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Thread: Question about frozen food storage

  1. #1
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    Default Question about frozen food storage

    Just as you would fill a 5 gallon bucket with nitrogen for long term storage, would filling a chest freezer with nitrogen be worth the effort? Would it extend the life of frozen food enough to be worth it?

  2. #2
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    boy that's and interesting question and some great out of the box thinking.
    I am not qualified to answer, but love to hear what other's think.
    one thought came to mind after reading this was to use CO2 instead of Nitrogen because much easier and cheaper to obtain - just use dry ice

  3. #3
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    what freezer do you have that's air tite? and you're talking about temps below the recommended for food ...

  4. #4
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    There's no advantage if the freezer isn't air-tight.

  5. #5
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    I'm not taking about liquid nitrogen, just purge the container with it, just as the food industry already does with packaging to extend shelf life. A bottle of nitrogen from the welding supply isn't expensive.

    Given everything we already know about nitrogen and how it's used to extend the storage life of just about everything, theoretically, this should work. The question is for how long. A good vacuum sealed container will safely keep frozen food relatively fresh for up to 8 months, as long as it's kept at temperature. I'd like to double that. I'm more curious if anyone has tried it. Given I can't find anything on the subject, I'm guessing not.

    This is what I'm talking about using, everyone I've looked at is either a solid tub, or has an easily sealed drain hole in the bottom. The only loss I'd expect is disturbing the air layer when opening the lid...

    https://www.webstaurantstore.com/gal...177CF20HC.html

    I've had an extra freezer before. The extra space was very useful, but it was the upright fridge style, old and not very efficient. Ever since that freezer died I've been limiting my venison harvests for lack of storage, and I'd really like to get a side of beef to keep on hand before the next election. It's just me and the dog so it needs to store for a long time.

    I'd use nitrogen over CO2. The idea is to get rid of the oxidation that spoils most things.

  6. #6
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    Agree with Explo - go with CO2 instead of N2. Cheaper, and should work as well at displacing oxygen.

    You'd want to be sure the freezer is air-tight below the rim. Some kind of caulk or sealant paint.

    Open the freezer as little as possible. IMHO this would only be suitable for a freezer that you use for long term storage, that you open once per quarter to rotate some stock and toss in another chunk of dry ice, not something you're into daily or weekly for regular use.

    I'm not convinced it's necessary but it's not impractical given the limitations above.

    SAFETY FIRST - both CO2 and N2 are colorless and odorless. If the area with your freezer doesn't have great ventillation you run the risk of creating an oxygen-deprived atmosphere in the room. Someone can get dizzy and pass out before they recognize what's happening. Professionals sometimes have to worry about this and use a sensor to detect pockets of no-oxygen for safety. Keep this in mind!
    Last edited by bruss01; 01-09-2020 at 02:00 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I wonder if it isn't an advantage to drill a hole into the the (top loading) freezer to inject the CO2/N2 into the freezer when you open it ?
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  8. #8
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    realistically, it will be a couple months before I try this, and a year before I see any tangible results. So don't hold your breath waiting on a result.

    I think I'll stick some meat in regular freezer bags as well as vacuum sealed bags to see how well it works.
    I will try to remember to post my findings
    Last edited by altajava; 01-09-2020 at 10:33 PM.

  9. #9

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    Personally,I'd go with freeze dried instead of freezing, but that's just me. I hate the idea of using nitrogen or CO2, especially for long term or post SHTF. I do keep some meats in the freezer for immediate use within a couple weeks or so but primarily, our bulk meats get freeze dried. Shelf life up to 20 years+.
    If the grid goes down, I have a wood smoker ready for meats in the freezer. I hate waste!
    Making good people helpless, doesn't make bad people harmless!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruss01 View Post
    Agree with Explo - go with CO2 instead of N2. Cheaper, and should work as well at displacing oxygen.

    You'd want to be sure the freezer is air-tight below the rim. Some kind of caulk or sealant paint.

    Open the freezer as little as possible. IMHO this would only be suitable for a freezer that you use for long term storage, that you open once per quarter to rotate some stock and toss in another chunk of dry ice, not something you're into daily or weekly for regular use.

    I'm not convinced it's necessary but it's not impractical given the limitations above.

    SAFETY FIRST - both CO2 and N2 are colorless and odorless. If the area with your freezer doesn't have great ventillation you run the risk of creating an oxygen-deprived atmosphere in the room. Someone can get dizzy and pass out before they recognize what's happening. Professionals sometimes have to worry about this and use a sensor to detect pockets of no-oxygen for safety. Keep this in mind!
    I'm thinking two smaller freezers instead of one big one, and purge one of them for long term, this would probably be the best way to go about it

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