Cooler 101 – When & When Not to Drain Your Ice Chest

Cooler 101 – When & When Not to Drain Your Ice Chest

A lot of people know exactly what to do when packing a cooler and getting food and drinks cold. However, not many people know when and when not to drain their ice chest. Not many people are sure of what to do when the ice melts in the cooker. Are they to leave the cold water in the cooler or drain it?

The uncertainty of draining water from your ice chest does not only affect regular people. People with a good knowledge of physics also have to deal with this uncertainty.

That said, let’s find out when to drain your ice chest and when to leave it untouched.

When to Drain your Ice Chest

While it might look like draining your ice chest is not a good move, there are times draining water from your ice chest is the right thing to do says The Cooler Talks. Some of these times are;

Will Your Food Get Drowned? If you feel the contents of your ice chest will get drowned if they remain undrained, then, it is time for you to drain it. Some containers do well when in flood water. Some, however, do not fare so well. Such things as wrapped slices of cheese and bread bags do not do so well when in flood water. This means if you have these food items in your ice chest and the ice melts, you will have to drain the ice chest.

When You Have to Move the Cooler: Do you have any plans of moving the cooler from one point to another? If yes, you need to drain it when it melts. The presence of water in the cooler will make it heavy and a lot more difficult to move from place to place. While you might want to drain the water in your ice chest if you have to move from place to place, the distance you will cover is a strong determinant of if you really need to drain the ice chest or leave it untouched. That’s not all. The presence of ice in the water is also a factor to consider before draining the ice chest. If you have some ice in the cooler and you need the contents cold for a fairly long time, you might not want to drain it.

When the Water is contaminated: The presence of raw meat in your ice chest could contaminate it. If this happens, then, keeping the water will be considered very unsafe. The presence of food spillage and raw meat can contaminate the water in your ice chest. 

When this happens, you need to drain the ice chest, empty its content and wash it thoroughly. That’s not all. The outside of the contents in the ice chest should also be rinsed. After you are done with this, pack the ice chest all over with ice blocks. This procedure might be very stressful. It, however, is a lot better than going to the hospital.

At the End of Every Trip: It will be quite unwise to leave your ice chest undrained at the end of a trip. Why is this so? When you keep your cooler in the basement, garage, or any other part of the house you store items you do not use very regularly, you are not sure of the things that will grow in it. To prevent any unwanted growth, it is best you drain the cooler.

Why You Should Not Drain the Contents of your Cooler

If you do not have any ice remaining in your ice chest, the temperature of its contents might begin to rise rapidly. Nonetheless, so long there is ice in the cooler, you can be certain that its contents will stay cold as they will be at the same temperature with the water. If you need to keep your ice chest’s content frozen, then, keeping water and some ice in it might be useless. However, if all you need is for the content of the ice chest to remain cold, you might not need to drain the ice chest if it still contains a bit of ice. With a bit of coolness, you can prevent chocolate from melting, meat from going bad, and drinks from getting warm.

Cold water might not be as effective as ice. Nonetheless, it is a lot better than empty air. Your drinks and food will be able to stay cold longer when in cold water than when they are surrounded by empty air. So, if the water in your ice chest is still cold, you might want to leave it untouched. To do this your food must be properly sealed.

Going by this, if your trip is coming to an end and the ice in your ice chest has melted to a great extent. You might not need to drain the ice chest immediately you notice this. This is because your drinks and food will be maintained at a comfortable temperature so long the water in the ice chest is still cold.

Ways to Ensure Your Cooler’s Contents Stay Cold for Long

While you might always be tempted to drain your ice chest once the ice it contains gets dissolved, you need to know what to do to keep your ice chest’s content cold for a long time.

Ensure the cooler gets filled with ice. The more the ice in your ice chest, the longer its contents will stay cold. Furthermore, you will get much better results if you make use of ice blocks instead of bagged ice. Ice blocks are usually bigger than bagged ice and the bigger a piece of ice block the longer the time that has to elapse before it melts.

Ensure your ice chest’s cover stays close for as long as possible. If you open it frequently, it will get mixed up with warm air and might not stay cold for as long as you want it to. This way, all your efforts might not amount to much.