If you are planning to head to the beaches of Orange County, or one of the park or stadiums near Los Angeles, chances are it will involve a cooler packed with ice cold beverages and delicious food. After spending many summer holidays camping, tailgating and boating, I’ve learned how bad cooler etiquette can crash a party. From soggy sandwiches to waterlogged potato salad, I’ve seen and done it all. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up for conquering cooler chaos.
GET THE RIGHT COOLER.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but make sure your cooler has either a handle that secures the lid, a latch or a zipper. The last thing you want is your cooler tipping and everything spilling out. That could be a party foul. This 28-quart cooler packs enough food and beverages for four people. Plus, it doubles as an extra seat.
START WITH YOUR BEVERAGES.
Whatever you decide to sip on for the day, add it first. Beverages at the bottom of your cooler will stay colder for longer, and won’t smash your food items. Try to refrigerate or buy beverages that are already cold.
You’ll want to ice down your beverages before stacking food on top. I bought one bag of ice for this cooler and it was plenty. If you’re working with warm drinks, add a little water and a dash of rock salt to chill beverages quickly.
TOP IT OFF AND ENJOY YOUR DAY.
Pack your cooler with the remaining ice, but allow enough room for breads, chips and any items that squash easily. You don’t have to add these items, but I like to have everything in one place.
Here is another great use for Ice Coolers… Make a solar powered air conditioner.