This post may contain affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
To ensure your meal is cold, safe, and healthy to consume by the time its lunchtime, you need to follow a few steps. Sometimes you need to carry meals, without refrigerating them, and you might have questions about how to keep your lunch cold without a fridge. Let’s get to know more about how to execute it.
There can be healthier and more convenient ways to pack meals without the need to refrigerate them. Depending on an individual’s workplace, there can be issues where storing their lunch in the fridge can be a tough chore. On top of that, keep the meal cold so that it doesn’t go bad.
Here, I will be discussing some of my favorite ways to keep lunch or any other meal cold, throughout the day. Let’s unravel the tips and tricks, you will be stunned to know these are so simple and you can easily apply them daily.
3 Ways To Keep Your Lunch Cold Without A Fridge
Use small coolers, they are ideal for carrying out this process. To maintain temperatures cool and the food good, use one or two bags of ice packs in small coolers or lunch boxes, or stack a few in a larger cooler. These compact packs are easy to wash and can keep the food cool for up to 12 hours.
Any temperature slightly past the specified range causes the food to enter the ‘danger zone!’ and get contaminated. The expression ‘danger zone’ refers to the point at which hazardous bacteria begin to multiply and ruin the food.
Meals that have been contaminated by bacteria should not be consumed. However, we frequently have to ingest these items without even realizing that they have been tainted. This leads to foodborne sickness, which causes stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms!
That’s why the meal must be kept cold. It is necessary for our well-being. What if we don’t have access to a fridge at school or work? As a result, we’ll have to preserve our meals cold without the use of a fridge. Let’s have a look at some of the actions we can take to accomplish this.
1. Ice Packs
Keep perishable food cold and safe to consume until lunch with an ice pack. At room temperature, leave it unattended for 2 hours prior to consuming the meal, and it will be good to go.
According to some experts, the ice pack must be placed on top of the meal. Others claim that the bottom of the bag is preferable. In any case, make sure you have an ice pack in your lunch bag or box as you go to the office. Then, as soon as you can, place that box in the fridge!
Put a metal container in the fridge for one hour to keep meals like salad or hamburgers cool while bringing it to your lunch or event. The metal will become ice-cold. After that, put the food in plastic packs and leave them inside the containers until you arrive at your office or any other destination you are headed to.
Maintain the temperature in the packed lunch bag with a frozen ice pack, it’s better than only having a chilly ice pack. The best ice packs have bottle linings, to keep that temperature to the mark, and your food cold.
2. Try Using Metal Containers
Meals can also be carried in steel containers. Meals are stored cooler in metal containers than in any other containers. As a result, you might want to start using them. If you put your lunch in a metal container, there is a lower probability that it will become heated due to the room temperature.
This is exactly what we require. You can invest in a few steel containers for carrying the meals. This method is the simplest of them all. All you can do is purchase some of these boxes and put the meals in them.
3. Refrigerate Overnight
Preparing the meal the night before is always a good idea. Yes, that may be beneficial. Pack lunch for the following day and place it in the fridge. Allow it to freeze overnight. It doesn’t mean someone will have frozen meals for lunch.
By noon, the meal will be at room temperature. You can also do something else. The component, such as the bread, can be frozen overnight. You only need to prepare a sandwich using those bread and prepare your lunch in the mornings. Once you have these, the meal will be cool and secure.
Do Insulated Lunch Packs Keep Your Lunch Cold?
A better update from brown paper bags, when it comes to keeping meals cold and fresh till lunchtime. It keeps the meals at an appropriate temperature. Furthermore, a recyclable lunch box is healthier for the earth! Ensure the insulated packs in the collection are constructed of non-toxic, safe materials.
Insulated lunch packs usually keep your food cold for around 2 to 2.5 hours. If it’s from a better brand and of good quality, it can go up to a few more hours as well. It is good enough for the food to be cold and good for that long, but try to consume the meal within those hours.
If that’s the case, and it goes beyond 40°F and 140°F, there is a high chance of your meal getting bad, which is not good for your health. Say you don’t have a fridge at your workplace, put your meal in these insulated packs overnight. When you carry it the next morning, it’s still good to eat after a few hours.
If you have no plans on eating your lunch within the span of 3 hours, then you need to keep these insulated packs in the fridge. The insulated lunch packs keep your food fresh and cold, till it is time for you to have lunch.
If you are carrying meals that include meat, fish, or any kind of dairy products, make sure you put them in the chilliest part of the fridge. Most fridges are functioned to be set at 35°F, which ensures the food doesn’t get contaminated by bacteria.
Use Ice Cubes to Keep Your Food Cold
Use ice cubes to keep meals cool. The night before, prepare an ice tray. Prepare your lunch for the next day. Remove the ice cubes from the plate after that. Carry a ziplock bag with you. Put the ice cubes inside the ziplock bag first, followed by the lunchbox. Remove all of the air from the bag before securely closing it. The lunches are all packed and ready to go.
Using ice cubes will keep the meal chilled till noon or mid-day. Your meal will be served at the ideal temperature and will not be contaminated. You won’t need to refrigerate anything till noon. You can eat your meal as you want it to be chilled and fresh.
Make it a lot easier by using ice cubes. You may create a large batch of ice and utilize them all week. Also, don’t be too concerned about the meals. You won’t have to put in as much effort to keep the meal safe eat this method.
Which Foods Are Perishable, And Should Be Refrigerated?
Are any of the following items on your lunch? Put your lunch bag in the fridge! They’re all perishable and must be stored in the fridge. If you intend on eating any one of these things for lunch, make sure you’ve got your meal prepared the night before. It helps your meals remain colder for longer.
- Dairy products
- Anything raw
You should not risk your health, by eating these items without properly freezing them and cooking them properly. There are high chances these items get contaminated with hazardous bacteria, which is definitely not good for your health.