Best Way to Keep Ice Cream Frozen in A Cooler


You planned camping or a day at the park with lots of ice cream in your cooler. But you saw ice cream melted when you went to eat. This happens in most of our life. You just can’t put your ice cream in your cooler to keep them frozen. Ice cream is designed to melt sooner than ice. That’s why ice cream doesn’t stay frozen in a regular cooler longer.

However, there are a few ways to keep ice cream frozen for longer. Even on a hot day, you can prevent ice cream from melting with a cooler.

Most people try to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler with dry ice and some try without dry ice. Our teams find a few effective ways to keep ice cream frozen for up to 1 day in a cooler. Cooler must be colder than 32 °F to keep them frozen. Let’s dig into the details.

Keep Ice cream frozen with dry ice

Dry ice is commonly used for temporary refrigeration. It is a solid form of carbon dioxide which is -109.3°F, colder than our home freezer. We recommend storing dry ice in a ventilated area & keep it away from children. Wear gloves before handling.

Thing we need

  • Dry ice
  • A towel/ Newspaper
  • Cooler

Preparing dry ice

dry ice on hand

Collect enough dry ice according to your cooler size. You need about 10-20 pounds for a regular-size ice chest. You can also make your own dry ice by using a CO2 fire extinguisher. It could be dangerous, we don’t suggest doing that.

Covering the dry ice

At first, wear protective gloves to avoid cold. You can use a towel or newspaper to cover the dry ice. Covering ice will protect your ice cream or other food from extreme cold power.

frozen ice cream with dry ice into cooler
image: wikiHow

Placing dry ice into the cooler

Depending on the foods you will carry on the cooler, you can put the dry ice on the top or bottom. To keep items frozen longer, put the dry ice on the top. Since cold air sinks, it works best on the top. Always try to put ice cream in the bottom and put dry ice above them.

Filling the gap

If there are any gaps in the cooler, use towel to fill them. Empty space will cause the dry ice to melt quickly.

Useful tips to keep food frozen longer on a cooler

  • Close the cooler lid carefully. 
  • Avoid direct sunlight in the cooler.
  • If you carry in a car, close the windows to reduce the sun’s heat.

Disposal of dry ice

When you’re finished using the dry ice, just keep your cooler open in a ventilated place. Dry ice will sublimate into carbon dioxide gas. It will dissipate into the air.

Keep ice cream frozen in a cooler without dry ice

Dry ice is very effective to keep ice cream frozen for longer. We can do this without dry ice. We will use regular ice that can be made using a freezer. Let’s do it.

Things we need

  • Deep freezer
  • Plastic container
  • A serrated knife
  • Warm water
  • A towel/ Newspaper
  • Cooler
  • Safety Glove
  • Few freezer bags

Making ice with a freezer

Take a plastic container and pour it with 4-5L water. Now, freeze warm water in a freezer for 18 to 24 hours. We have to wait until every inch of the water has frozen. When water turns into ice properly, use a serrated knife to cut the ice into cubes. Wear a glove before starting the cutting process.

preparing ice with freezer

Preparing Cooler

We have to use a high-quality insulated cooler. Different types of coolers are available in the market. Insulate cooler works better than a disposable styrofoam cooler. Now cool down your cooler to reduce melting ice. Take enough time to make your cooler cool down. When the cooler is ready, follow the next steps.

Putting ice on the cooler

Now, pour the cooler with the ice. Keep ice cream on the bottom which needs to stay frozen. Then put a few cubes of ice above the ice cream. If you have something else, put them on the top of the cooler. Which we put in the bottom will stay cold longer.

image: wikiHow

Using rock salt & a freezer bag

Rock salt slows down the melting process of the ice. Use a few rock salt on the top of the rice.

Freezer bags also helps to slow down the melting process. It adds an extra layer of insulation. If possible, keep your foods in the freezer bag, then place them in your cooler.

Filling empty space

Use a towel to feel the empty space of your cooler to reduce the melting. Also, avoid opening your cooler without necessary and keep it shut as much as possible. Don’t keep your cooler in direct sunlight.

Related Articles:
Easy Homemade Air Conditioner without Ice Using a Fan
How to Clean Pillows without A Washing Machine
How to Clean a Pasta Maker [Both Manual & Electric Machine]

Common Questions Answered (CQA)

Will ice cream stay frozen in a cooler?

Yes, if you use dry ice in the cooler, ice cream stays frozen in the cooler.

How long will dry ice keep ice cream frozen in a cooler?

Ice cream will stay frozen for up to 12 hours with dry ice.

How do you pack ice cream in a cooler?

To reduce the ice melting, you can use freezer bags to increase the insulation.

Where can I purchase dry ice?

You can purchase this from a local store or online store.

Final Words

For a day trip, you can easily keep your ice cream frozen in a cooler with dry ice or regular ice. Always try to use a high-quality cooler instead of a cheap one.

Resources used

Leave a Comment