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Victory VF-1 Freezer Conversion to Smoker????

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am in a quandary.  I picked up a Victory VF-1 Commercial Freezer for free.  I was told it no longer worked.  The original idea was to convert it into a smoker as a project.  I am a recreational smoker and clearly don't need anything this big (I already have MES 30).

 

They threw in 8 stainless steel racks that fit perfectly (original were epoxy/plastic covered racks).

 

The guy that loaded it up cut the thermometer wire when he removed the front plate so the thermo doesn't work.

 

So, I get it home, plug it up and voila it DOES work.  Hence my quandary (at least one of them).  This is a very expensive commercial freezer and even though it was free, I am not sure that it make sense to convert.  The insulation is polyurethane foam and rated probably only to 180 to 250 degrees.  I ran it overnight night and it went to below 0 degrees (below the limit of thermo I bought to test)

 

One of my chemical industry buddies indicated it was risky so I am looking for other options.....Here are a few.  

 

  1. Sell it for $1,000+ (new are listed at $7,000) and buy some new golf clubs
  2. Sell it for $1,000+ and buy a kegerator.
  3. If I can find a way to regulate the temperature to say 35 degrees, convert it to fridge and 3 tap kegerator
  4. Go ahead and convert to smoker (thinking electric)
  5. Convert to smoker and sell it for $1,000+ (can you imagine how many butts and ribs this thing could handle?)
  6. Other ideas????

 

If I go the smoker conversion route, I'd rather not go through the time and effort to remove the interior skin (aluminum), remove polyurethane foam insulation, replace with Roxul and recover in stainless.  So, looking for alternatives to that if I can find a simple solution.  Here are a few that I have come up with by searching the internet and this site (as well as a few of my own).

 

The idea on the first couple of these is to create a temperature barrier that will not allow the interior temp maximum (thinking 300 degrees) to make it to the polyurethane.

 

  1. Line the interior sides with concrete fiber board
  2. Line the interior sides with concrete fiber board and cover that in aluminum or stainless sheet.
  3. Attach welding blanket to interior sides
  4. Attach welding blanket to interior sides and cover that in aluminum or stainless sheet
  5. Attach some sort of high temp insulation (roxul, fiberglass, etc.) to the interior and cover that in aluminum or stainless sheet. In this case, if I can find 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch insulation I'd like to use that so as to not lose too much interior space and so that I can still use those awesome stainless racks.

 

There are some plastic interior fascia parts including the inside of the door so would also need to do something with that.

 

Here is a pic and any ideas, advice, etc. would be welcomed.

 

post #2 of 19

Get a temp controller, humidifier etc and make a fermenting chamber for salami's etc.... use as a fridge for beer..  use as a freezer...    

You, my friend, have fallen into "IT" and came up smelling like roses.....  2thumbs.gif ....

 

 

Dave

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/137570/curing-chamber-completed-ready-for-meat-w-pics

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/135332/i-did-it-i-built-my-curing-chamber-massive-amounts-of-build-view

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/106836/curing-chamber-build-w-cure-view

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/newsearch?search=building+a+curing+chamber

post #3 of 19

Plus, you are right about how much effort it will be to convert it. I felt some guilt over gutting mine, too. You may have already read this, but here is a link to my build of a similar Victory unit. I

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/115657/commercial-ss-fridge-build-my-first-try

 

That said, I have a MES 30 also, but it doesn't hold a candle to my conversion for full racks of ribs, large roasts, or turkeys. I have smoked 9 turkey breasts at once in mine, and probably could've fit in 3 more. So it really depends on what and how much you want to smoke. Converting was a lot of work, but in the end, it was worth it for me. You're already miles ahead with the free unit and SS racks. I paid $200 initially for mine, and I had to buy cooling racks and convert the shape slightly to make them fit. But it is still a huge bargain compared to what a commercial smoker this size would have cost.


Edited by mneeley490 - 8/25/13 at 5:44pm
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Any thoughts on these these ideas?

 

  1. Line the interior sides with concrete fiber board
  2. Line the interior sides with concrete fiber board and cover that in aluminum or stainless sheet.
  3. Attach welding blanket to interior sides
  4. Attach welding blanket to interior sides and cover that in aluminum or stainless sheet
  5. Attach some sort of high temp insulation (roxul, fiberglass, etc.) to the interior and cover that in aluminum or stainless sheet. In this case, if I can find 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch insulation I'd like to use that so as to not lose too much interior space and so that I can still use those awesome stainless racks.

 

Thanks for any input you can share!

post #5 of 19

I'm just not sure how much you could add without losing space for your racks. Remember, you need to be able to place a heat source in there also.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
What about unattaching or cutting aluminum from the outside and removing insulation that way. Would be a lot easier. Would think that I could replace with rock wool and "reskin" with aluminum sheet or find a way to reuse / replace what I cut off.
post #7 of 19

As a different option:  Since you have a smoker Id put an add on craigslist and swap the fridge for a decent smoker trailer.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Haven't got the darn thing to hold freezing consistently so can't sell yet. AC guy guy coming to check compressor, freezer, etc today. If too much to repair, thinking it would make interesting smoker project then sell.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NETBBQ View Post

What about unattaching or cutting aluminum from the outside and removing insulation that way. Would be a lot easier. Would think that I could replace with rock wool and "reskin" with aluminum sheet or find a way to reuse / replace what I cut off.

 

 

If you are able to take it apart from the outside, that would indeed be easier. My model was not built that way. Only the top and bottom panels came off easily. The polyurethane foam inside was as tough as nails, and set to the metal like glue.

post #10 of 19

The disassembly to remove the foam is why I have not converted my warmer to a smoker yet.   It does not look to be an easy task.  One of these day's I will attempt it though and post the good, the bad, and the downright ugly here.  So if you do convert yours, I'll be watching to see how it goes and how you get yours apart.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

My refer guy came by...

 

The freezer's compressor had been replaced and he feels there is a leak and that one of the capillary tubes might be blocked (one cold, one not) when they were connecting and soldering everything together.  Leak probably at one of the soldering points.  Said that there probably should be some sort of inline filter in those tubes after the coils.  Probably will cost me $200 to fix all that.  Figure if I do that I might try to sell it since the new commercial versions are $2K.  Sounds like I getting ready to play roulette.  Fix and sell or convert....what's a guy to do?

post #12 of 19

If the fix works, and you're confident you can get a good return out of it, go ahead. But I paid $200 for mine, and it WAS working. I much prefer my smoker to anything comparable on the market right now.

So it sounds like it's time to fish or cut bait.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Now this stuff looks interesting as a coating for the interior of the freezer to convert to smoker.

 

 

 

looks like there is a paint, a corrugated plastic sheeting and tape that could line the interior of the freezer/smoker without taking up too much interior space.

 

The A/C guy has the compressor and condenser unit to see if he can fix "cheaply" so I can sell as a commercial restaurant freezer.  If not, then I'll try to convert to smoker.

post #14 of 19

netbbq, morning......  I embedded your video....   doing that is a must on this forum.....  also, off site links are not allowed......    

 

Please read the terms of service.........     Terms of Service

 

Dave

post #15 of 19

Coating on cardboard looks interesting...... BUT.... (there is always a but).....

 

Wonder how well it would stop the transmission of heat over a long long period of time.  I understand it's a fire retardant, but will it keep 250-275* heat out of the body of a smoker and the foam insulation for 10 to 20 hours?  I doubt it, but it might.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks....I'll remember that next time.

post #17 of 19

Not to mention whatever chemicals it may give off that could transfer to your food.

But it does sound good for home insulation around heat sources, like a fireplace or baseboard heaters. Perhaps even around the stove area.

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've emailed the company. The paint and a coverage of stainless sheet and rtv might do the trick. I'm hoping my ac guy can fix 4 under $200 so I might sell and buy a better smoker or a kegerator
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

With all this talk of technology and fire retardant coatings for a fridge/freezer builds, it's hard to beat a classic.  Can I get an amen?  Overnight brined chicken wings (salt, poultry seasoning, turbinado sugar, little bit of rub, etc......)

 

Little bit of hickory....

 

In the final few minutes, mixture of tiger sauce, water and a bit of rubs......yummy!

 

 

 

20130908_181536.jpg

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