Differences Between Fridge Freezers & Deep Freezers

Freezer or deep freezer? Which should you buy? What is the difference between the two? Either of these types of freezers will be your friend when that chicken goes on sale. Both will do a good job of preserving your leftovers, making sure your family eats nutritional meals without you having to spend all day, every day in the kitchen. But there are important differences to consider.

Modern refrigerator in the luxury kitchen with microwave ovens
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Differences Between Fridge Freezers & Deep Freezers

Freezing vs. Deep Freezing

First, let's get some terminological confusion out of the way. The terms "freezing" and "deep freezing" originally referred to two different methods of preserving food. Both processes freeze the food to the same temperature (-18 °C), but they achieve it in two different ways. With freezing, the temperature of the food is decreased slowly, usually up to 24 hours. Deep freezing refers to a process where the food is exposed to a temperature from -30 °C to -50 °C so that the core of the product reaches -18 °C within an hour. Deep freezing is a method typically used in industrial settings. It is considered to be better than regular freezing in allowing the food to preserve its freshness, texture and nutritional qualities.

Today, however, the term "deep freezer" refers to a type of freezer that's opened like a chest, as opposed to an upright freezer on top of the refrigerator. Although the two can maintain the same temperature (and most modern models have a temperature control setting), there are some important differences between the two.

Configuration and Capacity

Unlike a freezer that is located at the top of a refrigerator and has the capacity of up to 150 litres, deep freezers open horizontally and typically have the capacity from 100 litres up to 510 litres. Unlike upright freezers, deep freezers don't come with shelves or drawers. This makes it harder to find and organize things, but does make them better suited for storing large items, such as a whole moose head.

Energy Efficiency

A deep freezer is more energy efficient than an upright freezer, using about 10 to 25 percent less energy. There are two reasons for this: It is generally better insulated and, because the door is opened less frequently, it doesn't lose as much cold air as an upright freezer.

The Bottom Line

So which kind of freezer is best for you? It depends. If you have a small family and don't have any extra space, a regular freezer will likely suit your needs. However, if you have many mouths to feed or have room to spare, you will do well to purchase a deep freezer.