View Full Version : Broken Refrigerator Time!

01-29-2010, 05:39 AM
So I came home last night to my wife freaking out: the freezer was stuck in defrost mode, all the food in the freezer was thawed or thawing quickly and the fridge section was struggling to keep itself cold.

We went out and ordered a new fridge (the old one was 11 years old) but it won't arrive until next Thursday. So how do I feed 2 adults + 3 kids until it arrives?

Here's the setup:
I unplugged the fridge (since the it won't stop defrosting) and put dry ice in the freezer section. Essential frozen things will be kept here. I wiped down the fridge section hoping it won't stink too bad.

I borrowed a 2 cubic foot dorm fridge for eggs + dairy. I have a couple of styrofoam chests that I will fill with ice to keep juice + sodas + drinking water cold.

Any tips on how well the dry ice will work or kid-friendly meal ideas with minimal refrigeration needs? Note: I live in Florida, so "put your stuff out in the snow" won't work.

01-29-2010, 05:53 AM
You can buy canned meat of pretty much any variety, though I'd recommend sticking to tuna or reduced sodium chicken. There's powdered milk (just add water and...y'know).

Or you just do like the Japanese and most of the rest of the world and just buy things as you need them. If you plan out your dinners ahead of time it's fairly easy to make a run an hour before dinner to pick up whatever you need. Most fresh meats will need at least a day or so to really decay to the point where cooking isn't going to save it, fresh veggies will wilt a little depending on the produce, but are still edible, etc etc.

Americans (including me to an extent) just have this odd fear about things spoiling the instant the fridge goes out, an odd attitude to take considering that 2/3rd's of the world gets along just fine without widespread usage of fridges for day to day living. Between canned goods and just buying what you need as it comes up you shouldn't have any problems at all.

Dadgum Roi
01-29-2010, 06:02 AM
Couldn't you just cook a bunch of the stuff? We used to have huge cook outs when a hurricane knocked our power out.

01-29-2010, 06:39 AM
Couldn't you just cook a bunch of the stuff? We used to have huge cook outs when a hurricane knocked our power out.

We only had a couple of chicken breasts and a little frozen salmon for meats, and we'll eat the chicken tonight. I'm not sure if I want to eat partially-thawed-and-refrozen salmon, but it's in the freezer with the dry ice for now.

The problem is more keeping fresh vegs and meat on hand. I normally stock up for the week with whatever is on sale but it'll have to be "buy it and use it". I'll have to make space in the tiny fridge for some meat to sit for a couple of hours. I bought some foil pouches of salmon and chicken and those pasta pouches with fake power sauce.

Just discovered that the chicken breasts thawed enough for the raw juice to leak out of the bag and contaminate everything else in that cooler. Fun!

01-29-2010, 10:53 AM
This probably won't help you save most of the food that you've already got, but pasta is probably your best bet for something that doesn't need refridgeration, keeps well for a long time afterward, tastes good, and is reasonably nutricious. Use the last of your veggies to make the sauce, or just buy a tiny jar of the store-bought kind.