The Party Trick To Quickly Chill Beers And Keep All Your Iced Drinks Cold Longer

One of the simple pleasures of a summer barbecue is cracking open a cold refreshment and cooling off while you enjoy the hot weather — so if there's one thing you don't want to drink, it's a beer or soda that's gone warm from sitting out in the sun too long. Luckily, there's a simple fix. To get all your drinks party-ready in just minutes and keep them cooler longer at your next outdoor get-together, it only takes one cooler add-in you definitely have in your kitchen.

The fastest way to cool down your lukewarm drinks is to simply dunk them into a bath of salted ice water. When preparing your cooler for your party, add a healthy helping of table salt or rock salt to the usual mix of ice and water, and make sure you can get your cans or bottles well-submerged. Within minutes, the cooling effect of the salt on the ice water will have your beverages refreshing and ready to drink.

How salt helps to chill your beer

Anyone who lives in an area that gets snow in the winter might wonder how ice-melting salt can be used to make things colder. The interesting secret to both uses lies in what salt does to the freezing point of water. Water usually freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, salt lowers the freezing temperature of water when it dissolves by disrupting the structure of the ice crystals, which means the water can get much colder and still stay a liquid than it could without the presence of salt. This is exactly what happens in your cooler. The salt breaks down the ice, releasing more cold water into the cooler and preventing it from refreezing, therefore creating an extra-cold environment for your drinks. Since heat energy moves to colder materials, the water pulls the heat from your cans and bottles, leaving them frosty and ready to drink.

Since the water in the cooler can get so cold, thanks to the salt, it will likely stay colder longer in the warm temperatures and keep your stash of drinks cold for the duration of your party, though you may want to add some extra ice from time to time to keep things going throughout a long day. Since a properly salted cooler can keep temperatures down closer to the temperature of the average freezer it also means you can store frozen treats — like jars of premade margaritas within reach for at least a few hours.