Isobag Tips and Tricks
ISOBag: Keep It Cool
Buy And Pack More ISOBricks
This is probably the most simple plan and execution to keep your ISOBag colder for longer periods of time. It’s no surprise that more ice equals lower temperatures.
Make Your Own Ice Containers
While you wait on your new shipment of ISOBricks to arrive you may still need more cooling capacity in your meal prep bag. In the meantime you can fill any iso meal prep container with water and freeze it to create a makeshift ice pack to hold you over. Use duct tape to seal the edges of the container to ensure a completely leak proof ice container.
Chill Your Bag
If your ISOBag fitness lunch box is small enough to fit into your freezer or refrigerator leave it there overnight. The colder the bag starts, the colder it will remain. (This tip is best used if you have an extra chest freezer.)
Pre-Pack Your ISOBrick
If your ISOBag is too large to cool in the refrigerator or freezer overnight (or you just don’t have enough space to fit it) just pack it with a few ISOBricks overnight. This will cause the internal temperature of your meal cooler to drop over time. In the morning remove the used ISOBricks and insert your meal prep and new ISOBricks to ensure longer cooling capacity.
Freeze Your Meal Prep
Many people freeze their meal prep anyway at the beginning of the week but transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw the night before they pack it into their multi meal lunch box and take it with them. Instead of thawing your meal preps just leave them frozen until morning. They will gradually thaw throughout the day in your ISOBag while keeping other perishable items cold. (This tip is best used if you have a microwave available to you for later use in case the food does not thaw by meal time.)
Store In Cool Climates (and away from heat sources)
Although the ISOBag is designed to keep your food cold in any climate it will certainly work better if you make sure the climate isn’t directly working against your ultimate goal. That means keeping your ISOBag meal prep lunch cooler out of direct sunlight and away from artificial heat sources.
Pre-Chill All Items
Pack non-perishable food items in a separate compartment if possible (or chill these products ahead of time as well). Just because the food doesn’t need to stay cold to stay fresh doesn’t mean it won’t benefit from a short chill. The insulated areas of your ISOBag are designed to cool food and keep it cold. If you put room temperature items in then the bag will work to bring it to a lower temperature (taking away from those foods that do need to remain at a cooler temperature).
Keep It Closed
Don’t work against your fitness cooler, work with it. The more you open it throughout the day the more warm air you’ll let in to your meal prep. You want to avoid this as much as possible so that your food will constantly be surrounded by cold air.
ISOBag: Keep It Warm
Although ISOBags were designed and manufactured to keep food items cold, their insulation can also be used to keep food warm.
Make Heat Bricks
Making and using your own heat bricks is a great way to keep your food hot in your food management bag. To make a heat brick simply take an ordinary brick and wrap it in aluminum foil and then bake it for an hour at 250 degrees F. In order to avoid melting the insulation on your ISOBag you’ll want to wrap the heat brick in a towel before placing it in the bag.
Bake A Potato
This is similar to the heat brick method but you’ll use a potato rather than a brick. Simply wrap a potato in aluminum foil and bake it. Immediately following the baking process wrap the potato in a thin towel (to avoid melting the insulation) and transfer the potato to your ISOBags’ insulated compartment. Insert any other food items you’d like to keep warm. The heat from the potato will continue to radiate keeping itself and other items nice and toasty.
Treat empty space like your enemy when you’re packing your insulated lunch cooler with hot meals. Any space not filled acts as an area for the heat to dissipate and that’s the last thing you want. If you have additional space left in your bag after you pack it with your meal prep (and heat bricks) fill in the empty spaces with towels to keep in the warmth.
Before packing your meals, treat your bag like a sauna. Boil water on the stove and place it into a heat safe bowl (that will fit within your fitness food bag). Lay a towel on the floor of the bag (to avoid melting the insulation) and place your steaming bowl of hot water within the insulated compartment of your ISOBag. Close the bag and let it absorb the heat for a while. (Remove the bowl of water and towel before placing your meal prep in the bag for transport.)
Turn Up The Heat
You can use a heating pad to heat your ISOBag prior to use by placing it inside the insulated meal prep compartment (without your meal prep) and closing the meal bag. Plug it in and turn it on low. Let it run for about 30-45 minutes so that it has ample time to pump heat into your bag. (Remove the heating pad before placing your meal prep in the bag for transport.)
Keep It Closed
Don’t open the bags until you’re ready to eat!!! I cannot stress this enough! Every time you open the insulated meal prep bags they will release the stored heat, heat that you need left in the bags to keep your food at the proper and safe temperatures. You want to avoid this as much as possible so that your food will constantly be surrounded by hot air.
Whether you’re using your ISOBag to keep your meals cold or hot always keep in mind the food temperature danger zone. You want to make sure that your meals always stay at 40 degrees F and below if you’re storing cold foods, or 140 degrees and above if you’re storing hot foods.
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