My Whizbang Inspired Scalder (but for much cheaper)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaku, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used to use a turkey fryer to scald. But, the temperature was impossible to regulate, with the lack of insulation in the pot, the fact that it would drop as soon as you put one chicken in, no temperature controls, etc. So, I bought the "Anyone can make a Whizbang Chicken Scalder," but found that Kimball's scalder was still really expensive, and had extra features that I didn't need- come on, do you really need a motor that AUTOMATICALLY dunks the birds?? Don't get me wrong, Kimball is a GREAT author, and his plans are by far the best I've seen for anything I've built from plans- and that's saying a lot. But, his plans are easy to modify for your own needs, and here's what I did. You probably won't be able to build your own from my plan alone, you'll still need the book, but for a couple hundred bucks, you can have a really nice scalder, that will hold temperatures within one degree, is easy to move and easy to clean.

    I started out with a water heater, and cut it in half then removed the top. The beauty of a water heater is that it's fully insulated, it has a drain, and it already has all the holes you need for precise temperature controls. I then had a welder friend fix the chimney so it didn't come right up the middle- I couldn't find a short, fat water heater, so I had to do this to make room for dunking.

    I put concrete in the bottom- the bottom of a water heater is convex- so the drain really isn't on the bottom. You have to level it out with concrete, so when you drain it, all the chicken gunk gets cleaned out.

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    I made the frame out of 3/4" plywood and 2x4's, with a 1/2" steel rod for an axle and some big lawnmower tires. It won't be moveable when full, but without water, it should be no problem.

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    To be continued soon..........
     
  2. Cyberous

    Cyberous Chillin' With My Peeps

    Neat,.. keep us updated!

    Total noob, and facinated.

    Don
     
  3. mygor

    mygor Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Mount Perry , Ohio
    That looks great ! I can't wait to see more.
     
  4. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did a little bit more work on the scalder today.

    Here's a picture of the inside, with the new concrete leveling floor. It also shows the temperature sensing insert, in the hole where the brainbox used to be.
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    Here's a shot of the scalder, which has now been attached to the frame, using ratcheting cargo straps. Kimball said that one would work, but I found that it kept slipping, so I added the one at the bottom too.
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    Finally, here's a shot of the back, showing the new, heavy duty drain. The drains they put on water heaters are cheesy, so this one is a big improvement. This area is where all of the guts will eventually go also.
    [​IMG]

    More to come.......
     
  5. RuffTuffCreampuff

    RuffTuffCreampuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Gainesville, Texas
    Interesting project. I'm looking forward to seeing it completed and reports on the first runs. I wonder....could an electric water heater be used? I'm thinking the element could be encased in a wire cage to prevent burning the bird inadvertantly. My idea is to fit a smaller bucket inside of a larger bucket and filling the gap with a good insulating material thereby creating an insulating thermos-type container. The element would be mounted close to the bottom and protected by a wire floor. I'm thinking that the entire element/thermostat control could be mounted through a hole drilled through both bucket/containers.

    John
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  6. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I wondered about the electric water heater as well. As far as the bucket in bucket idea, I thought of that too, but an old water heater is essentially that- without any modifications, and can be picked up for free any number of places.
     
  7. RuffTuffCreampuff

    RuffTuffCreampuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Gainesville, Texas
    I like to tinker around. Both of my Grandfathers were the kind of guys who built/invented all sorts of stuff...I guess I inherited their tendencies. I'm going to take your suggestion of using the water heater rebuild. I intend to move the element/control mechanisim down towards the bottom. Do you think the element will generate enough heat to get the water to the correct scald temperature? Perhaps with the lower volume of water it will. By the way, I have one of your killing cones...great work. I was especially glad to see it had plenty of room to hold even the larger birds...I have some dark cornish that are scheduled to become freezer ornaments.

    John
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  8. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The way I look at it, the element did fine in heating the FULL tank of water, and you'll be cutting it in half- so it should work just fine. I'm not sure why Kimball used propane- he doesn't really explain it much. I wondered if electric would be easier as well, but I'm the furthest thing from an electrician, and he had a pretty good plan using propane, so I didn't try it. If you do it, keep us updated, as I'm really curious about it. You might want to pick up his book still- it really helps, even with the small stuff like cutting up the water heater and building the right frame.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the killing cone!
     
  9. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Today, I installed the power box and cord, the 24v transformer, the electronic temperature control, and the gas valve. Won't be long now!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Reta Fleming

    Reta Fleming New Egg

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    May 3, 2009
    Washington
    I recently saw on the net on video somewhere a man had like a 5 gal bucket and had what looked to be a thermostat with electric cord attached to it and just put it in the water to heat it up. Now I can't find it. Has anyone seen this or do you think somehow it would work. You could see the steam coming off the birds so I know the water was hot.
     

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