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Old 19-07-2019, 08:28   #1
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Dry Ice in Icebox

During extended trips we use Ice Cubes in our Icebox and we go through them quickly. block Ice seems to be very hard to come by. Has anybody used dry ice in there icebox? Does it work well? Any problem with carbon dioxide gas?
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Old 19-07-2019, 08:40   #2
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

We used dry ice for a transatlantic trip. Cook was careful to fill the icebox completely with frozen food and dry ice and to open it as little as possible. Can't remember how long it lasted, though it may depend on surface area rather than ambient temperature, because it sublimates instead of melting. The supplier should be able to tell you. It takes less space than ice and leaves no water behind as it sublimates. Fanning the box when open would help to dissipate the CO2. Don't stick your head in until the "ice" is all gone though!
You could also make your own "block" ice by freezing water in gallon milk jugs. Not filling them too full helps keep them from splitting when they freeze, so the cold meltwater stays in the jug and can be used to drink too.
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Old 19-07-2019, 08:52   #3
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

You use dry ice for frozen food. Have done it but not on a boat. A nuisance to handle and much more expensive ($2/lb) than regular ice, and you have to use twice as much by weight to achieve the same amount of cooling. Makes sense for specialized situations such as trying to keep ice cream frozen for a couple of days when no refrigeration is available, or dealing with a refrigeration failure, but beyond that I wouldn't use it.


My icebox is poorly insulated. I freeze large jugs of water (I use cat litter jugs or windshield washer fluid jugs) filled 3/4 full in my freezer at home, then put the whole jug in the ice box. It's convenient and contains the water melt.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:00   #4
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Safety Note - Obviously Dry ice emits carbon dioxide. if the cabin becomes warm and the ice is sublimating aggressively it could fill a well sealed cabin with CO2 and harm the occupants.

I believe Paine Stewart was lost in his Learjet due to this.

Keep dry ice in a vented space.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:03   #5
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windy Patrick View Post
Safety Note - Obviously Dry ice emits carbon dioxide. if the cabin becomes warm and the ice is sublimating aggressively it could fill a well sealed cabin with CO2 and harm the occupants.

I believe Paine Stewart was lost in his Learjet due to this.

Keep dry ice in a vented space.
If you vent the space, you won't have a problem, your dry ice will be gone in short order.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:11   #6
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Have used it years ago for crossing up to about 1 week. Surrounded it w block ice and all kept pretty well. As others have pointed out its a bit of a hassle, a handling hazard, a an off gassing hazard.

You may get enough benefit from contained ice (in a plastic jug) or a eutetic solution (fake ice) in plastic packs to make dry ice not worthwhile. Seawater also has a lower freezing temp than fresh so frozen jugs of seawater work well too.
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Old 19-07-2019, 10:26   #7
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Yes It works good. surround the dry ice in regular ice, don t let it touch food, wear gloves when handling it, avoid breathing ice box air when you open the box.
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Old 19-07-2019, 10:37   #8
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Due to the potential asphyxiation risk, I will not use dry ice on my boat.

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Old 19-07-2019, 10:42   #9
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

We use it on raft support kayak trips. You separate it from everything else in the cooler with cardboard.
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Old 19-07-2019, 11:00   #10
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Block Ice is hard to come by? Grocery store?
Anyway, yes just fill and freeze milk containers.
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Old 19-07-2019, 11:56   #11
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Previous CO2 discussion that contains more links -

Dry Ice ?
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Old 19-07-2019, 12:15   #12
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

For safety, CO sensors are cheap enough.
Don't touch it.
As others have mentioned. Keep it seperated from anything you don't want frozen.
The first time we tried it froze everything solid. Made the first few meals very interesting.
We typically opt for homemade block ice.

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Old 19-07-2019, 12:26   #13
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

Been using Dry ice on long cruises for years . In the bottom of my frig locker dry ice than 20 lbs of cubes overtop. The dry ice will not let the cubes melt. You will get 12-14 days as long as food was frozen and Food Saver shrunk. 38 Morgan Tarpon Springs FL
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Old 19-07-2019, 12:33   #14
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

We take dry ice on two week trips to the Bahamas. Get a large Igloo cooler 150 qt or bigger, put a layer of cardboard on the bottom, then dump two bags of ice, then 10 pounds of dry ice wrapped in newspaper, then another layer of cardboard. Handle dry ice with welders gloves or tongs, never ever touch!

Then we cover with our frozen food and meat in styrofoam, ziploc or rubbermaid containers, then another layer of ice, then our beer, soda, milk and juice and finally a plastic trash bag over the final layer of cans/bottles

By the 10th day, we still have cold drinks and the last meals are just defrosting. Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight. Not enough CO2 to offgas and cause a problem, plus it is heavier than air and would collect in the bilge. So do not sleep in the bilge!
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Old 19-07-2019, 12:49   #15
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Re: Dry Ice in Icebox

We used to use it on our 25 footer that only had a built in icebox. We didnít die.
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