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Cooler Question - Brining

Uncle FesterUncle Fester Posts: 1,644 Senior Member
For my birthday, my bride got me a Cabela's Polar Cap Cooler (lower cost version of Yeti) to support my fishing/hunting plans. Looking over that beast, I was wondering about using it to supplement my fridge (not freezer) for doing things like brining a big Thanksgivng Turkey or other meats I plan to throw on the smoker.

If I wanted to keep the meat cool (without freezing it), how would that work? Frankly, I am more worried about the meat freezing than it getting up to an unsafe temp.

Surely, some of the hunters on this forum have lots of experience with modern coolers like mine. Thank you in advance for advice.

Btw - I am hoping to break the beast in with some offshore fishies this weekend.


  • earlyearly Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Dry ice or big blocks of ice last longer.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Dry ice freezes stuff solid- - - -70 degrees F. below zero! Try freezing several half gallon milk jugs full of water and putting the jugs and all into the brine. They chill without diluting the solution.
  • Diver43Diver43 Posts: 12,758 Senior Member
    Teach beat me to it. Frozen jugs or water bottles will keep your brine cold and fresh
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Posts: 14,851 Senior Member
    Prechill the cooler over night with a couple of frozen milk jugs of water or just toss a 20# bag of ice in it, it will still be good to go in the AM.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Diver43 wrote: »
    Teach beat me to it. Frozen jugs or water bottles will keep your brine cold and fresh

    My wife buys fancy flavored sparkling water ICE that come in tall thin bottles (the Kiwi Strawberry is good!). I use those as freezer bottles because they fit nicely. I do also have "Blue Ice" reusable bottles that are thick walled plastic with whatever mixture Rubbermaid uses and they are at least 10 years old and still work as good as the day I bought them.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
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  • JermanatorJermanator Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    The frozen water jugs are a good idea but I use ice as part of my water when brining. I have 1 gallon pitcher I use. So for example if the brine calls for 2 gallons of water, I will fill the pitcher with ice, then add water to fill the voids, then add another gallon of water. Since the salt in the brine lowers the freezing temperature of the water, my brine starts out very cold-- in the 20's and stays cool enough to be safe (40 degrees and below) for the whole brining period.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    My wife uses (and reuses) a huge zip-lock bag and sticks it in the refrigerator.
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Posts: 1,644 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    My wife uses (and reuses) a huge zip-lock bag and sticks it in the refrigerator.

    My fridge won't hold a full turkey + brining bucket + other Thanksgiving stuff (we host the family). If I want to brine a random chicken on the weekend, I can usually make it work. The
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    You can also use the bag with an ice chest.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Unc, I don't see why it wouldn't work. I have kept ice for 5 days in a Coleman, and an addition of salt, both in or on the rub and a handful of rock salt should lower the temperature by 10% or so..........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
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