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Old 10-12-2011, 03:08 PM
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Default Tips for making ice last longer?

Hey everyone,

I've just gone and got an 89 ltr "MATE" esky for my family of 4 and was wondering if anyone has some good tips on how to make ice last?

It says ice should last 7-10 days which I can't see happening, but if I could just get 3-4 days I'd be happy.

Thanks

Phil
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2011, 03:13 PM
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Covering the ice with rock salt (the large granular stuff) will reduce the rate of melting. It's also better to use block ice or compressed ice cubes, as these have a smaller surface area and won't melt as quickly. The hollow stuff you often get at servos is crap. You can also freeze water in milk bottles and the like, which will stop water from stuffing up food in the esky. Also, make sure that everything goes in cold right from the start, with frozen stuff on the bottom.

Cheers

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Old 10-12-2011, 03:48 PM
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I've often wondered if it would be worth the trouble of putting some insulator in there that will float. Something like a few strips of pool cover so you can grab cans out through the gaps.

I had a cheap esky that had a small hatch in the lid, this is something they should put on more expensive eskies.

One thing I always do is put the esky in the shade and drape a blanket or an old sleeping bag over it.
When it comes time for drinkies in the evening minimise the number of times you open it. grab a few cans out at a time and put them in a 6pack esky.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
One thing I always do is put the esky in the shade and drape a blanket or an old sleeping bag over it.
That's a good idea and even better making it a wet one as well - modern interpretation of the Coolgardie Safe.

Cheers

Ray
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell View Post
Hey everyone,

I've just gone and got an 89 ltr "MATE" esky for my family of 4 and was wondering if anyone has some good tips on how to make ice last?

Phil
Leave it in the freezer and save for a fridge?
Sorry mate had to say it
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:55 PM
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P.sif it's well insulated I would think us get 3-4 days from it anyway
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:03 PM
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Keep draining the water out as the ice melts, mine last 4 days but deff not 7 !!


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Old 10-12-2011, 04:05 PM
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As Ray said "make sure that everything goes in cold right from the start, with frozen stuff on the bottom."

And....

Open sparingly,
Drain off water regularly,
block ice will last longer but makes packing the esky difficult due to shape,
frozen bottles work a treat = ice when frozen, drinking water when defrosted.

That's the theory we use regularly with our EvaKool's and we get 7-8 days.


Cheers,
Craig
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:36 PM
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Buy a block of dry ice and put it on the bottom. Make you own ice using salt water and put that on top of the dry ice. Keep the esky as full as possibly and put a wet hessian bag over the top, have had ice last in excess of 10 days using this method.

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Old 10-12-2011, 04:37 PM
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My sons got a big poly esky about that size, was drinking beer out of it on friday afternoon, still icy cold, started with 6 bags of ice last Sunday.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for all the info fellas

I'll give the salt water, draining excess water and block ice a go and see what happens.

I've always used servo ice so maybe that's where I'm going wrong?

Cheers

Phil
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:47 PM
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What i do is use frozen 2ltr milk bottles and chill the esky down first for a day or two (i usually do two), by changing out the bottles when they start to defrost. That will give us 4-5 days with ice still floating around in the water. never drained it i work on the theory that ice water is still cold nad can get your stuff home so you can put it back in the fridge if you haven't eaten it all. What happens if you don;t cool it first is the esky takes all the cool out of the ice off the bat and melts it twice as fast.

usually throw 2 frozen milk bottles in when packing or at least one then pour bag ice over every layer i put in there. Meat for day 3 say is frozen and on the bottom. Plan roughly what you will be eating over the next few days and pack the last first and the first last so it is at the top and you don;t have to go rummaging.

Never put warm beers in there always chill the brews down in the fridge first...another good ice sucker. We have been out 6 days before and the beers where still cold for the drive home (not me unfortunately the missus - more important)

I have never put rock salt in there or anything because occassionally i will have some rum or the lil lady will ahve a wine and we use the ice cubes for the drinks as well..

Just me though
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray! View Post
Covering the ice with rock salt (the large granular stuff) will reduce the rate of melting.
Cheers

Ray
rock salt will actually speed up the melting of ice to a point, what rock salt does is lower the freezing point of the water, so instead of the ice stating to melt at 0 deg and up it will start to melt at like minus 3 or 4 deg (depending on how much salt is added) , this is great for fast cooling of hot beer but....... leave the beer in there too long and your beer will freeze nobody likes a frozen beer

ohh and a wet tea towel over the top of everything seems to help keep the cold in
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:14 AM
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im also under the impression that draining is the worst thing you can do.
it takes longer for water to heat up than air so by leaving the freezing water in there its going to stay cooler for longer. it also takes up space in the esky allowing less air into there so again helping to keep it cold. the temperature of the water is likely to be cold enough by itself to keep everything cold the ice just keeps it there
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:37 AM
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Everything I know about physics (more than average but im not a scientist or anything) tells me to leave the water in and not drain it.

leaving water in = greater thermal mass. the water is melted but it is cold still.
think about it this way...
the heat source is constant, being the heat from outside the esky coming in through the insulation.
what will take longer to heat up?
A: cold cans in cold air.
B: cold cans in cold water?

in B you have to put in about double the heat for the same temperature increase of the beer. the specific heat of water is far greater than that of air.


youre right there benos... the ice keeps it there. It takes a lot more heat to change water from -5 to +5 than it does to change it from +5 to +15 both are a 10 degree change but many many times more heat energy required. the changing of the water from solid to liquid takes a lot of energy. (and conversely why steam burns so badly, it gives off a lot of energy as it condenses)


Still, I'd like to hear the basis for the idea of draining the water out.. Less heat conduction between the esky liner and the ice and food?

I've had meat go bad by putting it in the bottom, it ended up face down and was actually insulating itself from the ice by it's foam tray. in the fridge I have put a section of door mat to ensure there is an air gap at the bottom. I am thinkiing of doing the same for the esky. the bottoms are quite thin on some, the sides are thick because you can see them, but measure the height of the inside and outside and you might be surprised.
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Last edited by MikeH; 11-12-2011 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:26 PM
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use some dry ice on the bottom, cover well with newspaper, frozen food next, ice then cold stuff.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:36 PM
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And a Ground Retension Beam!!!!! LOL Frozen bottles off water work for me! 6 days +
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:06 PM
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i'd leave towels or something like that on the eskies and keep them wet.... the old evaporative cooling trick...
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petri View Post
i'd leave towels or something like that on the eskies and keep them wet.... the old evaporative cooling trick...
X2, helps get additional 1-2 days.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:31 AM
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+ 1 for frozen bottles, work great and don't leave everything soggy. Usually get 4 days at least.
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