Friday, March 8, 2013

Dry Ice

What does Dry Ice evoke in you? For me I remember clearly selling popsicles at my middle school Fall festival and being reminded constantly not to touch the dry ice, sine I would burn myself. How could ice burn? At some point I did touch my arm, and man it hurt. At the same time, this was the greatest stuff ever, ice that didn't melt into water, and that could burn. Is there anything it couldn't do? Heck, I just read an article about the Orbit, a portable washing machine that is in development and uses dry ice to clean clothes. It also smokes and makes crazy awesome bubbles in milk and soda.

About last Spring I started following the Penguin Dry Ice blog. This s a great place to get information about how you can actually use dry ice. For example, it's a great alternative to regular ice for any coolers, so long as you separate the ice from the food. I had food on top of the ice, and it froze. Turned into freeze dried fruit.

I'd never considered it before since I assumed it was expensive. But, turns out dry ice is about $1 per pound, less than the cost of regular ice in the store. On top of it, 5 pounds of dry ice is much smaller than 5 pounds of regular ice.

You can get it at most grocery stores. All of our local Harris Teeters have it, but you need to show ID and be over 18 to get it.

So, with it being so great, here are the down sides:
  • It only lasts about 24 - 48 hours in the freezer. So you have to buy it about when you plan to use it.
  • It can burn, so it's not for kids to use.
  • You can't put it in a cup as regular ice. It turns into carbon monoxide, which won't kill you, but can give you a headache. You can put you cup in another cup, and have the second cup with dry ice.
It's definitely worth trying out dry ice. It was excellent for our last camping trip.


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