Converting an old fridge into Meat cooler. Any tips & tricks??

RaggedHunter

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I want a cooler at my house that I can let meat age, and also so I don't have to rush to get it cut up. Some day I would like to build a walk in cooler but I just don't have that kind of space right now. So I am thinking of picking up and old fridge and putting hangers in it and using that for the time being.
I've seen a few posts on guys that have converted old fridges into meat coolers.
I am keeping my eyes on craigslist and the local papers for an old fridge to do one myself.

I'm hoping that others who have done this can chime in and offer some tips and tricks or do's and don'ts.
What kind of fridge works best? Side/side, over under? Better to have freezer on top or bottom?
If you do the freezer on top and cut out the shelf that separates the freezer and the fridge, how do you seal the doors?

Tips on making shelves or hangers?

Any other tips or advice is appreciated!
 

maxp

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Just used what I had but this was a side by side..I like the height...right now have a mature mule doe and big mule buck quarters hanging and it's right full..the pic is just a doe
 

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RaggedHunter

RaggedHunter

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Just used what I had but this was a side by side..I like the height...right now have a mature mule doe and big mule buck quarters hanging and it's right full..the pic is just a doe

Thanks for the info and pics. I'm thinking that size would work just fine for me for the time being, I don't usually have to hang more than 1 animal at a time. Typically it would either be a single mule deer or a single elk. Have you tried to fit a quartered elk in yours?
 

KClark

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Been contemplating this as well. Seems an upright freezer with an after market inline thermostat may be a better option. Full height, no divider and better insulation and hardware.
 
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RaggedHunter

RaggedHunter

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Been contemplating this as well. Seems an upright freezer with an after market inline thermostat may be a better option. Full height, no divider and better insulation and hardware.
I hadn't thought about that, that would make a nice setup, would be just about perfect for space, and your right not having to take out the divider would be nice. I'm not familiar with putting in an aftermarket inline thermostat, how big of a pain is this to do? Any idea how much it would cost for the thermostat?
 

maxp

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Thanks for the info and pics. I'm thinking that size would work just fine for me for the time being, I don't usually have to hang more than 1 animal at a time. Typically it would either be a single mule deer or a single elk. Have you tried to fit a quartered elk in yours?
No I haven't but I'm guessing you could only hang two quarters at a time
 
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RaggedHunter

RaggedHunter

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Totally painless. It's an inline gizmo, plugs into the electrical outlet and the freezer plugs in to it. A temp probe/sensor goes inside the freezer.

Freezer thermostat
That is a super cool contraption! I'm liking your idea of using the upright freezer a lot! gonna have to keep my eyes open on craiglist for an old freezer now.
 

awcopeland

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Apr 29, 2022
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Totally painless. It's an inline gizmo, plugs into the electrical outlet and the freezer plugs in to it. A temp probe/sensor goes inside the freezer.

Freezer thermostat
Sorry this is almost 3 years later, but could you use this same device to cook a venison roast in a crockpot and have it stop cooking at a predetermined temperature?
 

Banded_spooney

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you can see mine in my avatar. Its not fancy and I really don't think it needs to be. its just a freezer on top normal sized fridge. top rack has back straps, the middle rack has front shoulders, rip everything else out of the bottom and hams can stand up without touching. Little paracord or wire from the rack above the rear quarters just to keep them from laying against the wall (helps with airflow) I put a battery-powered desk fan in to just keep air circulating. -- it's fine for a single mule deer or smaller.

Use a blue tooth thermometer in the door just in case that old fridge you have sitting out in the weather decides to go out. Don't ask me how I know.

My buddy bought a used Sprite machine with sliding glass doors. That's the best one I have seen. You can hang 8 blacktail quarters plus back straps in that thing with a fan running. its pretty slick
 

gentleman4561

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Here is mine, got it for free off Facebook yesterday. Shot a deer today so its already put to work, its a side by side and I think a freezer on top would be better for more room. I Want to find a way to put back straps in here too, maybe make some sort of rack I can lay them on above the hanging meat.
 

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JoeDirt

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I just have an old beer fridge, I remove the shelves in toss the quarters in. Seems to work great for archery elk when the temps are pretty hot.

I do notice that things do not dry out as well, probably wouldn't keep anything in there for more than a few days.
 

Banded_spooney

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I just have an old beer fridge, I remove the shelves in toss the quarters in. Seems to work great for archery elk when the temps are pretty hot.

I do notice that things do not dry out as well, probably wouldn't keep anything in there for more than a few days.
You try putting a fan in there?

If that doesn’t do it I wonder if using a dehumidifier of some kind would work
 

justin davis

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I just have an old beer fridge, I remove the shelves in toss the quarters in. Seems to work great for archery elk when the temps are pretty hot.

I do notice that things do not dry out as well, probably wouldn't keep anything in there for more than a few days.
How big of a fridge is it? I’d like one too for elk quarters
 

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