I came across an old photo of my grandfather, Ole, the other day and it brought back to mind his wonderful smoked salmon. Grandpa was an avid fisherman - salmon, sturgeon, crappie, perch, trout - he caught it all, but my all time favorite was his smoked salmon.
Gram would brine the fish then he would would put it in the smoker. His smoker was a REALLY old refrigerator (all metal) that he had taken all the parts out of and used the compressor area for his fire and he had holes drilled through the bottom for to smoke to come through to the fish above on the racks. He only used alder wood and to this day I cannot smell alder smoke and not think of that. His smoked salmon was our candy and I miss it and my grandparents so much.
But I have seen refrigerators repurposed for all kinds of different things - keg-orators, worm farms, root cellars, incubation boxes - I suppose the possiblilites are endless, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The coolant used needs to be disposed of properly - contact your local waste management company for information. You may need to have a professional do this.
Make it safe! And empty refrigerator/freezer is a great place to hide for a child but if they can't get out it could have tragic consequences. If you are not going to use it right away either take the door off or chain it shut. It will keep the kids out and safe. Even if you are using it, you can add a padlock or chain to keep people out (especially if you have goodies in it).
If you are going to use it as a smoker, new refrigerators that have plastic liners aren't going to work - they may melt or give off toxic fumes and taint your meat.
Do a little research and question asking before you use that old refrigerator for another purpose but have fun with what you come up with!
Have a great week!