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Old 03-31-2011, 06:14 AM
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Default dry ice vs block ice?

OK so the wife and I got into a discussion last night about ice for our trip tomorrow. she asked if dry ice in the ice chests would be better than normal ice. I told her that by volume block ice would be best as it has the greatest density ( 10 lbs of dry is larger by volume so takes more space in the ice chest ) and thus heat capacity so would last longer.

she went online and found a site that said by weight dry ice lasts longer because it freezes everything where block just keeps things cold. I couldnt say what volume difference 10 lbs of block vs 10 lbs of dry would be.

SO whats the input for you all? my personal experience is dry ice is great for short duration very cold and block ice is better for longer periods where frozzen solid is not required.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:17 AM
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There are some dangers associated with dry ice. I would use regular block ice. Cool (and freeze if pracical) everything you will be puuting in the cooler ahead of time so you won't waste ice cooling things down. Keep the cooler out of the sun and open it as few times and for the shortest time possible.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:20 AM
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When we go on extended fishing trips - I layer the bottom of cooler with regular ice,,,, then a layer of dry ice - and finally a layer of regular ice on top.... That lasts a solid week....
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:20 AM
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if you want everything frozen dry ice is your ticket...if you just want to keep it cold go with the blocks...
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:28 AM
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dry ice is about -70F? I think it will cool more and longer than block ice which is maybe 20F

dry ice requires special handling and can be a PITA. if you can buy more ice as you travel I would stick to ice.

if you want to use dry ice, wear gloves to handle. put it in the cooler first, cover with newspapers, and put your stuff in.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:32 AM
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Dry ice sticks to skin. when you pull it off skin goes with it. A good quality ice chest filled with ice will last for days
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:57 AM
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Dry ice can cool a plastic ice chest to a very brittle temperature. Just dropping something in a supercooled ice chest can crack the plastic. I like the layered approach with dry ice in the middle for long term cooling.

Dry ice can also cause freezer burn on exposed fish or meat, where water ice should keep things hydrated better.

They both have merits, depending on the end result.

Look out for all that CO2 going into the atmosphere! Allowing all that dry ice to sublime just might warm the earth to dangerous levels!
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:58 AM
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Dry ice vaporizes, it doesn't thaw. No matter how cold it is it will be gone in about 24 hours unless you protect it from the outside air with an airtight bag. We don't use any of it on a cruise but use it to transport frozen fish fillets long distances in the car. The cost is about a dollar a pound, much more expensive than regular ice.
In a super insulated cooler block ice lasts the longest--up to a week even when the outside air temp is near 100.
Fill a giant cooler with blocks before your cruise. Bring along an ice pick. Put chunks on the fish that you catch in the fish box but use the ice sparingly. Put fillets (and perishable food) in the cooler with the remaining blocks. You will be good to go for 5 days.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:22 AM
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Water (ice) has a higher heat capacity than CO2. That how much energy it takes to raise the temp one degree.
Melting ice is right at 32degrees. 20 degree ice quickly warms for 32 and stays there until melted and then rises again. Dry ice doesn't do that. It evaporates(sublimes) at it's -70 or whatever.

Basically you can't really freeze anything with water ice for very long as it all gets to 32 degrees but it takes a lot of heat to turn water from ice to liquid so it holds that temp. If you want colder you have to use dry ice or dry ice plus water ice but if you want the longest 32 degree time then it's water ice.

This may help.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:39 AM
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For long trips to keep a large cooler cold for a few days I use block ice. I pre-make them in the freezer in different size containers and jugs. All the food is packed into water-tight containers and then pre-cooled in the fridge. Pack the ice and food into the containers, getting ice anywhere it will fit around the food.

I also pre-chill the cooler with ice for a day or two before packing it.

If you have the space in the basement/garage and you always find yourself buying ice, you can pick up a 7 cubic ft freezer chest at home depot for about $200. using tap water to make ice for your cooler cost almost nothing. 1 or 2 seasons and the freezer pays for itself.

If you don't store other things in it over the off-season, make sure you unplug to save electricity.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierless View Post
dry ice is about -70F? I think it will cool more and longer than block ice which is maybe 20F
Block ice is as cold as you freeze it to - it melts at 32F.
We often chill our block and cube ice to -10F, and it last a long time before it melts. Since ice gives off cold at a consistant thermal rate, the colder ti is when you start the thaw, the longer it will be frozen.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:41 AM
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The cooler insulation is more important than the temperature regulation (ice/dry ice).
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
Block ice is as cold as you freeze it to - it melts at 32F.
We often chill our block and cube ice to -10F, and it last a long time before it melts. Since ice gives off cold at a consistant thermal rate, the colder ti is when you start the thaw, the longer it will be frozen.
THat's the advantage of using dry ice to drop the temp of water ice way below the -10 you can make in a freezer. It's actually better (lb for lb) to use the dry ice to cool the water ice to as low at -70 like said THEN put it in the cooler.

If you mix salt in your ice it drops the melting point to the 20deg range which can actually keep your food frozen but it will freeze beers and sodas and make 'em pop. Just like making home made ice cream.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:35 AM
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If you use the Dry Ice, Please keep the area ventilated. Including your car when you pick it up, it will suck up all the oxgyen, you will start to get light headed and pass out.

Also the Pellets are nice but for short term only, less then 24 hours... the 25 lb or 50lb blocks are the best way....

We use the stuff ( blocks) every day to pack supplies for the troops in the Mid East and ship it commercial, lasts 36 + hours.

Wear Gloves if handling and KEEP that window open.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:43 AM
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we decided to make our own block ice.

really only need 24 hours until the RV freezer is up and running so why go through all the hassle of dry ice.

thanks all!
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:55 AM
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For years I have taken 2 lt. bottles and froze them and used them in my cooler when fishing. When I get home I wash them off and they are still half ice so I put them back in the freezer. This will easily pay for a freezer over time.
Also I figure if ever lost at sea I will have a fresh water supply.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:48 PM
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Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide--it does not "suck up oxygen". However carbon dioxide is the gas which is formed when dry ice sublimates--and it is heavier than air--that is the reason for ventillation.

On the other hand--each human emits slightly over 2 lbs of carbon dioxide per day.

We have kept well frozen food in highly insullated containers for a number of days with blocks dry ice wrapped in several layers of paper. If properly packed it can last a considerable length of time. Agree if you want to keep food frozen--seal it well, to avoid any taste change, and use dry ice. For just cooling--then frozen water.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
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Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide--it does not "suck up oxygen".
He should have said "displaces" oxygen. Carbon dioxide is used in some fire extinguishers to displace oxygen and put out fires.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:56 PM
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Dry ice is great for long trips. We keep one very thick walled styro cooler for this, put in frozen bait and meats that we know we don't need for 5 days or so for Bahamas trips. Tape the cooler shut and don't open it until needed.

I always had heard mixing dry ice with water ice would just ruin the dry ice immediately, but I see a few on this thread do it.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer99 View Post
OK so the wife and I got into a discussion last night about ice for our trip tomorrow. she asked if dry ice in the ice chests would be better than normal ice. I told her that by volume block ice would be best as it has the greatest density ( 10 lbs of dry is larger by volume so takes more space in the ice chest ) and thus heat capacity so would last longer.

she went online and found a site that said by weight dry ice lasts longer because it freezes everything where block just keeps things cold. I couldnt say what volume difference 10 lbs of block vs 10 lbs of dry would be.

SO whats the input for you all? my personal experience is dry ice is great for short duration very cold and block ice is better for longer periods where frozzen solid is not required.
Nobody brought this up yet so I will.

You want to use block ice and your wife wants to use dry ice. Do you want to enjoy your trip?

Dry ice!
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