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Freezer suggestions

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Wed, Apr 18, 01 at 16:46

I like to prepare meals in advance and have been doing so for the last few years, but have been limited to how much I could store due to having a small freezer. However, I am buying an upright within the next few months and want to make sure I get the right kind. I thought I wanted a frost-free version, but a salesperson told me that I would avoid freezer burn if I got the manual defrost kind. That was because freezer burn occurs when the frost-free type freezers repeatedly warm up and cool down....? Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks, Julie

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Freezer suggestions

Lucky you! Shopping for new freezer :) Salesman must have a need to move some manual defrost freezers. Mine is manual defrost and if things are not wrapped properly, they will get freezer burn. Same thing happens in the freezer unit of the refrigerator of frost free models. I've had my freezer for a long time. When it goes (peacefully and with a little warning, I hope) my next one will be frost free.

RE: Freezer suggestions

This post reminds me of I tip I read in Jill Bond's book "Dinner's in the Freezer". She mega cooked with just a refrigerator freezer. Here is how she does it. She saves all her cereal boxes. She puts the fool in Ziploc brand bags. (She says if you're doing this kind of work and invesment, don't skimp by buying generic bags)Next remove all the excess air from the bag, seal, and pack into those cereal boxes. Put the boxes in the freezer. Next day, take out your food "bricks" there will be NO wasted space in your freezer. But then, I guess this would only word with moist/juicy foods. Baked goods would still tumble around. My DH works in refrigeration. I'll ask him when he comes home about that freezerburn theory.

RE: Freezer suggestions

When I bought my freezer the salesman also told me that the freezers that were not frost free were much more efficient so I decided to go that route. Never had a problem with ice buildup. About once per year I cleaned the whole thing and defrosted. I would check the energy ratings and let that be your guide.

RE: Freezer suggestions

We have a chest freezer and were told enegry wise,they are
the best. It dosen't have a defrost cycle. My parent had a
upright and lost the freezers entire contents because the
door wasn't closed well. My husband keeps on telling me he
would love a second freezer,but I keep on telling him food
only lasts so long. Good luck with your choice. Debbie

RE: Freezer suggestions

My husband works in refrigeration. He even was on the maintenance crew for a freezer/warehouse for one of the major frozen food companies. He said that the manual defrost is the best when freezer burn is your concern. I believe none of us really plan or want to keep food that long, but in reality, it happens. You over fix, or suddenly somone in the family gets tired of having a particular item "all the time". We all do it. That's why they make sharpie markers!

RE: Freezer suggestions

I read an article (Consumer reports I think) that siad the manual defrost type are more energy-efficient ONLY if you defrost regularly (and I knew for me that wasn't all that likely). I've got a used frost-free and have never had problems with freezer burn expect once when the lid of something popped off in the freezer. I suspect, unles you plan to keep things for years, its more a matter of how you wrap them, then the particular kind of freezer. Same article did say the chest freeers are more efficient, but I was scared off; my mom had one, and she hated it, because she was too short to reach the bottom without toppling in, and it takes real organization to find stuff without hauling it all out.

RE: Freezer suggestions

Thanks a bunch for all your replys - I've made up my mind - It will be frost free for me! Julie

RE: Freezer suggestions

I'm in a small apartment with an older refrigerator. The freezer just has that inside "flap" door. So,to get the freezer items nice and hard you run the risk of freezing the milk and eggs. What I would love is a small freezer about the size of a large microwave. Would think there are other folks who don't need a chest freezer, but who do need more space than a fridge freezer provides. Haven't found anything close though--the smallest is 5 cubic feet, and I worry about putting another appliance on the old circuit breaker. Anyone know of smaller freezers?

RE: Freezer suggestions

I have both, an upright, defrost free, and a chest, manual defrost and from experience they both have their pros and cons. The following might help:
Upright - Can't seem to store as much
Foods slide off if not stored in tightly
Easier to reach, especially if you're short,
like I am
Frost-free don't have to clean, but I still
remove all the food, check dates on packages
on an average of twice a year

Chest - You can store more food.
Difficult to find items, when they are stored
at the bottom of the freezer. A couple times
I almost fell in head first trying to find a
Defrosting is easy with that "Fast Flash
Yes, the manual defrost does prevent foods
from freezer burn and they are more efficient.

I don't mind cleaning them when you consider the fact that I clean mine twice a year. I might spend an hour or so on each. Because we like freezing meals, vegetables from our garden, etc., we purchased a Food Saver machine and let me tell you, it's GREAT. We had corn on the cob all winter long, no more shriveled green beans, etc. If you like more information regarding this machine, e-mail me. I freeze lunches for my husband and he loves it. Hope I was able to help you in some way. Good luck.

RE: Freezer suggestions

Hi, I have a simple question I hope, what exactly is freezer burn, we talk about it all of the time . But what is it?

RE: Freezer suggestions

Hi there,

I'm reviving this old thread to keep thread #300 from falling off the end.

Anyway, I just bought a house with a frost-free Harvest Gold Norge refrigerator/freezer. It seems to work great considering its age. Unfortunately, items in the freezer get freezer burned in about a week. I had a housewarming party and then filled the freezer with:
- 1.5 lbs of ground beef, wrapped tight in many layers of saran wrap (didn't have any zip-locks yet)
- 2 lbs of ground beef in original grocery store packaging
- 2 lbs of chicken in original packaging
- several unopened bags of hotdog and hamburger rolls
- 1 partial box each of fudgesicles, popsicles, and ice cream sandwiches
- 1 half bag of frozen bagels
- 4 frozen chicken pot pies (from before the party)
- 1 box of "flow-through" baking soda

The freezer is not overstuffed by any means. There is plenty of circulation room. I don't know the exact temp, but everything is frozen solid.

The next week, the wax-paper wrapped fudgesicles tasted like plastic. A couple weeks later, I had a chicken pot pie and it, too was horrible. This morning (about 6 weeks later), I had a bagel (after scraping the frost out of the hole in the center) and almost gagged. Interestingly, the hamburger buns (which are also icy) and the chicken have been fine for weeks.

What bothers me is that I've never had a problem with frost free refrigerators before. I never re-wrap frozen foods from the store that just come in cardboard boxes (no plastic liner). I never put breads in anything other than the bag they came in. I've even gone months without the baking soda. Never has any of my food been ruined like this.

Anyone know what could be wrong? Can anyone explain the science behind freezer burn? Is something freezer burned when it develops ice crystals, or just when it starts to taste bad, or both?

Sorry for the long post, but thanks so much for any help you can give me!

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