best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Anything to do with camping, fundamentals, secrets, etc...

best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby ae6black » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:14 am

I would like to how some of you freeze block ice for your coolers. This June, I went to the Creation Music festival and camped out for five days in the middle of a field in the blistering heat. Before I went I filled up some jugs, and some of those 1 gallon Ice cream containers that you can get from walmart (I eat a lot of ice cream). At the end of 5 days, I still had some block ice left in those ice cream containers. My problem with them was that one cracked and filled my cooler with water. Is there a simple way to freeze block ice in a container where it won't crack the plastic? I was wondering if the container lined with plastic rap might help. What do the rest of you do. If the container hadn't leaked, I wouldn't have had any mess at all. I still had fresh milk at the end of those five days but I didn't like my parmazzon cheese laying in the water.

User avatar
Silver Donating Member
Posts: 340
Images: 19
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:13 am
Location: Western Pennsylvania

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby working on it » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:49 am

  • I used frozen water, in old ice tea/milk-type blow-molded jugs (only using the ones with screw-on tops) on my last 3-day trip, and they worked well for me. I filled them with my "sweet peach tea" mix, and froze them in the chest freezer to 10 degrees F (my wife won't let me lower it to zero, since it is below the "recommended" setting on the unit), and they were still very solid at that temperature. I recently bought "Cooler Shock" bags from Amazon, which are designed to work if frozen to only 18 degrees, so my wife's freezer should be quite low enough for them to work OK (my previous artificial ice blocks - the plastic ones you find in the sporting goods section-, required that they be frozen down to -2 degrees F, so I was only getting them frozen to 12 degrees short of their specific requirement, so maybe that's why they didn't work too good in my "cooler-in-a-cooler" experiment).
  • Cooler Shock bag, ice replacement.JPG
    Cooler Shock bag, ice replacement.JPG (132.85 KiB) Viewed 2444 times
  • But, back to the frozen jugs: be sure to allow room for the water (or tea) to expand; the first one I overfilled, and the top came off and the jug expelled (but the plastic never split) some tea into our new freezer (easy to clean, thankfully). On the succeeding jugs, I allowed about 9-10% of the jugs' volume to remain unfilled, and froze two without the tops, and two with, to freeze. It didn't seem to matter, because the sealed jugs stayed sealed, without bursting, so I sealed the next two jugs, also.
  • frozen water expansion.JPG
    frozen water expansion.JPG (57.71 KiB) Viewed 2484 times
Last edited by working on it on Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", rugged, 4x8 TTT, 2220 lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's & GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/CD/Aux. *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" diameter rod & reel carrier tube on roof
User avatar
working on it
1000 Club
1000 Club
Posts: 1982
Images: 455
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: DFW Texas

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby coyote » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:01 pm

I have used those cheap water containers from the dollar store. They hold a gal.or so. (lack of image) They are shaped like a brief case basically. The rectangle shape can be handy for "stacking/stocking" the cooler. The ones I use also have a spigot. Coyote
Titanium Donating Member
Posts: 448
Images: 0
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:20 am

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby razorback » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:28 pm

whatever container you use, keep cap off and be sure to allow at lease 1 or 2 inches for expansion of ice. replace caps when you take out of the freezer
Super Lifetime Member
Posts: 586
Images: 12
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 6:14 pm
Location: NLR, arkansas

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby greygoos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:41 pm

Lot of guys in the mobile food biz use the large juice containers like Ocean Spray cranberry juice. They are pretty heavy duty. When I did catering in remote locations I froze almost all liquids before packing the coolers except liquids that would be consumed the first day. Food was packed into Gallon freezer bags and stored with the frozen beverages.
Silver Donating Member
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:15 am
Location: Syracuse NY

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby John61CT » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:28 pm

Google "polar tubes"
1000 Club
1000 Club
Posts: 1605
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:36 pm

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby crttaz » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:41 am

Turkey Hill 1/2 gal tea containers, 85% fill They are square enough that they fit together nicely.
Teardrop Master
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:26 am
Location: Cincy, OH

Re: best way to freeze block ice for cooler

Postby KTM_Guy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:30 am

We freeze water bottles and use them to drink after they melt. For longer trips we buy some 3 liter water jugs and freeze them, also freeze a few with iced tea. The other nice thing with frozen water bottles is we can cut the top off and put the chunk of ice in a hydration backpack and then fill with drinking water from our 6 gallon jug. Works out great. And have cold water for hikes.

User avatar
500 Club
Posts: 570
Images: 193
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:50 am
Location: Mesa, AZ near Usery

Return to Camping Secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests