What is a Chest Freezer
If a freezer of your fridge is too small for you and you can't store all frozen foodstuff you need, getting a freezer is certainly a way out. There are 2 major types of freezers: chest freezers and upright freezers. They are different in types of doors and this review is about chest freezers. Many people think that these appliances are for commercial use only, i.e. for cafes, restaurants, etc. But this opinion isn't correct. Chest freezers are used by common people who need to store up a lot of produce. Needless to say, it's reasonable to buy food in bulk and chest freezers can help you preserve it. Moreover, fresh fruit and vegetables are rather expensive in winter but you can enjoy frozen food full of vitamins all year round if it's stored in a freezer. Some small chest freezers can even be installed in cars, so you can transport frozen food to the place you need. And a chest freezer is certainly a must-have if you grow fruit and veggies yourself - you will be able to store away all your harvest!
What Features to Compare
Chest freezers seem to be quite simple appliances, yet making the right choice is still rather difficult. However, we have compared the 5 best chest freezers on our shortlist by their most important features any customer should know about.
Volume and Size
The first thing to consider is the volume (i.e. capacity) of a chest freezer. The right choice depends on what you need this appliance for. If you need one for home use (for storing food for your family), the required volume depends on the number of family members. It's self-evident, the more spacious the chest freezer is, the more food it can store. Thus, you can buy fruit, vegetables, and meat in bulk at a real bargain and then keep them all in a freezer. There's one thing you should always remember: a chest freezer requires space, so you should decide where to place it beforehand. In general, chest freezers with the volume from 1.2 to 3.8 cubic feet are excellent additions to home fridges. Larger chest freezers, from 5 to 7 cubic feet, are ideal for storing lots of food. Restaurants, of course, should purchase larger models.
Temperature and Energy Efficiency
Freezers are different in terms of temperature they can maintain. If you need to store frozen food for a short length of time, a chest freezer capable of maintaining the temperature of 15-20°F will be sufficient since some food stuff shouldn't be frozen too long. And if you need to store away food for months, a chest freezer must keep lower temperatures - as low as -11°F. Since any freezer runs on electric power, you should pay attention to its energy efficiency. An energy star chest freezer will help you save up on electricity bills. However, don't forget that larger freezers consume more energy than smaller ones.
A chest freezer is supposed to be convenient to use. Therefore, pay attention to some small features that at first seem unimportant, but can make a chest freezer really useful. For example, the best appliances have a fast freezing function that allows quick freezing of vegetables and fruit while they are still fresh. Moreover, the fast freezing preserves far more vitamins and nutrients than a usual freezing. And if you think canning is also a nice way to preserve food, you are not quite right. Canning is OK but most vitamins perish during this process, so freezing is a much better option. Next, chest freezers look like deep metal boxes and retrieving food from the bottom might be uncomfortable. That's why the most frequently used food should be stored in metal baskets. Find out how many wire baskets come with each chest freezer. The temperature control also differs. For example, some chest freezers have handy digital controls - you just make several clicks to set the temperature and it is maintained. The best chest freezers can be used not only as freezers but as fridges as well. However, the majority of chest freezers have adjustable mechanical thermostats - they are less convenient than digital ones but quite durable and simple in use. Another major point is defrosting - any freezer should be defrosted from time to time and most of these appliances require manual defrosting. They have a small hole for letting water out. If you don't want to bother with defrosting, get a frost-free chest freezer, though this one will cost more. Finally, some compact chest freezers can be powered from a car outlet and come with a special cable.