Chest freezers are often seen in stores and restaurants, storing your favorite ice-cream. These freezers are also great options for homeowners who buy food in large quantities. They can be useful for people who want to store their food long-term, or for those who entertain often. Due to the large size of these appliances, most people keep them in the basement or a garage.
Chest freezers are available in many sizes. Small chest freezers with sizes ranging from 5 cubic feet, and upwards, are usually found in homes. Commercial chest freezers that are around 25 cubic feet are generally used in stores, restaurants and labs.
Chest freezers open from the top. Because of this design, cold air is retained better as compared to a standard freezer, which loses more cold air when you open it. Chest freezers also retain cold temperatures much longer in case of power failures. However, the top-door design may be a hindrance to some people, who find it difficult to reach items in the bottom of the freezer. You can use some of the following guidelines to better organize your chest freezer.
Use Removable Baskets, Wire Racks, and Bins
One of the most convenient ways to organize food in a chest freezer is by using storage baskets. You can remove these baskets from the freezer, clean, and restock them when needed. Most chest freezers are provided with storage baskets. You can buy additional storage baskets as per your requirement. An efficient organization method is to use a different basket for each food group. Another option is to place wire racks inside the freezer to organize the food items. Use of clear plastic containers make it much easier to locate food. It is better to store meat in the lower level. This prevents spilling and consequential contamination of dairy products and vegetables.
When you are stocking the freezer with food, make sure that you move the older items to the top. This way, the older food remains in view and will be used when it is still safe. Also, when you buy meat in bulk, you can divide and store small quantities in freezer-proof bags. This way, you only need to defrost the meat that you intend to use immediately.
Use the Freezer Compartments
Some freezers have separate compartments in the upper and lower levels. These compartments can be set to different temperatures. This way, you can freeze meat at lower temperatures, in one compartment. You can keep your ice-cream smooth by storing it at a higher temperature in the other compartment. Some chest freezers have separate doors or drawers for different compartments, which makes the storage and access very easy. There are also chest freezers available with a single door, but divided into compartments that you can access from the top. In this case, the food can be organized with ease, but will be stored at the same temperature. You can use each compartment for a separate food group.
You can buy special freeze-resistant storage boxes to keep food. These boxes also find use in labs, and are available in plastic, aluminum or steel. When storing food in such boxes, it is a good idea to label each box.