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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Steer to freezer conversion

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Brad Buchanan

06-24-2014 17:16:19
74.79.218.23



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Hey folks.

The wife and I are trying to plan ahead to when we are to get our first steer butchered and we need to get some freezer space.

We looked at freezers today and had some questions about how much space we need.

We are planning to finish the beef to about 1200 lbs (Herford) and are planning to realize about 500 lbs of beef.

How many cubic feet do we need? Chest or vertical?

It is most likely going to end up in my big shop so it needs to be on wheels.

Any answers or comments will be appreciated as there is lots of know-how here.

Brad

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Sparktrician

06-26-2014 06:43:38
198.144.54.36



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
We have a 6' chest freezer, and that holds a whole Angus beef nice, and some room for vegtables and other things also.



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Fred Werring

06-26-2014 06:24:04
136.2.1.109



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
Made dividers out of 3/8 plywood (piece of plywood on each long side, dividers screwed in between, NOT screwed to walls, can lift out for cleaning)to fit my chest freezer, might lose some storage space but keeps things from becoming a jumbled mess.

Fred



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Brad Buchanan

06-26-2014 05:36:47
74.79.218.23



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
I would like to thank everyone for the great responses. I learned a lot from them and we are much more informed about the subject

We are kinda leaning toward a 15 cu. ft. chest freezer that is on scratch and dent sale at Home Depot.

Again, Thanks.

Brad



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Chuck (CA)

06-25-2014 10:20:18
70.211.76.215



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
I sold appliances for years and the rule of thumb was 30lbs for every cu. foot. You can obviously put more in a chest freezer, but it seems that no matter what you want, it will be buried in the bottom. Plus it takes more floor space. It also used to be that a manual defrost would be better for long term storage and produce less freezer burn. However, If wrapped properly, a frost free freezer does a great job. It's also hard to find a frost-free chest freezer. So, IMHO, if you buy a 20' frost free upright freezer, you would have enough room for your moo-cow and a little extra

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Bret4207

06-25-2014 09:43:22
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
Freezer burn has nothing to do with whether it's an upright or chest type. It's moisture loss from packing which is why I recommend vacuum packing.



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redtom

06-25-2014 08:40:17
97.84.145.28



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
We use an upright. If you want to stand on your head everytime you look through then get a chest type. As for freezer burn with an upright, that's the first time I heard that. We go through it fast enough that nothing gets burnt. We now buy a quarter because my guy gives me the same price either way. We can fit a 1/4 in a small 12? cu ft upright (I'm all for saving electric too). The packer we use now vacuum packages too which helps.

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Notjustair

06-25-2014 06:44:02
174.238.67.61



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
I keep three chest freezers - one for each type of animal. Chickens, beef, and one for turkeys and pork. Definately get a chest freezer and just use milk crates to sort it all and stack them in there. I write what is in it right on the lid with a pencil and Clorox wipe it clean when I put a new animal in. Cross off things as you eat them.



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Bret4207

06-25-2014 04:28:44
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
That's an awful lot of meat for 2 people. I'd have it vacuum packed if I was you. Space means nothing if it's going to freezer burn.



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JohnDeere720GA

06-25-2014 07:15:00
75.131.18.27



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Bret4207, 06-25-2014 04:28:44  
I will second Vacuum packing. My father and I do a bit of hunting and we vacuum pack everything. I often get out a package pheasant or venison that is 3 or 4 years old and since we started vacuum packing we have not had any freezer burn. We used to pack in water while we didn't have freezer burn with it, it takes up more space. I also keep my storage freezers (uprights) at -10 or so.
The primary damage from freezer burn is dehydration if you can stop the moisture from leaving that is the battle.
The reason it takes us so long to eat the game is we treat it as a treat.

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GordoSD

06-25-2014 18:17:39
216.106.248.213



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to JohnDeere720GA, 06-25-2014 07:15:00  
You should never freeze fish or game in water. First that slows the freezing process down , way down. Meat needs to be FAST frozen, like in 4 hours or less. In water I would say you are talking 24 hours. Second, your meat is never going to be colder than 28 degrees Far too warm for fish. Third, the space factor. Fourth, if you want to transport it , dry ice won't help. Best to fast freeze in a flimsy plastic bag, no zip locks, Then when frozen, vacuum seal. I just cooked a mallard fast frozen that way in 2010 And it was perfect and delicious.

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JohnDeere720GA

06-26-2014 11:38:29
75.131.18.27



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to GordoSD, 06-25-2014 18:17:39  
We don't freeze in water any longer we vacuum pack then freeze or freeze then vacuum pack and then put back in the freezer.
Vacuum packing soft items will crush them so freezing first is the way to go for those items.



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Stan in Oly, WA

06-24-2014 21:45:23
174.31.214.34



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
Brad;

Lazy WP said the worst thing with an upright is that things can fall out on your feet. In my opinion, the worst thing is that every time you open the door all the cold air falls out and is replaced by room temperature air. Big jt mentioned freezer burned meat with a frost free upright. Any upright is more likely to cause some freezer burn than a chest type, but a frost free one doubly so. An upright freezer can't prevent moist air from getting in when you open the door, which is what forms the frost. Think about how it gets rid of the frost and you'll realize that it allows many more warming cycles than a non-frost free, particularly a non-frost free chest type.

Stan

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bison

06-24-2014 21:57:45
69.168.144.142



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 06-24-2014 21:45:23  
If you have the meat de-boned you can fit 2 of these steers in a 21 cube freezer with room to spare.

( no use freezing bones to throw them out later anyway);)



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big jt

06-24-2014 20:42:29
206.72.54.246



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
Are you sure you want it movable??? If it has to be movable make sure you buy new. I have never had a problem including moving a 50 year old fridge a couple times. However when I move that one I let it sit for at least 24 hours before plugging in. Gave one to the local threshing show and I think they didn't wait that kinda time. The fridge that had been my main one and worked flawlessly was then junk. I think the big problem comes from junk (oil, filings, etc) that normally settle out in the receiver dryer get stirred up when moving, give it time to settle back and good to go. Of course newer refridgeration equipment doesn't have but still need to be careful.

Someone mentioned frost free. I think you can get a upright with that. DON'T DO IT. You will have freezer burned meat, not good.

jt

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Phil9N3667

06-24-2014 18:24:13
70.208.137.73



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
My wife and I had a 1,000 lb one done back in the early '80's and ended up with about 600 lbs total . Used a 15 Cu. Ft. chest type and all the fridge freezer space we could spare and gave a bunch to her folks and mine. Had hamburgers that were square 1/2 pounders! Good thing we didn't know about cholesterol back then, but we were young (late 20's) and still active enough to burn it all up. Good luck and enjoy it!!

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George Marsh

06-24-2014 18:22:16
50.121.46.97



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
Brad,
I'm not sure if any freezer is frost free. I've had chest freezer and a vertical that wasn't, but that was decades ago.

I have two refrigs, one in garage to unload things from car and a second in kitchen. That gives us the extra freezer space we need, not to mention space for extra drinks. Not sure if that would be enough for 500# of beef. But a refrig is definately frost free. I didn't like defrosting the old freezers. George

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Lazy WP

06-24-2014 17:30:55
67.142.168.22



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 Re: Steer to freezer conversion in reply to Brad Buchanan, 06-24-2014 17:16:19  
I like the upright style, cause you don't bury things you want. Worst part is things fall out on your toes. You can get a critter into a 21 foot freezer, as long as its empty to start out.



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