A chest freezer can be ideal for stockpiling months of food that won’t fit in a refrigerator freezer. However, it’s depth can lead to disorganization and long searches for ingredients when you’re short on time. So, how can you find what you need and keep everything in order? Our Appliance Genie experts detail how to stock a chest freezer with easy organization tips.
Freezing Tips and Tricks: How to Stock a Chest Freezer
While tossing items in the freezer can save time in the short term, searching for ingredients at dinner time wastes valuable minutes. Our tips and tricks for how to stock a chest freezer can make the most of its storage space. But first, we’ll review what foods are appropriate for freezing, so they still retain freshness and flavor.
What Food Goes in a Chest Freezer?
So, what foods can you put in a chest freezer without risking loss of texture and flavor?
As opposed to a refrigerator freezer, a chest freezer can be ideal for longer-term food storage as well as storing items in bulk. This includes meats that can stay frozen beyond a few months, as well as properly-prepped fresh produce, and even desserts.
The real secret on how to stock a chest freezer is to fill it with foods that can withstand long-term freezing and still taste great. These are:
- Large cuts of meat, such as steaks, whole chickens, and turkeys
- Fresh vegetables (blanch before freezing to better retain texture and flavor)
- Fruits such as berries, sliced peaches, mangoes, and pineapple
- Pizza, pie, and cookie dough
- Soups and unbaked casseroles
How Full Should a Chest Freezer Be?
Most freezers best retain their temperature when they’re full, but not cramped. The best way to stock a chest freezer allows for cold air to properly flow in between items. Making sure the freezer is ¾ of the way full also helps keep in the cold, preventing the freezer from working too hard.
How to Organize a Chest Freezer
Given its depth and size, chest freezer management is essential to ensuring that items are easily found and used before they spoil. How to organize a chest freezer as efficiently as possible? Follow these tips and tricks:
- Organize with bins and bags: Insert cloth bins in your freezer and stock them with bagged items of similar types.
- Label bags and bins with the names of items as well as numbers that correspond to each bag and bin.
- Keep track of items: Create a written list of your freezer’s contents and the numbered bin or bag in which they’re stored. Keep the list next to the freezer, crossing off items as they’re used.
- Rotate older items towards the front or top of the freezer so they’re used first.
- Store bagged items flat and stacked to save space.
- Organize the freezer in sections with meats, prepared meals, and produce in specific areas.