What food can we safely store with dry ice?

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 22:07
ThreadID: 77329 Views:4996 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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Looking at going to Fraser for 8 nights next month and having never used dry ice before we are looking for some info???

Can we safley store all our meat, drinks, dairy products in the one big esky or is this a no no?

How much $$$ is dry ice and how much should we use in a 100L esky?

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Reply By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 22:26

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 22:26
Here's some info for ya >>

dry ice info

Last time I bought some (few yrs ago), it was about $20 / kg from memory...
others may have better info on current pricing..


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AnswerID: 411125

Reply By: Wilko - Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 22:37

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 22:37
Hi Cane Toad,

I've stored everything in an esky with dry ice. The big no no is letting the dry ice touch the food or drinks (as it will freeze everything).

I was always careful to allow the carbon dioxide to have ventilation when I opened the esky. Not sure if it could hurt anyone but I didn't take any chances.

I used a $50.00 block and it last for approx 2 weeks with minimal openings (prob 2-3 / day).

My esky is 160lts.

Have you considered making your own block ice. I use 5lt ice cream containers.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 411129

Reply By: fisho64 - Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 23:58

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 23:58
As mentioned above, Id have thought block ice would be much cheaper and easier to use?
Beware if you havent handled dry ice before, it can be very dangerous to touch, so if you have kids it'd pay to be very careful with it?
AnswerID: 411144

Reply By: DIO - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:28

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:28
Relying on ice (wet or dry) to safetly store perishible food for the period you have mentioned is likely to leave you with some unpleasant memories and odours. What would your plans for food be if after 2 - 3 days the ice has gone and the food turned green and inedible. If you can replenish the ice every 24 hrs or so you might be able to get away with such cooling.
Regardless of the experiences of some, ice will melt or deteriorate rapidly unless you have superior storage. A foam insulated esky is not such storage.
You are probably better off considering a portable fridge, a decent deep cycle battery and appropriate solar panel(s). Yes it will cost you a couple of thousand dollars but once set-up thus you will have suitable refrigeration eqipment that will last a long time. If correctly managed, the battery will also provide sufficient power to maintain the fridge and food indefinetly.
AnswerID: 411160

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 15:26

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 15:26
DIO,""A foam insulated esky is not such storage "" If your referring to dry ice your wrong.. if any thing a foam esky is the best for dry ice as it allows the gasses from the ice to escape so as not to build up pressure, also a evakool esky is great to as long as it has the tie downs on the side like a tonneau cover on a ute, this allows any pressure build up to push up the lid and let the gasses escape.
Cane Toad
I used dry ice in a foam esky for just on 2 weeks for all our meat and anything I wanted to keep frozen even the milk (it defrosted ok) cheese for get it, it will freeze then crumble when defrosted. I wouldn't suggest using it as a fridge as every time you open it you will lose the effects of the dry ice very quickly. We decided in the mornings what we were going to have for tea, pulled it out and stuck in waeco to defrost through the day at normal fridge temp 2 degree's. I am lucky as I have access to the dry ice as I use it daily here at work for export overseas, America, Japan etc and the stock stays frozen the whole trip obviously not opened once we seal it till it gets to its destination. As Dio has said a fridge would be the way to go but not every one can afford this luxury but we have had one for over 5 years now we don't leave home without it and looking at buying another to use as a freezer. Just fill up some 2 litre ice cream containers and freeze for a good week before you leave and this used in a good esky, like an evakool, tropical or some thing to the like should last you a week, we have done it this way before and has lasted a good 7 days, (Vic high country) if you have kids put a lock on it LOL this will stop them opening it every 2 minutes. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 681281

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 22:32

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 22:32
Gotta agree Steve, we have an Evakool and brought ice home after a week in the high country. The cool nights down their help though.
Cheers cPete
FollowupID: 681333

Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:56

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:56
I once used an esky with dry ice on Fraser about 30 years ago. LOL .

The dry ice can last longer if you wrap it in a lot of newspaper but I do not know about 8 days..

You cannot store any fruit and veges as they become "spritzer' from the CO2.
Spritzer tomatoes are interesting.

Anything has to be stored in airtight packaging so vacuum packing of the meat is a good idea not available to me 30 years ago.

I have heard that if you place bottles of water or better techni ice or similar above the dry ice it also helps.

All in all it was not a positive experience as I remember and we did not try it again.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 411163

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 11:21

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 11:21
Last time that I used dry ice it was not cheap $ wise 6/7 yrs ago ,was round the $50 mark for an 8day block , used it in my 70lt Bailleys esky , the whole idea is to put dry ice wrapped in layers of newspaper into the esky 1st , then put in a good layer of solid party ice [not the hollow tube stuff,allows to much air] , the dry ice will keep the normal ice from melting as quick , then put your frozen foods or what you want frozen on that , will freeze a beer can in less that 5min , dont put things like tomatoes /lettuce in as they will freeze and be useless ,
Main problem with the dry ice is that it takes up a lot of room in your esky , an 8 day block + the party ice even in a 100lt job would only leave you round 30/40 lt of room if that.
AnswerID: 411169

Reply By: Rob! - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 11:21

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 11:21
cane toad

We go to moreton every year for about 6 days in November and we take dry ice with us. We usually get about $40 worth of ice and that lasts us for the the time that we are there. We have a 70L esky.

While we're not too precious about not opening the esky we pre chill everything before it goes is. Everything is then place in either a sealable bag or an airtight plastic container. If CO2 gets into your food it will give it a fizzy taste, but it's only noticable on food you eat fresh (fruit and veg) not so much on cooked foods. Anything you place next to the ice will freeze, so plan your packing. We put frozen (pre-made) soups, meat and ice blocks for the kids there.

I have heard that people sometimes crush the dry ice (be very careful), put it on the bottom of the esky then cover it with a layer of normal ice and cover it all with newspaper. It appaerantly all lasts longer and prevents the freezing of your foods.

Also, the biggest enemy of dry ice is space. The more packed the esky is the longer it will last.

The best thing about dry ice is that items in your fridge are never soggy, they stay cold and you don't have to do an ice run evry day. The worst thing is that the CO2 can get into your food. As far as I am aware there is no issues with that other than the taste.

Ans lastly, NEVER buy dry ice the day before you go and put it your house freezer. Dry ice is colder than your freezer setting. It will turn off your freezer and you will end up with very little ice in the morning. Whoever you buy the ice from will be ably to give you further info on it.

AnswerID: 411170

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