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Pack a Cooler the Right Way to Keep Food Fresh Longer

Whether you're camping in the great outdoors, taking a scenic road trip, or simply picnicking in the park, keeping fresh food properly chilled at a food-safe temperature is always a challenge when you're miles away from the nearest fridge. Here are smart tips for packing a cooler or ice chest so food stays cold longer and nothing gets soggy or crushed.

How to Pack a Cooler

How to Pack a Cooler Infographic by Allrecipes

How to Pack a Cooler Infographic by Allrecipes

Top Tips

• Chill all food and drinks before packing them.
• Seal food in waterproof containers to keep it dry and uncrushed.
• Keep the cooler as full as possible.
• If you can, have a separate cooler for drinks so the cooler doesn't lose its cool every time someone opens it to get a drink.
• Keep the cooler in the shadiest spot you can find.
• Don't drain melted ice water -- it actually helps keep food cool longer. It's true!

Seal food in waterproof containers and fill the cooler with ice.

Seal food in waterproof containers and fill the cooler with ice.


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Follow me to more recipe inspiration and how-to tips on Allrecipes Dish.


Vanessa Greaves

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Check out things that make me go yum: foodelicious On Instagram On Twitter @vanessa_greaves