

Here's a quiz: Can you use something else frozen that will work like water ice that isn't water? I use frozen BEER as part of my ice. It still goes through a phase change, but does so at a slightly lower temperature because it's a solution of sugar and alcohol in water. But it's still absorbing heat as it melts, so the water ice won't need to absorb as much.

I use frozen jugs of water to keep my food dry, so I don't drain. The real question is sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, or quaternary ammonium. :)
 

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^^^ this is a great physics example, but when your food freezes, it's the water in it that freezes.

Pure water works better since there are things that are not water in your food... So adding ice will help... I personally wouldn't do JUST frozen food.

Re: frozen beer... I don't know what you're doing that it doesn't explode when you freeze it... That's a big mess!
 

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My name isn't Will
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^^^ this is a great physics example, but when your food freezes, it's the water in it that freezes.

Pure water works better since there are things that are not water in your food... So adding ice will help... I personally wouldn't do JUST frozen food.

Re: frozen beer... I don't know what you're doing that it doesn't explode when you freeze it... That's a big mess!

Not much phase change going on if it's just the water contained in a steak. Most of the steak remains solid.


To freeze beer, first leave it in the fridge a few days without moving it around much. The CO2 is more soluble in cold liquid than warm, so more of the gas dissolves in the beer. Carefully put it in the freezer. Leave it there a few days. I've experimented with many different kinds. Most to just fine. We had some Tecate that the cans expanded a little, but didn't break. A friend who put beer directly in the freezer had a rupture. I have had carbonated water rupture in the freezer - I think the cans are thinner.



On my last trip, I took one can out of the freezer and it wasn't frozen after a week. It was shoved near the back where warm air gets dumped in to keep the freezer frost-free. The warm air defrosted my beer! That one didn't go in the bottom layer that's frozen.


Oh. Yeah. After the beer starts to thaw maybe day four or five, I drain them.
 

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^^^ this is a great physics example, but when your food freezes, it's the water in it that freezes.

Pure water works better since there are things that are not water in your food... So adding ice will help... I personally wouldn't do JUST frozen food.
I guess you could freeze gallon jugs of chicken noodle soup. It wouldn’t give quite the same heat sink as water but it can serve as both dinner and rehydration. I will use my jugs as drinking water for later in the trip after they’ve melted.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The main reason I'm considering this is because of volume constraints. All the food I need frozen fits perfectly into the yeti with no ice.
 

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We did this on a Grand trip. We had a bottom layer of ice (4-5 inches), which we drained as needed. We layered the food in order of first use to later use on the bottom. It worked great and we still had ice on day 21. Our trip leader talked to a local grocery store that let them deep freeze the coolers for a week before out trip.
 

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Many grocery stores will let you store your cooler in their freezer if you buy your food from them...just speak with a manager. I used to do it several times a year when running youth adventure travel programs.
 

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My experiences are that it is not as good as ice. Cupido just did a good job of explaining why.

At least part of the trick to freezing beer, without an explosion, is to cool it slowly, first, then be gentle with it, until it is frozen. I did this on that January Grand trip, that Evercat was kind enough to invite me on, and it worked out great. I layered the bottom of my cooler with beer, then just left the dam thing outside in Tabernash, in December, best walk in freezer I ever used!!
 
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