If you have a large family, grocery shop in bulk, or do a lot of fishing and hunting, a chest freezer can be a great purchase. According to the United States Department of Agriculture people in America waster over 150 billion dollars by throwing away food each year.
Better yet, owning a chest freezer can be a great way to prevent waste and add savings to your monthly grocery budget. It is one of those purchases that you will make and then ask yourself,"Where have you been all my life?!"
What Is A Chest Freezer?
The most economical (and most popular) type of freezer is a chest freezer. The chest freezer got its name because it is shaped like a large treasure chest and has a lid that opens upwards instead of out like a fridge.
You can find chest freezers in a variety of sizes. They are typically anywhere from 2.1 cubic feet up to 40 cubic feet. People usually don't keep these freezers in the kitchen because of their size. Instead, they are typically found in the utility room, garage, or basement.
Chest freezers differ from upright, draw, and portable freezers in many ways. Besides the size, the biggest difference is that they don't have a fan and it can cause some problems. Since there is no air circulation, the temperatures can be inconsistent inside of the freezer.
That will not hurt your food and can actually help prevent freezer burn. It is recommended that you store meats and large items at the bottom of the freezer as this will always be the coldest part.
Storing smaller items like bags of food, precooked meals, and frozen vegetables at the top make it easier for them to stay frozen and also makes it easier to access them.
Why Do I Need One?
A chest freezer can be very affordable and help save you tons of money. Do you have a garden? Even a small garden can produce large amounts of fruits and vegetables. While giving away the extra to friends and family is nice, think about how great it would be to have such a nice bounty for your own family during the winter months.
Freezing fruits and veggies also gives you time to plan what you want to do with your food. Making 35 cans of strawberry jam might seem like a great idea in the summer, but after the 10th jar, it will probably be the last thing you want to eat.
Owning a chest freezer is also great for buying meat in bulk or if you or someone you know is a hunter. Meat is one of the most expensive items on a family's grocery list.
Imagine if you could get meat in bulk and save money at the same time. Not only can it help your budget, but it can also cut down on the amount of time you spend grocery shopping each week.
Saving time is another great reason why you need a chest freezer. Not only will you save time by grocery shopping less, but you can also save time by precooking meals. A quick Google search will supply you with hundreds, if not thousands of recipes that are family friendly and freeze well.
Cooking ahead isn't just for meals, but works great for baking as well. You can make your own premade pie crust as well as muffins, bread, and cookies. Spending on weekend cooking can make the rest of your meals for the month much easier to prepare and serve.
How We Compiled Our Reviews
Prices of Chest Freezers
The great thing about chest freezers is their affordability, not only for the initial purchase but for running them as well. You can check out online for the latest price of a new chest freezer and pick those that are within your budget.
Size is the most significant factor in pricing, but things like baskets and organization ability play a factor as well.
Because chest freezers can be purchased at such low prices, there is generally more concern given to how much it will cost to run year round. Being nervous about adding another appliance to the electric bill is a valid concern, but not one you need to have when it comes to owning a chest freezer.
On average it will cost you $25 to $52 a year to run a chest freezer. The size of the freezer you choose will play a big factor in exactly how much it will cost, as well as how much food you keep in your freezer.
A fully stocked chest freezer uses less electricity than a half-empty one. Chances are you will be able to save much more in a year on your food budget than what you'll spend on power.
Our Top Eight Chest Freezer Choices
The choices below are in no particular order. When trying to figure out what size freezer is right for your family, it is important to remember that a 3.5 cubic foot freezer will hold about 123 pounds of frozen food.
A 5.0 cubic foot freezer will hold approximately 175 pounds of frozen food, and 7.0 cubic foot freezer will hold around 245 pounds of food.
Since the more full your freezer is, the less it costs to run, it is essential to get a freezer that is the right size for your family.
This Avanti model is available on Amazon. This chest freezer is 5.2 cubic feet, which makes it big enough for a small family to freeze a good amount of food. It has lights on the front to let you know when the power is on.
This freezer ranges from -5 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. This model has one removable basket which helps keep things organized. It also has a drain on the bottom which makes defrosting easy.
It received 2.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. There were no complaints about how this freezer works, but two people did receive their freezer dented.
The Midea WHS129C1 comes in three sizes and is available on Amazon. This chest freezer comes in three sizes: 3.5 cubic feet, 5.0 cubic feet, and 7.0 cubic feet. Each model has the same features. They all have an adjustable thermostat that can be set between -12 to -28 degrees Fahrenheit.
It includes one hanging wire storage basket and the doors are all hinge-style and can remain open while you are removing or adding things to the freezer. None of these models have safety locks which can prevent children from opening them.
This freezer received 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers like how well the freezer runs and that it does not produce much heat outside of the freezer. There are some complaints about the packaging not being great.
This chest freezer will cost you $209.00 at Home Depot. Th Amana AQC0501GRW is 5.3 cubic feet and has some great features. It has deep freeze technology which keeps your food at -8 degrees as well as a basket for easy organization.
It also has built-in rollers that make moving your freezer very simple, even when it is full. When you have found the perfect spot for your freezer the two leg levelers on the bottom will help you keep your freezer balanced no matter how uneven your floors might be.
It has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Home Depot's website. People commented that they love how well the freezer runs and how quiet it is. Some people report having problems with the lid sticking.
The Danby DCF038A1WDB13 chest freezer and is available on Amazon. Measuring at 3.8 cubic feet this freezer is great for anyone who lives in an apartment, condo or even for use in a small office. The foam insulated chest and lid makes this one o the most energy efficient chest freezers on our list.
It has a manual defrost system with a drain which makes defrosting a simple task. It has one basket for better organization. This model comes with a one year warranty on parts and labor.
It has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers who are single or just needed a little bit of extra room love the size of this chest freezer. Some people dislike that it has no internal light.
This chest freezer is available on Amazon. Coming in at almost 15 cubic feet this model is large. It is perfect for big families, small businesses, or anyone who wants to be able to stock up on a large amount of food. The exterior dial temperature control is easy to reach and allows for you to set the temperature to your preference.
Frigidaire FFFC15M4TW has multiple color-coordinated baskets for easy organization. It comes with a key and safety lock which makes this model perfect for anyone with small children. The casters make moving this large freezer simple for even one person.
There is even LED lighting inside of the freezer so you will never have a problem trying to find what you're looking for when you open it in the dark.
It has 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. People love the size and organizational capabilities of this chest freezer.
There are complaints that the caster kit does not include screws. If you purchase this freezer make sure you also buy (16) #10 X 1/2" sheet metal screws to mount the casters using the pre-drilled holes.
The Haier HF50CM23NW is available on Amazon. This chest freezer is a good deal for the size. The 5.0 cubic foot freezer can fit up to 175 lbs of food. It has one removable basket which helps with organization. The front drain makes defrosting effortless and quick.
The interior of this model is aluminum which is great at keeping a consistent temperature. This model does not include castors or extended legs which can make moving it difficult, especially if it is filled with food.
This freezer is rated as 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. People love the front drain and how easy it is to defrost the freezer. There are a few complaints about the machine putting off a bit of heat on the outside.
This chest freezer is available on Amazon. The Insignia NSCZ50WH6 is a great deal considering it is 5.0 cubic feet which is a perfect size for many families.
The removable wire storage basket can be placed anywhere in the freezer or can be removed to create extra space. The lid will stay open when lifted above a 45-degree angle, which makes adding and removing items a breeze.
The adjustable leveling legs mean your unit will always be level even if your floor isn't. That is important as it helps with insulation and allows your freezer to run more efficiently.
It received 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers enjoy the size of this freezer and how it is easy to find a place to fit it in their home. Some people dislike that it is not a frost free freezer.
The RCA FRF450-B can be purchased on Amazon. This model comes in four different sizes: 3.5 cubic feet, 5.1 cubic feet, 7.1 cubic feet, and 10.6 cubic feet.
Each size has many of the same features as similar models mentioned elsewhere in this article. The major difference is that this model has a shelf which is unique for chest freezers. The shelf allows for much better organization.
This chest freezer received 2.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. We included this freezer on the list because it received rave reviews about how well it works. The lower reviews come from people whose freezers arrived with some dents, although those dents did not affect how well the freezer worked.
Which Chest Freezer Is The Best?
Each chest freezer on our list can be a great option depending on your needs and budget. It is important to consider the little additions, like castors and drains, which might not seem like a big deal when purchasing the freezer at first but will become important later on.
Also, keep in mind that you don't want to buy a freezer that is too large. Not keeping your freezer full will mean you're paying more in electric each month to keep it running.
If you shop smart and are realistic about what you need then owning a chest freezer can be a great time and money saver for you and your family. Who doesn't need a little bit more of both?