Deep Freezers

Monday, 3 November 2008 | Tags: ,

If you like to buy up bargains at the grocery store, a deep freezer is a handy appliance for storing some of your perishable stockpile. We take a look at some freezers to learn about the differences in features, price, and design.

The Basics

  • There are two basic deep freezer designs to choose from:

    • Chest freezers are similar to a toy box (but much larger), with a top-opening door on hinges. This design takes up more floor space, but they are more efficient than upright since cold air stays within the chest when the lid is opened. Most have to be manually defrosted. Inside is typically one large compartment with 1-2 hanging baskets. Size can range from 4-25 cubic feet and cost $120-600 or more.

    • Upright freezers look like a fridge, with shelves, pull out baskets and door storage. They can be manually or automatically defrosted. They take up less floor space, but are also less efficient and lose a lot of cold air when the door is opened.

  • Some deep freezers come with a spoilage warranty, which means if any food stored in your freezer spoils, the manufacturer reimburses you for the cost of the food.


Other Considerations

  • Once in a deep freeze, your food will last quite a while, but not forever. Over time it loses nutritional qualities and flavour:

    • Uncooked meats like roasts, steaks and chops are good for about one year.

    • Chicken parts are only good for about 9 months; but a whole chicken can last up to a year.

    • Bacon or sausages should be eaten within a month or two.


We compared an upright and a chest model by purchasing two sets of food and storing one set in each of these freezers:

  • Chest Freezer 12.8 cubic feet (manual defrost): $450
  • Upright Freezer 13.7 cubic feet (automatic defrost): $650

Our tests and results include:

Storage Test

  • Both freezers held all the food

  • The upright required a little more strategic packing, whereas the we just dropped everything into the chest model and there was still room to spare.

  • The benefit of the upright was that it was easier to find and organize the food.

Temperature Test

We tested each freezer’s ability to maintain a uniform temperature. A deep freezer should stay around -18°C (0°F).

  • Both freezers passed this test with negligible differences.


We preferred the chest model: it’s more energy efficient, it fit more food, and we didn’t mind having to do a little digging for the ice cream.



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