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Chill Out & About Stay-Cool Serving System Review

Home Test of the Chill Out & About - 6-Pc Set

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Chill Out & About Food Serving System

Chill Out & About Food Serving System

Photo © the Sundance Co.
Chill Out & About is a food storage system that allows you to keep foods cold and safe on a buffet table indoors or outdoors, while entertaining, camping, boating or at tailgate parties. It sounds like the answer to my hosting concerns - how to keep the salads and dips fresh on the buffet table. I tested the 6-Piece set from this collection.

Product Description

Chill Out & About® is a stay-cool food storage system made by the Sundance Co. The collection includes a 6-pc, 8-pc and a 14-pc set which is a combination of the 6 and 8-pc sets. All three sets are sold separately and are the same basic design and use, but with a different configuration of food containers.
  • The 6-Pc set includes the base with lid, 4-cup round and 4-cup rectangular containers with lids (reviewed) MSRP $24.99
  • The 8-Pc set includes the base with lid, 4-cup round and two 1-1/2-cup rectangular containers with lids. MSRP $24.99
  • The 14-Pc set includes both the 6-pc and 8-pc sets. MSRP $37.50
  • All sets are available in green, red, blue
  • Provides serving, storage and portability
  • Fill the base with water to fill line, freeze, add food to containers and serve. Then pop out containers and add lids to store. On short notice, you can use ice cubes and water.
  • Refrigerator, microwave, freezer safe
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Seal-tight lids
  • Physical size of the 6-pc and 8-pc set is approximately 13.75" x 9.75" and 4" deep.
  • Visit the manufacturer for more detail

How Chill Out & About Performed

Chill Out & About 8-pc Set

Chill Out & About 8-pc Set

Photo © the Sundance Co.
September 15, 2009 I tested the 6-pc set, a good sampling of the collection. The construction looks and feels like quality plastic with tight-fitting lids and you can lock the food containers into place, so they don't move around as the ice melts. There are recessed sides for handles. The containers look small, but are just right for a small salad, dips, cheeses or other foods. Use is simple, fill with water to the fill line, then freeze. Leave lids off, but lock containers into place. Lids are a little hard to remove if you leave them on when freezing. This food server works great for socials, but it was handy even just for bringing lunch into the boat. I froze the container overnight and ran several tests, two of which really stood out.

At noon, after the food containers were filled with a creamy pasta and tossed salad and lids were applied, I placed the Chill Out & About on the picnic table all afternoon (for supper serving). It was initially sunny, turning to shade later. Outdoor temperature was around 78 degrees F, changing to 70 by suppertime. At 6 pm we ate the salads that were still cold with considerable ice left.

Another test involved placing the prepared server with cheese slices and a bean salad into a cooler for a 2-hour commute, plus a 3-hour social to buffet serving time, another 2 hours later. Considerable ice remained and the small amount of food left, was still cold at the end of the dinner. Returning home, the cooler with the server stayed in the car overnight and well into the next (hot) day. When emptied, a piece of ice about 1" x 4" remained.

Overall Impression

The design of the Chill Out & About system is well-thought out, it's easy to use and performs as advertised. My tests were impressive and showed that ice remains after several hours when the server has been frozen, but the length of time will vary and be affected by weather, what surrounds it or whether the Chill Out has been in a cooler or not. You can use ice and water if in a hurry, but that reduces the time significantly.

Here's a few tips I learned during testing: To keep a bright sun from affecting the pasta that's on the very top against the lid, place a small towel over the server. This will also keep the container cool longer if serving is delayed. I'd cover it till serving time, when lids are removed. Since condensation forms on the outside, place a small towel underneath it on the serving table. If placing it on wood, I'd put a tray or plastic mat underneath it along with the towel to absorb the moisture. In a cooler, the frozen Chill Out & About serves quite well as an ice pack, keeping the drinks and other items in the cooler cold. On a commute, it keeps cut up fruit (dipped in color keeper) and finger foods cold for hours.

This is an innovative and smart design - a food serving essential, whether you entertain often, merely serve family snacks or occasionally take road trips. It's not only the answer to buffet serving concerns, but it goes beyond the home to the boat, picnic, car, sports social or pot-luck dinner.

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