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Old 02-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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Question Freezers and temperature

I bought a commercial chest freezer from Sears (roughly 50 to 100% more than the normal "home" freezer). Much of the space is filled with 2.5 gallon water jugs because you should always keep the freezer full to avoid running the compressor every time you open it. The food safety FAQ says to keep your freezer at zero Farenheit or less.

How much less is the question? I just tried to defrost a pound and a half of boneless skinless chicken thighs in my microwave - and had to run it through three times to get it defrosted. Since the microwave boils water quickly I figured that it's probably the temperature of the freezer that's the problem. A measurement with a Fluke IR thermometer shows that the food container surface temperature in the freezer is at minus thirty four degrees Farenheit.

Is this too cold? Is there any problem keeping food way below the "normal" freezer temperature?


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Old 02-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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No, the colder the better for long term storage. You just have to remember to pull things sooner for them to defrost in time for dinner.

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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You have to balance degrees of coldness vs. electricity cost. I have an upright freezer I keep at about -10 F. There is no practical reason to keep it colder than that.

The down side of a colder freezer is energy cost and the need to defrost more frequently.
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