Most of us use a chest freezer or an upright freezer, but do you know the difference when it comes to the freezer vs. deep freeze? Many of us remain guilty of using the term deep freezer without understanding the phrase’s true meaning, and it may surprise you to learn the facts.

In the battle of the freezer vs. deep freeze, it’s time to pick your side. But before you decide, you need all the information to make the best choice.

Freezer vs. Deep Freeze

We all head down to the grocery store and fill our baskets before returning home to chuck our wares in the freezer. Perhaps we scooped a bargain on some beef, or some fruit pies call to us from across the counter, but we have to do something with them when we get home because we may not eat it all at once. That’s when the chest freezer comes in handy, but is it a freezer or a deep freezer?

A freezer chills our food to gradually bring it down in temperature over a period of 24 hours to a core temperature of about -.4 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a deep freezer quickly chills the food to a core temperature of -.4 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour.

However, you may choose to use a deep freeze in conjunction with a conventional freezer. You could use the deep freeze to chill the food to the core temperature before transferring it to your regular freezer for storage.

Winter is coming

Prehistoric man used snow and ice to preserve their kills, but we had to wait until the 1940s for the first commercially viable freezers to hit the market.

These days, we use the term deep freeze liberally and usually use the phrase to describe a type of freezer that’s opened like a chest. In other words, a chest freezer. However, a chest freezer and an upright freezer may perform a deep freeze operation. When you ponder the question of freezer vs. deep freeze, the differences remain of vital importance.


We use the traditional freezer to preserve food for an extended period. It takes up to 24 hours for the food to achieve a core temperature of -.4 degrees F, but it does so at a cost to the material.

White walkers

When we place food in a conventional freezer, it changes the make-up of the food. All food contains moisture, and the standard freezing process turns the moisture into large ice crystals. Consequently, the large ice crystals may break through the food’s cell walls and change the texture, and this process causes the material to lose some of its freshness. Plus, conventional freezing results in the loss of valuable vitamins from the food.

Deep Freeze

Deep freezers remained the mainstay of commercial outfits for many years, though we may now purchase deep freezers for home use.

A deep freezer chills the food quickly to a core temperature of -.4 degrees F in as little as an hour. In addition, a deep freeze typically works in a temperature range of between -22 degrees F to -58 degrees F, which is why it is capable of reaching the desired core temperature quicker than conventional units.

The night king

The quick deep-freezing process reacts with the food’s water content differently compared to a standard freezer. Consequently, the water forms finer crystals that don’t break the cell walls of the produce. The fast freezing time and finer crystals result in food that remains fresher and retains much of its nutritional value and texture.

An important note

An important caveat remains when you consider the battle between freezer vs. deep freeze. The act of deep-freezing may cause severe food poisoning if you don’t follow the process correctly. So, some essential rules exist to successfully and safely achieve deep freezing.

Correct temperature

You must always cool the product to 39 degrees F to avoid dangerous temperature rises within the deep freeze unit. Furthermore, once deep-frozen, the food must remain within a negative temperature range of 15.8 to -.4 degrees F.

Good hygiene

Some microorganisms may endure, even at such low temperatures. Therefore, it remains essential to follow reasonable hygiene procedures.

Always wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the food for deep freezing and wash the products you wish to freeze. Also, sealed freezer bags or vacuum-sealed bags prove the best storage solutions when deep freezing.

Once you defrost an item, you cannot re-freeze it. Even if the product remains partially defrosted, you must never put it back into the deep freeze or freezer because it represents a significant health risk.

How Long to Store Food

We like to take advantage of those deals in the grocery store, but how long can you freeze them for? Food products you freeze for too long taste bad and may result in food poisoning, so it remains vital to understand freezing times.

When it comes to the war between freezer vs. deep freeze, preserving times remain the same. However, food frozen using the deep freeze results in better tasting and more nutritious food. Plus, the texture of food frozen in a deep freezer remains closer to the fresh product.

Some basic timings

You can store fruit and vegetables for up to 24 months, making them one of the best subjects to fill up your freezers and deep freezers. The same applies to pre-cooked potato products such as fries you may keep for up to 24 months.

Meat and poultry last from 15 to 18 months, while minced meat may remain viable for up to 12 months. Most seafood lasts for 24 months, but you may store fatty fish, such as salmon, for 9 to 10 months.

Baked pastries survive for 12 months, but raw pastries last up to 24 months. If you like ready meals and indulge in delicious ice creams, you may store them frozen for up to 24 months.

Frozen trick

When you prepare your food, either for freezing or deep freezing, make a list with the date to refer to. Label each pouch with the date you freeze it and the use by date.

The list and the labels provide a quick and convenient way to keep track of your produce and reduce waste risk. It’s not good stocking up your freezer if you forget about the products and they spoil.

Deep Freeze Care

Freezer vs. Deep Freeze

You could use a deep freeze to chill your produce to the core temperature before transferring it to a standard freezer. Consequently, you may not use your deep freeze often. Therefore, you need to follow a few basic rules to keep the unit in good condition because mold may grow inside the unit.

The method behind the madness

Once you remove the food from the deep freeze, defrost the unit and make sure you remove any trays or containers for cleaning separately.

Defrosting allows the gradual warming of the unit to melt the ice. However, during the defrosting process, microorganisms come back to life inside the unit, and it remains essential to remove the invading horde to prevent contamination of any future food produce.

Use dishwashing liquid and warm water to wipe down the interior of the deep freeze. Wipe down every surface, including the door, inside and outside, to ensure a thorough clean. Take two tablespoons of baking powder soda to one quart of water and wipe down all the surfaces with the solution.

Once complete, you may wipe down and dry the interior and exterior using paper towels or clean towels.

Regular maintenance

Regular cleaning of your deep freeze and freezer ensures food hygiene safety and prolongs your units’ lives. If you store your deep freeze when not in use, you may cover it with a tarp to protect the surfaces and keep it dust-free. And a regular vacuum of the coils located on the back of your machines keeps them running efficiently.

Food Safety

When you take food out of the freezer and defrost it, it is vital to consume the produce quickly. To avoid the risk of food poisoning, use the food within three days and don’t re-freeze it before cooking.

Freezer vs. Deep Freeze Explained

Our freezers represent an essential appliance in our homes because they allow us to preserve food for future use. Freezing grocery bargains or leftovers remains an economical way to feed ourselves and our families and saves us the bother of hunting that wooly mammoth.

A freezer chills the produce gradually over 24 hours. The standard freezing process proves detrimental to the food’s taste, texture, and nutritional content.

A deep freezer uses extreme temperatures to quickly chill our food. The process preserves the integrity of the food and maintains much of its nutritional value. However, deep freezers usually refer to units used within the food industry, though we may buy smaller deep freezers for the home.

So, who wins the battle of freezer vs. deep freeze? Both units prove helpful to us at home. Using a deep freezer to initially freeze our produce to retain its integrity before storing it in a standard freezer sounds like a reasonable proposition. Consequently, both types of freezing apparatus have their merits.

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry-making business and sells his creations online.