How Jason Lyman Built a Professional Walk-In Meat Locker for ~$3000 [PHOTOS]

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you know how much we love sharing our customers’ stories. We’re always on the lookout for unique cooler builds that showcase our customers’ ingenuity.

Some of our recent favorites include the Sturtevants at Botany Bay Farm, who built their cooler on a pallet so they can put it onto a truck and installed a power inverter so the whole system runs off of the truck battery; Andrew Mefferd, who buried his cooler in the ground, while at the same time creating a winter skating pond; and of course Rob Esau, who transformed the crawl space under his house into a wine cellar.

So, when we saw what Jason Lyman was up to, we knew we were on to something special. I believe VP of Sales and Marketing John Bergher’s exact words were, “It’s the most meticulous build I’ve ever seen.”

Relying on his own two hands and his personal philosophy of always doing everything to the best of his ability, Lyman built a walk-in meat locker the likes of which you usually only see in professional butcher shops. And he did it for just about $3000, which includes $1500 for a custom-built door.

Lyman, a journeyman lineman from Mona, Utah, is an avid outdoorsman. “I love to hunt, love to fish, love the outdoors,” he says.

He always processes his own meat, start to finish. But he’d had problems in the past because he didn’t have a temperature-controlled processing area. “I used to process meat in the garage or the house, but it was too warm. The meat turns to jello, and then you’re trying to slice jello and it wants to walk all over the place. I needed a cool environment.”

He has a 40’x60’ shop on his property that contains a tack room for his horses and a workbench. In the back left corner, there’s a loft, and Lyman had always thought that underneath the loft would be the perfect spot for a walk-in cooler. He knew that to install a traditional walk-in cooler in that area would be a lot of work, “more work than I wanted to deal with,” he says. Plus, he liked the idea of saving $2K-3K by doing it himself.

So, he bought a CoolBot and a 15K BTU LG air conditioner and got to work. For the most part, Lyman followed the instructions on our website. You can see how the project came together in the photos below.

Jason Lyman cooler 1

One thing Lyman did differently was the insulation. “Don’t skimp on your insulation,” he says. “Air leaks are your worst enemy when it comes to a cooler.”

The mercury can top 90°F during hunting season in Utah, and he wanted to make sure he could achieve temperatures in the 30s. So, he used 4 ½” of polyisocyanurate (PIR or ISO), covered with ½” of oriented strand board (OSB), and then a layer of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). The total insulation is about 5 ½”.

Another area where Lyman went above and beyond most DIY builds is the door. He wanted a four-sided door, meaning one that seals on all four sides (as opposed to just three), with a sweep on the bottom. He contacted SRC Refrigeration, and they built him a custom cooler door like one that would be used for a commercial application.

He even installed a temperature gauge next to the door on the outside.

Inside, he put the CoolBot into an electrical box to keep the wires tidy.

Finally, since this is a meat locker, Lyman ordered stainless steel butcher hooks from Amazon and made his own trolley system.

And here’s the result that impressed our team so much:

In total, Lyman spent just about $3000 on this beauty:

  • $1500 for the door
  • $500 for the insulation
  • $450 for the air conditioner
  • $329 for the CoolBot
  • $200 for the FRP

He put in a lot of work, but clearly the result is worth it. And that’s just who he is. “It’s a pride thing,” Lyman says. “Anything I work on, I try to do it to the best of my ability. Some people call it OCD. I call it doing the best I can. This approach is essential in my line of work. If I don’t do the best I can, someone could get hurt or killed. So, my philosophy is to do it right the first time, because you might not get a second chance.”

Words to live by.

Do you have a CoolBot story you’d like to share? Submit a testimonial and tell us all about it. As a thank you, we’ll double your warranty.

25 responses to “How Jason Lyman Built a Professional Walk-In Meat Locker for ~$3000 [PHOTOS]

  1. Awesome Job Jason. I know this young man quite well and as you cans see , he cuts no corners on anything that he does. Always above and beyond in everything he does. You want it done right….follow his lead.

    1. Thanks Donnie!! I used the Kason ThermalFlex EASIMOUNT Strip Door 38″ x 84″x 6″ Curtain -40F to 140F.402LA-606-3884. This can be found on Amazon.com for around $120.

    1. Appreciate that Bob. I used UNISTRUT. You can pick that up in Galvanized, Stainless steel, etc. I order single axle trolleys for UNITSTRUT, and also ordered stainless steel butcher hooks, both off of Amazon.com too. Hope this helps!!

    1. Corey, glad you like it. Thank you. The PolyISO that I used has a foil vapor barrier on both sides. Then you just go over your joints with foil tape to seal the seams.

      I had SRC Refrigeration custom build the door for me. There were great to work with. I gave them my dimensions, told them I wanted a 4 sided gasketed door, and they did the rest. $1500 shipped to my door. Highly recommended. Quality and shipping of the door exceeded expectations!

      I cannot say enough how well the CoolBot operates and the pride the team at StoreItCold takes in their product. They are truly passionate about their product and customer service. Well done!!!

  2. What an amazing cooler man ! I have to laugh at my own now ! The only bragging rights as a fellow lineman I have is I used DA bolts through my ceiling with eye nuts cut out for gambrels to hang in ! Your cooler is awesome !

  3. Jason,
    Great build my situation is almost identical. I have 8x8x10 space in my 40×60 barn and have part of the materials ready to go. in looking at the pictures did you place a 1/2″ layer over the OSB then place the FRP over that its had to tell in the pictures. Thanks,

    1. 4 1/2” PolyISO between the studs and over the floor joists above, then 1” PolyISO over the previous layer of PolyISO (make sure to offset the new seams from any prior seam. Seal all seams at this point. Then I put 1/2” OSB over the PolyISO, again offsetting any seams. Then the final layer of FRP, again offsetting any seams. Hope this helps.

  4. That is a beautiful piece of work! I found a walk in freezer for 500.00 and installed an air conditioner and a coolbot for my cooler. Your hanging system gave me a great idea. Hood job!

  5. Jason, you set the standard! I am just beginning mine, you have thrown out the challenge. My wife asked if mine will be as nice, thanks for the support on that one. Thanks for sharing all the info!

  6. Looks fantastic, I would love to duplicate if possible, do yo have plans with instructions? Would love a set of plans to purchase if you have available. Again awesome cooler.

  7. I made one somewhat like the 0ne you did I hope your,s works longer than 6 months like mine did.I called coolbot many times and got nowhere. Very mad.

    1. Hello Steven,

      Very sorry to hear about the difficulties, let’s get you taken care of. We will reach out directly as well, best phone number to contact you?
      With much appreciation,

      John Bergher
      Vice President Sales & Marketing
      Store it Cold, LLC.

  8. Great job Jason. I built a similar 8x8x8 one in my shop but used eye screws in the ceiling joists to hang game gambrels on. How did you attach the unistrut channels? They look great and I am thinking of re-doing mine.

  9. I hope I can get an answer to this question, even if it’s almost a year later from when this was posted. When you purchased the door, how large did you tell the door company the opening was? And how large is the door from the inside (must be smaller than the opening). I understood that the door will be about 2 inches wider than the opening from the outside to get a proper overlap and seal.

    1. Hello LJP, looks like Jason responded to you directly and I am available as well. Excited to be part of the project and thank you for reaching out to Team CoolBot and Mr. Lyman. He did build one of our favorite coolers of all time!

      John Bergher
      Vice President of Sales
      Store it Cold, LLC
      john@storeitcold.com

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