When salt is added to water it lowers the freezing point. Salt allows water to exist as a liquid at a temperature lower than 32°F. This is why salt is added to ice on the roads in the winter. It causes ice, that would have otherwise remained as a solid in sub-zero temperatures, to turn to water.
And saltwater lets you chill a warm beer really fast! — much faster than a freezer. Pour cold water, ice, and salt into the cooler to create a salt-water-ice bath. Why does it work? The ice will be at a temperature way below freezing, usually 0°F for a household freezer. The ice will cool the water down and the salt will allow the water temperature to drop below 32°F. The beer will then be fully submersed in sub-zero water, maximizing the surface area in contact. Without salt, water will remain at a temperature slightly higher than 32°F even though you have 0°F ice cubes floating in it. The water will still get quite cold, but not as cold as salt-water. Similarly, if you only put ice in the cooler then less of the beer’s surface is touching the chilling agent (ice) since ice cubes are irregularly-shaped. It won’t chill the beer as fast as an icy saltwater slush.
Make sure your cooler is constructed with stainless steel components, or the salt could cause corrosion. Shop South Jetty Coolers for the perfect cooler to try this tip out yourself.
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