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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.

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Unread 05-09-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default Refrigerators vs coolers in the trailer


I am setting up a small 6x10 comp trailer. I have set aside the room for a prep table, shelving, the FEC, the treater and assorted other stuff.

Since I already have a battery/inverter on board and I pull the trailer with a motorhome that has uber generator, I have been thinking of swapping a small fridge instead of the cooler. I can age Briskets between comps and then pack it up and plug it into the inverter for the ride to the comp.

I found a 24"x24"x35" unit on close out at Sears and it will fit in the trailer.

IS anyone else using a fridge in a small trailer? If not what do you do as far as transporting meat to comps. I have a few vending and party gigs this summer and I have to be serve safe legal as well.

Any thoughts on cold storage of meats between, in transport and at comps are welcomed.

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Unread 05-09-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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have been using a 15cf fridge in my trailer for years.

if its been off, i start the fridge on monday-tuesday and let it get down to temp for a full 2 days at least. DAy before travel, I load up the bottom drawers with cold drinks.

For travel, i put the COLD meats in it the night before and set it to 28-32 degrees a few hours before leaving. Once unplugged, it will stay cold for 10-12 hours at least. ... just in case, i will also put some blue packs under the large cuts. I have had bags of ice in the freezer in a pan that is still frozen when i arrive 6-8 hours later. I keep the external gauge on it and even after 10 hours, its still below 40 degrees.

at comps, i run off a honda 3000. the fridge is big enought to hold ALL the meats during prep, and its much easier than dealing with coolers... the coolers are for the drinks.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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My daughter didn't want her dorm-size fridge anymore so I installed it in the trailer. I use it to hold everything non-meat that needs to be cold (injections, sauces, drinks, sandwich stuff, etc.). A bungee cord keeps the door closed while underway. Someday whenever I get around to buying a generator, I'll just run it while traveling to keep the fridge running if it's a long drive. So far I've been able to go 6-8 hours if I keep the door shut.

All comp meat goes into one of those 150 quart coolers that is then packed completely full with ice. It will go days before I have to worry about it.

At the comp I use a Cambro with a full pan of ice in it to hold prepped meats before going into the cooker.

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Unread 05-10-2012, 10:31 AM   #4
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I have an under-counter commercial fridge that holds 4 full pans. Go buy one already!
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Unread 05-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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I have a 11cf in my trailer with a 2cf freezer and it is so much easier than messing around with coolers and ice.

I set the fridge to the coldest setting a few hours before i leave and then put two 1 gallon milk jugs frozen solid in the fridge just before taking off. In Westmont, IL last year, it took me 4 hours with stops to get there and my fridge temp was 33 when i pulled in.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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Has anyone ever installed a small RV refrigerator that runs off of propane and 12v power?
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Unread 07-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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Got basically this model in the trailer


Its perfect for the competition - can get 2 briskets, 6 slabs, 2 shoulders chicken and sauces & injections in there, plus garnish. It is TIGHT when it is all in there, but it does fit. The big thing is to get as much in it early, get it cooled down cold, and then use some ice in it. It will hold just like an ice chest and runs cold - the back frost plate will freeze meat touching it. Its a great setup in a small trailer if you have the room and avoids trying to dig things out of ice when doing meat inspection.
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