View Full Version : Cambro for Hot and Cold?

09-15-2010, 05:33 PM
This is probably most appropriate in the food safety area, but there's much less traffic there: I've heard some people say (and seen others do) that they put their cold meat in a Cambro with ice on the way to a comp and then use the same Cambro to hold hot meats once done. My question is, Is that safe?

Obviously you will use different trays (or clean them between hot and cold), but is there no concern of bacteria from the raw meat taking hold and then infecting the cooked meat? Even if the cooked meat raises the air temp inside to kill such bacteria, what about toxins produced? Try as you might to be careful, it seems too easy to touch the inside leading to contamination.

I'm not trying to damn any teams who do this - quite the opposite. I think it would be great to do, but before I go around doing this at comps, I wanna make sure that I won't be doing something unsafe. So all of you seasoned pros who cook several comps a year, and I guess don't have an RV with fridge, is this a safe thing, or risky behaviour?


09-15-2010, 05:48 PM
You raise a great point. I've done some catering gigs that involved on-site cooking so I can speak to this. The step you have to take is to give the box a good cleaning after you are done using it as a cooler. Bleach spray, Clorox wipes or similar product will do the trick nicely. Allow for some time to air dry and you are good to go for hot holding.

09-15-2010, 08:22 PM
I keep all raw meet in a seperate cooler. My resting cooler is usually packed with towels, aluminum trays that are used at the comp. But I don't want to risk anything. In the scope of things, what's an extra cooler?

Captain P.J.
09-15-2010, 08:47 PM
I know I use 2 seperate coolers at comps... one for cold and one for hot.

09-15-2010, 08:53 PM
i use it for a cooler but only parsely lettuce and maybe suace etc...no raw meat

09-15-2010, 09:21 PM
I use cooler #1 for beer, #2 for raw meats, #3 for garnish and a Cambro for hot holding meats. If you use one for raw and hot holding it should be washed then rinsed and sanitized with a bleach / water solution of 50-100ppm and air dried before using for hot holding. I think it is a lot easier to bring another unit.

big brother smoke
09-15-2010, 11:41 PM
I only use my Cambros and Carlisles for produce with ice packs; works like a charm. No ice cubes and no raw meat. I like to bleach the fark out of my white raw meat coolers (white coolers should be ummmm.... white)!:becky:

09-15-2010, 11:51 PM
Thanks. For the record, I currently have three coolers: my raw meat cooler, drink/garnish cooler, and holding cooler. I don't cross contaminate. I'm thinking of getting a Cambro to replace the holding cooler, but I've seen and heard of ppl using them for cold meat as well. Never heard or saw any one clean them, and wanted to know what the norm was. I'll stick to my current practice of avoiding cross contamination with seperate coolers.



09-16-2010, 09:41 AM
Cambro sells chiller plates that fit in the tray spot that will keep things cold.

09-16-2010, 11:07 AM
food safety isn't magic. Of course you can safely use a cambro for cold and turn it around in the afternoon for hot.


early mornin' smokin'
09-16-2010, 11:40 AM
no problem there, sanitize after you use it for cold. We fill ours up with boiling water(even thou they say not to) to pre heat the cambro anyways, so whatever isnt killed by the sanitizer, is killed by the 180degree plus water. We use the eco-lab sanitizer, think it's called quart

09-16-2010, 11:47 AM
Cambro - Keeps things hot. Keeps things cold.

How do it know?

Vince RnQ
09-16-2010, 11:49 AM
Cambro - Keeps things hot. Keeps things cold.

How do it know?

It's magic. Just like when a brisket turns out to be both tender AND juicy.

09-16-2010, 11:55 AM
It's magic. Just like when a brisket turns out to be both tender AND juicy.

It DOES? Teach me great Jedi master.

Vince RnQ
09-16-2010, 12:01 PM
I am but a student of the cosmos. The magic befuddles me.

09-16-2010, 03:29 PM
I use mine for storing paper towels and such on the way there... Guess that makes me the weirdo... :crazy: