The use of freezers in our lives is indispensable, as it serves as the storehouse of the kitchen helping with the immediate supply of instant frozen food. Be it a pack of frozen peas, or a pack of cheese and tofu, or desserts like ice creams, the freezer never deceives us of our need to taste them instantly. Almost all of us know the functionalities of freezers, as they come as a small dedicated compartment in the refrigerators. But there are dedicated freezer units as well, that caters only to the freezing functions, and finds extensive use, both domestically and commercially.
Uses of a Freezer
We can say in one word that the freezer maintains food items at a freezing temperature. But we don’t want to express our gratitude to these little machines in just a word. It helps in preserving food frozen and fresher for a long time and it also maintains extremely low temperatures to ensure that food is preserved and prevented from all microbial contamination and damage.
These freezers are capable of auto defrost function, and thus there is no need to keep cleaning them often. They are available in a range of sizes and temperature settings and have several features such as door alarm and lock, lock, anti-tamper thermostat adjustments, and loaded with software as well.
Traditionally, freezers were considered to be big and empty boxes that were hard to organize. But recently manufacturers are adding several smart storage functions in the freezers such as adjustable and removable shelves and drawers, smart storage options, etc., to widen their functionalities.
Different Types of Freezers Available in the Market
A freezer is a highly useful modern invention and it is practically impossible to find a home with no freezer. They have become the most common appliances to preserve food and meat and also helps protect them from bacteria, mold, and rot. Freezers come in different forms and sizes and are of the following types.
1. Chest Freezers:
The chest freezer can be considered as a large box of frozen items and refers to a chest with a hinged door, that opens upwards. They can stay wide open when you have to pick up or find a food item from them. Practically you can dump everything down in these chest freezers and thus store a large volume of frozen food instantly. But because of the lid, it will be appropriate to look for a place with a lot of headroom for these freezers.
The chest freezers are available in a range of size options, starting from small and compact models that measure around 2.1 cubic feet to commercial boxes that can occupy about 40 cubic feet of space.
These chest freezers are best placed in the garage, as they can withstand the hot and humid conditions in the garage. They can however be placed in the utility room, or the basement of the house as well. As the chest freezers are large and have ample space to store huge volumes of food items, we can use them to store bulky items, that you cannot keep in the refrigerator section of your freezer.
The chest freezers do not cause any freezer burn on the food items and are capable of maintaining a consistent temperature below the freezing point. But they do not have a fan and thus cannot optimize air circulation within the unit. But it is a good practice to store meat and large items in the lower part of the freezer as they can stay fresh and preserved there for months. These chest freezers have wire racks and baskets on their top portion, where we can store desserts and commonly used food items, and also help in an organized division of space.
Check out: Best Chest Freezers for Garage
2. Freezer drawers:
Freezer drawers are very convenient appliances, as they are built just at the kitchen counter. They are typically found in large kitchens and are present on the counter to help with convenient cooking. It renders a quick hand while cooking to grab the ingredients instantly. The best feature of these freezer drawers is that they come either in stainless steel built, or with custom panels so that they blend seamlessly with the existing cabinets in the kitchen and enhance their elegance to many folds.
They are easy to be installed under the kitchen counter, mainly as a DIY project, as most of the kitchen counters are of the height of the cabinet. Some of these appliances also hold a finished top, so that they could behave as a cutting or placement surface, thus extending the countertop space in the kitchen. Apart from the kitchen, these freezer drawers can also be built in the dining rooms.
The drawer freezers can be of three types depending on the size and the number of drawers. Some of them have only a single drawer and are designed to be easily accessible by persons with disabilities. There are freezers with two and three drawers as well. These drawers have well-demarcated drawers to organize the different food items expertly. The drawers help with more than one layer of food and help a great deal in maximizing space. One smart top to organize this freezer drawer is to add bins and containers to keep food items separated and organized.
3. Freestanding freezers, upright freezers:
These freezers are available in different sizes and mimic the traditional refrigerator with racks and shelves, except that they render only a freezing option. The price of these units is at the upper limit, but their convenience makes for the additional costs they incur. They can be placed in the kitchen, living rooms, garage, and basement and can still be perfect for freezing food items. Also, it becomes pretty simple and easy to access the food items in these freezers and as they have a refrigerator-like style, when they are kept open for a long time, it can result in the wastage of power and electricity.
The best feature of these upright freezers is that they generally auto defrost and are thus easy to maintain than chest freezers. Also, they are pretty much easy to clean as well. The upright freezers take up very little floor space than the chest freezers. They occupy about 2 ½ square feet of space in storage, compared to a typical 2×6 feet space of the chest freezer.
With the shelves and the bins inside the body and the door of the unit, it becomes easy to organize and also find things. There is also an option for manual and automatic defrost, though annual defrost can compromise the performance of the freezer. These upright freezers are also available in a range of finishes such as stainless steel and slate.
Check out: Best Upright Freezers for the Home
4. Portable freezers:
Portable freezers are the primary storage zone for chilled drinks, food and to secure perishables such as fruits outdoors. Some of these freezers can secure food for a large group without spoiling it. Most of the freezers constitute foam insulation and the thicker the insulation, the longer is the food and drinks kept chilled inside it. Some advanced ice chests and freezers use polyethylene foam on all the sides at a thickness of 1.5 inches.
Freezers should have a uniform and perfect seal as any exchange of air between their interiors and exteriors would ruin the value of insulation of the cooler. Freezers with weak seals and poor sealing mechanisms are a strict no for camping. Modern-day freezers feature lids with rubber sealing gaskets with excellent locking mechanisms to maintain a cool temperature for many days. Users also have to ensure that the cooler stays latched all the time for efficient cooling.
Comfortable and robust handles that won’t give way with even rough handling are a must. Some freezers have military-grade rope handles to carry them seamlessly and to pack them tightly with a boat or in the wagon. The base of some high-end freezers is made of an anti-slip grip so that they don’t slip off the boat or any slippery surface when taken for kayaking or canoeing trips.
The portable freezers make use of AC or DC power or both and come with cords to draw power from the car’s cigarette lighter outlet. They are available in different size options, to meet the food needs of the camping group.
5. Display freezers:
These are also a type of upright freezers, but they have glass displays. We can find them in shops and supermarkets, where people need to have a clear look at the items that are displayed inside the freezer. These units are available in many different sizes and it pertains to the business on the size of the freezer they opt.
6. Under-counter freezers:
The under-counter freezers are generally found in commercial establishments, but they can also be used in the residential and commercial kitchen to help optimize the storage space. They also render a stable work surface to do some food preparation work or to store other equipment for food storage. These freezers are ideal for food trucks, cafes, bakeries, and other establishments, that have a brief kitchen and little scope for a dedicated freestanding freezer.
The under-counter freezers are available in many different lengths and configurations and they are equipped with doors, drawers, and a combination of both. And these under-counter freezers also comply with the ADA standards and thus can be used by persons with disabilities. There are also counter height and low profile under-counter freezers that help to meet the layout of the kitchen.
These under-counter freezers are available in different types such as front ventilating freezers, side breathing, and also real breathing compressor styles. And thus they appeal to a range of locations. For instance, if you are looking for a built-in freezer you can choose a front ventilating system and tuck then under the existing kitchen cabinetry.
7. Counter depth refrigerators with freezers:
The distance between the front of the kitchen countertop and the back wall is referred to as counter depth and these counter depth refrigerators with freezers slide in this space perfectly, with one or two inches protruding beyond the countertop. Some of the counter-depth refrigerators have a refrigerator on top and a dedicated freezer door below. These counter depth units are available in the top freezer, bottom freezer, French door, narrow depth styles.
8. Built-in Freezers:
These freezers are permanently installed under the existing cabinetry of the home and have a front ventilation system. They feature a premium built-in design with frost-free technology. Some of them also have automatic ice maker options to maximize convenience. As these freezers prevent icing and frosting, there won’t be a need to defrost again and its LED lights will light up the interiors brightly to have a clear view of the food.
Other Types of Freezers
Apart from the dedicated freezer units, that we have discussed above, there are also other types of freezers, depending on their orientation when they come along with the refrigerator. They are inverted freezers with a refrigerator on top and freezer below, refrigerators with a separate freezer compartment on top, and side-by-side refrigerators with freezers.
Side by side refrigerators is a revolution in the world of fridges and they have a freezer section on the left side and the refrigerator section on the right. Apart from a huge capacity, they offer easy and great access to fresh and the frozen foods.
In refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer, the zone serves as a dedicated freezing zone with the capability to produce ice and store frozen food items for a long time. it makes use of CFC-free refrigerants so that the appliance is environment friendly.
Must Read: Freezer vs Refrigerator: Briefly Explained
When there are so many different styles of freezers to choose from, it becomes quite easy and simple to find the perfect freezer for your home or commercial kitchen. It is important to choose the freezer based on the intended use, size of the family, shopping, and food storage options. Make sure the appliance has an energy star certification and makes use of an environment-friendly CFC-free refrigerant.