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Thread: Freezer recomendations?

  1. #1
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    Question Freezer recomendations?

    Don't know if this is the best place to post this but am giving it a shot:

    I'm looking into getting a smaller (5-8cf) chest freezer for my new home and have heard various conflicting reports on the quality of different brands.

    What do you use? What are your experiences with freezer brands? Have you had or heard of any problems with a particular brand? Any recomendations? I'm primarily looking at Fidgedair, GE, Whirlpool, or possibly Kenmore.

    I'm trying to get a large sample of peoples opinion (because there will inevitably be conflicting opinions) so please take a second to leave a quick post.

    Thanks a bunch, James

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Use to have a chest freezer. But switched over to a stand up one. It seemed like everytime I wanted something from the chest freezer it was always at the bottom. Made the switch and have been happy with it ever since. What brand to get I wish I could help you. Got my used. Looks ugly but it has been working for me the last 6 years.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member akfun's Avatar
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    like gray i would say do not go with a chest freezer, get a stand up. also i would check consumer reports website. i got a chest freezer last year in may. well i am kicking myself for it. by end of summer i have full freezer, fish at father in laws, fish at friends freezer in wassilla. every time i need something i have to unload half the freezer to get to something. and chest freezers have more of a frost problem so make sure you get an auto defrost if you get a chest. if it is going to be put outside make sure you get one with a scroll compressor, they are stronger and can handle getting refrigerant back to the compressor. hope this helps.jeff

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Stand up is the way to go, and don't get a frost-free model. Fish will go bad more quickly in a frost-free freezer. I've had my Frigidaire for four years, and only now am I to the point where I need to defrost it. I'm very pleased with my Frigidaire.

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    Where do you live JJ. I can give you one if you live in Juneau.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Soggy,

    I'm in Anchorage, but thanks for the offer.

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    Come on I know dam* near all of you guys have freezers. I want to hear your experiences with the quality of different brands. Please!

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    I have a chest freezer that I use for long term storage. It works great for us and seems to keep the meat better without freezer burn. Chest freezers have a problem of everything being on the bottom....... We use out of the upright we own and store for long term in the chest. Things do get thrown on top and used out of it as meat is used up. If you are looking for a freezer that is smaller go ahead and get it. Its just harder to organize things but not impossible. I just stack things,,,, steaks right back corner to bottom..... Burger opposite side...... roasts in the middle.. best cuts in front and etc......

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    I'm not much help. I've got a 20.3 cu. ft. upright General Electric.

    It hold -10 degrees very nicely. Moderate power user.

    I would suggest you get an upright. There are several in your size range.
    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
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    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Another Vote for an Upright

    I bought a brand new GE 17 cf frost-free two years ago and have been very pleased. Only wish I'd bought a larger model.

    By the end of last summer, it was absolutely stuffed full of fish. No way I could have squeeze another fillet in. That was a sure sign to me that the thing was too small.

    Freezer space becomes an even bigger issue when the out-of-state family and friends come for a visit and need to store their catch on a temporary basis. That's why I'm strongly considering the purchase a 7 cf chest freezer for the garage. A back-up / overflow / long-term freezer makes a lot of sense.

    Interesting comment about the frost-free versions increasing the likelihood of freezer burn. Even though I vacuum seal most of my fish, signs begin to appear after only about six months. It's more apparent on the salmon, than the halibut though. A commercial fisherman told me that six months is the typical shelf life for frozen salmon -- regardless of what measures are taken to keep it fresh and untainted.

    That just means I've got the stuff more often...

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We still have salmon from last June/July that is free of freezer burn. Some of the poorly sealed stuff has a few marks on it, but most of our fillets are still beautiful. We're starting to run a bit low, but we've got plenty for the canner right before the fish start running again.

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    Smile The problem with frost free freezers is that

    Interesting comment about the frost-free versions increasing the likelihood of freezer burn. Even though I vacuum seal most of my fish, signs begin to appear after only about six months.

    there's a timer and a temperature sensor attached to a heating coil. Every six hours or so, the timer turns on the heating coil. The heating coil is wrapped among the freezer coils. The heater melts the ice off the coils. When all of the ice is gone, the temperature sensor senses the temperature rising above 32 degrees and turns off the heater. Heating the coils every six hours takes energy, and it also cycles the food in the freezer through temperature changes. Changing the temperature of frozen foods is what is known in the culinary world as a Bad Thing, and can lead to freezer burn through slight defrosting and refreezing. If you do get a frost free because you liked the other features of the freezer the frost free system is easy to disable.
    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
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    I must echo some of the above comments...

    Frost-free = degraded meat quality due to the cyclical freeze-thaw damage to muscle cells.

    Proof is in the amount of juice lost during the thaw. There should be little or no juice left behind on a well preserved piece of meat/fish. Juice you throw away should have been preserved in the meat for mouth appeal... who wants to eat saw dust?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Default Gee...

    GE.
    Chest model.
    Defrost it yourself.
    No problems.

    Rotate your stock...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Wow. I was begining to think a was all alone prefering a chest freezer.

    Uprights in my opinion waste too much space and are hard to fill to capacity without everything spilling out when you open the door.

    Get a non-frost-free chest freezer and use the dividers inside. Any of the major brands you mentioned are of good quality and will serve you well.
    Now what ?

  16. #16

    Default Frigidaire - 10 c f Chest

    . . . Manual defrost ( I do that about once every 2 yrs). It's parked on my rear deck so gets a little rain/snow when the winds blow.

    I wipe the outside dirt off twice a year and keep it at about -10F inside.

    Been running 12+ years so far. If you keep em full mostly, very little frost builds.

  17. #17
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    Wink more on freezers

    Uprights freeze food much faster, as there is better air circulation. Mine even has freezer coils in the shelves. Fish filets are ~50% water. When you freeze your filets rapidly this water forms many small ice crystals, disrupting cellular structure minimally. If fish is frozen slowly, large ice crystals develop inside the flesh tissues, which can cause physical damage to the tissue cell structure. Ruptured tissue cells means increased drip-loss during thawing. The moisture loss from thaw-dripping and the associated loss of water-soluble parts of the damaged tissue will, in turn, affect both the texture and flavor of the cooked product.

    Having said that, there are some advantages to chest freezers.

    1) More economical. Chest freezers typically have thicker side insulation and having the door on top prevents you from spilling cold air (money) on the floor every time you open it.

    2) Greater real capacity for a given amount of cubic feet. You can fill 'em to the brim, but good luck finding that special little piece of something in the back left bottom corner. Also, if you try to freeze a large amount of product at once it will take a long time to freeze (see above).

    3) Generally the purchase price is lower.

    4) They are very handy if you have large or odd shaped items to freeze. there's no way I could get 1/2 a pig in my upright.


    Upright freezers

    1) Far better access to product (important if you freeze lots of different kinds of food), and easier to clean, rotate and organize.

    2) Far more rapid freezing of product, leading to higher quality of thawed product.

    3) smaller footprint


    I guess you just decide what is important to you, and go from there.
    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
    Captain Steve's Fishing Lodge
    www.captainstevesfishinglodge.com

  18. #18
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    My wife and I bought a 29 cu.ft. chest freezer from Montgomery Ward in 1976 and it hasn't missed a beat in all those years. Too bad MW went out of business though.

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    Thanks for the help.

    Any info about specific Brands? Have you had or know someone who's freezer quite on them prematurely? I'm pretty set on a smaller chest style (though I agree that uprights are nice) because the only space we have at the moment would not clear the height of the upright.

    We were looking at a Fridgidair but two different people told me how their's quite after just a couple years. So I'm having second thoughts about that. On the other hand, several other people seem particularly happy with their Fridgidairs though? Who knows.

  20. #20
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default How to disable "frost free"?

    I have a Frigidaire that I bought a few years ago. It is a stand up freezer as well. My wife, having grown up with a chest freezer, absolutely refused to let me get a chest freezer because like others have said, the stuff that ends up at the bottom is always the stuff you want.

    I did not know about the frost free vs. non-frost free issues. Ours is "frost free" and seems fine. But if it will improve some of the fish quality - as well as save some energy from not having to go through the thawing/freezing cycle over and over - how do you disable this?

    We pulled out some halibut the other day and made halibut olympia with it. When we were done my wife asked how it was. The taste was fine, it was a touch waterier (if that is a word) than if it was fresh off the fish, but overall was still great. She said "ok, good, it was labeled 2006." A tight vacuum seal is important and I have found fish that has been only 4-5 months old that somehow got a puncture in the bag or didn't quite seal right, and it has been frostbitten beyond repair.

    But I would definitely like to turn off the frost-free mechanism if possible.

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