Dateline: 6 September 2015
Back in 2005 I self-published a plan book telling how to make a very excellent chicken scalder out of a propane water heater. Earlier today I uploaded a 24-minute movie to YouTube titled, Whizbang Chicken Scalder Tour (click the link to take the tour).
If you process your own poultry and you have an interest in having a scalder that is efficient, dependable, easy to clean, and—most importantly—automatically maintains a steady water temperature within a 4-degree range, you will appreciate this video.
While millions of people around the world are familiar with my Whizbang Chicken Plucker, and many thousands of Whizbang Pluckers have been built, my Whizbang scalder is less well known and far fewer have been made.
But I've only heard good reports from those who have followed my instructions. For example, the following comment was posted to a discussion at BackyardChickens.com:
"I used the [Whizbang] scalder for the first time this weekend on my remaining 37 birds. It worked perfectly. After reaching my target temp of 143 degrees, it held a range of only a few degrees for about five hours, without us doing a single thing to it, other than adding more water now and then. Perfect scalds every time. Then, on Sunday, I cranked it up to 180 when I packed my birds in shrink bags. Again, perfect. Worth every penny."
In a later comment, the same person wrote:
"The insulation provided by a water heater is AMAZING. In the 5 hours we scalded, the thing only kicked on a couple of times, so it used very little propane."
In message #2642 at the Yahoo discussion group, WhizbangChickenPluckers, Harley Soltes, of Bow Hill Blueberries, in Washington State wrote:
"By the way, the scalder is the GREATEST! Whereas the [Whizbang] Plucker is better than the [name deleted] (faster spin, better pluck, easier to maintain, etc.) the Scalder is FAR SUPERIOR to the alternatives. It saves a lot of propane, something not really mentioned. And its very accurate."
As an aside, it's worth noting that Harley was inspired by the Whizbang scalder to created a health-department-approved mobile hot water hand washing station for his blueberry operation.
My 68-page plan book is available from Amazon.com. Or, if you want to save a whopping $13 off the print copy, you can get a PDF download for only $10.95 at This Link.