Carnitas on a Tailgate & Surprise Freezer Defrost

Show Notes

On this episode of Huntavore, we join Nick after a series of events, both awesome and not so awesome.  First, he was humbled by an article entitled Roast What You Kill, and is reflecting on his thoughts.  Second, in preparation for a bachelor party, Nick prepared Carnitas, and Venison Barbacoa to be slung out as blackstone tacos on a tailgate.  Finally, Nick was again humbled by a wall of water and ice coming from his freezer.  All sorts of ups and downs on this episode of Huntavore.

Nick is solo on this episode, and reflects on an article by Greg Morse.  Expanding on the Proverbs 12:27, Nick is noticing areas where he has gotten worn down and lazy.  In the examples it doesn't just point to hunters not roasting their game, but points to areas where we as men have lost motivation and slacked.  The Beautiful thing is we can alway get back up, and get better.


Next is what we were waiting for, and that is the Carnitas and Venison barbacoa on a tailgate.  Nick turned out almost 60 of these tasty birra tacos using the cooking liquid from the barbacoa.  Simple add ons like cheese, onion, cilantro, and a chipotle drizzle sauce make these babies a home run.

Last is a reminder to us all who eat out of the freezer.  Ajar doors are an ever present danger.  Be vigilant and have fail safes for these meat safes.  Nick talks about his quick plan to move the still frozen solid bounty, but also discard the thawed door items.  He also lays out the plan to be proactive about protecting that door.

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Hunt of War podcast, powered by Sportsman's Empire, where we celebrate the hunting and fishing lifestyle through the utilization and consumption of our wild gate. No egos forking hand, beer in the other, no status, a piece of red meat on a hot grill, and turn it into a burnt offering. Just catch it.

Cut it. Cook. This is episode 1 26, carnitas on a Tailgate and Surprise Freezer Defrost. On this episode of Hunt Ofor, we joined Nick after a series of events, both awesome and not so awesome. First, he was humbled by an article entitled Roast What You Kill and Is reflecting on his thoughts. [00:01:00] Second, in preparation for a bachelor party, Nick prepares carnitas and venison Bara to be slung out as Blackstone Tacos on a tailgate.

Finally, Nick was again humbled by a wall of water and ice coming from his freezer. All sorts of ups and downs on this episode of Hunt Ofor.

Hey folks. Beautiful morning here in Michigan. Welcome. To another Thursday here with the hunt Ofor. It feels good being on Thursdays getting close to the weekend, getting close to the, finally having a chance to get to the grill, get to the smoker, or get to the deep fryer. Whatever you're gonna be planning on cooking, like here we are couple days before you having some time.

For many of us, we just got done. Being out the grill, out the smoker, out the kitchen, wherever you were at, maybe serving up [00:02:00] something for Father's Day. Another great time just to celebrate dad, grandpa celebrate folks who have been just pinnacles in our life as men and. With that. One of the things we do is we like to grill things and get the fatty pieces of pork or be able to pull out of the freezer some of those desirable cuts of venison and wild game that we've been holding back.

How many back backstraps just got butterfly stuffed re-roll and grilled. How many pork butts. Just got smoked and slow cooked and shredded to be just glazed over with a sauce, a barbecue sauce, and then sandwiched on a Hawaiian bun with some cole slaw on the slide. I on the side, I can't even think, I can't even fathom the amount, the poundage of meat that was [00:03:00] roasted, that was fried, that was cooked, that was smoked, that just happened this weekend.

All. To say thank you to our fathers in our lives. So yeah, thank you for all those fathers that are in our life. And with that, I even want to turn attention to an article that I read, actually it was a couple weeks ago, but it points at not just my father or even my grandfather, but it goes even a little bit further and it points to my Heavenly Father.

So for folks who are listening who who understand where I'm coming, please tune in. If this isn't your jive, then We'll be back with you soon. But anyway, out of the Old Testament, we got Proverbs 1227. The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. I saw this in an article written by Greg Morse.

[00:04:00] I've not had a chance to connect with Greg, but I have reached out to just say, Hey, incredible article. Very challenging. What I thought was going to be a simple matter of me reading an article and maybe like gleaning out a couple points that I could bring into the show. I ended up going on my own.

Little hike on myself, a little a little pep talk, a little walk on a trail of self-reflection that brought a little bit of heat of the desert. Yeah, it's amazing how scripture will find a way to have you do a quick self check. And being from Proverbs, this is from the Old Testament. It's actually One of the things from the, from the Great King of the Old Testament and his, he's writing down this, all these little sayings and little things to be careful of or to be [00:05:00] thoughtful of.

And this was a great opportunity where this really did take precedent. Yeah, again, I happily jumped into this. But as I as Greg in his article broke it down, I'll try to put that in the show notes. Notes as well. He says in there that what a strange picture for someone to get up in the early part of the morning, prepare themselves, know their weapon, know their prey, to stalk them tirelessly, pursue this prey.

Kill this prey, bring it back for the celebration of the hunt, but then go no further to bring back the hunt, to bring back the nourishment, but that at the same time also say My work here is finished, or at least I to lose the motivation to then [00:06:00] roast the game. To cook the beast and then to fully celebrate in its entirety to be able to share that with the tribe, with the friends, with the family, with the surrounding relatives.

That is what we are looking to finish at and how often we fall short. He goes on to then lay this out in several different areas. Some of which who start very well at their job, but then finish poorly or who can't seem to keep the motivation, who doesn't work hard till the end? We all have those days.

We, we need a little pep talker, some, someone to get us going. When we get into the monotony of a job, he takes a look at. How we present ourselves to our kids and to our family. How we give the [00:07:00] best to the outside world. And when we come home, there's not a whole lot left in the tank, but instead of trying to recharge and then enjoy the ones that we spend the most amount of time with, the ones that are most precious to us, how often little we give.

And so those were really good pointed questions as I finished out the school year. Tired and exhausted and maybe that was a self-reflection of myself. How much effort were you giving at the last week? When many of those students know they, they were going to be gone onto summer break for some of them, also very exciting time cuz they're gonna be refreshed.

But some of them also very anxious because they don't know what their home life is going to be like. Did I finish out that race the best that I could? So that's always a good little self-reflection. Second is, [00:08:00] am I returning and am I cooking the beast for? My family, are they either they receiving the best or are they coming home?

Or am I coming home and presenting the tired, beat down, not wanting to do anything. Person that's now there, I can't even say at that point you're doing your job as a father you're missing the mark. So both were real self-reflections. Those couple weeks after I read this article.

That was my own personal reflection on it, and to finish that out as to, to regain my sights on where they need to be. He does finish. Greg does finish with a excerpt from Philippians three 14. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven word in Christ Jesus.

I press on forward to the goal to win the [00:09:00] prize. And what is that prize? Here in Philippians, he's pointing directly towards Christ, but are the little prizes along the way are they worth running for? Are my kids and my family worth running steadfast and hard towards? It's my job. The lives that I affect every day as the youth of America, is it worth getting up and giving the best that I can?

And those are both open-ended hypothetical questions. Of course, both of those are yes. But to have those questions put forward to me and to really regain as I go through this summer to recharge to, regain energy and to plan for next year. When the school season kicks off, when I get to that line, when I get to the starting line of that season and the gun goes off, am I [00:10:00] going to be running in the right direction?

Am I going to be having the motivation that I need to be able to go for those prizes for the ultimate prize to be in line? It was just a really good thought. So as I thought about this, I definitely wanted to pose that to listeners. Are we running in such a way that we are going towards the prize? And let me use this as an inference now where my other listeners can join back in Those who don't necessarily jump into the faith here, but now we can use this text as a motivation for all of us.

Are we running towards the prize in a way that is going to be pleasing? Are we roasting our game after the hunt? Are we pursuing the game and looking forward to the ultimate end? Are we going to bring the [00:11:00] celebration to our hunting and our fishing heritage? Are we going to bring in the energy, the motivation?

Are we going to invite others in to keep this lifestyle going? Because if we don't run for this prize, if we don't continue to keep on running in such a way as to win, are we going to lose what we absolutely love? Because we see it every day, either in social media or in news links, but we see attacks on.

How people hunt. We see attacks on how people fish. We see people being brought down for the way that they want to engage our wild animals and our wild places. And we gotta make sure that we are presenting ourselves a above reproach, that we're presenting ourselves as a way [00:12:00] of look at what good we do bring.

Because if we just yell insults like the naysayers say to us, or we no better than them, we want to continue to push forward as legislation goes through and takes us out at the knees, every little chip and every little peg along the way. What are we doing with that? Are we chipping them along? Are we turning, returning the favor to them?

Are we going eye for an eye? Or again, are we going to run in such a way that we are above reproach and they see the good that comes from it? And I know the way that I have chosen to pursue that is through the full roasting of that beast that when I pursue my animal, when I pursue my prey, and I bring it down, I want every aspect of that animal to be used to be [00:13:00] utilized, that nothing will go to waste.

In everything that I'm doing now, I'm no no stranger to the idea that if a deer is hit alongside the road, there will be scavengers that will take care of that. Nothing inevitably goes to waste. But if the act of me leaving something into a wild space where something has to then take care of that instead of myself, I'm choosing to try and do the utmost good that I can.

I want to roast that beast. I want to not just hunt in a way that I bring back the game and then stop there, lose motivation, but I want to then celebrate fully. With that beast being roasted completely. So yeah, it was a nice little article and I'll make sure to put that in the show notes. But it was just a good [00:14:00] reflection on as we start, as I was starting my summer and as we prepare for seasons to happen this fall, I know some of them are not that far away and I know for anglers right now, this is the hot time to be out, to be fishing, to be Trying to trap crab and to be, she would even be going for blue gills.

Are we doing it in such a way that we're getting that fry oil hot and we're bringing home and we're scaling, or we're skinning those fish in such a way to present a bounty to our friends and family, to let us know that this wild food was prepared for them and they're to enjoy it because that's how we keep this whole thing going.

So there it is. Are you roasting what you kill? In all sense of that phrase, when in the field, accuracy and precision count, that's why we switch our slug guns to rifle barrels, tune our arrows and use a fish [00:15:00] finder on the water. But why should our drive for control? And there, the tapu line of meat probes gives an instantaneous look at the temperatures of our prized meals, both internal and the cooking chamber.

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Adding a probe to your kit can make you one tap away from your queue. Okay, there's our heavy [00:16:00] ended section of our episode today. Yeah, we'll move on from the Food for Thoughts. At the moment here and now we'll probably talk a little bit more about what everybody was expecting, and that's going to be physical food on our plates.

I kicked off this summer with a couple fun projects. The first was I wanted to, I smoke some of that wild pork that I got earlier this spring. Now I know that's been a topic that I've talked a lot about and when I processed these pigs out, I kept them in larger cuts knowing that I did want to make hams knowing I did want to make some sort of bacon, whether that's going to be paneta rolled cause of how thin my.

Bacon sides. My bellies are going to be, or actually just doing slab [00:17:00] bacon, I haven't yet opened up that Pandora's box to figure out which direction I'm gonna go with that. But a couple of the things that I really wanted to focus on was the shoulder, and being that I was going to have a pork butt and I was gonna have a pork picnic, I think I've mentioned this in other episodes too, so I'll make it brief and I'll make it pretty quaint.

But when you take off a shoulder of that, Hog, you're left with mainly three parts. You're going to have the end that is high on the hog, that is the most desirable. It's going to have most of the meat, it's gonna have most of the fat, and it's gonna have the least amount of bone that is going to be the pork, but not the gluteus maximus on the back, but actually referring to the shoulder.

That pork butt is going to have the lion's share of the fat, the marbling, and the meat. There's only gonna be the shoulder blade, the [00:18:00] scapula that is inside that cut. Yes. While it is wide, it also lends itself to be very thin. And so what that's gonna do is that's gonna allow more meat to be there.

As you get down lower on the shoulder, you're going to then have the, what they refer to as the picnic, and that's the lower shoulder that actually connects to the shank. On a deer, you have a longer humerus bone that's gonna be in there. So like I, I do a lot of mid roasts with those. That's a great like pot roast style cut right there.

You throw two or three in on crockpot. Man, you're set for pot roast for quite a while, expectedly for venison. Both shredded and and just in, in chunks as well. So with the pork is actually gonna be, Having an end where you've got the arm sticking out a little bit, you're that humerus bone actually protrudes out from the side of the cut there.

[00:19:00] And so you now have this like short arming effect where you're gonna have a narrow section that's gonna be sticking up and then it's gonna actually then fan out towards the larger rest of the shoulder on that section. It's almost using like the. The bit of the chest, a bit of the rib side, and you can take those ribs out and you can leave yourself with just the bone.

The way I've cut it, I think I've actually nipped the end of the scapula off of the butt, and I have the knuckle actually attached inside of the picnic. So I essentially had the start of one bone and then the humerus bone with the shank removed. What I've learned about this cut is that there's a reason that people go for the butt as opposed to picnic.

I know when I was talking to cowboy Kev from the barbecue chat, he was really focusing on when, or even Mikey [00:20:00] Kay actually did a really good job of explaining this. He said he's gonna go for the butt every time because that's where the fat is at. That's where the fat and the marbling is going to be.

What, Kev or what? Yeah. What cowboy Kevin ended up talking about too is that it's not going to shred nearly as nice as what the butt is. So the picnic is going to be offered itself up. Yes, shreddable, but also needing to be chopped. There will be sections of that won't shred as nice, and they will have to have a heavy knife come through and chop it up to make it a little finer if you were to go for a pulled pork style of finish on that, I found that to be exactly true.

Now the whole thing shredded. I shredded everything of that picnic. What I was putting this together for was my bachelor, or excuse me, my brother-in-law's bachelor party. I. He wanted to have an event at a disc golf course, and there [00:21:00] was no real near kitchen, there was a parking lot. And knowing that I like to do a lot of stuff with outdoor cooking events or, just basically making up really good food, he's is there a way that you could tailgate at my bachelor party?

And I said, you betcha man. We will figure this out. Ended up smoking and preparing this meat ahead of time, about a week, and I tried to go real simple, at least on the carnitas side with the pork picnics. I showed a couple of those on my Instagram as I was cooking those along, but, I didn't do, I did one where I actually seasoned overnight and I did one where I just seasoned a couple hours before I went in or before I went into the smoker.

One of them, I did a very basic seasoning. I've got a good friend of mine who when he does carnitas, he ends up adding a citrus. He adds [00:22:00] cinnamon and he adds bay leaf and he adds salt. Those are the four elements of his carnitas when he puts and his is a slow cooker recipe, so when he puts the pork butt in there, He's got cinnamon stick, he's got sliced up orange that goes in there.

He's got bay leaf and he's already so salted the whole thing. Lets that go and it comes out absolutely incredible. So I did that on the first one where I really emphasized on the citrus end of it, I was mopping and spritzing with a vinegar mop sauce that I put together. Where every 15 minutes or every 30 minutes, I was just, going when I had a chance, I would go as I'm adding on the smoke at this point and I would just spritz that down.

Number one to help that smoke penetrate as deep as it would go into the meat. And second just want to continue to add that seasoning to add the flavor of the citrus. Add a little bit of the vinegar in there to really [00:23:00] have that smoke penetrate. First one turned out incredible, and as I shredded it out, some of those on the picnic side, the lower part of the shoulder were really long.

They were really long muscle fibers. And so actually taking the long stuff and moving it off to the side just so I could keep a good shred going the smaller pieces I just kept ready to go in. Its Off to the side there on the tray. And then I came back through and just gave everything a quick chop like two or three chops just to shorten up those muscle fibers on the long stuff and mix that all in.

And from that, I was still offered a great product. I wanted something that could go onto a sandwich. Or as into a taco and not completely run out the ends. I'm not looking for meat spaghetti. And that was what these ribbons were starting to look like. And they fall apart. Great. But they were just super long.

Shoot, I had 10, 12 inch long striations that [00:24:00] muscle does a lot of stretching, does a lot of work inside that hog. And so it's got these long striation striated muscles chopping that up. Helped out when it came to getting those into the tacos. The second one did the, very much the same process.

But this one I actually added from Kairos company that I've got a chance to go back and forth with Dave. I used his western wing. I think that just worked out. Awesome on this pork. As much as I know it's supposed to go on birds and foul. Man. This just works really well with any white meat.

I would love to see it on some Turkey here, but I definitely got a chance to use it on some pork. Awesome stuff. So that's where I put it in the fridge. Hit it with that. Jazzed it up vo style with, again, the cinnamon and the citrus. So I wanted to make sure that I still add the elements of the first recipe, but just mixed in with an added bit of rub.

One of the things that cowboy, Kev mentioned [00:25:00] earlier too, is that I need to then go back and season up the other 80% of that meat. I've done a great job on the outside getting this crust made, but as I shred, there's a lot of that meat that was. Primarily untouched by any of the, any of that seasoning.

So what I did is I sexually saved all the drippings that came off of the off the hog. In the water tray. At that point, I then boiled off. I reduced that liquid and then poured it back into the meat so it had something to swim in overnight. I know that our barbecue guys, they make stuff and they gotta get it out as soon as possible.

They want stuff ready to go. And there's not this idea of having it overnight. I fully used the time and intention that I had, and I let that go overnight. So when I pulled that out of the fridge the next day, I had just a little bit of water. It was just a little bit of that juice on the bottom, but most of it was now [00:26:00] solidified because the gelatin and because of the fat that was on that wild hog.

It just connected all that meat. I cut it into squares, almost like brownies, scooped them up, put 'em into a vac bag, and then sealed that up, threw it in the freezer just so it would be nice and ready to go for the event that was happening this past weekend. But as I was also doing that, I had a couple butt fellas from the party who don't appreciate pork.

They're not big pork eaters. And I was like, oh man. Two days before, and I'm just remembering that they are not high on the hog. I gotta think of something else. So pulled out a couple of the shanks from the freezer of venison and pulled out one of our absolute favorites, venison barbacoa. Hank Shaw has a bang out recipe.

I would say that's probably his flagship recipe. I use it all the time. I love to put away barbacoa and just have it ready to go. Wish I had some ready to go for this [00:27:00] weekend. Totally didn't. So yeah, here I was last minute. Looked for an Insta pot. I melted ours on the stove. Totally ruined that one. It was a bad sort of events.

I took the Insta Pot that I had just got done using, and I slid it furthest back on the stove as I could. And as I did that, it knocked one of the knobs turning it onto low, and I never. Never saw that happen. Not until I came back around a few minutes later to smell burning plastic and wondering what the heck is going on?

What is burning? What is on fire right now? And then I looked and I saw that the bottom side of my Insta pot was bubbling. I pulled up the Insta Pot and I could just see that the whole bottom section was just melted onto my electric stove, my glass top. Oh no, it was awful. Shut it off. Luckily, it was actually wintertime, so I just took the whole unit outside and stuck [00:28:00] it in the snowbank out in the front of the house.

You could just hear it sizzling bubble right there. But now I had melted plastic on my cook stove. I got my Insta Pot rendered useless, man. That was a rough day. But since then I've gotten along without needing the Instapot until this day and I called a few friends, Hey, don't you guys have an instapot?

And several of them either couldn't find it or had already given it away. And so it was like, shoot. I'm without pressure cooker. We're gonna have to do this old style. We're gonna do this old school. Best way that I do like it though, is out of the Dutch oven. Yep. Pulled up my big boy pants and we did an all day cook on that.

Into the Dutch oven goes, all the ingredients goes. Chipotle's I think there's some bay leaf in there. Whole smorgasbord of paprika, chilies goes in and you just let that go for. Shoot eight hours. Actually this one, because I used a few [00:29:00] smaller shanks on this one, it did take six, which was fine with me, shredded that all up.

Had the the rest of the liquid on there. And I had re and I had remembered that at one point I wanted to try bera style tacos. I'm probably totally saying it wrong, biella. Anyway. B I. R a. So for someone with Mexican descendants let me know how I'm saying if I'm saying that correctly. Anyway, wanted to go for that style, and essentially what you're doing is then you're taking the cooking liquid and you're making that a consummate or like this stew.

And from there you, you remove the meat. And I'm just left with this liquid here. And the idea is I have this on top of it, I have fat. I actually took a bunch of my bacon grease that I used to season my pans with and that, it's just always nice to have a little bacon grease on, on standby. But anyway, [00:30:00] couple huge spoonfuls of that went into that liquid to finish out, rendered that on top.

And I had myself a dipping liquid for the tortillas. So the stage was set for, as I got out for the tailgate, we were gonna be enjoying two tacos. We were gonna be having pork, wild pork carnitas with a Chipotle drizzle sauce that I made for that. And that was just a simple rest of the chilies that, or the rest of the Chipotle that I didn't use for the venison.

I ended up blitzing in with mayonnaise, sour cream, a little bit of cilantro a little bit of I think garlic powder paprika and red chili flake as well. All that gets blitzed up and put into a. Squeeze bottle. That way you could just render that or just drizzle that onto your taco. So that was a great pairing right there.

Got it. Got that cinnamon, got [00:31:00] that Mexican feeling from the taco. And then just to add that little bit of fire from the Chipotle drizzle worked out. Awesome. Went with simple toppings. All I did was onion, cilantro, and lime. Didn't go anything fancy. Do I wish I had pickled relish? Absolutely. But again, here we were just a few days before.

We're also tailgating. I gotta keep it within reality standpoint here. I can't go way overboard, even though I'm already going overboard. But then we went with a beer style venison taco. So I had that consummate heating up and I had my two meats heating up on one stove of the, on the side of the tailgate.

And on the other I had my Blackstone. And what I love about the Blackstone is when you're making tacos, I can turn out Blackstone tacos. Shoot. In seconds, once I get that thing rolling, I am just taco boy throwing these things off onto the tray. I fed 12 grown men quite easily with what I had going on my little system [00:32:00] here.

I take my corn tortillas. I'm a corn guy. Yeah, there was a few flowers that went on there, but with the corn tortillas, those work the best. You throw those out and you start one side, get a little brown, flip them all over. Sprinkle on cheese onto every one. Follow it up all lot with the meat. Fold over.

Make sure you got a good sear on the outside. Really crisping up that tortilla. And then you pull those off, put 'em onto a tray, and you let them figure out what they wanna put on their taco. So it's it's one of those things like, I'll do the main and then push it off to you to then dress up and then everybody is happy.

What I did with the venison ones as I was starting, is I would take the corn tortilla before it had hit the heat, and I would dunk it completely into that stew, that consummate that I had made. And the first couple, as I would dick dip 'em down, pull 'em out, and it would have the fat just holding onto that whole taco, slap [00:33:00] that, and there would just be this sear on the Blackstone.

Oh, it was an amazing sound. The smell that ripped off this as well. It just filled the whole place here. We had just got done playing 18 holes of disc golf and had plenty of beer, so these guys were hungry, and it was just adding to that hole hunger stage. At this point, they were now ready for these tacos to be done.

As I added the cheese, I added the meat, folding them up, the fat that was holding on to that tortilla. Really crispen up that edge and you got a just boost of flavor. All those spices that I added into the venison that happened to not be in the meat was now floating in this consummate, and all I was just doing was just intensifying the flavor, adding more of that goodness into every single bite.

And so pretty soon the guys were like, yo-yo, just do all the tacos. Like this. So I eventually [00:34:00] ran out of that fat layer, even though I added a bunch of bacon grease to go in there. The fat layer was used up, and so then after that, subsequent tacos were then a little less loaded with all the goodness. It worked out fine.

Everybody got a chance to have a really rich beer taco, whether it be pork or whether it be venison. But if you're gonna do this, keeping that on the side, I would also bring along a little extra fat to when you use up the fat layer that is on top, that is actually floating above that. Consummate that's polluting above that stew and that juices.

Find some way to add a little bit more fat to get that fat layer in there, whether it's bacon crease, whether it's having a little bit of Crisco or lard next to you. Just know that you might, probably every six or so tacos you make in, add a couple more dollops. Keep it heating through so it's, it'll melt out that fat [00:35:00] and then you'll be able to have the last tacos be as good as the first tacos.

So that's gonna be my hot tip, is be ready to reload your consummate if you're gonna go with bera tacos. But all in all, what a great way to kick off summer with including the smoker, getting things rolled through. Absolutely. Great start to this season. Dry age steaks used to be a steakhouse only indulgence.

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Last thing that I wanna talk about on this episode is again, one more current event that. I don't know. I've gone through now a couple times and what I know about when events happen you do get, if it happens once it's an accident, even if it happens twice. Now we're looking at a pattern and I'm now finding myself in the pattern zone of having my freezer get iced up.

Yes. After a weekend away came home, wife said, Hey, having trouble getting into the freezer. I need some ground. I go to pull on the door and the door does not budge. I look on the side just to see what is going [00:37:00] on here? Why isn't it coming apart? And I see that the door is a jar by like maybe a half inch.

I'd say that's a little much. Three eighths of an inch. Just enough to let all of the now warm, summer, humid air. To work its way into the freezer and begin building ice at an extraordinary rate of production to seal up my wild game in a chest of ice. Dang it. And it happens to everyone. Nick, I pay so much attention to my freezer that it has never yet happened to me.

Then you haven't been living out of the freezer for long enough because it is not a question of if it will happen. It is a question of when it will happen. [00:38:00] So yes, had to do a full manual defrost of my upright freezer. Couple things going on with the initial setup that kind of put me at a disadvantage.

So moved the tre chest freezer to this location and in fact the floor is not, I mean it is semi level, but the way. That the concrete in my garage is laying out. It's actually on an upper walkway that runs along the front of our garage. That section is actually slightly tilted forward to allow for water runoff to allow water to then flow onto the main floor, to then slopes down towards the train.

Get it works out really well, but, When you put things on the door and the door becomes heavier, that's when you start to get the door to swing away when you don't necessarily want it to. So number one, I didn't put it on a flat [00:39:00] surface, nor did I level it out. Number two, all of my. Already either pre-cooked goodies or small cuts or meat treats that I've made.

Those I found like, Hey, I can put these on the door and they're a little bit easier to access. Dehydrated a bunch of mushrooms. And I actually had some that I sauteed and those fit really well into one of the door, onto one of the door shelves. So I loaded that up with a lot of like quick eats with a lot of, Hey, I can make something out of this really quick, or just quick access.

I don't have to dig through a small little tub that I have in there cuz I don't just throw everything in. I have everything in tubs, which actually has been a benefit. But anyway, I had a heavy door. I had it leaning towards the door. I did learn from the first time that I had this one ice up on me that I did purchase some extra [00:40:00] keys so that I could use the lock feature.

Now the lock is essentially a little plastic flange that flips up into a slot in the doorframe. It does help keep that door closed, but it does allow the door to come open just a little bit. So the lock, not necessarily reliable, not flat ground, and a heavy door. That is what I'm thinking. CU Cumulated into this event of my door creeping open just a little bit.

And allowing this to then ice up. The good news is while I did lose the contents of the door, all the ice built up was further back into the freezer, basically sealing off the front from having any of that warm get to it. And [00:41:00] I had 90% retention of my wild game. All of that was still solid on the backside of the ice dam, the ice wall that was created.

But on the front side, I did lose the stuff on my door. So ultimately I'm thinking this is still a, it's still, I don't wanna call it a win, but we can rebuild. This is something we can fix. This is something we can come back from. One of the things is, I have a plan though. One of my saving graces is that not only that I have that ice wall seal, everything up in there, but I do have a plan.

If my one freezer of the several freezers that I do have, I have the ability to transport frozen items from one freezer to another. So having multiple freezers, even if it's one freezer, The current one that I have down that is actually housing my pork that I'm trying to [00:42:00] use, I'm. I keep a little bit of that open.

My smaller chest freezer that is housing most of my venison right now, I, on the bottom I have jugs of ice, number one to keep in the case of that freezer ever going down, I've got a couple days where it can sit idle without opening the lid. I've got a lot of jugs of water, like gallon jugs of water filled three quarters of the way up, and that's actually what I use throughout the summer for using in my coolers to keep either beer cold or stuff for camping.

That's what I use. I find that to be easier than getting a bag of ice. But anyway, I've got those on queue so that if I need to, I pull those out and then I can put in the tubs from the upright, so then that way I can salvage those. Seeing that I had the eight foot freezer on queue, I had plenty of room to move the remaining Barts, remaining bins of meat into those.

So I was able to shuffle things around at a given [00:43:00] moment. So that was nice to have from not completely filling a freezer. But having two freezers on queue has been a saving grace here at this moment, is that I did have a plan that I could then transport things to another freezer. So now I'm in the process of defrosting it.

It's actually a good idea that if you haven't defrosted your freezer in a while, it might be a worthy effort to go ahead and do that. Maybe to have a couple coolers and pull all of your items out and stick them in the coolers so that you can then quickly defrost your freezer. Then put those items back in, it's going to be worth it.

Especially some of those older chest freezers. You might have a couple years of ice buildup on the side, and you've got at a relatively, you're like, you're dealing with it. This might be a good time that we take care of that because the more ice that does built up, that's gonna find its way to the lid.

That's where that warm air is coming [00:44:00] in. That's where the moist air is coming in, and all it's gonna do is build ice and lift the lid ever so much. And then that is like breaking the water tension on your canoe. The whole lake is coming in and it's gonna be a big problem. So finding a way to maybe this summer defrost your freezer so that you are then gonna be able to save your meat from any sorts of thaw or have to use all of your meat now because it is thawed out completely.

So now it comes to the idea of rebuilding, of putting things back in there. What I've done on one of my chest freezers is I had a quick latch that I just had it in the shop. It was a latch for a lid. I actually went ahead and just drove some screws into the lid and into the body of the freezer and put that latch on there.

So now I can latch the lid down. So that I'm not going to have any of that buildup. It was also when I [00:45:00] first got this fridge, I could tell that the lid was already a little bit warped. I could tell that something heavy had either was set on this or dropped on the lid. And so it bowed out and I was trying my best to flex it down.

But I found that if I just put a little bit of pressure down on the seal side, it seals all the way around. So that's all I did is just used that. A little bit of downward pressure from the latch, and now I get a nice seal on that chest freezer. I'm thinking that instead of using the internal lock on this upright freezer, I add a latch very similar to this, to where now it's a manual latch that I'm not gonna be able to.

To goof up, or at least I know that once I push that in, just enough pressure to flex out the seal, put that latch on, that's gonna hold that from ever coming to swing open, accidentally by bumping it or whate whatever may happen, it get bumped [00:46:00] forward or tipped forward. It's not going to be able to mess that up.

The second thing that several close friends was even saying is that maybe it's time for an alarm. And so finding a freezer alarm that somehow connects to my smartphone is also a great way to be able to do that. And I think that's probably gonna be the next thing as I will be searching on the market for.

Something a that I do want to be cheap. I do realize that it's gonna have one function. I don't wanna put all my eggs into one basket, but at the same time, I want something that's going to work. And there are some now that connect to your wifi network that you can check on that. Temperature wherever you're at.

And that, I think that is a good peace of mind. Even just have one that's audible, that even though we were gone for a weekend when we came back, and again, we didn't have a couple, we didn't have a couple days before we even knew that this was an issue to, to come home to an alarm already going off [00:47:00] signaling that there is an issue, I think maybe could've helped out a little bit better.

I would at least been able to get on top of it quicker. But that's neither here nor there. We dealt with the consequences and now we've got a solution going forward, we're gonna get everything wiped out. We'll do a quick sanitize of the inside because, hey, shoot, I got it all clear of ice now. Try to knock off as much of the built off ice on top of my bins that I already have.

Slide those bins back into their per perspective spots, and we will be good to go once again. Yeah, just bar grills always says adapt and work from that point on. So see what the issue is. Have a plan, but then be able to find a way to bounce back. That's the story of my freezer. It didn't lose the freezer, it didn't break it just me and myself and I not being fully aware that door had creeped open.

So check your doors. Think about some alarms. Think about having a plan on what to do with [00:48:00] all of your frozen goodies. So yeah, folks, that is our episode for this week. I hope you enjoyed our little food for thought. Then talk about food and then talk about the effort in preservation. Maybe we should finish the race when it comes to things in our life.

And if we are fully going to kill and bring home that, that hard fought game, let's go that extra mile and let's make sure that we roast it. Or in the case of even my freezer here, make sure that we fully freeze it and don't let it thaw out at any point. But whatever you're gonna be doing this summer, if it's gonna be low and slow, or if it's gonna be hot and fast on the grill, however you plan on preparing and roasting that game, make sure that the knife you are using is very sharp.[00:49:00]