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A cooler for outside the cooler

The Vacu Vin BBQ Cooler & Cooling Plate makes for a handy way to transport food. A prefrozen ice pack saves it from becoming waterlogged.

The Vacu Vin BBQ Cooler & Cooling Plate keeps precious cargo safe.
The Vacu Vin BBQ Cooler & Cooling Plate keeps precious cargo safe. Williams Sonoma

Beverage and food coolers come in all shapes and sizes. And for good reason too; a nation with hearty appetites needs somewhere to put all that food (before it settles around the waistline, that is). Lugging delectable foods from point A to point B requires planning. Since there will no doubt be need to bring something to wash it all down, the big cooler will be required. But what about the little stuff?

A large cooler filled with ice makes for a great transportation device for beer and soda cans, but can wreak havoc upon foodstuffs placed within. Battered and bruised meats and fish can be avoided with the Vacu Vin BBQ Cooler & Cooling Plate ($59.95). The device acts as a mini cooler, making it so that there is no need to throw the edibles in with the cans and bottles.

The three-piece cooler is comprised of a stainless steel plate, a lid and a base. The base contains a freezer pack designed to be kept in the freezer for at least eight hours before use. Then, pop it in the base, pack in the food, cover and hit the road. The design means no waterlogged foods because of melting ice and perhaps best of all, more room for beer in the big cooler.