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Freezers- chest or standup? Why do you like yours?


matrips
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Stand up freezers are easier to organize. Chest freezers are easier to keep closed. My inlaws lock their stand up freezer every time they close it because it has this tendency to stay open just a little. My parents' did that as well, in Texas summer heat and destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of food. Several times people thought they'd closed it all the way. With a chest freezer, you can tell when it's closed. But it does take more effort to keep it organized. It's a giant chest, so things seem to fall into the abyss and you never see them again. :)

 

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We have an old standup in the garage. It's like a fridge, but it's all freezer. We ended up shutting it down b/c we didn't need all that space, but I really like it because I don't have to bend over and sort thru things to see everything.

 

If I were looking to buy, I'd probably take that into consideration, but also look at which ones are more expensive to run, and I'd consider what sorts of things I'm putting in it.

 

Also, I have to say I would have a tiny concern about a kid getting into a chest freezer. I know, weird--but still.

Edited by Chris in VA
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I really can't see the upside of a freezer chest unless you need somewhere to stick your huge catch of freshly caught fish. Or the hunter's version thereof. Things get buried in a chest freezer - there is no easy way to get to things at the bottom of the pile or to keep the oldest things on the top.

 

An upright is more accessible and useful in every way.

 

We've always had both (because of the previously mentioned fish) but I only use the upright for family food.

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My standup freezer has always been super easy to organize and use.  MIL has a chest freezer and it's harder to rotate items.  It's also harder for me to reach down to the bottom for things. 

 

I think each style has pros and cons- go check some out, and see which style speaks to you.  I bet you'll be drawn to one. 

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I had a huge chest freezer for decades. I detested it. I had to practically stand on my head to,reach the bottom. Hard to,organize,

I bought an upright several years ago. Love it.

They are supposed to be efficient, but I think that it all minimal with today's newer models.,ImhavI to,think,our ancient chest freezer ( we inherited it with a house purchase and I am more than sure it was older than me) was way less efficient tha. My brand new upright.

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I just researched and pondered this same decision about 2 years ago.  I ended up with a chest freezer, but a small one.  I only wanted it for beef, not for general grocery items.  I think how you intend to use it and size matters in the decision.  I would NOT want a huge chest freezer because as PP mentioned, it's hard to get to the bottom, organize, etc.  My small chest freezer is easy to organize and it's easy to reach the bottom.  I keep like-cuts pf beef in neat stacks, plus it has a couple of hanging baskets where I keep frequently used items.  I open it maybe twice a month, only to get several things to move to my normal frig/freezer in the kitchen.  If I was going to be using it as kind of a "second freezer" for storing extra food (ice cream, pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, vegetables, fruit), then I would have bought an upright freezer.  It seems like that would be easier for these types of items and usage. That's my 2 cents.  :001_smile: Oh, I'll add that I was a bit scared to get a chest freezer because I had read about having to defrost it.  That sounded like a real headache to me!  So far, I haven't had to defrost mine at all, and I've had it for a couple of years in the garage, and we live in a hot climate.  :thumbup1:

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Wow! Thanks for the quick responses with the pros and cons. We are buying it today and will get the standup freezer. It sounds best for how we'll use it. We have a side by side fridge I detest, and can barely stock up on anything, so I am excited about this.

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We have a chest and we fantasize about a stand up. We just couldn't afford it. My hands get cold searching for items in the chest that would more easily be found and removed from the upright. My MIL has a beautiful upright.

 

I don't know that we need the size of an upright, but we would definitely use it if we had one. We have a rather small chest freezer we got from Lowe's.

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I really can't see the upside of a freezer chest unless you need somewhere to stick your huge catch of freshly caught fish. Or the hunter's version thereof. Things get buried in a chest freezer - there is no easy way to get to things at the bottom of the pile or to keep the oldest things on the top.

 

An upright is more accessible and useful in every way.

 

We've always had both (because of the previously mentioned fish) but I only use the upright for family food.

 

I *think* the chests might stay colder? But maybe that is just compared to a freezer that is connected to a fridge? I only say this because I often see breastmilk storage guidelines allow for more time in a chest freezer vs regular.

 

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OMG! This is timely. Just last night I was digging in the chest freezer to get out something for tonight's dinner. I found myself almost wishing it would break down (it's 22 years old) so I could get a stand-up freezer. Even with baskets and organizing shelves it's still hard to get at stuff. I think a chest freezer probably fits more (though I never had an upright one so I could be wrong) but the trade-off isn't worth it. 

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To me, chest freezers are great for bulk meat storage, like a side of beef, fish, game. We always had one growing up for moose and salmon (bet ya can't guess where I grew up ;). We have an upright now that is so much easier to organize for day to day use. We will likely be getting a small chest freezer soon to store a side of beef. So, basically, you need both! 😜

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I have a little chest freezer that I like. They tend to be more efficient (less seal length, I suppose). I bought wire-mesh baskets from an office place. They stack and do a decent job of filling the freezer. I think I scouted those dimensions before we went shopping. I also try to keep a list of meat or frozen dinners that I have stored close to where I make up menus. I try to empty it in August to defrost, keep me from losing track of things and because it helps cut costs.

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We have a large upright that we love.  We buy a pig every year, and do a lot of home preserving of produce throughout the year.  I wanted to be able to find everything, so we went with the upright.

 

What we did that lowered the cost was buy an upright that is NOT frost free.  A frost-free freezer cycles through and warms things up to keep the frost from forming. This lessens the shelf-life of freezer food and encourages freezer burn.  This means that every couple of years I have to empty the freezer and defrost,but I usually time that to be in the late spring, just as we're running low enough on everything that what remains can be transferred to the fridge freezer. 

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I have one of each. The stand up is way better. For sure. So much easier to organize, etc. 

 

At this time, we use our chest freezer only for storing the half-cow we buy each year. 

 

The stand up is for everything else, prepared meals, cheese, ice cream, frozen veggies and fruits, misc extra whatever. It's awesome. 

 

For sure, the stand up!

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p.s. Absolutely do not get frost-free for long term storage! The heat/cool cycle that keeps it frost free seriously compromises your food quality long term. 

 

 

And, yes, that means you have to manually defrost it once a year or so. It's not that big a deal. It gives you a chance to clean out the stuff. I do it right before we take our half-cow delivery, as that means we have spare room to move things from one freezer to another, but even if you only have one dedicated freezer, hard frozen stuff will keep just fine for 6-12 hours in coolers while you defrost.

 

(Trick for fast defrosting . . . Stick a big bucket or two of hot water in there, close the door. Change out the water every hour. In a couple hours, that heat will have melted everything. Now you can use that last bucket to clean down the freezer interior before reloading it! I did this in a pinch this year, as I didn't have time before the beef delivery to wait 12 hours for natural defrosting . . . It worked so fast! No mess, either!)

 

 

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I got rid of my old chest freezer and bought a standup that was the same cubic size. I could put tons more stuff in the chest than the standup. I can organize it better and find things easier, but I am very disappointed because I will have to get a bigger freezer now. (I couldn't fit my quarter beef in there.)

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The way I have experienced it:

 

Chest Freezers:

 

more capacity

more energy efficient

less easily accessible (have to dive in and root around in it) :)

 

 

Upright freezers:

 

Easier organizing and finding things

Less overall space though

Takes more money to run

 

I currently have a chest freezer.

 

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See, we have both. This house came with an upright but it wasn't big enough, so we finally bought a chest. Every time I open the upright's door I feel all the cold air woosh out. Ugh. We have had be door come open a few times and melt he contents. It doesn't hold a lot.

 

Our chest is a pain for someone short like me to get to the bottom of, but with bins it can be organized. Nothing comes out the top when it opens (in fact, we keep some cardboard on top of it to further insulate the contents. No food losses. No accidents.

 

The upright is great for me storing souls and casseroles we will use frequently, and frozen veggies. But for all the valuable meat the chest is the way to go :)

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We have a medium sized chest freezer but one of the first things I'm buying after we move is a stand up.  I'll use the new freezer for veggies, pizzas, fries and such and the deep freezer for the 1/2 cow I want to buy (I'll be trading a portion of it to my sister for pastured pork).  Seriously, should I be this excited to be buying a freezer?  

 

OP-Congrats on yours have fun stocking it!

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Also, I have to say I would have a tiny concern about a kid getting into a chest freezer. I know, weird--but still.

Not weird at all. We used to play in our huge chest freezer when we were kids, daring each other to stay in longer and longer. We would also occasionally play at locking each other in. I'm horrified at some of the things we did as kids.

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I had a hard time digging to the bottom of a chest freezer and always lost things.  I have two uprights now, and we have lost a freezer full of food twice because one of the big children didn't close it all the way.  Rule is to close it and lock it each time, but it still happened.  I will keep getting uprights though.

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Upright is easier to organize, but the chest freezer holds more.  I have a chest freezer because of capacity, but it is hard to get stuff out of the bottom, and things do tend to get lost.  

 

I do love having one, though.  It was one of those things we got when we'd been married a couple of years and bought our first house, like it was somehow a mark of adulthood to have a chest freezer.  I think we paid a little under $200 for it, and there have been times when it has been full to bursting and times when the bottom peeked through, but except for the two times we moved it between houses, it has never been completely empty.  It has earned its keep over and over again and, fifteen years after we bought it, is still going strong.

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I grew up with standup.  My grandmother and aunts who were big into food storage (came from farms) - had standups.  we inherited my mothers and had it for a few years before selling it.

 

dh wanted a chest freezer.  he argued it was more energy efficient.  problem is - you can't find anything in it. You have to life a bunch of stuff around to find anything.  I hate it - it's on the list to be replaced.  HE wants to replace it. yeah, the guy who poohpoohed me about a standup, wants a standup.

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FWIW we had a stand-up and gave it away so that we could buy a chest freezer.  I didn't like the amount of freezer-burn we were getting from the temperature changes.

 

If you place tall bins in a chest freezer, organization is very easy.

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We have a large upright freezer.  I like it because I can organize it well.  I have things divided by shelf.  I like that I can easily see what I have on hand.  Our family had a chest freezer when I was young on the farm and it  was nice for storing beef and venison.  Also large tubs of ice cream always fit in there nicely and didn't over freeze and get hard like it does in the upright.

 

At work we have both types of freezers.  The large chest one is great for large boxes of fruit but I do find myself standing on my head to get out those boxes on the bottom.  The uprights are great for smaller items.

 

It really depends on what you are keeping in there.  If it's for small quantities of meat, veggies and meal planning then the upright is great.  Large containers and whole sides of beef then go for a chest freezer.

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My vote is for an upright.  I grew up with a chest freezer, and remember having to rummage around for everything.  My mom isn't very organized, though.  We have no problem fitting a half of beef in our upright.  I think a half takes up about 2-1/2 shelves, which is about half my freezer.   It's been awhile since we have gotten a half, we are getting a quarter sometime this week.  Ours is not frost free, so we don't have the issue some people have with freezer burn.  My parents have an alarm on their upright that will go off if the door is not shut properly.

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We bought the upright! And it has a lock to avoid the door popping open issue. I'm am just thrilled to be able to find stuff in my freezer without removing almost everything, and to be sble to stock up on some things. (Have side by side fridge now) Went back and forth on the frost free but went with it. We arent buying sides of beef or anything really long term here.

 

I'm on my phone and can't figure out how to like all the posts. But I am. :). Thank you everyone!

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Chest freezers are more energy efficient, but only if you are organized enough to use it. I really was not and instead of being energy efficient, I lost a lot of food to freezer burn that I didn't remember was in there, etc. Plus, it's awkward to bend way down to retrieve things. I can see hunters using one for deer meat, cause that's what's in there: deer meat. For a variety of foods, I think an upright is a better choice. . 

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My (very short) mom grew up with a chest freezer that her (also very short) mom would almost disappear into. They joked that the boys would hold onto her ankles when she went diving into it so she didn't fall completely in.

 

So, my mom got a stand up freezer. She loved it.

 

DH & I have a chest freezer that we love. We have storage bins. Don't know what they are called, but they are a light blue & stack on each other (or nest when they are empty). I don't worry about the kids crawling into it because it is (almost) always full. We pull out stuff, put the new stuff we just bought in, and it is full again. Voila.

 

I assume my kids will all insist on uprights & keep the cycle going. ;-)

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We had an upright. We lost 3 full freezers worth of food due to the door not sealing as we walked away. We now have a chest freezer. Yes there is probably some scary stuff at the bottom, but that's what holds up the stuff I need to reach ;)

 

If I were to get another upright, I would insist it came with a door/temp alert.

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