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Selecting Meat Freezer-What to look for?

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I figure you guys will have learned about defrosting cycles and stuff that can impact the quality of the meat and since I will be bagging a ton of bison, I need a really good freezer (perhaps commercial grade) to store it in for the long term. You guys learn any lessons on freezers ya wanna share? Thinking I'll need 19-22 sq ft. or maybe much bigger for the one animal. I'm told it'll be somewhere between 750-900lbs of beef. Need help with brands, models and features. Should I get an upright or a chest style? TIA

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How do you get Beef out of Bison?
It's like the best beef you'll ever eat...tastes more like beef than beef. Got any info on freezers SA? :flag:

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Bruce, buy the biggest one you have room for, you will fill it up. I have a ge 25 or 26 cu foot and it is almost big enough. I had a small one tha did not have auto defrost and didn't like that, the reason I bought the manual defrost is because they say you don't get freezer burn as easily. IMO it's not worth it, I have an auto defrost now and haven't hd any problems. It's also a good idea to install a dedicated curcuit to where you are plugging it in to reduce the chance of loosing all of your food(when you blow a breaker and aren't home for a few days)Hope this helps, Ron

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You can't store meat forever but I've found the best type of freezer to be a chest syle of deep freezer. I have a few and their best features are they keep the cold in and they keep their temperature the most stable. Also if you have any power problems they keep cold the longest. An upright freezer dumps all of the cold air out every time you open the door to retrieve something. Uprights are also more prone to freezer burn. But uprights are easier to store whereas a chest type takes up a little more space. I have one chest freezer that I've owned for 30 years and it still runs great as they were built like tanks and are thick with insulation. I have one turned off now and they show no ill affects of starting them again unlike some uprights. I had a walk in box at one time but don't miss it. They can be handy if you need to move meat around more.

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If you have ALOT of meat... or plan on getting more meat Id suggest a couple of freezers.. So if one goes out you still got your other... Also get a freezer alarm so youll now if it quits before you start smelling it or seeing a puddle of blood. I prefer chest freezers for the amount you can cram in them, but the uprights I like for being able to see what all is in there.. Make sure whatever you get is energy efficient. and has a door that stays open when you open it.. Sounds stupid but I have a chest freezer that you have to hold open or it slams shut.. VERY annoying..

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Get a chest freezer as less cold air comes out when you open the door. Also do not get a frost-free model. Frost-free models cycle the temperature of the freezer up above the freezing point to get the ice to fall off of the walls, a non-frost free freezer will stay cold all the time and keep meat longer.Another thing that makes it nice is to get a freezer that will take two plastic milk carton holders side-by-side. That way you can load the meat by type into the plastic holders and move it around easier in bulk without having to take 100 packages of meat out one-by-one to find the package that you want.

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I had a medium sized one (about 5' long) and I had a whole elk, a deer, 20+ ducks and geese and 30-40 Lbs of fish + normal amounts of beef, pork, etc for a family of 6 in mine.

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Are my numbers close?Elk: 200lbsDeer: 100lbsDucks: 40lbsFish: 40lbsTotal: 380lbsIf relatively close then I will need not one but two such freezers for 750-900lbs of bison, right?

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Rather than investing in 2 freezers, you may want to just purchase one and keep the meat that you don't put in your home freezer at a locker someplace. That way, you don't have the expense of a freezer that will only be necessary for a short period of time.

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definitely go chest freezer.. I have a stand up and really want to switch to a chest type.I assume you are getting the meat processed? If so then vacuum sealing it is probably not an option but if you had the choice I would vacuum seal it. It will stay good for much longer.

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Rather than investing in 2 freezers, you may want to just purchase one and keep the meat that you don't put in your home freezer at a locker someplace. That way, you don't have the expense of a freezer that will only be necessary for a short period of time.
Locker? :lol:

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He's referring to a meat locker, rent freezer space. Our local butcher will sometimes act as a locker for us, but he gets filled up quick so he likes to get it moved. I butcher a steer every year (around 6-700lbs of meat) for our house, and it will all fit in one larger chest freezer. But I usually do a lamb and at least half a pig every year as well, if it all finishes at the same time it is more than can fit in one freezer.A bison should fit in a good sized chest freezer, I can't see it dressing much more than a good finished steer. Oh, and on topic... get a chest freezer with a MANUAL defrost. Unless you like freezer burned meat. Those darn frost free things can make beef taste funky in just a short time. We haven't defrosted our chest freezer in a long time, and we get meat out nearly every day. By design they just don't loose the cold air out every time you open the door. An upright will.

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