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What is the Optimal Freezer Temperature?


Having the ability to freeze food for long-term storage is something that our ancestors would find astonishing. Freezing food is a great way to prevent food waste, expand meal choices and save money at the same time. But, a freezer needs to be set at the optimal temperature to retain flavor and prevent spoilage. This is equally true if you have an upright or a chest freezer to prevent frost build-up, food melt, and freezer burn. In this article, we will take a closer look at how you can set your freezer temperature to keep your food fresher for longer.

What is the Optimal Temperature?

Most experts agree that a freezer temperature of 0ºF (-18ºC) is the best environment for food preservation. At this temperature the food is free of bacteria, the risks of freezer burn are minimized, and the food will be safer to consume. It’s tempting to set the temperature lower because more or less in this case is always better, right? No, there are significant drawbacks if the freezer temperature is set too low. The compressor unit will need to work harder to maintain the lower temperature which has two consequences. First, when key components are overworked they tend to fail which can lead to an unexpected repair bill. Second, when the compressor is working harder it will consume more energy, and this will drive up the electric bill.

How Do I Set the Optimal Temperature?

To maintain food freshness, you need to set the freezer temperature to the optimal temperature in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Providing specific instructions is beyond the scope of this article because there is a wide variety of makes and models. Most basic freezers have simple and somewhat enigmatic settings, such as cold, colder, and coldest, rather than numbers or a temperature readout.

If you’re seeking better solutions to keep your food freshly frozen, there are better equipped freezer models on the market. These appliances have digital temperature controls on the exterior of the freezer for easier monitoring and changes. This is useful because the freezer temperature varies when the door is opened, and the temperature consistency is important.

How Can I Maintain a Consistent Freezer Temperature?

For optimal freezer storage conditions, the door would remain closed. Of course, this is a ridiculous scenario because you wouldn’t be able to access the frozen food you’re storing. That said, there are five tips and tricks which can help you to maintain a consistent freezer temperature:

  • If you live in a hot and/or humid area it’s a good idea to decrease the freezer temperature.
  • The air vents in the freezer need to be kept clear of obstructions to circulate the treated air efficiently.
  • The freezer should be around two-thirds full to maintain a consistent freezing temperature.
  • If there is a loss of power in your area keep the freezer door closed to keep as much cold air in as you can until power is restored.

What is the Optimal Temperature for Ice Cream Storage?

We all love ice cream on a hot day, but it can be tricky to store properly if you don’t set the correct temperature. Ideally, the ice cream should be served at around 6ºF up to 10ºF (-14ºC up to -12ºC). At these temperatures, the ice cream is at its tastiest, and the texture is creamy. If you’re a connoisseur of expensive ice cream, a dedicated freezer drawer is the best solution for long-term storage.

If you’re considering an upgraded freezer for your kitchen, you can explore the options with our wide selection of upright and chest freezers or speak to a home appliance expert for a more specialized service.

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