What Is A Deep Freezer? – Everything Explained

Have you come across the term ‘deep freezer’ while shopping for new kitchen appliances? Not sure exactly what one is or what it does? Fear not!

In this post, I’ll explain what a deep freezer is and how it works as well as answer some popular questions about the topic.

Let’s dive in!

What is a deep freezer?

A deep freezer is a dedicated freezer that is not part of your usual refrigerator. It is solely designed for freezing food at low temperatures for longer periods of time. Both an upright freezer and a chest freezer can be considered deep freezers.

Some modern home kitchens may feature both a stand-up fridge and a separate freezer to allow for extra food storage. However, you most likely have seen a deep freezer in a basement or a garage as a standalone appliance.

Families have used them to manage food budgets for decades. It enables you to harvest or purchase large quantities of meats or vegetables at a lower cost and store them until you want to serve them without spoilage.

The term deep freezer grew out of the early years of refrigeration. The freezer section in the fridge struggled to freeze food quickly or effectively. It only managed to keep food at a few degrees below zero.

The first deep freezers could maintain temperatures closer to -18C, which better protected food. Today’s refrigeration technology provides for effective freezing even in standard refrigerator freezer appliance combinations.

deep freezer
Chest Deep Freezer

What’s the difference between a fridge freezer and a deep freezer?

A fridge freezer will have both a fridge section and a freezer section as part of the same appliance. They can be either freestanding or integrated. The freezer section may be a drawer at the bottom, a door at the top, or a vertical door in an American fridge freezer (French door design).

A deep freezer is a stand-alone appliance. In many homes, the deep freezer can be found in a utility room, in the basement, or garage. These types of freezers come in a variety of sizes to fit your space and give you anywhere from 5 to 22 cubic feet (cu ft) of additional storage capacity for frozen items.

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What’s the difference between a chest freezer and a deep freezer?

A chest freezer refers to a particular style of deep freezer. A chest freezer features a low and wide design sort of like a blanket chest. Lift the hinged lid off the top and it opens up a deep chest waiting to freeze mountains of food.

Deep freezers can be found as chest freezers or vertical units with doors that swing to the side. The vertical design has easy to access shelves and drawers for better organisation of your frozen foods.

What is the purpose of a deep freezer?

Homeowners tend to use a deep freezer to preserve meats, vegetables, bread, and other perishable foods. If you have a home vegetable garden, you might have too many tomatoes or beans to eat fresh.

Your fridge freezer just doesn’t have the space to store it all. Use a deep freezer to freeze prepared sauces and prepped fresh veggies in packages sized for a single meal. If you subscribe to a community-supported agriculture program, it gives you options to save some of the produce that you struggle to eat before it spoils.

Also, if you purchase bundles of meat from your butcher at discounted rates, you can have six months’ worth of steaks and chops frozen and waiting for your next garden BBQ.

How Much Does A Deep Freezer Cost?

You can find small under-counter deep freezers for as little as £50. A typical chest freezer that is large enough for a family of four starts at around £150.

When you start to look at deep freezers that match your other appliances, including drawers, shelves, interior lighting, automatic defrosting and other perks, you can watch the price soar up to £2,000.

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What is the temperature of a deep freezer?

Most deep freezers maintain a steady temperature right around -18 C. On some units, you can adjust the thermostat to go as low as -40 C.

Most meats and vegetables do well at the standard -20 C, but ice cream and other high-fat foods require a lower temperature to reach a solid frozen state.

What should I store in a deep freezer?

Your deep freezer is suitable to freeze meat, vegetables, fruits, desserts, ice cream, and even bread. In order to avoid freezer burn, any food placed in a freezer should be wrapped airtight to avoid the development of frost crystals.

They are especially handy if you like to buy your groceries in bulk to benefit from special offers and retail price.

How many watts is a deep freezer?

Most average sized deep freezers use around 230 KWh per year to maintain their cold temperature. Assuming an electric energy cost of 30p per unit (for now), that would mean a cost of around £70 a year to keep the appliance running.

The exact model, build quality and environment the appliance is located will all impact the running costs. Chest freezer models typically use less energy than their upright swinging door freezer type model counterparts.

Upright Deep Freezer
Upright Deep Freezer

How Long Do Deep Freezers Last?

Deep freezers are known to last for 20 years and longer. Freezing food became hugely popular in the 60s as refrigerator technology became more affordable. It is not unusual to visit the basement of your grandparents’ house and find their first chest freezer still working.

They enjoy better longevity compared to a fridge as there are fewer parts. It most likely won’t have an ice maker or even a light inside. Since the freezer is opened less often, it does not have to run through as many cooling cycles.

However, will a newly built freezer last as long as grandma’s? Doubtful. But you can plan on 10 to 15 years with confidence.

Can A Deep Freezer Be Kept Outside?

It is not recommended by the manufacturer to place your deep freezer completely outside. However, with the right conditions and precautions, it is possible to place it in an outhouse.

The freezer should not be left outside where it is subjected to temperatures above 40 C or below 5 C. It should be protected from the rain and wind as water can get into the mechanics and corrode parts.

It uses a fan to circulate freezing air and keep its motor from overheating. Dirt and leaves can clog the fan which causes the freezer to overheat and fail.

If you have a shed or garage with power and never see freezing temperatures in the winter, it could work.

Can A Deep Freezer Sit On A Carpet?

Never. The coolant coils and mechanics in a chest freezer are located at the bottom of the unit. They need good airflow to maintain proper function.

Placing the freezer on a carpet will choke the air supply. If the only place to put the freezer is carpeted, put down a piece of 3/4″ wood to raise the freezer off of the carpeting.

Final Thoughts…

There you go! Everything you need to know about deep freezers.

Historically, the term was used to describe specialist freezer only appliances that were more insulated and went down to lower temperatures than their standard fridge freezer combination appliances. However, most of today’s modern models of freezers (or fridge freezers) are considered to be ‘deep freezers’ as they can achieve these lower temperatures.



Michael from

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.