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Thread: Ideal Temperature Setting for Freezer

  1. #1
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Anchorage, AK
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    Lightbulb Ideal Temperature Setting for Freezer

    After being advised by fellow forum members that storing fish in a frost-free freezer greatly increases the likelihood of freezer burn, I bought a new manual defrost chest freezer.

    As the newly designated "fish box," this is where I will keep my prized salmon and halibut fillets from now on.

    According to the owners manual, the factory recommended temperature setting is "4" or mid-range. I noticed that my frost-free is pegged at the same number.

    As another precaution against freezer burn, I'm thinking about turning the knob on both freezers to the coldest setting. Suppose it might increase the electric bill a few more bucks each month, but taking this action would be worth the money if the fish lasts significantly longer -- one-plus years vs. six months.

    Should I reduce the freezer temperture or simply leave it on the recommended mid-range setting?

  2. #2
    Member
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    Apr 2007
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    Interior Alaska
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    775

    Default Best experience in long-term storage of meat/fish

    I double-wrap all meat products tightly in standard freezer paper; one layer at a time, rolling like you're packing a sleeping bag tightly.

    With fish, I lay out what ever size serving is going to be frozen (fillet, steak, whole, etc.) onto a non-stick cookie sheet (usually quite a number of such sheets) and place them in the freezer just until the outside of the fish's flesh is setting up really nicely, but the inside of the fish is still a bit pliable. I then slide the portions of fish into the (often custom-sized) 'bags' that I'm sealing them into.

    The freezing of the outside of the fish keeps me from getting too much slime and moisture built up inside the sealer, thus helping to prevent the vacuum mechanism (pump) from failing at an inopportune moment; like when I have a whole bunch of fish to seal.

    I then take a towell or paper towell that I have sitting next to where I'm working, and wipe out the inside circumference of the opening of the 'bag' with a paper towell, to make sure nothing will get in the way of the seal or create trouble for the sealer. I ALWAYS double seal any seams.

    Then, whether it's meat in white wrappers, or fish in sealed pouches/thermetically sealable bags, I put them into a freezer that's been set to its -coldest- setting for at least a couple of days before putting the bounty into it. And I leave the freezers on that setting as long as they have something stored in them.

    Using this method, I have had meat and fish come out of the freezer that were three years old or more, and be in just about as good of condition as meat and fish from the current year's supply.

    Yeah, it's a bit more money to keep the freezer set on that coldest setting, but its often times even MORE money if you have to pay to go back to that hunting or fishing spot again before next year or so, to replace the meat and fish that you can't/won't eat due to its condition.

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