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Cool box recommendations pls

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Cool box recommendations pls

Postby jeral » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:03 pm

Are there any good, preferably cheap, ones for the purpose of using whilst defrosting the freezer please?

A cubic foot size (12"x12"x12") would be sufficient since stuff can be crammed in any old how.

If not or too pricey/bulky, I could use the super freeze button, then empty the fridge and turn it to coldest for a while, as Plan B.

Ta.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby scullion » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:55 pm

i have used an old duvet and towels, in the bath, with the frozen stuff in plastic bags.
if you don't need a cool box at other times it seems a waste to buy one.
on the other hand, making a 'wonder bag'could serve that purpose as well as 'haybox' cooking.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Pepper Pig » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:27 pm

I bought a fancy one from Costco when we had my OH's 80th birthday party. It really didn't justify the price and the kids took it away afterwards but don't use it much.

On the other hand it is there for the odd occasion so I don't think the money was totally wasted.

That was helpful wasn't it? :shock:

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Stokey Sue » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:53 pm

I have a large cool bag, about the size of most cool boxes it says Asda on it so I suspect it cost a token £1 or £2 with either frozen food or booze - when I drove it was handy for stocking up on things that needed keeping cool in transit, and it's been going >20 years. It does keep things cold, especially with one of those gel packs on top (I have a few, most fit the cat feeder)

It has clearly earned its keep, and is easier to store than a box, so worth getting if you see a similar bargain I suppose

Otherwise I do the same as scully, old duvets/towels/sleeping bags round a waterproof bag of some kind, and usually outdoors in my case as my bathroom is very warm

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:20 pm

If you place an online order with Donald Russell it will arrive in a decent size lidded polystyrene box. DR sell meat and other food products - fantastic quality, albeit a bit pricey, but with lots of special offers... I now have 2 boxes ; one slightly larger than the other, but annoyingly not enough to store one in the other - they both live stacked up in my shed, alongside the chest freezer.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Earthmaiden » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:35 pm

I've got a cupboard full of cool bags and what in Australia is called an Esky - a solid box with lid and handle. The latter I got at The Range and it has a lead which plugs into the lighter socket of a car and is supposed to keep things cool on a journey. It was quite cheap.

I suppose it depends how big your freezer is but a cubic foot doesn't sound very big. Iceland do cool bags for shopping with a zip top which don't cost much.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby ZeroCook » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:50 am

.

Do you mean an insulated cooler/ice chest that you add ice to or do you mean diy? Not sure you even need a big box - insulated freezer shopping bags as mentioned might be all you need. It actually takes quite a long time for food to defrost when it's cool if in an unheated place or even outside.

TBH, I think it depends on how long it takes to defrost your freezer which depends on what type of freezer you have - how cold it freezes food and whether it's a frost free with minimal ice build up or an older type that gets quite a thick ice build up - all factors in how long the food needs to be out.

One cubic foot? 28L - is that the volume of the freezer or contents?

.







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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Pepper Pig » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:13 am

This is similar to the one I bought. As I say I passed it on but number one son and number one daughter live close enough to each other to be able to wheel it between their houses.

https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-pa ... lsrc=aw.ds

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Kacey » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:44 am

My big freezer is an upright and I have 2 fridge freezers, I just take drawers out and cover them in blankets, not had any casualties yet.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby aero280 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:56 am

There is nothing special about a cold box. it’s just an insulated container. the insulation is the air contained in the material.

For a single use, i would make my own insulation. Anything that stops heat conduction and prevents the circulation of the surrounding air will do. i would do something like a cardboard box, resting on a mat with a blanket or duvet over it. That would be plenty.

if it’s for a slightly longer term. a cardboard box inside a bigger one with some scrunched up newspaper between.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby karadekoolaid » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:47 pm

I´d do what Aero suggests. It can´t take more than 24 hours for the freezer to defrost, and if the contents are well insulated they´ll be fine.
Over here I just buy a couple of bags of ice, but I´m not sure if you can buy ice in British supermarkets.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Stokey Sue » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:43 pm

karadekoolaid wrote:Over here I just buy a couple of bags of ice, but I´m not sure if you can buy ice in British supermarkets.

Yes, you can now

Or, even better in a way, assuming there is some space in the freezer freeze a couple of ice cream tubs or similar filled with water a couple of days before the defrost, a litre block of ice takes some melting

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Gillthepainter » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:58 pm

I just take the drawers out and stack them on top of each other. The top drawer has Tony's stash of back gel packs for his spine.
Keeps everything frozen for ages.

If you are looking in general for a (travel) cool box to use, I got a folding material one, for plugging into the car ciggie slot.
You can get a cool one, & hot and cool ones on caravan camping supplies sites.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby KeenCook2 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:12 pm

Stokey Sue wrote:Or, even better in a way, assuming there is some space in the freezer freeze a couple of ice cream tubs or similar filled with water a couple of days before the defrost, a litre block of ice takes some melting

Now why didn't I ever think of that :lol:
It's a really good idea! I usually just use my Waitrose freezer bags with my two freezer blocks and extra padding, having attempted to use up as much of the food as possible beforehand, but a couple of litre ice cream tubs of frozen water is a brilliant idea :thumbsup :thumbsup

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby jeral » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:00 pm

Wow many thanks folks for all your replies :)

I've decided I'll skip a proper box and use all your other excellent solutions in combination.

The cubic foot is about what I think I can cram the remainder into having eaten or cleared some, so there is indeed now enough room to freeze some ice blocks. I also have a duvet conveniently waiting to go to the laundrette, so if I leave food in the freezer drawers, plus ice blocks, and split a dustbin bag as a lining, I should be quids in with quids saved.

Great suggestions :thumbsup

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby karadekoolaid » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:54 am

Yes, Jeral - you´ll avoid spending unnecessarily on a cool box which you´ll probably never use again.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby halfateabag » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:00 am

In the past I have lined a large cardboard box with newspapers and stashed frozen food in that whilst defrosting DF. One tip, turn off DF the night before removing food, it helps the ice build up soften and is easier to remove. I have also lined the belfast sink with newspapers and used that as a storing place whilst removing ice build up. No need in my mind to buy a cold box for such a short process.

Thankfully I now have frost free DF's.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby jeral » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:19 pm

The thing is that I've always had a fridge freezer and under-counter freezer so I could easily switch them over until the f-f went, hence not having to learn the tips and tricks of insulation before now.

Yes, I usually do superfreeze immediately before hand, then switch off, remove the drawers and scrape loose excess frost off, put back in and leave for an hour or two.

A bowl of hot water in the bottom helps once empty, as all manufacturers tell you not to use hair dryers. I imagine cooling elements are like heating elements, which are likely to blow if they get uneven hot spots.

A frost-free freezer would be far too easy ;) but yes when this one conks out as old and reliable even now seems better than new and not so good, if my year-old fridge is anything to go by. I've said many times "at least I've got a good freezer", touch wood.

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby Pampy » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:21 pm

jeral wrote:
A bowl of hot water in the bottom helps once empty, as all manufacturers tell you not to use hair dryers. I imagine cooling elements are like heating elements, which are likely to blow if they get uneven hot spots.


I think the combination of an electrical appliance and water is an equally good reason not to use a hairdryer to defrost the freezer! :lol: :lol:

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Re: Cool box recommendations pls

Postby jeral » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:51 pm

Yes, absolutely, it never occurs to me that people wouldn't know that for water and electricals, ne'er the twain should meet, without something blowing or blowing up. Water, electricity and people could be instantly fatal of course.

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