Calculating Meat Storage Costs for Chest Freezers

As I am writing this article it is winter in New England. On farm I have several chest freezers full of pasture-raised meat that I am using to supply my markets until the grass begins to grow again in the Spring. That is one of the things I love about pastured protein, it has a shelf life. That shelf life has an expense though, and all expenses need to be accounted for. We have a total of eight chest freezers on farm of various shapes and sizes. I like using chest freezers because I can turn them off to save energy when they're not in use. I can also thaw them and sterilize them to keep a clean and food safe environment for storing my hard earned bits of meat. For us farmers, that's a box of frozen money, and we want to keep it in top shape. The expense of running those freezers is something we can plan for. Let's walk through two examples of freezers on my farm. Now, there are going to be variables that I can't control. Freezers work harder in the summer and less in the winter. Older freezers are less efficient, as are empty freezers. Full freezers have thermal mass and don't have to work as hard once they get down to temp. We're going to make some assumptions here. One is that the wattage use is going to average out over the year, the other is that the manufacturer claimed Kilowatt hours used per year is accurate for the machine regardless of age and condition. Looking a

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2 thoughts on “Calculating Meat Storage Costs for Chest Freezers

    1. Pretty steep

      For four years we’ve been raising broilers in two tractors on a 1/2 acre lot and never reached that cost.

      Do tell?

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