Buying a freezer: chest or upright?

There are two main types of freezer: chest and upright.

Upright

Upright freezers are rather like refrigerators, and a small one can easily fit into a kitchen alongside other appliances. Uprights contain a number of shelves or drawer-like wire baskets.

One disadvantage is that the cold air tends to spill out when the door is opened, but this problem is reduced in models that have doors to each shelf, or solid-sided drawer-like 'buckets' instead of wire baskets.

Chest

Chest freezers have a hinged lid on the top; they tend to be bigger than upright freezers, and for this reason are often housed outside the kitchen in a cellar, or utility room, or garage. They are best suited to big households stocking large quantities of food, or to people who produce prodigious quantities of fruit or vegetables from their garden, or who like to freeze the products of their hunting or fishing, or who like buying bulk supplies of a product when available (such as half a sheep from an organic farm).

Chest freezers are a little harder to manage than upright freezers, because the containers of food tend to pile up on the bottom, even if the suspended wire baskets do go some way to alleviating the problem.

Which?

It is hard to recommend what size of freezer to buy: it depends entirely on your own individual habits of shopping and eating – or what you think they might be once you've got a freezer.

When measuring up the space where you are going to put your new freezer, remember to allow a gap of 25mm (1 inch) on all sides, as the condenser gives off warm air which needs to disperse.

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