January 12, 2022

My DIY No Energy Cold Drawer

Imagine having a drawer in the kitchen with absolutely nothing in it. Who has that? 

I did, and I decided to do an experiment with what is a rare commodity in any kitchen, or home - empty space.

Taking an off-grid mindset, I have been experimenting with no energy refrigeration. Storing our garden AND store bought vegetables in our unheated attached garage is one example. 

We keep all our onions, garlic, potatoes, apples, beets and carrots in our garage throughout the fall and winter, and this has been very successful. 

More recently, I turned my attention to the empty kitchen drawer which is in an enclosed and therefore relatively unheated space under our countertop.

I wondered if it would be cool enough to store things that would normally be on our countertop at room temperature, in our garage, pantry, or in the fridge. 

It turns out to be more of a "cool" drawer than a cold drawer, but it still works. 

With the house at about room temperature (20-ish degrees Celsius is where we like it), my cool drawer temperature was only 14 degrees. 

The colder it is outside, the colder the cool drawer is, so like our garage, it will probably only be a two or three season solution. 

So far we have use our cool drawer for short term storage for small servings of apples, garlic, onions, potatoes, and recently a winter squash (that we will use for a lentil curry dish today). 

The under counter cool drawer is more convenient than going into the pantry or garage, and uses less energy than the fridge. It is also better for things we usually keep on our countertop like bananas and tomatoes.

After my experiment I went online to see if there was anything like this done by someone else. I found nothing like it, except for devices I have never seen before.

There are actual, official appliances called cold drawers, or fridge drawers. Who knew? Apparently only architects and rich people with fancy kitchens.

"Real" cold drawers are mini refrigerators that are installed under countertops, and can cost anywhere from 1 - 6 thousand dollars. 

Even though they are nicer looking, larger, colder, and can be used year round, all of them require energy to work.

Mine was free, requires no energy, and I invented it all on my own.

Best of all, it works.

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