Preserving your food when you are traveling is quite a complicated task. Especially, keeping your food frozen is very difficult when you are traveling for a long time. It’s not like you can carry your whole refrigerator with you while traveling, as much as you would like to do so. So, how do you go about it?
Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways for you to keep your frozen food when going for a trip. You can use cooling boxes, ice packs as well as pack things smartly to perfectly preserve your frozen food while traveling.
Let me show you how to keep frozen food while traveling, be it by road, sea, or an aeroplane.
How to Keep Frozen Food While Traveling: 9 Easy Ways
Keeping food cold in the car is a challenging task when you are going for a trip. If packed wrong, your food will rot and be completely wasted. But, as I said earlier, there are many ways to preserve your frozen food. So, let us take a look at how to transport frozen food when moving.
1. Pre-Freezing the Food
If you freeze your food before your trip has even started, there is a higher chance that they will stay that way even after the trip has ended. It takes the food a day or two to completely freeze. So, try to start freezing your food at least 24 hours before the start of your trip. As deep freezers can make your food colder in the same amount of time as the standard freezer, try to use those for this purpose.
2. Using An Ice-Filled High-Quality Cooler
The coolers that are well insulated are the best kind. These can keep your food or drinks frozen for a much longer period than the non-insulated ones. Usually, insulated coolers are very cost-efficient, so you won’t have to worry about overspending.
3. Using High-Quality Cooling Bags
If you can’t get access to a cooler, don’t worry. You can also use cooling bags. They take much less space than the coolers, so if you need to carry a smaller amount of food or you don’t have much space, they are a great choice. But make sure you buy high-quality ones, as they preserve your food for a much longer period, some even keeping the food frozen for a few days.
4. Packing Your Food at the Right Place
The best way to keep food cold while traveling is to pack them smartly. The most optimal way to keep food frozen while traveling is to keep them as far away from heat as possible. And how do you do that? Packing them at the bottom of the cooler.
Cold air is heavier than warm air, so they stay at the bottom of the cooler. If you keep your food at the bottom, the heavier, cooler air will keep them frozen for a longer amount of time. This method also allows you to use these frozen foods as makeshift ice packs, so there’s that.
5. Using Ice Packs
As nonsensical as it may sound, ice packs are designed in such a way that they can keep things cold for a longer amount of time than actual ice. To get the best out of these ice packs, keep them in the bottom of a freezer for 48 hours, and then keep your food covered by them when going for a trip.
6. Using Dry Ice
Transporting frozen food with dry ice is very easy once you learn how to do it. There are a lot of reasons that this method of keeping food cold is quite amazing.
One of such reasons is that the dry ice doesn’t melt as regular ice does. So, you don’t have to deal with the mess that melted ice makes. Transportation of meat in this process is especially recommended as sometimes regular ice melts prematurely and results in the rotting of the meat. You can also use them in planes, all you need to do is to label the box as ‘dry ice’.
But the drawback of using dry ice is that not every cooler is compatible with them. So, before putting dry ice in your cooler, check their compatibility.
When using dry ice for keeping frozen food, you must keep your windows open. As you know, dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide. If the temperature rises in your car, dry ice will melt into gaseous carbon dioxide and can be extremely lethal if it can’t get out.
7. Minimizing Space
If your cooler has empty spaces, the air in those spaces can make them melt faster than your anticipations. Although the cooler is insulated, it doesn’t hurt to be extra sure while packing food. So, fill these empty spaces with towels or pieces of paper. Or you can put foam on top of the food so that it can protect them from warm air.
8. Pre-Chilling the Cooler
You must pre-chill your cooler for it to be able to keep the food frozen for a long time. If you haven’t been using your cooler regularly, it can get warm pretty quickly which can be counterproductive as you need the cooler to be as cool as possible. If the cooler is small enough, you can even put the whole thing into the deep freezer. In case of a bigger cooler, fill it with ice at night and then empty it in the morning.
9. Wrapping it with Aluminum Foil
Wrapping the food with aluminum foil is another great way to insulate it like paper or towels. Rather than preventing heat, it insulates the food by not allowing the heat to be radiated.
How Long Can You Transport Frozen Food?
How long the frozen food will stay frozen in the car or airplane depends on the amount of food you are carrying and the type of cooler you are using. But for reference, if you are using dry ice for preserving your food, 10 pounds of it will remain frozen for up to 24 hours. So, keep it in mind when carrying food for a trip.
Packing for a trip is bothersome enough even without having to worry about the food. I hope this article has helped you to learn how to keep frozen food while traveling. So, make sure to follow the aforementioned methods to keep your food intact no matter where your next destination is.
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