What is a Chest Freezer?
A chest freezer is a storage solution for goods you may not reach for on the daily – like bargain-buy meats, tubs of ice cream, bags of frozen fruit or veg, or freshly caught fish; keeping them in an optimal environment for longevity. They range in usable capacity volume from around 140-litres in Westinghouse freezers to around 500 litres in Hisense freezers and up to 700 litres in the latest models from Haier.
Chest freezers help snap-freeze fresh foods or homemade meals to lock in nutrients and flavour for the long-haul (just don’t get caught in the trap of storing them longer than recommended). Some, like Haier chest freezers have a Super Freeze setting so that fresh seafood for instance are frozen to their core very quickly.
Manual defrosting is required to remove ice build-up on the interior walls, so chest freezers come with a drainage outlet to drain the water through – this is important to stay on top of to ensure the optimal running and efficiency of your chest freezer.
Are Chest freezers the same as deep freezers?
Chest freezers are nice and deep for stacking plenty of frozen goods, hence the common, interchangeable reference between “deep freezer” and “chest freezer” – they are the exact same thing.
In a chest freezer, you’re essentially deep freezing fresh produce or freshly cooked foods to consume later. An adjustable temperature dial on the outside gives you exact control over how cold the inside can get. Depending on the model, this can be a temperature range of between 1 to 5 (the higher the number the colder the temperature), or “Max” or “Min” settings in others.
To avoid freezer burn, foods drying out, or odour transfer, make sure everything is well sealed and packaged before storing it so that your cooked lasagne or uncooked rib eye always tastes as it should. For organisation, many models come with freezer baskets (the number can vary between one to three) to group smaller items, some of which are sliding so you can move them across to get to items below.
Which is better – Chest or Upright freezers?
Chest freezers can be great for deep freezing large volumes of fresh and frozen-bought foods for the long term, while Upright or Vertical freezers are great for supplementing your existing fridge freezer by stashing the extra frozen foods you can’t otherwise fit.
Where you need to open a lid and bend down to grab items in a Chest freezer, in an Upright, you have quick accessibility via a single door to freezer-friendly meals, fresh chicken and more. Adjustable shelves with full width freezer drawers in some Westinghouse Upright freezers (some even with a twist ice dispenser) or top-to-bottom baskets like in ChiQ freezers allow for freezer organisation.
Upright freezers run on a frost-free system so manual defrosting isn’t required and their temperature can be controlled electronically rather than via a manual dial. Differences aside, consider what you’ll be storing, how often you’ll be reaching for it, and how much physical space you have when deciding between the two.
Are Chest freezers energy efficient?
Many Chest freezers can be efficient despite their large volume like Haier’s 4 Star Energy Rating model with a huge 705 litre usable capacity and white anodized inner lining for better thermal efficiency to reduce energy consumption.
Allowing cooked meals to fully cool before freezing, limiting the time the freezer lid is open, allowing for adequate ventilation so your freezer isn’t working harder than it should and limiting the time period with which an accelerated freezing function is used will all help with keeping energy consumption to a minimum.
Remember to compare chest freezers of the same usable capacity to get a like-for-like understanding on the energy efficiency of the one you’re keen on, and then gauge what the average annual running cost will be by referring to the Australian Government’s Energy Rating site, which for an estimate says to multiply the kilowatt hours (kWh) noted on the energy label by the cost of electricity in your area.