How to Keep Ice Cream Frozen in a Cooler

How to Keep Ice Cream Frozen in a Cooler


Although coolers are designed to keep food frozen, ice cream is a different story since even a small dip in temperature can cause it to melt. To learn how to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler, scroll down below.


How to Prevent Ice Cream From Melting in a Cooler


To ensure that ice cream stays frozen in a cooler, follow the tips below:


1) Pick the Right Cooler

 man holding cooler outside

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To stop ice cream from melting, invest in a durable plastic cooler or potentially another hard-sided cooler that will maintain its temperature for a longer period of time. Avoid metal coolers since they have the propensity to absorb heat more quickly.


2) Pre-Chill the Cooler Before Placing the Ice Cream Inside

 ice cubes

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Make the cooler as cold as you can before putting the ice cream container inside to ensure the ice cream stays frozen for as long as possible. To chill your cooler, just place a sizable chunk of regular ice in your cooler for a couple of hours.


3) Line the Interior of the Cooler With Aluminum Foil

 Nice Packs thermal insulated liner

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To ensure that your cooler stays cold and your ice cream does not melt, it's essential to keep the heat out. You can do this by using aluminum foil to line the interior of your cooler. Additionally, insulated liners can also help keep hot air out and cool air in.


4) Place Your Ice Cream Container at the Bottom of the Cooler

 blue cooler

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After pre-cooling the cooler and lining it with aluminum foil, it's time to pack your ice cream in it. Since cold air sinks, the bottom of the cooler is the coldest part. Therefore it is essential to pack ice cream at the bottom to prevent it from melting.


5) Pack Your Cooler With Dry Ice Packs and Fresh Ice


Nice packs dry ice packs
Credit: Nice Packs


It's time to stock your cooler with dry ice packs and ice cubes to keep the ice cream from melting. To ensure that the ice cream stays at the ideal temperature, make sure the ice and ice packs are as cold as possible. 


6) Add Rock Salt

 rock salt in bowl

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To slow down the melting process of the ice and ice packs, sprinkle rock salt or regular salt in the cooler. Rock salt used to be a component for keeping ice cream cold in the past. This trick is still effective today.


7) Fill Up Any Extra Space in the Cooler


ice cream in cooler
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Empty spaces in the cooler will cause it to warm up more quickly. To keep your cooler cold, it is essential to fill up any empty spaces. If you don't have sufficient ice cream to fill up the space, you can use blankets, towels, or crumpled newspaper.


8) Close the Cooler and Keep It Away From Direct Sunlight

 cooler on sand at beach

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Last but not least, keep the cooler closed while not in use. Opening it regularly could cause the ice to melt and eventually the ice cream. Additionally, make every effort to protect the cooler from the sun. If you're having a picnic outside in the sun, you can place the cooler behind a chair, in a shaded area, or under an umbrella.


How Long Can Ice Cream Stay Frozen in a Cooler?

 hand holding ice cream in a cone

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Ice cream will remain frozen in a cooler as long as the ice packs and the ice does not melt. Typically, if all the conditions are ideal, it will stay frozen for 12 hours with dry ice packs and regular ice. If only regular ice is used in the cooler, it will stay frozen for 2 hours.


At What Temperature Should You Store Ice Cream to Prevent It From Melting?

 cherry ice cream in container

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To keep ice cream frozen, the cooler's temperature must be lower than 32 °F (0 °C). If the temperature is above this, the ice cream will melt and you will land up with a soggy mess. To ensure that the ice cream stays frozen, you can use insulated liners, dry ice packs, and regular ice.




By following these simple suggestions, you can guarantee that your ice cream and other frozen dessert treats will stay tasty and pleasant. Dry ice packs and insulated liners work best for keeping ice cream frozen in coolers. To shop for insulated liners and dry ice packs, check out Nice Packs.