New Dry Curing Chamber Build...42cu.ft. stainless double door

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indaswamp

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Apr 27, 2017
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South Louisiana-Yes, it is HOT
Fortune shined on me back in early December. I acquired a 42cu.ft. 304 stainless steel solid double door commercial freezer (old Masterbuilt)....for free. I just had to go pick it up. The cooling system does not work, but the box was in excellent shape. After looking into my options for cooling systems, I have decided to go the thermoelectric chiller route using peltier technology. JC in GB JC in GB has been a huge help with figuring out the components I need to buy. This will be roughly 8-10% of the cost of refurbishing the freezer with a new compressor system. I am demo'ing the old cooling system today..
IMG_20220319_101732.jpg

IMG_20220319_101649.jpg

The box is 42.5cu.ft. of space. Should not take much to get it up and running, but I am going to take my time and do it right the first time. No corners will be cut. I already have the humidifier and dehumidifier. Need to order the cooling system components and controllers. The unit will be inside with avg. temp. 68-70*F so only need to chill about 15*F below ambient temp.; the thermoelectric system can handle that.

I will finally have the maturing chamber I have dreamed of having. I will be able to butcher a whole hog, process it into salumi and salami, and hang it all in my new chamber. It should handle 80-100 kilos of product no problem!! This is gonna be PERFECT for what I need! And it is a freezer...so extra thick insulation! Will hold temps. VERY well!!! I am excited to start the build!
 
Fortune shined on me back in early December. I acquired a 42cu.ft. 304 stainless steel solid double door commercial freezer (old Masterbuilt)....for free. I just had to go pick it up. The cooling system does not work, but the box was in excellent shape. After looking into my options for cooling systems, I have decided to go the thermoelectric chiller route. JC in GB JC in GB has been a huge help with figuring out the components I need to buy. This will be roughly 8-10% of the cost of refurbishing the freezer with a new compressor system. I am demo'ing the old cooling system today..
View attachment 529436
View attachment 529437
The box is 42.5cu.ft. of space. Should not take much to get it up and running, but I am going to take my time and do it right the first time. No corners will be cut. I already have the humidifier and dehumidifier. Need to order the cooling system components and controllers. The unit will be inside with avg. temp. 68-70*F so only need to chill about 15*F below ambient temp.; the thermoelectric system can handle that.

I will finally have the maturing chamber I have dreamed of having. I will be able to butcher a whole hog, process it into salumi and salami, and hang it all in my new chamber. It should handle 80-100 kilos of product no problem!! This is gonna be PERFECT for what I need! And it is a freezer...so extra thick insulation! Will hold temps. VERY well!!! I am excited to start the build!
Awesome find!!! Excited to see the final build!
 
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Holy cow! I’m in for watching this progress to its final form.
Thanks Sven. This will be a fun project!
Awesome find!!! Excited to see the final build!
Thanks slav! ME TOO!!! LOL!!

Geez Keith, that baby looks to be in brand new condition, clean as a whistle, congratulations! RAY!
I know, right!! I was NOT expecting it to be that clean on the inside. It was immaculate. Should be fairly straight forward sanitizing.

Looks like fun . I love a good project .
Thanks chop! I am soooo looking forward to this build. A box like that....$2k easily if you had to buy it. And that is just the box! That freezer new is $8-10k.
 
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Wow Keith,, looks like the stars aligned and you were in the right place at the right time. Great score on the freezer and with all I've seen you to the past couple years, i know fully well the chamber build will be nothing short of perfection. I'll be watching so keep us posted :emoji_wink:

Robert
 
congrats, it will take a lot of cooling capacity to cool down large cuts of meat, you might need to put in a regular fridge or freezer to get into a safe range if it is freshly butchered , keep us updated on it as most of us only dream of doing that
 
Wow Keith,, looks like the stars aligned and you were in the right place at the right time. Great score on the freezer and with all I've seen you to the past couple years, i know fully well the chamber build will be nothing short of perfection. I'll be watching so keep us posted :emoji_wink:

Robert
Thanks Robert. I will not deny that I am a sort of perfectionist when it comes to some things.

Thats major production there.

Nice
Thanks Rick. Always wanted to raise a hog, butcher it, make my own dry cured meat products from the whole animal...I'll be able to do that when this chamber is completed.

congrats, it will take a lot of cooling capacity to cool down large cuts of meat, you might need to put in a regular fridge or freezer to get into a safe range if it is freshly butchered , keep us updated on it as most of us only dream of doing that
Thanks mike. The meat will already be cold having been salted to cure in the refrigerator.

Watching this for sure.
:emoji_thumbsup:
 
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I will also be able to hang multiple Culatelli in succession and be able to pull a finished one out every 4-6 months....I can let them age properly and not be tempted to cut into one early. Plenty of room!!!
 
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So, brain storming ideas...

I was considering hanging a sheet of 0.1" aluminum plate from the ceiling within 2" of the wall on all sides and mount the exchangers there with the fans pulling up, but on second thought, would be more efficient blowing down as cold air sinks. So I'm thinking of fabricating 2 baffles that will fit along the back wall in between the shelving brackets. The brackets extend 2" from the wall, and the gap between the spacing is 18" wide. The exchangers are like 3.5" wide X 11" long. so I will have to widen the baffle near the ceiling then neck it down to 2" going down the wall. I think the plate ought to stop about 12" off the floor to let the air gently move forward on the floor. Airflow will be rising under the salumi which is ideal. Next is pondering the placement of the dehumidifiers. The humidifier will sit between the two doors blowing against the wall between the doors. The rising humidity will help the airflow.
 
Parts List on advice of JC in GB JC in GB ...

The exchangers: (will need 2 of those)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001875035635.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.1f773c00HXKj2Q&mp=1

The Thermoelectric Module chillers (TEM)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003133468934.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.1f773c00HXKj2Q&mp=1

EDIT* This is the correct chiller I used:
Thermoelectric Cooler Semiconductor Refrigeration Water Chiller Cooling System Device (180W) For Fish Tank

12V 40amp power supply
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33051556213.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.54a2461eUJPy9H&algo_pvid=616db470-d686-4850-9ef7-a8c5e9e3215f&aem_p4p_detail=202203181009137295786107722280008982770&algo_exp_id=616db470-d686-4850-9ef7-a8c5e9e3215f-4&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id":"12000016440247427"}&pdp_pi=-1;3.99;-1;-1@salePrice;USD;search-mainSearch

Controller:
https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Rex-c100-Thermostat-thermocouple-40DA-solid_1600463427554.html?spm=a2700.galleryofferlist.normal_offer.d_title.3a9a7125OO2dzU

Will also need a small pump and a switch for the TEM.

What else am I missing? Oh- tubing, clamps, and a reservoir for the coolant water. Maybe some piping insulation and assorted connectors and odds/ends.

I am on the fence when it comes to continuous airflow. The Italian system of drying salumi does not entail continuous airflow. Northern European, German and Hungarian Salumi does entail continuous airflow and a little lower humidity to inhibit mold growth. Also uses smoke too. I am going for Italian style salumi. The Culatello cellars have barely a whisper of airflow...0.01m/s; less than 3/4" per second with long periods of static air when the cellar windows are closed. I can always add auxiliary airflow if needed.
 
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Can't wait to this masterpiece when you get it up and running
 
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Wow! Can’t wait to see how this goes! Awesome project!
Thanks bauchjw!

Can't wait to this masterpiece when you get it up and running
Thanks Piney!

I am also going to fabricate a carriage tray on casters to set the freezer on so I can move it. Sucker is HEAVY!! Should be able to find those at McMaster Carr or Grainger. Probably need wheels that can handle 250# each. I'd like locking casters...maybe 5" diameter??
 
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That would be a really good thing to be able to move that heavy sucker when needed. I would sure want to have locking wheels. Awhile back I saw some heavy duty looking caster wheels at Tractor Supply might be worth a look. Maybe put them on before you do much else to make it easier to work on.
 
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