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Luc
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Luc
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PostMon May 02, 2022 9:13 am 
I've been making my own block ice for long truck camping / overland trips. I'm wondering if I froze food inside the block of ice, if the food would stay frozen, or if because of some science, it would melt before the encasing ice melted. Anyone tried this?

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neek
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PostMon May 02, 2022 9:35 am 
Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so food probably wouldn't stay frozen when the ice block warmed to 32F, but would certainly be kept nicely refrigerated while encased. If you wanted something to stay frozen I guess you could make salt-ice blocks? But that sounds like a bad idea for several reasons. I get lots of google hits on the subject so there's probably plenty of info out there. Drying kind of seems more practical.

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Luc
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PostMon May 02, 2022 10:01 am 
Hmm interesting, and good point. If that's the case, then would it possibly reduce the lifespan of the ice itself and perhaps make it a bad idea to do so - meaning, while the food itself would be colder inside the ice, the ice itself wouldn't last as long with a warm core?

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Randito
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PostMon May 02, 2022 10:23 am 
FWIW: for rafting trips on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon (14 to 18 days) outfitters have large walk in freezers that they wheel the coolers into, fill them with water and then let the ice form in the cooler in a solid block. The coolers for earlier in the trip aren't filled as deep and the coolers for later in the trip -- which are half full of just ice. A very important aspect of good cooler management is planning the loading so that the food is packed in Last In, First Out order so that the time with the lid open is kept to the absolute minimum. Each meals perishable food is packed in a well labeled bag, so the cooler is opened, the bag removed and the lid immediately closed. I think freezing the food within the block of ice would work only for a "last meal" scenario. E.g. if you wanted to have a "steak dinner" at the end -- having to ice pick the meat out of remaining block of ice wouldn't be an issue. For meals prior to the last day, the time you would spend with the lid open chopping the food out of the block seems like it would result in more melting than any gain in food preservation.

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Ski
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PostMon May 02, 2022 12:27 pm 
Not sure whether this will have any value at all Luc, but: Several years ago I stayed in a cabin with a broken refrigerator. I had two large ice chests. At first I tried just the blue "gel pack" freezer things, because they don't melt and make everything in the ice chest a soggy mess. That worked okay and kept my food reasonably chilled for three days. Somebody mentioned to me that a combination of the blue "gel pack" freezer things and ice would maintain cold longer, so I filled four half-gallon milk jugs with water and froze them solid. The combination of the blue "gel pack" things and the jugs of solid ice kept my food cold for four days. YMMV (* can't even begin to speculate on your question. I am not a physicist. *)

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Randito
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PostSat Jul 09, 2022 10:05 am 
FWIW: I recently bought a 12 volt refrigerator for my daughter's minivan camper. Her camper has 200 watts of solar panels on top and 33 amp-hours of house battery capacity. She is on week two of a four month road trip and has found the refrigerator to be working well and far more convenient that a cooler and dealing with getting ice on the road and dumping melt water and trying to keep melt water from ruining food. Hers is a small one, but there are larger ones and also dual zone ones, so one may enjoy ice cream while on a road trip. BougeRV 12 Volt Refrigerator 12V Car Fridge 23 Quart Portable Freezer Compressor Cooler 12/24V DC 110~240 Volt AC for Truck Van RV Camper SUV Boat Travel Camping Road Trips Tailgating -7℉~50℉ https://a.co/d/dlgKTKq

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Anne Elk
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PostSat Jul 09, 2022 10:36 am 
Luc, I've used methods similar to what Ski suggested and it works well. I also pre-freeze certain foods - like steak. Another trick that extends the cold inside your cooler is to leave a bit of room at the top to lay a folded towel over all to increase insulation and once loaded in your vehicle, cover the cooler with a heavy blanket for even more insulation.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood

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Ski
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PostSat Jul 09, 2022 11:42 am 
^ yes. this. I forgot to mention above that the other things I did were to move the ice chests into the coolest, darkest place in the structure (which was the back bedroom under a window) and covered them with the sleeping bags and other bedding.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."

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