The Brilliant TikTok Trick That’ll Make Eating Outside a Million Times Better This Summer

updated May 28, 2021
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Credit: Ryan Dausch

As everyone gets ready for summer barbecue season — feeling great about vaccinations and ready to wow their friends and family with stunning spreads of delicious food — it’s not just time to remember how to be a human in public, but also to improve our entertaining skills. Thankfully, TikTok, as always, is full of (literally) cool tips to make life as a hostess just a little bit easier.

This latest idea for achieving party-platter perfection comes just in time for the hot weather that would normally wilt your carefully cut crudités. “Watch me blow your mind,” the video begins, before demonstrating how to use a few stacking disposable aluminum roasting pans as a portable cooling container.

To try this trick, simply fill one of the pans up about a third of the way with water and freeze it ahead of the event. Then lay out the veggies — or whatever else you want to keep from sweating in the sunshine — in the second container. When you go to put the spread out for snacking, simply insert the food tray into the one now filled with a small layer of ice. The food stays cool, hovering just above the frozen block, and there’s no messy melting ice all over, as the water will stay contained in the original container. 

While the video demonstrates this with vegetables, it seems handy for almost anything that suffers in the face of sunshine — like cheese and charcuterie platters. Of course, if you, like me, seem unable to stop socializing and all of your gatherings end up stretching many hours longer than expected as you catch up on a year-plus of missed gossip, then this trick might not help you out so much, since eventually the water will all melt. Although, by then, you probably don’t care so much: What’s a little overheated carrot and cucumber in the face of much-missed time with friends?