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Freezer Purchasing Advice

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by the simple life, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. I know this has been discussed a little, I did a search through older threads looking for some direction on my freezer purchase but have not come up with much information.
    I have decided that I am going to purchase a chest freezer, I may also purchase an upright in a couple of months, I had one but it died and I really need a chest freezer for the beef and chicken coming soon.
    Anyway, I am torn on the manual defrost/auto defrost option.
    I can get both close to home, they are the same size and similar price ranges.
    I know that they say the self defrosting models can cause food to dry out or get freezer burned but at what length of time are we talking?
    I don't plan on keeping meat around for a year, I plan to restock with meat every 6 months or less.
    With my size family and the size of the freezer I am purchasing 6 months is about all it will do me anyway.
    The manual defrost model supposedly keeps food better and uses less energy but then you have to deal with defrosting it.
    The auto defrost is convenient but I don't want to compromise the food quality after putting the hardwork and money into getting it in the freezer.

    So, I am wondering if anyone here has had experience with either or both and if you can offer some insight as to whether the food starts drying out or gets freezer burned before a year, if the auto defrost is worth the extra money to run, is the manual defrost as big as a pain as I remember my old freezer being etc.


  2. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    If you have a chest freezer and you're not in and out of it much, adding moisture, you shouldn't need to defrost it often. Defrosting is an annoyance, though.

    Can't say that I can offer any comparison re the freezer burn question, sorry.
  3. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Which ever style you get, ensure you get a temperature monitor! I lost a bunch of birds because my freezer went bad. Didn't know it until I smelled the rotting meat. After a search on Google, I found a 15.00 battery operated temperature monitor that has a probe inside the freezer and a signal unit outside the freezer. When temp goes above 15 degrees, the unit signals with an audible alarm.
  4. Thank you for the tip. I wasn't aware of that.
  5. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I have no advice on the defrost thing, but do want to say I never buy an appliance without going to the library and check recommendations in Consumer Reports. Quite often they will talk about the pros and cons of a particular feature. Maybe they have an article on this.
  6. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    I love consumer reports!
  7. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Songster

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    I've had both types. I just bought a chest freezer because we never had enough room in the upright. I ONLY buy the manual defrost freezers. I find they keep the quality of the food much better. Self defrosting models are good for a month of quality storage - tops.

    What I really like about the manual defrost is 1) they use much less power and 2) regular freezer paper is good enough for packaging. I find with the self defrosting models the fan is always blowing and dries out everything in very little time. They also seem to require much more packaging, shrink wrap, etc. to protect the food and keep it even for as little as 6 months.

    Also, my upright is in the basement. I only have to defrost it every other year. I think the fact that my freezers are in cold areas (like my basement) they don't condensate as much as when they are in warmer areas. I usually defrost my freezers in the coldest day of winter by just putting the contents outside and then putting a bucket of really hot water in the freezer and closing the door for 15 minutes. Then just use a blow dryer to get the ice melting. The water is a mess but I have used the shop vac to just suck it out. It takes me a good 30 minutes to defrost and I find it's well worth the time for the overall better quality of my food and savings in packaging and power.

    An alarm is a good idea but my freezers have little lights outside so I can see that they are running. The chest freezer I just bought is an energy star model and after I plugged it in my electric bill went up $3 for the entire month! I'm very happy with it. It also has 4 baskets that slide around on the top and it keeps everything really organized - don't know what I would do without those baskets!

  8. seramas

    seramas In the Brooder

    Oct 11, 2009
    We freeze a years supply of food from the garden, orchard, berry patches, chicken, turkey, rabbit, fish and pork using three 5 cubic Foot and three 7.5cf chest style freezers. They are not self-defrosting. They are filled in a way that allows empting one freeze at a time, this prevent frost built-up in the freezers that are not opened. As they become emptied they are turned off and cleaned blocking the lids slightly open to prevent mildew from growing in them while not used. We can't see buying a single large one that cost more to run as they empty out, let alone having to unload it every 3 months to defrost it.
  9. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    I bought a chest freezer from Sears, it isn't a self-defrost, for the same reason others have mentioned - food quality. I've had it down there for four years now and I really should defrost it just about now - but it's still ok. It does have a flash-defrost system in it, so I take out the food and let the system cycle, the ice should fall off and it's a quick restart after I clean it out. We'll see how it goes. Anyways, that's the way I would go. I won't use an upright, the cold falls out every time you open the door - it's not as efficient as a chest freezer. Keep in mind I'm all about energy saving, right now my electric fill is right around $51.00 a month - because we are very careful.
  10. That is what I was thinking when I decided to buy a medium sized chest and then buy another in a couple of months.
    I also don't want to run a big freezer when there is not much left in it.
    Its true what you say about not having to defrost it as much if it isn't opened alot.
    Mine also come with those baskets that will help keep everything organized so I won't have to keep the freezer opened while searching for something in particular.

    Mine will also be in the basement which is cooler. The salesman told me that if you buy an auto defrost that you can't put it anywhere that gets too cold, such as an unheated garage in the winter because the fan will start cycling more and more to keep the coils from getting iced up and it will damage your food and eventually burn out the motor.
    That was one of the drawbacks for me. I don't want to be limited on where I put it in case it needs to be moved from one area to another for whatever reason.

    I do miss having my extra freezer though so I need to get on this before all the meat is ready.

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

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