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The Best Ice Cream Freezer to Own for Family Fun

“You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Very few summer memories are as vivid as Dad disappearing into the garage and emerging after a few minutes with the old wooden Ice cream freezer. It was what my Mom called the “summer stopper.” because no matter what we were doing, we stopped to help make it and eat it as soon as possible.

Ice cream features large in many happy childhood memories, and many families still gather to make their own. Create any flavor you can imagine, knowing that you’ve hand-selected every ingredient for freshness.

Create unusual flavors like lavender and tea or basil and honey. Or stick with time-proven favorites like strawberry or chocolate. Make the most of your local fruits and dairy products and whip up a bowl of homemade ice cream at any time of year.

Why an Ice Cream Freezer?

There are many recipes available on the internet that purport to make ice cream at home without an ice cream freezer. I’m sure that many of them work and are quite tasty.

Still, there is nothing like the anticipation of making ice cream in an ice cream freezer to top off a perfect family event. You may have several appliances in your home, but none of them will bring the entire family (and maybe a few neighbors) together like an ice cream freezer. While the old wooden barrel and metal hand-crank are almost gone, the anticipation remains as high as ever, and the kids still want to participate.

Like most appliances in your home, the right ice cream freezer for you will be a tradeoff between price and features. You may only want to hand crank the occasional cone or two at family barbecues, or you may want to dazzle your friends and family with homemade frozen novelties at the touch of a button. Either way, there is an ice cream freezer just for you.

Best Ice Cream Freezer for Family Fun

Here, in no particular order, are some of the most highly rated ice cream freezers available.

Nostalgia ICMP400WD Wood Bucket

The hand crank may be gone, but that was always the hardest part of making ice cream back in the day. The Nostalgia company has a reputation for maintaining an old-time style for modern kitchen appliances. And the ICMP400WD will evoke memories of making ice cream with your parents or grandparents, right down to the ice and the rock salt.

Nostalgia ICMP400WD Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart
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Because it uses the old-time, real wooden bucket (lined with BPA-free plastic), there is no need to pre-freeze a bowl for hours or even days before use. The ice and salt produce and maintain the temperature necessary. This 4-quart capacity unit is easy to use and makes plenty of ice cream.

There is also a see-through lid for monitoring as you prepare your ice cream. You can even use it to store the leftovers. if there are any! You’ll find the cleanup simple because of the plastic liner, but you’ll have to dispose of the melted ice and salt.

Cuisinart ICE-21

“Budget-friendly and easy to use,” best describes the Cuisinart ICE-21. This ice cream freezer is usually between $45 to $75. The double-insulated bowl does not require ice but does require roughly 24 hours of pre-freezing. You can make 1.5 quarts of your favorite frozen goodies, like ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or gelato, at just the touch of a button and in only about 20 minutes.

Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker, Qt, White
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It has an ‘ingredient spout’ that lets you add your favorite crumbled cookies or candy pieces once you have started the cycle, as well as a locking lid to prevent spillage.

The ICE-21 also comes with a solid base and rubber feet for stability, with a strong motor that ensures even freezing in the bowl.

Cuisinart ICE-70

The Cuisinart ICE-70 is a mid-priced ice cream maker that has the same basic functionality as the ICE-21 but with some noticeable differences. For those that want a more robust machine but don’t want to pay for a unit with a compressor, then the ICE-70 is a terrific alternative.

This unit comes with a slightly larger 2-quart capacity bowl that can handle a wide range of frozen desserts. You can create not only ice cream but gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt as well.

Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Chrome, Ice Cream...
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An improved mixing paddle increases the machine’s overall efficiency and reduces the amount of time it takes to complete your recipe. You can typically expect only 15 to 20 minutes for ice cream.

The styling and controls are also quite striking. A countdown timer, LCD display, and three-button speed settings give you the ultimate control over the entire process. It also has a brushed chrome finish, on plastic, which is a nice upgrade from the plain, white model. The ingredient spout also has a built-in measuring cup to make adding your favorite fixings more precise.

Since this does not have a compressor, you will have to make sure the bowl gets frozen before use. This can take up to 24 hours in the freezer, so some planning will be involved.

Whynter ICM-201SB 2.1 Quart Upright

The Whynter Upright Ice Cream Maker has a large capacity, 2.1-quart removable stainless-steel bowl. Whynter designed it to maximize production and minimize the required counter space. Measuring 10.75 inches by 12.5 inches by 14.25 inches, it has a relatively small footprint for a compressor-equipped unit.

But it still weighs in at a considerable 25 pounds. Built with a BPA-free churning blade, the Whynter ICM is easy to clean and to store. It has a temperature range of -.4 to -31 degrees Fahrenheit, and the MPF (Motor Protection Function) shuts off the unit if the mixer feels excess resistance. This can happen in compressor models when the ingredients get mixed incorrectly.

Whynter ICM-201SB Upright Automatic Ice Cream Maker 2 Quart Capacity...
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The controls are where the Wynter ICM shines, as it boasts three different freezing modes, an LCD display, and a pause button. The screen shows you the time remaining until your product will be ready along with the internal mixing temperature. While not a ‘budget’ ice cream freezer, it does have loads of features and only requires limited counter space.

Hamilton Beach 68990 4 Quart Collapsible Bucket

The Hamilton Beach Collapsible Bucket is perfect for you if you don’t have a load of shelf space and will be keeping this unit in a closet or storage room. The 68990 folds up when not in use. This ice and salt model will make ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and gelato, and the 4-quart capacity bowl is easy to clean.

It was reported, however, that on exceptionally hot days, the unit may have difficulty bringing the ice cream mix to a freezable temperature. But, bringing it indoors seems to solve the problem.

Hamilton Beach 68990 Easy to Store Ice Cream Maker
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If you only want good old-fashioned homemade ice cream a few times a year and plan to keep the unit in storage until you need it, this may be the perfect ice cream freezer for you.

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino

Because we’re listing the best ice cream freezer you can buy, it behooves us to include the following ice cream freezer. Time after time, in test after test, survey after survey — it has proven itself to be the “best of the best.”

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker, Stainless -...
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This unit is for folks with ample cash and an ample appetite for delicious homemade frozen desserts.

Why users consider it the best of the best

So, what is so great about it to make it worth more than all the others on this list combined? To start with, Lello designed the body, paddle, and bowl with stainless steel for durability. It contains a built-in compressor to freeze the built-in bowl. This means you don’t have to freeze the bowl or mess with ice or rock salt. The unit is completely self-contained and ready to go in minutes.

Next, it is automatic. Just pour in the raw ingredients, push two buttons, and the 4080 will produce 1.5 quarts of ice cream in half an hour. Because it’s self-contained, you can continuously crank out desserts to your heart’s content. The controls are easy to use and understand. And surprisingly, users report that it’s much quieter than expected. An adjustable timer stops the unit automatically depending on what type of desserts you are making.

Of course, that compressor is going to increase the weight to a somewhat non-portable 40 pounds empty, at with a profile measuring 12 wide, 11 inches high, and 18 inches deep. So, it may not fit in your readily available counter space.

Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

The Breville (like the Lello above) is one of the few ice cream freezers that whip the ice cream to the same to the same consistency as the store-bought product. Whipping combines air with the ice cream and prevents it from freezing solid when you store it.

Not only does it keep it soft in the freezer, but it also makes it considerably easier to scoop. It is rare to find a home unit with this feature, but the Breville offers it, and at a significantly lower price than the Lillo.

Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Stainless Steel
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The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop is comparable to the Lillo on several levels. On the plus side, the Breville has a removable tub, and the Lello’s is firmly attached and can’t be removed. And additional tubs are available for the Breville, which suits those who want to experiment with different flavors.

Narrowing Down the Ice Cream Freezer Competition

So, there you have it. All these ice cream freezers will do the job nicely. But now, you have to decide which one to get and how much to invest.

You may want the ease of operation and extra features of either the Lillo or the Breville. You may want the old-fashioned feel of hot summer days gone by and decide to choose the Nostalgia ICMP400WD Wood Bucket. Maybe you need something tall and thin to accommodate the narrow counter space in your kitchen. In that case, you might opt for the Whynter Upright.

The fun and family involvement of making homemade frozen deserts in your own ice cream freezer is a top selling point, and for our money, nothing beats topping off a summer barbecue quite like freshly churned, home-made ice cream.

The Best Commercial Freezer To Own In 2018: Which One Do You Need?

freezer

Freezers used to use a lot of energy. They were inefficient, had poor design, and didn't keep your food as cold as you needed it to be. That led to food spoilage, wasted money, and high electric bills.

But commercial freezers have come a long way, and today, almost all of them are more energy efficient and do a better job at cooling than they used to.

Commercial freezers come in all shapes and sizes. There's one to fit every use, from restaurant kitchens to grocery stores. If you’re on the lookout for the best commercial freezer to own in 2018, look no further than this list for a rundown of what’s available.

From reach-in freezers to ice cream displays, you’re bound to find something that fits your needs and your budget.

Why Do I Need a Freezer?

Freezers and refrigerators are paramount to food preservation. We need a place to store our food safely, so it doesn’t spoil. It’s essential to our survival that we keep food and other ingredients cold until we’re ready to eat them.

Whether you’re preparing meals at home or you work in a restaurant, only the best appliances will do for your friends, family, guests, and customers.

Look for the best quality, durability, and performance in your next commercial freezer to ensure you are safely storing all of your food items for later.

What is a Commercial Freezer?

While it may seem like any freezer will do, you need to pay attention to the difference between a commercial freezer and a residential freezer. Believe it or not, the freezers vary greatly.

Residential freezers are designed with your home kitchen in mind. They fit specific areas and are meant to carry out different functions.

Commercial freezers meet the requirements of a bustling commercial kitchen and vary in size, shape, function, and much more.

Tasks of a Commercial Freezer

Commercial freezers are much larger than residential freezers. They have to accommodate greater energy consumption.

Because your kitchen staff is always accessing the food inside, a commercial freezer has a better capacity to maintain a constant temperature to keep items inside frozen.

A commercial freezer can be adjusted more quickly as well. Its ability to change rapidly to accommodate the ever-changing needs of a restaurant is what makes it the ideal piece of equipment to keep food fresh for patrons.

Capacity and Structure

A commercial freezer is generally much more substantial than a residential freezer. It needs to hold more to accommodate a massive influx of diners on a daily basis.

Depending on the size of the menu and the offerings at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a commercial freezer needs to be able to hold a lot of food and organize it accordingly.

Commercial freezers are heavy duty regarding components. They have very strong compressors with maximum insulation.

The commercial-grade materials used to build these freezers keep the appliance free from bacteria and germs that can build up quickly.

Types of Commercial Freezers

frozen food on commercial freezer

Whereas the options for residential freezers are limited, commercial freezers come in a variety of configurations to accommodate a more extensive array of needs. That includes reach-in freezers, walk-in freezers, under-counter freezers, refrigerated prep tables, and merchandisers.

Reach-in freezers are kept at the back of the kitchen and have multiple sections to keep food organized. The storage capacity is measured in cubic feet.

Walk-in freezers are great for storing ingredients in bulk. You can set up shelving units to accommodate your specific needs and organize your ingredients by how often you need access to them. They’re great for cheese, juice, alcohol, and other common ingredients you use regularly.

Under-counter freezers are smaller but great to store items you need often. They’re easily accessible to store smaller items or items you use in small quantities. They’re also great for bars that keep frosted mugs handy for drinks.

Refrigerated prep tables help keep food cold while it’s being prepared and merchandisers display items that need to be kept cold in a store.

Benefits of a Commercial Freezer

Commercial freezers use enhanced components like compressors and insulation, so they’re much more energy efficient than they used to be. They have to keep items frozen twenty-four hours a day, so it’s important that they are effective at what they do.

With the implementation of government programs like ENERGY STAR, companies get incentives for using energy-efficient products. Many manufacturers follow the standards for commercial equipment that meets the requirements for the ENERGY STAR program.

That translates to less strain in the environment and reduces energy bills. It also cuts costs in other areas. When your food is organized and easy to find, your kitchen runs smoother, and your grocery store customer can find what they need faster. 

The Best Commercial Freezer To Own In 2018

Following is a list to help you determine the best commercial freezer to own in 2018. These are worth the increased cost of a commercial freezer over a residential one because they save time, effort, and a lot of frustration.

Kelvinator KCNF180QW

The Kelvinator KCNF180QW is on our list of the best commercial freezer to own in 2018 because it has some unique features.

It’s a seventeen cubic foot freezer with locking lids to maintain freshness. It also has a static condenser and heavy-duty casters, so it can constantly be on the move, just like you.

You can move this freezer anywhere in the kitchen you need it, and it can vary from day to day. Find what works for you, even if that’s always changing.

The temperature ranges on this Kelvinator freezer are -10 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring maximum freshness and storage.

The temperature controlling unit guarantees that your freezer can maintain the correct temperature at all times while using less energy and save you money.

Arctic Air AF23 

Look no further than the Arctic Air AF23 one section reach-in freezer for the best commercial freezer to own in 2018. The stainless steel front and sides with an aluminum backing ensure a stylish look and quality performance.

The doors are self-closing, so you’ll never forget to close them with your hands full again. You can prop the doors open at ninety degrees if needed and the three epoxy-coated wire shelves are adjustable to suit your needs.

The external LED thermometer keeps you apprised of the internal temperature at all times so you can adjust it if needed. The temperature ranges from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and Internal lighting makes it easy to see the contents when you open it.

Convenience and quality are top of mind in this freezer with accessible compressor and condensing unit for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Arctic Air AUC48 F 

You’ll get convenience, performance, and quality in this freezer that may be the best commercial freezer to own in 2018. It is a great freezer to use for under-the-counter easy access to all of your ingredients.

The Arctic Air AUC48 F fits in a variety of tight spaces and the temperature is easy to monitor with the electronic thermostat and external LED display.

You can also use the heavy-duty top as a workspace for a dual purpose appliance that is convenient and easy.

With self-closing doors that stay open at ninety degrees make it easy to load and unload while allowing you to shut it easily with your hands full.

This freezer delivers quality and is environmentally friendly with an R-134a refrigerant that keeps food at the right temperature all the time.

Arctic Air AWF25 

The impact-resistant ABS plastic makes this freezer easy to clean and maintain, which is critical in a busy kitchen. The three adjustable shelves are standard, and the twenty-five cubic foot size fits anything you need. 

From -7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, you can keep food cold. The large fan motor ensures that you can recover your desired temperature faster when the unit is open.

The bottom mounted compressor lifts the unit higher off the floor, so you don’t have to bend as much to access your ingredients. That is one of the best ways to keep your ingredients cold until you need them.

Atosa MBF-8002

The EnergyStar rated round corner design of this freezer makes it one of the most efficient units on this list of the best commercial freezer to own in 2018.

The design and style are classic and beautiful. It’s perfect for any commercial space.

You have a Dixell digital temperature control so you can maintain a steady temperature for maximum food preservation. Loading and unloading are easy with self-closing, stay-open doors. The pre-installed shelves can hold 115 pounds of food.

With a five-year compressor warranty, this freezer is one of the best purchases for quality, design, and performance. It will make a great aesthetic and functional addition to your commercial kitchen.

SABA two glass door reach-in freezer 

The bottom mount compressor on this freezer gives you easy access to maintenance and cleaning.

It’s also elevated so you can load and unload with ease. The control panel is easy to access so you can change the temperature from -10 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

The four PVC coated shelves and four coated wire shelves display your product beautifully, clearly, and visibly. The internal LED lighting is durable and energy efficient, so if the unit is left open for too long, it still saves you money.

Maxximum MXH14.2S

When it comes to food preservation and storage, this freezer is at the top of the best commercial freezer to own in 2018 list.

The lid has a solid hinge, and the door handle is easy to lift. Designed to remain steady at -10 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, the Maxx Fahrenheit allows you to keep your food cold and fresh.

The self-contained refrigeration system makes sure you have quality and durability for a long time.

Maxx Cold MXF31F 

Displaying ice cream just got more fun. This Maxx Cold freezer has interior LED lights, making your contents easier to see.

You don’t have to worry about a floor drain because it comes with an internal condensate evaporator pan.

You can check the temperature anytime using the external thermometer. The temperature ranges from -18 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is one of the most extensive ranges on this list of the best commercial freezer to own in 2018.

You’ll always have cold, creamy, delicious ice cream if you buy this unit on Amazon.

Smeg FAB28UPKR

The cutest freezer to top the list of the best commercial freezer to own in 2018 is this blast from the past.

It may look old, but it has the newest technology. With this Smeg freezer, on Amazon, you’ll get top performance with quality manufacturing and elegant style.

The internal shelves are easy to adjust so you can fit all of your food. The capacity is spacious, but it contains a small icebox for convenience as well. It’s easy to clean and maintain. It’s the cutest addition to your kitchen with stylish and practical performance.

The Verdict

You certainly don’t have to sacrifice quality to save money. Each one of the freezers on our list of the best commercial freezer to own in 2018 is an asset to your kitchen. From convenient self-closing doors to a functional worktop to unique style, you’re sure to find just what you need.

We suggest you choose what’s going to work best for your space. If you have a large kitchen and you need a lot of capacity, choose the Arctic Air AWF25 single door economy reach-in freezer with a twenty-five cubic foot capacity.

The Saba two glass door reach-in freezer display case is great for small shop owners who need to display products to their customers. If what you’re selling is ice cream, the Maxx Cold MXF31F commercial mobile ice cream display freezer is a better bet.

Or go with the Arctic Air AUC48 F under-counter freezer if you need to save room and maximize your workspace. There’s something for everyone here, and you can’t go wrong with any of these options for the best commercial freezer to own in 2018.

Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW Freezer Review: A Fridge For Keeps

Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW

What's So Special About the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW?

Let's be real, average size freezers are too small, and sometimes we need to buy a bigger one.

That's where the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW model comes in. This upright freezer is perfect if you need extra room.

If you buy one, you will no longer have to worry about your primary freezer being so filled with popsicles and frozen pizzas there is no room for meat during the summer when your kids are home. 

You'll also never again have to pass up those great deals in the supermarket because your freezer is too small.

Honestly, buying an upright freezer is one of the best decisions you will make for your household.

Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW

Frigidaire star ratings

If you have decided you are sick and tired of sacrificing your chicken for your ice cream and are in the market for an upright freezer, the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW is one of the best. The freezer has stellar ratings on every site that it is sold on.

For instance, on Home Depot's website, the freezer has 4.5 out of 5-stars. One customer who calls himself Coopster said,"This freezer, in particular, stays very cold (deep freeze) and has not developed any frost in the month that I've had it."

At Lowes, the freezer also has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. A Lowes customer going by the name of Salor72 exclaimed,"Good design interior, seals tight and really keeps food frozen 'rock hard.'"

There are hundreds of more reviews just like those on both of the stores' websites.

Product Specifications

  • The Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW allows you to store all of your frozen food and never worry about the freezer frosting up.
  • The freezer has a frost-free feature, and the manufacturer claims you will never have to defrost your freezer again.
  • Additionally, the Frigidaire has 13.83 cubic feet of storage space. 
  • It also comes with the SpaceWise organization system that includes a variety of bins and racks to help keep your food neat.
  • The system even comes with a LED theatre light that helps you see so you won't have to dig through the freezer looking for things.
  • The Frigidaire upright freezer has adjustable temperature controls, a safety lock with a pop-out key and dial control.
  • The freezer is also 24 percent more energy efficient than the company's 2013 models.

 How much does it cost?

You can buy the Frigidaire upright freezer at Lowest 

How Does the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW Compare to Other Brands?

Some brands are comparable to the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW. The Maytag MZF34X16DW, Danby DUF138E1WDD, and GE FUF14DLRWW are the three most closely related to it in both size, function, and price.

The Maytag is an upright freezer as well, but it is a little bit larger than the Frigidaire. Instead of 13.83 cubic feet of storage, the Maytag has 15.7 cubic feet of storage. The freezer also has a reversible swing door, three adjustable shelves, and five full-width door shelves.

Just like the Frigidaire, this freezer has a setting that prevents it from collecting frost. The interior has easy to use temperature controls, holds approximately 16 bags of groceries, and has LED lights. It also comes with a 1-year limited warranty as well as a 10-year limited parts warranty on the compressor.

The GE upright, frost-free freezer is an incredible freezer. First of all, GE Appliances is one of the most trustworthy brands in the United States and you know when you buy something from them you are getting a quality product.

This freezer is Energy Star rated, has interior LED lighting, and a door lock with a key. The temperature control is on the outside of the freezer, and they are very easy to use.

The GE freezer has slightly more storage space than the Frigidaire, 14.1 cubic feet. Also, like the Frigidaire it has a frost-free setting, and the manufacturer guarantees that you will never have to defrost it. The freezer also has great storage with two clear drawers and two adjustable shelves.

The Danby Upright freezer is a lot like the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW. It has 13.8 cubic feet of storage and a frost-free feature that prevents ice build up.

It is Energy Star rated, has easy to use temperature adjustment controls, and has a quick freeze function.

The Danby freezer comes with a really cool door alarm that alerts you if you have left the door open and a high-temperature alarm that will tell you if it's not cold enough.

The freezer has a sturdy storage basket, four interior shelves, and door shelves. The Danby also has an interior light and a right-hand door swing.

 The refrigerator also comes with an 18 months parts and labor warranty.

Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW Pros and Cons

The Frigidaire freezer has pros and cons that you should know about. We discussed the pros of the product specifications section above, but there are some cons too.

There have been some complaints that the freezer is too loud. People have complained that even when it is in their garages, they can hear it inside of their houses.

  • A woman who calls herself Bluebird52 on HomeDepot.com said,"I am shocked at the amount of noise it makes as the compressor turns on and off 3 to 4 times every hour."
  • Another customer, BJ, said,"This is the noisiest freezer I have ever heard. The freezer is located in my garage, but the "hum" of the motor is heard throughout my entire home."
  • That was really the biggest complaint about the freezer. So, if you can handle something that is a little bit noisy, this may be the freezer for you.

The Best Frost-Free Freezer For You to Own

freezer

Are you having freezer defrosting woes? A frost-free freezer could be the solution you need.

It’s true that all modern freezers can be defrosted in some way. However, there are important differences between frost-free freezers and manual defrost types.

For some people, a frost-free freezer makes life much easier. You’ll avoid the buildup of frost and the yearly hassle of removing it.

But there are also a few drawbacks that you should know about before you buy one. To decide which style of freezer is right for your lifestyle, you first need to understand the differences between them.

Once you have a handle on how both types of freezers work, you will be better able to choose one that will fit your needs.

Comparison Table

What is Freezer Frost?

Frost-Free Outdoor Compact Refrigerator

People who own old or inexpensive freezer styles are often very familiar with freezer frost. To defrost some freezers, you have to manually scrape out the buildup of frost, which can make a frost-free style very enticing.

However, you can choose the right freezer solution more easily if you know a little more about freezer frost and where it comes from.

The frost that builds up on the sides of a freezer comes from moisture in the air. When the moisture reaches a low enough temperature, it sticks to the coldest nearby surface, which tends to be the sides of your freezer or the built-in ice maker.

Where does the moisture come from, though? It generally gets inside when you open the freezer door. However, if the gasket that seals the freezer doesn’t work well, it might leak, allowing water to get in.

The food in your freezer is also a source of moisture. If you store food that’s not wrapped or packaged well, the moisture will gradually work its way out and move toward the coldest part of the freezer. In fact, freezer frost is closely related to freezer burn: when air can reach the food, and moisture seeps out, you end up with freezer burn.

Why Defrosting Your Freezer Matters

Unless they’re designed to be frost-free, freezers naturally build up frost over time. There’s no way to completely prevent moisture from entering, although you can take steps to keep it to a minimum.

However, what’s so bad about a little bit of frost? After all, it’s just water, right?

The purpose of freezing food is to make it last longer. Freezing temperatures keep the microbes that make food decay from growing. In fact, as long as you avoid freezer burn and keep the temperature low enough, frozen food can stay good “indefinitely.”

However, a freezer doesn’t stay exactly at freezing all the time, which is why the things inside can still eventually go bad. Every time you open the door, the temperature varies a bit, and other conditions that lead to frost buildup, like a faulty gasket, also affect the temperature.

As frost builds up thanks to the clash of warm and cold air, you’ll start to lose space in your freezer to the walls of ice. However, your freezer will also become less efficient thanks to the buildup of frost.

Defrosting your freezer, whether you do it manually or with a frost-free option, is critical for making your food last. You want your freezer to help you save time and money by storing food for you, so you’ll need to take steps to make sure it runs well.

As a general rule, you should defrost your freezer at least once a year, or when the frost buildup exceeds ¼-inch thickness. You’ll need to take everything out of the freezer (which might mean throwing some things away) and either scrape away the ice or let it melt.

However, a frost-free freezer means you won’t have to do this work. Is it worth it? Let’s take a look.

What’s a Frost-Free Freezer?

Most of today’s new freezers are frost-free styles. However, some people have noticed issues with the frost-free design, and it may not be the best choice for everyone.

A frost-free freezer keeps frost away by letting the temperature go up once a day, to 32 degrees instead of the standard 0 degrees. However, in order for your food to stay good indefinitely, it has to stay at or below 0 degrees. When the temperature is going up regularly, even though it’s still “frozen,” your food doesn’t last as long.

The rising temperature of a frost-free design keeps your food below freezing but is warm enough to keep moisture in the air from condensing into ice. Instead, that moisture is collected and siphoned away from the freezer. You won’t get a buildup of frost - but you’re more likely to have freezer-burned food. The consistent, fluctuating temperature allows more moisture to leave your food.

If you freeze large quantities of food and want to keep it for a long time, a frost-free freezer won’t work well. However, you might still decide to use a frost-free freezer for everyday items and invest in a traditional deep freezer with no temperature fluctuations for things you want to freeze in the long term.

Pros and Cons of Frost-Free Freezers

Still not sure if the frost-free option is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • No frost on your food As mentioned above, frost-free freezers aren’t effective against freezer burn and can cause food to go bad faster. However, you won’t have to deal with the annoyance of ice crystals forming on your food, since these freezers actively work against that. This means the packages won’t stick together and the labels won’t become unreadable.
  • More storage space With a frost-free freezer, you won’t lose storage space to frost build-up. But that doesn’t mean you can pack your freezer completely full, either.A frost-free freezer uses a fan to blow cold air over stored food, keeping moisture away. When you fill the freezer too much, the air won’t be able to circulate properly. Make sure to read the instructions from the manufacturer. They’ll tell you how to store food in a frost-free freezer so it can still work well.
  • Less maintenance The most obvious benefit of a frost-free freezer is not having to defrost it yourself. Defrosting a freezer can sound simple. Just unplug it and let the ice melt! However, it can turn into a drawn-out challenge, involving trying to keep your food cold during the defrost, using hot water and hair dryers to speed things up, or scraping the sides with an ice pick.Defrosting a freezer takes both time and effort. It can take as long as 24 hours for a freezer to defrost completely. A frost-free design isn’t completely maintenance-free, but it’s a lot less work. You’ll just need to clean the storage area once a year, which means wiping it down to remove odors or spills.

Cons

  • More expensive The cost of a frost-free freezer might make you reconsider. They’re not only more expensive to buy, but they’re more expensive to operate than traditional freezers. They're also worse for the environment since they take more electricity.You might spend nearly twice as much on electricity to keep a frost-free model running. It costs so much because it needs to run a heater to raise the temperature regularly, as well as a fan to keep the cold air moving and a sensor to know when frost is building up.
  • Possible freezer burn The temperature inconsistency is the major “con” of a frost-free freezer. If you buy frozen food in small quantities and use it quickly, then this won’t be an issue. But for example, if you hunt and want to store the meat for a year or more, frost-free isn’t the best choice.

Top Frost-Free Freezers

If you decide to buy frost-free, how can you make the right choice? Here are our top models for the year.

How we reviewed

  • Creating a list of the best freezers might seem like a subjective process. However, some freezers are more effective and better-constructed than others.
  • If you’ve decided to go with a frost-free freezer, they all generally do an equal job of keeping food cold. Instead, you’ll want to consider things like features, efficiency, capacity, and value.

These are the factors we used when putting together this list of top frost-free freezers.

Frigidaire FFFH20F2QW

Frigidaire FFFH20F2QW 20.2 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer
  • Lock With Pop-Out Key
  • Internal Adjustable Temperature Dial
  • Frost-Free Operation

This Frigidaire model is our number-one pick for upright frost-free designs. It nicely balances size and value on Amazon. It has some of the best reviews of any frost-free models and has all the major features you’re looking for.

This freezer offers more than 20 cubic feet of storage space, making it larger than most frost-free freezers on the market. However, it’s less expensive than other, similarly sized freezers.

Since it’s upright, it doesn’t take up much space, and it’s easier to keep it organized than a chest-style freezer.

The features that make this freezer ideal include adjustable legs and a safety lock. It also has a power “on” light so you can see whether or not it’s working without opening the door.

This model is also quite efficient, so your energy bills won’t go up as much as with other models. Frigidaire is known for making reliable appliances that last a long time, so you can enjoy this freezer for years to come.

Kenmore Elite 27002

Kenmore Elite 27002 20.5 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in White, includes...
  • Item includes room of choice delivery, unboxing, item hook-up and free optional haul-away at checkout
  • Freeze Fresh Technology freezes food at -20 degrees to help lock in freshness and nutrients. Frost-free design means you...
  • Soft freeze zone is perfect for storing softer frozen goods like ice cream

The Kenmore Elite is another top frost-free pick. It comes in a comparable size to our favorite Frigidaire model, with 20.5 cubic feet of space, and at a comparable price click here to learn more.

The included delivery and hookup makes the price even sweeter. This fridge also does a better job at keeping food fresh than some frost-free designs: it runs at a standard -20 degrees.

Use the “soft freeze zone” for things like ice cream that you don’t want to be frozen too hard. The built-in LED lights make it so you’ll never have to dig around in the dark for a specific frozen item again.

Danby DUF138E1WDD

Danby DUF138E1WDD 28" Energy Star Rated Danby Designer Upright Freezer...
  • Height 0; Operating System; Batteries Included; Batteries Required; Number of Batteries; Battery Type; Language;...
  • Width: 27.94"
  • Depth: 29.50"

If 20 cubic feet sounds like a little too much, you’ll want to check out this smaller freezer design, with a capacity of 13.8 cubic feet.

Since it’s on the smaller side, this freezer is a great choice for pantries or small kitchens. You’ll still be able to store a lot of food in here, so this is an ideal design for couples or small families.

Summit FF948SS

Summit FF948SS 8.8 cu.ft. Frost-Free Refrigerator-Freezer In Slim...
  • Unique 22" width is ideal for apartment and space-challenged kitchens while still offering nearly 9 . of storage
  • True frost-free operation saves you maintenance by preventing icy buildup
  • Fully featured for convenient storage with a crisper, adjustable shelves, and more

Looking to squeeze a frost-free fridge and freezer into an even smaller space? Then you’ll love this 8.8-cubic-foot design from Summit.

It has one of the smallest freezer footprints you’ll find, with a slender 22-inch width. This is a great design for small studio apartments or space-crunched kitchens.

The adjustable shelves, crisper, and other organizational elements make it easy for you to find exactly what you’re looking for inside. The sleek stainless steel exterior also gives a lovely, modern look to any kitchen.

If you’re working with a small space, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better fit than this freezer.

Danby DFF100C2WDD

Danby DFF100C2WDD Frost-Free Refrigerator with Top-Mount Freezer, 9.9...
  • Chipping ice out of your refrigerator/freezer is never an issue with this superb frost-free midsize unit by Danby
  • The smart reversible door hinge system enables you to adjust if for left or right-handed opening
  • Manufactured in China

If you want a more affordable frost-free fridge and freezer combo, you’ll be glad to hear that this Danby model is available at a very affordable price. Although it doesn’t offer the tiny footprint of the Summit design, this 10-cubic-foot freezer gives you a bit more space. Use the electronic controls to easily operate the fridge and freezer’s settings.

The Verdict

The best frost-free freezer for you depends on what you’re looking for. You can easily find these freezers in upright and fridge-and-freezer combo designs.

If you want an under-counter model, you’ll have to spend more, while you can save some money with a smaller chest freezer. However, the upright style works best for most people.

Whether or not you choose a frost-free freezer is all a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the ease of avoiding manual defrost, while others don’t want to risk wasting food with fluctuating temperatures.

No matter what, if you’re set on getting a frost-free freezer, the designs on this list won’t let you down.

Do you think a frost-free freezer is right for you, or are you happy to defrost a traditional freezer instead? Leave a comment and let us know!

Use Freezer Baskets to Stay Organized and Save Space

freezer basket

Are you still struggling with the couple of freezer baskets your freezer came with — or worse, none at all?

Maybe you’ve started to notice that you can never find quite what you’re looking for in your freezer. Or perhaps the back of your freezer is always stuffed with old, freezer-burned products you can no longer use because you forgot they were there.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Your freezer can be just as neat, organized, and easy to use as your spice rack or your tea collection. But it’s not going to happen on its own — you need freezer baskets.

If you’ve never given a second thought to freezer baskets before, you’re not alone. In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on how useful these simple items can be. Then, we’ll go over the top freezer baskets to buy in 2018. Keep reading to take control over your freezer!

What Are Freezer Baskets?

Freezer baskets are exactly what they sound like: bins and baskets that go in your freezer to keep things organized.

Hanging Basket

They come in many different styles, including standalone baskets, hanging baskets, stacking baskets, and dividers. The right freezer baskets for you will depend on factors like what you need them for, and the size and shape of your freezer. However, no matter what style of freezer you have and what you store in it, these baskets make life easier.

It may be tempting use things you have around the house to organize your freezer, such as paper bags. Yet freezer baskets are designed to do the job much better. They fit right where you need them, won’t fall apart, and make it easy for you to see exactly what’s stored inside.

How To Organize Your Freezer Using Freezer Baskets

Still not convinced that freezer baskets are for you?

Organizing your freezer benefits you in ways you may not yet realize. You’ll be able to store things so they last longer, and you’ll quickly be able to find exactly the ingredients you need.

Most freezers are designed to be open, with minimal shelving. Although you can shove a lot of frozen food into the space without damaging anything, you’ll soon have an ungainly, disorganized pile in your freezer. Baskets keep items from falling out when you open the door, and ensure things are easy to locate.

Let’s go over exactly how to get your freezer in order using freezer baskets, step by step.

1. Know what you can freeze

2. Consider your containers

3. Choose the right portions

4. Add labels

5. Flatten your food

6. Organize small items

7. Store like items together

8. Make a dinner staging area

9. Create a freezer inventory

Freezer Basket Prices

Are you sold on freezer baskets now? They’ll simplify cooking, save you money, and best of all, they don’t have to cost a lot.

There is a wide range of freezer baskets at all different price points. Simple designs in materials like plastic are the least expensive, while fancier designs made of metal cost more but last longer. However, even at the lowest prices, you’ll still see the benefits of using baskets to keep your freezer’s contents in line.

2018’s Top Freezer Baskets

Which basket design is right for you? Let’s take a look at some of the year’s top-rated freezer baskets, based on consumer reviews.

mDesign Wire Storage Basket for Kitchen, Pantry, Cabinet

The best freezer baskets aren’t always designated just for freezers. This is one of the highest-rated kitchen storage baskets on Amazon, and it’s great for freezer use.

A pack of 4 in the “deep” size isn't the cheapest, but they’re still quite affordable. The rust-resistant, sturdy steel wire holds up well over the years, and the built-in handles make these baskets easy to pull out of a freezer of any size.

They also come in a few different shapes and sizes, with different price points for each. If the “deep” baskets are too big for your freezer, look at some other mDesign basket styles.

Spectrum Diversified Scoop Storage Basket

If your freezer has limited space or you already have some baskets, it might be better to buy individual baskets rather than sets. 

This basket is made of durable steel, and the “scoop” front makes it easy to reach in and get what you need. The open-wire design also lets you see exactly what’s inside. Spectrum’s storage baskets come in a number of sizes too, so you can choose what works best for your space.

IRIS Freezer Hanging Basket

To really maximize your space, you’ll want to invest in a hanging basket or two.

Luckily, hanging freezer baskets aren’t expensive. The IRIS design hangs from a shelf in your freezer, so you can use all the vertical space. With a hanging basket, it’s easy to reach exactly what you need, and you’ll be surprised by how much more you can store in your freezer.

This IRIS basket is durable coated wire, and the size works well with most freezer designs.

Grayline 40604 Deep Storage Basket

If you want to maximize both your space and your budget, try the Deep Storage Basket from Grayline. These baskets can hold a lot of large items, and they're one of the best deals on this list.

Grayline’s coated steel design will last longer than a plastic basket, and the “extra-deep” size is perfect for large bags of soup, vegetables, and more. Since the baskets are made of wire, you’ll be able to see everything inside, even at the bottom.

PROMART DAZZ Medium Stacking Baskets

Finally, stacking baskets are another great way to use your freezer space efficiently.

These steel wire baskets stack on top of each other, so you can save space in your freezer. If one basket isn’t completely full, just put the other one on top of it so the space doesn’t go to waste. You can use your vertical space more effectively if you have multiple rows of stacked baskets.

The Promart Stacking Baskets also come with handles, so it's easy to get them into and out of a freezer of any size.

The Verdict

Freezer baskets are an inexpensive, highly effective way to make your food budget go farther.

You probably think throwing out old frozen food is tiresome. Or, maybe you’re just tired of opening your freezer and having heavy frozen packages fall down onto your foot. Either way, freezer baskets are the answer. They'll make your life easier and save you money. What’s not to like?

We’d love to hear what you think about this freezer organization idea. Whether you’re excited about freezer baskets or have your own form of freezer storage that works for you, leave a comment and let us know!