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copyright image by twenty20.com
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Why a cold storage room:
it depends on how cold you want it to get. Some cold storage rooms can act like walk-in freezers – the kind you will likely find in commercial enterprises. Other cold storage rooms are slightly chilled or insulated enough in a basement where the temperature remains cool throughout the year for storing food and wines.
- These “cooler” storage room – sometimes referred to as root cellars – is the focus of this post. It’s a room outfitted in the basement or other location within your home where the room can remain cool (between 40-50 degrees) for the purpose of storage food items that survive best under cooler conditions.
- Cold storage rooms were very common in earlier days before refrigeration. Today, it is used for bulk food and garden harvest storage.
- INFO: 6 reasons to add a cold storage room
INFO: root cellars and me (tips for cold storage)
How to build cold storage room:
the basement is the perfect spot for a cold storage room. The basement naturally remains cool throughout the year. The only issue you may have is the winter furnace – especially if it’s an older furnace. These older furnaces can heat up the basement during the winter – something you might need to remedy if it impacts the cold room.
- If you don’t have a basement, you can outfit a room on the main near the kitchen. Another option is a section of the garage or adding an addition to the home or a separate building structure outside.
- The room must be well insulated on all sides and ceiling. The room entrance door should be well insulated and sealed upon closing. The floor should be concrete or vinyl for fast clean-up and maintenance.
- After is has been well insulated, consider adding shelves stacked storage. Another item to consider is a temperature monitoring system so that you can make sure the room stays between 40-50 degrees. You might also consider adding a room cooler/heating unit that can trigger on if the temperature rises above 50-60 degrees or get below 35 degrees. It’s unlikely your cold room will freeze in an well insulated, enclosed room. Just note that a freeze can ruin everything you have stored in your room.
- INFO: cold storage room in house basement
INFO: root cellars 101 – root cellar design, use and mistakes to avoid
INFO: insulating the root cellar to keep the cold in and the heat out!
- FIND: home insulation rolls
FIND: storage shelving racks
What goes into cold storage room:
once you have your cold storage room operating, it’s time to stock it up with food items. Shop retail warehouses and online specials for bulk purchases and other shelf items that your family uses regularly. This may include pasta – beans – tomato sauce – packaged cereals – and other. Items that have a long shelf life given the cold storage environment.
- The cold room is also perfect for storing potatoes, onions, carrots and other harvested goods. If you happen to have a vegetable garden, the harvested items can go into cold room until you are ready for canning or freezing – usually up to one week or more depending on the food items. Potatoes and onions can last for months. You can also use the cold storage room for aging wine and cheese.
- Since the temperature varies on what is being store, find the median temperature as needed for these stored items:
- — wine storage – between 50-55 degrees
- — potatoes and onions – less than 50 degrees
- — canned and packaged goods – between 50-60 degrees
- — aging cheese – 50 degrees
- INFO: cold room storage: a walk-thru
INFO: 7 tips on how to make the most of your cold storage room
INFO: the problem with cold storage rooms (internal page – same win)
- FIND: room temperature controller
FIND: room cooler
- FIND: wine storage racks
FIND: cheese aging refrigerator
- FIND: potato n’ onion storage
FIND: harvest basket
How to manage home food storage:
The purpose of a cold storage room is for storing food. Why? Given the food runs during COVID-19 – and other natural disasters and events where there are runs on groceries, you can feel safe that you have enough food to serve your family during a crises.
- Another reason is for economic reasons. Buying in bulk – harvesting food from your garden – and making your own wine and cheese can cut down on your family food budget. And in the unlikely event of a layoff or business turn-down, you will have enough food to get your through tough economic times.
- Just note that almost all food has a shelf life. So setup your food storage area where you can rotate food and replace items that have been consumed. That way you will have a fully stocked cold storage room for household needs.
- INFO: how to start a long-term home food storage & prepare for emergencies
INFO: storing food for safety and quality
INFO: what’s in the basement: a personal basement food store (same win)
- FIND: food rotation system
FIND: home canning equipment
- FIND: home canning labels
FIND: home canning jars
so what is the difference between a cold room and a regular kitchen pantry storage? For store-bought can and dry goods, you can store them easily in your kitchen pantry that will last for months – as long as you rotate them. But for potatoes, onions, wine, and other rooted plants – and for store-bought goods, a cold storage room is best option longer preservation.
- The cold storage room can be set-up to store all types of food items that will keep food costs down. All it takes is bit of planning and building. It is certainly worth the investment.
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Cover image credit: cold storage room by twenty20.com
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