We had many more birds to process and scalding the birds in the house was not going to cut it for the volume of birds we had remaining. We thought about a turkey fryer but Josh was pretty sure that we could make a better setup and so he ordered the parts and we built our own scalder.
The key parts are an PID temperature controller, a thermocouple, a solid state relay, and a bucket heater. The thermocouple measures the temperature of the water, tells the PID, and if the temp is below where we want it, the PID switches the relay (which is connected to the outlet you see) on. The bucket heater is connected to that outlet, so when that happens the water heats up.
He was delighted that it all worked on the very first test run:
We tested it with four more birds this weekend. Here was our setup.
and here is the scalder in action:
The next four birds we processed:
We planned on processing more that day but we burned out the old drill we were using for plucking.