Remember the old saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed?” A few years ago, many of you helped me to select a new washing machine. You also influenced my purchase of a quality dishwasher. Now I’m in the market for a stand-alone freezer! If you are the proud owner of such an appliance, please let me know the size (cubic feet) and make and model of your freezer, and whether or not you love it. I appreciate your feedback!
I should probably mention that I already own two refrigerators. Alas, the freezer compartments in these are woefully inadequate. There’s hardly enough room for my bottle of gin, let alone the homemade breads, pastries, and garden produce I aim to store.
Here are a few of the frost-free models I’ve been researching at Lowe’s:Frididaire 13.cu ft upright freezer. Anyone have a freezer of this size? Is it as small as it looks?
Whirlpool 17.7 cu ft upright. The bottom basket could handle two 25-pound bags of flour. Well, that’s what I’d put there!
Frigidaire 20.9 cu ft upright. The door compartments? Perfect for 50 boxes of butter.
Can you help me out? Tell me which stand-alone freezer you own, and whether or not you’d recommend it. I — and I’m sure others, too — are eager to hear from you! xKevin
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I had an ancient upright freezer that I ended up giving back to my parents because it was constantly frosting over which made it impossible to access food stored near the top. Do you not have room for a chest freezer? I have a massive one (like I literally bought the biggest size they make) and I love it! The cold air stays in when I open the door because cold air is heavier, and I still haven’t defrosted it once since I bought it in 2015. It has some frost build up, but nothing like the upright did. It’s newer, of course, but still, I think it is loads more efficient because it is a chest freezer. I use milk crates and plastic wash tubs to organize things in it-the baskets that came with it were useless. Eight milk crates fit across the front in two layers of four, with a third layer of four wash tubs on top and then I have room around the back and side to tuck tall boxes and bags of things. I love my freezer so much!!! Extra bonus-the top of the freezer is very cool, like a marble table top, so I store boxes of citrus fruit on it in winter and they keep a long time. The freezer is in my basement, so good humidity/air temperature for fruit. It’s better in winter, but I am testing out summer fruit storage right now-wasn’t cool enough for limes or clementines, but navel oranges, lemons and grapefruit are doing well, and so are two watermelons.
Kevin, I have 3 freezers- a fairly new smaller chest freezer, and upright very old Woods Frost Free freezer, and a Frigidaire 16.6 cubic foot upright with an electronic panel on the front.
My favorite? The old Woods although it is too small. (66″ tall x 30″ wide x 27.5 deep). The reason I don’t like the Frigidaire (other than the size which is a good size) is that if you get the freezer out of balance the buzzer goes off and you can’t stop it. The light goes out inside the freezer and the freezer thinks the door is open. Crazy! I have had this freezer about 5 years and since I stopped putting much in the door, I have stopped the freezer from getting out of balance. They don’t make this one anymore, but I would be leary of another electronic panel freezer. Other people may have more input on this issue. Who needs a computer in your freezer anyway!
Chest freezers are fine for the price but try to find something in it once you fill it up. And trust me, no matter what size you buy you will fill it up. So buy the biggest one you can fit through the door!
Frost free freezers do not keep food well because there is always moisture loss when the defrosting cycle kicks in. No matter how well you wrap stuff it deteriorates.
I own both upright and chest type freezers and put away tons of veg every year. The upright freezer is next to useless as it actually holds much less than a chest type of the same size. I would never buy another one.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Becca – Chest freezer (a big one like you have) is being considered!
Hi Linda – Three freezers! I’m with you — the less high-tech the better.
Hi Joanne – That’s another consideration for us: frost-free versus the kind that must be periodically defrosted. I’ve read that the latter mitigates freezer burn.
I have a smaller upright freezer. I won’t bother with the make and model. It’s too small. I do love having it though. I will tell you to buy the largest one that you are researching. Once you have it, it will make you realize everything that you can put in it. Who doesn’t want to be able to pull a frozen homemade apple pie out and put it in to bake, for that unexpected drop in guest? Who doesn’t want to be able to have freezer jam on a spur of the moment? It’s just me and my husband and I love to make recipes for casseroles or baked mac’cheese. I just split everything between two smaller casserole dishes. Then I bake one now and freeze one for later. I have plastic bins that I keep my meats sorted in…chicken bin, pork chop bin, tilapia bin. Nothing is getting lost in the back of a shelf. Organization and labeling is key. Buy big, you will never regret it. Buy too small and you might end up wishing that you had splurged on the bigger one. I have groceries delivered with Covid-19 lurking around. I am keeping my freezer full…use it, replace it.
Annie B says
We have a Frigidaire that looks like the 3rd one. Very big. Frost free. About 4 years old. Zero problems. Maybe frost free ones don’t keep food as well, but I have no interest in defrosting. It’s too big for two people, but I manage to keep it full anyway. With your garden preserving, you’d have no problem. Highly recommend.
we have a whirlpool stand up freezer…. 7-8 yrs old.. pretty good!
Whirlpool upright frost free. Had it for 18 years. Still works great. Love the upright, I couldn’t do a chest, things get buried really quickly. I remember having one when I was little, hated it! Mines a 20.6 cu ft, but it’s me and 4 teenagers! I don’t have a problem with freezer burn, but then I also have 4 teenagers
I have had a chest freezer I bought at Sears for over 20 years. I defrost it maybe twice a year. Takes just 10 minutes! I use my hair dryer. Less expensive and prob why it has performed no repairs needed for so long.
Christine Swift says
I have a very old freezer (30+ years!) that my late husband and I bought through a meat supply plan called Natpac. I don’t even think they’re in business anymore. The reason I bring it up is that my suggestion is go for the upright…a chest is just an invitation to bury and forget what you’ve got. Not to mention the stress on your back digging through the piles of “I wonder what THIS used to be!”
If you only have room for one, I’d get a very large chest freezer. They hold more and will stay cold longer in a power outage. I keep a running list of contents close by it so things don’t get forgotten in the bottom and I know exactly what I have. If there’s room for two, I’d get an upright too for ease of access for things that’ll be used soon.
We have a very old large upright freezer that doesn’t self defrost. I think not having the self defrost feature is a positive. I defrost my freezer once or twice a year. This forces me to go through everything and pitch out really old food, inventory and organize. Having shelves on the door is a big plus for me. I reuse pint and quart deli containers and fill them with broths and sauces. Five containers fit on each shelf and two pint container will stack. I was told by an appliance installer that self defrosting freezers and refrigerators don’t last long if you use them in a garage. This is where my freezer lives and it’s been there for over 30 years. Hope these thoughts are helpful.
I have a small chest freezer, and it’s not big enough, even though it’s only me when my sons at school. I went to buy a standup freezer and everything was back ordered until fall. Most appliances are made overseas and the pandemic is affecting both supply and shipping. Whatever you get, be sure it’s in stock, or has an early delivery date.
An upright for me. I’ve had chest type and things tended to get “lost”they probably have improved them much. I’m very hight challenged and didn’t like bending over the thing. I did have to use plastic baskets to keep thing sorted. The ones that come with it weren’t enough. Just my opinion.
Like you, I’m in the market for a stand-alone freezer. From all I’ve read while researching, I would think a chest freezer is the best way to go. However, now that I’m in my 70s, I’m not so sure my back will handle lifting heavy tubs of food while bending over. And, while I normally avoid bells and whistles, I’m thinking an alarm for a basement freezer just might be a good idea. I’ll be checking back to see what folks recommend. Good luck with your search!
I have a small upright freezer in the garage. I defrosted it this weekend for the first time in 3 years. Freezer burn has never been an issue as long as items are well wrapped – unlike my kitchen fridge’s freezer, which is frost-free and eventually burns things no matter how carefully I bag and seal. Mine is a no-name from the scratch & dent store – and if it’s not going in a high-visibility location, you can save quite a lot of money that way and still get the full warranty.
Jeri Erman says
We have a Frigidaire stand up freezer that I love and fill each year during garden season. I’m not sure of cubic size but it’s at least 17 cf. It has a digital control panel on front that I have found useful – it’s in my laundry room so everytime I go into the room I can do a quick look at the panel and see the temp (set at zero) so I’m not worried about temp fluctuation. I’m going to guess we have had it for 10 years and we have never had a problem. When we had the freak Oct snow storm years ago and lost power for a week, my husband would use his old generator to run the freezer for about 20 minutes twice a day and it kept everything frozen. I definitely prefer the upright to a chest freezer for ease in finding everything. My parents had a chest freezer and my Mother-in-law still has one – it does hold a lot and work well except for trying to find what you are looking for. I would never get one for myself – love having the upright. And I also have two refrigerators! lol – seems like everything is always full!
Audrey Ney says
I’ve had 2 upright frost free freezers a Frigidaire (left behind when I moved) and now a GE. Both have served their purpose well. It’s important to have the freezer plugged in to a separate circuit , if possible.
I have an upright freezer that we purchased…maybe 1988-89. Knocking wood as I say I have never had a problem with this freezer. It is NOT frost free. I do empty and defrost in the summer, just once a year. I purchased it to hold my garden bounty, mostly the many many tomatoes readied for cooking. It is a Kenmore, so you cannot purchase one. I don’t know how large it is I would estimate about 5 ft tall, good depth and width. I have always had space to add something, even in these days of keeping more than we really need, right now. I would never get a chest freezer. With the upright you can always easily find and reach what you want. There is no digging for the item. I would purchase a frost free just for convenience sake unless it is true that they really lose the cold air when door is opened. However, unlike a refrigerator, we don’t open this item daily and sometimes not for days and days, and not for long, either. Good luck
Michelle Alderman says
I’ve had my share of chest freezers, which are not as easily organizable as uprights, and then it can be painful reaching into the bottom of one. I’ve also had uprights, much better than chest freezers for easy access and organization. However, I finally found the one freezer I absolutely LOVE! I’ve had it for several years now and I can’t go back to anything else! Please take a look at it Kevin (link below). You’ll want one too!
SABA 47.0 cu. ft. Two Door Commercial Reach In Upright Freezer in Stainless Steel
I used to have a small chest freezer, and even that was very hard on my back. It seems that every time you want something, it’s at the bottom and you have to lift out heavy baskets, bend deep down, and, in that position, lift out what you want. If you put the heavy stuff on the bottom, you have to lift it out in a bent over position. I learned the hard way that I wasn’t getting any younger, and making things easier on my back was important.
I replaced it with an upright. Everything is easy to see and find – especially if it’s a large freezer. The newer self-defrost models work well, and you won’t have any freezer burn if you wrap well. Defrosting a large freezer is a pain. In either case, don’t keep the door open too long and always make sure it’s completely shut.
Buy the largest model that will fit into the space you have, because you will fill it more than you think. Check the INTERIOR measurements, because capacity is not necessarily what they say it is. Also, be sure it’s built with enough insulation for garage temperatures if you plan to keep it in such a place.
You really don’t need a wi-fi enabled one, unless you think it’s a must have. It’s just one more thing to break.
Be sure to compare warranties. Some are much better than others. Also, read all the 1 and 2-star reviews.
Hi, Kevin, we have that exact Frigidaire you show & find it meets our needs perfectly.
We also invested in one of those vacuum sealing devices & that has made a big difference too w/zero freezer burn plus more space as we try to package everything so they can be stacked.
When we were looking around for a freezer, we also asked friends & it seemed that most who didn’t have a frost free appliance always had the best intensions to defrost their freezer, but just didn’t do it until it was in bad shape & a whole lot more work. We’re very happy with this freezer.
But no matter which type you go with, know you will just be really happy to have it!
Lucy Cali says
I have three freezers, one chest and two uprights. I love my chest one. We bought it back in, are you ready for this, in the 70’s, it is a 26 cubic foot, Montgomery Ward. Has been moved multiple times, has dent on top where movers dropped a dresser on it. Still plugging away, knock on wood. I love it. can’t remember when I last defrosted it. Only drawback is losing things in it. One minute you know where item is and the next minute it has disappeared. lol. I do have bins in it if I would take advantage of it, sure it would work. I have two 15 cu ft uprights. I don’t think I get as much in them, and seems like things are always falling out on my feet. If I get another one, I would get the biggest chest one I could. If your good at organizing maybe a upright is ok, but a chest to me holds more.
Grazyna Kirsch says
I have both, upright and chest. I hate the chest freezer. I don’t like to dive into the dark, cold abyss of it to find things. My upright is Kenmore and almost 12 years old. I had to fix it once. It’s self-defrosting. It’s easy to organize, easy to find things. With the ways, we can now pack food for freezing I don’t see any damage to the food. And you can really pack it with a lot of food.
I have a Maytag 21.1 cubic foot frost free upright that is great! Definitely get upright frost free. Mine came from my daughter when she moved to replace my old Kenmore—defrosting was a dreaded chore!!!
DIANNE K WINTERS says
We went from a large chest freezer to a smaller upright since we are now empty nesters. It allows me enough space to keep my flours, store meat and fish, etc.. I do NOT recommend frost-free even though you will need to defrost twice a year, which is not a big deal. Frost-free allows the freezer to warm up enough to melt the frost, which means you do not get consistent cold temps. Save that for your frig, not your freezer. I love the upright as it is easier to keep things organized and not stored on top of each other. I lost a lot of food in the bottom of my chest freezer because it wasn’t readily seen. For what it’s worth!
Suzi fox says
Good morning! LIEBHERR
That’s my fridge. Will try and send a photo. Big and tall,I hated bending. Two freezer compartments and it’s side by side. Nothing has ever spoiled in that baby kept at a cool 36 degrees.
Our 13cu fi Whirlpool holds lots of orchard fruits and garden veggies plus half a pig and my butchered chickens – for 2 people. If i were adding a couple bulk bags of grains, it should be bigger.
Unless the chest freezer is filled with all the same stuff (like my goat milk and cheese -all dairy) you constantly dig for what you want.
Mary Ann Natalie-Hrankowski says
Don’t get frost free…..the unit goes up to 32 in the frost free cycle and then down but never to zero…..your food is not entirely safe if you expect to keep things in for any time……my Frigidaire upright 14 cu. ft is great and yes you need to defrost from time to time…..about 5 months for us, I cook ahead and freeze plenty……..this freezer defrosts in one hour and returns to zero within three……I also freeze fresh meat, bags of veg. etc.
Andrea Schmidt says
An elderly friend gave me her chest freezer because she was moving back home to NY after her husband passed away in Sept. It is a Whirlpool and it is the best. My mom and I were wanting a freezer for the longest time but could never find one that we really liked. I don’t know the dimensions but it truly is a lifesaver. We love it and totally recommend it.
We have a large Kenmore (Sears brand) frost-free upright 20+ cubic feet that we bought in 1973! We have never had a single problem with it. It has seen its contents feed three children and now four grandchildren, and it is still going strong! I dread the day that it dies or I have to give it up!!
Helene Reid says
I have a 16 cf. up right. It is not frost free. When we purchased this we were told the frost free was not as efficient and they don’t freeze as well. The salesman also pointed out that because it won’t be opened as often as the freezer in the refrigerator it would not need to be defrosted as often. He was so right on that point. We have had this for a long time and find it only needs to be defrosted once a year. There is a plus side to the task. I am able to organize and take inventory. It is surprising what you find shoved in the back. A few years ago I purchased plastic dish pans and organize by poultry, beef, veggies etc. You get the idea. When I make soups I always freeze several containers. Also, freeze in sour cream containers for a single serving. These alway went to my elderly Aunt. When the zucchini offers a bounty I bake a lot of bread and freeze cut into thirds. I have it all winter and just pull out a small piece. Much easier than backing all of the mini loaves. Just a few tips on my use of this freezer. Wouldn’t be without. One more thought….I grew up with a large chest type. Always a pain to dig into the bottom and find things. Perhaps if it was a small chest that wouldn’t be a problem but I think you want to go big.
We have two large refrigerator freezers, one in the garage because we kept our old one when we renovated our very old kitchen about 14 years ago and it’s still very useable – nice for storing beverages for when the grandchildren come over and for space when we have parties and need room for prepared ahead dishes. Freezer good for some storage but a side-by-side, which I would never buy again. We also had a very large upright freezer for more than 30 years. Probably 20 cu. ft. or more from memory. It was still going strong but the gasket was wearing out and because of its age, we couldn’t find a replacement. We taped and tried to plug the air holes that were causing frost build-up because we loved that freezer. But to no avail. So about eight years ago we bought another upright freezer, not quite as large. I would rather not name a brand because I am not 100% sure but it was a well-known American brand and one that we had been big fans of over the years. After four years, it just stopped working. My very knowledgeable “old-fashioned” appliance repair guy (even though he is fairly young) said it gave out and was not well made. He gave us several choices of brands to look for (I don’t remember what he recommended except the one we bought). He said his experience has been that in recent years the quality of the brand that died has deteriorated considerably since it was purchased by another company. We ended up with GE FUF17DLRWW four years ago. It’s 17.3 cubic feet and a nice size. Not that expensive. It is frost-free but we haven’t found that the food dries out if it is properly wrapped and nice not to have that chore. There is a digital display on the outside door that tells the temp. As for a chest freezer, I at first wanted one because I liked the idea of a lower horizontal appliance but after thinking about it, I agree with Linda. Once you load it up, forget about finding something. It really depends on how you are using it. if you go in it infrequently, it might work for you but if you use it as we do and go in it every week at least once if not more, I would strongly recommend an upright. Can’t wait to hear what you decide.
If you are interested in keeping food well preserved for longer than a few months, frost-free is NOT the way to go. Those freezers constantly raise the temperature slightly to melt any accumulating ice, then go back down to the set point. So, food stored there is constantly being slightly defrosted, then refrozen — not good for some foods. Sure, bags of flour will be fine, but a lovely chuck roast, or lovingly prepared fresh vegetables from your garden, defrosting and re-freezing constantly? Nope. That is why foods in a standard frost-free refrigerator/freezer combo are only at their peak for 2-3 months, where an old-style deep freeze preserves them for two years. I traded the hassle of defrosting (put wax paper on the walls of the freezer to make the buildup fall off more easily when defrosting) for the benefit of longer, better preserved food. Also, just the process of defrosting forces me to do inventory and be more efficient in using what is in there — I can’t keep cramming more stuff in! 😉
bobbi c. says
Good timing, Kevin! I was just about to go looking for a new smaller frig (whole different thing) and a stand-alone freezer. In the past, we’ve had a Kenmore smaller sized one for overflow but had to leave it behind when we moved. Now that we live in a place with a dozen grocery stores, I’m going to get the smallest I can find to store my homemade soups/stocks/etc. and a new frig with a bottom freezer. (We’re limited on space here in our 1966 house.)
The Kenmores usually last forever. Now that Sears is pretty much kaput, who knows. I’ll be keeping an eye on the results/comments here and hope we can find a smaller one locally that will suit us. There’s only two of us so we don’t need to store a side of beef! LOL.
Enjoy your blog even though we’re in the desert of NM now! Always a Southern girl at heart, though. 🙂
Marsha Smith says
Do not buy frost free as the contents go thru thawing and freezing cycles to keep it frost free. I buy frozen salmon and the company selling it says it will keep much better in a freezer you defrost.
It’s definitely a splurge, but I love my Liebherr freezer! The big difference is that it has DRAWERS instead of shelves. A whole tower of pull-out drawers. I can open the veggie drawer and find all the veggies neatly lined up; nothing ever disappears in the back. Absolutely everyone who’s seen it wants one of their own. I’ll never to back to a regular freezer again! Check it out:
June Pickering says
Needless to say, when I moved to the UK sixteen years ago, I was a bit surprised at the size of refrigerators found in most homes. Our townhouse didn’t have room for a second refrigerator, and the freezer compartment in our usual one was tiny. We solved the problem by putting a stand up freezer in our tool shed out back of the house. Luckily, it had electricity. I love that freezer, even if I sometimes have to go out in the rain, wind or whatever to get what I need.
Anne Walden says
Back when we had kids at home, we had a 20 cu. ft chest type. Now we have a small one which is too small. Just bought another small one for our lake house. Friends had a large upright and while on vacation, it went out. They came home to an awful mess. Everything had thawed and run out the door. They had a lot of meat so you can imagine the smell. They ended up having to replace their flooring so I would never have an upright. If the chest type goes out, at least it all stays in the freezer. You can always buy baskets to help organize the contents.
A few more thoughts:
After reading some of the comments, I want to say that I have never had any food even slightly defrost with the frost free cycles. Maybe the older freezers had a higher or longer temp cycle. I keep a thermometer in the freezer, and I have it set at -5 F. The warmest it ever got was +5 F for a short period of time.
Check out the repair statistics on different brands.
In the photos you posted, all the food is just placed on shelves. I always use inexpensive baskets. Sterlite makes different sizes, and they have holes in them you can see through. Some other brands are clear. Either way, the food doesn’t fall out when you open the door!
Upright, easier to see what you have in it, frost-free so you don’t have to defrost every 6 months. We have an upright and I love it!
Claudia Travis says
I would like to say I am on top of things as far as freezers go but mine is old and I think needs a new seal and the one I inherited from my mom is probably older. She has a Fridgedaire and it still works well. I think mine might be a GE but not sure. I am in Florida at the moment and the freezers are in Idaho so I can’t check. I like frost free although it will dry out ice cubes if you don’t use them. But less cleanup with defrosting in the dead of winter so you don’t have to store stuff in a cooler whilst you do such a tiresome task.
My mom’s is bigger And I like the bigger size.
I wouldn’t do a chest. Things get lost in those and you are having to move stuff around to get to other things.
When my M.I.L died and we cleaned out the chest freezer we found a pie from 1964 and she died in 97! Just something to think about. We laughed a lot over that one but I could see it happening.
Good luck. ! You’ll be happy with whatever you decide upon I’m sure. I’m looking forward to trying the blueberry bars when I’m back to Idaho from my job. Take care and keep blogging we need you!
Nancy P Adams says
I’ve had a variety of freezers for over 50 years now. The upright freezers are by far the easiest to access and see what is inside – size depends on how much you want to store. The chest freezers are more efficient but harder to get access to all the food. If you are organized and know what you put in to the chest freezer, sectioning it off in your mind or with baskets, and if you don’t want to use it frequently, then I’d go with a chest freezer. If you want to use it often, putting in items nearly every day and getting things out that you can readily see, then I’d go with the upright freezer.
Good luck – and happy cooking!
mine is the upright , smaller version. I keep it in my cold cellar. I like it because I don’t have to bend over and dig to the bottom of a chest freezer. That is why I got rid of my former freezer. It does not hold as much, but it is a good workhorse. I don’t need all the bells and whistles of your larger version. Keep cool, Kevin.
We have a 16 cubic upright Whirlpool frost free that we have had for over 10 years and it is going strong with out a lick of trouble. Love it as it keeps everything visible and easy to reorganize as food flows in and out. I store all my spices in the door compartments and the shelves are nicely adjustable.
We used to have a chest type (small 6 cubic ft) that worked great for 30 years but hard to see what you have in the bottom. When it died we went to the upright and never regretted the switch. Good Luck in your quest!
Darla Metro says
I hope you have better luck than we did with buying a new freezer. After several phone calls we discovered that no one has them in stock and they don’t know when they will be getting them! Because of the pandemic production went down plus people bought more resulting in a shortage. We are now on a waiting list for a chest freezer that we have no idea when we will get. Luckily we are in no hurry. Guess we all just have to be patient. I’ll be anxious to see if you have better luck.
Shirley Park says
Hi there – I used to have a large chest style freezer – Really did the job – only hassle was the once a year defrosting task – which means that you get to see what is actually still in the freezer – so not all bad!!
The key for such a large “bin” is to be organized with bins or whatever – not just dump stuff in. If you have not needed one up until now – you probably don’t need this. We lived in a more isolated area.
Now – since only me – I have downsized to an upright – similar to the top picture that you show. I did not care for the layout of the other ones! Again – I do have to defrost the thing, but only once a year! and again – it is a way to clean out and sort what has migrated out of sight over the year!!
I have 2 of the little chest freezers. One I got when I won 150 bucks on a $1 scratch off 15 years ago this freezer has survived 3 moves 2 of them involving stairs and it keeps on chilling. The other one was gifted to me 10 years ago. one for meats and one for vegs pantry items that need to be frozen. also have 2 fridges upstairs the freezers are adequate
I don’t have a freezer but, like Kevin, am thinking of purchasing one. It’s only me and my husband but I still find my self being short on freezer space-especially with this pandemic lock down that we recently went through. I absolutely want to, not hoard, but have some extra meats and veggies which I can freeze now in season. Loved reading all of your comments! Thank you to all!
I’m with the upright crowd! I’ve had chest freezers also and though you can definitely put more in them once it’s full it’s dang near impossible to get at the items under the top layer. leading to fossils in the bottom. go as big as possible there’s never enough room!
Elaine in B.C. says
Our 2nd chest freezer is over 35 yrs old. I think it is about 22 c ft. Our first one was too small and we sold it to a neighbour who is still using it. I’m short so I can’t reach the bottom but I make sure that whatever is near the bottom has handles…grocery bag or plastic bins or bread etc on end…or I can pick up the container with those long reach grippers.plus I have a tall husband. We defrost once a year before I start putting the summer harvests in. We store our flour in a cold room…45 Fahrenheit in winter and about 60-65in summer. We are only two now so with the cold room the freezer is adequate for our needs.
They were mostly sold out during the panic months of April, right when our 13 yr old freezer went out. We only had a choice of a fancy one. Since it went in the basement, there was no need for stainless steal bur this one is pretty fancy for an upright freezer at $649 delivered and taxes, set up was free
I cook and freeze everything. Food security and time saving are great assets. I have three freezers, all food from 2019/20 and great quality. The newest of the three, a 2017 Maytag is very large, self defrosting an upright and has an interior light. I recommend all three features. I can’t find anything in my chest freezer, though the milk crate idea sounds practical. I couldn’t live without my upright Maytag.
SUSAN R ERICKSON says
We have a 16cu ft Frigidaire freezer, bought in 2015, similar to
I love it, it’s in our laundry room. I too use baskets to store like items. It has the power outage assurance which locks the freezer tight. This means I can’t close the door and then immediately open it as it’s doing it’s thing, but need to wait about 2 minutes before opening again.
Sandra M Shaner says
I have 2 big GE upright freezers that I bought in 2009; don’t know the model # and you wouldn’t find that model anyway so much later. Don’t really know the capacity (except BIG) because I’ve previously bought whole pigs from a local farmer and large quantities of grass-fed beef. They’re self-defrosting with interior lights and a large basket at the bottom. The only problem I ever had with them was my own fault: the plug worked loose from the outlet and, without power, the contents started to thaw. There IS a beeping warning, but they’re in the basement and I always have the radio or TV blasting and didn’t hear it. Solution: my electrician came and set up a screw-in system for the plugs and no further problem.
Long, long ago we bought a large chest freezer but, back then, no auto-defrost and it was a royal pain to defrost when the build-up got out of hand. It was also so large that I couldn’t reach the bottom so I filled the bottom area with boxes of wool yard goods (keeps bugs out or freezes them out if they came with the fabric). Eventually the local utility offered a “$50 and we’ll take it” offer and it left.
My refrigerator is old and small by today’s monsters but I don’t have enough kitchen space for one of the new brutes. The size I have is all I can have so the fridge freezer is more about temporary storage of foods from the basement and ice. As a result, I absolutely love my freezers and the fact that there are two means I don’t have to be too obsessive about organization. When there are sales, I can stock up as well as buying large quantities of flours, nuts, grains and anything else I choose, knowing that they won’t spoil.
I have a chest freezer and have used it since the 1970’s! Never a problem. Also most energy efficient. It is a Whirlpool. But if I were to buy any refrigeration product now it would be Sub-Zero. Pricey, but the best. Plus made in the U.S.A.
A hint: if your freezer ever has empty space put plastic jugs of water in the space. Water freezes at 32 F., air freezes at minus 362 F. A big energy savings.
Chest is best. When you open the door of an upright, cold air falls out. Frost free is bad in that it is continually heating up to prevent frost, cooling down to keep food frozen. So…. your food is heating up/cooling down ever so slightly, but enough to cause freezer burn.
Chest – no cold air loss when opening. Use plastic milk crates stacked inside to make accessing food at the bottom easier. Defrost maybe once a year. Eat down the freezer, put food in a cooler. Unplug, melt ice with hair dryer. Loosens from the sides in sheets within a couple of minutes. Slide off into a bucket. Whole process is done in about 20 minutes. Plug in and repack.
We just got rid of our chest freezer (Amana). It still worked, but it was 41 years old! We were afraid that it would go out at any point! We just purchased a Frigidaire upright, but got the one where you have to defrost. We read some many negative reports on the frost-free, not holding up, going out after 18 months, etc. I really like my upright, it’s easier to keep organized and I don’t have to dig to the bottom to get out what I need. I’m 5’4” ( on a good day) so bending over in the chest freezer was a pain! Good luck with your choice that fits your needs!
CAROL ANN says
Hi Kevin – My thoughts are that a frost- free freezer is not a deep freeze and is only suitable for shorter term storage. It is frost-free because it raises the temp above freezing to eliminate the frost developing on the products stored- it is no doubt what you already have connected to your refrigerators with freezer compartments. A deep freeze goes to the temp you set it at and stays there. I store nuts, cookies, candy, pie filling, berries,vegetables,flours,casseroles, meat,stock, soups, butter etc. (almost anything but salad!) for a year or more (well wrapped) with no loss of flavor or quality. You will not get the same result with a frost-free. Mine is in the basement on top of a hole in the floor so that when I defrost it it drains into the sump pump. As for configuration, I am short so the chest freezer doesn’t work for me- had one once and needed a step stool to reach the bottom of it. Also I think the uprights are easier to organize, but that’s a personal preference. Good luck! Once you have it you will wonder why it took so long.
Elaine Wilmes-Pandolfo says
We purchased a small upright freezer a year ago after having a chest freezer for ages. It is a Danby (model number DUFMO71A1WDB). Ironically, the smaller one cost a bit more than the next biggest one, but I knew this would be adequate. ($398.00 with free delivery and set-up from our local appliance store). It is energy efficient, which is a must for us. We produce all our own electricity but still see no need for waste.
I have an upright Maytag freezer, maybe 17 cu ft. and frost free. If you wrap things well, there is no freezer burn. I use stretch and seal and then put that into a freezer bag. My friend swears by the seal a bag. My mother’s freezer was not frost free and it was a pain to defrost and dispose of the water. My refrigerator has a bottom pull out freezer. I have bins and containers in it, but things still get lost. My advice is to look hard at the ratings and buy the largest, upright, frost free that you can afford, preferably one made in the USA. I had an appliance repair man tell me not to get anything from overseas (LG, Samsung etc) as the parts are usually hard to get and almost always back ordered. I find the repair men are the best judge of a durable product. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Good luck Kevin.
Dale Gasque says
We are also wanting to buy a small upright freezer (around 17 cubic feet), but haven’t found any available online or locally since Covid 19 reared its ugly head. Any leads would be greatly appreciated!
Keven I don’t know if you know this
There is a National shortage of freezers, there was one before Covid 19 because they were changing over the coolant (i think that was it ) but now with Covid it takes months to get one. I ordered one for my daughter in May and we were told it should be here in late August.
So just an FYI
Wendy Bellovary says
Just one word of advice (actually more than one): Whatever style you decide to buy, make sure it has a light that you can see from the outside of the freezer, indicating that it is getting power. Nothing worse than discovering your freezer full of meat, fruit and veggies has thawed a week ago, and you didn’t realize it wasn’t working. Trust me on this.
Ardelle Tuxen says
I agree with Becca – I have two chest freezers – 1 quite large and one smaller that I use for much of the soups, and prepared baked goods that I access routinely – you will learn as Becca has stated that crates work great. My HUGE freezer is for whole hams, roasts, turkeys, chicken, flour, oatmeal; crates of home grown vegetables and fruits. It is so true that the cold air doesn’t rush out every time you open the door, hence it doesn’t frost up. I have never needed to defrost either, but I do empty into coolers every few years just to clean and reorganize and purge things – which I plan a full day for the process. I did purchase an upright many years ago thinking it would work since it was self defrosting – the food doesn’t last as long – gets freezer burn because of the opening and closing and the self-defrosting process – they actually gave me my money back in full and I bought their biggest chest freezer instead – thanks to a great relationship with a locally owned appliance store. Without further ado, I would highly recommend having 2 CHEST freezers for efficiency and energy efficiency as well. Let us know what you choose… Oh, BTW, I do not recommend setting things on the newer models as the lids are not as strong as they used to be as some friends have sadly learned – the lids started to sway and ultimately leaked around the gasket so be aware – unless there are heavy duty commercial freezers that would be more durable. Happy shopping!
Catherine Parrigan says
Hello Kevin, some of these women truly wrote a book didn’t they??? I agree with Marie comment #41 – get an upright, frost free and be sure it is a Whirlpool!!! Chest type may hold a little more but you have to stand on your head to get to anything! If it were possible now I would tell you to get a Sears Kenmore but of course they are no more, although I understand that Whirlpool made Kenmore anyway. WP is great. Good Luck…..
Lynne Lillie says
Hey, Kevin. I have 2 chest freezers and a little up-right, as well as two refrigerators which have freezers on top. I love them all. The thing I have heard, and this is what I wanted to point out, that frost free freezers cycle so do not maintain a constant freeze, and thus, do not preserve frozen foods as well as freezers that are not frost free. None of my freezers are frost free, and it’s not a big deal to maintain–I defrost once a year at most. Best of luck on whatever you buy–you will love the extra freezer space.
I have a midsize frost free upright. Love it. I also inherited my mother’s midsize chest freezer which should be defrosted once a year. It does not get to much frost buildup. Only two of us in the household and both freezers are packed. If I had only one, it would be a frost free upright. Always digging In The chest to see what might be buried at the bottom.
Better a bit too big than too small.
Picture of Frigidaire 20.9 has NO bottom drawer! It will be hard to access food in the back of that shelf without removing other food stuffs.
Whirlpool 17.7 pictured has TWO drawers! Great, but the shelves on the door, individual ones, accommodate much less food that the door shelves that span the width of the door.
I added an additional shelf to my freezer years ago. Went to our local appliance repair shop, found a shelf in an old freezer in the yard, and walked away with a $5.00 shelf.
I freeze almost exclusively in plastic freezer bags, press out all the air, freeze flat for space saving and quick defrosting when needed. I also freeze the exact measurement of crushed berries for one recipe of jam in individual bags. The bags take less space than hard sided plastic containers or glass jars.
I use plastic containers/bins from the dollar store to keep like food stuffs together and to keep the freezer neat.
I also map the inside of the freezer and tape the map to the outside of the door for other family members.
By defrosting every year, I am able to re-arrange, toss, and re-map. I choose a nice HOT summer day for faster defrosting and enjoy the coolness of the job.
I have the largest Frigidaire upright that would fit our space, a landing in a servants stairway!
I have 6 shelves and none on the door. It’s wonderful! I agree that getting one you have to defrost keeps you on top of what should go.
Commercial upright, ours was one you had deforst. But, we used to have power outages, 1 week or two wasn’t unusual. That freezer kept frozen the whole time.
We left it when we moved, but I would buy another one it was 800.00 in 95 so it would be more 25 sq ft. This camre thtu Southern Foods out of Greenville NC.
We are going to be looking for one shortly.
Hi Kevin, I’ve a giant chest freezer which I fill with veggies and fruits every year. Yes, it is a pain to try to find things when it is full even though I use milk crates to keep things compartmentalized. I love it because it has lots of room and because where I live, the electricity goes out with distressing frequency. A chest freezer will at least stay cold even if you have to get in it when the electricity is off. If the electricity is off for long enough that one has to buy dry ice to keep it cold, at least the cold will stay in and not tumble to the floor when the door is opened.
I have a Kenmore upright that is 57 years old and has never needed any maintenance which I would recommend if it were still available. I have a big veggie garden and also freeze grains and flours, but I am not a big time cook. By about this time of year my freezer tends to be mostly empty but soon it will be stuffed. What I would recommend for you, and other gardeners, if you have space get two smaller freezers rather that one big one. That way you won’t be running a great big freezer to accommodate a small number of packages.
In August 2019 my 5-year old upright freezer pooped out right after I’d freshly stocked it with garden produce. Lost everything. Broke my heart–and made me swear to never buy that brand (or any others with a different name from the same manufacturer) again.
I purchased a GE 17.3 cubic foot upright freezer with an alarm that sounds if it should stop running. Model #FUF17SMRCWW. I love it.
The size is just right for my needs (lots of fresh produce, salsa, pesto, and soups). I like the convenience of upright–shelves make it easy to stack containers, and I can see everything as soon as I open the door.
I have a chest freezer for garden surplus it is not self defrosting but I defrost every year before new product goes into it. I vacuum seal all my goods including all my extra baked goods no problem with freezer burn. I make my zucchini bread from the fresh zucchini then freezer it in vacuum sealer lasts a year .i have a large self defrosting upright for my meats. It holds a 1/2 beef 1/2 hog and a lamb. That is purchased from a Amish farm and also vacuum sealed. It also last a year or more with no freezer burn.
Make sure you get a freezer with an alarm so if the temperature drops the alarm goes off. Also there is a nation wide shortage. Try estate sales. Good luck finding one.
We cook. A lot! We put up meat stocks, extra stews, pie fillings, etc in quart freezer bags and freeze flat. I found a cardboard shipping box that is the perfect size for “filing” these flat bags – you don’t need anything fancy – I’ve had one of these boxes last for a couple of years, and it’s still going strong – I have more for replacements if I need them. Be sure to mark your bags! Name of contents and month/year it was put up.
We have two refrigerators and a freezer
– a side by side fridge/freezer that was left in the house (ice through the door, popsicles, ice cream, butter, nuts, breads and baked goods go here, as well as space for freezing bags flat).
– a french door fridge with freezer on the bottom (meats, bones for stock, ice, breakfast meats and some of our frozen meals go here).
– a smallish upright freezer in the basement (spices, 3 cardboard boxes for stock and meals, and boxes of prepared foods go here – there is also room for pies, etc). This one doesn’t get opened frequently, so things stay just fine. Good luck!
I’ve had a chest freezer and didn’t like it. I have a full size Maytag upright freezer and love it! Frost free isn’t good for long term storage as it draws the moisture out of the food. A dear old friend bought it for me about 12 years ago and gave me that bit of advice. I have to defrost it about every 3 years or so.
MARY BETH says
From past experiences with all the different types of freezers I would definitely go with a frost free upright freezer because
Experience 1. I had an upright freezer but it wasn’t frost free. It was a big chore to defrost it… take out the food, find a place to store it and then make a big mess you have to clean up before you can put your food back.
Experience 2. I had a big chest freezer when I was pregnant. I couldn’t reach to the very bottom where the roast I wanted to cook for supper was. I got a milk carton to stand on to help me get to that roast….. well I fell head first into the freezer. It took me 20 minutes to get out. It really scared me.
My advice for what it is worth.
1. Measure the space you have where you want the freezer to go.
2. Really think about what you want to put in it. I saw you mentioned 50 lb. Bags of flour. It might be better to get 2 different types of freezer. One to hold all of your bulk food ,1 to hold the other stuff. You could get a small chest freezer for the bulk food and an upright frost free for the other. That is just my thoughts on freezers. I know you will make the best decision for your family. Good luck and stay safe.
Carolyn M Byrne says
Love our chest freezer, I suggest you get one larger than you think you need because you will fill it to the brim. There are a couple of accomodations we found help make the freezer easier to use.
– make sure you have light directly over the freezer
-have a table/workspace/flat surface right next to the freezer. You will fill up the table as you unload the freezer to find your desired item, then repack the freezer. Having one space to unload will make it less likely that you accidently leave an item out of the freezer.
– keep a dedicated pair of knit gloves with palm grips on the table next to the freezer
Linda Carlson says
When my old Kenmore freezer needed replacing a couple of years ago, I did some research. I purchased a 19.6 cu ft upright Whirlpool, model WZF79R20DW. A friend of mine was looking for a new upright freezer, she couldn’t find any in stock. I found the same model as mine for $855 at Best Buy (in Minnesota). Review 4.9 Stars. I love mine. Really good lighting (important) adjustable shelving, pull out shelving, self-defrosting. I don’t think you want smaller than 19.6 cu ft. I have never had a chest freezer; I’m only 5′ 1″ tall so I think I would have a hard time finding things. Good Luck!
Sonya Peel says
Chest Freezer. I have a small one as my husband and I don’t have a vegetable garden and it meets our need for special purchase meats, seafood, 8# bags of vegies from a farm in north Florida, and 13 quarts, so far, of fresh blueberries from my daughter’s garden. My grandmother had one of the really large ones that sat in her dining room, obviously not a formal place, that served as her desert bar during family gatherings (there were a slew of us). It was always filled smack to the top with vegies from her garden, fruit from her yard/road hedges, and meat from fatted calfs and even fatter pigs from the pastures/pens. That freezer never skipped a beat and I do not remember her ever defrosting it. AND that was way, way back in the day.
Elizabeth Darby says
A chest freezer can be great, but it’s not for everyday use like an upright. Chest/Deep freezers generally get colder and hold temp steadier. I prefer them for long term storage, thinks that can get freezer burned or damaged by frequent door opening and for bulk meat. To keep it organized, keep like items in bins that you can easily lift out. I keep bins for summer veggies, whole fruit, pie/cobbler filling and tomato products. We keep frozen snacks, mugs, ice and things that need to used up in our upright, btw.
N. MacGregor says
I/we own/have 3 dwellings – 1 our permanent home, 1 our cottage (use if year around) and 1 for my father-in-law.
Our permanent home has 1 large chest freezer which I hate due to the fact I have to practically climb inside to find things on the bottom of the freezer which means they often end up being forgotten and never used and as a result a waste of money. I reluctantly agreed to purchase the chest freezer due to the fact we have a lot of space in our basement so space wasn’t a factor.
Our cottage is on an island which means crossing to the mainland can frequently be a problem due to the weather so we tend to keep more food on hand in case we get stuck on the island for a few weeks. As a result, we have 1 small chest freezer and 2 small upright freezers. We were given the chest freezer when our friends sold their cottage – its OK but I still forget what ends up on the bottom. I love our 2 uprights which were purchased separately based on the limited amount of space we had available for a freezer. I absolutely love our upright freezers due to the fact they don’t take up much floor space, I can easily organize the shelves (for example beef products on 1 shelf, pork products on 1 shelf, fish products on 1 shelf etc.) and as a result I can easily do a quick inventory of what I have on hand and what I need to stock up on. Plus, if I want to flash freeze fresh strawberries etc. I can spread the berries on a cookie sheet and easily find room in the freezer to freeze the berries and then store them in containers or bags. I label all the food I store in my freezers including the date they were packaged along with the name of the food item etc. Once the item is labelled it is stored on the proper shelf with the newest items at the back of each shelf and the oldest items at the front of the shelf so I use the older items up first and hopefully avoid forgotten items along with items becoming freezer burnt which end up in the garbage.
My father-in-law is in his 80’s and can no longer manage the stairs to his basement where his large chest style freezer was located. He had limited space on the main floor of his house and required a freezer to compliment the small freezer in his fridge. We found a small upright freezer that met his needs that fit into his main floor laundry room which serves his needs.
My bottom line would be to go with an upright freezer and the larger the better if you plan to freeze produce etc. from your garden – if you have space for a large upright freezer. If space is a problem – it might be easier to go with 2 smaller upright freezers (like we ended up doing strickly because of space limitations) in order to meet your total freezer space needs.
BTW – I recall the old style freezers that were not frost free. Don’t know if they are still available but I would never ever consider buying a fridge or freezer that wasn’t frost free even if the frost free model was considerably more expensive. In my opinion frost free is worth the extra cost for the convenience. I recall when I was a kid trying to find a way to keep all the food from the freezer frozen while we defrosted the freezer and then chilled the freezer down enough to put the food back in the freezer – in my opinion – whoever invented frost free freezers was a genius.
Buy the largest freezer you have space and money for, no quibbles on this, you will totally regret it if you don’t. I am a single person with two oversized freezers, one chest, one upright (not frost free, those are not great), and they get tons of use. With freezers, I only pay loss-leader price for all meats/poultry/frozen items, and have a huge garden which I freeze all kinds of veggies from. A great comfort when pandemic hit as I knew I could eat for a year! I have them organized and have a written inventory (see “Complete Tightwad Gazette” book for a great freezer inventory idea/process) with all trays/shelves named (U3R = “Upright/third shelf/right side). Don’t put heavy items in door of upright, save for nuts, etc., or you could strain door. In my experience, chest freezers last longer and freeze a bit better, but fair to say they are harder to organize. You can get organizer kit for bottom of freezer online (or just use crates/boxes) and be sure to buy enough extra baskets to cover top less one. For middle layer: I built a free standing rack to set in freezer that allows me to slide wire baskets from old freezer back and forth across same, and I use cloth shopping bags for easy-lift out of light items (breads, veggies) in areas where baskets would slide into. Use wire baskets or boxes for uprights. I tray freeze almost all veggies & berries and then pack in gallon or quart ziplocs for easy use of however much I want. Freeze liquids and prepared foods in ziplocs (if using w/in a year you won’t taste difference from those and sealer-bagged, and much cheaper) and lay on cookie sheet to freeze thin, then put in baskets/boxes like file folders. Remember full freezer runs more efficiently; I fill 1/2 gallon plastic milk jugs with water to occupy any empty space and use those as ice in sink when blanching veggies. Don’t pay extra for electronic gadgets/wifi that can just fail over time and you wouldn’t really use (why??) but do spend $20 for a little battery-powered freezer alarm. I clean both freezers out once/year and re-inventoy. Love my system and feel very secure!
Good luck, Kevin, and thanks for all you do for us with your wonderful site!
We have three enormous chest freezers. I use one for fish/chicken, one for beef/pork and 1 for veggies/breads/secret stash of cookie dough.
I keep detailed spreadsheets of my inventories (retired librarian here!) and they are all very well organized – I use Aldi fabric bags.
This does not answer your question but I love having these freezers (although they are going to require a generator for 100% peace of mind). It was great to feel stocked up during the height of the quarantine.
I have the Frigidaire Gallery upright full freezer. I think it is 18.6 cubic feet and it holds a ton of stuff and has an internal ice maker (not in the door like some units.). I also have the matching full refrigerator and it’s great. The interior information is all Electrolux so I think they just put different branding on the outside.
I replaced my Kenmore full fridge and freezer pair with Frigidaire because after 2 years the Kenmore thermostat on the fridge kept everything at a toasty 57 degrees and Sears appliance repair couldn’t fix it.
Wish I had gone with Frigidaire all along. Highly recommend. Also – invest in some plastic bins and wire plate stacked units to stash in your freezer to make more usable space.
I bought a small, inexpensive chest freezer a couple of years ago. I wanted an upright frost free one. I Have RA and I was worried I would have trouble retrieving items. I researched and found that chest models keep the food at a much more even temperature. My experience is that most things keep at least a year especially if they are vac sealed. I love my freezer! They do have to be defrosted occasionally. I have not needed to do so yet. My only problem is remembering to record inventory. I also tend to lose labels or I can’t read them months after I make them. I would love to know if you have ideas on labeling.
Stand up by far. Have a chest freezer and I have to wear gloves to go in and dig out what I’m looking for, even though we are very organized. It’s easier for things to make their way to the bottom and then end up old and freezer burned. We eat carnivore and recently ordered 2 stand up freezers. My heart is happy when I go look for things bc. I don’t have to dig. They are both Frigidaire, I believe.
Not commenting on type, but I have a chest. I keep a spreadsheet printed out of the inventory and I never “lose” things any more. A pen is on the window sill to mark off item each time it’s used. Also use bags to keep things organized and for ease in finding stuff.
Good news Kevin the freezer I ordered for my daughter in April/May (can’t quite remember it’s been so long) is coming at the end of July. It’s a month earlier then they said it was to come in.
So maybe your’s won’t be that long
Jersey Shore Amy says
Don’t we all want to do less work? Go frost-free upright! I have never had a freezer I had to defrost so cannot compare food quality in one type vs the other. I do however use one of those food-saver bag systems. I portion out meat in them and it will last a year+ without getting freezer burnt. For other foods that could be “damaged” during the vacuum process I will quick freeze before sealing or I put them in the bottom of takeout containers and it will basically seal around them. A worthwhile and fun gadget. Good luck! Love your blog. Will make blueberry buckle today!
Linda Williams Woodworth says
I have 2 uprights, biggest they make. Energy star, alarm to let me know if door left ajar or power has been disrupted. Electronic thermometer assures me that quarter side of beef is at zero.
Best part: where we live the power will go out from time to time, and we are the end of the power line. The manufacturer says if door is kept closed it will stay below 32 for 3 days!
Mine are 3 and 4 years old so won’t specify model, but have been trouble free.
Buy some handy bins to go inside to help section off more.
Ron Falcone says
We also have two refrigerators. We like the ones with the big freezer draw on the bottom. In addition, we have four freezers. One was my Mom’s, a Kenmore 16 cubic foot chest freezer she bought in 1966. It’s still going strong. The only problem is that things sometimes get lost in the bottom and can be hard to reach.
We have a kenmore two 16 cubic foot uprights that we bought in 1977 which have also been trouble free.
Our latest is a 20 cubic foot upright Frigidaire from Lowe’s. It’s the model with the baskets that hang under the shelves. It’s our only frost free freezer. We bought it just before the shortage started. It runs great and we’re going to get another as soon as they become available.
I’d like to know where the freezers, bleach, cleaning products, etc. are going. The factories are producing but the product disappears consumers get it.
Hi Kevin, I’m leery about stand alone Frost Free Freezers only because the bottom freezers of my 2 refridgerstors were advertised & are frost free. Mine are Fisher Paykel & I love them. HOWEVER: when shopping for these appliances, we were told that because its frost free, the freezer compartments warms up just enough to keep it frost free!! Anything that goes in there we have found gets ice crystals in the bag. My stand alone freezer is 3/4 size & does not get the ice crystals in containers. It’s in our garage w/ a floor drain so it’s not a big deal to defrost & clean it 1x each year. Do yourself a favor & do some research about these frost free freezers. Best wishes to you always! Oh! Lastly, pick out the containers you think you’ll be using most in the freezer. I like glass mason jars for my soups & some sauces then they go right in the micro to heat & serve. 2 compartments on the freezer door do not hold my pint mason jars because the band across is too high – they fall thru. And YES! Those Food Savers that vacuum seal are a great investment!
Liz Davey says
I have a non-self defrosting upright – actually my second one. The first lasted 35 years. I prefer it to the chest my mother had. It takes up less floor space. I am short and had to practically get in the chest to find things in the chest. I defrost twice a year and that gives me a chance to discard and reorganize. Just don’t get a “pebble” finish exterior; they are impossible to clean. If I ever get another, I would conside a commercial model and also a commercial model refrigerator only to go with it.
Alyce Grover says
I’ve been waiting since Apr. 2 on a order made at Lowe’s Still no freezer, no excuse, no nothing. Canning instead because produce will not wait.
Robert Lesko says
Hi Kevin –
We bought a “gently-used” upright ten years ago and it was great. Large capacity, handy door shelves and it performed well even in several power outages, one lasting ten days (frozen water jugs and bags of ice. But one day we started smelling something foul in the basement where it lived, like something died. All the mouse traps were empty. Then a couple days later I noticed a murky puddle beneath the freezer door. When I opened the door the smell was awful, like something big had died. All the pounds and pounds of meat. By the way, when I opened the door, I realized it had been slightly ajar, apparently for so long the compressor died, too. This would never have happened with either an alarm or a chest freezer. Just sayin’.
Kevin, I have a small upright freezer that we received as a work trade long ago. Its a Kelvinator and I’m sure they no longer make them but it has never failed me. You do need to defrost it but I don’t get freezer burn. So if you can’t buy a new freezer, buy an old model from a trusted friend!
I don’t recommend chest freezers because things tend to get buried.
Wow, so many great comments with helpful information!
I’m no expert, but have researched refrigerators and freezers a lot in recent years. One warning that jumped out at me is that regular appliances are not meant to be used in a garage. There are a few, but are specialized. A regular freezer needs to be used indoors–in a kitchen, pantry, or basement, but not in a garage. The entire system can’t handle the changes in temperature properly. We had one in our garage that neighbors passed on to us when they moved, and we couldn’t figure out why the refrigerator did a better job in the summer than the freezer. Then researched it and found the explanation. Good luck!
Linda A says
Hi Kevin, Wonderful comments to consider. I don’t have a spare freezer anymore but I wonder how long it’s safe to keep food frozen before quality deteriorates. There seems
to be varying ideas about this. Here’s a link about food safety: https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts.
In addition to keeping food quality high, it seems energy-saving is equally important. Why pay utility bills only to toss food with freezer-burn that we’ve forgotten about? (I’ve done this plenty of times and think wow! I’ve wasted my time, packaging, electricity & now I’m throwing out food!). So, both an energy-saving freezer and some system to keep track of what we have and for how long would help all the way around.
Would love to hear more about a simple way to organize & track. Love the ideas about keep one type of meat, for example, in the same container. Adding newer items to the back of the container and keeping older items up front to pull from might be good.
Nancy Rusinak says
We own the last model you mentioned, the Fridgidaire, and have been most pleased. I would suggest going for as large a freezer as you have space for. I suspect you will not have trouble filling it.
We bought the Frigidaire when our former upright went kaput in the middle of the pandemic. There was nary a freezer to be found anywhere. I didn’t bother to call our closest Lowe’s since it’s in an urban-suburban area that is always crowded. Instead I called everywhere else and came up empty handed. I caved, called the closest Lowe’s and the appliance manager had just discovered 3 of these tucked in a back corner of the warehouse. Beggars can’t be choosers so we leapt at it. With about $1K in food to lose, I was grateful for it. It was only later, when researching this model, that I found it would have been exactly what I would have chosen if I had a choice.
It’s roomy. It runs quiet. The door can stick, you have to give it a tug to open it. But I don’t mind at all; it lets me know the deal is good. Frost-free, unlike my last model. Very happy about that.
Happy to answer any questions you might have!
Howdy! We just bought the Frigidaire 13.0, mostly because…well…to be honest…it was the only one to be found for sale in Austin last weekend (and that includes the used and scratch-and-dent markets). Great unit though with the reversible door, door open alarm (a must because the door being left open is what really killed the old one!), and the power on light down below the door. The adjustable shelves, lower storage bin, and deep door shelves make organization a snap. Oh, and the bright LED light makes it easier to admire how pretty it is…
It resides in our garage basking in 100+ temps while keeping the interior contents at a balmy -10F. You can’t hear it running, which is quite freaky, so I’ve become more OCD than usual with my stealthy visitation of it at all hours just to verify, yes indeed, it is truly working and keeping things cool. Don’t let the size fool you, the 13 cf is more than adequate to accommodate our family of four’s prepper provisioning from Costco…
I freeze a ton of produce and various cooking and meal prep supplies. Here is my best advice:
Without a doubt, buy the largest freezer you can fit for the space you’ve identified. Not large, huge. Huge may cost a bit more, but it’s a one time expense and the operating costs of a 20 cubic foot versus a massive one are very minimal. I live in New York, as well, and we’re in for a rough fall and winter….and possibly longer. Buy a huge freezer. Believe it or not, you’ll fill it, regardless of the size. And if you have far more restraint than I, pack any extra space with gallon jugs of water. If you lose power occasionally, these blocks of ice will help to keep the contents temperature stable while you cycle your generator on and off until the power company hears your wails of desperation and reconnects you. Again, huge freezers, filled fairly full stay cold longer without power than smaller ones partially empty. I found mine as a floor model at Sears. It had a tiny dent on one side but because it was going to live in my basement, I didn’t care and I saved hundreds of dollars. Freezers are hard to find and now, overpriced since Covid, so shop wisely.
Buy an upright, rather than a chest type. Yes, chest freezers hold their cold air when opened better than an upright. But unless you’re going to be opening it many times a day and stand there rummaging for long, the difference isn’t worth the difficulty of packing a chest freezer so things are visible and accessible without too much trouble. Upright is the way to go. We’re all too old to have to stand there, ass over teakettle, shoving whole chickens around to find the blanched carrots you packed months ago. Upright (and did I say huge?) is the way to go.
Buy one that automatically stays defrosted. This one is a no-brainer. Yes, the freezer temperature cycles slightly to maintain the frost free condition, but it only raises and lowers temps a very small amount. Mine cycles from zero to 3 degrees. Nothing’s going bad at 3 degrees and nothing is “partially defrosting” as one poster feared. And there will never be a day when hauling every single thing out of your ice encrusted freezer to stand over it with a blow dryer, sounds like a fun afternoon.
Invest in some organizational freezer wire boxes. I got mine from the Container Store for a few dollars a piece and make sliding all my beef and lamb packages, or seafood package or what have you in and out effortless. Measure the interior, all dimensions and buy carefully to maximize every inch of space.
Buy two or three freezer digital thermometers. They’re about $10 each and they’re worth it. (That’s how I know my freezer only cycles a very few degrees to remain frost free. ) They’re very small and can be hung from any shelf…scatter two or three around inside and if you find the area farthest from where the cold air comes into the freezer box slightly warmer than the other sections, just make sure you leave a clear path from one shelf to another for that air flow. (See again, buy a HUGE freezer.)
Hang a clipboard on the outside of the door and make a list of all the types of proteins, veg, ice cream, meals, baking supplies, etc. you typically have on hand. And leave a column next to that is so you can note a reduction in count when you remove an item, or an increase in the number of center cut pork chops you have when you add items after prepping produce or shopping. Never again will you have to wonder if you have enough NY Strip Steaks for a gather later that week.
Finally, my best tip: Buy a Food Saver vacuum sealer. And vacuum every single thing you put in your HUGE, frost free freezer. All proteins with their store packaging removed, all your lightly blanched veggies, all your berries pre-frozen on sheet pans and poured into the heavy plastic Food Saver rolls or bags. Buy extra (four or five times what you thin you could ever use) of extra Food Saver bags or rolls. I live alone but pre-pandemic, I entertained all the time, so I freeze most things into small portions for one or two meals, so I don’t have to defrost a package of 12 hot dogs…only the two I will eat that night. You get the idea.
Nancy Farrell Prewitt says
We’ve had our non frost free freezer since 1971. It is an upright and pretty big, although we have a small chest freezer also. We only defrost once a year and is a good time to make sure you use up older items. We don’t buy commercial frozen foods so most of our food is in ziplock freezer bags. We bought wire baskets That fit each shelf so the bags don’t fall out. It is stuffed now with all the frozen berries from the garden, homemade bread, leftovers, soups, etc.