How to Pack Frozen Meat in Dry Ice

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Dry ice is frozen at a temperature of minus 109 degrees F, and is considered one of the best ways to keep meat frozen in a temporary situation. Shipping frozen meat or when the power goes out in your freezer are prime times to use dry ice to keep your meat frozen and safe to eat. Dry ice turns directly from a solid to CO2 gas, and therefore there is no water mess or hassle as it thaws. However, the container used for dry ice usage must be properly vented to allow the gas to escape, or the container may crack.

Things You'll Need

  • Styrofoam container, 2-inch minimum thickness on all sides.
  • Dry ice
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Open up the top of your Styrofoam container and place the lid off to the side.

  • Place a layer of dry ice on the bottom of the container. If available, dry ice pellets work best for this application.

  • Put your frozen meat on top of the dry ice on the bottom, then cover it completely over the top. Use twice as much dry ice over the top than what is on the bottom.

  • Ball up regular newspaper and fill in all the gaps around the dry ice inside the container. Pack it in until the entire container is filled with newspaper, and although it doesn't have to be tightly packed, it needs to be firmly packed.

  • Place your cover onto the container, then use your scissors and cut off four pieces of duct tape approximately 6 inches long.

  • Tape down each one of the corners, but do not put tape along the sides. With tape only on the corners, the sides will flex enough to allow the gas from the dry ice to vent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on the insulation value of the container, 5 to 10 lbs. of dry ice will last about 24 hours; 6 lbs. of frozen meat will last 36 hours when packed in approximately 11 lbs. of dry ice.
  • Always wear gloves when handling dry ice or severe frostbite will occur when dry ice touches bare skin.

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