Helpful ReplyIs this insane??

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Blakkmoon
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2017/02/03 21:17:40 (permalink)

Is this insane??

This is my experiment.
I got a hold of this small freezer the other day for free.
 
I want to see if it can be used as a sort of poor man's prep table.
 
A real prep table would be great.
But they are over 2 grand even for a used one around these parts.
A new one is around 5 ish.
 
I'm hoping that by putting pans in the the top that it will work in the same way a prep table does.

 

 
I mean, I'm going to test it.
But I'm just curious .... Is this insane or what?
#1
Uncle Groucho
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/03 22:05:17 (permalink)
I like it.
#2
kreativekvs209
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/03 23:41:31 (permalink)
can you control the temp? if so0o... why not. lol
#3
hpx
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/04 01:55:20 (permalink)
definetely doable. If cant adjust temp and stuff in pans gets too could, try doubling up the pans or put on off switch on it to regulate the temp
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ShuttleBus
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/04 07:34:38 (permalink)
Great idea! Preppers, folks that live off grid and brewers use a external T stat on chest freezers so they can use them as refrigerators...better insulation and since the door is on top, all of the cold air doesn't spill out resulting in less energy consumption.
 
One of many videos on YouTube about converting.
youtube.com/watch?v=ZgkJvZPlZMM
 
 
post edited by ShuttleBus - 2017/02/04 07:38:24
#5
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/04 08:00:38 (permalink)
Thanks guys.
I'm pretty sure the freezer I have there does have a thermostat.
This was just a test unit to see if I could make this happen.
Until I actually had the freezer in front of me, I was not sure how I might do it.
I first had the thought that I may have to cut the top or something.
But it actually worked out really good.
 
I will continue to mock it up and then test.
Assuming that the unit does work like the guy said it does.
 
If it all works in the end, then I would purchase a brand new unit.
Costco has them for $200.  
No doubt the new ones have better insulation and more efficient cooling systems than this 30 year old thing.
Almost positive I saw a thermostat on the new one.
 
I have to make sure that the support strips in between the pans are strong enough to hold the weight of full pans as well.
#6
ThibodeauxsRB
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/04 10:39:37 (permalink)
I converted my 24 cu. ft. freezer to a refrigerator with a $10 digital thermostat off eBay. Takes less space in my truck than smaller units. Works great.
#7
kreativekvs209
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/05 00:58:22 (permalink)
does your health department require you to have nsf certified refrigeration?
#8
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/05 10:57:46 (permalink)
kreativekvs209
does your health department require you to have nsf certified refrigeration?


NO they don't
#9
kreativekvs209
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/05 19:04:36 (permalink)
That is awesome. Ca. Laws and regulations are super strick.
#10
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/05 19:41:52 (permalink)
Luckily, that ONE thing, they are good as long as hot stuff stays hot, cold stuff stays cold - within the guidlines. ( safe zones )
Our head HD guy told me ( unofficially ) that he kind of prefers the residential stuff because they don't run non stop and therefore don't generate the heat that commercial units do.
Plus we usually are only running a few hours a day around here, and only about 5 months outa the year.
And if I have to replace a $200 freezer or a $500 fridge every few years, no biggie.
 
Yeah, I have seen some of your rules down there...super strict !!
I miss Cali.
It's -23 here today :)
#11
edwmax
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/06 07:05:23 (permalink)
Try using a few jugs of frozen water. The closer to the bottom of the pans, the better (wire basket??).   This should help keep the pans colder and reduce recovery time; as well as keeping the temperature below required maximum.  And keep food cold during transport when the freezer might be (could be) off.
#12
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/02/06 09:44:58 (permalink)
edwmax
Try using a few jugs of frozen water. The closer to the bottom of the pans, the better (wire basket??).   This should help keep the pans colder and reduce recovery time; as well as keeping the temperature below required maximum.  And keep food cold during transport when the freezer might be (could be) off.


 
 
For during transport, I will keep cold stuff in the fridge.
Possibly wiring in an inverter to keep the fridge going on if there are longer trips.
 
I was kind of thinking along the same lines as far as keeping it colder longer.
 
I was thinking that layer one should be a deep pan.

Then a layer of ice packs.  I have a TON of these.
 
 
 
 
 
Then the pan with the stuff I am serving. And a lid.
 
I might have to set it all down a little lower.
This will be determined once I get some more pans to play with.
 
I could also keep water jugs in the bottom of the freezer.
This way maybe I can keep the freezer turned off for a while and converse some power.
I guess that will be a trial and error thing.
 
 
post edited by Blakkmoon - 2017/02/06 10:46:55
#13
TravelingPan
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/10/19 22:03:29 (permalink)
How did this work out for you?
#14
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/10/22 00:38:23 (permalink)
Don't know
Have not had a chance to test it yet
#15
TravelingPan
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/10/22 11:31:16 (permalink)
#16
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/10/23 09:51:41 (permalink)
I hope you mean wow .....as in .... no friggin way batman...
That's worse than Canadian prices!
#17
Inferno
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/10/24 22:47:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Blakkmoon 2017/10/25 09:57:23
#18
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/10/25 09:57:50 (permalink)
Inferno
Check out this, it works. I turned my chest freezers into coolers.
https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B011296704/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1508899544&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=inkbird+itc-308&psc=1
 
 


Nice, will have to get one of these!
#19
cavemaneats
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 02:57:21 (permalink)
The way I see it you'll have two basic problems.
First obviously is the cold. Although freezing won't be an issue on busy days, slower days will see a lot of loss to freezer burn on stuff like leafy greens and tomatoes. We run into that problem with our prep fridge. It freezes the pans in the back but the front ones are barely keeping temp. Yours would be any part that touches or is close to the side wall will start to frost within 2 hrs.
Second is usage. A standard freezer has a lower temperature than a fridge but isn't meant to be running continuously like a commercial fridge. On really busy days(or really hot ones) you will run into your freezer thawing out and your product getting too hot to serve. We have dealt with this on a couple of our ice cream freezers. Having to open them over and over kept them from staying completely frozen and started melting the hard ice cream. We've also dealt with this on smaller prep fridges too.
 
But if you are having a hard time finding prep tops look into liquidation auctions, and equipment auctions. We've picked up ours for under all of ours over the years for $250-$400 a piece. Also check tripplew.icbworldtrade.ca  we picked up one of their single door freezers for $380 at a Cornerstone auction 3 years ago and it runs like a dream. They have the specs on their page and model numbers but you have to track down a supplier.
 
post edited by cavemaneats - 2017/11/09 02:59:50
#20
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 10:06:34 (permalink)
Thanks for the input.
So what you are saying is that my $50 freezer idea will suffer the same issues as a very expensive prep table??
Nice.
 
The freezer thing is just an experiment. And I still haven't made it that far to test it yet.
I could "possibly" line the outer edges of the pans with some solid pink insulation.
That might help with the freezer burn.
 
A small circulation fan on the inside would be helpful as well.
 
Because I was not really using it so much as a freezer.
Someone mentioned putting either ice packs or water filled bottles to take up some mass and help regulate the temps.
 
Up here in the great white north, used equipment is hard to come by for a good price.
Small market, high shipping costs....
10 year old 4 ft prep table STILL fetch $1000 - $1500.  NO joke.
New ones are 4000.
 
This is why I shop across the boarder when ever I can.
 
Auctions are even worse.
I keep going to them, but people are SO STUPID.
Seriously...
They all think they are celebrates.
 
 Half of them are walking around a noisy busy auction yakking on the phone like this...

 
Jerks.
 
You don't get to test anything before you buy it.
 
And they usually pay about the same - and often more - than you can buy it for in the local used market.
Plus you pay, sales tax, AND auctioneers fees.
 
The last auction I was at they had a food warmer.

 
I wanted one.
 
New ones here start at $400, at the local wholesaler.
Or $600 if you go to the restaurant supply store.
 
The one at the auction was clearly old, dented beat up, dirty as f---.
Not tested or plugged in.
And it still sold for $160, plus 14% taxes, plus 5% auctioneers fee.  WTF?
These people are so stupid.
 
I  found them on amazon. for under $100. Ordered 2.
Delivered to my depot and picked up on a USA trip.
 
If and when, I get a prep table, it will probably be out of the USA.
Unless I get super lucky.
I am always looking.
#21
cavemaneats
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 12:19:09 (permalink)
Yeah That's terrible,
We have had the best luck with recently closed restaurants. But these are the best sites for your region. 
triplew.proxibid.com    Has the most options
triplew.kijiji.ca/b-buy-sell/Winnipeg    has a few on classifieds but you're right they aren't cheap.
samauctions.com     Does a couple auctions a year in the Dakotas but based in Arizona
Triplew.pciauctions.com/index.php     is probably your best bet on price
 
Btw, yes auction people can be stupid, but I find that it has a lot more to do with the auctioneer. Here in Seattle we have two good companies. One is strictly online with a display warehouse. The other does more live auctions and some online. The live Auctions I always get screwed for the same reasons you describe. But occasionally I get a good deal like $4000 haloheat Altoshaam oven I picked up for $100. But you really need to know your stuff at auctions, and rent a big U-Haul trailer(no mileage fees) if you want the bigger items.
 
Do you guys anything like a Restaurant Depot or Cash & Carry near you? Some where you might find smallwares and such. They usually are better and cheaper than shipping direct.
#22
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 14:56:39 (permalink)
I have been to Restaurant Depot in Minneapolis.
 
The couple of places we do have are all food focused with a splash of equipment.
That's where the "good" prices are  ....  $400 food warmer.
 
Not their fault.
We just don't have the volumes that you guys do down there.
 
The only other choices are the expensive suppliers or the 1 or 2 "used" suppliers.
Who seem to have the market cornered on closures.
And can get top dollar for the used stuff.
 
I just plan my trips accordingly and buy order off ebay and amazon.
 
I think I paid $40 delivered for a rebuilt surflo pump.
Here, used is $200.00  new is $565.00.
 
I paid $15 delivered for the little plastic trap door for filling the water tank.
Here  $95 was the cheapest I could find. FFS
 
This kinda why trucks cost 150k to have built here.
 
Was just talking to a woman who was trying to get a truck built.
No cooking, just a cooler and basic counters, and storage.
She has a bakery, so all food was to be done there.
She wanted to just load up at the bakery and drive out to an event to sell.
 
She was quoted 75 k.
Plus she still had to get the truck.
And the wrap. - another 10k
 
whoa.... I think \i went off on a rant there...
#23
cavemaneats
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 15:09:05 (permalink)
Shiiitttt! I'm in the wrong Business I can Build out 7 units for that out here. I now Know my next business. Used Equipment Supplier in Winnipeg.
#24
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 15:22:23 (permalink)
Yup, supply may be easy.
But demand is not.
 
The used guys have these overflowing huge warehouses, because they seem to squeeze every penny out of the customer.
And their prices are not half of new.
They are more like  ... knock off 10-20% off new prices.
 
And for some reason, these guys that open up a spot here, get funding or investors, and seem to have to have all new stuff.
 
The girl I mentioned.
Tiny little 1000 sq ft store.
ONE commercial oven.
A cooler.
A few display coolers.
 
All small scale equipment.
 
And she still put 100k into it.
Had to take her funding and buy brand new EVERYTHING.
#25
cavemaneats
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 16:58:59 (permalink)
That terrible, That just makes your nut that much higher each month. I Started our concession business with $6000 bucks and 5 pieces of used equipment that all fit into the back of a Toyota Previa. We were in the black by our 8th weekend. The BBQ Trailer was super easy and cheap the most expensive thing on it was a $1800 Aluminum RV Porch that is on a hinge over the tongue. (Super amazing, have been waffling on if I should put one on the back of the Sandwich Truck.) Nothing else was that much though, next highest priced item is the used 27" prep fridge @ $190 that was missing its clam shell top so I built a foam/ sheet metal top that just lifts up. The health department loves it because our temps are always well under. I think the total cost was $6500. 
 
This truck is probably what has given me the most problems. That's aside from my old(former) Coke trailer (used to move equipment) that snapped its axel on a freeway overpass. Nothing quite like seeing you tire roll past you on the sidewalk as you trailer drags across the pavement. Had to let that one go. Still miss it though. 
#26
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 17:26:03 (permalink)
The squirrel can only only climb the tree.
It cannot move or change the tree.
 
"Oh Bee Ron"
#27
KrackerKev
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 20:47:41 (permalink)
I've got high hopes of being able to use a resedential chest freezer as a cooler like you said with only sinking in some pans on the top and using a temp controller.

Like you said though, kinda something we just have to test? I won't have veg or such in mine, likely just cheese mainly....

Still thinking of trying it?
#28
Blakkmoon
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/09 21:06:43 (permalink)
oh yeah.
But I like the input.
Makes me think.
#29
KrackerKev
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Re: Is this insane?? 2017/11/10 10:45:34 (permalink)
ThibodeauxsRB
I converted my 24 cu. ft. freezer to a refrigerator with a $10 digital thermostat off eBay. Takes less space in my truck than smaller units. Works great.


Happen to have a brand or model # you used? Curious if there are different styles of control VS the digital inkbird model that was talked about that uses a probe

Did I mention I love this idea?
#30
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