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Old 07-06-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
BrickHead
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Join Date: 02-22-12
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Default Cambro for cold storage

I have seen many people use their cambro (mine is a UPC400) as a cooler for transportation/storage of their raw meat to comps. I was concerned about the cambro getting cold enough so I did two different test - 1. Putting a full size pan of ice on the top shelf and 2. Putting a full size pan of ice on the bottom shelf. Both test resulted in the same temperature - 48-50 degrees. I will tell you, it held this temp range for 24 hours and after 24 hours there was still 50% of the ice remaining in the tray. Everything I have read says raw meat should be stored at a temp between 38 to 41 degrees. Is that possible in a Cambro? If so, how do you do it? I am looking for a technique. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
IamMadMan
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The Cambro is designed for hot or cold use. It is very efficient in either application..

You can keep a pan of ice in the bottom to assist in keeping the temperatures low.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:52 AM   #3
eggzlot
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did either test scenario include cold meats too, or just an ice tray on top or the tray on the bottom?

I have the same model cambro, I put 2 bags of ice in a tray on the top shelf and stack my meats below (1 brisket, 2 butts and ribs - teammate usually brings the chicken pre trimmed)

I have not had any problems keeping it in the safe zone.

My thought, with only ice trying to keep that whole cabinet cold, it could not get AS cold as you wanted. Put some cold meat in there too, along with the ice bags, and it may help keep the temps down. The more cold stuff in there, the colder the cambro will keep (and keep longer too)
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
Buckshot Malone
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I'm interested in using cambro for cold storage as well. Any other experiences?
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:16 PM   #5
FromthePitBBQ
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My thought for keeping it good and cold would be a pan of ice and 1 or 2 fist-sized chunks of dry ice in it. In my experience with DI, it should be plenty cold and may even freeze your ice pan. Just remember, cold air sinks so put the pan on the top.

My only thought/concern would be if the cambro is rated for it? That'd have to be answered by the dealer or company.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:56 AM   #6
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I use a 6" deep full pan and a couple bags or blocks of ice placed in the top of the UPC400 and 3 pans to hold comp meats. After the meats are on the cooker, I'll use hot water in the 6" pan to pre heat the Cambro for holding.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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use blocks of ice or frozen pop bottles filled with water.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:12 AM   #8
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Cambro makes a tray that is made to be frozen and slid into one of the tray slots.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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I have wondered about dry ice in a cambro. I have heard that its not good to put dry ice in a sealed environment because of the co2 that is produced. Last thing I want is my cambro exploding. I've had the same experience as the OP with full pans of ice not getting my meat cold enough. I'd like it around 36 degrees personally but cant find a solution that gets the cambro cold enough. Cant see how a Camchiller would be that different than ice. http://goo.gl/Ffn5U
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:49 AM   #10
Mark
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consider something top loading like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAMBRO-180MP...#ht_529wt_1402

This will hold one full-size/full depth food pan or 2 full-size/half-height food pans, etc.

Just freeze some water filled ziplocks inside of a half-heignt food pan and place another half-height food pan on top (or vice versa) with your food in in it.

Get the picture?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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PS: Here is another brother that went in the direction I'm suggesting:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=81577
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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They have an insert called a cater cooler. It's a large blue tray that you freeze and slid in the top shelf of the cambro. I have 2 and use them all the time for catering. They will keep things very cold for up to 8-10 and longer if you don't open it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:05 PM   #13
MidnightStokersBBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
consider something top loading like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAMBRO-180MP...#ht_529wt_1402

This will hold one full-size/full depth food pan or 2 full-size/half-height food pans, etc.

Just freeze some water filled ziplocks inside of a half-heignt food pan and place another half-height food pan on top (or vice versa) with your food in in it.

Get the picture?
While I appreciate the suggestion, I doubt anyone wants to go out and buy ANOTHER cambro. The original question was how to super cool an existing front load cambro.

No one tried the dry ice route?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
Funtimebbq
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I transport all meat in a UPCS400 when I compete. I use 4 SS trays with the most top tray holding about 1/2 dozen reusable freezer packs. These are the same type used by suppliers such as SRF (and others) to ship their products. The next trays top to bottom hold ribs/chicken in freezer zip lock bags, shrink wrapped brisket and finally shrink wrapped butts on the bottom tray. After I load all the meats, I cram as many additional freezer packs around the meats as possible. I probably have around 15 packs in total. I have had temperature reading done during meat inspections and see numbers between 20-32 degrees.
This practice saves me from having to take 2 coolers filled with ice to contests. I take only one cooler for all the other stuff and one empty cooler to put the ice packs in along with my turn-in boxes after they are made.
Hope that helps.
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