How to Keep Food Cold Without a Cooler or a Refrigerator

How to Keep Food Cold Without a Cooler or a Refrigerator


If your refrigerator breaks down, storing food in a cooler or ice box is an easy solution. But what if you don't have a cooler? How do you keep food fresh and cold? In this blog, we will cover a range of methods for keeping food cold without a cooler or refrigerator in addition to safety advice that you should be aware of. Let's get started.


4 Ways to Keep Food Cold Without a Cooler or Refrigerator


If your refrigerator breaks down and you don't have a cooler, here are some ways for keeping food cool:


1) Wrap Your Food

red and whit kitchen towel

Credit: Envato Elements/ ozaiachin


If you need to preserve cold food for a limited period, one of the simplest solutions is to wrap it in a piece of cold, wet fabric. To ensure that your food lasts for a longer period of time, be sure to keep the fabric-wrapped food in a shady, cool spot.


2) Make a Zeer Pot

zeer pot

Credit: Instructables


Using a Zeer pot to keep food cold is an age-old technique that works on the principle of evaporative cooling. To make a Zeer pot, follow the steps below:


  • Get two unglazed ceramic pots, one of which is larger than the other, together with some sand and water.
  • Fill the larger pot's bottom with a couple of inches of sand.
  • Place the smaller pot inside the larger one.
  • To fill the space between the pots, use sand.
  • Spray some cold water on the sand.
  • Top the pots with a wet cloth or a ceramic lid.
  • Place the food in the smaller pot.


It's crucial to keep the sand wet since the water in it evaporates, keeping the pots cool. To prevent the pot from overheating from the sun's rays, place it in the shade.


3) Use Dry Ice Packs

Nice packs ice packs

Credit: Nice Packs


Using dry ice packs is yet another excellent approach to keep your food ice cold. These packs are ideal for maintaining the cold temperatures of food and drinks for hours at a time. To increase the packs' shelf life, store them in a cold area and place them in an insulated bag along with the cold food. If you don't have an insulated bag, you can always use insulated liners.


4) Dig a Root Cellar

shovel digging a root cellar

Credit: Envato Elements/ naokawa


Root cellars are typically used to store root vegetables and perishables like dairy products, cheese, and yogurt. They are constructed by first digging a trench. Then, they are fitted with shelving, covered with logs or lumber, and topped with a large trap door. 

Building a root cellar can take a lot of effort. To preserve cold food, you can get creative and construct a smaller root cellar that operates on the same principles. To create your own DIY root cellar, follow the steps below.


  • Dig a hole large enough to store your food.
  • Place wooden planks around the hole.
  • Wrap your cool food in plastic bags and place it in the hole.
  • Place dry ice packs along with the food.
  • Place a wooden plank on top and cover the hole with mud.


Tips to Keep in Mind While Preserving Food Without a Cooler or Refrigerator


When storing food without a refrigerator or a cooler, keep the following tips in mind:


1) Store Food in Cool, Shady Areas

 stack of food containers with food

Credit: Envato Elements/ tenkende


The easiest way to keep food colder for longer is to keep it in cool, shaded areas. When placing food in these locations, keep in mind to store it in sealed containers to prevent rodents from being attracted to it.


2) Maintain the Proper Temperature of Food

 frozen moldy food

Credit: Envato Elements/ Marowl


When storing cold food, make sure that you keep it at a temperature of 40° F. Foods like meat may start to deteriorate and become extremely harmful to consume if they are not stored at this temperature. To ensure the safe temperature of food, you can use a refrigerator thermometer.


3) Pack Food Close Together

 wrapping up fresh vegetables

Credit: Envato Elements/ ta_bu


Regardless of what technique you use to keep food chilled without a cooler or refrigerator, be sure to pack the food tightly. Food that is not tightly packed will warm up and spoil more quickly.




To prevent the spread of bacteria, you must maintain the constant temperature of cold food. If you don't have a cooler or your fridge has broken down, use the above 4 techniques for food storage. To shop for insulated liners and dry ice packs that will help you keep your food cooler for longer, visit Nice Packs.