I have a broken chest freezer with sliding glass top sitting for a ling time. A couple years ago I started to find more uses for it, taking advantage of the insulation and solar heating properties mostly. Here are what I have been experimenting and more ideas are welcomed.
1. cold frame for seedling acclimation
2. Solar drying leaves and fruits
3. Sous vide style slow cooking of food
Hi John, sorry I didn't see your question earlier. If you are asking about cooking steak at 135°F, the temperature is determined by many factors: ambient temperature, angle and intensity of the sun light, volumn of the water bath, starting temperature of the water bath, as well as the volumn, shape and initial temperature of the meat. I try to get the water bath a slightly higher temperature than 135 and start cooking around noon to keep the water temperature as steady as possible.
For the freezer itself, maximum temperature is reached around noon to 4 pm as now but it can be much hotter and staying long in summer time. I did some simple measurements the other day:
1 inch thick 15 oz (2.5 cm 425g) steak thawed at room temperature vacuum sealed
11 quarts of water (10.4 liters) heated on stove to 150°F (66°C)
Ambient temperature 80 to 82 F (27-28°C) from 12:30 to 3pm
Inside freezer temperature 130 to 135F (54 to 57°C)
From 12:30 to 3pm at 30 minutes intervals the water bath temperatures were:
I left home at 3pm and came back at 8:30 and the water was still warm at 96°F(35.5°C).
I'd like to experiment more but fall is already round the corner. I may not be able to reach the desired temperature with enough duration for cooking meat now.
Weather is cooling down so I use the freezer for black soldier fly farming. I raise BSFL in a compost pile throughout the summer and open up sections occasionally for the chickens to scratch around. I can't continue doing that now since frequent exposure will cool down the pile too much for bsfl to be active. So I screen out the grubs and put them in a tote filled with fermented grass clippings and leaves. The decomposing leaves serve both as food and heat sources the bsfl. The center can get as hot as 155F but the grubs stay in the peripheral comfortably at 90 to 120F.
Zone 6, 45 inches precipitation, hard clay soil
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