Chest Freezer

The place for general talk about gun, shooting, loading, camping, survival, and preparedness related tools and gear, as well as gear technology discussion, gear reviews, and gear specific "range reports" (all other types of gear should be on the back porch).
Johnnyreb
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:02 am

Chest Freezer

Post by Johnnyreb » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:08 am

I suppose this counts as gear.

I've thought off and on about having one. There are sales here from time to time, meat sales, good deals and a fine time to fill one up full of steaks and hamburger meat if I had a freezer to fill. The one on the fridge is just too small for that, and usually full up anyway when the meat sales happen. And what I just read on Kim's blog I agree with. Nebraska's flood will be a hit on the food supply and on food prices for some time to come. It is time to check my stuff and go fill up the shelves in anticipation of higher prices.

But here's the thing, there isn't really a good place to park one inside the house. There's a room I could put one it, but with the hallway leading there, I doubt you could get one in there. I have a building in back of the house, 2/3 of it is where I park the mower and all, and 1/3 is the laundry room. I could put a chest freezer there, but there is not air conditioning in either part and no heat in the mower parking part.

So, do some of you guys know anything about how well a chest freezer performs when exposed to the heat of summer? Will it keep stuff deep frozen, Will it loom large on the light bill? What about winter? Will 20 degrees affect it working right, or does it need to be kept warmer?

Precision
Posts: 4986
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:01 pm

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Precision » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:53 am

It will keep things frozen no matter the outside temp. My old on lived on the screen patio (no solid windows) in Florida. It made the electric bill go up, but a lot less than you would think, especially if kept full.

Put all that meat an whatever in there, but also add cases of bottled water to fill it up. As you get more good stuff, take out frozen water bottles to make room. That alone will save you a lot on electricity. Air has very little thermal help, no mass. a couple gallons of ice, different story.

You can also use spray foam to insulate better. I think we had a thread on how best to do that a while back. Basic idea is take off the exterior metal panels and see where the insulation sucks and fix it, then put the panels back on. Usually the lid is the least well insulated part. Thermal blanket can help with that.

Also the tiny ones 5-8cu ft ones SUCK for insulation and efficiency. Get at least a 10-12 cu ft one. Mine is 20-24 cu ft (can't remember) and it uses the same electricity as my parent's 8 cu ft one.
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
My little part of the blogosphere. http://blogletitburn.wordpress.com/

Johnnyreb
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:02 am

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Johnnyreb » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:35 am

Thanks, that's just the sort of thing I needed. I've never had one, not even as a child. My parents always had a fridge, but never, ever a full freezer,

I was looking at the smaller ones due to price, But they just look too small. If I'm doing this, I want to hit that meat sale and toss 20 pounds of lean hamburger in there, and a dozen 2 packs of ribeyes. hot dogs, ham, and room for a few frozen pizzas to stick in the oven. Sounds like at least a 12 cu one is in my future.

User avatar
Netpackrat
Posts: 13344
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Netpackrat » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:54 am

About the only thing chest freezers have going for them is electrical efficiency. Compared to upright freezers, they take up a lot of floor space for their size, and it's a pain in the ass to actually find anything in them that isn't on the top layer of stuff.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

tfbncc
Posts: 822
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:00 am

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by tfbncc » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:36 am

Get an upright freezer. Easier to organize and find what you want. Also keep in mind that while a good fridge freezer will get down to -5 degrees, a deep freezer will get down to -20 to -25 degrees. Food will last longer. Precision also pointed out a very important consideration. Size. It really doesn't matter what size you get in regards to the power consumption. What does matter is how much mass you will put into the freezer space. Fill up as much space as you can. If your food doesn't fill it up, then as he said, use gallon jugs of water (don't fill them up all the way). The more mass you have, the easier it is for the freezer to maintain temperature. And, should there be a power failure, that mass will keep the cold temp for longer if you don't open the door very often. The people who make freezers for ice cream trucks line the interior space with fairly thick steel plates inside the insulation barrier to increase the mass. Those freezers will stay at -20 degrees all day on a truck with no power just because of the extra mass.

User avatar
g-man
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by g-man » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:06 pm

We had chest freezers, and have switched to an upright. We had an older one (don't do the craigslist thing... ours worked fine, but was from the '80's, and inefficient as hell) which we upgraded. I think the one we have now is 21 cubic feet, and we keep it pretty full. It's a LOT easier to get stuff out of the upright, even if more 'cold' is lost every time you open the door.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

Rich Jordan
Posts: 1804
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:04 am

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Rich Jordan » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:15 am

We bought a chest freezer for space reasons; we had more floor space, no vertical room, and it is a cheap 8 cubic foot unit. That said it has been a godsend. It held its full contents (I do keep it full) below 10F during a summer 24 hour power outage (in the garage, which was pretty hot); our weenie little 900w Harbor Freight generator easily ran it, and a couple of 15-20 minute runs per day would have kept everything in it safe.

We did do some of the insulation improvements mentioned above, and for quite a while i had a 'lid' made of foam board that sat tightly over the top and down the side but it was too fragile. I think it helped but not enough to make another one.

Precision
Posts: 4986
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:01 pm

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Precision » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:49 pm

In a perfect world you would have a chest and an upright freezer.
chest for big stuff and for early part of the rotation
upright for common use, fast turn items

Most chest freezers have trays and such to help. Mine has four sliding trays on two levels to help with that.

I have both and both are full
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
My little part of the blogosphere. http://blogletitburn.wordpress.com/

User avatar
Termite
Posts: 8888
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:32 am

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Termite » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:09 am

A chest freezer is a lot more energy efficient, and a good one will keep things frozen for up to 3 days during a power outage, as long as you only open it it briefly once a day. I know this from experience.
But not just any of them will do this, you need one with 4" walls and top. It will cost more than the ordinary ones from Sears, Costco, etc.
Do your research. Look at the ones favored by the "off-grid" crowd.

I have a Vest Frost, and a Summit. Both are about 7 cu/ft. Both have walls and tops that are about 100 mm thick, and will support a significant amount of weight on the tops.
My Vest Frost has a "max cold" setting, and will pull the temp down to minus 20 deg F, or lower. That's low enough to certify pork by the freezing method.
"Life is a bitch. Shit happens. Adapt, improvise, and overcome. Acknowledge it, and move on."

Precision
Posts: 4986
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:01 pm

Re: Chest Freezer

Post by Precision » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:18 am

Termite wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:09 am
That's low enough to certify pork by the freezing method.
Which allows the safe consumption of a great pork delicacy. Pork Tartar. yummy
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
My little part of the blogosphere. http://blogletitburn.wordpress.com/

Post Reply