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Thread: DIY meat locker?

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default DIY meat locker?

    Anyone have any suggestions for fabricating a meat locker? My buddy has a loft in a steel building and we are looking at converting the area under it into cold storage for hanging meat. We are leaning toward heavily insulating the space then installing a window AC unit but I'm not sure if it will be able to drive the temp down low enough. The budget is redneck low.

  2. #2
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    This would take care of getting the temp low enough... ohhhhhh you're gonna like this!

    http://www.storeitcold.com/index.html
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

  3. #3
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Pretty "cool" little unit!
    Already have the insulated room built. Tried a A/C unit a couple years ago and it didn't cool it enough due to the cut-off temp being in the 50's. Looks like Akiceman has the solution listed above. That Cool-Bot will be the ticket to get it going again.
    Thanks for posting it, AWESOME!
    BK

  4. #4
    Member DanC's Avatar
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    That is, indeed, a "cool" little unit. The owner of that outfit is a cool guy and really helpful with consultation and suggestions as you put your cold room together. Just choose your air conditioner carefully and follow instructions during constructions and you will be pleased how it turns out. I made a refrigerated trailer to take hunting and it has come in very handy. I can easily maintain a temperature of 36F, which is great for preserving and aging meat.

  5. #5
    Member tod osier's Avatar
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    Along the lines of the cool-bots, you can get a temperature controller to turn a chest freezer into a fridge. While it wouldn't be good to dry age like a walk in cooler, it works great to store meat until you can get it cut. If you have an empty freezer, it is as easy to set up as plugging the freezer into it and turning ther knob to set the temp. useful for all kinds of stuff.

    I have this one and it works great.

    http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Contro...emp+controller

  6. #6
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the Cool-bot site. been looking for something along that line...

    built the cooler, just haven't got it 100% finished and usable except in late fall, winter, and into the fall.


    Chris

  7. #7
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    My 8x10 shed turns into a meat locker in the fall. It is blue boarded from the inside and has a small a/c unit in it. Keeps meat at 37-38 degrees. We hang our moose from 10-14 days every year- we usually harvest larger mature bulls and every year we have outstanding, tender moose that yeilds 500-600lbs of super food. I'll argue with anyone who claims spike/forks are better...I think its their argument cause they don't see any 60+"ers!!
    Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. ~Wilde

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sockeye1 View Post
    I'll argue with anyone who claims spike/forks are better...I think its their argument cause they don't see any 60+"ers!!
    ^^^^......or don't know how to take of a moose.

    You do realized you just made several hunting friend. LOL

  9. #9
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    For years I've held onto a few insulated panels that came off of a wireline unit up north, with the idea of building a cooler out of them someday. Now with this Cool-bot that day may have finally came.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  10. #10
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    Use the temperature of the ground. The loft of a building would be my last choice in terms of creating an energy efficient meat locker. Not to mention the energy required to hump your meat up there!

    I have an entirely passive meat locker, which is also my root cellar and well room. I sometimes use a fan in there, but it is by no means necessary. Occasionally in midwinter I use a small electric heater to keep it above freezing when the wind is howling and we have low snow cover. It is entirely above ground, which is not ideal, but works just fine. My well (artesian, which helps as a passive pump, though it is low pressure artesian) is inside there, as is my pump and pressure tank. Groundwater and the ground in general, in this part of the state is a constant 39 degrees... Perfect. Maintaining the rest of the air at this temperature is mostly a matter of insulation, 2x12 framing and r-38 fiberglass was my choice, as it was cheap and easy to work with. The building sits atop 4x8 sheets of 2"blueboard laid on the ground around the entire perimeter to keep the frost from creeping in, so the BB extends about 1' inside and 2' outside, with the center of the building's floor simply exposed gravel, to allow for heat exchange with the ground.

    I also keep a chest freezer in there, as keeping one in my 70 degree dwelling would be far from ideal. The well pump and the freezer's compressor throw a bit of heat in as well during the winter, and the pressure tank serves as a moderating heat source in winter, and a cooling heat sink in summer. I keep carrots crunchy as the day they were picked through April in there, and have no problem keeping meat hanging for 10+ days in September.

    I've not really played with cooling it for June-August, but if this was a priority I'd put foil backed foam board on the outside, foil out, white or nearly so paint on the siding, and then run the well water through one or a couple soft copper coils up near the ceiling, with a fan blowing on them down towards the ground. I've also thought about mounting an old refrigerator or freezer (the style with the thermal coils routed around the shelves of the fridge) to one wall of the building, up high on the wall, taking the door off so the reefer unit was open to the room, and running it off a thermostat set at 38 degrees or so.


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