Hanging Meat - Homemade cooler

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by YuccaFlatsRanch, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Had lunch the other day and sat by a couple of guys who were refrigeration specialists. We talked about walk-in coolers. They said the easiest short term cooler is a 4 by 6 or 4 by 8 portable room made from 2 x 6's with R-30 insulation in the walls. Sheath the inside with the foam board with aluminum foil on it and cool with a 5000 - 7500 btu portable a/c unit.

    This just might work to hang beef, lamb, pork, deer etc and you sure can run a bunch of electricity for the difference in cost of a commercial unit.

    What do you think??
     
  2. Heard of a guy making a walk in beer cooler with the same idea, worked good according to him..

    Dave
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My parents new place has a root cellar built into a steep bank with 8 inch concrete walls/ceiling, dirt floor, power vented thru PVC. It has a double door, one is a walk in cooler(refrigeration) door and inside door is an old wood entry type door(exterior). It is about 8'*8' *6' high. The temperature is a constant 38-40 degrees year round. Free refrigeration!!!!! Its a beautiful thing!
     
  4. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    It's always better if you can create something like mpillow is discussing for the sole reason that you've got a lot of money tied up in the meat you're going to be hanging and rural power isn't the more reliable thing in this world...

    However, I have seen what you're talking about done before and it can work well. All you've got to do is get the temp between 34-40 or there abouts, have some good circulation and control your humidity and youre set. (that sure was a lot easier to type than it is to do :) )

    Best of luck though. The results will be worth it.

    J
     
  5. Could a homemade cooler be build on a concrete pad rather than wood? Though one never expects a tornado to have a direct hit, I think a wood box may tend to fall apart in the sometimes very strong winds with severe weather. Any suggestions for something more solid even though it costs a little more? How does one prepare and insulate a slab?
     
  6. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Ihave used the type of cooler mentioned and the problem we had was that it iced up the core on the ac unit and we would have to shut it off to defrost so the air would flow thru! If you watch you can buy older walkins pretty cheap. I bought one for a hundred bucks from a grocery that closed in a small town near us. The thing you have to watch out for is if they are 3 phase electricity, if they are they can be expensive to convert!
    Mr Wanda
    Mike
     
  7. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I understand the iced up core - but I only want to use it to hang and age meat and that shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks at most.
     
  8. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    3phase convertors are really inexpensive ifyou get a cooler unit for $100.00 plus transport.

    Using a temporary building for cooling if nothing else is available might be the ticket for most folks..... temporary in my experience is 15 years or so til i get a round tuit.

    William
     
  9. LizMovingNorth

    LizMovingNorth Member

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    Here's a link to plans for a portable cooler, you could adapt some of the ideas.

    http://www.agnr.umd.edu/users/bioreng/portacooler3.htm

    They use small strip heaters attached to the cooling coils that come on for a few minutes out of every ten, and keep the AC from freezing up.