New Freezer

With our increasing pig sales as we open the butcher shop we have been running out of freezer space. We keep very little actual inventory long term in the freezer but each week we need to hold stuff sometimes for a few days as until a customer picks up and we accumulate meat for hot dogs in large 300 lb batches.

This summer we finished off the initial Phase I construction of of our on-farm butcher shop. But, it is still going to be a while before we have our walk-in coolers and freezers built out so this has become an issue. Those are a project planned for 2016.

The other week I picked up a local classified ads newspaper and we found a small inexpensive commercial chest freezer for a good price. That has helped immensely. With the weekly surge up and down of pigs in and out we may still need more space so we’re looking around for another chest freezer to hold us over until the walk-in’s are completed.

If you have a >15 cu-ft, ideally 20 to 25 cu-ft, chest freezer to sell, drop me an email with details.

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6 thoughts on “New Freezer

  1. As a employee of Electrolux, I’m pleased to see you using one of our products. I’m actually in the Cooking division, so we mess with ovens and cooktops mainly.

  2. I’ve been thinking of longer-term and dependable storage on-farm for personal use. sent me their 2015 Planning Guide and Catalog. I lust for the Sundanzer DC Fridge/Freezer Combo . . . cheap it is not, nearing $1500.oo, and solar arrangements to power it look almost as expensive (my reading on solar and its costs are just beginning.) My thinking is that freezer dependability is most critical in the sunniest part of the year.

    How much of a butchered pig in the 250-300 lb. live weight range could you get into a 14.7 cu. foot chest, Walter?

    • Aye, they make some nice spec equipment.

      I figure 4 to 6 cubic feet of space per pig depending on how well you pack it and how much you put to the soup pot (e.g., bones). However, remember that the pull down from 35°F to frozen solid at 15°F is the hard part and a small freezer may have a difficult time. That’s why we have the Solow flash freezer.

  3. Have you ever considered something like a Yakhchal, Walter? It’s a concept a lot like your ‘coolth’ storage for the butcher shop freezer combined with earth-air tubes, but your freezer storage will be small in comparison to what you could do with a dedicated structure.

    For you, it would be much easier than it was for the Persians, because you have plenty of cold weather, and won’t have to rely on evaporation for cooling.

    Dig a pit or build a large mound. Insulate like crazy. Fill a lot of the internal space with sloped pools of water, making it look like a ice cube tray with storage on granite skins above the pools. Extra ice mass might be provided by food grade barrels and flexible containers full of water.

    Open cooling tubes to outside air during the winter to allow cold airflow through the facility to create ice. Close them off in the spring. That could be a Very Big Freezer for maintaining frozen foods. Potentially thousands of cubic feet.

    I imagine that more than a few hundred cubic feet would be severe overkill for your farm’s butchered pork needs…


    1) It might allow you to collect very large quantities of waste stream produce for supplemental pig feed that you might otherwise have to turn down because you couldn’t use it before it rotted.

    2) It might allow you to butcher and hang a very large number of animals, if you ever begin serving the butchering needs of your community. I believe I’ve heard you complain a time or two about how most butchers either can’t hang meat for long, or charge extra for it.

    This would be one of those ten-year-plan things, if anything, I suspect. I figure that you like things that are built solidly and last forever. Some Yakhchals still in use today are hundreds of years old.

    • Yes, you’ve essentially described what we’re doing in the butcher shop. This is the Coolth Attic which sits above all of our refrigerated rooms. Ours is about 5,000 cubic-feet or so and divided into four units so that we can store different temperatures related to different needs. It can work with the small head we have now but when we do the tower it will be even better.

      We aren’t having a problem with food rotting as a general rule although there have been some surges. We’ve talked about making a cave for that storage. Our mean annual ground temperature is around 45°F. It must be tractor accessible which is one constraint on the system. It also has to be done dealing with the fact that we have granite ledge and shallow soil. Making caves is challenging. We’ve done some.

      As to the butchering and hanging of a very large number of animals – the butcher shop carcass chiller is sitting below our Coolth Attic.

      It’s a good idea and we are implementing it with some updates based on modern science and materials.

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