Ice chests are staples for a weekend getaway, camp or picnic. You might be contended by the thoughts that you have enough cooler boxes to store your beverages, snacks and other food items for the entire duration. However, if you do not pack them properly or prepare the cooler to retain its properties, there are high chances of the food getting spoilt after a couple of days. Before heading for a picnic or a camping trip, you need to prepare your eskies to retain the freshness of the food and beverages.
Preparing the Food for Storage
It needs a lot of preparation to store your food, even if you are heading out on a one day trip. For longer stays, it is best if you keep separate cooler boxes to store drinks in one and food in another. Chances are, you will have to take out drinks quite frequently which means every time the ice box is opened the temperature inside will drop. This is why it’s better to have food stored in a separate esky because the food esky will be opened less frequently than the drinks esky. Before packing the food, wash fruit, vegetables and other perishable foods thoroughly in clean water. Pat them dry with a clean cloth and pack them inside plastic air tight bags. Well sealed plastic containers will also do the job however; they might take up some extra space that can be better utilized with the use of plastic zipper bags. Pack fruit and vegetables in separate bags. Do not cut the fruit or break them to easily fit them in as they will start rotting faster. Do not take the perishable foods out until the time you are planning to use them.
Preparing Warm Foods
To store hot foods and to retain the warmth of your ice cooler ice boxes, you can use warm packs. The food must be wrapped in aluminium foil and must be surrounded by many warm packs. You can wrap the entire contents in a large tea towel and this can be placed inside the ice chest. Always make sure you leave no empty space for the heat to escape out of the towel. Fill empty spaces with tea towels and warm packs.
Cleaning and Care
Dry gel Ice packs can be used to fill up the cooler. You can store them in between bottles of drink or food containers. Doing so will ensure that they remain properly chilled in all your ice boxes. As an additional tip, you can store a container with salt in it. The clean container should be kept inside the freezer a day or two before your journey. Now, place the container at the bottom of the chest, and place meat, fish and other such items on top of it. Also make sure, you clean the chest with a solution of water and vinegar taken in equal proportions. Spray the solution inside and wipe it off. Let it dry by leaving it opens. If the chest has a removable liner, take off the liner and wash it in warm water.