It’s like a treasure chest. A chest freezer that opens from the top and has room for lots of food. Do you need one? Not if you like to shop often and primarily eat fresh food. But if you shop in bulk (either to save money or to make sure you never find yourself saying, “there’s not a thing in the fridge for dinner/Lunch”), these chests can be a big convenience. With one of these freezers in your basement or garage, you can invest in a whole side of Non Vegetarians and Veggies and have it broken down into dinner-size portions or buy a bushel of Mangoes in the summer and freeze it for winter eating. The hunter or fisher in your household can bring home the catch of the day for long-term storage.
The best thing about chest freezers, as opposed to upright models which have a door that opens like a refrigerator and shelves inside (and also saw an increase in demand this spring!), is that they can hold a lot more food. They are pretty much big, wide-open spaces, except perhaps for a few removable hanging baskets or dividers. However, keep in mind that this means they can be hard to organize. That bag of frozen beans that you know is in there someplace can be buried at the bottom where it’s both hard to find and to reach. When you have a chest freezer, you need to mark foods well and develop an organizational system.
Pros and Cons of Chest Freezers
They’re relatively cheap: You can buy a small one for less than INR 13000.
They’ll make less of an impact on your electric bill compare to upright kind.
Foods are less likely to develop freezer burn in a freezer chest versus another kind.
They have wheels inbuilt legs so it’s very convenient to shift.
They don’t have automatic defrost cycles. While that helps them stay really cold it means, occasionally, you’ll have to defrost them, which is definitely not a fun task but easy to do.
How to Care for a Chest Freezer
Minimize Frost: Don’t leave the lid open for any longer than you have to — keeping it closed will prevent ice from building up on the walls and freezer burn from developing on your food. It’s a good idea to keep a list of what’s inside or even draw up a “map” so you can find things quickly, without rummaging around. Label food well for the same reason.
Store Food Correctly: Make sure food is packed tightly in several layers of plastic wrap, a freezer-safe storage container, or a freezer bag. And that the packaging is well-marked including the date it was put into the freezer.
Defrost When Necessary: When you see a thick layer of ice on the walls of the deep freezer, it’s time to defrost. You might want to let your stash of frozen food diminish before you tackle this task.
Start by unplugging the unit and removing all the food. It’s a good idea to have a cooler, insulated bags, or bins with ice to keep everything frozen while the freezer’s defrosting.
Remove the drain plugs and put a shallow tray under the drain to catch the water as the ice melts.
You can speed up the defrosting process by leaving the freezer lid open. As large pieces of ice loosen from the freezer walls, remove them before they melt. You can also place pans of hot water inside to speed up the process.
Whatever you do, don’t use a sharp object to puncture or chip away at the ice as you could wind up damaging the chest freezer walls.