If there is one thing about me it is that I am a gearhead. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about kitchen gadgets or electronic gizmos, I love them all and get great joy shopping for them and playing with them. So it was no surprise when a shelf of Ozark Trails coolers caught my eye at the local Wal-mart. There was a range of cool colors and they looked a lot like the Yeti coolers that I had been drooling over but just couldn’t justify buying. This cooler, however, was priced less than a c-note. It didn’t take much to make the decision and soon there I was at the checkout as the girl worked on getting it scanned. Then, out to the car with my new toy.
The label said it would keep cook for between four and five days. My old cooler lasted maybe a day and a half. This was going to save me a lot of ice, or perhaps it was all advertising? A quick stop at the market and a seven-pound bag of ice went into the cooler along with a thermometer. The next day I went to check how things were doing inside and discovered how well sealed these units are. The air inside had cooled down to 32 degrees (duh) and the air had cooled with it, creating a vacuum inside the cooler. Getting the top open was a challenge. Wow. That’s well sealed. But would it last? Two days later, still 32 degrees inside. Nice. Day three, however, the ice was just about gone and the temperature was starting to rise. In the real world having food items inside the cooler might have extended the ice length, but what I got, although not the promised four-day span, was not bad.
Now I faced the next problem. My old cooler has a drain. Just hang it off the end of the picnic table and depress the button until the water runs out. The Ozark trails has to be dumped, which can be a real bummer if your cooler is filled with assorted cans of soda and food items. I am looking into a small battery operated pump to solve this problem. There are some available reasonably from Amazon and I’ll let you know how that works out once I have some time to play with it awhile.
While I was at it I headed back to Walmart and spent some time in the kitchen good section. There is nothing worse than a stick of soggy butter floating in half-melted ice, or a cooler that ends up smelling like hot dogs after a long weekend of camp activity. I wanted some sealable containers to keep things dry. While I was there, though, I discovered a rack that fits perfectly into the cooler. There is room underneath for 8 to 10 pounds of ice and still half of the 26 quarts of space is free and above the ice where it will stay cool and dry. Simpatico! Now all I need is some sort of metal can with a snap cover to set down in the ice so I can keep my Ben and Jerry’s at the proper temperature and I’ll be in heaven.
Heres an interesting video on this cooler you might like.