Question About Cola Cooling

I have a stash of 12 oz coke cans I keep at my desk at work. They are kept at room temperature. Normally I stick a single can in the refrigerator first thing in the morning and then drink it in the afternoon. I know what you’re thinking… why not put the entire six pack in the fridge! If I put a whole bunch of cans in the fridge they would be drank/drunk but my co-workers who eat or drink everything that’s not nailed down. And for some reason I can’t remember to grab a cold can from home in the morning to take with me.

In general my system works… except when I forget to put a can in the fridge in the morning. When I go to get a can at 2:00 PM, and there isn’t one because I forgot, I give myself a dope slap and then put a can in the freezer for a “quick chill down”. I have left it in the freezer for random amounts of time and I’ve noticed that 10 minutes doesn’t seem quite long enough but after an hour the can is slushy or icey… which isn’t optimal. If I accidentally leave the can in overnight by the next day it is either completely frozen or has exploded!

I don’t have the time to do a number of experimental trials… but I bet someone has figured this out already. So my question is simple.

What’s the optimal amount of time to leave a room temperature can of coke in the freezer so that it gets chilled down but doesn’t get slushy?

I don’t think there is a definite answer to this question, due to slight variations in “room temperature”, even more variation in what one considers “chilled”, and extreme variation in the temperature of different freezers.

Having said that, in my house, room temp is usually around 70 or so (higher in the summer, no AC), and I think the freezer is set at around 26-28 (estimate). Quick chilling a Coke in the freezer takes about 15-20 minutes to make it cold enough to be refreshing.

That’s an easy one: 35 mins +/- 25 mins :wink:

My wife does this at home. IIRC she puts the can in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. She has also taught herself to set the timer on the oven so that she does not forget. (I have had to clean up more than my share of 'sploded pops in the freezer!) Personally, I don’t understand what is so bad about just pouring it over ice. Unless it’s root beer, of course…

It will of course depend on a few factors. The key one is going to be how much of your can you can place in direct contact with ice/metal/solids in the freezer. The more the better as this is the most efficent method of heat transfer. The importance of good solid to solid contact explains one of the little puzzles regarding freezers. If you took a warm can and a cool can and put them in the freezer at the same time, which one will freeze solid first? Answer: the warm can. Why? It is because the warm can will melt some ice, which will then refreeze in very good contact with the can. The much better surface contact and heat transfer will then result in it freezing before its neighbour.

I vote 20 minutes.

Casey beat me to it. So I’ll just add that you could put an ice tray in the freezer and just pour the coke over ice. Or you could kick the ass of the next co-worker that steals your stuff.

It takes 35 minutes for a bottle of beer, what with the heavier glass that also needs to be cooled.

How about something like this?

Now if you were talking about a can of Pepsi or the Dew, I might be able to help …


to cool root beer you pour it over scoops of vanilla ice cream instead of ice.

an icewater bath works well too.

Is a wheelie cool at your cubicle considered bad form at your office?

Righto. If you can get a bowl with some ice in it, place the can horizontally across the ice. It will melt the ice a little, and you can spin the can through the groove made by the melted part. Spinning the can across the ice will in just two or three minutes bring the temp inside the can to about 32 F without turning any of it into slush.

That is if you have ice and a bowl available.

Been my experience that when you pour warm soda over ice it instantly goes flat.

Put your soda in a padlocked box, then put the box into the fridge! Maybe your thieving co-workers will take a hint! :smiley:

Kinda related to what tadc said…the best way to get your beer cold quick is to put it in a cooler of ice water. Not pure ice but enough water for the ice to start melting which will also displace the warmth in the beer. It takes about five minutes and your beer will be near but not freezing. In a cooler of just ice it’ll take 30 minutes at least for the beer to even begin to get cold.
Wanna cool it off quicker, try a little salt sprinkled on the ice. Remember the old ice cream churns. Be careful though, that’ll freeze it quick too.

Yeah, me too. I keep a couple of cans in the fridge at home because of that. Here at work, I just get soda from the vending machine.


I think your wife and I must be twins separated at birth because this is exactly what I do, even down to the oven timer to remind me to get it out :smiley:

FWIW - my experience is a room temp can of Dr. Pepper - about 30 minutes in the freezer brings it to the just *a hint of slushly * stage. Perfect!

You could always get one of these and some liquid Nitrogen. That should cool your can in a hurry :D:. If you’re really under pressure, you could always get one of these, and some liquid Helium, but it’ll cost you just a liiiiiiiiiiittle more.

I also do the stick-the-can-in-the-freezer-set-a-timer thing. 20 minutes usually does it for me.