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Project prep for curing chamber

Branflakes

Newbie
6
1
Joined Feb 28, 2021
Hey Everyone,

New to the forum and have been gradually getting more and more into smoking and curing over the last year. I just purchased my first home up in NH and have a big two door garage with space that I would like to put a curing chamber in. I found a cheap upright freezer on craigslist that I can pick up and I was wondering if this would bee a good foundation for my chamber since it is more insulated than a fridge and the temperatures can get pretty low in the winter. Thanks in advance for the help!

Model number for the freezer is: #2539280213 Kenmore upright freezer

Planned Parts:
Humidity & Temp Controllers: Inkbird ITC-308 & IHC-200
Heater: Lasko Heating Space Heater or Vivosun Heat Mat
Humidifier: AquaOasis Ultrasonic Humidifier
Dehumidifier: Pro Breeze Electric Dehumidifier

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indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
7,038
3,509
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Yes, you can set up a curing chamber using an upright frost free freezer, that is what I use. I would caution against setting the parameters too tight though, as the compressor will run too often and will not have enough time to cool down in warmer weather. Set the inkbird humidity controller to cool down 7 degrees or so.
I do not live in a cold climate, so do not use a heater in my chamber (mine is inside as well). You will have to play with the parameters..just remember that the dehumidifier will produce heat as this is a function of how it removes moisture from the air.
 
Last edited:

mike243

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,565
1,026
Joined Feb 25, 2018
Be advised when the compressor runs it removes moisture and the heat gets moved to the outside cabinet sides and top, does this unit work properly at this time? a heater to tweak the temp up would be all that's needed imo as the dehumidifier does the same thing the freezer dose but it leaves the heat in the unit, why spend time and fight added heat? wire the fan to run constantly to keep a more accurate and even temp, no expert on curing chambers but have repair thousands of fridge and freezers.
 

Branflakes

Newbie
6
1
Joined Feb 28, 2021
Be advised when the compressor runs it removes moisture and the heat gets moved to the outside cabinet sides and top, does this unit work properly at this time? a heater to tweak the temp up would be all that's needed imo as the dehumidifier does the same thing the freezer dose but it leaves the heat in the unit, why spend time and fight added heat? wire the fan to run constantly to keep a more accurate and even temp, no expert on curing chambers but have repair thousands of fridge and freezers.
I have not bought the freezer yet, I wanted to see if the model was viable before putting in the effort to get it. Apologies if I am coming off as naïve as this is new territory for me, are you implying not to use a dehumidifier as the freezer already functions in this way? I'm concerned that since the purpose of the chamber is to dry and cure this may not be sufficient.
 

Branflakes

Newbie
6
1
Joined Feb 28, 2021
Yes, you can set up a curing chamber using an upright frost free freezer, that is what I use. I would caution against setting the parameters too tight though, as the compressor will run too often and will not have enough time to cool down in warmer weather. Set the inkbird humidity controller to cool down 7 degrees or so.
I do not live in a cold climate, so do not use a heater in my chamber (mine is inside as well). You will have to play with the parameters..just remember that the dehumidifier will produce heat as this is a function of how it removes moisture from the air.
I took a look at the user manual and the unit is fine under 32f. I'll tweak the parameters on the inkbird after the initial build to make they are loose enough.
 

Robert H

Meat Mopper
178
118
Joined Nov 29, 2017
I am currently doing the same thing and am waiting for some lonza to cure. It should be in my chamber by next Monday. I am using a chest freezer, and have small humidifier, dehumidifier, heater, and am playing with a fan and possible vent. I looked at a lot of builds on smf, and watch and listen to what others are going through, and how they deal with things. Have got some good advice here. Good luck with your project.
 

Branflakes

Newbie
6
1
Joined Feb 28, 2021
I am currently doing the same thing and am waiting for some lonza to cure. It should be in my chamber by next Monday. I am using a chest freezer, and have small humidifier, dehumidifier, heater, and am playing with a fan and possible vent. I looked at a lot of builds on smf, and watch and listen to what others are going through, and how they deal with things. Have got some good advice here. Good luck with your project.
out of curiosity how are you handling how things hang hit the door when you open the chest freezer or does that not really matter?
 

Robert H

Meat Mopper
178
118
Joined Nov 29, 2017
I don't have anything running through the door of the chest freezer. I cut through the front of the freezer and ran the controller wires and also, heater and fan through there also. I did this for two reasons. One, the freezer is under a halfwall and the lid barely opens fully, and also did not want anything hanging or dangling and have chance to get pulled. I wanted everything on the front of the unit. It is my first build, so it just seemed right to me, but may not be the way others would go. I started a thread about it, so you can look there if you like. I don't want to hijack yours.
 

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