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Freezer Build

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Boss has an upright freezer going to the dump, only 8 years old.
I wanted to see if this freezer would be a good build for a smoker. The racks are the freon type that can't be removed unless I cut it.
Like to know if this will work for a smoker, if so I have till tonight to get it.
Please let me know.

I'll start a build thread once if it's a good way to go.

Thanks
post #2 of 20
Since no one else is answering, I will give you a couple of things to consider. Being only eight years old, the inside liner is most likely plastic and the insulation is most likely foam. If so, both would probably have to be replaced. A stainless steel liner would be both a major job and high price
Hope this helps

Lamar
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post

Since no one else is answering, I will give you a couple of things to consider. Being only eight years old, the inside liner is most likely plastic and the insulation is most likely foam. If so, both would probably have to be replaced. A stainless steel liner would be both a major job and high price
Hope this helps

Lamar

All of the above is spot on, and another thing to consider, releasing the refrigerant to the atmosphere is illegal, you have to get someone to recover it.

 

Also, some refrigerants when heated can create toxic gasses.  Since the racks are basically full of refrigerant, you could have some issues there as well.

post #4 of 20
The fridge got a "hole" in it prior to acceptance that's why it's being replaced my story
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Lots of great advice, yes the fridge lost it's freon as it quit working. It was repaired about a year ago and not getting cold. There appears to be a crack at one of the tubes inside. I'll have AC buddy check it out.

The inside looks like aluminum painted white, only plastic is the door shelfs (one piece) and the edges of the box where the door closes.

 

Did a search and found this:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/91979/kicking-off-our-freezer-smoker-build

 

This gives me ideas to get this built. I am open to more ideas while I build my 250 gal RF smoker. 

 

One person mentioned foam? How easy is it to remove the aluminum side and replace the insulation? Curious to why not use foam as I have seen some built with foamboard? And if I do replace with another insulation, is fiberglass ok or does it have to be fire type insulation (expensive)?

 

Not sure which heat source I'll do, was thinking more of electric since propane gives off lots of moisture.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Forgot to mention, I want to do cold smoking like bacon and sausages. So it doesn't need to have a higher temp to cook.

That's why I have 6 other ways to cook (equipment). 

Yes, I like to build things and no you can never have too many cookers.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Went in and removed a piece of plastic trim to see what the insulation is, foam. Do I need to remove the foam and replace with temp rated fiberglass? The inside walls are aluminum. The racks will be replaced.

post #8 of 20

If you're only using it for cold smoking, then you should be all right with the foam. If you plan to install a heating element, or some other heat source, then the foam has to go.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
New at the cold smoking stuff. Not sure which way to go.
What is the max temp for cold smoking?

I'd like to do sausages and bacon. Possibly salamis.

I have RF smokers to do my cooking. The freezer build is just for smoking meats like bacon. I know the bacon will need to be cooked after it's brined and smoked.

I thought a heating element needs to be in smoker or is the temps a lot lower for basic smoking. This is all new to me.
post #10 of 20

Ron, I'm afraid I'm no expert on cold smoking. But I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in here. My inclination would be from 45° up to 70°. Anything lower than that and you risk condensation on the meat.

When I do cold smoke, the only heat comes from my AMNPS tray, and that is either with a mailbox mod connected to my MES30, or inside my commercial fridge conversion with the heat turned off. The heat put out by one of those would be negligible in a box the size of a freezer. I don't think you've mentioned yet what you plan to use as your smoke source.

 

Mike

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have the AMNPS and was going to use that.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Petersen View Post

I have the AMNPS and was going to use that.

 

You should be fine, then. Good luck! Thumbs Up

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

After reading some smoking stuff. I think I'll be removing the foam and replacing with fiberglass. Rather not take a chance at the foam off gassing and getting everyone sick. Besides I may want to up the temps for other smoking. 

What is the best way to remove the foam? I am assuming the inside metal sides is "glued" to the foam and will probably ruin the metal. I can replace with SS sheet as another has mentioned.

Looking for good safe ideas for heating the unit inside my shed.

Thinking more of electric since propane gives off a lot of moisture, especially here in the ND winters. Unless someone says it's ok?

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Petersen View Post
 

After reading some smoking stuff. I think I'll be removing the foam and replacing with fiberglass. Rather not take a chance at the foam off gassing and getting everyone sick. Besides I may want to up the temps for other smoking. 

What is the best way to remove the foam? I am assuming the inside metal sides is "glued" to the foam and will probably ruin the metal. I can replace with SS sheet as another has mentioned.

Looking for good safe ideas for heating the unit inside my shed.

Thinking more of electric since propane gives off a lot of moisture, especially here in the ND winters. Unless someone says it's ok?

 

I was going to do a very similar build and decided to scrap it.  the foam is sprayed in expanding style stuff, and it was stuck to everything so removing it would have been a major PITA.  

 

I have decided to build a wooden smoke house instead out of 2x3 or 2x4 walls, insulated with fiberglass and lined with cement board.  LP burner element for sausage smokes, but also a pellet tray or tube for the cold smokes.  If you havent looked at these options yet I would seriously do so,  there are some pretty sweet set ups to draw inspiration from.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/f/200/smoke-houses

post #15 of 20

Sorry I just saw your post.  How did it go?  On my build the foam was only in the freezer area and was only adhered to the outside metal casing.  It actually came off easily.  What size is the smoke chamber going to be.  I went with electric on my 12 cubic fridge chamber.  1100w 120v volt did not do it for me took too long to get up to temp.  Put in a 1500w 240v stove top burner and it took about 15 min. to get to 225 f.  Going to go up to 2000w soon.  I am planing to use a PID control for temp. regulation.  Going with electric in the shed should not be a problem. 

 

Dale.

post #16 of 20

Spot on ..the only thing i can suggest is every refridgeration guy has a vacume that can clear the lines...if you ask real nice

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Freezer had a leak so no freon, had a guy check it out and there was nothing. Still looking to either rip all the insides out and replace with fiberglass and new metal or aluminum. 

Or might say screw it and build from scratch. Keep staring at it in the shed and something needs to be done soon.

 

What are your thoughts about having a smoker inside the shed as it gets windy and cold here in ND. Figure I can at least have some protection from the elements to be able to smoke whenever I want. I am thinking of being able to smoke or cook. 

Need some ideas to protect from potential fires, etc?

post #18 of 20
I use my grills and smokers in an old garage on my farm in the winter, my thoughts are if it burns down I am not out much, I would be leery of doing it in a building of value though as grease fires do happen and I would hate to lose a cat or tractor to my stupidity.

I plan a dedicated cook shack in the future.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyinSD View Post

I use my grills and smokers in an old garage on my farm in the winter, my thoughts are if it burns down I am not out much, I would be leery of doing it in a building of value though as grease fires do happen and I would hate to lose a cat or tractor to my stupidity.

I plan a dedicated cook shack in the future.


Didn't think of the grease fires, good point there. Time to rethink.

post #20 of 20
You have to clean your machine on a regular schedule..and plan the placement of your drip pan wisely
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